Jump to content
BostonSusie

Make it more fun

Recommended Posts

My wife and I took our first cruise 25 years ago to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary. Before the cruise we decided to take a few dance lessons. 25 years on and we are still dancing. It's the best thing we ever did as a couple. This year it's our 50th and we've booked another Cunard cruise because we love the large ballrooms. We understand that we have to share the dance floor with other couples better or worse than us, but 25 years of dancing has taught us the skills of floorcraft and hopefully we can dance around other couples. We don't find cruise ship dance floors any different to our local ballrooms where there are always dancers of different skill levels. I hope we don't frighten anyone off the dance floor on our next cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How interesting. We just sailed HAL in what we thought would be a comparable category minus the special dining, but found it quite bad.
Aside from an apparently deliberate scheme to induce crippling boredom on an itinerary's last sea day (when they schmooze high-star Mariner members) we've found HAL to be a good value (but we don't gage cruises by their ballroom dancing, on the other hand).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
... Holland America beat out Cunard in cruise ship ratings this year and I can well understand why! As H. A. sails to Europe from Florida I am unable to sail with them. Too bad for me!

 

When I first read this about Holland America beating Cunard in cruise ship ratings I was surprised. But after thinking about it I realised it shouldn't surprise me. HAL has five times more ships than Cunard has and therefore they have many times more loyalists. We are friends with three couples who are regulars on HAL. Two of the couples have not cruised with anyone else because they assume HAL is the best.

 

A few years ago we cruised to Alaska on HAL's Noordam just two years after we had a Norway cruise on the Queen Elizabeth. Despite the similarities in the two Vista-class ships, the QE was a considerably better ship. To be sure, HAL did some things quite well, but not much. Regarding the comments I have read on here about "terrible food" and "the worst food at sea" on Cunard, I had to smile. We are Diamond level members on Cunard and have not once had a terrible meal in any of the four main restaurants. Some of the meals we had on HAL were terrible. Food quality is usually subjective, of course, but as one example: if short ribs of beef are described as tender and they resemble shoe leather then that is a different matter. Even the lunch for members of the loyalty programme (called "Mariners" on HAL) was poor.

 

Two positive points: the Noordam had real teak decks as opposed to the fake stuff on the QE; those in Neptune Suites (similar to Queen's Grill) received complimentary laundry service. That was about all.

 

There were many aspects of the Noordam, that left negative impressions, other than the food. The atrium was basically a hole cut in the deck with a single curved glass staircase - a far cry from the vast lobby of the QE. Getting a decent cup of tea was nearly impossible. Knowing that HAL ships are really American (despite the port of registry) I brought our own tea-bags but getting boiling - or even very hot - water was difficult. Afternoon tea in the dining room was a joke: I have never seen such small scones.

 

 

Suite passengers were invited to a reception with the captain and officers. Not a single officer showed up. We did, however, have a pep-talk from the manager of the shops and the tour director. The drinks were generous, however, so it wasn't a total loss. Whereas Cunard offers a full range of entertainment to cater to all tastes, the only entertainment on the Noordam that was not over-amplified pop or blues was the violin/piano duo. As for talks, the Noordam had a few presentations about shopping and the only alternative was the park warden who came on at Glacier Bay and gave an interesting talk about glaciers. The equivalent of the Commodore Club was frequently closed for a private group function.

 

 

HAL has a strict policy on bringing alcohol on board. We brought our permitted two bottles of Champagne and at security we were directed to a desk like naughty school-children. After a few minutes in the queue our bottles were examined carefully and the person in charge held them up to the light to make sure we had not opened them and replaced the bubbly with some contraband like gin. Then we had to sign a form and stickers were placed on the bottles.

 

 

Formal nights on the Noordam were shabby compared to Cunard, so we were not surprised that they have since been downgraded to "gala nights". I am told by the regulars that means anything goes. I could go on, but what's the point.

 

 

The fact that HAL gets better ratings than Cunard convinces me that ratings are irrelevant.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
. We are Diamond level members on Cunard and have not once had a terrible meal in any of the four main restaurants.
Well, the lobster tail on our first (Cunard) cruise was of a quality that out me off cruise ship lobster tails for a few years. We did realize that the menus on Eurodam last week were leaving us saying "Well, OK , but that's it?" however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you david.Mississauga. I live near you!

 

Humans are herd animals, and most huddle inside the bell curve, so are easily manipulated.

 

I was a loyalist to Celebrity until 2015 when we had a few bad cruises (conforms to the timeline when Celebrity was maximizing their downgrading) that did not conform to the Celebrity marketing hype, specifically I did an audit of what I got relative to what their marketing said I would get. Celebrity failed twice.

