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Everything posted by SargassoPirate

  1. Call it smart attire, and indeed it looks to me like the example photos meet the requirement for any evening except gala nights. Thanks for clarifying.
  2. And here are the two examples of what Cunard considers Gala dress for men.
  3. Here are the two examples of what Cunard considers formal wear for men. These are screenshots from the Cunard website.
  4. While that photo was indeed taken on a Princess Cruise, it is the same outfit that I wore on the QM2 crossing that I described. Here is the dress "code" language on the Cunard website. According to the photos given as examples of formal wear, I was over-dressed for formal nights, and for the Gala evenings I did not accept their invitation to go beyond that. I guess I could've packet a cravat. As I said, the MD had no problem with my attire. "During the day, feel free to relax and dress as you please in all areas of the ship. Then as the sun goes down, the style goes up. Every night on board, we ask that you wear formal attire in most of our bars, restaurants, and entertainment venues. On our much-loved Gala evenings, which are the highlight of the voyage for many, we invite you to dress to impress as the celebratory atmosphere and sense of occasion is heightened across the ship. There are two or three of these special Gala evenings for every seven days of your voyage. Of course, if you prefer to spend your evenings in more relaxed attire, a selection of casual dining and entertainment venues are always available for your enjoyment" https://www.cunard.com/en-us/the-cunard-experience/what-to-pack The photo below is the example on Cunard's website of formal wear.
  5. I rose before dawn every day and watched the sunrise from the Sky View Bar aft of the Horizon Court. One of life's little pleasures.
  6. Here is the outfit I wore on the QM2 after travelling around Europe on land by bus and train for two months. I did not pack and haul "formal" wear for the cruise from Hamburg to NYC, but I did take a black sport coat, a pair of black slacks in addition to other clothes that I could wear on land. To dress up for dinner, I wore my sport coat over a black T-shirt, black slacks, a pair of all black sneakers, and slipped a black pocket square into the breast pocket of my sport coat. I'm not sure if the fashion police approved, but the maitre d did, and he was very interested in my adventures on land. The sport coat adds 20 ounces to my luggage. Not sure what the black slacks weigh. You can't blame airline baggage fees for not dressing up.
  7. Thanks for posting that. The P&O website was a bit wonky today and I couldn't find the dress code info. This was another one of my formal night ensembles. I guess I would need to tie a rag around my neck in order to meet the code. This was my black sport coat, black slacks, a black T-shirt, and a black pocket square. I've worn this on Cunard after traveling for two months in Europe prior to the cruise, have asked the maitre d if it was OK, and have never even raised an eyebrow. There's always the guy who shows up on chinos and s shirt with no tie or jacket and still gets seated in the MDR. I can always pack a black shirt and black tie if it will ruin somebody else's cruise on P&O.
  8. I'm still in the witness protection program so I am not allowed to show my face because of the facial recognition technology employed by my adversaries. 👍 That's also my story when someone is overly inquisitive about what I do when they are obviously trying to discern if I really belong in steerage.😄
  9. I like to travel as light as possible, especially when combining a cruise with some time on land before or after. I pack things that can do double duty while traveling. You can't blame not wanting to get dressed up for dinner on airline luggage fees. My black sport coat weighs 20 ounces. It is really the only addition to my luggage for formal nights. I pair the jacket with a pair of black trousers and then slip on a nice T-shirt, and slip a matching pocket square into the jacket breast pocket. One evening on my most recent cruise on Princess, I wore the black sport coat, black trousers, a bright red T-shirt with a bright red pocket square. In one of the lounges, two different women at two different times commented on how sharp I looked and how they wished their husbands like to dress up. I shared my secret with them, probably to the dismay of their husbands. And, I have never been turned away or felt out of place on any cruise line - including Cunard, Princess, and Celebrity. Do you think I will pass muster on an upcoming cruise on the Aurora?
  10. There is no library, but some passengers drop off used books in the back of the internet cafe where there are a few board games stacked. There is no bar soap, so if you don't care for liquid bath soap from the dispenser in the shower, bring your own soap. For any of the roving musicians, the best sound is in the Princess Live or Take Five. Other venues, such as the Crown Grill Lounge or the Piazza has too many people talking and foot traffic right through the middle of the seating area. If you enjoy the production shows (I don't - too overamplified) get to the theater at least 30-45 minutes early to get a seat in your preferred area. My favorite quiet spot to read was the Crown Grill Lounge or the aft "promenade" deck chairs. Do a walk around of the various stations in the Horizon Court before you select what you want. There is quite a variety available. The International Cafe does Monkey Bread about once a week. Make friends with the servers there and they'll let you know when it will be served - and get there early for it. The coffee in the Horizon Court was much better with the new machines that use instant coffee powder instead of the syrup. The machines are high maintenance though, so you might have to grab a mug and try several to find one that is working. The most consistent was the coffee and hot chocolate machines at the Sea View Cafe aft of the Horizon Court. If you are a chair hog, bring some big clips to fasten your towel to the lounger and the crew will not touch it all day. (Sarcasm alert). Do not use a paperback to help reserve your spot since, with no library, paperbacks are a hot commodity. Avoid using any coffee mugs or juice tumblers that you find on the table in the Horizon Court. They remain on the tables until actually used, so they sit there for passengers to handle, sneeze on, cough on, or who knows what. It's a beautiful ship.
