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Everything posted by BlueRiband

  1. Unfortunately Cunard cannot know as the covid situation is constantly in flux. Now that a 3rd booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine is recommended in certain situations, is one no longer considered to be "fully vaccinated" if they only got two doses and now cannot sail? With claims that vaccine efficacy wanes after 4-6 months will one be denied boarding if has been "too long" since their last dose? Booking now means that one has to accept: that on-board covid protocols could be more strict at time of sailing, the boarding requirements more stringent, or the sailing cancelled altogether.
  2. Found the first image here: "Queen Mary 2" will spend a month in the port of Brest The publication is in French but according to the web translator she is "in form n ° 3, at the port of Brest (Finistère), for a maintenance period of 28 days, with the shipyard Damen Shiprepair. The magnificent liner will be the subject of visits and work on the thrusters and stabilizers. Also on the program, sheet metal work in the fittings, fairing and painting and routine maintenance..."
  3. Good sluthing because Cunard has been silent about the drydock up to now. All of QM2's previous refits have all been in Hamburg. I quick online searched found that Damen Shiprepair has a 420M x 80M drydock. Originally the spa was to have been gut-renovated. It's unchanged since the ship entered service but with no revenue for a year and a half it's not surprising that Carnival would have to cut back on earlier plans.
  4. There's also the added expense of having to fedex WRITTEN notice of cancellation. According to page 6 of the US Passage Contract: "...You may cancel by telephone or electronic advice ... provided Carrier immediately receives written confirmation of cancellation. In such case cancellation shall be deemed effective as of the close of business Pacific Standard Time on the date You communicated such cancellation..."
  5. Indeed, that has been HAL's disembarkation system. The down side is that it does indeed cut into the time to prepare the cabins. Thus the boarding passengers have to wander about with their carry-on bags in tow until they open of occupancy.
  6. Another "pause" would be catastropic to the industry. No business can survive when it can be shut down by regulators at any moment and there is no foreseeable time when they can reopen.
  7. I share the same concern. There's a QM2 sailing that I had been considering but with all of the non-stop "delta variant, delta variant" daily news chatter I'm not confident that on board masking, distancing, and dining restrictions will be lifted. Having a long dinner with 8-10 table mates isn't going to happen in the forseeable future. I have to ask myself if I want to spend that much money and not be able to enjoy the ship as I had in the past. If a final payment was due today I'd cancel rather than pay.
  8. It certainly has when people would rather spend time with their phone than converse with another person. I'm afraid the Captain's Table will become another shipboard amenity that will pass on into memory like Bon Voyage parties. Rightly or wrongly so many passengers today don't want to dress for dinner, have fixed dining times, or dine with people that they don't know.
  9. This thread is two years old! Check the Cunard site for final payment dates as it's been in flux since startup was announced.
  10. Countries that tend to have a high representation of crew members - Philippines, India, and South Africa - are UK "red list" countries. According to the UK government site only British and Irish citizens, or those with permanent residency, are being allowed in and then must also book a 10-day quarantine hotel package and 2 covid tests. Assuming Cunard got a waiver to let crew from those countries travel to Southampton they would have to undertake all of the above. If somebody does test positive after all that then what else would "work"?
  11. If you decide to go be prepared for the service not being anywhere near what you would previously have expected. I sailed on the first cruise after a major drydock. While crew members were on board during the refit they were three weeks off their normal service routine. The first night I didn't have bathroom towels until after dinner. Two dining rooms were re-configured so even those experienced with the old setup had to adjust. A lot of refit jobs were still ongoing. Now imagine how shabby these ships have become with only a minimal caretaker crew on board. If you are asking now you probably are hesitating about being the proverbial guinea pig. You have to weigh the cost vs. diminished expectations. Will you still be able to enjoy the cruise?
  12. Compared to the 2018 version of Cunard Care, this "At Ease" program is a stripped down version. I looked up the older version for New York which included secondary medical coverage and a worldwide assistance program: No medical coverage, and a paltry $500for baggage. The new coverage also requires 72hrs notice of cancellation. Under the old program one could get a 75% future credit is they woke and and decided not to board that day.
