Lessons Learned by a Newbie


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#41
UK
2,220 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
Originally posted by alc13
In your case, WB makes sense, because it will allow you to enjoy your time in NY without the effects of jet lag. The only other reason to choose WB (assuming no other constraints) is for the extra hour of sleep each night.
However, if you were to fly to New York and then sail home you could shop to your heart's delight (or what is in your wallet!) and not have to worry about paying for excess baggage!! The only disadvantage (?) of sailing home is that the ship loses the hour at midday which can sometimes cause chaos with planning. Lunch, afternoon tea and dinner are suddenly somehow compressed, especially if you are on the 1st sitting.

Having said that, we managed very well with all the meals; probably too well
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Past Cruises:
2018 Southampton-San Francisco - Cunard. 2017 Eastbound T/A - Cunard. 2016 Westbound T/A - Cunard: Bahamas & Florida - NCL: 2015 Eastbound T/A - Cunard: 2014 Westbound T/A - Cunard: Norway/Iceland - P&O: 2013 Canary Islands - NCL: 2011 Eastbound T/A - Cunard: 2011 Southern T/A - Celebrity: 2011 Australasia - Princess: 2009 Australia/New Zealand - Royal Caribbean: 2005 Norway - Louis Line: 2004 Alaska - Celebrity: 2000 Eastern Caribbean - Royal Caribbean
#43
33 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by RandyinDEN
Another thing you did right: Research your trip before your trip.

Great review, thanks.
I am in a quandry now. No jet lag or no baggage allowance worries... Hmmm.

I can see some interesting conversations with my husband prior to booking.

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#44
53 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by BobBranst
No, it is not competition. However, everyone should be aware of and practice basic ballroom etiquette/rules, particularly with regard to floorcraft, so that your dancing (good, bad or indifferent) does not prevent others on the floor from enjoying their dancing experience. For inexperienced ballroom dancers, where you locate on the floor is more important than how well you dance.
It is not only inexperienced ballroom dancers who prevent others on the floor from enjoying dancing in the Queens Room. The ones who think they are experienced but have no concept of social dancing are the main culprits at this.
#45
33 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by corporate services
It is not only inexperienced ballroom dancers who prevent others on the floor from enjoying dancing in the Queens Room. The ones who think they are experienced but have no concept of social dancing are the main culprits at this.
The thread regarding inexperienced ballroom dancers made my heart sink as an infrequent waltzer I was really looking forward to some 'proper" dancing.

However after reading the etiquette article it's just a case of common sense, consideration and tolerance. I didn't realise the direction of travel was counter clockwise - a very useful tip.

My husband is an excellent ballroom dancer and possesses various awards from his youth although he would never advertise this.

For myself as the possessor of a pair of dyslexic feet I plan to take some lessons before our cruise to save my partner's toes and my blushes.


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#46
53 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by Aspidestra99
The thread regarding inexperienced ballroom dancers made my heart sink as an infrequent waltzer I was really looking forward to some 'proper" dancing.

However after reading the etiquette article it's just a case of common sense, consideration and tolerance. I didn't realise the direction of travel was counter clockwise - a very useful tip.

My husband is an excellent ballroom dancer and possesses various awards from his youth although he would never advertise this.

For myself as the possessor of a pair of dyslexic feet I plan to take some lessons before our cruise to save my partner's toes and my blushes.


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I'm in pretty much the same boat here, my husband is a very experienced dancer, I just hang on!!
#47
Fort Worth, TX (via Melbourne, Australia)
54 Posts
Joined Feb 2018
Thanks for sharing your notes, Harold (aka Jack!) - some great points here.

I didn't think about the time difference when choosing to take a NY > Hamburg route (rather than visa versa).
#48
Johannesburg, South Africa
23 Posts
Joined Apr 2016
Originally posted by Jack E Dawson
My wife and I just completed the May 8th – 15thEast to West Crossing on the QM2. It was an amazing time. I thought it might be useful to share some of our experiencesand thoughts from this trip, especially for those who might be taking theirfirst ever cruise or their first ever voyage on the QM2. This was our firstever voyage on any cruise ship. We spent two years planning the trip incelebration of our 40th wedding anniversary.

