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Alan V

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Alan V last won the day on January 15 2017

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About Alan V

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  • Birthday 06/28/1948

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  1. I was pleasantly surprised when we went for the first time on a Celebrity ship. You don't take your lifejacket to the muster, just watch a demonstration.
  2. Alan V

    Celebrity Cruises Speciality Dining - QSINE

    I like it! Your choice regards the cost, but when on Reflection last year we did Tuscan grill twice, Lawn club once and Qsine once! Qsine was my 3rd choice but next time it would now be first choice.
  3. What would I like to see onboard the new ship,......... how about all passengers that don't want to conform to a dress code! Let them have this ship all to themselves and leave the rest of the fleet for the thousands of us that still want to enjoy a formal experience! Right, let's go and get my hard hat!
  4. Alan V

    Thank you Bolsover!

    No future cruises booked with Cunard at the moment I'm afraid! We did however do the 5 nights on Queen Elizabeth over New Year, really enjoyed that and will certainly look to book the same cruise again. Will look to book for 2018 as soon as they are released.
  5. Queen Mary 2 Transatlantic to New York When the September edition of 'Out of the Blue' dropped on my mat, I was very interested to read that a transatlantic crossing on my very favourite ship, QM2 was going to be the prize for this editions competition. My first thoughts were that there would be no chance of winning, but then I thought, hang on, the closing date is only 3 weeks away so why not give it a go. We'd had a great cruise on Celebrity Reflection in July, and I thought that it would be nice to share our thoughts. If that puts us in the running for the prize then it's going to be well worth doing. I submitted my review on the 19th of September and It was very pleasing to find that the comments it received were all very positive. 3 weeks later the phone rang, “hello it's Bolsover Cruise Club here, do you remember writing a review on the forum? We are pleased to tell you that your review has been chosen as the winning entry”. Wow! Never won anything quite like this before, we are going to our favourite city on our favourite ship! The prize consists of the transatlantic crossing plus fight back to the UK. We chose the option of extending the stay in New York by booking ourselves 3 nights in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Times Square. Angie and I are fortunate to live only 5 miles from the cruise terminal in Southampton, so on the day of embarkation it was only a short taxi ride to the Ocean Terminal. The excellent check in and security staff at Southampton ensured that our passage through the cruise terminal was swift and efficient, and we were onboard by 12.30. Although we didn't expect our luggage to be there yet, we made our way to our cabin in order that we could drop off our carry on bags. We had been allocated stateroom number 11065 which is a standard balcony cabin high up with glass fronted balcony. Previous Cunard passengers will notice some of the changes that have taken place during the recent 'remastering' of QM2. The introduction of a flat screen television has enabled the arrival of a kettle where the old TV used to sit. I know that this has not been popular with some staunch Cunarders. It does however suit us! We like the ability to make a coffee as soon as we wake up, and then whenever we like! By the time we had finished lunch, (this day we opted to use the Kings Court) our cases had been safely delivered which enabled us to completely unpack and settle in prior to the muster drill. Muster completed, the sail-away party would be our next port of call. Today's sail-away is indoors as the weather is now deteriorating preventing it taking place on the deck 8 terrace. The resident band Vibz brilliant as always. Queen Mary 2 had set sail in deteriorating weather conditions. We were now heading directly into storm Angus. As Captain Wells stated during his speech at the Captains welcome, QM2 is well equipped to deal with all weather conditions, 'fair and foul'. Well, storm Angus certainly provided the foul! Not much sleep on this first night onboard. This night certainly ranked alongside the worst BOB crossing we have encountered. I think we knew it was going to be lumpy when these appeared. The table allocation card in our room confirmed that had been allocated table 309 at the second sitting. We were very pleased to find that we had been allocated second sitting in the Britannia restaurant. Although we had no preference for table size, early sitting would not have been to our liking. It turns out that table 309 is a table for two and is situated in a nice position on the upper tier, overlooking the lower level. It might have been nice to have been on a larger table but being on a table for two did not prevent us from socialising with the tables around us. Not sure the choice and quality of food served in Britannia restaurant has been maintained over the years. Could it be that I have become harder to please? I don’t think that’s the case, there just didn’t seem to be any wow factor in the menus. Most days we had room service for breakfast, this is unusual for us. We thought the service was first class, good choice of food and always arrived on time. Lunch was taken either in Kings Court, the Golden Lion or the the new Carinthia Lounge. I love the Golden Lion lunches, but the new Carinthia lounge snacks are very very tasty! There are some great venues onboard to have a drink and socialise, either before or after dinner. Our rule is that as soon as the captain has given us his noon update, its acceptable to have a little drink somewhere. Vibz usually do a lunchtime set in the indoor pool area at lunchtime so we spent a little time there. I think we may have had lunch in the Golden Lion pub about 3 times also. Evenings would see us in either the Commodore Club, The Chart room or the Champagne Bar. I would certainly recommend anyone onboard QM2 visit the nightclub at some stage. We are not youngsters, but feel young whilst in G32. In my opinion simply the best nightclub at sea, by far! Transatlantic cruises require the careful studying of the daily program. Speakers to feature on this cruise were;- Tim Sebastian, former BBC foreign correspondant. Dr Jon Bailey, a musical theatre historian. Captain David Henderson, Aviation expert and retired airline pilot. Christopher Ward, Titanic expert and former Fleet Street editor. plus Prof. Glen Patrick, a particle physicist. Although I only attended a couple of the lectures, I know they were mostly given to packed houses. From what my fellow passengers told me, most were very interesting. A good feature with Cunard is that the lectures are usually recorded so that you can watch them on the TV in your stateroom the following day. One talk that I missed, proved to be quite controversial, Tim Sebastian apparently had strong views regarding the new president elect Donald Trump. Views that, divided the audience, the English I spoke to in the bars afterwards saw nothing wrong with Tim’s assessment of Mr Trump. The American’s I spoke to however, were quite offended by some of Tim’s comments. Apparently, quite a few left during the talk! Other daytime activities included the usual daily quizzes, classical concerts, RADA performances and planetarium films. We did find ourselves in the Carinthia lounge one day and noticed there were about twenty people sat doing their knitting, turns out that everyday they meet as a social group, knit and chat for about an hour. Guest entertainers providing the evening entertainment in the Royal Court Theatre were Virtuosity, a trio of female vocalists and Tony Daro, an American stand up comedian. I thought he was excellent, don't ask me to repeat any jokes though! One thing you must do on a transatlantic is to be up early to experience the sail into New York. We made sure we were up on the observation deck at the front of the ship in time for witness sailing under the Verazanno bridge. The Statue of Liberty, and the Manhattan skyline as the sun is rising are certainly worth getting up early for! So we were now in New York. Never tire of this city, always something new to see or do. As I said earlier, we spent 3 nights in the Crowne Plaza hotel in Times Square. A perfect base if you like being right in the hub of things. Thank you so much Bolsover for this wonderful opportunity. Would I recommend a transatlantic crossing to or from New York onboard the wonderful Queen Mary 2……..You bet I would!
  6. Alan V

