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richard_london's Achievements

Cool Cruiser

Cool Cruiser (2/15)

  1. She sailed around in circles for a bit, for a moment I thought she wasn't going to go but maybe just testing compass and steering. But she's heading north now at a very sedate 7 knots and coming up on Aberdeen.
  2. She's on her way to Belfast. First time she'll have been at sea since the pandemic. Such a shame FOCL disposed of her.
  3. The latest render from this week (with the slot machines in the background) looks like the casino bar, seems very low. And looking back through all the previous renders they do give that impression. Because this HAL class of ships that the QA is based upon have a lot more superstructure compared to the QV and QE, I wonder if they have reduced the height of each deck for stability purposes? I am due on the maiden voyage, if I remember I will take a tape measure and the same on my next QV voyage to see if there is a difference.
  4. I phoned today and spoke to the lady on the phone about the error messages: "Sorry, we are unable to process your booking at the moment." "Payment has failed due to package unavailability." She wasn't sure why it was displaying these as there was availability on the cruises in question but said she would feed back the problems I had. So I am none the wiser.
  5. Hi, yes I tried with different browsers on the computer and also on my phone to no avail. Never had this ever before and I'm platinum in CWC. Very strange. Thanks for the advice.
  6. Okay, thank you for sharing too. I will have to find out tomorrow what is going I on, not sure why I am affected this way. I appreciate the information.
  7. I tried that cruise with ocean view and balcony but couldn't book those. Interesting you were able to book an inside. Thank you for the information. I will be calling them tomorrow.
  8. May I ask which cruise it was and what grade of cabin you booked, if you don't mind sharing publicly?
  9. Is this on the Queen Anne, or one of the other ships?
  10. Trying to book single occupancy on the Queen Anne doesn't look possible, is anyone else experiencing this problem? Have tried multiple cruise options and I can book, but when I click o confirm I get one of two messages: "Sorry, we are unable to process your booking at the moment." "Payment has failed due to package unavailability." But i've tried again a number of hours later and the cabins are still available. It is like Cunard are blocking solo passengers on the QA. Applied when I tried Ocean View and Balcony cabins, so it affects different grades. Disappointed and slightly angry to be honest.
  11. Your insights make interesting reading as I find it difficult to decipher the quarterly reports, so thank you. Whilst every other cruise company seems to be on the up FOCL seem to be stagnating. I see the new 2025/26 intineraries go on sale next week, so I will be interested to see in the Balmoral is sailing for another 12 months. Hopefully the new cruises will be more popular.
  12. It's official, Braemar will become the "Villa Vie Odyssey". https://www.maritime-executive.com/article/startup-agrees-to-buy-fred-olsen-s-braemar-for-3-5-year-world-cruise Also, the website has been updated: https://villavieresidences.com/meet-the-ship There is a video which combines CGI artists impressions and old footage of the Braemar. Some of the video clips used are of poor quality, so it looks like they haven't shot this specifically for this purpose but used clips in the public domain. Apparently she will be setting sail on 15th May 2024. FOCL will hand her over at the end of Feburary. So that's two months to reactivate her and refit all the cabins? Is that posssible?
  13. Christmas 2022 was due to issues with lifeboats that meant she failed her Passenger Ship Safety Certificate renewal. I had a vague recollection of something prior to that so did some digging around online. Turns out in May 2022 she was detained by the MCA at Tilbury with 22 deficiencies and two were grounds for detention (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/foreign-flagged-ships-detained-in-the-uk-during-may-2022-under-paris-mou). It seems like every time there is a mandatory inspection she needs to maintain her ceritification something crops up. If you go on the Lloyds Register site (https://www.lr.org/en/about-us/who-we-are/lr-ships-in-class/) and put in the details 8521232 or AMBIENCE in the search boxes you can see her certification status. From what I can make out, she has an overdue survey for "Exhaust Gs Economiser" from November 2023 and another 8 surveys that need to be completed by 10th Janaury 2024. So I guess one of these surveys threw up this latest problem, but there could have been others that Ambasssador have chosen not to publicise. According to the notes section she has four outstanding actions that were meant to be done in January related to deck plating, tanktop, her port anchor and forward mooring station. You can do a forward look and see what over surveys she has coming up and there are so many! Sadly I would agree, and also expect her to have more issues at some of these later surveys.
  14. It looks like the future for the Braemar as a residence at sea is confirmed following this story: https://cruiseindustrynews.com/cruise-news/2023/11/villa-vie-to-announce-ship-purchase-agreement-in-december/ The Villa Vie Residences website has been updated with ship plans and rooms renders. The ship profile clearly is the Braemar and the deck plans are lifted from FO originals. From the initial profile image it looks like she will be going back to a light hull colour. https://booking.villavieresidences.com/ship-and-listing There are some interesting renders of how the cabins will look. It helps you imagine how a refitted Braemar could have looked in service with FO, but sadly that just remains a dream. We've seen a number of plans for residences at sea come and go (now Ambassador's Ambience was going to be the Satoshi and more recently Aida's AIDAuara was going to become Life at Sea), so it will be interesting to see if this gets off the ground. I say that because I recall the Miray (behind Life at Sea) originally tried to use the Braemar's sister ship, MV Gemini (https://www.cruisecritic.co.uk/news/worlds-first-three-year-cruise-runs-into-rough-waters-executive-team-parts-ways ) but pulled out of using that ship because it would be unsuitable for the purpose. I know the Braemar was lengthened by FO but I wonder if she is viable as a permanent residence at sea. Anyway, for those who loved the Braemar and are interested, these are the changes I could seem compared to the old FO deck plans: 2 deck - Community storage added 3 deck - Culinary centre replaces arts and craft room 4 deck - Thistle Restaurant becomes Marina Diner 5 deck - Neptune Lounge becomes Theatre, Morning Light Pub becomes the Morning Light Club, Library remains, networking area replaces gaming tables, meeting areas replaces Bookmark Cafe, shops, photo gallery and guest services, Coral Club becomes Club 6 deck - Palms Cafe and Grill becomes Wave Cafe 7 deck - no significant changes 8 deck - Observatory becomes Villa Vie Lounge, Marquee Bar becomes Sun Bar, Grampian Restaurant becomes Gourmet Restaurant
  15. Yes, Southampton is best with me, but the Balmoral is doing very little in 2024 so I've booked one of the already announced 2025 cruises. Seems an awfully long way off, I just hope she is still in the fleet by then.
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