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Deimos

Is cruising on the QM2 for me?

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There is only one way to truly find out if its for you...... go on, book it - especially if you get a good price - that way you don't risk 'losing' so much. There aren't too many snobs about and the value for money you get for "people watching" alone is worth it 🙂

 

Marks and Spencer (as one example) to the rescue if anyone is looking for a more budget friendly suit...... 

https://www.marksandspencer.com/l/men/mens-suits/tuxedos-and-dinner-suits-n-bzvul

 

 

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According to Cunard's website it states the following-There is not the facility to store luggage at any port through Cunard Line, however there are various luggage storage companies available at many destinations.

 

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

According to Cunard's website it states the following-There is not the facility to store luggage at any port through Cunard Line, however there are various luggage storage companies available at many destinations.

 

Well, not surprising that you cannot find it on their current web site given the condition of the site, but I have personally used the service several times myself, and I don't think it was my imagination.  It is all together possible that they use a local service to collect, store and deliver the bags, but I paid Cunard for the service. See Blue Marbles comments earlier in the thread where he says it was it was in the daily program.

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

According to Cunard's website it states the following-There is not the facility to store luggage at any port through Cunard Line, however there are various luggage storage companies available at many destinations.

 

 Take no notice of this, it's obviously old news.   Information re  luggage storage can often be found in the  onboard daily program and/or from the Purser's desk.

I can confirm I've friends who occasionally use it when they visit UK/Southampton.    

Edited by Bell Boy

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21 minutes ago, Bell Boy said:

 Take no notice of this, it's obviously old news.   Information re  luggage storage can often be found in the  onboard daily program and/or from the Purser's desk.

I can confirm I've friends who occasionally use it when they visit UK/Southampton.    

If it is "old news" then it should be removed from Cunard's website as that is where it was copied from earlier tonight.

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If it does happen then I should imagine that Cunard are agents acting on behalf of a company in Southampton and taking a commission in the same way as they organise taxi transfers for you onboard for your arrival in Southampton.

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9 minutes ago, majortom10 said:

If it is "old news" then it should be removed from Cunard's website as that is where it was copied from earlier tonight.

 

Yes, unfortunately, I'm afraid to say there is a fair amount of misleading and/or conflicting information in the Cunard FAQ. It looks like you may have quoted from the answer to the question "Can I store my luggage at the port before or after my cruise?".

 

For what appears to be conflicting information, one need look no further than within the same FAQ for the answer to another more specific question "Is there the facility to store my luggage in New York?". The answer to that question begins as follows.

 

"Yes, it is possible to arrange for your luggage to be stored in New York. This is available for for [sic] guests disembarking the ship in New York who plan to return to New York to embark the ship again within a few days.

Please speak to the Pursers Office once you are on board who will be able to check availability for you."

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

If it is "old news" then it should be removed from Cunard's website as that is where it was copied from earlier tonight.

Major, with the trouble Cunard seems to be having with the website in general, removing this FAQ comment might be far down their list of 'bugs' in need of fixing. 

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1 hour ago, majortom10 said:

If it does happen then I should imagine that Cunard are agents acting on behalf of a company in Southampton and taking a commission in the same way as they organise taxi transfers for you onboard for your arrival in Southampton.

That's fine. I don't mind paying for a useful service. 

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13 hours ago, bluemarble said:

 

Yes, unfortunately, I'm afraid to say there is a fair amount of misleading and/or conflicting information in the Cunard FAQ. It looks like you may have quoted from the answer to the question "Can I store my luggage at the port before or after my cruise?".

 

For what appears to be conflicting information, one need look no further than within the same FAQ for the answer to another more specific question "Is there the facility to store my luggage in New York?". The answer to that question begins as follows.

 

"Yes, it is possible to arrange for your luggage to be stored in New York. This is available for for [sic] guests disembarking the ship in New York who plan to return to New York to embark the ship again within a few days.

Please speak to the Pursers Office once you are on board who will be able to check availability for you."

I did not look any further because #7 specifically mentioned about storing luggage in Southampton to which I directed my answer about.

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On 4/1/2019 at 6:19 PM, Deimos said:

Hi all,

So I've been pondering the idea of cruising to the USA instead of flying for quite a few years now and whilst there are other options, such as cargo ship voyages (which now accept the Visa waiver thing), they are more expensive and offer a lot less than a transatlantic cruise to New York.

