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Posted by
4842 posts

So I wonder if he’s a one lump or two lump guy.

He’ll have time for several more cuppas before he reaches Victoria.

Posted by
1266 posts

I like coffee. Tea gives me migraines! Not even for a special cup of coffee.

Posted by
11450 posts

Well living in Victoria no way would I go ten minutes to have overpriced tea at Empress ( I do occasionally walk through lobby for the ambience ) and I would have the much better afternoon teas offered at either White Heather or Butchard Gardens .

I also think , while not mentioned but I still firmly believe this - he is getting an insiders deal on the train ride as no way is it cheaper than flying , and I don’t believe the cruise and train ride is only 900 gbp more that flying -

He seems foolish - but I guess it’s his thing to promote himself and I’m sure the trains are happy to give him a deal as he had a large platform to promote taking the train cross Canada - ridership is down so perhaps this will help .

And lastly the train ride through the Rockies is very scenic - but it’s dead boring for two days through the prairies .

Posted by
9632 posts

I spent several years working in public relations and know that it is self promotion. However, when I see out of the box creativity, I admire it.

Yes, the trip will cost more than 900 GBP and take a lot longer. But flying wouldn't have gotten him any press coverage.

Posted by
8293 posts

Oh, heck, some cranky responses here. The Seat 61 Guy is having a fun trip and a different way of doing it. Personally, I would do it in a flash if I had the money. I have crossed on the QM2 and it is a great experience. As for the train from Toronto across Canada, I know some of it is boring but I have always wanted to do it. If only I could afford it. As for tea at the Empress, sure, why not? It is all part of the experience even if the whiners say the tea is not that good. It is tea at the Empress in Victoria, for Pete ‘s sake......... it doesn’t have to be excellent.

Posted by
2708 posts

I would love that trip! And in fact, the transCanada and the Crossing are both on my list...although the ship crossing now makes me think twice, as I think it is worse than flying, environmentally? I wouldn't bother with the tea though.

As far as his PR, what organization (and individuals with brands these days or selfies) doesn't do PR? And how is he to promote routes if he's never tried them? And the guy and his family just seem to have a good time doing these trips...as my mother used to say about those who criticize: Sour grapes? Everyone travels in their own way. To each their own, why criticize?

Some people just travel differently. Soon we are setting off to hop the Maine Islands...sure we could drive to the ferry lot, but where's the fun/respite in that? We walk out our door to the T, to Amtrak, to quick bus, to ferry, to island, to ferry, to island and back home again via ferry, Amtrak, T over a period of a few lovely days. We meet a lot of people in the process.

Posted by
1239 posts

The cup of tea business is obviously just a journalistic "hook" (and its not even mentioned in the headline anyway). As a family holiday what he plans looks fantastic. Obviously if you just want to get from A to B then it makes no sense. But if your plan is to make the journey part of the holiday, then it would be great. I'm rather envious - liner across the Atlantic, sleeper services across North America, stops in major cities, a cup of tea. It looks well brilliant.

Posted by
1932 posts

Yes I would do it. Any excuse for an adventure!

What a great story...and it all started because he wanted to have tea at the Empress! Well, that and a little publicity :-)

Posted by
2888 posts

Sounds like a great family adventure, although the middle portion of the trip, between Manitoba and the Alberta foothills will be boring. I grew up on the prairies. The old tale of a child running away after breakfast and still being within eyesight at dinner time isn't wrong.

Tea at the Empress, even though it's as overpriced as some London teas, should be experienced at least once. One of my mother's favorite memories was the Mothers day when I took her and both of my young daughters there.

But methinks they won't be doing this trip carryon only. Not with Cunard's dress code.

Posted by
6321 posts

I wouldn't do it for a cup of tea, but I would definitely do this just for the journey - it I could afford it, of course.

Posted by
8293 posts

“..... they won’t be doing this trip with carry on only. Not with Cunard’s dress code.”

The QM2 does not have a dress code, except for the dining room on the two formal nights. You can have dinner elsewhere on the ship those nights, in your jeans, if you want to.

Posted by
6321 posts

I beg to differ, unless you only eat in the buffet

According to the link you provided: "Of course, if you prefer to spend your evenings in more relaxed attire, a selection of casual dining and entertainment venues are always available for your enjoyment."

Which to me sounds like there are other options for those that don't want to dress formal. And even in the pictures they show some suggested looks that aren't even what I would consider that formal. In fact if you pack carry on only you can always have a plain black dress or slacks that can be dressed up quite nicely with scarf and/or jewelry enough to pass as formal.

Posted by
8293 posts

I have made five QM2 crossings and on the last two we decided “enough with the gala dinners” and didn’t take any clothes suitable for such. We got along fine in the other eating venues in our jeans or black pants, with suitable tops. Of course, you can always order room service and eat dinner watching TV or on the balcony (weather permitting) which is a nice lazy thing to do.

I would just like to add that Cunard’s take on formal wear for the gala evenings is very loosey -goosey. Some women just wear black pants, a top and a cleverly tied scarf. Others may be in a pretty dress. Some men wear tuxedos, some men wear kilts, and some wear casual pants and a jacket. And then, of course, there are the ladies who wear what looks like their prom dresses, but then, why not?

