I'm Jeff, 45, live in western Mass., and I've been on a few cruises. Rather than insist
on a particular ship or line, I usually choose according to itinerary, then see who's
offering a good deal, especially for a single traveler. But being an ocean liner buff
since I was a kid, I'll make exceptions; I made a point of sailing on the Norway-- formerly
the SS France-- a special treat for me.
While browsing Cunard's website, I saw that the Queen Mary 2 has a two-week cruise in
2004, departing NYC on Dec 6 for Fort Lauderdale, and calling at San Juan Puerto Rico,
Curacao, Bonaire, Barbados, Martinique, St Maarten, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
This will be 11 months after the Mary's maiden voyage, long after the high demand for
early sailings has worn off. Nov through Jan is the off-season to begin with, and
repositioning cruises always offer the lowest per-day fares. For a basic inside cabin,
(no great sacrifice, since even these are nearly 200 sq ft) Cunard had an advance-
booking rate, including port charges, of $1599 per person, plus $50 tax. By the time I
found a traveling companion on this message board a few months back, the lowest category
had already sold out and Cunard had already begun jacking up prices, but I was able to come
within fifty bucks ($1700 total) of the original deal by shopping the online agencies.
(For comparison, this is only a bit more than Cunard charges for a six-day trans-Atlantic
crossing...and almost exactly what it would cost you to spend two weeks at the Fresno
Airport Holiday Inn-- not nearly as much fun, I'm guessing. HOWEVER: add travel
insurance; tips, drinks & other onboard incidentals; touring ashore; and airfare, and I'd
plan on budgeting about a grand additional. And if no cruise would be complete for you
without some full-contact shopping and a reckless gambling spree, you'll need to budget
for that accordingly.)
Now that my original roomie has regretfully had to bow out due to a threat of possible
job loss, I'm renewing my search for someone to share the trip with me. I'd naturally like to settle
the arrangements as soon as possible, so TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE.
I think we'd have a better chance of getting along if we're similar in age. I'm not
expecting some kind of fantasy shipboard romance, so your gender is not as important as
being a non-smoker, considerate, thoughtful and responsible. In any travel situation, a
great sense of humor always helps. Also, NOT snoring is KEY.
So if the chance to enjoy two weeks aboard this amazing, one-of-a-kind vessel sounds
good to you, please leave a post below or email me directly, and we'll take it from there!
It occurs to me to mention one caution regarding this trip: while the QM2 is well-suited to those with mobility problems, the cruise itself might pose problems for disabled travelers. Due to her deep draft, she will only be tied up dockside in New York, San Juan, Barbados, and the end port of Ft Lauderdale. At the other ports, she'll anchor offshore, and passengers will have to transfer to tenders or ferries to & from land. If this is a concern for you, I'm sure Cunard could provide more details...jeph
Update # 2, from original poster: Well, I've had a few nibbles about this trip, but so far, the timing just seems not to mesh with the vacation schedules of the interested parties. (Judging from the rest of this message board, I think I'd have received replies by the dozen, if only I were willing to describe myself as a hot young blonde female!)
I will have had to pony up the full amount ninety days out (i.e., on or about Sept. 6th.) I can still take on a roomie well after that date; ICruise and Cunard will already have all of my dough, and as long as they have a week's notice so as to have the proper documentation sent out, it's all the same to them if the cabin is occupied by one passenger or a pair. And apart from not having to pay double, I think I might well enjoy the company, particularly for do-it-ourselves shore explorations. So as I said, please leave a post or email me directly if you might be interested in joining me.
Update # 3, from original poster: as of late Sept, still booked to go, even if it means sailing solo (too late to back out now!)-- but still looking for a roomie if there's one out there. Last chance...last post! (Hmm...famous last words!)