I'm not really sure if I'm compatible for QM2 cruising, meaning, I'm not posh, nor rich, I don't do dressups/suits just to eat at a table and I feel like I would be very out of place on such a ship

That's not to say I don't dress in a smart/decent fashion (Shirt+Trousers or Jeans during the day for example)

But my main concern is of course evening time when the ship goes into formal/non formal mode, would i be allowed to access regular areas of the ship, for food, like the buffet area?

Essentially I just want to use the QM2 as a transatlantic ferry service.

 

Perhaps my experience might be somewhat relevant to your situation. Note that I am far from a typical Cunard customer, and "your mileage may vary". But I too found myself sampling my first Cunard trans-Atlantic crossing just last summer.

 

Despite (or because of) a four-decade career in the marine industry, I had never taken a passenger voyage longer than the Holyhead -to- dun Laoghaire ferry. I highly doubt I would much enjoy the typical "cruise" experience.

 

Then last year I found myself needing to burn off some leave at work, while lacking the finances for any super-extravagant travel. In May I checked the prices for a late-autumn crossing with Cunard, when they are known to be reduced substantially. I discovered that the same major reduction was available in August/September, which - having sailed professionally in the winter North Atlantic - seemed much more appealing!
The price was so attractive that I booked a return crossing, in one of the most attractive (to me) classes of Britannia stateroom ... a balcony on Deck 12, immediately abaft the wheelhouse. I had hoped to have a companion accompany me for a minor upcharge, but in the end neither of my grown kids were available for those dates (nor any eligible friends) so i sucked it up and paid the 75% single supplement. Annoying but unavoidable in the circumstances, and less than many carriers' 100% surcharge. And I was left with more-than-ample space in the well-appointed cabin.

 

Similar to you, I am not a "tuxedo" kinda guy. My working clothes have been a working mariner's uniform, then suits or business casual outfits in the office, and coveralls in the shipyard. Still, I own a nice black suit so I augmented it with a couple of new high-end dress shirts and a silk cummerbund and a few nice silk neckties/bow ties sourced from Canada's versions of TJ/TK Maxx discount stores. Voila, an ersatz tuxedo with multiple "looks" for less than £50.

Unsure of the level of formality required for various occasions on board I packed a few other suits and WAY more clothing options than I needed ... I could have got by with less than HALF of the clothes I packed into a large suitcase and a garment bag. If you skip all the "gala" (i.e. formal) evenings then you could survive with just a carry-on bag, depending on your sartorial habits. Remember that there are no-cost laundry facilities on board, as well as reasonably-priced dry cleaning and laundry services.

 

In the event, I found the entire experience to be one of the finest and most relaxing vacations I've ever taken. I chose to forego many of the organized events, which cater mainly to a markedly different demographic and sensibility than my own. Nevertheless, I quite enjoyed some of the lectures, the behind-the-scenes tour of the ship, and the Fashion Week activities on the return leg. Engaging in a bit of dress-up for dinner turned out to be more fun than I'd expected, and despite my less-than-extroverted social preferences, I ended up spending time most evenings in the lounge and the pub with some highly appealing characters.

 

Otherwise I spent my days relaxing rather than trying to cram in activities. Some mornings I indulged myself with a late lie-in, then grabbed a healthy breakfast of fruit and yogurt at the buffet (and occasionally a less-healthy breakfast of fried everything). I often skipped lunch entirely, since during the eastbound leg the clocks are advanced at noon, thus shortening the time until dinner. I typically posted up each afternoon in one of several prize locations onboard (such as the window seats in the library) for some reading or a bit of research I'd brought along. I treated myself to a mid-ocean spa day, which was surprisingly worthwhile. I wandered the decks both day and night, revelling in the exquisite piece of naval architecture on which we were travelling. After midnight it seemed I had the ship to myself, since the only other night owls were mostly engaged in the "disco"-style lounge which stays open as long as there are customers.

 

Having done some homework here on the CruiseCritic site, I was forewarned of several relevant issues and forearmed with some useful insights.

