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Queen Mary 2 Sydney to New York, March 6 to April 25, 2020


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I am currently in Maryland and if you can help it, don’t rush back!   The restaurants and bars are closed as are the schools and colleges.  The grocery stores are mobbed with people buying bread and toilet paper like the world is ending.   Once you get back you will be in Quarantine for 14 days.   It probably won’t matter as everything will be closed by our governor at least till 3/30.   Extend your trip in Australia if you can as it will be much more enjoyable!

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Covepointcruiser, I am doubtful about the situation at home but things may not be much better here for long and I fear that flight restrictions may get worse the longer the delay.  One party on our ship got to JFK last night and had no restrictions on their activity (of course except for not much open).

 

Roy

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5 hours ago, Covepointcruiser said:

I am currently in Maryland and if you can help it, don’t rush back!   The restaurants and bars are closed as are the schools and colleges.  The grocery stores are mobbed with people buying bread and toilet paper like the world is ending.   Once you get back you will be in Quarantine for 14 days.   It probably won’t matter as everything will be closed by our governor at least till 3/30.   Extend your trip in Australia if you can as it will be much more enjoyable!

Ditto....

 

No better in New York City....getting worst....

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I was on the QM2 and luckily got my on going travel arrangements before leaving the ship (got them at 11:30 had to leave bet 2-4 same day).  Perth to Syd to LAX to Boston and now we're home in New Hampshire.  It was quite a 40 hours of planes and airports.

 

Cunard did a good job getting these flights as I didn't get my air preferences in until about 7PM the night before we left.  

 

Roy, just an FYI.  Cunard is getting the lowest base fare seats in Economy on the airlines (Virgin Australia for us) and your not supposed to be able to choose your own seats with those fares but we found we could change them by nicely asking at check in.  The Sydney to LAX leg was oversold but they allowed us to upgrade to Economy X (more legroom) for only $219 US for the two of us, but I think the lady just felt sorry for us with that deal.  At any rate we got bulk head seats with plenty of leg room for the 14 hour flight.

 

Even though we live on the east coast we wanted to get into the US asap so decided on the itinerary via LAX.

 

In Perth and Sydney we were asked where we've been traveling and some health questions, when we got into LAX yesterday morning...nothing no questions accept where we were coming from, how long we were there and did we buy anything.  Wow.

 

The first two legs of our trip was filled with Cunard people.  I think more people stayed on board then you think.  It seemed everyone we talked to personally knew someone who was staying.  I know hundreds went down to the med center (including me).  They told us they couldn't force us to go and in the end they gave me some anti-anxiety medication (which I never used) and decided to leave.  Several of the folks with us in line later told us they were staying.

 

I also think there are far more then 100 crew staying on board.  Two of our stewards were staying, the lady who does the chair exercise classes for the entertainment staff was staying, etc.  And then every critical position has to be staffed 24/7 with backup, that would far exceed 100 people.

 

Came home to a different world that's for sure.  On the plane from LAX to BOS there was a family with masks and gloves on wiping down all the seats they would come in contact with.  After being in Australia for about a month it was amazing to see!  We were also told to self-isolate (or social distance yourself) for two weeks if you have a fever or are sick.  We are neither but will follow the protocol.  Actually it won't be hard because here in NH restaurants can only do take out anyway.

 

After hearing that HAL is making all their folks make their own travel arrangements and then reimburse them later I can only thank Cunard for what they've done for us.

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48 minutes ago, Cruise NH said:

I was on the QM2 and luckily got my on going travel arrangements before leaving the ship (got them at 11:30 had to leave bet 2-4 same day).  Perth to Syd to LAX to Boston and now we're home in New Hampshire.  It was quite a 40 hours of planes and airports.

 

Cunard did a good job getting these flights as I didn't get my air preferences in until about 7PM the night before we left.  

Welcome home (such as it might be).  I think one of the saving graces was that bags went out the night before so there was relatively little last minute packing for you to do to be ready to go.  I hope the baggage hall was not too much of a zoo for you.  I was lucky to be in the short line since I boarded in Australia but even that was a challenge getting to the end of that line with 2 rolling bags.

 

Cunard seems to be getting bad press from the delays in arranging flights but it's a real challenge for them with the rapidly changing airline situation.

 

Roy

Edited by rafinmd
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4 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Welcome home (such as it might be).  I think one of the saving graces was that bags went out the night before so there was relatively little last minute packing for you to do to be ready to go.  I hope the baggage hall was not too much of a zoo for you.  I was lucky to be in the short line since I boarded in Australia but even that was a challenge getting to the end of that line with 2 rolling bags.

