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About bobg529

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Staten Island NY
  • Interests
    Travel, toy soldiers, shooting, history
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard, NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean, Transatlantic, Alaska

Recent Profile Visitors

164 profile views
  1. Cats are brilliant, but they know when to keep quiet. 😉
  2. Here in the states, 15% tends to be a basic tip at any decent place. It doesn’t mean service has been extraordinary, it is the minimum amount expected. If the service was poor I might cut back to 10%, rounded up, but I don’t think I’ve stiffed anyone (no tip at all) for years. Not even in a diner. Now I understand they are adding the 15% on already on Cunard, so wether I give an additional tip depends on the service. If it’s above and beyond I put a dash guru the tip line and slip a couple of singles in he folder. I always bring a lot of $1 bills on a sailing, and I think you get the reputation among the wait staff that if they treat you right, they will be well rewarded. i have often heard it stated by folks from England and throughout Europe that their service personnel are already paid a decent wage and I don’t doubt it, but this has always been what I have done, of course your experience may vary. Just as an add on, usually, during any voyage, a server will stick out to us as special, and he or she may greet us by name, know our likes, etc. When that occurs I will always look for that person towards the end of the cruise and give them a small thank you card with a little extra tip, say 10 or 20, inside. I appreciate that level of service, it is what makes Cunard special to me, and I want to staff to know how I feel.
  3. I’ve been on the Queen 3 times. I had the package back in May and then as a comparison we tried it out sans package in November. I’m a heavier drinker than my wife but still we found it to be cheaper to just pay as you go. This includes the added benefits to the drink package, which is bottled water (small bottles). And coffee drinks at Sir Samuels are also included. I purchased a water package from our room steward of 6 1 liter bottles which were delivered the same day to our cabin. My typical liquor intake on a cruise is that I’ll typically have a drink or beer at lunch in the Golden Lion , I’ll have a cocktail before dinner at one of the bars,wine with dinner, and one or two after dinner drinks at a bar or in the Royal court theatre.. I find the drink prices on the Queen Mary 2 to be reasonable and the bartenders are fairly skilled. You get charged separately for your mixer, and can opt to have say tonic water from the fountain gun which is cheapest but in my opinion inferior.. I prefer to order Fever Tree, which is much tastier. In this case they bring the tonic bottle to your table and will,pour it with your permission. You can get two drinks out if one bottle of mixer so when I order a refill, I’ll just request vodka and ice and add the tomnic myself. This saves a few dollars over the life of the cruise. As to gratuities, yes a charge is added to every drink, however the server does not get any of that gratuity directly. All the money collected has a portion removed that is added to some sort of general welfare fund and shared equally with the entire crew. I myself have a practice of carrying singles. When I get the bill I put a stroke in the line for additional gratuity, and will add a dollar bill or two to the check. This money the server can keep and they are most appreciative and treat you with special care. Final tip on cost savings. If you like wine with your dinner certainly order a bottle from the wine steward. They will mark and hold the bottle for you, and you will typically get four or five dinners out of a bottle, and that works out to be much cheaper than buying it by the glass. On a seven day cruise my wife and I will share 3 bottles; one Pinot Grigio or Cabernet, one Chablis, and a White Zinfandel.
  4. Well, back in May my wife and I did a 7 night TA on QM2 and I brought my tux, a dark suit, and a grey sportcoat that I wore when we boarded. We had flown to Florida originally and then sailed to Spain on a 15 night repo on the Norwegian Epic, but all I had at that point was my sportcoat as we had shipped our formal clothes in two suitcases via Cunard’s Luggage Forward service from home in NY to Southampton. So by the time we finally boarded some 20 days later we were both looking forward to getting dressed for dinner. We are sailing on the QM2 again in a couple of weeks, this time on a 12 day Caribbean round trip out of NYC so there’s much less lugging to do. Just a cab to to Brooklyn. I’ve ditched the dark suit, but now I’m bringing along a new white dinner jacket, plus the tux, and 2 sportcoats, one of which I will wear when we board. We only have 3 scheduled formal nights, but I’m planning on wearing my new dinner jacket a couple of times. I think the older I get the more I enjoy getting “dressed.for dinner”. Besides I’m getting a bit long in the tooth for booze cruises.😉
