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What makes Cunard different from other lines?


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On 2/25/2020 at 10:05 AM, Officeboy said:

After doing most of our cruising with Cunard, sailed with P&O to canaries last autumn out of Southampton

You can add to the above list clientele, it was not a good experience Still have to cruise the Baltic from the bucket list  and Cunard are moving away from the recognized ports, so may have to use P&O again.

We have always had a good cruise with Cunard and hopefully again in the future.  

 

Yes Cunard is different, and has it's many  merits, especially in QG. We are QG fans.

 

However there is no need to insult  P&O clientele,  on the last two QV and QE cruises,  Baltic and Southampton to Capetown, I've seen many people flouting the dress code in the queens room, looking as if they have just gone to Aldi. Two years ago on P&O from capetown to Southampton,  didn't see anyone  flouting dress code in the formal dress bars. Nor did I  see any bad behaviour and had very nice, interesting and polite  , table companions.   We had a very enjoyable trip. P&O suites are very nice rooms but don't offer QG dining and terraces, but there are very nice speciality restaurants on P&O and like Cunard a very nice wine list, with many wines in common. You can get a very nice Barolo on P&O for £40, same wine is double that on Cunard

 

We're back on QM2 in a month and P&O in June 

 

 

 

 

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How on earth do people dress for Aldi? How does it differ from Lidl? I'd no idea that supermarkets had dress codes. 😀 Sometimes I go to Waitrose and Aldi on the same trip. Should I change between?

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Do they honor price drops before final payment? Sounds like Cunard might be a little to formal for us, but who knows a change of pace might be a pleasant change.

 

I assume at night long pants and golf shirt are okay for bars and shows? Only place a jacket is required is the dining rooms? I think I read something about grill dining or something like that? what is that?

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The dress code applies throughout the ship, except for a few specified areas like the buffet and Golden Lion pub.

 

The more expensive cabins have their own restaurants, Calle dresses the Grills.

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1 hour ago, Jimbo said:

Do they honor price drops before final payment?

As a cancel and rebook, yes, so you generally lose any special booking amenities associated with the old booking/price. I had a low-cost TA go to bat with me when I blinked about being in an inside over Christmas and wanted to move up to at least an oceanview and he managed to get pretty much the same onboard credit for the new booking.

 

1 hour ago, Jimbo said:

I assume at night long pants and golf shirt are okay for bars and shows?

No, aside from a few places.

 

I've also found that "trousers" gets less of a raised eyebrow from a significant portion of the clientele than "pants." 😉

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1 hour ago, Jimbo said:

Do they honor price drops before final payment? Sounds like Cunard might be a little to formal for us, but who knows a change of pace might be a pleasant change.

 

I assume at night long pants and golf shirt are okay for bars and shows? Only place a jacket is required is the dining rooms? I think I read something about grill dining or something like that? what is that?

 

Yes, by canceling and rebooking, you can achieve price drops on most fares booked in the US. As Underwatr has indicated, that means you would typically lose whatever perks came with the original fare (on board credit, pre-paid gratutities, etc.) and acquire whatever perks are associated with the new fare. Do be aware some US sale fares now have non-refundable deposits, so if you book one of those fares, you would lose the deposit in order to take advantage of a price drop.

 

Here is what the dress code says about the casual venues where the more formal dress code does not apply. Note the theater and most bars are not included on this list of casual venues.

 

"Feel free to dress casually as you visit any of the following venues: Kings Court, Lido Buffet, Golden Lion, Casino, Carinthia Lounge, Winter Garden, Garden Lounge, Yacht Club, and G32. Non-ripped, jeans are appropriate, but please refrain from wearing shorts, sports attire, swim wear or sleeveless t-shirts outside of the gym, spa and deck spaces."

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2 hours ago, Jimbo said:

Sounds like Cunard might be a little to formal for us, but who knows a change of pace might be a pleasant change.

Cunard is definitely more formal after 6:00 than other lines- it is part of what makes it special and fun. We love it.
 

