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About Thaxted

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  1. But we do have something called Bovrite, not that I have the slightest interest in tasting it! http://bovrite.com
  2. I agree. I would only add that even among the young there are those who will be drawn to what Cunard offers. I teach at a large university. My students are boisterous and most dress as casually as possible. And yet when I tell them about my voyages on QM2, many want to know more. How long is a transatlantic crossing? How much does it cost? Do people really dress up for dinner? Is it really as relaxing as I said it is? One young woman told me that she would be getting married in a few months and that she was so impressed by my stories and by what she had seen online that she and her fiancé had changed their plans so they could spend their honeymoon on QM2.
  3. Radio, Thanks for the wonderful video, How I miss those wonderful promenade walks and how I hope to enjoy them again next summer (fingers and toes earnestly crossed) instead of tromping as I now must through the steamy streets of Washington!
  4. Thank you for the delightful video. It brought back a host of wonderful memories. I'm just sorry that for the time being we can only experience QM2 vicariously.
  5. Sorry you had to cancel your Caribbean cruise. My brother and his wife sail to the Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale every December, but not this year. I hope that next year will be happier for us all.
  6. You're right, Roy. We would have getting off while you were waiting to get on. I hope we meet onboard again some day and that you make it back to Newfoundland.
  7. As I was walking home today, it occurred to me that had the plague of Covid-19 not descended upon us, my wife and I would now be busy preparing for our July transatlantic crossing, our European vacation, and our voyage home in August. Our days would be filled with shopping, packing, sharing our holiday itinerary with friends and family, and making arrangements to spend a few days in Brooklyn with our son before we embarked for Southampton. How I miss the weeks of anticipation and, of course, the wonderful days on Queen Mary 2 that would lie ahead! We all grumble from time to time about things that have not gone quite right on a sailing: sink holes in the carpeting, someone less than helpful at the purser’s desk, a meal that didn’t live up to expectations, chaos in Kings Court, tired production numbers, the list goes on and on. But all these seem insignificant to me now as I remember walking around the promenade deck, gazing out at the Atlantic from a library window, afternoon tea in the Queens Room, lying on a deck chair while pretending to read, the elegant formal nights, cocktails and jazz in the Chart Room, more cocktails and quiet conversation in the Commodore Club, being gently rocked to sleep, the gala balls, the noonday reports from Georges Bank to Bishop Rock, and the wonderful people we have met and whose friendship we cherish. No one can say for certain when it will be safe to sail again or how much life onboard will change. But we’re holding on to our future cruise credit and the hope that we’ll be on the broad Atlantic next summer. Until then, bless you all!
  8. As Bostonjet wrote, weather on the North Atlantic is notoriously unpredictable. We've never been on a winter crossing. By all accounts winter crossings can be a bit boisterous, but some people enjoy surprisingly smooth seas. All of our crossings have been in July and August when the ocean is usually at its calmest. But although we've never encountered an outright hurricane, we have experienced a few days of very rough seas. And yet, I hasten to add, even on the stormiest of days we were none the worse for the wear. So as you make your plans, keep three things in mind. First, as Bostonjet pointed out, it's very unlikely that you'll encounter a hurricane. Second, as Underwatr wrote, QM2 an alter its course if necessary. And third, as bluemarble observed, QM2 is remarkably stable even in the midst of hurricane force winds. I am very sensitive to motion, so this is something to which I can enthusiastically testify. Have a wonderful 20th anniversary crossing!
  9. Cunard does offer this service. We've used it many times. It's simple and thus far it's worked flawlessly for us. They'll pick up your bag the night before you disembark and when you return, your bag will be waiting for you in your stateroom. Here are the instructions that appeared in the Daily Programme. Keep in mind that the price may have changed. "Guests who wish to store their luggage before disembarking Queen Mary 2 in Southampton prior to their return voyage in the future may do so with our port agent. Please register at the Purser's Office by 6:00 PM on [Day 5] The cost of this service is $65 per bag for up to 30 days and an additional $30 for the next 30 days. This will be charged to your on board account. You will be provided with a separate luggage tag and your luggage will be transported by the port agent to the Carnival UK storage facility until your return."
  10. A 1st class ticket can indeed be very expensive, but the 1st class Advance Fare can be as low as £15 per person. Of course, if you have lots of luggage (BigMac is right that finding a place for your bags can be challenging) and you add the cost of the taxis in London and Southampton Central to the ship, a car service might be preferable to you.
  11. I agree on both counts. The bookstore is a pale shadow of its former self. I keep hoping that Cunard will find someone else to manage it. And the Carinthia Lounge is indeed at its lunchtime best on the first day or two at sea before it becomes a crowded annex to Kings Court.
  12. The Carinthia Lounge is located forward on deck 7 close to Kings Court. It serves breakfast and lunch, but not dinner. Drinks are available for a price. You can bring food and free drinks from Kings Court to Carinthia if you like. The tea and coffee at Sir Samuel's isn't free, but it's better than what you'll get for free in Kings Court or on deck 2.
  13. Roy, welcome home! It was a pleasure, as always, to follow your journey.
  14. Never having sailed on the lines you mentioned, I can't compare what they offer to what you'll find on Queen Mary 2. But as for your specific questions: 1. There is so much to do on QM2 that what you must do very much depends on what you want to do. The Insight lectures are always interesting and often outstanding. Afternoon tea in the Queens Room is very popular. If the troupe from RADA (the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts) is on board, their offerings would be well worth attending. Cocktails in the Commodore Club with piano accompaniment or in the Chart Room with the jazz combo have become musts for us. Walking round the magnificent Promenade deck and, weather permitting, settling in a deck chair as you make your way across the Atlantic is a simple pleasure of which we never tire. Do you like to read? Sitting in a comfortable chair in the library and gazing out over the bow is a must. Even if you don't like to read, sitting in a comfortable chair in the library and gazing out over the bow is a delight. Do you like to dance? There are wonderful balls and QM2 boasts the largest dance floor at sea. And, of course, there are shows, the fitness center, classes, the usual trivia contests, karaoke in the Golden Lion pub, gambling in the casino, and so much more. 2. There are specialty restaurants. The most expensive is the Verandah Steakhouse (lunch $25, dinner $39). In the evening a section of the Kings Court buffet is set aside as a specialty restaurant: Aztec (Mexican), Bamboo (Asian), Coriander (Indian), La Piazza (Italian), and the Smokehouse. The cost is $19. 3. There are several drink packages: soft drinks, soft drinks premium, specialty hot drinks , and a wine, beer and spirits package. They are explained here: https://www.cunard.com/en-us/frequently-asked-questions.life-on-board.faq337.summary. You'll also find information about dining at the same site. 4. I wouldn't stay in Southampton myself, but where you should go once you disembark depends on your interests, how much time you have before you want to be in Dublin, and how you plan to get to Dublin. Winchester and Salisbury both about 25 minutes from Southampton by train. These historic cathedral cities are well worth spending a night or two, and they have excellent rail connections to London (Winchester is more interesting, I think, although Salisbury has Stonehenge). You can travel by train from Winchester or Salisbury to Oxford in about two hours. There are direct trains from Winchester, but you need to change trains at least once if you travel from Salisbury.
  15. Nancy, There are direct trains from Chester to Holyhead. The trip takes about one and a half to two hours. You can check the schedule at nationalrail.co.uk. We took the ferry from Holyhead to Dublin a few years ago and found it to be very pleasant.
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