Ida and Neil Down - Answered a Question by Brown (12 Feb 08 13:57)

It is true that the balconies of most of the cabins, if that's what you are referring to are differently designed and preclude much of the view that is offered on other ships. QM2 is a transatlantic ship and fashioned to cope with anything that the oceans can throw at it but this is not always appreciated by passengers and tends to give a claustrophobic effect as well as one which almost says "utility". Nothing they can do about it without a radical rethink and even then probably nothing to change this. Your real question was about changing ....When you initially embark you will invariably see a message to the effect that no cabins are available. This is often because there are none but often because they have done all the upgrading or changes prior to your embarkation. I have heard it said that by slipping the Purser £50 an upgrade has miraculously appeared but I would give this little credence. I would strongly suggest that if you really want to change do it as early as possible and even then you may find that there is not only a higher price for the upgrade but also an administration charge for doing it. If it were me I would stick and if you don't like it so much change when you do your next cruise ...it is not that bad on the balcony in the Caribbean.....Nei.

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Brown - Answered a Question by Brown (12 Feb 08 22:13)

Hi Neil Thank you very much, it is our first cruise and your advice is very helpful and much appreciated. Are there any other top tips?! Jil.

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Ida and Neil Down - Answered a Question by Brown (13 Feb 08 12:26)

Well Jill there are loads but half the fun of cruising is exploring and finding things out and making friends. The Caribbean is a great place to go so make some friends and visit places together and make sure that you spend a little time in a bar used by Ernest Hemmingway (every island has more than one) I'm envious...Nei.

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Richards - Answered a Question by Brown (13 Feb 08 17:27)

We did the same cruise in Jan with sheltered balcony and had your concerns. The balcony was ok the cabin is the same as ones with glass balconys, so the only advantage is if you want to sit in sun, but you can do that on deck. We had a fantastic time wish we were going again. The islands are great but would get local taxis rather than pay for trips. Dont be put off by st lucias port hire a taxi and see the island.

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Brown - Answered a Question by Brown (13 Feb 08 22:40)

Thank you for your other comments. We were thinking of booking the Cunard coach tour of New York when we get off the ship on route to the airport for the flight home, so that our luggage is on board the coach and taken care of. Would you recommend this trip or did you just rely on local taxis.

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Waites - Answered a Question by Brown (17 Feb 08 16:08)

We did did this cruise in December and were 'upgraded' from B5 'obstucted view' to B1 (deck 6)'sheltered' balcony. From comments made onboard, you are actually better off in the B5's. The Lifeboats are evidently not a complete obstruction, abd the B5 balconies are clear fronts so you still see much more when seated. You can only see the sky when seated on the 'sheltered balconies. However, they are still better than ocean view suites, particularly when leaving/arriving in various ports (particularly NY, when you are on your feet anyway to see all that is going on. I agree with Neil, you are best to stick with what you have at this stage and bear these matters in mind for your next cruise. (which you definitely be considering if you enjoy this one as much as we did) Incidentally, Neil, you would'nt by any chance be related to a chap I knew in Bradford called Ben Down would you.

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