(You will sometimes read on sites and message boards people say that you are never too dressed up for Cunard)

Certainly there are some places to go at night and be less formal- but most of the ship is dressed well after 6... and on the Gala nights the ship is very dressy.

I would not want to miss out on the Cunard experience.


It’s more like what cruising used to be like- think about cruising from classic movies.

 

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3 hours ago, Jimbo said:

 

I assume at night long pants and golf shirt are okay for bars and shows? 

Sorry it's a no for the theatre and bars being outside the listed approved areas.

Underwear teamed with a golf shirt is never de rigueur for evening attire. 😉

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Unfortunately, not all the differences are positive. Cunard does not honor the terms of their own written agreement on the use of future cruise deposits. Beware. NCL is low on our list of acceptability for the experience, but they at least provide the benefits they say they will.

 

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9 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

What happens if someone books one of these cruises and get on the ship and was not aware of the dress code? Stay in the cabin the whole week?  lol

 

In the light of this unlikely event, there is an opportunity to hire all the required elements of correct attire for the duration of the cruise.  Guest Services will be happy to assist.

 

Edited by PORT ROYAL
Predictive
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1 hour ago, bluemarble said:

Note the theater and most bars are not included on this list of casual venues.

 

"Feel free to dress casually as you visit any of the following venues: Kings Court, Lido Buffet, Golden Lion, Casino, Carinthia Lounge, Winter Garden, Garden Lounge, Yacht Club, and G32. Non-ripped, jeans are appropriate, but please refrain from wearing shorts, sports attire, swim wear or sleeveless t-shirts outside of the gym, spa and deck spaces."

 

7 minutes ago, Jimbo said:

What happens if someone books one of these cruises and get on the ship and was not aware of the dress code? Stay in the cabin the whole week?  lol

Well... as BlueMarble quoted above there are options for those who don’t want to dress up at night.

I just don’t like to limit myself.

The ship is too good to do so. 😊

 

We will be on an Alaska voyage this year... and I know there might be one night we will be eating in the buffet or having room service because of the many activities in port... although I hate to miss the main dining room... so we will try to make it... still regardless all of the port days are “smart attire” nights... so I’ll put on something nice and my husband will put on his jacket so that we will have run of the ship.

 

Typically you will have the very formal Gala Nights on sea days.

 

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13 minutes ago, naturelovergirl said:

 

Well... as BlueMarble quoted above there are options for those who don’t want to dress up at night.

I just don’t like to limit myself.

The ship is too good to do so. 😊

 

We will be on an Alaska voyage this year... and I know there might be one night we will be eating in the buffet or having room service because of the many activities in port... although I hate to miss the main dining room... so we will try to make it... still regardless all of the port days are “smart attire” nights... so I’ll put on something nice and my husband will put on his jacket so that we will have run of the ship.

 

Typically you will have the very formal Gala Nights on sea days.

 

 

Assume you are on first sitting on the QE, so just ask the MD (possibly Sanjay, Anu, Adnan, Judit or Sylvester) as I know they all would be happy for you to dine in the MDR, finding you a table to join temporarily with nice mates, or, if available a 2. 

They're all excellent... Just ask... 😊

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6 minutes ago, PORT ROYAL said:

 

Assume you are on first sitting on the QE, so just ask the MD (possibly Sanjay, Anu, Adnan, Judit or Sylvester) as I know they all would be happy for you to dine in the MDR, finding you a table to join temporarily with nice mates, or, if available a 2. 

They're all excellent... Just ask... 😊

Thanks... for this voyage we picked second seating because Alaska is so port intensive... we felt this would be best for us since we do love the outdoors and exploring. Make the most of our time in port.

That said, one night (Juneau) is a 10pm departure and another (Victoria) is a 9pm departure.

So we shall see. We will play it all by ear- see how it all goes once we are on the trip- we love the main dining room. We would always prefer to eat dinner there.

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2 minutes ago, naturelovergirl said:

Thanks... for this voyage we picked second seating because Alaska is so port intensive... we felt this would be best for us since we do love the outdoors and exploring. Make the most of our time in port.

That said, one night (Juneau) is a 10pm departure and another (Victoria) is a 9pm departure.

