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kohl57

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About kohl57

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Washington DC USA
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Oceania, Cunard

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  1. kohl57

    Just Off QM2

    Odd. To read yet another report of diminished nibbles in the Commodore Club at cocktail time. And again, certainly not the case on QUEEN ELIZABETH (at least mid September and long after the first reports of cutbacks on QM2). It seems strange that QM2 will differ from the other ships in this respect. We certainly had no complaints on QE in this regard.
  2. kohl57

    QV post refit aft Penthouse Suite 8178

    Impressive. And ever so much nicer in colour scheme than the original QE/QV suites. Indeed, this reminds one of suite on French Line's LIBERTE or ILE DE FRANCE with the mirrored wardrobe doors. Whatever the new Cunarder offers, hopefully this sort of freshened "please anything but more beige" decor will be among her desirable features.
  3. kohl57

    Creative Director of new Cunard ship appointed

    Sorry, but Tihany doing the interiors just reinforces my belief that we are indeed looking at a QUEEN K'DAM as the new Cunarder. And also my belief that with this new ship, Carnival will attempt to "reimagine" (God, how I hate that trite millennial term) Cunard with new decor, "freedom"/"fixed" dining and making us accept no traditional promenade deck etc etc. not to mention sharing the ship with 3500 others. They might as well go for broke and I suspect they will. Companies love poking their regular clientele in the eye with this "but we gotta think of where the next generation is coming from" and Cunard is next on the list for sure. Good luck with all that. But almost anything would be an improvement on the decor of QE/QV which I personally find just about the worst of any premium line ship. It's brown, it's beige, it's an insipid take on "art something or rather" and it's rendered in the cheapest fake wood imaginable. As a "homage" to the great liners of the past, it's rather an insult. Having said all that, Cunard has at least made improvements with the recent QV refit (similar to that done on QM2) and it's at least in a step in right redirection. Or at least discovering some other colours other than brown or beige. I suspect the length of QE's upcoming refit indicates rather less will be attempted.
  4. kohl57

    QE tips, tricks & secrets

    Promenade Deck.. especially first thing in the morning on a day at sea. It's much closer to the ocean than on QM2 and you get the spray, the salt and the feel of really being at sea. The sunrises can be spectacular, too. Three laps and a coffee in the Cafe Carinthia afterwards is a great way to start the day. And the classic walkaround promenade deck seems to be a feature we won't be getting in future Cunarders. So revel in it whilst you can.
  5. kohl57

    New Menu in Verandah on QM2

    Sigh. Well, that's $39 saved and another reason why I'd rather spend the extra and go Princess Grill and never have the need or the desire for extra cost restaurants. Indeed, the menu in Britannia is more appealing to me anyway. I appreciate that 1970s retro is all the rage now, but a c. 1974 steak restaurant? It's like date night with Jack Regan in The Sweeney. And the wine list.. well that's sure not c. 1974 price-wise.. what a rip-off especially by the glass.
  6. kohl57

    Welcome back

    My only complaint with this new format is that there appears to be no way to click on the LAST message posted to a topic as there was with the former system.
  7. Well good on you. I certainly agree that Cunard's bewildering and almost complete abandonment of traditional Mediterranean cruises is both annoying and headscratching. We are already booked on QV for next September on her 14-day "Voyage du Vin" mainly because it was pretty much "it" at a desirable time of year . But I looked at P&O alternatives and came away thinking it was no bargain compared to Princess Grill on every level with no separate dining room, decks or much else except a larger cabin. They even charge for standard room service it appears! We used to be real P&O "regulars" back in the day of CANBERRA (indeed my wife and I first met aboard her) but after a very disappointing cruising in VICTORIA back in 2001, never went back. We probably wouldn't recognise the line now. But with that savings, why not give it a try. Cunard is going to lose regular customers aplenty with this "No Med No Way" policy.
  8. kohl57

    gluten free afternoon tea? GF in general

    My wife is gluten free (and seriously so, not a fad diet, as she has celiac disease). One of the reasons we have recently switched to Cunard is how much better they cater to gluten free than Oceania. However, this year on QE she was most disappointed to find that they no longer have any gluten free flour aboard and no longer bake their own gluten free cakes and scones. And even pastry for beef Wellington. She was so delighted to enjoy these last year. But sadly, no more. It's all pre-wrapped factory made stuff which is 99% baking soda and inedible. A real pity. But they still do a very credible job with main meals etc. And again better than we found Oceania did. On Cunard, the staff all seem to really know what's on the menu, how it's prepared etc.
  9. kohl57

