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About bluemarble

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  1. Here's what I've found in the daily programmes from 7-night QM2 crossings we have been on lately. Despite the statement "This exclusive event takes place once a voyage", it has actually been offered a second time "back by popular demand" on most of the QM2 crossings we've been on recently. During the 14-night QM2 westbound crossing we were on this past July (including Liverpool, Iceland, and Canada), the daily programmes also advertised this class. Can't say whether this is ever offered on 7-night crossings.
  2. According to my records, QM2's 2019 world voyage actually called at Dubai twice. She headed east through the Mediterranean before calling at Dubai on 29 January 2019. She then continued on to the far east before heading back west and calling at Dubai again on 25 March 2019 before sailing back through the Mediterranean. QM2's 2018 world voyage rounded Africa and then visited Australia, New Zealand and parts of the Far East before returning west eventually calling at Dubai on 18/19 April 2018 and then sailing through the Mediterranean. QM2's 2017 world voyage also rounded Africa and then headed to Australia and the Far East before eventually calling at Dubai on 18/19 April 2017 and then sailing through the Mediterranean. QM2's 2016 world voyage was the last one of hers that included South America and rounding Cape Horn for a true circumnavigation of the world. She called at Dubai toward the end of that voyage on 18/19 April 2016. It looks to me like QM2's 2020 world voyage is going to be fairly similar to her 2017 world voyage in terms of the general route at least, but that route is going to be done in reverse order. QM2's 2021 world voyage also looks fairly similar to the 2017 route and will be done in the same direction as 2017.
  3. I request distilled water for use with my CPAP machine when I call Cunard customer service as part of the standard procedure regarding medical equipment to let them know I am bringing a CPAP machine on board. If you have a similar requirement for distilled water for use with medical equipment, that's the procedure. Otherwise you can request distilled water from your room steward when you are on board and he/she should be happy to assist with that.
  4. Well isn't this interesting? Here's what I'm seeing today on my phone. Specific departure and arrival times are shown in the itineraries on the Cunard UK website when I set up a vpn connection from the US to the UK. The same as Host Hattie reported last month accessing the site directly from the UK. I'm also now seeing similar results viewing the Cunard UK website from my Windows desktop. Nothing has changed on my end that I'm aware of. Perhaps one of those mysteries that will defy a good explanation.
  5. It looks like this issue has been resolved. Today the "Finish" button on the cabin selector screens is once again working for me on my Windows desktop for all sections of the ship, not just the "Aft" section.
  6. I am looking at the Cunard website which is available to the general public. To see availability, you do have to start a booking (with no intention of completing it). That's what we sometimes call a "mock", "dummy", or "partial" booking on this forum. For you in New Zealand, it is important to select the "Cunard" fare which enables you to choose your cabin rather than the "Saver" fare which does not. Once you have started a booking for a specific cabin category (such as "Deluxe Inside"), the booking process will automatically select a cabin in that category for you. At that point you have the option to "Select your room" to see what other cabins are available. That option will lead you to the room selector functionality which allows you investigate cabin availability on various decks and sections throughout the ship.
  7. I can't help with past pricing trends on this particular voyage, but I can offer some observations that might help with your decision looking at current availability on this year's voyage. I'm assuming we are talking about the 14-night QE voyage Q007, Feb 17-Mar 2, 2020. Your desire for a deluxe interior cabin on deck 1 does constrain you to a fairly limited resource. There are only 27 such cabins on the ship (17 category in GC mid-forward and 10 in category GB midships). However, what you have in your favor at the moment is that those cabins haven't been selling well so far. I'm seeing 14 of the 17 GC cabins are still available and 8 of the 10 GB cabins are still available (only 5 of the 27 deluxe inside cabins on deck 1 have been sold so far). I'm also seeing lots of availability in other grades such as oceanview cabins that are low on deck 1 as well. If I were you I would wait, knowing there is still good availability in the grade of cabin you want, but more importantly to ensure your partner is able to get coverage for travel. I can't predict if prices will go up or down (they might go down based on what I'm seeing for current availability but that's no guarantee). Only you are in a position to know what the likelihood is that your partner will get clearance to travel, but I personally wouldn't take the chance of booking now only to find out later it's a no-go. Hope this helps some.
  8. Just saw this Cruise Critic article posted earlier today. Cunard Reaches First Milestone in Build of New Cruise Ship Some interesting tidbits about the Queens Room and the theatre. Nothing about the promenade though.