 

So moved on to Cunard and Oceania and HAL.

 

We found that Oceania fits us to a tee. When Oceania tries to downgrade their product, they will also be fired.

 

People, experience other cruise lines, see what works for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please don't assume that those of us who enjoy sailing on Cunard haven't tried other cruise lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Dear Cunard and QM 2 Administration,

Alright, I’m willing to put up with the worst food on the high seas ( even Royal Caribbean is Soooooo much better)- An upper deck buffet area that always smells like old fish! And is designed by someone who does not eat there-nothing where it should be in relation to dietary norms: bread and rolls nowhere near the cold cuts or cheese, no butter anywhere near where you would use it-no cutlery handy anyplace, loud ice cream machines that sound like a 747 taking off in the dining area! (Have you gotten them fixed yet?) etc. etc.

What I really regret is that there are no romantic little dance areas set aside in any of the cocktail lounges where a couple could have a romantic dance before or after dinner-

The Queen’s Ballroom couples look and act like contestants or rejects from America’s Got Talent (or not!). All these fancy-schmancy show-offs are very off-putting, intimidating and don’t leave much room or atmosphere for an anniversary or birthday couple to “slow dance’ and cop a little hug or squeeze.

PLEASE, couldn’t you set aside that 10’ x10’ piece of floor that nobody needs for a little dance space near the music in the Carinthia, or Lions’ Den, etc., or in the main central area! These places are seldom so crowded that it would not accommodate such an improvement.

EASY FIX- very romantic and fun and would be greatly appreciated! I have heard other passengers mention the same issues. Sailing on QM 2 should be a higher-classed experience when in reality it is a poorly planned tribulation. Sincerely, Susan

You are so right!! hit the nail on the head!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand completely about the fancy schmancydancers, but also relate to Host Hattie’scomment about people who have gone to the trouble of learning to dance. We have been dancing for about fifteen years,and we enjoy taking classes and sharing a hobby we can do together. Most weekends find us ‘social dancing’ at alocal studio with dancers of varying levels and occasionally we, and othercouples in our classes, take part in ashowcase or exhibition of dancing which is when we get to do the ‘fancyschmancy’ stuff. We assumed that dancing in the Queens Roomwould be akin to social dancing but were surprised to see that there was a minority of dancers who didseem to dominate the floor. I’m nottalking about intricate step patterns, but couples doing arm styling that cleareda large area around them as other dancers tried to avoid the flailing limbs,progressive fast spins in a crowded area and (I thought this one was rather brave), a lift! Justbecause you CAN do something does not always mean that you SHOULD.

 

During a crossing last year we found a couple dancing in thehallway just outside the Queens Room doors. We asked why they didn’t just go inside and they replied that whiledancing another couple had made a rude remark about them being ‘in the way’ sothey felt they had to leave the floor. Nomatter what your level of expertise – or even no expertise at all – there is roomon the ballroom floor for everyone to enjoy dancing as long as we all show someconsideration.

 

OP – sorry I can’t offer anything as regards a more intimateplace for a slow dance. However, did youever think about going up to deck 12 near the Boardwalk Café? There’s a hugearea, with a wood floor, perfect for dancing under the stars. Ok, it involves one of you humming a song andit may not work in January in high seas, but it’s worth a thought.

 

I hope you dance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No idea why some of the words ran together in my previous post - it was fine when I previewed it! Apologies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Please don't assume that those of us who enjoy sailing on Cunard haven't tried other cruise lines.

 

 

lol I'm trying one right now and believe me...Cunard ain':')t all that bad!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BostonSusie - takes courage to have an opinion that isn’t the same as the majority. (I should know [emoji6])

Just off QM2 - there are yards of space for romantic dance floors - but suggest adding more; not the done thing old girl 🧐 just saying.

Never went to the Queens Room - the rehearsal in there one morning frightened the heck out of me [emoji15]

Don’t get me started on women wearing pants on formal nights ......

🤫

Brave lady - having your say, I applaud you [emoji122]

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

During a crossing last year we found a couple dancing in thehallway just outside the Queens Room doors. We asked why they didn’t just go inside and they replied that whiledancing another couple had made a rude remark about them being ‘in the way’ sothey felt they had to leave the floor. Nomatter what your level of expertise – or even no expertise at all – there is roomon the ballroom floor for everyone to enjoy dancing as long as we all show some consideration.

This sounds like an example of someone not knowing basic ballroom etiquette regarding WHERE to dance on a ballroom dance floor. If someone is dancing a stationary "spot" dance in an outside (moving) dance lane, they are blocking the path for other dancers. If spot dancers were to move to the center of the floor, no one will say anything to them and everyone on the floor can enjoy their dancing experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This sounds like an example of someone not knowing basic ballroom etiquette regarding WHERE to dance on a ballroom dance floor. If someone is dancing a stationary "spot" dance in an outside (moving) dance lane, they are blocking the path for other dancers. If spot dancers were to move to the center of the floor, no one will say anything to them and everyone on the floor can enjoy their dancing experience.

