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david,Mississauga

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About david,Mississauga

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Mississauga, Canada
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Transatlantic

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  1. My experience on a recent Alaska cruise is that about 50% of men wore dinner jackets/tuxedos in the Britannia Restaurant on the two gala nights. The others were in suits and ties. I was surprised at how many men removed their jackets and placed them on the back of their chairs. It wasn't hot in the dining room. I realise this wasn't asked, but as a point of interest: On many other cruises I would say about 70% of men wear real formal wear, again based on my personal observations . On Atlantic crossings it can be as high as 95%, but certainly not always. In the Grills, the percentage of men in formal wear is usually higher.
  2. I bring only two jackets (not counting a jacket for outdoor wear), one of which is my dinner jacket/tuxedo and the other a sport coat that can go with any colour of trousers. I bring several ties to wear on the "smart" nights because I do not subscribe to the dumbing down of the dress code. If I was on a very long cruise such as the one referred to above I would bring a second sport coat or blazer. I always wear a sport coat for train or air connections with a ship, rather than pack it. Obviously I would have to pack the second sport coat along with the formal wear. This has never been a problem. My wife and I each take one suitcase with us. We have always been allowed to check two each on a plane and have never done so since the 1970s.
  3. On the 10-day cruise I took in June there were a mere two gala nights. The first one was the second night which is a sea day. I can't recall when the second one was but it was, of course, a sea day close to the end of the voyage. The ports and the order of them can change from one cruise to the next so the second formal night may not be constant.
  4. We have been in transit through Red Hook once: two years ago on a Québec-NY-Southampton voyage. A notice in the daily programme advised passengers who do not intend to go ashore to wait until the "last call" to disembark. It said it would be approximately 10:30, so we sat near the gangway awaiting the call. When it came we left the ship and proceeded to the customs hall. There were hundreds of people in the queue and I thought this would be a miserable experience. There was an official at the entrance to the queue. I told her we were in transit and we were directed to one of two desks with short queues. I don't know if that was because we were in transit or because it is obvious that my wife has difficulty walking. (She doesn't request assistance except at airports which can be a horror.) After exiting the terminal and re-entering and going through security we were directed to a waiting area for in transit people. It soon filled up with about 200 passengers. We were allowed back on board shortly before 12:00, just before the embarking passengers.
  5. That is a great welcome. Was that in Queen's Grill? I ask because we have receievd the real thing only in QG, never in any of the other categories.
  6. Thanks, bluemarble, for your efforts. I know there are programmes available that would permit me to disguise my location but I can't be bothered with all that. I have sent an e-mail to Cunard about this obvious error. Based on many experiences with that office in California, I don't have much faith in them. (I let my travel agent deal with them for anything important.) But there is always a chance. This error doesn't affect me, but as I said it could discourage Canadians from booking with Cunard when they see fares like that. On the shorter of the two voyages we have booked for next year, the fare for our sheltered balcony is approximately Can.$ 2400 pp. If someone sees that and doesn't realise it is erroneously listed as U.S.$ they will figure another 30% is needed to make it Can. $, i.e. $3120. Many, if not most, may think that is too much for a seven-night crossing. I know I wouldn't pay that much. We got Princess Grill for that a couple of times not too many years ago.
  7. I always complete the questionnaire and in the "box" that asks for comments I suggest it is time to replace the P.A. with a different cheap bubbly, of which there are many. I hope others do the same, but I doubt these questionnaires are of any value when it comes to suggestions. I wouldn't bother filling them out except I do like to give credit to the excellent staff. One thing I have noticed over the years is that the P.A. isn't consistent. If in an optimistic mood I could say it is better some years than others, but perhaps it is better to say some years it is worse than others.
