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About TheOldBear

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  1. In Brooklyn, the ship must be “zeroed out” with all passengers off, before embarkation can commence. Passengers in transit that do not want to visit NYC are provided with a lounge in the terminal. After a short wait, they can go right on board.
  2. Her Majesty’s Customs usually has an agent on board the eastbound crossing, so all the paperwork is completed before arrival. Back in 2017, my passport acquired its first stamp on the third day of the crossing. When QM2 arrives in Southampton, the ship is pre-cleared, and in-transit passengers can walk right off. Your ships card is the ID needed to re board. Passport stamps seem to be electronic these days, so last year there were no stamps (Southampton, Hamburg, LeHavre were the ports). We have not taken ship’s excursions in Southampton. We have used Uber and the Cunard shuttle bus for minor shopping, and to visit a pub. Westbound, US Customs does not put an agent on board, so everyone needs to go through the customs/immigration line in Brooklyn. We find it worthwhile to engage a porter to get us through the line faster, even if we can manage our own stuff.
  3. While it is true that antibody production is short lived, cellular immunity provides the 'memory' for the immune system. For examples see https://immunology.sciencemag.org/content/5/49/eabd6160 There also appears to be some limited evidence that prior infection with SARS-COV-1 or one of the common cold's four known corona virus also offers cellular immunity 'memory' A couple of the vaccine candidates [Oxford, J&J, likely others] were looking for a cellular immunity response, starting from after the phase one trial. [phase 1=does it hurt? ; phase 2=does it do anything? ; phase 3=is it better than doing nothing?]
  4. Looks like 'mid aft' is just between the C and D stairways/elevators.
  5. Last year, on the eastbound crossing, there was bow tie instruction before the first formal night. This was mentioned in the daily program, but was not an official Cunard event - instead a passenger arranged the session. About sixty folks attended the session in one of the tender lounges on deck one. This is something that Cunard should be offering, but the onboard shops do not even sell bow ties (other than pre tied ones)
  6. You may want to look at the archived Q&A session on the Cruise/Travel Insurance page. A couple of the travel insurance sites [TripInsuranceStore; InsureMyTrip] offer side by side policy comparisons, definitions of terms used by the policies and other helpful features. I compared on TripInsuranceStore their available policies vs 'CunardCare' and decided to go with a policy purchased via the store. Much better medivac coverage, 'primary' for medical coverage [avoids needing to send paperwork to Cigna where it is rejected 100% of the time] for not much price difference.
  7. First, you need to edit QE2 to QM2 😉 A dark suit and tie is fine for formal (now called “gala” nights. A jacket, with optional tie is needed for other nights. Each seven day crossing will have three formal nights. Likely fewer for the Norway leg. There are places where casual is ok - the Kings Court buffet, the adjacent Carthinia lounge, the Golden Lion pub and the casino. The G32 nightclub is also one of the casual venues, with access through the Queens Room - where the dress code is in place, along with any evening theme.
  8. Need to check with my $UN_NAMED_TRAVEL_AGENT if this is a better deal than my current booking [less paper onboard credit, but gratuities included] and if its possible to switch
  9. We have done two transatlantic round trips [2017 & 2019] with a third planned for 2021. On our 2017 cruise [M733B, for those keeping score at home 🙂 ], the westbound crossing encountered strong winds [Force 11] and large waves from a tropical storm. For the most part, the ride was smooth - there was a period where the spa pool was unavailable, but that may have been due to other issues [large piece of the pool overhead needed repair on the eastbound leg]. I have read reports, and watched some video clips filmed aboard QM2 in Force 12/Hurricane winds - and the ship handled the weather gracefully. We don't avoid boisterous weather, so we typically will schedule crossings in the early autumn. The QM2 round trips fit our schedule, and lets us avoid air travel and hotel stays. [Only need to unpack once] For ports, the round trips have multiple port days between the crossings, but the ship itself is our main attraction.
  10. Anthony Inglis with the English National Symphony - on eastbound QM 2 crossings in 2017 & 2019 [and again in 2021 if things go as planned].
  11. From what I recall reading, there are several 'families' of virus that produce the common cold - rhino virus, corona virus, and something called 'RSV' [ see https://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/common_cold_causes as an example] About 20% of colds are attributed to corona virus - with four common strains [ https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/types.html ]. Looks like SARS-COV-2 may be come a fifth common strain. [Again, from what I recall reading, the corona virus 'D' strain caused a death rate comparable to a bad flu year when it was first encountered]
  12. From what I have seen, the QM2 sails under the Verrazano Narrows Bridge before 6AM, and docks before 7. (Next crossing, I'll try to be awake for the arrival) Self disembarkation is available as soon as customs officials are ready in the terminal [before 8]. Once on board, air travelers can schedule airport transfers and their disembarkation time is scheduled to match. With Customs, NYC traffic & airport security theatre - I would think 1PM would be the earliest departure at LGA or JFK, possibly later at EWR [Newark]. Have you looked at booking your flight(s) via Cunard? Note, we are in driving distance to Brooklyn, so have never planned on air travel before/after the cruise.
  13. The Imposters - Stan Tucci, 1998
  14. I don't think I would want to depend on Russian or Chinese sourced vaccines. If its ready now, there hasn't been time for phase three trials tp complete. US and UK sourced vaccines are at best only a few weeks into phase three.
  15. Last years transatlantic round trip [Brooklyn - Hamburg - Brooklyn] was counted by Cunard as a single 'voyage', but it could have been booked as 4 separate cruises [Brooklyn - Southampton, Southampton - Hamburg, Hamburg - Southampton, Southampton -LeHavre-Brooklyn] Oddly the spa concession treated our round trip as two separate bookings, had to get the pursers office involved so we could use the spa days we paid for on the return trip.
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