  11. I don't hestitate to speak up to idiot passengers who pick through chips, rolls, cookies or anything else. That's what the tongs are for. I also notify staff that someone just used their hands to pick through some food. It' also a good idea to carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer and use it after touching the tongs and other items and just before I eat.
  12. Well, I tried the Altoid tin as a shield for the medallion and it worked. I could walk right up to my door and even wave the tin around the door lock and the screen and nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. I did use the medallion for check in at the pier and from the time I stepped out of my shuttle until I walked onto the ship was 16 minutes - not that it's a race to get on board. I carried the medallion in my pocket with the plastic holder just as I would a cruise card. It would unlock my door as I approached. I used it as a cruise card to pay for a beverage in the evenings. Other than that, I did not use it for any of the whiz bang features. Despite my misgivings about the technology, it functioned like a cruise card for me so I'm fine with it.
  13. I have an upcoming cruise on the Sky. Medallions arrived and everything looks good on the app. THEN today I receive an email asking me to take a short survey about Princess and my upcoming cruise on the Crown. I think the techno wizards are at work again. Sometimes, one should leave well enough alone. Reminds me of the story of a large corporation's server room. Inside were a man and a dog. The man was there to feed the dog. The dog was there to bite the man if he tried to touch anything. Peace and smooth sailing.
  14. I grab a coffee mug and a spoon to use for my soft serve. Don't have to worry about the ice cream melting if I eat it slowly.
  15. I had a similar situation several years ago. I could walk ok, but standing for any extended time was painful. I used a wheelchair throughout the check in process and once we allowed to board, I walked right on with no trouble. I'm sure there were some wondering about my miracle cure.
  16. I let the agents from my big box warehouse club's travel department deal with the cruise lines. If the agent doesn't get through in a reasonable amount of time, they will ask if it's ok to call me back later. Never had a problem. I also get some very good OBCs from them as well.
  17. I feel your pain. When we were younger and more naive cruisers, we were open to upgrades thinking we were getting a good deal. You only have to find yourself in a higher category right above to boomety boomety nightclub to realize the cruise line's idea of an upgrade may not match yours. Nowadays, I spend a lot of time picking which side of the ship so that She Who Must Be Obeyed will have a sunny balcony, and so that there are passenger cabins above, below, and across the hall. Once I've locked in the room for us, I always have the booking marked "No Upgrades". Maybe Cunard can move you up another category or two and get a more desirable cabin. Good Luck!
  18. Setting a goal. That is the key. When I retired, I sat down and started my so-called "bucket list" of things to do and places to go with my gift of time. 15 years into retirement and I will be doing a world cruise in 2022, so I'm still working on the list. Friends and neighbors of our same socio-economic standard sometimes wonder out loud about how we are able to travel so much. What they don't see is that for our entire working lives we lived below our means and saved, saved, saved, for retirement. Something else they don't notice is our 15 year old truck that I have meticulously maintained so that it will last another 15. And, we only eat out about once every two weeks. It's all about your goals and priorities. We don't spend money to buy things we don't need to impress people we don't know - although the guys at the auto parts store are starting to notice my "classic" truck.
  19. I always say you've gotta be somewhere, so why not on a cruise? My record single cruise so far was a 49 night cruise around the Horn of South America. I now have a 99 night world cruise booked. She Who Must Be Obeyed does not like to be on a cruise much more than 30 days or so, such as a transpacific back from Australia, so when I did the around the Horn cruise I went with a brother and some friends. So far, it's just me on the world cruise. We have a pact that we will not have regrets about things we wished we had done but didn't. So far, it's working out.
  20. Love that term - brandish.☠️ And once you are on the ship, you can brandish a steak knife from the MDR! 😉 I carry a small Swiss Army knife with scissors and a cork screw, plus a small leatherman, in my small tool kit that goes in my checked luggage. It also contains a small tube of super glue, a small roll of duct tape, and a small tube of WD40. If it moves and is not supposed to - duct tape. If it doesn't move and is supposed to - WD40. Just an old Boy Scout being prepared.
  21. You are correct, except when it comes to cruise lines. It's all about money. If a space or activity is not producing revenue, it is eliminated. Love your avatar, by the way.
  22. Perhaps if they would start using the Medallion to combat chair hogs, I would see a value. Require a medallion to check out a towel and then they could track where the chair hog built a nest (towel, flip flop, magazine/paperback) and compare that to the chair hog's location. Build a chair hog nest and go ashore? Bingo. It's gone. Build a chair hog nest and then go to the MDR for breakfast? Bingo. It's gone. Now that would enhance everyone's cruise except the chair hog - and they are inconsiderates anyway.
  23. Think about it. A church service produces no revenue for the cruise line. There is no incentive for them to provide any regular clergy or services.
  24. I'm thinking it'll work. I'll check back in after I try it later this month. It may be easier to just request a cruise card. The whole thing seems like whiz bang techno program for the sake of techno. Now that Princess has invested millions in the Medallion, I'm wondering if anyone is doing a cost-benefit analysis from the cruise line's standpoint, or is it another case of "The Emporer's New Clothes"?
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