Archive through December 12 2008

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Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
From The Mail OnLine:

Rocking the boat: Life on a luxury cruise is far from plain sailing
quote:

Singles' parties, 'gentlemen hosts' and the chance to make new friends and enemies... Jaci Stephen finds that loneliness is not an option on a luxury cruise

At what point does a tango cease being a dance and become a battle between two people outdoing each other in half nelsons? That was the question I asked myself as I wrestled in the Queen's Room ballroom on Cunard's new ship, the Queen Victoria. My first cruise, entitled Legends of the Mediterranean, was threatening to become one in its own right.
Full story at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1055359/Rocking-boat-Life-luxury-cruise-far-plain-sailing.html
 
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Joe Russo

Member
I just received an advertisement from a travel agency for a QV nonstop transatlantic crossing (SOU-NYC) on January 2nd which will take 8 days. Fares are starting at $999 per person.
That's a great price, but I can't imagine that North Atlantic weather and seas will be very fun that time of the year especially on that ship going so slow.
 
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Jim Kalafus

Member
I booked onto the January 2010 crossing, and so will let you know...

...interesting to note, in a 'this doesn't bode well' vein....most of the QE2 old timers seem to have transfered their loyalties to the QM2. Leaving the Victoria, built as the QE2 successor, out in the cold. When people were saying their goodbyes, it was consistently, 'See you on board the Queen Mary.'

Those who had already sailed the Victoria, said she was too 'generic' and that the service and presentation wasn't good enough to make up for her blandness. And that for all of her odd touches, the Mary, at least, offers design quirks and has personality.

So, it will be interesting to see if the opinion of the ship softens after the QE2 disappears...or if the people who habitually made the QE2 winter crossing will simply eliminate that from their itinerary now that she is gone and the Victoria is subbing for her.
 
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Joe Russo

Member
But the QV has thicker steel in the bow and everything. Hmmmm very interesting.
With an 8 day transatlantic crossing, if the QV pushes it a little she just might be able to shatter the Adriatic's record and steal the blue riband for 1872!! ;)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Riband
 
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Jim Kalafus

Member
True. For the crossing I booked, I get one night aboard the ship in NYC...which would be great if she was still docking in Manhattan but, frankly, the idea of using the Victoria as a floating hotel in Red Hook lacks a certain appeal.

What the Cunard old-timers were saying about her was quite insightful. The QE2 was costly, but offred an impossible to define atmosphere AND single cabins. The QM2, because of her huge size, and subsequent massive passenger capacity, cannot be costly...AND is a unique ship that has potential to develope atmosphere as she ages and builds a core clientele.

The Victoria is just another in a series of essentially identical ships. And, as the old timers said, why pay a premium rate JUST BECAUSE IT'S CUNARD to sail on a ship which duplicates what one can get for a lower price elsewhere?

The exclusion of single cabins has been a sore point for a while. And it is coming to a head with that particular ship, apparently. I met with quite a number of single travelers who...again...will not sail the Victoria because of the 175%-200% surcharge levied against those who are not married, partnered, or possessed of a best friend with whom they can stand living at close quarters for seven days. Single passengers have been a 'presence' on the QE2 and, with the last two new builds have basically been told 'you don't matter.' And so, with the QE2 gone, a small but lucrative market...many of the single travelers crossed or cruised two, three or more times a year...is being forced to reconsider their travel habits. And, the opinion amongst those with whom I spoke is that the Queen Victoria ain't it. The Queen Mary, as a unique ship, MIGHT justify the surcharge. The cookie-cutter Victoria does not.

Myself....I paid a 175% single-traveller surcharge. Which means that I will end up asking someone to come as my guest, since if I have to pay for the other bed, I might as well put someone in it.

Perhaps, Victoria can overcome her blandness...after all, Imperator, Vaterland and Bismarck were cookie cutter ships as, in fact, wre Titanic and Olympic....and build a core clientele of repeat travelers. But, as it now stands, the client base who supported QE2 well into her dotage are not just indifferent to the Victoria, but actively dislike her. Which bodes well for the long term success of the Mary while, at the same time, makes one wonder about the reception awaiting the QE3.
 
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Jerry Nuovo

Member
Jim,I would love to do a January crossing aboard any Cunard Ship be it the QM2 or the Queen Victoria.The problem is getting to Southampton,England when I both very much despise and fear airline travel.I would though would like to do another NY to LA via the Panama Canal Cruise in 2010 like I did in 2006 aboard the QE2 though this time it would be aboard the Queen Victoria and in January 2010 the Queen Victoria does not dock in LA,she docks in SF as in San Francisco and if I'm able to do this trip I still want to spend a night or two aboard the first Queen Mary in Long Beach.Which means I would then have to take a train from San Francisco to Los Angeles.Then the price of the cruise fare alone which is almost $6,000 for one person in a double occupancy stateroom.Ouch that really hurts.Thank You Cunard for building your 2 newest ships without single occupancy staterooms.If I can't do it in 2010 maybe 2011 or 2012? Regards,Jerry
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
Hell's teeth, if I have to pay a double fare to have a cabin to myself, I won't ever be sailing in either the Mary 2 or Vikky Brown. I paid $600 extra in 1990 for my QE2 crossing from Auckland to Sydney/Brisbane because I did NOT want to share with a stranger. Good grief, I think even mauretania may have had some single cabins (a century ago too)
 
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Ellen Grace Butland

Guest
I intend to take a very long look at both Q Mary la Grosse and Vicky Brown as they are both coming to Auckland in 2009. But they will both dip out on my patronage if I find another ship I like the looks of and which will offer me A. single occupancy at a not too horrendous price or B allow me to go between ports in NZ (which is always a pierhead jump as you have to wait till sailing day to see if there is a cabin available for such a short hop)
 
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