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About Bigmike911

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Magnolia, Texas
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    Reading, traveling
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  1. While it's not actually aboard the Queen, but getting the first glimpse of QM2 as we neared the cruise terminal in Brooklyn. Looking at her looming over the buildings as we approached was breathtaking the first time I traveled east bound on her.
  2. Lissie, I have to disagree. The speed that this virus is spreading and the facts that there is no vaccine, and treatments are at the early stage suggest a wise person would be well advised to take extreme caution. When a national government quarantines a whole city, we should take that as an indication of the severity of the epidemic. Add to that the fact that the rapid global spread of this virus has been because infected people traveled to China and the two week incubation period suggest that there will be many and wide spread cases. And don't forget there is a high death rate with this contagion. I would take it very, very seriously.
  3. Fifty years ago as I was preparing to go to Viet Nam, my mother told me she wanted my to promise her one thing. I wondered what she had in mind, maybe not getting in the way of a bullet, but no. She said please do not come home with a tattoo. I promised and I still don't have a tattoo, and I doubt I will get one at this late date on land or sea.
  4. In the third decade of the Twenty-first century, for a commercial business to have a customer interface as crappy as Cunard's web site is, is pathetic. Customers are accustomed to using their computers and smart phones to conduct a lot of their business. One wonders how much business Cunard has lost do to this abomination of a web site. As a shareholder, I am not happy.
  5. Having looked at Virgin Cruises data and video it is clear they are looking for the Hipsters and not more sophisticated travelers. As is usual for all "Virgin" brands there is a lot more 'sizzle' than steak. One thing that struck me was that the public rooms looked like they were furnished by Ikea.
  6. For me, sitting in a chair on my balcony on a sunny day with a good book to read, or just watch the sea roll by and smelling the sea air.
  7. If you have an assigned accommodation when the brochure is printed, pre printed labels will be included. I usually put them on the bags just before I check in with Cunard as the airlines can make a mess of them. If I have a guarantee and don't have an assignment, I print the labels out just before I get ready to go. My bags have plastic see through covers so I print one label and fold it around the handle, and put a second one unfolded between the bag and the plastic cover should the one around the handle be torn.
  8. You might consider sending a large bag to the ship, and then home again. Cunard used to have a product called White Star Luggage, but they now recommend LuggageForward.com . I used them to send a 50 lb. suitcase to Hamburg, and then back to Texas when we arrived in NYC last September. They were easy to work with, and they handle international pickups. You might give them a call, or use their site.
  9. You will register your payment card when you check in at the terminal. The terminal computers are connected to the ships computer. If you don't have a card to use, you will not be able to buy anything on board which would be a tough way to travel, no wine, no spirits, no soft drinks, no on board purchases nor will they be able to collect the daily tips. I suspect, though I don't know this, that you won't be able to board with out a payment card registered.
  10. On board payments are made with your identification card which is also your charge card and your door key. All of your purchases aboard will be charged to your on board account. You can use a credit card to register with, and an authorization will be run against your card. The authorization will be for an amount Cunard has pre-calculated you will spend. That will establish a base line spend in your on board account and you will spend up to that amount at which time an actual transaction will be sent to your card issuer and a further authorization for a new amount sent. If you have no more spend in your credit card account, you will be asked for another card. If you do not exceed the authorized amount when the voyage ends you will be charged the actual amount spent. Since debit cards and pre-paid cards do not have the power of a pre-authorization they cannot be used. You can take cash and spend it in the casino, or as cash tips or to put into your on board account. There is no provision for google pay or apple pay as they work the same way as debit cards, and all of the charges on the ship are internal to your on board account. Cunard uses US$ as the on board currency so if you wish to put cash into the account it would make sense to convert GBP to US$ at your bank and get a better exchange rate. Remember you will get the best rate by using your credit card which uses the interbank rate on the date the transaction is processed. That way you convert only what you need, and don't end up with a lot of cash to be reconverted when you get home.
  11. Queen Mary 2 is a beautiful ocean liner. There are traditional sailing game like shuffleboard, and there is a golf simulator. You won't find go-cart race tracks, diving shows, water park features, although there is a covered pool on 12 deck suitable for most weather. The ship is oriented to older people and you will find interesting lecturers and adult venues. There are also locations for board games, and there are recent movies in a big screen theatre as well as a planetarium. The QM2 tends to be a more dressed up environment and one of the great attractions for many are the more formal nights. Now having said that, I cannot make a judgement as to whether or not you will enjoy the quieter life aboard. That is a judgement you will have to make
  12. Since there is an auto 15% tip included, I never add any thing to the bill, But if the bar tender (in the Queens Grill Lounge or the Commodore where I drink frequently ) has been particularly attentive. I will give her or him a thank you note at the last night with a nice sum of money.
  13. Yes, the tables are close enough to get to know your neighbor should you wish to. In fact, I have made life long friends of people sitting at tables for two near me. I never thought that was a problem. If you don't want to enter a conversation with some one at a near by table , you just nod hello and continue the conversation with your dining partner. No one gets upset.
  14. Here in the country side of Texas New Year and the Fourth of July are celebrated with fireworks. For the past few hours it has been like a war zone, with noise and the smell of gun powder heavy in the air. Now at 11:20 pm it is getting quiet and I will be ready for a long winters nap. Happy New Year, Host Hattie, and all of to commentators on the Cunard Forum.
  15. Julie, I am not familiar with the term top table as it refers to QG. There are several tables around the grill that seat six, eight or maybe ten, but there is no "Top" table like the Captains table in the Britannia Dining Room. And larger tables are spread out around the room and mixed with numbers of tables for four, and more tables for two.
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