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About MarkBearSF

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Interests
    Broadway, Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard, HAL, Princess. AMA
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    TA crossings & Europe

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  1. Yeah - but expecting their website to meet current expectations is a fool's errand. Cunard does things their way.
  2. I bought a motion-activated battery-powered light that I use for bathrooms on all the ship we cruise (except Celebrity which has night lights in the bath). Works great - and keep the room from being flooded with light when someone uses the bathroom in the middle of the night. (Amazon has many designs.)
  3. AND they share the same offices in the US - so it's entirely possible that the rep handled both lines. Also, these promotional offers are launched by marketing and often targeted to specific groups. It's not unusual for any of the phone reps on any of the lines to be unaware of, and unable to find, specific promotions or offers without the offer code. Realize also, that the phone reps for Cunard and all lines may not ever have been on a cruise and are not really knowledgeable.
  4. I feel safe on the subways. The crime rate is ridiculously low. They're convenient as heck and run 24 hours. Maybe a little grime from the past 100 years or so. But they run.
  5. I believe part of the confusion may be because the special section on the opposite side of the alternative dining section on King's Court on the QM2 (The Chef's Galley?) is casual dress code. (I must admot I'm unclear on the details for that option)
  6. I suspect it's something like - because there is more competition in the US with other brands which offer it (notably Celebrity) and also due to the fact that there are different legal strictures and customs around cruise contracts, commitments, deposits and promises between the US and elsewhere. Perhaps they do it in the US because they must and limit it to there because they can. ...and, of course, nothing is free and included has a price. somewhere.
  7. Glad to help. Enjoy! A couple of other notes - Detergent is free of charge and supplied in the laundrettes Also - I just noticed that you're from NZ. I believe Princess, like others, tends to send their older, more tired ships down to the Australia & New Zealand markets. If your experience is with the Sea Princess and the like, you may find the QM2 a stylish step up. (Although she isn't much younger). And, since the original question elsewhere was from someone taking the Queen Elizabeth, I didn't mention it, but the QM2 has Illuminations, which is a lecture hall, planetarium, and movie theater (in addition to the showroom and the ballroom/second stage) - something no other ship has.
  8. Someone asked a similar question on a different social platform last week and here were my replies (After the first, I decided to add the second) Realize that this was in a Princess group. Hope it's helpful. Of course the key difference is Cunard proudly maintains many traditional aspects of the classic cruise experience including enforced dress codes and fixed dining with two seatings in Britannia. Beyond that, the service attitude is a bit more low key than Princess, but with generally high levels of training. I found the food to be roughly comparable, but of course, this is the most subjective aspect of the experience. Always available items are comparable, but on Cunard, you must request them or ask help from the server who may suggest them, whereas they are clearly printed on the menu on Princess. On sea days, Cunard reigns the seas. World class lecturers, many activities. (and the QM2, being purpose-built for crossings has extra interior space). Whereas Princess has a sorry set of bookshelves in the corner on most ships, Cunard has extensive libraries aboard, with professional librarians. Cunard's live entertainment is more oriented to classical musicians and performances than Princess (there's lots of live music throughout the ships) but Princess is tops these days with production shows. Personally, we love Cunard (there is no experience we've found to rival a North Atlantic crossing on the QM2) and are comfortable with the more formal atmosphere. However, we find the level of quality on Princess in service, food, and general product to be roughly equivalent at the Britannia level, if a bit different. (And since Princess has a very California to mid-American attitude, this San Franciscan from the Midwest feels right at home) And, since we can pop onto cheap little cruises a short cab ride away from home, they're extra appealing. (But they generally feed our need to cruise in between Cunard trips.) - - - More comparisons - There's more activity in the activities in many cases on Princess - Although we're not big buffet fans, we find Princess buffet a bit superior to Cunard, especially in the hours of service. - Cunard offers breakfast and lunch in the dining rooms even on port days. At breakfast, the extensive menu has many options for Brits like beans, grilled tomatoes, non-crisp bacon (American-style is called "streaky bacon) Unlike Princess, there are no daily breakfast specials. - Pub lunches are available every day at no extra charge in the Golden Lion Pub (as opposed to once or twice during a Princess cruise - they also serve for enough time to accommodate a couple of seatings) and the Afternoon Tea is NOT to be missed. - If it's a factor to you, I think Princess still uses fresh water in the pools, but Cunard like most lines, uses seawater. and the pool and deck areas are more extensive on Princess ships. (But Cunard has real promenade decks, with teak on the QM2) - There is no equivalent to Movies Under the Stars on Cunard. - Whereas many Princess ships are getting fast internet and non-timed packages, Cunard is still first generation with expensive by-the-minute pricing. Princess has apps and onboard technology but Cunard has nothing like them. (Don't even think about Medallions)
  9. Which is surprising. French Onion Soup is one of the easiest, most economical soups to make. (And with the steam kettles they use, there's little risk in burning the onions)
  10. In general, I'd feel optimistic. The Lyric always had pretty generous leg room before the HP remodel, ATG actually decreased seats to turn it into Hogwars (and they very generous in their restoration of the Hudson).
  11. Handy info to know, since I often avoid front row mezz since there is often little leg room in those bulkhead seats (I'm looking at you, Shubert!).
  12. We didn't do one this summer, but in 2017 and 2018, we received two allotments of internet time for our B2B crossings each year. We booked both from the US as single 16 and 14 night voyages. I'm not aware of the policy having changed since then. (As mentioned above, for World Club level trip calculations, each voyage counted as only one trip because they were booked that way)
  13. Agreed - thanks for the comparison. We had a somewhat problematic S. America cruise on the Infinity in 2015 and am happy to read more positive reports on the line. Jack - We have a great love of the QM2 and crossings in particular, but also enjoy cruises on her US-based competitors Celebrity, Princess, and HAL. Each line has its own personality, strengths and weaknesses, but we've been most satisfied with those lines.
  14. Agree with the above. Although gala nights certainly were formal (up there with the way cruises "used to be" on most lines) but, yes the "extra glam of a crossing" was missing and the pre-dinner sparkle was a little less luxe in the Commodore Club, As to the count - 3 for each crossing and probably 2 for the cruise. This year, it was a 7 day itinerary which allowed for Cunard's usual allotment of 2 nights for cruises. A previous poster mentioned that for her trip, last year, there was one, but that year's voyage was also shorter, I believe.
  15. Too pricey for me. We separate the Broadway week from the cruise. For the past four years, we've done a week of shows, followed by a trip on the QM2 (usually back and forth across the North Atlantic to Southampton, this year was a 1 week cruise to Halifax and overnight in Boston on July 4.) This is still cheaper than the Broadway cruises.
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