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About bluemarble

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  1. Thanks for that. I know the one time I actually booked a voyage on the new Cunard US website, I was surprised that I was presented with the options to select my dining preferences (seating and table size) after I had completed submitting payment of the deposit amount. I don't recall seeing the option for specifying an upgrade preference at that point although I may have forgotten about it, or perhaps they have added that functionality in the year or so since I made that booking.
  2. Interesting to hear you have found a place to "tick no upgrade" on the Cunard website (I assume the Cunard UK website). Is this during the booking process after you have submitted payment for the deposit amount? Or is it somewhere in the UK version of the Voyage Personaliser/My Cunard? Or somewhere else? I've never seen that functionality on the Cunard US website (although it's certainly possible I've managed to miss it). There's only so much I can look at on the Cunard UK website without actually making a UK booking.
  3. Just to expand on what navybankerteacher has already stated... Voyage M019: Jun 21-29, 2020 Westbound Crossing includes a stop in Le Havre on day 2. Voyage M123C: Jul 24-Aug 1, 2021 Westbound Crossing includes a stop in Le Havre on day 2. Voyage M203: Jan 10-18, 2022: Westbound crossing is the first segment of the QM2 2022 world/exotic voyage. Voyage M207: Mar 14-22, 2022: Eastbound crossing is the final segment of the QM2 2022 world/exotic voyage. My theory is that those last two crossings are scheduled for eight nights to help extend the length of the QM2 2022 "Caribbean And South America" world/exotic voyage. Even with those two extra nights, that voyage is only 71 nights round trip from Southampton which is relatively short by conventional world voyage standards.
  4. Probably best not to link the date when shore excursions are available to the final payment date since the final payment date is changing in the US from 90 days to 120 days prior to departure for voyages after the 2020 world voyages now in progress. The date Cunard shore excursions become available to book has been reported on this forum to vary quite widely from voyage to voyage. The standard answer from Cunard is "Shore excursions and prices for your particular voyage are available to view by logging onto your Voyage Personaliser or My Cunard approximately 12 weeks prior to travel." That's approximately the date (or a couple weeks before that) when I've seen Cunard shore excursions become available recently on my past voyages. As far as I know, Cunard does not use dynamic pricing for shore excursions. At least I've never noticed the prices changing after they are first posted. I have heard they can cost more if you wait to book on board though. Of course it will only take one counter example from someone who has seen shore excursion prices change in the voyage personaliser to prove me wrong on that point.
  5. I have run some stats to compare the number of gala evenings previously published in the 2019 schedules to what we now have so far for 2020. Here's what I've come up with comparing comparable dates for both years (removing the upcoming 22 dry dock dates for QM2 and only comparing through the end dates on the new QE and QV schedules). An encouraging trend for those who like the formality of Cunard. QM2: Jan 1-Nov 5 & Nov 28-Dec 31, 2019 = 33.8% Gala evenings QM2: Jan 1-Nov 5 & Nov 28-Dec 31, 2020 = 35.2% Gala evenings QE: Jan 1-Nov 24, 2019 = 24.1% Gala evenings QE: Jan 1-Nov 24, 2020 = 28.6% Gala evenings QV: Jan 1-Dec 23, 2019 = 25.8% Gala evenings QV: Jan 1-Dec 23, 2020 = 30.2% Gala evenings
  6. Good timing for this question. I see today that new dress code and theme schedules have been posted. They must have been posted within the last day or two. Here are the links to the latest schedules. QE: https://carnivaluk.metafaq.com/resources/carnivaluk/life-on-board/QE_2020_dress_code.pdf QM2: https://carnivaluk.metafaq.com/resources/carnivaluk/life-on-board/QM2_2020_dress_code.pdf QV: https://carnivaluk.metafaq.com/resources/carnivaluk/life-on-board/QV_2020_dress_code.pdf
  7. The terms and conditions on each of the packages, including the non-alcoholic drinks packages, state that each guest in the same stateroom must purchase the package. For the alcoholic drinks package (the "Beer, Wines & Spirits" package), the terms and conditions state "Each adult assigned to the same stateroom must purchase the same Drinks Option." For the basic soda package (the "Soft Drinks" package), the terms and conditions state "Each guest assigned to the same stateroom, with the exception of infants aged 3 years and under, must purchase the same Drinks Option."
