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sfred

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Everything posted by sfred

  1. A nice recent increase in our port count totals. Thanks everyone! I've recorded them as: 651 Sibenik, Croatia 652 Olbia Sardinia, Italy 653 Tokyo, Japan 654 Conflict Islands, Papua New Guinea 655 Alotau, Papua New Guinea 656 Kiriwina, Papua New Guinea
  2. Tokyo is correct. In previous years, QE has used the Daikoku facility in Yokohama as its home base for Japan itineraries This year it is using the new terminal in Odaiba, much more convenient to central Tokyo, near the Rainbow bridge and on the Yurikamome transit line. Congratulations @Host Hattie and thanks @bluemarble for making it official for the game. By the way also, for our New York mates, Odaiba has a Statue of Liberty replica. It looks a little smaller than its NY counterpart.
  3. Here's a webcam view of a new port, on our unseen list. However, I'm not sure whether it will qualify for our game. The problem is that the cruise terminal, and the Cunard ship there, are hidden behind the buildings in the webcam view. I tried finding a different webcam, and also tried on two different days to see if I could catch a glimpse of the Cunard ship either arriving or departing the port between the buildings. My attempts were unsuccessful. So that leaves us with a webcam view that would show the ship, except that it doesn't. Anyway, hopefully there are enough clues in the photo to identify this new port. We can then decide whether this webcam shot qualifies for the game. Or perhaps someone who was aboard/embarking/or disembarking the ship will see this and post a better photo. I've actually had a client work meeting in the building in the centre-right of the photo. It was a few years ago, however, before the cruise terminal on the other side of the buildings was built.
  4. Wow - definitely a lucky guess. I had found a photo of wind turbine and church spire that had been posted by a British fellow on a WW1 history tour of the Ypres area. I don't know if it is the same turbine and spire in @sogne's photo, but it was the closest match I found, so I guessed the only major port in the area - Zeebrugge. @bluemarble's research that found Sint-Donatianuskerk looks likely from the shape of the spire.
  5. Unfortunately the fog has defeated me. I've tried to find the church or town hall in the lower left, but I don't have enough detail to get a good match. The best I've found is in the Ypres Belgium area, but clearly no Cunard ship has ever made it to Ypres. So without any foundation beyond geographic proximity, I'll take a wild guess of Zeebrugge??
  6. Thanks @NE John. Interesting video. It's always fun to see additional different aspects of a trip to compare to your own experiences. One day I hope logistics will work out for us to stay a night on QM in Long Beach.
  7. As @bluemarble says, this has been an amazing thread. The collection of photos submitted by the Cruise Critic community from all over the world is a great trip down memory lane from past voyages, or a source of inspiration for future trips. The photos cover 650 ports in 135 unique countries, speaking 55 unique languages. Some updated analytics: (What have the Romans ever done for us??)
  8. And of course the "famous mountain" is Mt. Fuji, or Fujisan as it is called in Japan. Unfortunate that it was so overcast and hazy for QE's arrival this morning. But that's not too unusual. Clear sitings of Fujisan are rare.
  9. Well done @bluemarble to have gotten this webcam shot entering port. I had made a diary note to look this morning, but was both too early and too late and I missed seeing the ship. I'll let others have a try, but for an additional hint the weather at this port has cleared just a little, and the view of the famous mountain is slightly better (or perhaps slightly worse without the benefit of the Cunard ship in the foreground).
  10. You get a coupon book with 6 (or 12) coupons. You can exchange the coupons for any bottle within the package you purchased (Captains or Commodores). All 6 or 12 of a single kind, 6 or 12 all different, or any combination in between. As @Millieloulou said, over time we often revert to 3 or 4 favourites, but occasionally try something new. Your sommelier will save any unconsumed portions for a future night.
  11. On my recent fantasy RMS Mauretania TA crossing, I went to the first class drawing room. It looked like this. I'm sure QA's will be very similar? 🙂
  12. I haven't had it go in that direction. I have had 3 or 4 voyages where it's gone the other way -- the sale price offer promised free gratuities, and then they appeared on my bill anyway on disembarkation day.
  13. Best wishes for your QV voyage @Jack E Dawson Our favourite Cunard ship is QM2 (it was also our first Cunard ship and I guess you always remember your first). However, given recent geographic proximity, we have been on QE the most number of nights. We've been on QV the least, but did do QV's 2020 South America voyage, just prior to the covid pause in operations, and two other shorter voyages in the Med and Australia. As others have said, physical differences between the two are very minor. Some differences I've noted during my early morning wanders around the decks: -- QE has a more extensive games area at the forward end of deck 11. -- QV's theatre is red, QE is blue. The side aisles on QE extend all the way to the stage. QV's aisles end several rows back so that the first several rows of seats extend the full width of the theatre. -- QVs roof over the deck 9 winter garden is a flat shape and used to retract (before being fixed shut). QE's is angled and was always fixed. The deck 9 pool area doors to the winter garden are in the centre on QE, and on the sides on QV. -- QE's voyage sales office is on deck 1 across from the pursurs desk. QV's is on deck 2 just aft from the queens room. -- QV's deck 9 aft pool is further forward than QE's, as a result of the formerly raked stern. -- QE has a Cafe Carinthia and a Midships Bar on decks 2 and 3, whereas QV has a Chart Room and a Midships Lounge. -- I've heard that QV has thicker steel plating to handle rough seas, but I've not been able to personally verify that.
