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About mcloaked

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    Ballroom dancing
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  1. Marking homework has a different history for the marks tokens than the development of computer software. Usually for software after 'beta' it is often the released version at some numerical numbering scheme - so say the software is called "DoodahSoft" - the alpha of a new version might be DoodahSoft-1.2-alpha-1, and then if a few bugs are fixed but there are still lots of problems then the next version might be DoodahSoft-1.2-alpha-2, and when most of the bugs are fixed someone may decide it is stable enough to become a beta so DoodahSoft-1.2-beta-1 and so on until the developers feel it is working well enough to release - though it is possible that a 'release candidate' might be released for soak testing called, say, DoodahSoft-1.2-rc1 - and if problems are found then they will fix the problems and release DoodahSoft-1.2-rc2 - and then if that shows no problems when people test it a lot the same version could be released as DoodahSoft-1.2 (simply dropping the -rc suffix) - which will then get used for real, and in time people may want new features or some security vulnerability is found that need patching - and the next series of development will begin following the same path as 1.2, to become DoodahSoft-1.3-alpha-1 and so on. Sometimes a release candidate isn't produced but if so then the extensive testing before release is likely to be less reliable. If the development is limited to small numbers of developers and there is a pressure of time then the whole process might be hurried along with a much reduced level of testing and fixing before release - and in that case there is a much higher likelihood that when it is released with limited checking that the users will hit more serious problems. In the case of say an Android system for phones extensive testing is done before a new version hits the big user base..... for other systems that are made available before a lot of testing has been done the users will have a lot of problems with it but it is much cheaper to develop!
  2. Beta quality! For me it is 'alpha' at best! They really need to step up the rate of progress in getting their web server code fixed - or they will need to ramp up the number of available staff at their call centre who can handle the entry of user information directly on their system as part of a human-to-human phone call!
  3. You have the choice at time of booking to say if you are prepared to accept and upgrade, in which case you have to take it, or not to accept an upgrade in which case you are sure you will have what you booked. The upgrade if it happens is for the stateroom type, but as you have discovered doesn't guarantee a less desirable view outside.
  4. There are clearly different kinds of cruise ship, and hopefully that will continue to be the case - there is the brash American style ship with the dodgems on deck, the waterslides that shoot partly outside of the deck line, with the climbing wall, and the push to make sure that everyone spends as much as possible in the bars, and shops and the encouragement for people to be doing something every moment they are on board, and then there are the more costly but luxurious smaller ships with an emphasis on all inclusive shore excursions, and super quality meals for every meal, plus more luxurious rooms, and then there are the more English style of cruises that 'hope to emulate' some of the American money spinning ideas. There is the classic English quieter cruise, where you can sit in a lounge and be gently asked by a polite waiter if you would like a drink, but not be constantly pestered to do so, and enjoy a full evening of ballroom dancing. Not all cruises suit all passengers but it is nice there is a choice so everyone can book the cruise style that suits them best. For some the booze cruise will be great - so long as they can drink and party and come back not remembering anything about the cruise so they 'must' have had a good time if they can't remember what happened. There are the family cruises where the kids can go wild jumping in and out of the pool, and making lots of noise as they race to the top of the water slides and shriek with delight as they shoot down to the pool. If that floats your boat then enjoy it to the maximum. For me however, I like quiet sophistication, and be able to relax whilst doing activities such as ballroom dancing, walking the promenade deck, having nice food with attentive waiters where the gentle background social chat can be heard but not at a level where the noise is so high that you can't have a conversation with the person opposite at the table - or the quiet end-of-evening drink at the top of the ship with a pianist playing and singing. Or on a warm sunny day sitting in the shade on deck having a drink or lunch, or playing table tennis, or finding the short tennis court and having a game of tennis to keep the arms working. That might not suit everyone but that's fine - and long may it be the case that there is a range of different types of cruise to suit the varying tastes people have for a holiday. Iona doesn't appear to be likely to have the kind of facilities or atmosphere that would suit us, but presumably the marketing gurus at P&O will have done their research and decided that there are enough people who want to pay to go on a cruise where the facilities on Iona will be what they want, and all the cabins on the ship will be filled for every voyage. But I will be happy if there are still ships offering the kind of atmosphere and facilities that I enjoy. If not then the land-based holidays are still there, and some fraction have similar kinds of facilities to those we prefer on the cruises we like.
  5. Yes good question - but I bet the ents manager will be asking the same question and also asking whether they could make more profit if they didn't cater for the ballroom dancers! Yes the other P&O ships do have dancing but there is an increasing tendency to make the ballroom 'more inclusive' for other passengers, so they take it out for 'pub quizzes' or more sequence dancing, and despite the fact that for a pub quiz the pub nearby then has much reduced custom and could easily be used to host the quiz as well as have ballroom dancing concurrently with that activity!