No reason to fear the gala nights but no pressure to attend, either.

Posted by
2888 posts

"Of course, if you prefer to spend your evenings in more relaxed
attire, a selection of casual dining and entertainment venues are
always available for your enjoyment."

Which to me sounds like there are other options for those that don't
want to dress formal. And even in the pictures they show some
suggested looks that aren't even what I would consider that formal. In
fact if you pack carry on only you can always have a plain black dress
or slacks that can be dressed up quite nicely with scarf and/or
jewelry enough to pass as formal.

Nancy, I agree that what they call formal is really just semi formal. But would you really want to be relegated to the buffet, casino and a couple of bars every evening of the crossing and be barred from the main dining room and theater (and some of the other public areas of the ship) just because you insist on only a carry on? Yes, a woman could get by with a LBD, and she might not mind wearing the same thing every night for a week, but I can't think of too many men who could fit an extra sport jacket or blazer plus dress shoes into a carryon. If you're going to the time and expense of a QM2 crossing, you might as well enjoy all it has to offer. I refuse to forgo the pleasure of all the venues available on a ship just because I don't have the appropriate wardrobe. Norma disagrees with me. It's all a matter of personal choice.

Posted by
8293 posts

It is not a matter of personal choice ...... it is a matter of what actually takes place regarding the so-called dress code, which I went into above. Carry on would be possible if you don’t mind paying $20 to have a bag of laundry done mid-cruise. I have never travelled with just a carry on. I just can’t be bothered to think and plan so diligently about my clothes.

Posted by
6321 posts

Carry on would be possible if you don’t mind paying $20 to have a bag of laundry done mid-cruise.

Isn't the Southampton to London crossing only 8 days? I can pack for 8 days in a carry on so wouldn't need to do laundry, except to maybe wash out a couple of pairs of undies.

I've actually been thinking about doing a one way flight to Europe and then the QM2 back, just for the experience. And that would definitely be carry on only.

Posted by
7530 posts

Yes, you can do it with carry on, Nancy. A couple of posters here do that. And if you want to eat in the Main Dining room on Gala Nights dressed as Norma described, it’s perfectly doable. There are only two Gala nights out of the seven. Norma is the real source on this. BTW, the one-way airfare has been included for everyone I know who has gone one way. Yes, some people do stay on the ship and ride back!

Posted by
327 posts

As for the train from Toronto across Canada, I know some of it is
boring but I have always wanted to do it. If only I could afford it.

Sounds like a great family adventure, although the middle portion of
the trip, between Manitoba and the Alberta foothills will be boring.
I
grew up on the prairies. The old tale of a child running away after
breakfast and still being within eyesight at dinner time isn't wrong.

I beg to differ with some of my fellow posters. As a Canadian who has travelled twice (round trip) across our great country on VIA Rail's The Canadian and The Ocean between Edmonton, Alberta and Halifax, Nova Scotia, I want to say that not everyone feels that the three prairie provinces are boring! Far from it! We saw more wildlife (the four-footed varieties) in that stretch than in four other provinces of Central and Eastern Canada. And there's a reason that Saskatchewan has "Land of Living Skies" on their vehicle licence plates! The bright yellow canola fields against bright blue skies and Boreal forests in Alberta and the fields of smiling sunflowers in Manitoba were a delight for photographers! And who doesn't enjoy seeing the constellations and star-filled pollution-free skies at night? Although we met few Canadians on our train journeys, there were plenty of British, Germans, Australians, and Americans to share our Canadiana stories with as we enjoyed the camaraderie in the glass-topped dome car. Believe me, this "land cruise" across the heart of Canada is anything but boring. Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, and Montreal, all waiting to be explored en route! Oh, and the scenic trip west through the Canadian Rockies between Edmonton and Vancouver is pretty spectacular as well!

I think The Man in Seat 61 and his family will enjoy the trip of a lifetime - great food in the dining car, falling asleep to the rhythmic and soothing sounds of the train, seeing the diversity of Canada's landscapes, and so much more - a trip that more Canadians should put on their travel Bucket List, IMHO. Slow travel at its best.

Posted by
6321 posts

And I'll add that the train across the middle provinces of Canada could not possibly be any more boring than riding the Empire Builder across North Dakota and the eastern 2/3 of Montana (and I've done that twice), talk about a snooze. It's the good stuff on either end that make it worthwhile, that and that it's only a day and 1/2 of nothingness (could be worse). Sorry ND and MT residents if I offend. I've also done quite a bit of driving across western Ontario and Manitoba and it's actually quite pretty. Some people, including me, like the wilderness and can always find something interesting in it.

Posted by
1035 posts

Well, I am certainly hoping the Canadian is not boring since I leave on it from Toronto in three weeks, heading all the way across to Vancouver - just a few weeks behind the Man in Seat 61. :) I am really looking forward to it. I might even end up with afternoon tea in Victoria, although it most likely won’t be at the Empress. :)