Live Q&A with Tom Pecena
Here are some of our Frequently Asked Questions about our vintage cruises. Check back regularly as we continue to populate this page with helpful information.
Q. If I book a cabin on the same cruise through a different travel agent or directly with Cunard, can I participate?
A. No, definitely do not make this mistake! In order to participate you must book directly through Tom here at Ahoy Vintage Cruises. Our events are exclusive private parties and you must book through us in order to gain access to the special events. We take advantage of a special group booking rate for passage on the ship and then budget in the costs of hiring our wonderful guest entertainment for the week. You can rest assured that each and every Ahoy booking goes to support our musicians as well as covering your passage with Cunard. Book now.
Q. What kinds of health and safety measures will there be?
A. Cunard is taking extensive measures to prioritize safety. First, it’s helpful to understand that unlike hotels and regular public spaces, cruise ships have already had norovirus cleaning procedures in place for years, eliminating norovirus from the cruise going population. That already put the cruise industry far ahead of ANY land based public spaces in the protection against Covid-19.
Now, all guests and crew will be required to follow even further enhanced health and well-being measures to protect everyone on board. These have been developed with guidance from global medical and public health experts and scientists and in close coordination with UK and US government agencies.
Stay up to date on the latest news and protocols from Cunard here.
Some of the safety protocols include:
- Every area of the ship will be rigorously and regularly cleaned and disinfected
- Additional hand-sanitizing stations
- Enhanced on board ventilation systems to provide improved filtration and increased fresh air on board
- Adherence to approved guidance for every aspect of the vacation experience
- Everyone on board will need to follow the latest guidance regarding the use of face-coverings and social distancing (specifics to be determined nearer to the time of your scheduled crossing)
Although the exact measures will continue to evolve between now and the voyages, you can have the confidence that Cunard will have in place pre-booking and boarding health screening, the highest levels of cleanliness throughout our ships, as well as approved standards for the service of food and drink, entertainment and experiences on board and on shore. Check the latest updates from Cunard.
Q. What is the vaccination policy?
A. As of March 2021, international holidays on Cunard holidays do not currently require proof of vaccination. As the vaccine roll out progresses and the government has announced its intended roadmap for the future, the guidance is continually evolving. Pre-embarkation COVID-19 tests may be required as part of our framework of protocols and will be complimentary in the price of your holiday. We will update this page as necessary and update all guests prior to their holiday departure date.
Q. What if the pandemic gets worse again before the date of the voyage?
A. If Cunard deems that it is unsafe to travel, all cruise dates will be rescheduled and the team here at Ahoy Vintage Cruises will be in touch with you to coordinate the new date. The cruise line generally offers a choice of a full refund or a Future Cruise Credit. The Future Cruise Credit may range from 100% to 125% of the value paid. The choice will be up to you.
Q. What is the cancellation policy?
A. A passenger cancellation, or a single name change, can be made outside of the penalty period. Once the penalty period comes into effect, there are penalties for cancelations and name changes. The cancelation schedule for each cruise line will be provided before the passenger makes a deposit. Travel Cancelation/Medical insurance is available to cover such fees to protect the passenger from monetary loss. Please contact Tom here at Ahoy to make arrangements.
Q. How does the booking deposit work?
Cruise lines require a deposit to confirm a reservation, usually within 73 hours of holding a cabin. If no deposit is made, the courtesy reservation simply expires. The balance full balance for the voyage is due anywhere from 120-90 days prior to sailing. Please contact Tom here at Ahoy to make arrangements.
Q. Why is it better to book early?
It’s always best to book as early as possible for the best selection of cabin and location. And since the deposit is usually 100% refundable, you can always change your mind before making the final payment should you need to change or cancel without fear of any monetary loss. Please contact Tom here at Ahoy to make arrangements.
Q. What are the passport requirements?
A. Passport scrutiny has become more strict as of late. Please check your Passport now for its expiration date. Your Passport must be valid for at least 6 months past your departure date for the last country you visit. Not 5 months and 28 days… but a FULL six months. For our Queen Mary 2 Crossings, that would be 6 months past the sailing date from Southampton… and a bit more just to be safe. If you don’t have a full 6 months past your departure date, please renew now. You are solely responsible if you get turned away by Immigration for failing to have an expiration date a FULL 6 months past departure date.
Q. Will everyone on the ship be part of the vintage group?
A. Our vintage group will be an intimate private party of approximately 300 people so that everyone can fit comfortably in the Queen’s Room to enjoy the private events. The ship carries up to 2,620 passengers so most people on the ship will be regular passengers, not part of our group. The regular passengers will all be curious and envious of the fun we’ll be having! Be prepared to answer questions about “what’s going on?”