  5. As both a native Staten Islander and a lover of the QM2. if you are seriously interested in visiting.Staten Island please allow me to make a few suggestions. First of all the ferry ride itself would be cheap at twice the price, not surprising since it’s free I guess, but the views coming into Manhattan on the return trip are truly impressive, as is the view of the Statue of Liberty. The ferry runs twice an hour,three times an hour during the morning rush. The ride takes approximately 25 minutes. You will be required to get off the ferry and wait in the terminal for a return boat if all you want is a ferry ride. Now if you are interested in going shopping don’t go to the Staten Island Mall. Mind you,our mall is recently refurbished and has gotten bigger, but it’s still just a mall as malls go. I’ve visited your mall in Soton and found that to be very similar, except you take pounds and we take dollars. However right next door to the ferry terminal is the brand new Empire Outlets with a selection of outlet stores and places to eat. Look at their website under EmpireOutlets@nyc. For a more cultural take I’d suggest grabbing an Uber (more on that in a bit) to the Snug Harbor cultural center. Once there the campus has different horticultural exhibits as well as a contemporary art museum, and my favorites are the Noble Maritime Museum and the NYC Chinese Scholars Garden. To get information on these attractions visit snug-harbor.org. Finally, about the Uber suggestion, while there are buses on Staten Island the public transportation once you are here is not great. An Uber account is free, just download the app on your phone, the link your new account to either a credit card or a paypal account. You get the price of the trip up front on the phone so you know exactly how much you will spend, and no cash changes hands. All payments including optional tips are done thru the phone. I’ve used it all over this country and it’s very easy to get a ride when you need one. Sorry to be so long winded. I hope this all is helpful.
  6. Have you tried walking with a cane at all? If you are having any mobility issues, many times a cane can take some weight off of the injured limb. You may not need it every day, but just break it out if you’re feeling a bit sore. They make very good folding canes that you can buy on Amazon or at a medical supply store. Just make sure that you get some information on how to use a cane properly. You would be surprised how many people use their canes incorrectly! Have a wonderful voyage!
  7. If you’re willing to shop on line there are clothiers that are reliable enough that you can find a quality tux for $500.00. They are frequently on sale and that’s when you grab them. Quality stores with brick and mortar outlets like Jos A Bank in the US allow returns if you’re not pleased. The other accoutrements that go with it, (shirt, studs, vest or cummerbund, etc.) will set you back that much more, but you will own your tux. It will likely pay for itself over time (mine certainly has) and is worth the purchase. Don’t get avant garde on your choice, basic black, classic style, notched lapels (shawl collar is best on a dinner jacket, save that for later) satin facings and trouser stripes will never go out of style.
  8. Hi. I just have a question for anyone who has traveled on the QM2 for a Caribbean sailing, round trip out of NYC. Specifically, we have booked a balcony for the November 26th, 2019 voyage. Yes, we are American and will be spending Thanksgiving at sea which is fine with us. Both my wife and myself are 62. We just got married in April of this year and spent the last wonderful week of our 30 day honeymoon on board the QM2. When we arrived home we vowed to save money, but alas we found this sailing and we were both smitten.😉 Anyway, please don’t be offended by this question. Neither of us has children, and that ship, pardon the expression, has sailed, lol. It’s not that we don’t like children, but sometimes when the ship is overrun with the “little darlings” it can become a bit troublesome. We are going either way, I’d just like to know. Thanks in advance!
  9. I know this is somewhat selfish on my part, but my upcoming sailing docks in Brooklyn on 5/24/2019 so I appear to be safe for now. 😉 I’m certainly not happy about this kind of behavior by any company, but I would bet that a decision of this magnitude would spend years being appealed before any such draconian measures were enacted. Once the lawyers are done yelling at each other, wrists will be slapped, tongues will be clucked, and not much of anything will be accomplished.
  10. I cruised Alaska in May a few years back. There were days when I needed a jacket, a sweater underneath, gloves and a scarf. It was pretty cold when we sailed into Glacier Bay in particular, although not so cold that I didn’t get to see the glaciers calving in spots. The sound was amazing. There were also days I could walk about in shirtsleeves and a few hardy souls even hopped in the pool. The advice about layers is really spot on. I wish you as nice a weather as I had, there wasn’t a day I didn’t need my sunglasses. You will love your journey, Alaska is truly beautiful!
  11. Early in a cruise, especially a long one, it’s Classic Margaritas, salt on the rim, ALL NIGHT. 😎 Then about half way thru I think of the carbs. Then it’s Vodka and tonic for my first drink, then vodka and club soda for the rest of the night. Sometimes it’s a long night. Thank God for the UBP!😂
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