So we shall see. We will play it all by ear- see how it all goes once we are on the trip- we love the main dining room. We would always prefer to eat dinner there.

 

If you require the occasional late entry (1 to 1.5 hours delay) to the MDR, know  these guys will be happy to work with you.   Just ask.....

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5 hours ago, Jimbo said:

What happens if someone books one of these cruises and get on the ship and was not aware of the dress code? Stay in the cabin the whole week?  lol

These are not budget cruises - like some of the $65 per person per day short itinerary opportunities on lines like Carnival and NCL - we are talking about $2,000 or more per couple as a realistic minimum.  Not many people who like to dine in tee shirts and flip flops are likely to put that amount down without understanding terms - and if they did, at least they would have learned a lesson.

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6 hours ago, Jimbo said:

What happens if someone books one of these cruises and get on the ship and was not aware of the dress code? Stay in the cabin the whole week?  lol

 

Buy a jacket at one of the shops and turn up for dinner with the very same jacket for seven days straight.

In fact I've met such a bloke and he was way to proud of himself.

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7 hours ago, Jimbo said:

What happens if someone books one of these cruises and get on the ship and was not aware of the dress code? Stay in the cabin the whole week?  lol

 

 

I think there is some minimal expectation that people actually research what they are booking ahead of time.  This is when a good travel agent comes into play.  They can recommend the best cruise line fit for their client.   Cunard is not for everyone, which is why we have so many choices of cruise lines.  One size does not fit all.  

 

I have seen rare exceptions made for the jacket requirement, but that has only been when someone's luggage has been lost.  Even in those circumstances the staff onboard will do their best to obtain a jacket that fits the passenger, but that is not always possible.  

 

Also remember the buffet is always a casual option during the evening after 6pm.  Usually there is an adjacent lounge/bar that will be casual as well, so at least there is some option.  

 

At the end of the day, Cunard is simply not the cruise line for those that don't like dressing up and want to be casual 24/7.  There is literally every other cruise line in the world for those that want a more casual option.  Cunard is the last holdout of dress decorum.  

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For us, a more international passenger mix on Cunard ships is a draw.  Part of the fun of travel is meeting and talking to people from other countries.

 

AND the live music and generally very good enrichment speakers...

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12 hours ago, alc13 said:

For us, a more international passenger mix on Cunard ships is a draw.  Part of the fun of travel is meeting and talking to people from other countries.

 

AND the live music and generally very good enrichment speakers...

 

This is actually a very important point. Most other ships are all British, all American or all German. Although the Cunard clientele draws heavily on the anglo-germanic world, there is a certain mix of passengers that makes the Cunarders a more comfortable, more interesting kind of ship than most others. Cunard is branded as "expensive"  and "formal"(at least this is what the average P&O passenger believes). This tends to attract the more seasoned kind of travelers, who are in general also well educated. This in turn leads to a demand for high class entertainment (guest speakers, decent live music, libraries). Cunard also manages to sell far pricier drinks than P&O, simply by making a better (yet more expensive) offer. In my personal experience P&O will get me to buy half a pint of cask ale before dinner and a glass of the house red with my meal. On the QM2 the good people at the Commodore Club tend to greet me by my name after a few days of travel.

 

 

 

 

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On 2/27/2020 at 8:45 AM, eroller said:

 

 

I have seen rare exceptions made for the jacket requirement, but that has only been when someone's luggage has been lost.  Even in those circumstances the staff onboard will do their best to obtain a jacket that fits the passenger, but that is not always possible.  

 

 

And the whole cruise season of the QE while based in Australia. I just came off her - my partner wore his smart attire jacket on maybe 2 nights - and he was the minority - at least 80% took advantage of no jacket required. Plenty of short-sleeved hawaiian style shirts and a few polo necks as well. 

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1 hour ago, lissie said:

And the whole cruise season of the QE while based in Australia. I just came off her - my partner wore his smart attire jacket on maybe 2 nights - and he was the minority - at least 80% took advantage of no jacket required. Plenty of short-sleeved hawaiian style shirts and a few polo necks as well. 