  14. Very cute. Taylor the bear wasn't yet on QE only 2 weeks ago.
  15. Just the A lifts and staircase. Also the entrance to the bridge viewing area. Definitely no drinks/eatery area.
  16. There is. The portside door also opens into pool area, and if I recall correctly, that's also where there's a navigation chart hung on the bulkhead showing position, course, speed, etc.
  17. QE passed by Brisbane in the early morning today, 12 March, on her way northward. 18 knots at heading 357. We waved 'hello' but I don't think anyone onboard noticed. 🙂
  18. Thanks @rafinmd. So nice (and rare!) when you can get a perfectly cloud-free horizon for the sun and ocean to meet. That brief moment when the first sliver of sun comes out of or into the ocean is magical.
  19. Sorry, we didn't save any programs from our recent QE voyage. In general, there are... Insight lectures from featured speakers on a wide range of topics. On Sundays at sea, a religious service. Exercise and wellness classes in the gym or spa. Cooking demonstrations from the galley staff, showcasing a particular cuisine or technique. Music concerts. Trivia in the pub. Afternoon tea. Movies Evening entertainment show, usually in two sittings at 8p and 10p. Watercolor painting. Bridge and other cardgames. On some voyages, passenger chorus. I've probably forgotten some things. The challenge is fitting everything in and still finding time for a relaxing book, snooze, and seagazing. Bon voyage for your first time on Cunard.
  20. Looks like it's working again, as at 3p AEST anyway. It's @bazzaw who was hoping to check in, for QE in Tokyo. But yes, how nice would that be to take up QE residence! Or QM2. Or QV. I wonder if Cunard would cut me a deal? Perhaps one day...
  21. Offline for me too, as at 1pm AEST Queensland time.
  22. Quite tasty, we thought. Neither of us is very particular, and Cunard easily beats what we eat at home (with no washing up afterwards!). We saw many menu items repeated that we enjoyed from our 36night SF-Barcelona voyage last year, but nothing was repeated within this 14night voyage, and the variety and quality were good. We did Coriander for our Diamond alternative dining benefit, which is always a favourite. The captain and several senior officers were also in Coriander that night, at one of the large round tables at the aft end.
  23. It is tough to go back! 😀 Best wishes for Alaska. If you see any of the PG people I mentioned above, please say hello for us. They were great! Also, if not too much trouble, please have a look in the corridor outside the Deck 10 Commodore Club for the port plaques from our six maiden call ports. They hadn't been hung yet when we got off in Sydney. I think they will be with the other Oceania/Australia/NZ plaques on the starboard side. Thanks!
  24. Thanks @NE John - appreciate your kind words We were in PG on this voyage (our sweet spot for medium/longer trips). Pros (there are lots of them - I'll try to keep it to the big ones) PG service from our steward Glenn, maitre d' Stanley, assistant Lesandro, waiter Nell, assistant Alma, and sommelier Rajesh. It was an outstanding team of Cunard professionals who did a wonderful job from start to finish. We also went by to say hello to some familiar faces from past QE voyages who had moved to other areas -- maitre d' Sanjay and Joon who had moved to Britannia, and waiter Sanjoy who had moved to QG. Entertainment show Circa, who were aboard for three performances. They are Queensland based (circa.org.au) and are outstanding. One of the best evening shows that Mrs. sfred and I have seen on Cunard. Insight lectures from forensic dentist Dr. Judith Hinchliffe and New Zealand astronomer Dr. Chris Benton. They gave very interesting talks, and both were good public speakers. Port calls in Noumea and Suva. We had nice walking adventures, and found good restaurants and cafes for lunch and coffee. Our weather was great. No typhoons, which are always a threat this time of year in this area of the Pacific, and only one big afternoon thunderstorm in Suva, which happened after we had gotten back to the ship and was fun to watch from our balcony. Seas were calm except for our last afternoon and evening before arriving back in Sydney, when we got into the same waves which impacted QV on her Tasman crossing from NZ to Australia. For me it was fun - I like the ride - but Mrs. sfred prefers a more stable deck under her feet. Many nice sunrises with coffee. My favourite time of day when aboard. FInding the additional Mauretania photos scattered around QE, and imagining what a TA crossing would have like back in the early 1900s. Internet was fast and reliable throughout. I still wish Cunard would offer a 2 hour option to make the Diamond credit last longer, but that's a topic not specific to this voyage. We supplemented the ship internet with mobile phone roaming on port days. Could have been a little better Port calls in Lifou and Luganville, new ports for Cunard and QE. Getting to things worth seeing were very long walks and there wasn't much in the areas around the ship. This isn't Cunard's fault - they had many excursions on offer. It's just that our usual port day routine is to do our own thing and explore on foot. This wasn't a practical strategy in these ports. Note to self - organise a Cunard excursion when in more remote places. We didn't go to any of the Cunard singer/dancer evening shows. We've seen them all before several times. I guess we've been aboard too often! 🙂 Cunard might consider a more frequent refresh of these shows. Cons None. We had a wonderful time. Let me know any questions - happy to expand on any further items.
  25. Thanks @Wonky. I think I can see us on our balcony in the first photo. 🙂
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