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About MarkBearSF

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    San Francisco, CA
  • Interests
    Broadway, Cruising
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard, HAL, Princess. AMA
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    TA crossings & Europe

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  1. I don't either, but I use an app (The one I use, FaxFresh, has only a per-use charge which goes through PayPal) for this and typically one other thing or other every couple of years or so. If you use a Travel Agent, you can typically send then an email attachment which they will fax.
  2. OK - I got some great ideas for QG special requests. Now for a couple of other aspects of the QG experience - the butler and the concierge. (20 years ago, when we were upgraded to QG on the QE2, neither of these were available to us. Butler. We are not planning on hosting any parties in our cabin, and are unlikely to request hors d'ouvres so what would we use him for? We'll send the laundry down likely own the second day. I normally just leave the bag in the cabin and if I see the Steward, I'll mention it. Is this a butler thing in QG? Concierge. This being a crossing, we won't need tender tickets and we've already done the behind the scenes tour. (And being in QG for only a week, I don't see us wanting dinner reservations for dining alternatives.) If our badges get demagnetized as happened repeatedly a year ago, can the Concierge fix them? What about the sign up for wheelchair assistance when debarking? Can we "get on the list" from the concierge office, or is that still best done at the Pursers?
  3. I know that tipping is always a contentions subject, but I've not seen this topic addressed before. What is a reasonable tip for a wheelchair attendant who assists passengers through airports and ship boarding in the UK?We'll need assistance at LHR for our arrival and at Southampton when boarding the QM2. (When we disembark in NY, the staff is local and I know how to handle that one)
  4. I know that tipping is always a contentions subject, but I've not seen this topic addressed before. What is a reasonable tip for a wheelchair attendant who assists passengers through airports and ship boarding in the UK? We'll need assistance at LHR for our arrival and at Southampton when boarding the QM2. (When we disembark in NY, the staff is local and I know how to handle that one)
  5. (I raised this question in a reply to a different thread, but thought I'd surface it to this level.) Do they make or stock lactose-free ice cream onboard? I keep forgetting to stash a couple of Lactaid tablets in my jacket before dinner and therefore bypass many desserts. A year or so ago, I discovered lactose-free ice cream (Breyers - yum) and it was love. Obviously, I can have sorbets, and non-dairy"ice cream" made from soy, almond, or rice, but neither has the silky texture of real vanilla ice cream. (About to launch into that famous song from "She Loves Me") I usually don't choose cereal in the morning, but what non-dairy options for milk are available as well? For what its' worth, might it make a difference which dining room? This coming trip will be in Queens Grill, although our previous QM2 trips were in Britannia.
  6. Be sure to report back Aspidestra99! (When is your trip?) ...as for flaming desserts, somehow the thrill is gone. Most likely, due to my current difficulties with lactose in ice cream. But as a gay man from San Francisco, it may be that I'm simply over flaming things. Speaking of that, I keep forgetting to out a couple of Lactaid tablets in my jacket pocket for dinner and bypass the dairy. But over the past year of so, I've discovered the joys of lactose-free ice cream. Does anyone know if they make or stock it onboard?
  7. Also - I was looking at the Cunard site, and they mention a butler as a perk for Queens Grill guests. I had always thought that butler service was for the penthouse cabins and better (Q1-4) - but are they available to Q5 passengers? (Not that I have a lot of stuff for the butler, but I figure they can get mixers for our cabin bar setup.)
  8. A couple of days ago I got bad news and went into "cruise therapy mode" and booked our first QG "suite" since the QE2, 25 years ago (got a great price on the 12/15 westbound crossing). We've always been pleased with the offerings in the restaurants. I recall back when, we were hard-pressed to come up with a request for a special order. Does anyone have a recommendation of something at which they excel - and which we might enjoy. (We generally like basic food and the usual cruise ship menus of "country club classics" suits us just fine). Also, any QG experiences on the QM2 that we should be sure to experience are welcome. (We're already planning on Afternoon Tea in the Princess Grill.)
  9. In the past, we dallied until the last groups were leaving. Fortunately, being Platinum, we were able to wait in the Veranda Steakhouse (then Restaurant). Of course, the longer you delay, the longer the waits at customs and immigration - not a small consideration. This past July, due to delays with wheelchair attendants we were literally the last off the ship (not by choice, although we weren't in a hurry). The ship couldn't be cleared until it was zeroed out and the people waiting in the shoreside lounge were unable to rebound until we were off the ship. (We were so late, in this case, all the passengers had been processed [our three bags were the only ones remaining in the cavernous hall] and all customs agents were available to us.) You can dally, but after a certain point, you're preventing people from completing their work (and starting others). I'm currently a part-time usher in a theatre in San Francisco. We can't close a section (and go home) until everyone is out of it - including through with the bathroom. We like people who have enjoyed the show and want to talk to others about it, but after a point, we want them to do it ...outside.
  10. If you have a travel connection with really tight time, you can get priority disembarkation tags from the shore tours desk. (If you need more, you can get them off hours at the Pursers) This isn't something they publicize, for fear that "everyone" would have an early flight, but they will work with you if the scheduled time is prohibitive.
  11. Since we've been cruising with Cunard for over 25 years, we've seen the categories on the menu dwindle. I must say I don't mind the current arrangement of having all the starters grouped, salad, appetizer, soup.. When the three were separated, we most often would select two of the three items - some nights skipping soup, salad on others... And when they've been combined, we still order the same - pretty much always ordering two items (sometimes using the always available shrimp cocktail or caesar options). And unless we have a specific preference (which I don't think we ever have) as to the order of the items, especially when one is cold and one is hot, we tell the waiters that they can be brought in the order that works best. So it's surprising to me that people are taking the format to infer that they should select one item from the category. I understand why, but it simply didn't occur to me.
  12. While I have ordered steak in the past, most often for me, yes, it's a starter. Caesar Salad or Shrimp Cocktail. (I usually order 2 items before my main)
  13. As others have reported, I've also seen these complaints (over 20-ish years) and wondered what was going on. Of course, food is perhaps the most subjective aspect of a cruise, so variation is to be expected. Likewise, I've found on Cunard, as on all lines, on all ships, there are up periods and down periods, Whether it's the particular budget and supply availability & pricing at the time, the particular head chefs on board, or my own mood and perferences at that time. Over the past 11 years and six voyages, my experience on the QM2 is that the meals may have varied a bit, but were within the expected range, with the past two trips since 2018 among the best. I have noticed the change in courses and portions, but they've stayed easily within my needs as to variation and quantity. (Although I do usually wind up with one of the always-available items on one of the meals, at least for starter). Same as it ever was.
  14. True - but after our sixth trip on her in July, we finally can say we saw the gym and spent some time there.
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