WHAT WE DID RIGHT
Chose the QM2 – While we’ve never been on any other ship,the QM2 was exactly what we were looking for at this point in our lives andexactly the environment we wanted to celebrate this special occasion. The QM2felt brand new. The ship, its crew and the onboard experiences offered exceededall of our expectations.
Cruise Critic Cunard Board – We spent the last two years reading postsand asking questions on the Cunard Board. It’s probably impossible not to havea great time on a QM2 voyage but the insights and advise we received from thosewho generously post on Cruise Critic allowed us to make the very most out ofour time on the ship. We were able to avoid a lot of rookie mistakes.
Britannia Club – This was our hardest decision but for us itturned out to be the right decision. Having no set dining time made ourafternoon activities a lot more relaxing. The Britannia Club dining also had anadditional page of dishes that were available every night if the dailyBritannia menu failed to excite. I ate off of this page twice and also on two occasions I added the seared scallopsfrom the Club menu to the fish of the day on the Britannia menu. Club levelalso guarantees an unobstructed balcony view. Our room, 12022, was an excellentlocation. There are other minor benefits to Britannia Club. Because of a salegoing on at the time of our booking, it cost us about $800 more to be in theClub level, well worth it to us.
East to West Crossing - Without that extra night's sleep on five of the nights we never would have made it. AN East to West crossing is 10 hours longer than the reverse course. That's an extra half day on this wonderful ship.
Cunard Coach – Staying in London at the Victoria DoubleTree by Hilton and taking Cunard bus to Southampton made for a relaxing way toget to Southampton. The hotel is two blocks (4-minute walk) from the busstation. Once there the service took control of our bags all the way to ourstate room. We also felt that if there was heavy traffic or a breakdown, theQM2 might grant us a little extra time before departing because we were using aCunard service. We probably could have saved a little money arranging our owntransportation but again, we were looking for a stress free holiday.
Port Side – Booking a room on port (sunny) side of ship is a must, especiallywith an early May crossing. We were fortunate to have had nice weather all buttwo days and really enjoyed our balcony. A glass of wine on the balcony beforedinner became a regular part of our routine.
Bring Wine – We brought 4 bottles of wine on board. We bought them at a winestore one block from the Double Tree in London. This saved us roughly $150. Wedrank the wine on our balcony and while sitting in the deck chairs on the PromenadeDeck.
Table for 6 – We were lucky to have great tablemates. There was a couple fromAustralia, a single from London and a British single now living in Phoenix.With 6 people it was easy to carry on a table conversation and avoid awkward silencesthat might occur with a table of 4.
Canyon Ranch Spa – We saved generally about 40% takingadvantage of the daily specials from the Canyon Ranch Spa. For example, my wifehad an 80-minute full body massage including hot stones for the Friday dailyspecial price of $149. The normal cost was $280.

WHAT WE DID WRONG
Bag Size – Because we were traveling through Spain the week before departingon the QM2, we choose to travel with 4 carry-on bags that we didn’t have tocheck with the airlines. Our fear was thatthe airlines might lose our bags and all of our evening/formal wear. Draggingthese four bags around and finding places for them in the overhead storage binswas a pain in the butt. Next time we will just pack two large bags and take ourchances with the airlines.

WHAT WE DID RIGHT THAT WAS WRONG
Power Strip – We brought along a power strip to give us extra 110V outlets onthe ship. Not necessary, there were 4 110V outlets in our cabin. More thanenough.

WHAT WE DID WRONG THAT WAS RIGHT
Changing Tables – Somehow we misunderstood and thought thatour Britannia Club table was only assigned to us for dinner. So each morning ataround 9:15AM we would mosey into the Britannia restaurant and ask the maitred' for a table for two by a window and each morning that is what we got.Because we are not morning people, a table for two worked out perfectly for us.
Dress Code – The hot tubs on the Deck 8 Terrace (Stern) is a great place torelax. However, getting there can be a challenge. Cunard dress code says thatone should wear proper clothes over your bathing suit to and from the pool. Ifneeded there are changing rooms at the pools. However, we chose to only whereour bath robes over our swim suits. This was a lot easier and avoided dampclothes on the trip back to the cabin. We would then take the hallway on Deck11 (we were on Deck 12 which does not run the length of the ship) all the wayback to the D Elevators and drop down to Deck 7 as there is no direct access toDeck 8 Terrace from Deck 8 except through the Verandah Restaurant. On the portside of the ship near elevator bank D Deck 7 is a hidden stairway that leads upto Deck 8 Terrace.