  • For the most part the food is pretty 'meh'. It's okay, but by no means is it 5-star. Some menu choices were kinda bizarre.
  • Room service is available for any meal at no additional cost.
  • Cunard's standard-issue coffee is notably sub-par, although there is a dedicated coffee bar at additional charge.
  • I found the much hyped (and popular) afternoon tea service to be fussy and not at all the plainer afternoon tea to which my British parents indoctrinated me. I tried it but frankly preferred to serve myself the same items from the buffet.
  • Surprisingly Cunard allows their pax to bring their own beverages on board with them ... either a bottle or a case. Unlike most shipping lines, Cunard chooses to ignore their own "one bottle (wine only)" policy so long as it is not abused. Just note that this is for in-cabin consumption only, unless a corkage fee is paid in the dining room.
  • Some of the wealthiest passengers are quite pleasant and down to earth; while a minority of the clients of all classes can be entitled d-bags.
  • the less said about the musical entertainment, the better
    (as I say, these are not universally-shared observations, but nor are they unique to me)

Yes, this response is TL/DR.
In short, you can enjoy an ocean voyage in your own manner, so long as you don't ruin the experience for others. Cunard's pax pay a premium for the ambiance of a former era, in which people dressed for dinner and waltzed to chamber music. If you buy the ticket, you are agreeing to limit your areas of access after 6pm should you opt not to meet the published dress code. But you will not be the only one.
I would recommend the experience highly, at least to try. It doesn't cost a whole lot more than airfare and there is much less hassle (and no jet lag!)

 

Hope that helped ...
 

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On 4/2/2019 at 3:25 AM, Summergee said:

It used to be possible for men to hire a dinner suit on board. I'm not sure that still applies. Many ladies wear smart black trousers and a sparkly top on formal nights and I have never seen them being turned away from the restaurant. 

Yes, i think it's about $150 for rent the whole kit for men's formal wear once you are on board.

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11 hours ago, old fool said:

Yes, i think it's about $150 for rent the whole kit for men's formal wear once you are on board.

The Cunard FAQ says:

 

QM2 and QV

Yes, gentlemen can rent tuxedos, including shirts, pants and dinner jackets, on board from the shops

Tuxedo packages range from $90 for one night up to $250 for 5 nights

We do not currently offer a rental service for ladies formal wear on board, however a range of women’s evening wear is available to purchase from our on board shops. 

 

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On 4/5/2019 at 3:58 AM, VintageCCG said:

 

Perhaps my experience might be somewhat relevant to your situation.....


 

 

Excellent summary from VintageCCG !

Edited by Toffeegirl68

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There have been some great suggestions. The pictures from Cunard “what to wear” were most helpful. Going through my closet I found dressy black pants and jacket. With a while silk or lacy top I think it would work. DH has to buy a new jacket anyway so we will look for a nice black one. I am sure I can find a bow tie and cummerbund. If this could work for Gala nights we would be very happy to attend! I have a silk cocktail dress that would probably be good too. None of this weighs much or takes much room so maybe it will work. 

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16 minutes ago, nancynana9950 said:

There have been some great suggestions. The pictures from Cunard “what to wear” were most helpful. Going through my closet I found dressy black pants and jacket. With a while silk or lacy top I think it would work. DH has to buy a new jacket anyway so we will look for a nice black one. I am sure I can find a bow tie and cummerbund. If this could work for Gala nights we would be very happy to attend! I have a silk cocktail dress that would probably be good too. None of this weighs much or takes much room so maybe it will work. 

 

That's the spirit! What you are describing sounds to me like it will absolutely work for gala evenings.

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1 hour ago, nancynana9950 said:

 DH has to buy a new jacket anyway so we will look for a nice black one. I am sure I can find a bow tie and cummerbund. 

If he isn't going to be wearing a tuxedo jacket, a cummerbund is not needed (unless he is also planning to wear a tuxedo shirt with studs and cuff links :classic_smile:).

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4 hours ago, nancynana9950 said:

There have been some great suggestions. The pictures from Cunard “what to wear” were most helpful. Going through my closet I found dressy black pants and jacket. With a while silk or lacy top I think it would work. DH has to buy a new jacket anyway so we will look for a nice black one. I am sure I can find a bow tie and cummerbund. If this could work for Gala nights we would be very happy to attend! I have a silk cocktail dress that would probably be good too. None of this weighs much or takes much room so maybe it will work. 