    Steamer Chairs

    Sadly, the old tradition of beef tea (and crackers) at 11.00 am and afternoon tea served at your deck chair is a thing of the past, even on Cunard. If you are in the Grills, they still have an excellent trolley service including full afternoon tea but sadly no beef tea in the morning. But for the rest of the ship, nope. And nowhere will you find proper steamer rugs, either. QE2 was the last to have those and they were all from the original QUEEN MARY as were the deck chair cushions BTW. Nothing was more wonderful than time on deck on the QE2's First Class sun deck with the incomparable Dennis Dawson as the Chief Deck Steward and you got "tucked in" in your rug and served tea in the old QUEEN MARY pattern square teapots on trays.
  10. kohl57

    Boarding time

    Odd. I live in the United States and been on Cunard 11 times since 1977 and never once.. not once.. sailed from New York. It's always been from Southampton. But I never recall a separate lounge for priority boarding either at the QEII terminal or the Ocean Terminal, just designated queues. And indeed I've never seen anything resembling a queue standing around for priority boarding. We've just walked up, shown our tickets and maybe waited behind one or two couples and went aboard.
  11. kohl57

    I would like the new ship to have....

    Oh yes indeed... I'd pay extra for a "QM2 Blue Riband Express Crossing". I think QM2 has the capability to do a classic five-day crossing, too. Sign me up
  12. kohl57

    Boarding time

    Well we were Princess Grill. And we are Platinum World Club members. So we certainly deserved "Priority Boarding" which was embark at 12.30 pm as printed on our ticket. Which I would assumes means we could board from 12.30 pm onwards. Not anytime before that. Frankly, that's plenty early enough, I just pity the poor crew having to get all those cabins ready only four hours after the previous passengers had vacated them.
  13. kohl57

    Boarding time

    I am a conformist. Well in most things. And when told to arrive at 12.30 pm at the Ocean Terminal for embarkation, that's when we got there... within 3 mins. There were a lot of people standing in various, somewhat defined and inert queues. We showed our tickets and like Moses and the Red Sea, were escorted through and around all of them straight to the counter. We were aboard in maybe 10 mins flat. So I suppose you can get there anytime you wish but my preference isn't to get to the pier but to get aboard the ship. And with 2000 others trying to do the same thing, I am not sure how getting to the pier well in advance of your scheduled time is going to hasten that.
  14. kohl57

    Travel Agent or Book On Board?

    Funny you say that.... when I got mine last year, I thought it was just more junk mail and tossed it. Then I vaguely remembered it mentioning $400 pp extra OBC and managed to fish it out of the trash can covered with coffee grounds and used it to book again! Now, I am not sure if they send this out after every cruise or to every just returned passenger or just to Platinum or..... but got mine two years running within three weeks of returning. For 10-24 nights, it's $400 pp for Grills, $300 Balcony, $200 inside/outside extra OBC and relative amounts for 6-9 nights.
  15. kohl57

    Travel Agent or Book On Board?

    It may be different in the UK. But as a Platinum member, I always get a better on board credit precisely three weeks after my return when my "Welcome Home" card arrives. Indeed, this time I booked as soon as I got back knowing space was limited (I went from a waitlist to a guarantee to a cabin to a cabin on my preferred deck in the space of a week) and they rebooked me to get the very generous additional OBC and keep the same cabin. At least in the US, the agents are pretty wonderful in ensuring you get the best deal and rebooking if needed to obtain it. Cunard's very attractive rate promotions and extremely generous OBC for past passengers who rebook upon returning from a cruise are one of the reason's we've given Oceania a miss now for two (and now) three cruises in as many years. It just works out as a much better value all around.
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