  9. The Cunard US website is working OK for me (using Chrome on Windows). However, I did notice earlier today there was a notification on the site to the effect that they were experiencing issues getting the site to work with the Safari browser and to call Cunard in order to book a voyage. I don't know if that's still relevant since I'm not seeing that notification any more. Just mentioning it since that could be relevant to getting the site to work from an iPad if that issue (whatever it is) has not been corrected.
  10. We've been on board QM2 several times on November 5th, each time at sea heading from New York to Southampton. Nothing in the daily programmes mentioned any activities or celebrations related to bonfire night. We have had some pleasant dinner conversations with table mates from the UK discussing what they might be doing that evening if they were home and reminiscing how when they were children they made effigies and went around the neighborhood asking for a "penny for the guy". That's about all I have to report related to bonfire night on a Cunard ship.
  11. There does seem to be some fuzzy math going on at first sight. I'll give them a break though in that they may mean it will be the first new Cunard ship in over 12 years when it enters service in 2022.
  12. Here's a portion of Cunard's press release about this morning's steel cutting ceremony. Pictures have also been posted on Cunard's various social media sites. ==================== Steel Cutting Ceremony Begins Countdown to New Cunard Ship Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia Shipyard begins construction on Cunard’s 249th ship First piece of steel cut will be crafted into a unique sculpture by Sam Shendi and will be showcased on board the new ship VALENCIA, Calif., October 11, 2019 – Today, luxury cruise line Cunard celebrated the beginning of construction on the line’s 249th ship with a steel cutting ceremony at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia Shipyard in Italy. The first piece of steel cut will be used as a sculpture displayed on the new ship for guests to enjoy and marks a landmark moment in the company’s 179-year history. The yet unnamed ship will be the second largest to fly the Cunard flag, and is set to reimagine the luxury cruise experience with an array of unique and exciting on board amenities. The steel cutting ceremony marks the commencement of the building process for Cunard’s new ship, which is set to join the fleet in 2022. Fincantieri will house and construct the first section of the new ship. The shipbuilding group previously delivered Cunard’s world-renowned Queen Victoria in 2007 and Queen Elizabeth in 2010. “After years of planning and design, we are thrilled to see the building process begin for our newest ship,” says Josh Leibowitz, SVP Cunard North America. “The new ship will be the fourth in our fleet, taking inspiration from our past, integrating the Cunard spirit with exciting new concepts and ideas that will provide a uniquely luxurious travel experience for our guests.” Mr Gilberto Tobaldi, Shipyard Director for Fincantieri, added, “We are very proud to be embarking on this next chapter of Cunard’s history with the start of the build of their newest ship and we look forward to working with the Cunard and Carnival UK teams over the next months.” Acclaimed sculptor Sam Shendi will craft a unique sculpture from the first piece of metal cut from the new ship. Known for using contemporary industrial metal, steel, stainless steel, aluminium and fiberglass to create his work, Shendi will commission the work for guests on board to view and enjoy. Shendi said, “I’m really looking forward to working with the Cunard team and to be given the challenge of creating a sculpture from the first piece of steel cut for their new ship is such a unique opportunity. It would be exciting for any artist to be part of such a long history and know that their artwork will travel the world on the ship connecting guests from all corners of the globe.” Cunard’s new ship is set to enter service in 2022 with bookings available next year. With construction underway, Creative Director and globally acclaimed designer Adam D. Tihany will work alongside Fincantieri to deliver a new standard of Cunard luxury. The award-winning design team also includes Simon Rawlings of David Collins Studio, Terry McGillicuddy of Richmond International and Sybille de Margerie of Sybille de Margerie Paris.
  13. We had a very similar Halloween Party Night announcement in our QM2 daily programme for October 31, 2015. Just don't be too disappointed if there isn't a "spooktacular balloon drop" this year. Per Cunard's new environmental policy statement, "We have completely removed the use of balloons."
  14. Here's a contribution of mine from Halloween 2015 on board QM2 showing how the floral display in the Grand Lobby was transformed into a Halloween theme that year.
  15. Here's the latest from Cunard's facebook page. "We are pleased to let you know that we are in Naples to celebrate the start of the build of our new ship. Our steel cutting ceremony will take place tomorrow morning at Fincantieri shipyard. #CUN4RD"
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