 

Sounds perfect! 
...And yes, skip the cummerbund, but grab a bow tie for a more dressy look if you wish. Even in full formal mode with Dinner Jacket/Tuxedo and formal shirt and studs, very many (if not most) skip a cummerbund these days. (Personally, having a bit of a "cruise belly," I always found that they often shifted and seemingly had a mind of their own so I switched to waistcoats/vests. But wearing neither is perfectly fine. A bowtie is appropriate with any jacket)

You'll be grand!

Edited by MarkBearSF

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15 hours ago, nancynana9950 said:

Well that just makes it easier 😊

My husband is not a tuxedo person... he did not even wear one in our wedding... but he looks great in a dark suit! He also has some awesome vintage cuff links.

So for the Cunard Cruise we are going on, he has a black suit that he will wear with French cuff shirts- so he can wear some of his vintage cuff links ... he will wear two different bow ties on two of the gala nights (Black & White and on Royal Cunard Ball) and then on Roaring 20s he has a great navy pinstripe suit that he will wear with an Art Deco tie.

We won’t discuss me... since I love dressing up... hahahahaha! I have some beautiful items planned- but my rule is “packable”... I may love my dressy clothes- but I’m also a practical traveler too. 😊

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16 hours ago, MarkBearSF said:

 

Even in full formal mode with Dinner Jacket/Tuxedo and formal shirt and studs, very many (if not most) skip a cummerbund these days. (Personally, having a bit of a "cruise belly," I always found that they often shifted and seemingly had a mind of their own so I switched to waistcoats/vests. 

 

I also have switched from cummerbunds and now wear waistcoat/vests instead.   I did this at the suggestion of another ballroom dancer.   Tuxedo jackets do get hot after dancing Quicksteps, Rumbas, or ChaCha's for any length of time.  With a tuxedo vest, you can remove your jacket and still look "dressed".  Not so much with a cummerbund.  I usually bring 2 or 3 vests so that I can wear one more appropriate for the theme of the night.   They are light weight and don't take up much space in a suitcase.

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On 4/1/2019 at 5:01 PM, nancynana9950 said:

We are in a similar position. DH and I have booked QM2 eastbound April 2020. We will be touring England and Ireland for three weeks and returning late May on the westbound trip. Because we will be lugging our cases on trains, ferry and buses without porters we must pack light. Absolutely no room for formal wear. We plan to wear smart casual including sports jacket for DH for dinner in Britannia on non gala evenings. Regretfully, we will have to dine elsewhere on gala nights. This will be our first trip on Cunard. This trip involves a great deal of planning so I am trying to not obsess about our wardrobe not being quite up to the standard. Really looking forward to traveling on QM2! 

Last year we did a TA to Southampton; stored a suitcase with "dress clothes" in a storage locker in Southampton (in town, not dock area); toured England and Wales and Scandinavia for a month;  then returned to Southampton, picked up our suitcase and returned home on QM2.  Great way to travel transatlantic in our opinion.

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On 4/1/2019 at 7:36 PM, BobBranst said:

Many of us who do transatlantic crossings on the QM2 and spend time in the UK and other European countries  between crossings take one suitcast just for formal wear and then use the Cunard luggage storage in Southampton.   Once we board the ship in NY,  we don't have to carry this bag again until we disembark back in NY.   Cunard picks up your formal wear suiitcase outside of your stateroom in Southampton and returns the suitcase to your new stateroom for the return voyage to NY.   It's the best of both worlds.

A great tip to share !

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Just want to say thank you to VintageCCG. 

About to embark on my first solo trip with some trepidation, your post has reassured me greatly.

 

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Deimos

The QM2 Transatlantic is quite different to the normal cruiseship experience. It’s a classic ‘travel’ experience which is well worth experiencing if you get the chance. The ship is big enough to offer many different types of activity and if dressing up is not your thing - there are places you can have a very good meal on formal nights.

I have been lucky enough to travel both east and west bound and out of 16 crossings & cruises, QM2 is by far my favourite ship. Try it - even if you don’t like all of it, I am sure you will find many aspects which will make it a special holiday. Of course you  will meet some people who you might not wish to befriend but I bet there will be many with whom you will be able to identify.

Good luck in whatever you choose.

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