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Everything posted by 3rdGenCunarder

  1. I agree that Cunard is special in more ways than the dress code, and your examples are part of what keeps me coming back to Cunard. But dressing for dinner is part of it, too. Your last sentence shows that, indeed, you haven't sailed on other lines. Not the ones mentioned in the post you quoted, but there are some lines I struck off my list because they attracted passengers who didn't know how to dress. Or didn't care. Or enjoyed the "screw you" outfit at dinner.
  2. I think the uniforms reduce distractions at school and stress over having "the right outfit."
  3. Yes! It creates a special ambiance. That's part of what I have come to expect from an evening on Cunard. I hope you have a wonderful cruise. And I hope you post pictures of your daughter's outfits (or just the outfits on a hanger if you don't want to post her picture). I want to see what that Edwardian walking skirt looks like!
  4. I took a quick look at next year's itineraries. They vary, so do some research on the different ports and see what matters to you. I think they all do Glacier Bay and one other, either Endicott Arm or Hubbard Glacier. Of the two, I'd choose Hubbard over Endicott. If you like trains, you might want to look at Skagway. The train ride is spectacular, and the town is fun, with a gold rush museum, walking tours (some given with a "floozy" leading the way), a microbrewery where you can get beer brewed with spruce tips. If you want to do a whale watch, Juneau, Icy Strait Point, and Sitka all are possibilities. I love Sitka. It's a real town. They've fought off the usual suspects like Del Sol, diamonds International, etc. They have an excellent raptor center, a drug store with an old-fashioned soda fountain, and a food truck that sells delicious fish. It looks like all the cruises from Seattle use Victoria BC as the foreign port. Check to see that you get a daytime visit. Some cruise lines call for a few hours in the evening just to meet the regulations, and it's a shame to not have a day there. I would say take a longer cruise, 10/11 days rather than 7 days, especially if you're going to fly all that way. Season doesn't really matter as much as ports. People may squawk at this statement, as the fall has a reputation for rain, but it can rain any time. One time in September we had one rainy day the whole cruise. And we had several rainy days on a cruise in June, which is "supposed" to be less rainy. I've gone twice in June (nice for long nights) and twice in September. I'm going in July this time. The downside to late June through August is kids in the US are off from school so you may see more families on the ship and in port. On the subject of crowding, go to one of the port searches like whatsinport dot com to see how many other ships will be with you on your itinerary. The answer is likely to be LOTS, but it doesn't hurt to check. Changing the homeport to Seattle could be to make it easier for people from the US. I know that I have lots more options from the East Coast to Seattle than to Vancouver. It could also be a function of port crowding. I love Vancouver, but embarkation and disembarkation can be a nightmare when there are 3 or 4 big ships in port. Seattle has more than one pier, so that spreads things out. So to go back to my first comment, do your research. The ports I like may not be the ports you will like. The Alaska port of call board has tons of information, so check it out.
  5. @*Miss G*, your comparisons to HAL mostly match mine, especially about the buffet. I love everything about QM2 except the buffet. I find the layout confusing. Toasting your own bread at breakfast is like being at Motel 6, and there never are any cookies (unlike HAL where the double chocolate cookies at lunch are divine). I take cookies with me on Cunard. I take crackers on HAL. The salad bar on QM2 is a joke, with only the most basic offerings. I once was so frustrated with the poor flow and bad layout that I said to travel companions, "Some day, I'm going to throw a plate of food in the air and scream I $%^&ing HATE this $%^&ing place!" Unfortunately, one of them has a long memory and still asks me if I've thrown my plate in Kings Court yet. I haven't, but that doesn't mean I never will. To be fair to Cunard, the buffet layout on the other ships is more like the ones on HAL. On QA nearly everything was served. On QE and QV, most food is served, but the salad bar (WAY better than QM2's) and cold items are self-serve. I use a paper napkin to pick up utensils.
  6. They don't require the dress code all over the ship. For people who don't want to dress up, there are venues that do not follow the dress code. Buffet, pub, I think some others.
  7. I agree. Carnival has a wide variety of lines, if they're all the same, does it matter which you sail on? My reaction to QA was "meh" because there was nothing special about her, nothing to make me stop and take a better look at something. Nothing that made me smile. She didn't feel Cunard, she felt like she could belong to any line. I was thinking about this issue this morning and remembered a line from a movie in which the young man says to the young woman, "Why do you want to fit in when you were born to stand out?"
  8. Is it still possible to book lunch at Verandah in advance? I just looked online and all I see are evening hours. I get lunch there as a WC perk, so do I have to book that onboard?
  9. I don't think there's been a senior officer's party on any cruise I've taken since the restart.
  10. I ate in Nordlis on QV in Norway last fall and thought the food was very good. But I didn't do the seafood platter, so I can't comment on that other than to say if it's sold as fresh, it should be truly fresh. Frontier is essentially the same menu as Nordlis but some items are marked as "Alaskan" instead of "Norwegian." I was in PG on QA and I agree about the duck. Mine was a little dry. Another night someone at the table said his was inedible it was so dry.