  8. The terms and conditions on each of the drinks packages, including the non-alcoholic drinks packages, state "There is a minimum 10 minute wait time between ordering drinks." I have only ever purchased the basic Soft Drinks package and I can tell you that the 10 minute restriction has not been enforced in practice when I was particularly thirsty and ordered two sodas within about five minutes of each other. The bartender didn't scan my card for the second soda tough, so maybe he was bending the rules for me in that case. Since the restriction is stated in the terms and conditions of each of the packages it is not confined to only alcoholic beverages.
  9. After comparing the previous terms and conditions for the "Beers, Wines & Spirits" package that I downloaded in December 2018 to the latest terms and conditions, here are the changes I am seeing. The $11 limit per serving has increased to $12. Godiva chocolate drinks are now included in this package (they are now included in the "Premium Non-Alcoholic" package as well). The previous terms and conditions listed Godiva chocolate drinks in the category where a 20% discount applied. There is also new wording concerning how the age restrictions on the package work. Otherwise everything else looks the same to me. The restrictions on the measures, maximum of 15 drinks per day, and 10 minutes between drinks were in the previous terms and conditions. I do think it makes good sense that they have increased the limit from $11 to $12 dollars per drink on this package. The free drinks offer which is part of the ongoing Grills Suite promotion in the US has a $12 dollar limit per drink. Aside from the obvious benefit to those purchasing the package, I can imagine the bartenders are pleased that they don't have to deal with two different limits on the drinks prices any more.
  10. Thanks for the clarification. I imagine Cunard thought they were doing you a big favor by moving you from a forward metal-fronted balcony to a more central and higher glass-fronted balcony.
  11. Just to clarify a bit, the OP mentioned they were upgraded from "BF" to "BB". They didn't mention which ship, but in any case a "BF" would not have been a sheltered balcony. On QM2, "BF" cabins are glass-fronted balconies forward on decks 8, 11, and 12. On QE and QV, they are glass-fronted balconies forward on deck 8 and mostly metal-fronted balconies forward on deck 4. If the OP was upgraded from one of the metal-fronted balconies on QE or QV, that could be considered a fairly good upgrade. Otherwise the upgrade is simply to a more central location on the ship, more desirable for many, but not if an unobstructed view directly down to the ocean is important.
  12. I think a significant reason for this issue is that there is no provision for stating your upgrade preference when making an online booking on most websites. That's certainly the case for bookings made on the Cunard US website. Most other major online booking websites are the same. I've only run across one or two cruise booking websites that actually offer the selection of upgrade preference during the online booking process. And as I mentioned before, if you don't state a preference, you end up with "Open to Any Upgrade" by default.
  13. Greek letters are only assigned to different phases of testing a system. The "excellent final version" is usually just called something like the "production", "released", or "deployed" version and is typically assigned an incremental version number.
  14. "Alpha" testing of a system represents the phase of testing using internal quality assurance and systems acceptance procedures after the system developers have completed their initial development and testing efforts. "Beta" testing of a system represents the next phase, usually where a limited number of actual end users are given access to the system to help identify issues in a real world environment. So, in the case of system testing, "alpha" is not better than "beta", but rather before "beta". A syterm undergoing "alpha" testing will inherently have more bugs in it than a system undergoing subsequent 'beta" testing.
  15. Please note the Cunard FAQ is a bit confusing on this topic (what else is new?). Here's what the Cunard US FAQ says. (Question) Can I upgrade my stateroom? (Answer) A request for complimentary upgrade can be made at time of booking and anytime up to the departure date. Upgrades are based on many factors and cannot be confirmed. If multiple bookings are cross-referenced there is no guarantee that all bookings will receive an upgrade or that staterooms will be near each other or be on the same deck. If you receive an upgrade to a higher category you will not have the option of returning to your original stateroom if the upgraded location is not to your liking. Please take this into consideration if you chose to make your booking eligible for an upgrade. This makes it sounds like you have to "opt in" to be eligible for a complimentary upgrade by specifically requesting that option. In actuality, you have to "opt out" if you don't want to receive a complimentary upgrade.
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