AVOID THE CUE
I once had a boss tell me that what was wrong with me was that Ididn't like doing reports. To which I replied, "it gets worse, I don'tlike standing in lines either."
Here is how to take the Q out of the QM2.
Afternoon tea and the Planetarium – Wait till mid-cruise to startgoing.
Lunch in the Golden Lion - Wait till 2'ish for lunch (try London Pridebeer)
Breakfast in either the Britannia or King's Court - Get there after9:10AM
Doing laps on the Promenade Deck - Noon till 1:30PM it is relativelyempty
Evening Shows in the Royal Court Theater - Get there at 8:15PM.Upper level right side first row. Enjoy the relaxing room and have a drink fromtheir bar service.
Laundry Room – Noon


THINGS THAT SURPRISED US
The crew works very very hard and represents more than 50 countries.They are very bright, well informed and genuinely friendly. They take greatpride in their work and were a huge part in making our crossing so special.

The ship is alive with music from noon on.

A lot of the passengers are great dancers. If you are not, still getout on the dance floor. We only had one couple criticize us. In their defense, we (actually me) are really bad.

The Royal Theater singers are extremely talented.

Despite the endless bashing on CC, we loved the complimentary bottleof Prosecco.

SUGGESTIONS
Have an assigned direction for passengers doing laps on the PromenadeDeck. About 95% went counter-clockwise but for some reason there were always afew going the opposite direction and making it difficult for the rest.

There was no Irish music. Maybe offer that in the Golden Lion after10:00PM


The hot tubs on Deck 8 Terrace (stern) are not hot, in fact they arejust warm. This is a great spot to relax and watch the world ocean goby.


We will always treasure our crossing on the QM2. It was everything we had imagined and more. A special thanks to Miss Victoria Kiss. We look forward to our next adventure on this great ship.


Harold Green
aka Jack Dawson
Now here is a positive attitude that will ensure anyone will enjoy their trip! Relative to "steilkurve's" thread
"Booking QM2 a mistake"
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QV 2012 - Southampton to Hamburg
QE 2014 - Rome to Rome
QV 2016 - Cape Town to Southampton
#49
13 Posts
Joined Mar 2018
Originally posted by Jack E Dawson
We only had one couple criticize us. In their defense, we (actually me) are really bad.
I am certainly not a dancer and don't intend to be, but my reaction to criticism of this nature would be blunt and forthright.
#50
Bournemouth
96 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Nice review! For those with difficulty choosing east or westbound I can recommend choosing a double crossing with a break in NY (or London for our chums over the pond)! On ours we had 5 days in the Big Apple with not one wretched aircraft in sight! Brill!


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#51
Kansas City
521 Posts
Joined Nov 2012
Originally posted by corporate services
It is not only inexperienced ballroom dancers who prevent others on the floor from enjoying dancing in the Queens Room. The ones who think they are experienced but have no concept of social dancing are the main culprits at this.
Here we go again. Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition of "social dancing". Your definition of "social dancing" could very well be quite different than my definition of "social dancing". The norms of ballroom dancing are much more universal accepted. A person cannot rightfully be an "experienced" ballroom dancer if they don't know the basics of ballroom dancing floorcraft.
#52
near Oxford
1,759 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Remember if there's a collision on the floor, it's the fault of both couples. There is a tendency to completely blame the more experienced dancer who seemed to zoom into a space that wasn't there. What has often happened in this case is that the experienced dancer has been assessing the line of dance of everyone around and has calculated where the spaces will be - but then the inexperienced dancer suddenly changes direction for no good reason and moves into that space. Hence, collision. The inexperienced dancer then is full of indignation, not realising that they have deviated from the line of dance. Mild collisions are inevitable and experienced dancers generally laugh them off and become friends with each other through them. Don't stress over them and don't hold grudges.
#53
leicester UK
90 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by fantasy51
Remember if there's a collision on the floor, it's the fault of both couples. There is a tendency to completely blame the more experienced dancer who seemed to zoom into a space that wasn't there. What has often happened in this case is that the experienced dancer has been assessing the line of dance of everyone around and has calculated where the spaces will be - but then the inexperienced dancer suddenly changes direction for no good reason and moves into that space. Hence, collision. The inexperienced dancer then is full of indignation, not realising that they have deviated from the line of dance. Mild collisions are inevitable and experienced dancers generally laugh them off and become friends with each other through them. Don't stress over them and don't hold grudges.
Its a lot like driving a car around Paris in the rush hour with the added danger of flailing arms and stiletto heels.
You will experience being overtaken, cut up, traffic coming at you from all directions, minor bumps, traffic island suddenly appearing out of nowhere as people stop in the traffic lane for no apparent reason, and even traffic coming the wrong way.
( the above is meant to be tongue in cheek )
However if you avoid the rush hours between 8-30 and 10-30 pm you will find that most of these hazards decrease and then vanish. I normally attend the pre late sitting sequence dance sessions and then return to the dance floor at around 10-30. This works fine for me as just a medium level social dancer.
#54
Boston, MA
444 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Thank you for posting. Even though we've done four crossings I like reading the Newbie posts. You always learn something. Our first crossing was a "once-in-a-lifetime" trip. Quickly followed by 3 more in 5 years. It sounds like this one will not be your last.
#55
New Jersey
261 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Originally posted by Jack E Dawson