 

Cunard seems to be getting bad press from the delays in arranging flights but it's a real challenge for them with the rapidly changing airline situation.

 

Roy

 

I agree Roy, this is overwhelming for them I just hope you guys 'left behind' get your information soon.  Please keep us informed.

 

We left our 3 big bags on the ship and just walked off with our two more manageable ones so not so bad for us.  The 3 bags left behind will be sent to us once the ship gets to Southampton.  We may not see them again until the end of April or so.

 

You are right that baggage area was a zoo.  People didn't know they had to retrieve their luggage before getting in line.  That could have been handled better by Cunard.

 

Still I'm glad I'm not on the HAL world cruise this year and having to figure this all out for myself.

 

Take care and I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you on the ship after having read your blogs for the last few years.

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15 minutes ago, Cruise NH said:

We left our 3 big bags on the ship and just walked off with our two more manageable ones so not so bad for us.  The 3 bags left behind will be sent to us once the ship gets to Southampton.  We may not see them again until the end of April or so.

 

Did Cunard offer to ship bags left behind?  Perhaps only to the full world cruisers.  That was something HAL is doing that I thought was nice but didn't see it offered.

 

Roy

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Day QM2+2, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, Perth


The Crystal Serenity was denied entry to Geraldton and due to arrive Fremantle 19 March.  QM2 is continuing to Mauritius for refueling as a merchant ship and is due to arrive 23 March (tour itinerary had us visiting there 22 March so despite her 2 day delay in Fremantle she will make up one of those days)   The sun rose at 6:18 and set at 6:32.  The moon rose at 12:27 AM and set at 3:04PM.


I was up about 5:30 and once things got a bit brighter the skies were probably 50% clear.  The sun appeared over the hills in the direction of the airport about 3 minutes after official sunrise.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/dawn0318.jpg


I went for a walk early, leaving sometime after 7 and going to the central business district along Hay Street, one of the main avenues of Perth.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/haystreet.jpg


Once in the central business district Hay street becomes a pedestrian mall with one interesting sculpture.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/haymall.jpg


 Hungry Jacks (Burger King's Australia trade name) has the most drinkable coffee I've found in Australia so I stopped for a cup and then stopped at Woolworth's (major grocery chain) and bought a quart of skim milk, applesauce, and a serving of raspberries).  When I left there were a lot of people outside the doors waiting to enter.  I think I saw something about grocery stores opening just for seniors ahead of letting everyone else in.  I returned along St. Georges Terrace, the street the Pan Pacific is on, passing first the Cathedral (Anglican).  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/cathedral.jpg


Government house was on the wrong side of the street.  It's the residence of the Western Australia Governor.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/government.jpg


I crossed the street to be on the same side as Perth's Concert Hall, pretty close to the hotel.  I am quite sure that by now any events there will have been cancelled.  I was back at the hotel about 8:15.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/concert.jpg


I was back at the Montereys Brasserie for breakfast, an omelet and pancakes and again plum forgot to get out my camera.  It dawned on me mid morning that it would probably be wise to be in contact with the US Consulate in Perth and sent them an email.  I got an email reply pretty promptly and a phone call about 3PM.  They are aware of the situation and have been in contact with Cunard.  They recommended patience and to let them know if there is anything else they can do.  I do believe Cunard is doing their best under difficult circumstances and would rather have them working on reservations than talking to me.  I am getting conflicting advice, either get back ASAP or don't rush as things are really bad in the US.  At the moment people who have had flights seem to be returning without being quarantined and I hope that will continue.


Lunch was a muffin (raspberry) and coffee from the Lobby Café.  I took it to an outer table and found things still a bit on the cool side except in the sun and out of the wind.  


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/lunch18.jpg


Once I finished the muffin I took a stroll down to Langley Park, a green space between the hotel and the Swan River.  Two football (soccer) pitches were hubs of activity.  The remainder of my lunch was skim milk and the last of my apples.  From here on I will use the applesauce and pack the paring knife used to cut up the apples in my checked bag.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/lindsay.jpg


Dinner was back at the Hill Street Bar with another try at the burger.  As it turned out the menu said pickle which I think was really a relish and it got unpleasantly in the way of the taste of the meat.


https://morethangetaways.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/dinner18.jpg


My parting shot is another bit of a connection.  After leaving Sydney I hadn't expected to see the Crystal Serenity again and technically I won't but it will be oh so close.  Crystal Serenity will arrive Thursday morning less than 10 miles away in the same berth where I left QM2.  Welcome to Perth, former shipmates.


