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Everything posted by Jim_P

  1. Has anyone heard any updates about RC's South Pacific private island (Perfect Day at Lelepe)? I guess logic says it will be canned, but what a shame.
  2. Wifi has always been available for me as soon as I've boarded.
  3. The same thing happened during the Australian leg of the world voyage a few months ago. They just shut everything down and drifted until about 6am and told us that they had to reset the electrical systems.
  4. They're just generic brand questions on a survey made by a third party, that question has been in it for at least the last few years that I've done the survey. It's pretty much the same questions on surveys I've done on cruises on other lines.
  5. I read somewhere that by 2026 Australian cruising capacity will have reduced by 30%. Worse still is that that particular report didn't even include the loss of Cunard and Virgin, so it's even more than that. Given the popularity of cruising in Australia which has only been growing, much higher prices and less deals are inevitable.
  6. Having been on both the QM2 and QE in the past few months I have to say that in terms of service Cunard definitely needs to lift their game and from what I can see its definitely down to simply a lack of staff and the staff they do have being overworked. Thats not to say it had any real negative impact on my cruise, I still prefer to cruise with Cunard than anyone else and have rebooked two more cruises in the future and would certainly not suggest anyone not go on Cunard because of it, it was more of an annoyance but one that isnt really acceptable for a line that advertises its quality of service so hard. On both the QM2 and QE getting any drink service in the buffet didn't happen, not once on either ship. The only way I could have a drink with my meal was to go to a bar first and take it with me. The MDR wasn't much better, usually I'd have to tell my waiter I wanted a drink and he'd find a drink waiter. I also noticed in the outdoor areas there was usually no drinks waiters walking around, unlike when I'd been on the QM2 a year prior and there always seemed to be a few drinks waiters walking around areas like the pools. Its kind of odd, since drinks are such a big earner for cruise lines, usually there are drink waiters everywhere on cruise ships.
  7. Not in my experience. $200 OBC for a $6000 cruise and the price otherwise the same as was on the website. Only real advantage was a low flat rate deposit for every cruise ($300).
  8. I agree. The port fee thing was silly, per person it didn't equate to much, we already pay for the port fees with our fare, they could have added the difference to every fare and nobody would have noticed. Likewise Virgin using the Red Sea as an excuse to pull out of Australia, which is ridiculous since they could easily just do a repositioning cruise coming the other way from the US like most of the other cruise lines. I think it comes down to the weak Australian dollar on top of the cost of living crisis leading to people spending less on board. The issues with NZ as well as the shortage of passenger terminals in Sydney also probably helped them make the decision that we just aren't worth it.
  9. The horrible Egyptian theme was the Carnival Spirit. I remember it well, being my first time on a Carnival cruise.
  10. The Australian cruise industry certainly seems to be dying a fast death. It was only a couple of years ago that all the cruise lines were making big plans for Australia. Since then we've had Cunard pull out of the region, Virgin pull out, Princess and RC reducing their fleet here and now we have Carnival and P&O merging to make a smaller fleet. Sad times for cruisers.
  11. I take my own coffee on board for my cabin. I dont like the stuff they have in the sachets. The room service coffee isnt great either (but the hot chocolate is amazing!). To get a good coffee you need to go to Sir Samuels or the Corinthia lounge. They do takeaway cups too. You can ask for caramel, vanilla, almond and gingerbread flavor to be added to your coffee in the lounges. I dont know about coconut. Its not on the menu, but that doesnt mean they dont have it if you ask.
  12. I remember the first time I was on the QM2. I noticed all the staff keeping to the right so I thought that's how it must be so I was doing that. I was walking to my cabin and an older British woman was coming the other way. She rolled her eyes at me and says "you must be American". So I've been confused ever since šŸ˜„
  13. I dont mean to hijack the OP's thread, but I have a small query about Cunard etiquette that after four cruises on Cunard I'm still not completely sure of - when walking in passageways, what is the correct side to pass someone? Im Australian and its never been a question I've had on Australian based ships, everyone just keeps to the left, the way you would when driving. I assumed it would be the same on an English line, however there always seems to be a bit of confusion there. I have noticed that the staff always keep to the right, while most (but not all) of the passengers tend to keep to the left, which often leads to a lot of dodging and weaving in busy areas like the buffet when there's staff walking around with trays. I also did the behind the scenes tour and we were told to strictly keep to the right like the crew when walking through the working areas of the ship.
