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QE around New Zealand and QM2 to Southampton


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We have just watched from North Mole the magnificent Queen Mary 2 sail quietly out of Fremantle in the darkness a few minutes early at 7.20pm local time.

There  were only a few people on deck and it was very eerie. There was no band playing, no Land of Hope and Glory and not as many Perth people as usual to wave her goodbye.

We wish her and all aboard God Speed home to Southampton and all the passengers in Perth well for their onward arrangements.

 

 

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We’re now into day 5 of our holiday extension in Perth.

 

I’ve just been down to reception to find that Cunard have extended our reservation for another night. At least we know we have our flights booked for tomorrow night. I really feel for those who have been here since Saturday and have still heard nothing. The Sydney office has now been placed on lockdown so that will just exacerbate the situation.

 

Most of the QM2 folk have now gone, to be replaced by Costa folk, who have been replaced by Seabourn folk, ... I noticed a couple of Crystal reps in the lobby as well.

 

All the busses are fully occupied bringing people from Fremantle into Perth meaning Cunard couldn’t procure any for transport to the airport and everyone had to make their own way there by taxi.

 

We’ve been filling our time touring the city using the free local busses. There’s four different routes and we’ve done one each day. They’ve been fairly quiet and ‘social distancing ‘ hasn’t been a problem. However at one point yesterday a group of over fifty tried to board our bus so we decided it was time for a walk.

 

Off to see if the concierge can print our boarding passes for tomorrow.

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Boarding passes printed.

 

The front desk put a call through to our room about six o’clock tonight from Cunard (I suspect an agent of some sort) but when Sandra spoke to them they asked “who were we?” (!?!) Then, “Did we have flights arranged? Did we book them ourselves?” Reading between the lines of the rest of the conversation, they’re aware that somebody has dropped through the net, but they don’t know who and are asking the hotel to put them through to everyone that has been here since Saturday and is still here. I think I know who they’re looking for but don’t know their names, so I’m no help.

 

Ten minutes later it rings again. When I answer (presumably) the same person knows exactly who I am and apologises , she should have asked Sandra earlier what time we needed our room until tomorrow. I say the hotel has extended our checkout till 1 but we’re not getting picked up until 5:30. “Not a problem. I’ll get it extended till then.” Impressed!

 

I went looking for the people I thought they were looking for but by the time I found them they had been contacted and their flights were arranged. Turns out there’s only the four of us left (from Saturday) and their flight is before ours. So despite being the first to get our flights organised, we’ll be the last to leave.

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Well, that’s us checked out of the Pan Pacific. We’re definitely the last of Saturday’s arrivals, and possibly the last Cunard people to leave. Six days in a decent hotel and the total bill came to A$10. That’s not bad going.

 

Just before we were due to leave I got a text from Emirates. Our Perth-Dubai flight has been delayed 2 hours. And since we had less than 2 hours to make our connection on to Glasgow it’s a safe bet that’s not going to happen.

 

Because of the delay, when we get to the airport the check-in desks won’t open for another hour but we meet lots of rafinmd’s former shipmates from Crystal Serenity. And one really obnoxious woman who was ‘absolutely disgusted’ by anything and everything. She’s from Manchester, and has never been any further than Birmingham before (less than 100 miles) and should never have made this trip. I think everyone in the queue agreed with her. When one of the Crystal reps asked if she was with their group her reply was, ‘No. We’ve paid for our tickets.’

 

Another holdup at security when the scanner spots my little multi tool. I was sure it was in one of the checked cases, and even though there’s nothing on it any longer than 1” it gets binned.

 

But all that is behind us. We’re in the Emirates lounge with plentiful supplies of Veuve Clicquot and Moët. Just my luck as, when we do make it to Glasgow, I have to drive (straight into self isolation)

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Cunard twitter release 1 hour ago
 
 
 
We know many of you are interested in the current locations of our ships, so the following information should be helpful. Today, Thursday 19 March, Queen Mary 2 is crossing the Indian Ocean on passage back to Southampton, due to arrive 11 April and berth at the QEII terminal.
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We know many of you are interested in the current locations of our ships, so the following information should be helpful. Today, Thursday 19 March, Queen Elizabeth has disembarked all guests and is currently anchored at the Port of Gladstone.
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Once on board I realise that because of the time difference it’s going to be 27 hours before I have to drive so decide to treat myself to a dry martini (or two) at the onboard bar. It’s not the Commodore Club but we all have to make sacrifices at times like this.

 

We only made up about ten minutes of the two hour delay so as expected we missed our connection. Bad News: the Emirates Business lounge at Dubai is closed. Good News: we have to slum it in the First Class lounge for the next seven hours. The timing has turned out to be quite fortunate as from tonight all the lounges at Dubai will be closed. Not sure how putting the same number of people into a smaller space and closer proximity is going to help though.

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Finaly made it home about 10:30 (GMT) this morning.

51 hours door to door.

7 days since we were standing on the dock in Fremantle.

From 30C to 30F.

 

On reflection, could Cunard have done better? Without a doubt.

Overall, would another line have done any better? I doubt it. They would probably have done things differently. They may have communicated better, but I'm hearing of some lines where everyone has had to make all their own arrangements.

 

We've come home with not one penny to try and reclaim from anyone. We haven't had to deal with hotels, taxis, airlines or insurance companies. That's got to count for something.

 

The last time we were in a somewhat similar situation, 20+ years ago, when we went to our travel agent the day after getting home they already had the refund cheque sitting on their desk. Somehow, I suspect that in the age of instant, online, electronic banking it's going to take a little longer this time.

 

We've got a mountain of mail and it'll probably take our 14 days in isolation to get through it.

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Thank you for all your informative reporting and good fortune for the future.

What an adventure for you to relive whilst in isolation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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