 

 

[emoji15] just like the formal wear! Where is the dance code?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[emoji15] just like the formal wear! Where is the dance code?

 

No - not like formal wear.

 

Dance floor etiquette is pretty much the same in most countries around the world regardless of whether you dance the International Style or the American Smooth Style ballroom dance. Here is one and Here is another one of many you can find by simply googling "ballroom etiquette". It's mostly just a matter of being courteous to your fellow dancers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No - not like formal wear.

 

 

 

Dance floor etiquette is pretty much the same in most countries around the world regardless of whether you dance the International Style or the American Smooth Style ballroom dance. Here is one and Here is another one of many you can find by simply googling "ballroom etiquette". It's mostly just a matter of being courteous to your fellow dancers.

 

 

 

Thankyou BobBranst - happy dancing [emoji126]

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We assumed that dancing in the Queens Roomwould be akin to social dancing but were surprised to see that there was a minority of dancers who didseem to dominate the floor. I’m nottalking about intricate step patterns, but couples doing arm styling that cleareda large area around them as other dancers tried to avoid the flailing limbs,progressive fast spins in a crowded area and (I thought this one was rather brave), a lift! Justbecause you CAN do something does not always mean that you SHOULD.

 

These are the types that I characterised in another post as "showoffs"!!!!! Dancing style suited only to larger ballrooms occupied by fellow competitive dancers - NOT the crowded small dance floors on a moving ship.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No - not like formal wear.

 

Dance floor etiquette is pretty much the same in most countries around the world regardless of whether you dance the International Style or the American Smooth Style ballroom dance. Here is one and Here is another one of many you can find by simply googling "ballroom etiquette". It's mostly just a matter of being courteous to your fellow dancers.

You seem to lament others' ignorance or disregard of "dance floor etiquette" but you cite two forms of ballroom dance as your evidence that it should be understood. That would be like me saying "I enjoy both kinds of music. Country and Western." (Old joke, but I think it illustrates my point.) Not all who seek to dance are familiar with ballroom. Insisting that it should be otherwise could be one reason people sometimes consider Cunard to be elitist.

 

I don't think anyone's trying to begrudge ballroom dancers the Queens Room for ballroom dancing but a statement that one must be versed in ballroom dance etiquette to venture onto the Queens Room dance floor underscores the comment in the OP, that there should be other venues available for what the OP calls "romantic dancing."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the QM2 Queens Room dance floor may be small by Country Hoedown standards, the vast majority of dancers find it's 25' x 43' (1,075 sq ft) floor quite adequate for all types and styles of ballroom dance, regardless of sea conditions. It is extremely popular and usually quite crowded during the formal "Balls". However, if you come in later in the evening, you can usually find plent of space. On non-formal nights there is usually plenty of room for everyone to do their best Cha Cha and latin moves. Ask the band leader or the DJ to play a slow "romantic" song and the center of the floor is yours (and of course others who might wish to join you) to dance as you please.

 

Why lament about not having another dance floor that doesn't and probably never will exist, when there is a beautiful ballroom floor availble to use. You just have to come when the floor is not at it's busiest and go to the center of the floor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dancing & formal wear: Two topics that bring out the elitist charges.

We sail on Cunard because of the Queens Room and the Formal Nights. I think of Fred & Ginger, old black & white movies, 1930s Hollywood, Art Deco, cocktails, romantic walks on deck at night, drinking hot beef bouillon while wrapped in blanket on a deck chair (OK maybe not that one,) and dressing to the nines. I think they should enforce the dress code on formal nights and deny entry to the main dining room, theatre and Queens Room to passengers who don't want to play by the rules. I think everyone who wants to should get out on the floor dance as long as they play by the rules. Am I an elitist? Yes!

 

In my defense I propose that one does not need to go to a lot of effort to get into Cunard fantasy mode. Don't want to buy/rent a tux. A black suit and white shirt will work. You can order a black suit and white shirt on-line for under $100. No one except the person standing right next to you will know the difference. And after the crossing, hang onto it in case someone you know gets married or dies, hopefully not at the same time. If you are unfamiliar with dance etiquette, ask a dance host. They easy to spot and eager to help.

 

I love dancing. I wish everyone danced. I want you to be safe on the dance floor as that will increase your chances of loving dance. And I want to be safe on the dance floor as an injury would really ruin my day. No one that I know ever said that driving rules were elitist. They're for safety. Dance rules are the same.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dancing & formal wear: Two topics that bring out the elitist charges.