 

 

Yes I was speaking of the normal Cunard dress code.  The the QE in Australia was an anomaly and the dress code was changed for that specific region only.  I can only hope Cunard doesn't dumb it down for the entire product line.  If they do, it will be a major differential of Cunard to all other cruise lines eliminated.  That will also mean one less reason for me to sail on Cunard.  Might as well sail on Celebrity then, which is my overall favorite line.  I like to sail on Cunard on occasion for the formality which goes so well with the traditional aspect of the line.  Take that away and a lot of the appeal is lost, especially on a crossing which is mainly what I sail on Cunard for.  

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2 minutes ago, eroller said:

 

 

Yes I was speaking of the normal Cunard dress code.  The the QE in Australia was an anomaly and the dress code was changed for that specific region only.  I can only hope Cunard doesn't dumb it down for the entire product line.  If they do, it will be a major differential of Cunard to all other cruise lines eliminated.  That will also mean one less reason for me to sail on Cunard.  Might as well sail on Celebrity then, which is my overall favorite line.  I like to sail on Cunard on occasion for the formality which goes so well with the traditional aspect of the line.  Take that away and a lot of the appeal is lost, especially on a crossing which is mainly what I sail on Cunard for.  

 

I've only done the  one cruise - got off today. Chose Cunard because of the ballroom dancing and wasn't disappointed. Also liked the lack of crowds generally, and the lack of kids and drunken late-night parties.   Hated it all so much - we booked a  trans-pacific for a very good price in May 🙂

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4 minutes ago, lissie said:

 

I've only done the  one cruise - got off today. Chose Cunard because of the ballroom dancing and wasn't disappointed. Also liked the lack of crowds generally, and the lack of kids and drunken late-night parties.   Hated it all so much - we booked a  trans-pacific for a very good price in May 🙂

 

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I'm not sure what you experienced in Australia would be considered typical in terms of dress code for Cunard.  In the rest of the world a jacket is required every night after 6pm, on all Cunard ships.  That is the standard.  Many of us enjoy Cunard for the formality of the dress code.  As I mentioned there is literally every other cruise line in the world to chose from if you want a more casual dress code.  Many of them also lack crowds and drunken late-night parties.  Oceania, Viking, Azamara among many others fit that bill.  No need for Cunard to join the pack IMO.  They are the last holdout and I hope that doesn't change.  What they did in Australia was a bit concerning to me, and I'm sure to many others that love to sail on Cunard for the same reasons as I do.    

Edited by eroller
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2 minutes ago, eroller said:

 

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it, but I'm not sure what you experienced in Australia would be considered typical in terms of dress code for Cunard.  In the rest of the world a jacket is required every night after 6pm, on all Cunard ships.  That is the standard.  Many of us enjoy Cunard for the formality of the dress code.  As I mentioned there is literally every other cruise line in the world to chose from if you want a more casual dress code.  Many of them also lack crowds and drunken late-night parties.  Oceania, Viking, Azamara among many others fit that bill.  No need for Cunard to join the pack IMO.  They are the last holdout and I hope that doesn't change.  What they did in Australia was a bit concerning to me, and I'm sure to many others that love to sail on Cunard for the same reasons as I do.    

 

I don't understand your concern - I estimate 20-40% (it dropped during the cruise) of men wore jackets on smart attire nights. There is no one saying you can't wear a tux every night, and even I found  myself deciding  that  I should swap shorts for trousers when dancing in the afternoons in the Queens Room - it just seemed right for the decor.  The reality is that even  "locals" can have flights on arrival - its a 3 hours flight to Perth or NZ from Sydney. Some  of our table mates were doing 16 hours in economy to Dallas tomorrow.  Travelling with large cases is miserable - and in some cases expensive.  I'm thinking without needing the second jacket - he can wear one - we can both get back to carry on sized bags next time. So much  easier!  

 

I've looked at the other lines you mention and some look interesting - but none (tell me if I'm wrong) offer proper ballroom dancing with strict tempo (recorded or live) music??   Or a proper dance floor - the Queens Rooms was good - but anything smaller means you can't really dance. 

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