  6. The managers who make the decisions at head office may or may not ask other staff to look at the response of people on social media, and this forum is essentially one of the many social media. There are also groups on Facebook and other forums where passengers, and potential passengers, discuss similar matters. Which forums and which social media could be followed depends on whether the managers at Carnival, Cunard, P&O and other lines wish their staff to spend a long time reading the huge number of posts, some small fraction of which could be relevant to deciding policy for how the cruises and ships will be managed. Direct contact with the marketing departments, and/or the relevant manager concerned is much more likely to be given serious analysis.
  7. P-L-B : I doubt P&O managers are looking at this forum but your feedback about your cruises direct to P&O managers is something they may take fully into account when planning the activities on the future cruises. It is also the case that many ballroom dancers don't like to make a fuss - so if there isn't any dancing on future cruises they will simply book elsewhere!
  8. To answer your question about whether 'some' people go Specifically to dance..... the answer is an unequivocal YES. We are one such couple - we essentially go on a dancing holiday that happens to be on a cruise ship - yes there is the additional lovely atmosphere on board, and the fact that it's fabulous not having to drive or travel between your room, dining room and ballroom, but like many other couples who are ballroom dancers, dancing is a core part of our lives. We don't go on a cruise to have an occasional half hour dancing. We dance every week at home, usually several times per week, and we dance every evening when on a holiday, whether on a cruise or a land based dance holiday, of which there are increasing numbers to choose from. For us dancing gives us a pleasure that cannot be obtained by any other means and it is an ongoing desire to improve our technique, and learn new choreography. Dancing in total harmony with your partner, and losing your soul in beautiful music is such a pleasure that we want to do it all the time. It takes a lot of effort to become skilled at doing it, but the reward cannot be measured that you get in return for that hard work in the learning process. In addition dancing regularly keeps you fit, keeps you mind sharp, and also lets you become one of the large community of dancers who welcome you into a world of friendship that is really a pleasure to be part of. For us a holiday without dancing every evening we could not even imagine. Yes we love being able to enjoy the shore excursions, whether on organised trips or doing our own thing walking miles at nice port towns, and we enjoy the generally nice meals, and how the galley staff get thousands of meals out to the tables in a way generally better than most restaurants is a wonder to contemplate, and the opportunity to go theatre shows included in most cruises, as well as having a late night drink overloooking the dark sky, sea and occasionally other ships after an evening's dancing, is a real pleasure. But at the end of the day for us, if no dancing then no cruise and we will go on a land based dance holiday instead. Although those passengers who dance every night are not the majority of passengers they make up a significant steady core of people. In addition many more passengers come to watch the ballroom dancing, and often have a drink and make that part of the cruise entertainment. There are of course discos on many cruises - but that usually doesn't get too many people who come to be spectators - discos generally are full of people discoing but not many come to watch that. It is also the case that there is a steady number of people who will have their first go at a dance lesson on board - and then go on to learn more when they get back home at a local dance school - and end up becoming one of the future dancers. So how much people enjoy those lessons on board depend on how well the dance instructors are able to cater for both the beginners as well as those who have done dancing before at various levels. Some professional dance teachers can teach really clearly and split their time in a way that everyone present feels they are learning something, and enjoy the lessons so that even beginners can then get on the floor and start to enjoy ballroom and Latin dancing.
  9. I guess if you enjoy watching other people dance, and like the Strictly format, then going on Iona to watch the Strictly pros doing their thing in the Limelight Club (which is additional cost I believe?) then it will suit you. If you are a ballroom/Latin dancer who would enjoy spending 'some' of your cruise time watching Strictly people dancing, or chatting about their lives, but who also needs to spend a reasonable amount of time doing your own dancing, then perhaps the Iona format might not suit that well. We dance several times a week on land, and every night on a cruise, so for us Iona would not give us the experience of a holiday primarily focussed on our own dancing every night. Each to his/her own I guess....
  10. I would like to see the Page 40 - not received anything yet!
  11. Did anyone who is a dancer have any comments on the arrangements for ballroom and Latin dancing in the Queen's Room? Any comments on the music provided by the orchestra as well as the periods when there was recorded music? Yes NYE was superb, and the buffet after midnight utterly spectacular. Cudos to the chefs for their imaginative and creative ice, fruit and vegetable sculptures as well as the mighty wonderful array of foods.
  12. It would be very useful if Cunard communicated this to every passenger - and I for one was certainly not made aware of this!
  13. I don't know as this was discussed in a phone call - I have resisted logging in for a while due to the somewhat chaotic state that the Cunard login has seemed to be in for some time now. But it is entirely possible that there is a setting in your account details once you are logged in - anyway if that setting is switched off then you won't get the feedback questionnaires.
  14. Was anyone else on the QV Canaries/Madeira cruise just completed? It was a lovely atmosphere and I wondered if anyone on this group had any comments, good or bad, about their experience on this voyage?
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