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Everything posted by need_a_holiday

  1. I think their UK call centre is going to be snowed under as well as there were a lot of British passengers booked on the Queen Elizabeth. When I did the previous NZ cruise there were dozens who had booked a fly / cruise / train package. I think most of the delays will be caused by IT systems that perform updates overnight so the cancellation of the NZ itinerary and the creation of the Queensland trip could be coming through by 8:30am UK time and appearing in their systems and on their website over the next few hours after the Singapore call centre has shut. You could try sending an email to Cunard UK through the contact us on the UK site and explain the Australian support team cannot help you: Contact us | Cunard luxury cruises
  2. The Queen Elizabeth trips departing Melbourne 14th of February to Auckland then back to Melbourne have been cancelled as Cunard have been denied access to Auckland due to a dirty hull. Cunard tried to clean the hull during the previous NZ cruise but only completed 40% of the work. They were going to try to clean it again during the 3 night trip to Tasmania currently underway and it looks like that also did not eventuate. The voyage has apparently been replaced with a Queensland trip but there is no information on the cancellation or updated itinerary on Cunard's website or social media pages. Right now the NZ cruises are still being offered for sale on their website - it shows up as a late saver fare starting at AUD$100 per night: Melbourne to Auckland: https://www.cunard.com/en-au/find-a-cruise/Q309A/Q309A Auckland to Melbourne: https://www.cunard.com/en-au/find-a-cruise/Q309C/Q309C If you want to take a gamble you could buy a ticket in order to get the 120% future cruise credit or though it might end up being just a refund. Email sent to passengers: We recently wrote to you regarding changes to your itinerary. As a reminder; over the past few months, we have continued to take proactive steps to complete additional work on our hull, in order to meet the strict biosecurity arrangements of New Zealand. We previously communicated that we were unable to understake the hull work required to visit the sensitive areas of New Zealand on your upcoming voyage, however it was our full intention to be able to visit the other New Zealand destinations on your itinerary. Unfortunately, after extensive consultation with New Zealand authorities, it has now been stipulated that additional work is required in advance of visiting any New Zeland destinations which has not been possible. As a result, we are no longer calling at Auckland on 22 February and with no suitable alternative ports available, we are regrettably cancelling your voyage A309A. In addition to the future cruise credit offered in our last communication, you are entitle to a further future cruise credit worth 100% of your cruise fare paid, equalling 120% in total. This will be set up automatically. Alternatively you can have a 100% cash refund on all monies paid. The new Itinerary will be: 14 Feb – Melbourne15 Feb – At Sea16 Feb – Eden17 Feb – At Sea18 Feb – Brisbane19 Feb – At Sea20 Feb – Port Douglas21 Feb – Cairns22 Feb – At Sea23 Feb – At Se24 Feb – At Sea25 Feb – Sydney26 Feb – At Sea27 Feb - Melbourne
  3. I would get there around 12:30 as you want to make the most of your short cruise. Getting to your room before 3 lets you attend afternoon tea. We got there at 12:30 for 1pm boarding and spent over an hour queueing and the temp staff checking people in don't care what your boarding time is. Also give yourself 10 minutes to walk onto Station Pier as taxis or Uber are not allowed on the pier unless you qualify for assisted boarding.
  4. It has just been confirmed that the hull is not clean and the Feb 14 trip to NZ will skik Fjordland and Bay of Islands. Passengers will get a $150 onboard credit and a 20% future cruise credit, less than the 50% offered on the last NZ cruise. They have known for a couple weeks that this would be the case.
  5. I cannot see them cleaning the hull in time for the next NZ cruise. They only finished 40% of the hull clean a few days ago and it takes almost 24 hours for a complete lean. They cannot clean at any ports - Australia and NZ insist on the clean happening outside their waters at anchor or adrift. They wouldn't for example want biofoul scraped off in Sydney harbour. I wouldn't be surprised if they dumped Fjordland and Bay of Islands from the next NZ cruise and added a couple other less sensitive ports with an onboard credit as compensation, especially since it the last last NZ cruise of the season. They don't come back until December.