Roy

 

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13 hours ago, rafinmd said:

I think I saw something about grocery stores opening just for seniors ahead of letting everyone else in. 

 

Supermarkets after opening exclusively for elderly and disabled from 7am to 8am to allow them to shop without being subjected to busier periods. 

 

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17 hours ago, rafinmd said:

Did Cunard offer to ship bags left behind?  Perhaps only to the full world cruisers.  That was something HAL is doing that I thought was nice but didn't see it offered.

 

Roy

Yea I don't know if it was only to full timers or not.  I don't really remember where I first saw it.  We already had a reservation with luggage forward to pick up our bags in NY so we were good to go.  I called luggage forward directly to check on the whole thing and they said they are working directly with Cunard and not with individual clients.  They have a plan in place for Southampton.  I felt confident leaving my bags.  We could not have taken them through ourselves...especially through that mess we had to deal with in LA.  Yikes that airport is a disaster.

 

Just saw you are on a plane to Sydney.  Great airport!  But I hope you don't have to be there too long.

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Arrived in Sydney and the confirmation of my continuing flights came while I was picking up my bags.  Sydney to Dallas Friday lunchtime, arriving in Baltimore Friday evening if I make the connection.  Business class for the last 2 legs.  Had to find my own hotel but Cunard promised to reimburse.  Very tired, may not post again until I'm home.

 

Roy

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1 minute ago, rafinmd said:

Arrived in Sydney and the confirmation of my continuing flights came while I was picking up my bags.  Sydney to Dallas Friday lunchtime, arriving in Baltimore Friday evening if I make the connection.  Business class for the last 2 legs.  Had to find my own hotel but Cunard promised to reimburse.  Very tired, may not post again until I'm home.

 

Roy

Thanks for the update, it's good to hear you've got flights.

Safe travels, I look forward to hearing about the rest of your journey when you're home & recovered.

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1 hour ago, rafinmd said:

Arrived in Sydney and the confirmation of my continuing flights came while I was picking up my bags.  Sydney to Dallas Friday lunchtime, arriving in Baltimore Friday evening if I make the connection.  Business class for the last 2 legs.  Had to find my own hotel but Cunard promised to reimburse.  Very tired, may not post again until I'm home.

 

Roy

Roy, hope you can deal with those long flights and make it home safely.  Business class will help, but that's still a long trip home.  Don't worry about those us of us who follow your adventures, just take care of yourself and get home safely.

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roy,

glad you made it to sydney and have your flights booked to baltimore now.  that's got to be a good feeling.

 

here, some of the supermarkets have opened their stores to seniors 65 and older only from 5 to 6 am!  and the shelves weren't fully stocked, of course, but everything was sold out by 5:15.  i wouldn't even bother going.  i just go when i feel like it and buy what i can get.

 

at least your baggage will be checked from sydney to baltimore and you won't have to deal with it in dallas.  good luck making your connection.

 

stay safe.  find some great ice cream

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4 hours ago, USC Adventurer said:

at least your baggage will be checked from sydney to baltimore and you won't have to deal with it in dallas.  good luck making your connection.

 

I hope I don't have to pick it up and drag it through customs.

 

Roy

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4 hours ago, USC Adventurer said:

roy,

glad you made it to sydney and have your flights booked to baltimore now.  that's got to be a good feeling.

 

here, some of the supermarkets have opened their stores to seniors 65 and older only from 5 to 6 am!  and the shelves weren't fully stocked, of course, but everything was sold out by 5:15.  i wouldn't even bother going.  i just go when i feel like it and buy what i can get.

 

at least your baggage will be checked from sydney to baltimore and you won't have to deal with it in dallas.  good luck making your connection.

 

stay safe.  find some great ice cream

 

unfortunately this is not true, the bags will be checked only through to the first US stop.  You then have to retrieve it and recheck it in for the domestic flight. We came through LAX on our way to Boston and we collected our luggage after using the passport kiosk and talking with the customs agent.  We then  rechecked them to Boston.

Edited by Cruise NH
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Roy Qantas should check your baggage right through to Baltimore so your baggage tag should have a connecting American Airlines flight on it when you leave customs with your bag there should be an American Airlines desk saying baggage recheck and since your bag is already tagged to Baltimore just hand the bag to American Airlines and they'll put it on the American Airlines flight for you

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