    What is the "must see" in New York?

    I always say that the best value for money I spent in New York in 2008 was the boat trip on the river Hudson. The tour had an excellent guide onboard who gave us loads and loads of information as we sailed past all the best sights including the Statue of Liberty, under Brooklyn Bridge. If I was to advise anything, this would be it. I would also say that if you were going to go up one of the iconic skyscrapers I would choose the top of the rock over the Empire State. Although the latest one at the world trade centre is now open so this could be another option.
  7. Alan V

    Buying OBC

    Cunard were doing this at an even more advantageous rate. Unfortunately they have now changed the system and when you buy OBC they rate of exchange is determined by YOUR bank. I also think that it's use it or loose it!
  8. Alan V

    early saver fare absence

    If you are looking a cruise that is very popular, it is possible that it sells out without the need for a saver fare! They are under no obligation whatsoever it offer a saver fare, they only use this option if they feel its needed to sell out a cruise.
  9. Alan V

    P and o drinks

    I might be tempted in your position to buy a bottle of duty free on the plane. I have never heard of anyone having a problem taking alcohol onboard P&O. I can confirm that in Southampton, the people that X-ray your luggage are not tasked with pointing out bags with drinks in them.
  10. Alan V

    Southampton train station

    Always plenty of taxi's at the train station and as previous post's have stated expect to pay £5 to £6 pounds to City and Mayflower, slightly more to Ocean and QE2. It's not uncommon to see passengers walking!
  11. Alan V

    Do you really have to print out your e ticket?

    When cruising from Southampton, you will be able to check in without any paperwork. As long as you have your passport you will be fine. OWT is correct in as much as the greeters will scan your documents onto their IPads which will enable you to bypass some of check in hence speeding things up, but not having paperwork will not prevent you from boarding. When you arrive at security, they have a manifest with every passengers name, cabin and passport numbers. This will enable you to pass through security and then you will need to queue at a check in desk
  12. Alan V

    Which ship has the best nightclub?

    My vote is for the QM2, it is without doubt my favourite and from the replies on this thread I'm not alone here. I bet people that have not cruised on QM2 have a preconceived ideas that it is full of old stuffy duffers! If you are of this opinion, you couldn't be more wrong! I have been on all P&O ships, 2 NCL, 1 Celebrity and 2 Cunard, believe me, the QM2 nightclub is way out in front.
  13. Your ticket will be printable from your cruise personliser about 4 or 5 weeks prior to the date. In reality, as long as you have your passport you will be able to check in even if you don't have any tickets! You can also choose your seats on the plane from 14 weeks prior to departure (at a cost!)
  14. Don't forget there are two caribbean dollars to each us dollar. We made the mistake in Barbados of seeing something priced up in dollars, paid in us and said "keep the change," only realising that evening that I had paid double! I can still see the ladies bemused look in her eyes when I paid!
  15. Alan V

    Additional OBC

    I do believe the £50 OBS is given for your second booking with P&O as a thank you, this is in addition to any other OBS that the cruise is offering. This is completely separate from a future cruise deposit.