Dress Code – .... We would then take the hallway on Deck11 (we were on Deck 12 which does not run the length of the ship) all the wayback to the D Elevators and drop down to Deck 7 as there is no direct access toDeck 8 Terrace from Deck 8 except through the Verandah Restaurant. On the portside of the ship near elevator bank D Deck 7 is a hidden stairway that leads upto Deck 8 Terrace.


...

Harold Green
aka Jack Dawson
Could you say a little more about the hidden stairway on deck 7. from the deck plan it looks like there is a stairwell in the Princess Grill however, I assume I am reading the plan wrong.

Larry
#56
US
104 Posts
Joined May 2016
Originally posted by LB_NJ
Could you say a little more about the hidden stairway on deck 7. from the deck plan it looks like there is a stairwell in the Princess Grill however, I assume I am reading the plan wrong.

Larry
No, you are correct. I'm not sure what more there is to say than what the previous poster wrote: "On the port side of the ship near elevator bank D Deck 7 is a hidden stairway that leads up to Deck 8 Terrace."
#57
Mississauga, Canada
1,491 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by 57eric
No, you are correct. I'm not sure what more there is to say than what the previous poster wrote: "On the port side of the ship near elevator bank D Deck 7 is a hidden stairway that leads up to Deck 8 Terrace."
I suppose it can be discouraging to many people because you have to pass a sign reading Princess Grill, but the stairway is in an area I would call the entrance lobby to the PG. It is not actually in the restaurant. One turns right for the stairway before reaching the maître d's desk.
#58
New Jersey
261 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Originally posted by david,Mississauga
I suppose it can be discouraging to many people because you have to pass a sign reading Princess Grill, but the stairway is in an area I would call the entrance lobby to the PG. It is not actually in the restaurant. One turns right for the stairway before reaching the maître d's desk.

Thank you for the information.

I don't understand why they just don't put a door on deck 8 so you don't have to go through the Verandah or go through these circuitous routes.
#59
Mississauga, Canada
1,491 Posts
Joined Oct 2000
Originally posted by LB_NJ
Thank you for the information.

I don't understand why they just don't put a door on deck 8 so you don't have to go through the Verandah or go through these circuitous routes.
Indeed, that is one of the quirks of this ship. I don't know if Deck 8 is still a smoking area, but the access through The Verandah was annoying to those dining in there. Despite the signs asking people not to cut through the restaurant, I noticed a steady stream of people coming and going. Every time the door opened we were treated to a not-so-charming fragrance accompanied, fortunately, with a blast of cold air.


That was the only level access to the outdoor deck, unless I am mistaken. In addition to the indoor stairway near PG there are stairways from the outdoor area of Deck 7.
#60
Pennsylvania
6,315 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by LB_NJ
I don't understand why they just don't put a door on deck 8 so you don't have to go through the Verandah or go through these circuitous routes.
I think that with the exception of the stairway that cuts immediately down to Deck 7 (passing what I believe is an emergency exit from the Verandah on the way), the Verandah takes up the entirety of the aft end of Deck 8.

They probably could have eliminated the stairway entirely and cut through to the stateroom passageway on Deck 8 port, with the consequence being more foot traffic past the Deck 8 staterooms aft of the D (or C) lifts.
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