  8. For the past 10 years at least, Cunard has established fares in Canadian $. Although it is difficult for me to compare the U.S. and Can. $ rates, from time to time this is possible. From 2009 until 2017 Cunard has given us a good deal by setting the Can. $ fares at a favourable rate, far less than what we would pay our banks if we booked in U.S. $ For several years most fares that I was able to compare were set at a mere 20% over the U.S. fare. The bank would charge us 30 to 35%, variable of course. Although it appears to me that Cunard does not adjust the fare difference often, as of a year or so back they have increased the Can. $ rate by 25 to 30% depending on the cruise or crossing. At its worst, it is still a good deal for us. Two years ago the future cruise deposits and coach transfers that we booked were priced at 20% above the U.S. rate. Last year I purchased two FCDs and airport transfers and the rate was 30% higher in Can. $. Today I checked the fares for the two voyages we have booked for next year. The fares that currently are indicated as U.S. $ (at the first two stages of booking) are the same as what we booked at in Can. $, so it appears this is an error.
  9. Sorry, I had forgotten the previous discussion. I have my doubts about a 9:00 p.m. departure. We won't be making any plans for the early evening until I am on the ship and see the definite departure time information.
  10. This posting may be of interest to Canadians who look at Cunard's booking site. Although I would never book with Cunard on-line, I often check for fares and other information. There have been some recent changes to the site. Cunard always knows I am from Canada when I search the site and they quote fares and the cost of transfers in Canadian $. But now the small print says that fares are in U.S.$. At the second stage of booking (or just checking, as I do) it says the same. Only at the third stage does it concede that the fares are in Can.$. If those fares were actually in U.S.$ they would be shockingly high for Canadians and I think they could discourage bookings.
  11. The w/b crossing we are taking on August 14th next year is showing the Southampton departure as 9:00 p.m. The previous voyage is an extended 14-day e/b crossing, so I am wondering if the late departure is to benefit those taking the two consecutive voyages. I believe Cunard doesn't usually have a late departure during other back-to-back voyages.
  12. We were on an Alaska cruise in June of this year. The excursions appeared on the Voyage Personaliser about three months before. A detailed printed brochure was sent to our travel agent soon after that.
  13. For our Alaska cruise we were given the 1500 boarding time in Vancouver despite "Diamond" being noted on the e-tickets. Our agent phoned Cunard. She was told we should ignore that time and arrive early if we wished to because Diamond members still get priority boarding at noon. That is a strange way of informing passengers as to the boarding time.
  14. From my experience the maps are often inaccurate. Having said that, the listed itinerary may not be correct and, as you probably know, even if it is accurate at the time of publication there can be changes right up to and including the actual cruise. There is a temptation to suggest you phone Cunard, but those of us in Canada must deal with the US office. I am not cynical by nature, but I have had so much misinformation from that office I would be reluctant to do that. If you have a travel agent with connections that person might be able to get an answer. Closer to the cruise date you can check the port lists. The Ketchikan listings are not on-line yet. This site shows a call of the QE on the 19th of July. That is just one day before the apparent call at Victoria, so it may not be correct. http://crew-center.com/ketchikan-alaska-cruise-port-schedule-april-july-2020 The port of Victoria does have their schedule on-line for next year and it does not show a call for the QE on the 20th. https://gvha.ca/cruise/cruise-schedule/
  15. We have had a Neptune Suite on HAL's Noordam and both a Q5 and Q6 on the Queen Mary 2. As you know, the Q5 and Q6 suites are identical. The only advantage of the Neptune Suite was the bathroom: there were two sinks and a separate shower stall. On the QM2 the Q5 and Q6 suites have only one sink in the bathroom and the shower is over the tub/jacuzzi. The Queen's Grill suites have a walk-in wardrobe. There is a complimentary in-room bar with two large bottles of liquor you can choose from a list. There is a butler to help arrange any soirées you may wish to give. A bottle of real Champagne will be in the suite on embarkation. You have asked only about the suite, so I will not elaborate on the joys of the Queen's Grill Restaurant other than to say it is fabulous compared to the main dining room on the Noordam in which the food was occasionally good, frequently mediocre and at times barely edible.
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