  13. That's been my thinking in the past too. But right now nobody is sure how dining for solos will work by the time QM2 starts sailing. As of today, only Britannia first sitting will have assigned tables. The former second sitting and those in the Grills will need to make reservations. (Which is how they will maintain social distancing.) Does each solo make a time reservation and do they have to just hope another solo reserved the same time? This "my time", "your time" and "anytime" dining turns me off to other lines. As someone who does not have an outgoing and gregarious personality, the idea of having to find new dining companions every day is not appealing. I looked forward to the assigned table with compatable dining companions. When it goes well in the evening we were usually the last to leave. After-dinner conversation will be cut short if the table is needed for another party. The dining situation is a deal-breaker for me. I won't book if I have to sail under the current restrictions.
  14. That could be possible, but it's unlikely that anybody just having had major surgery (or undergoing chemotherapy) could or should be on a ship where medical facilities are very limited.
  15. One important point that we can all glean from this thread: It is the responsibility of the traveler to verify the required entry documentation for each and every country that one plans to visit.
  16. If dressing up is something that you do only reluctanly, then there are other things about the atmosphere of a Cunard ship that might not be a good match for you.
  17. Yes. If you think it looks inauthentic then European immigration agents will think so too. Contact Walgreens about getting a CDC card.
  18. It's not likely to sail. Businesses cannot plan when the reopening goalposts keep shifting. Cruise lines already had logistical challenges in bringing back ships from layup to full service.
  19. Getting a scooter through your cabin door is 10% of the problem. Where you will park it once inside is the other 90% of the problem. Unless a ship specifically has a program for storing and charging scooters (rare) you must store and charge it in your stateroom. It cannot be left in the hall, at the elevators, or in any other common area. A couple of years ago, on the Cunard board, a passenger booked a "regular" cabin and brought an undeclared scooter on board. She then posted a long dissertation on the difficulties she had in moving about her cabin and how messy it was to try to fold it.
  20. I have not heard of it before. But I'd think that anybody in a financial position to use Private Air would already be using similar services. It used to be that only the uber-wealthy had private air: Those with the means to own and maintain aircraft and keep a flight crew on a payroll. Today however there is "fractional ownership" of aircraft or the purchase of "flight hours" that makes it much more affordable. In some cases it can be an attractive tranportation option. Instead of patching together connecting commercial flights one could take a private plane directly from Small City to an embarktion port.
  21. In drilling down into the article there was this quote from Celebrity's Dondra Ritzenthaler: "..“he was talking about restaurants, bars, hotels, Disney, places that weren’t cruise ships — because at the time, cruise ships weren’t open yet.. And we’re ironing out a statement that will articulate how cruising will be different than [being] in the state.” A lot of us would see a difference between vaccination for an out-of-country trip but then the same logic would extend such a requirement for other things. The Alaska Marine Highway System is a ferry which requires vaccination or covid testing. How many places would have a sign on the door reading, "Vaccination card required for entry"?
  22. Your point would have been well taken one year ago. Since then vaccines have substantially reduced vulnerability to infections. Treatment of covid has also greatly improved. Anybody in a fragile state of health should not be booking a cruise with or without the threat of covid.
  23. I'd like that too but she only went to the US west coast once, early in her career. She would have to sail around Cape Horn. There is only a narrow window of tidal circumstances where she could fit under the Bridge of the Americas at the Pacific entrance of the Panama canal. Or, go through the Suez and sail trans-Pacific. Either way it's a very long fuel-consuming trip. That would nix any profitable operation of QM2 for an Alaska season.
  24. That's what I had been wondering - is Seattle even equipped to handle embarkations and disembarkations? They have no reason to invest in such infrastructure as long as the PVSA is in effect and it's only a port of call.
  25. According to the Senator who sponsored the bill, it suspends the PVSA for sailings to Alaska through February 28, 2022. Although it passed both the House and Senate it still has to be signed by the President. It may be too late to salvage the Alaska season for Cunard and other lines as the logistics to take a ship from layup to full service are formidable. (And is Seattle even set up as an embarkation port? )
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