  11. I'll be on QE in 2 weeks. The last time was June 2022, during the restart. Embarkation was a clown show (not the term in my head, but I'm trying to be polite here), with everything starting on the upper level by the walkway, where staff checked covid cards, ArriveCAN, test results, passports (twice), tickets. I was a good girl and went at my assigned time and the process took more than an hour. I got stuck behind a queue of people who hadn't done ArriveCAN (I had, but it didn't matter). People who ignored their assigned times and went early had less hassle. I am lucky in that QE will be the only ship at Canada Place that day, so I'm hoping things will be better. Not having to deal with all the covid-related stuff will definitely help. I have three questions: -Are they checking/enforcing times? -Are they honoring any sort of priority? My boarding pass says I'm diamond, but it isn't marked "Priority" the way it was for Southampton. -Does any of the process still happen upstairs, or is it all down on the lower level now?
  12. She's 16, she should absolutely have fun with dressing up!
  13. The stall shower in our corner aft Neptune on K'dam was a joke (SB). Smaller than a standard US phone booth! it barely held DH's shower chair. And no shower over the tub. But the second time I was in a Neptune, it was along the side (SA), not aft. The stall shower was a normal size and just fine. Still no shower over the tub, but I didn't care about that. First pic below is the corner aft SB, second is the SA.
  14. I do the same. I do the research and know what I want before I call. I've had a few issues with the website and the dreaded error messages, but InPrivate has always solved that. (oh no! did I just jinx myself?)
  15. I think we're going to see more and more limits in smaller ports. Ships are getting bigger, but the ports stay the same size.
  16. Yes, sometimes the "narration" leaves a bit to be desired. It probably was mostly from Wiki, since it was a short-notice change. I do like a bit of information about what I'm seeing, but some narrations are too much. I love that a stretch of Endicott Arm (I think that's the one, maybe it's a different one) has a ban on noise, as it disturbs wildlife. The peace and quiet of sailing along a fjord is wonderful.
  17. Cunard's questionnaires contain direct questions about dressing up and some odd ones along with that. In an agree/disagree section, there's always one like "I enjoy dressing up to give the evening a sense of occasion." Okay, that one is easy. But it's often followed by "I would feel at home at the opera." WHAT does that mean and what do they infer from my "agree" answer? I like opera. Does that mean I like to dress up, on the assumption that going to the opera requires formal dress? (Neither the Royal Opera House nor the Met has a dress code that I've ever seen.) The questions can be slanted in a way that give the company the "data" it wants to get so they can justify a decision they're already leaning toward.
  18. Yes, "sets the tone" is a good way to say it. I agree that a second gala night often sees more people dressed up than on the first. Although the dress code is not the same as on Cunard, I've seen people make more of an effort on the second gala night on HAL, too. As for luggage, I think a lot of women who worry about packing formal wear are imagining they need to take ballgowns (think Cinderella). I have seen some gorgeous full-skirted ballgowns on cruises, and my first thought is always how in earth did she pack that! But that is not required. If you shop around, there's a lot of formal wear that's easy to pack, like the items you described.
  19. You really don't hold back!!! It wouldn't take much to make their website better, so grab your phone, a burger, and crank up YouTube and go for it! @atexsix, try Incognito or InPrivate. That has helped when I've had problems with HAL's website.
  20. I must get 2 or 3 cruise brochures every week. Lines I've never sailed and one line I sailed 10 years ago and swore never again. Don't worry about stuffiness. Cunard has been tarred with that reputation undeservedly for many years. It's possible to be classy, elegant, and traditional without being stuffy. Cunard passengers are well traveled interesting people. You will not be in a ship filled with Hyacinth Buckets (pronounced Bouquet).
  21. P&P was confusing because all the performers were women and they looked very much alike. The only way I could keep track of who was who was by the costumes. Kudos for music choice though, especially Elizabeth singing "You're so Vain" about Darcy.
  22. That's unfortunate. On the Northern Lights cruise last fall, everyone at our table commented on how much they loved Haugesund. Nothing extraordinary, but a normal small city with cafes and normal stores where locals shop. After the Arctic Train in Narvik and cable car in Tromso and several nights with the lights, we all felt that we could decompress strolling around a lovely port.
  23. I agree about the fishbowl feeling in the CO dining room (Koningsdam). @fsdj1097, you didn't say if you've got open dining or fixed. I did early fixed when I was on Eurodam, so I didn't pay attention to the open dining queues, but I'm pretty sure there's a separate queue for CO (which includes Neptunes). If you've got fixed dining, check your assignment. There are 2-tops along the rail looking down over the lower section. They give you a feel of not being closed in with a crowd. Perhaps ask for one of those. Unlike the Vistas, the Signatures have Tamarind. Don't miss that!
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