Q. How many hours a day will be dedicated to the private vintage parties?
A. Throughout the voyage, there will be five private performances plus a cocktail party along with the option of additional daytime meetups. Our main events will usually take place in the Queen’s Room between 6pm and 8pm. A detailed schedule will be provided for your crossing. You will have lots of opportunity to enjoy the rest of the ship’s amenities, restaurants, activities, and entertainment with new-found fellow vintage friends.
Q. What’s included in the booking?
A. When you book your voyage with Tom here at Ahoy Vintage Cruises, he will arrange your cabin, passage, and access to all of the vintage private parties. If you’re new to cruising, you will be delighted to learn that all of the meals in the main dining room (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) as well as the buffet and room service are completely included in your booking. Cunard’s afternoon tea, lectures, shows, and many other activities are also included.
Alcohol and beverage packages are an extra charge. On the ship, you will also have the opportunity to visit the specialty restaurants, spas, casino, and other activities and services, which will be clearly noted if they have an extra charge. You are under no obligation to spend any additional money beyond your booking.
Q. What is the dress code?
A. This is a big question and we have a lot to say on this subject so buckle up!
We are a vintage loving community and we encourage you to plan to bring your favourite vintage or vintage-inspired clothing for both daytimes (optional) and especially evenings (encouraged). However, if you don’t have this style of clothing, don’t be stressed!
Generally speaking, the Glenn Miller Orchestra crossing is attracting a slightly less vintage-dressed crowd than the Alex Mendham and Dandy Wellington crossings, however everyone is welcome so long as they adhere to the semi-formal and formal dress codes of the ship.
Plan to dress for the vintage private parties while also fitting into the dress code on the ship. It would be a good idea to read Cunard’s “what to pack” guide.
Now that you’ve read about Cunard’s dress codes, you can start to consider that the vintage loving community is generally much better dressed than the general public. While some of the regular passengers do dress up well, most people, even on Cunard, come a bit short of the standards of formal wear from decades passed. We say this in case it might relieve some pressure if you’re concerned about reaching the level of “black tie”, but if you’re eager and excited for an opportunity to go “all out”, you will certainly have the chance, particularly on the Gala nights.
During the Transatlantic crossing, there will be three Gala nights. The first is always a Black and White ball, one is a general gala evening, and one is usually a Masquerade theme, though we will confirm with you about the theme on your crossing in the new year. These three evenings will be the most dressed up, while the others will still be sharp.
Because of the evening schedule, with our group’s private parties from 6pm to 8pm and then our dinner seating at 8:30pm, you will want to dress for the full evening of events rather than planning to change before dinner, so take this into consideration when you plan your packing. The exception would be if you’re an avid dancer with a tendency to perspire, in which case you might want to change quickly before dinner.
Q. What can I expect from a Transatlantic crossing?
A. Unlike a typical modern “cruise”, the Queen Mary 2 makes a direct passage from Europe to America. There are no stops or ports. This recalls days gone by, before air travel took over the travel industry. There are seven days at sea on the Atlantic ocean to enjoy the amenities of the ship and get to know your fellow passengers.
Unlike regular cruise ships that focus on activities like karaoke, BINGO, and the casino, Cunard takes a different focus. Those activities are still sometimes quietly available, but instead Cunard focuses on lectures from special guests as well as an opportunity to see their Planetarium presentation.
Overall, the experience is very relaxed and leisurely, giving you time to enjoy the elegance of the ship.
Q. What if I get sea sick?
A. Keep in mind that although the ship is specifically designed to handle the potentially rough seas of the North Atlantic, there can sometimes be some rolling motion. Those prone to motion sickness should consider bringing medication to ensure a comfortable voyage. Just check with your local pharmacy. If you forget to bring it and are feeling unwell, medication is available at the Purser’s desk in the main lobby.
Q. Will there be dancing?
A. Yes! If you want there to be! But there is zero pressure if dancing isn’t your thing.
The Queen Mary 2 has the largest dance floor at sea. Our private parties will have live music perfect for cutting a rug. There will also be opportunities to dance to the ship’s house band when they take the stage in the Queen’s Room later in the evening. Recorded music is also often played in the ballroom for additional dance time.
If you can’t dance and would like to learn some steps before you cruise, it’s appropriate to take local or online lessons in era-appropriate Lindy Hop and related swing dances such as Balboa. You may also like to dabble in a bit of Foxtrot and perhaps Waltz or even a Cha Cha. But don’t worry…if you don’t wish to dance, it’s great fun to watch!
Q. Is there internet on the ship?
A. The Queen Mary 2 is Wi-Fi enabled. Satellite internet packages are available to purchase pre cruise or once on board. You can access the internet on your own device or via the terminals in the library or ConneXions.