  14. Ive also heard that its actually a requirement by New Caledonia that ships going to the other islands have to stop at Noumea.
  15. Seems standard here in Australia anyway as far as im aware. The TA collects your money (and often have payment plans or payment methods that the cruiselines don't have). Always how it's been done as far as I'm aware.
  16. Yes, Cunard has this reputation of being classist and having areas where locked away from those in cheaper cabins when they're actually the least classist ship I've ever been on, none of that "ship within a ship" nonsense other cruise lines are embracing. Grills passengers have a few small private areas, which is fair enough for what Grills cabins cost, but most areas of the ships are open to all.
  17. I fully sympathize with your social anxiety - I suffer it pretty badly too. But the QM2 had been something I'd wanted to do since I was a teenager. In 2023 I finally decided to do it and did it on my own, and I loved every minute of it. Since then I have been on again and have two more trips booked for the future. Thats the great thing about cruises - you can be as social as you want. If you want to simply do your own thing and keep to yourself its easy. Its particularly easy on ships like Cunard which arent party boats (other cruise lines have much more focus on group activities). Its easy on a ship like QM2 to just find your own space, or attend activities like talks that dont require social interaction. I'd also recommend the Queen Mary 2 over the other ships in the line as it is a much bigger ship and a lot easier to find your own space. I too am not big on dressing up, but its very easy to stick to Cunard's dress code. People thnk its a lot more than it actually is. While some people love the opportunity to fully go to town, a lot of others just keep it simple. For men, a simple suit jacket, collared shirt and nice pants and dress shoes will get you through the evenings no problem. For women pretty much any nice dress or pant suit or blouse will be fine. So long as you are not wearing jeans, sneakers and a T shirt you'll basically be fine (though they are of course fine during the day). And there's still venues of the ship at night where you can go casual if you want, like the buffet and pub. The Britannia Restaurant is the main dining room on Cunard - and its a stunning venue with great food and service. You absolutely do not need to be in a Grills suite. Also getting back to your social anxiety - the larger Britannia restaurant would be far better than in a smaller, more intimate Grills restaurant with Grills passengers, some of whom can be a little on the snobbish and judgmental side. Grills passengers have a few small areas exclusive to them, but you really wont notice them, 95% of the ship is open to everyone. All the bars, coffee shops, venues etc are open to all.
  18. Noumea is certainly no loss imo, I had been planning on just staying onboard and enjoying a less crowded ship. I just hope they don't change the itinerary to QLD or Tasmania.
  19. Im off to Noumea on the 11th of next month, so the same week as the election. Should be interesting..
  20. Every TA I've used has charged me themselves, not the cruise line. Its only when I've booked directly with Cunard that "carnival corp" shows on my card.
  21. Very strict bio-security laws that have seen a lot of ships not turned away (including Princess and Cunard) for not passing the hull inspection on entry. Ships need to have their hulls cleaned before entering NZ and there's just not the infrastructure there to make that viable. They've tried using diving teams in the open ocean before entering NZ, but thats dependent on ocean conditions and availability.
  22. I think the New Zealand situation has really screwed us in Australia. I know thats the reason Cunard pulled out of the region completely (I was told that by the Captain of the Queen Elizabeth). Its no surprise to me to see other Carnival owned lines also reducing their presence here. Theres also been issues with some of the pacific islands closing themselves to cruise ships. I doubt its anything to do with demand, the Australian cruise industry is one of the fastest growing in the world and all the ships are sailing at capacity. I think its more to do with the lack of cruise itineraries in this part of the world.
  23. I can't help you with the hours, but you are close to the fitness center, not under it. You are kind of under where near the entrance to it would be and the relaxation lounge area of the spa.
  24. It was never full when I was on the QE. From what I saw it was mostly being used as a meeting point for people before going into the buffet. People hardly ever seemed to be using the bar. It's completely devoid of atmosphere. Meanwhile the Corinthia Cafe is always full.
  25. They should ditch the Winter Garden on the QE and QV too. Pointless areas. Turn it into a Corinthia Lounge and turn the existing Corinthia Cafe into a Sir Samuels.
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