We sail on Cunard because of the Queens Room and the Formal Nights. I think of Fred & Ginger, old black & white movies, 1930s Hollywood, Art Deco, cocktails, romantic walks on deck at night, drinking hot beef bouillon while wrapped in blanket on a deck chair (OK maybe not that one,) and dressing to the nines. I think they should enforce the dress code on formal nights and deny entry to the main dining room, theatre and Queens Room to passengers who don't want to play by the rules. I think everyone who wants to should get out on the floor dance as long as they play by the rules. Am I an elitist? Yes!

 

In my defense I propose that one does not need to go to a lot of effort to get into Cunard fantasy mode. Don't want to buy/rent a tux. A black suit and white shirt will work. You can order a black suit and white shirt on-line for under $100. No one except the person standing right next to you will know the difference. And after the crossing, hang onto it in case someone you know gets married or dies, hopefully not at the same time. If you are unfamiliar with dance etiquette, ask a dance host. They easy to spot and eager to help.

 

I love dancing. I wish everyone danced. I want you to be safe on the dance floor as that will increase your chances of loving dance. And I want to be safe on the dance floor as an injury would really ruin my day. No one that I know ever said that driving rules were elitist. They're for safety. Dance rules are the same.

Amen!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems that you might agree with the OP that more locations for non-ballroom, "romantic" (in the OP's words), casual dancing might be advantageous to ballroom and non-ballroom dancers alike.

 

I've done two cruises on HAL recently. Despite the lack of a ballroom there were dance floors in many venues and what I'd call casual dancers were taking to the dance floors and dancing happily and totally without instruction (it showed, but they were happy :) ).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't recommend holding your breath until those non-ballroom, romantic, casual dancing, wood dance floors are installed in the QM2 or any of the other Cunard ships lounges.

 

Unlike Cunard, HAL seems like a perfect fit for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Dear Boston Susie,

Your idea of small dance areas in some of the evening venues with music is brilliant. My wife and I took our first ever cruise last May and choose an E-W TA on the QM2. Most evening (maybe all) we ended up in the Chart Room for a final/final. We are so far from being accomplished dancers that it is laughable but we do enjoy a little belly-rubbing music to get us out on the dance floor. So we usually just danced right in from of the musicians where there is a little bit of an open space. Two or three other couples would generally join us and this was typically after 11:00PM (23:00). A little more defined dance area would have been appreciated. With that said I was disappointed with what seemed like anger in the way which you presented your suggestion. First slamming the food, then the passengers who enjoy ballroom dancing and finally the traditions of Cunard and the QM2 enjoyed by so many for so many years. You would probably dismiss my wife and I as just a couple of unsophisticated burger eating morons but we thought the food amazing, enjoyed watching and even joining in the ballroom dancing and fully embraced the "tribulations". So I wonder, was your intention to suggest an improvement in a positive way or was it really just a self gratifying rant?

Edited by Host Hattie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes- of course, we danced in the "disco" after dinner-It's for a younger crowd and It only opens after 10 pm! And no- I do not expect dancers to change their styles in the Queens Ballroom. I'm only suggesting that a bit of dancing in a quiet corner of the lounges or the Carinthia Room would not go amiss for us less practiced dancers ! What is so hard to understand! Don't you dance a little without wanting to glide around a big crowded ballroom! So, maybe you wouldn't understand anyway!

 

Odd you found the disco for young people as on the December 2016 Back to Back TA a number of us 70 - 86 year olds closed the disco on numerous evenings. As to a slow dance on the Queens Room floor, just do it.Stake out a small space and remain in it. No one cares and if you want dark and quiet go up to the back tiers of the room and have a dance with your partner It is dark and quite nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OK- since you ask! My daughter is studying for an advanced degree at Uni. Duesseldorf and my husbnd has a mother in Germany- For health reasons I cannot fly long distances-Soooo,if I want to visit Europe I sail or swim! From anyplace between Toronto and Miami the only option is Cunard out of Brooklyn NY. Because necessity forces me to sail QM 2, that does not mean my opinions and evaluations and observations are not valid and worth considering! Anyway- Holland America beat out Cunard in cruise ship ratings this year and I can well understand why! As H. A. sails to Europe from Florida I am unable to sail with them. Too bad for me!

 

As you do not fly yet still find Cunard to be miserable I would suggest one of the numerous and inexpensive re positioning cruises on one of several lines. Yes they are most all out of Florida however, Amtrak has two very pleasant trains daily from Boston and New York to Florida.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Victory Cruise Lines Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win a free 9-night cruise on Victory II
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2018
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×