  6. Hi I have cruised P&O (Australia) and Cunard out of Sydney in the last 12 months. I liked both cruises but they had their strengths and weaknesses. Cunard strengths: * Traditional English cruising events: usually favoured by over 50s but you can enjoyed daily afternoon tea ceremony. Nightly ballroom dancing to live music and often singing. Dressing up every evening after 6 and formal theme nights. * Food: probably the best food I have enjoyed on a cruise. Went to Britannia dining most nights but the buffet was also very good. * Liesurely sports: good facilities for things like lawn bowls and deck games. Bridge in the card playing room. Jigsaw table. * Special performers: some good shows and insight talks. * Enjoyable places to relax: love the design and furniture in most rooms. Plenty of options to sit at a table and play cards in the card room or read a book in the library or sit at a window in the yacht club. * Music: lots of high quality music across the ship. The full ship big band is impressive. Cunard weaknesses: * Poor app: only really good for booking dinners. Doesn't support onboard messaging or events or notifications. * Lack of fun ouside those traditional events: quite noticeable that most evenings there are ballroom events for a couple dozen older couples at time but when they had a rock and roll night and had open dancing on the floor there were a lot more people getting involved and dancing. Pity they don't do that more often. Only one kareoke event per week in the smallish Yacht Club. Not many fun events - the triva and bingo was much smaller than other ships. Not many big game shows or demos. * Pricy: on Australian cruises in particular they have daily gratuities and 15% service charge added to all drinks. Most Australian based cruise ships do not charge either. Cocktails at US$12 and 15% gratuities are about 50% more than same drinks on P&O at AUD$12. Most Cunard cruises over AUD$200 per day. Some P&O cruises as lows a AUD$50 per day. P&O strengths * Having fun: excellent cruise director and staff. Lots of daily events like funny trivia, funny game shows, kareoke nights and competitions. Lots of chances to dance or sing or play social games. * Kids entertainment: much better facilities for kids and teens - water slides, thrill events like flying fox, laser tag. P&O weaknesses: * Food: worst food of any cruise line. Dining room food was a constant disappointment, worse at times than most shore restuarants. Buffet just blah. Might have been because they were coming back from covid and staff were rusty. Extra charge for room service or breakfast in bed. Had a couple nice meals at the asian restuarant. Restuarant booking process was a dogs breakfast due to the terrible app. * Seating areas: just felt like a dodgy design in most areas of the ship with poor seating options and often overcrowded. Probably only the two main theatres at each end were well designed everything else felt like it was shoehorned into a poorly laid out space.
  7. Just pulling into Circular Quay.
  8. All passengers onboard! Leaving around 1pm. Sailway band is flagging. A suggestion to the captain - next time announce it as a "day and a half in Auckland" instead of 2 days in Auckland. Put signs up on the gangway with the departure time.
  9. Supposed to be onboard at 11. At 11:30 they asked for about 5 guests to report to the pursers desk. At 12 they announced we would be leaving late due to some missing passengers. 12:30 and still tied up and gangplank still connected. The sailaway band is a banger. I am guessing they stayed in Auckland overnight and didn't hear the announcement this morning that we were leaving at 11.
  10. The QE received a dirty hull notice from NZ authorities during the Christmas cruise preventing it from entering the first and last stops - Fjordland and Bay of Islands. They tried to clean it during the Jan 5 NZ cruise while adrift at sea but had to abandon it only 40% through due to safety concerns for the cleaning boat and divers. They couldn't find any port in NZ willing to let them clean the hull at port. If they don't find a way to finish the clean they will be skipping those stops on the Feb 14 cruise as well.
  11. The hull cleaning failed and QE had to abandon it and skip the Bay of Islands. They offered all passengers a 50% discount of their current cruise fare against a future cruise. They tried to clean the hull 12 nautical miles off the coast of Tauranga but only got 40% finished before a wind of 5 knots started pushing the ship towards the cleaning vessel and made it too dangerous to continue. They were unable to find any port in NZ willing to let them clean the hull at shore. They are now an hour late leaving Auckland with a few missing passengers because the communication was so poor a bunch of passengers thought there was a second full day in Auckland. I bumped into people in 3 elevator rides this morning who were surprised we were leaving at 11 and not 8pm. They kind of tried to make it sound like we got an extra day in Auckland instead of a day at the Bay of Islands but the ruse backfired.
  12. Got an email a couple days ago announcing the itinery change. According to the on board announcement we skip Fjordland and Dunadin and go to Wellington. In Rotorua they are spending a day cleaning Lizzies butt so they can enter the Bay of islands. It must be difficult to do a hull clean for Fjordland on the far south and for Bay of Islands on the north tip.
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