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About ExArkie

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Charlotte, NC
  • Interests
    Science, history, food and wine
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. ExArkie

    Celebrity Website

    I have had an occasional problem with the page not loading properly when I am going through our VPN. Something about the multiple-path data transfer that Celebrity Web site (and a small number of others) has difficulty with.
  2. ExArkie

    First Suite

    Speaking of which - has the floor plan of the aft corner S1 suite ever been posted or published? We have one booked on the Solstice and were just curious about the layout. Searches only come up with the non-corner floor plans, and there seems to be videos and pictures of the corner S1 (with widely variable picture quality). Gives the general idea, but I'd be interested in an actual floor plan if anyone has seen it somewhere.
  3. We did this a couple of years ago - ordered them online about 40 days out, waited a couple of weeks without receiving them, and called. They ordered tags for me and both sets arrived on the same day, about 5 days before we were flying out.
  4. ExArkie

    Transatlantic advice on flights/hotels

    I have used Cunard Air to book one-way from US on a couple of occasions, both for westbound TAs. Once, I was teaching a class in Dublin and they booked me into that city a few weeks prior to departure (I arranged my own short flight to Southampton). Doing the same thing in Manchester this year and they booked me into that city, arriving tomorrow (Nov. 30), when the TA is December 15. In both cases, I got to specify which airline (I am Gold Medallion on Delta, so prefer it for the benefits). There did not seem to be any additional charge for different cities or travel in advance, but it is impossible to tell for sure from the US as the airlines here do not sell actual one-way tickets. What you can buy as one-way are sold as the full fare price for a round trip (unless you use airline miles, which I have also done). As someone else noted, I can only vouch for this being the case for travel from the US for a person with a US address. I am not even remotely implying that this might apply to any other country...or even for some other people in this one, I guess.
  5. ExArkie

    Guest Speakers

    A while ago, one of the Queen Elizabeth speakers was left at the dock when he failed to return on time. See thread: Therefore, no guarantees as to speaker availability even if they ARE on the ship at the beginning of the trip.
  6. ExArkie

    Music channel(s) on QM2 tv?

    I remember a dvd player on QV when we got moved up to a Q4 penthouse (great upgrade, if I may venture off-topic). I do not recall having one in any of the QM2 staterooms. Is it still possible to purchase a portable CD player?
  7. ExArkie

    Christmas decor?

    I had this picture of the train. According to the display, it was made from 60 kg of Godiva chocolate,
  8. ExArkie

    class difference?

    I have heard the complaint of Cunard's "class differences" many times from those who have never been on one of the Cunard ships. With a lot of questioning and prodding, the underlying concepts that makes the ones to whom I have spoken believe in the class consciousness are (1) Cunard has a history of class separation in the grand old days of ocean travel (everyone has seen the movie Titanic), which is sort of like never buying a Ford automobile because you think their 1918 model was not of good quality, and (2) Cunard requires male passengers to wear a tie on some nights. The latter seems to be the overriding reason, that anyone wearing a tie is automatically presuming himself to be in a higher social class, regardless of cabin category. The reverse snobbery of deciding that casual dress is the true sign of societal exceptionalism appears to be lost on them.
  9. ExArkie

    Basic Cunard -- what should I know?

    Just part of the attempt to recreate the glory days of steamship travel. After all, there was no Internet in the era of the Mauritania.
  10. ExArkie

    When the Three Queens Meet - 11 August 2019

    We were on QM2 almost exactly a year later when the three Queens were again in Southampton. The Royal Welsh Guard (the band on the dock in your photos) also played/performed on the dock behind the Ocean Terminal. Obviously, only for those of us on QM2, but we liked it. No fireworks on leaving, though, and all were gone before sunset.
  11. Funny you should say that - my wife is 5'2" and came back from her last New York trip complaining about the lack of leg room in the cab she took.
  12. ExArkie

    Cunard drinks are such a rip off..

    Not as a general practice, but throughout this year Cunard has been running promotions in the US that include gratuities and drinks (up to $12) for Grills bookings. So, for some people some of the time, it could be. Isn't a lot of this discussion due to the foreign exchange rate? Currently, the pound is near a 10-year low in terms of the exchange rate to the US dollar. Three or so years ago, the rate was around US$1.75 to the pound, while now it is around $1.25 (I haven't checked the rates for exact numbers). Even if Cunard had not raised the drinks prices since 2014, the difference in exchange rates means that, for UK customers, there has been about a 30% price increase because the on-board charges are in dollars.
  13. ExArkie

    Drink Package Pros/Cons on QM2

    Just so you know - Any links to information available to people on the UK side of the Atlantic fail to bring up that information when clicked from the US side. We are sent to the generic FAQ site, which contains nothing about most of the things for which one has questions, including menus, drinks packages, and so forth.
  14. ExArkie

    Cruise Hacks

    There have been at least a couple of cases with BMWs where the owner reported the car stolen, was asked to provide the key (to provethat it had not been left in the car, allowing it to be stolen), and then, when the stored information was downloaded from the key, was prosecuted for insurance fraud because it showed the key had been used in the car after it was reported stolen. While I have not conducted tests specifically for car keys, I would assume the probability of damage from refrigerator-magnet type fields would be small. Similar to what one would expect with a USB drive, it would seem that a more powerful magnet is required to corrupt the stored data. Although running those tests sounds like a fun way to spend a weekend...as long as I use someone else's keys.
  15. ExArkie

    Chances for an upgrade to Queens Grill?

    We have done seven trips on Cunard and received unpaid upgrades on six. Of those, four were P3 (which used to be the category for PG guarantee) or P2 upgraded to P1. The other two upgraded trips: (1) We booked QG (only once, booked on Queen Victoria) and were bumped from Q7 to Q4. No idea why, but I did not complain - that was a great cabin. (2) Last year, we booked a December TA about ten months in advance in P2 and were upgraded to Q6. That occurred when the price dropped significantly near final payment date and we asked if an upgrade was possible based on QG selling for roughly what we paid for our P2.