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Colin Markland

Age: 61 to 70

Occupation:Retd.MD

Number of Cruises: 3 t

Cruise Line: Cunard

Ship: Queen Elizabeth 2

Sailing Date: n/a

Itinerary: Ft Laud to Acapulco. World Cruise 2001

After 10 days on the Ft Laud to Acapulco segment of the World cruise on QE2 I report 'personal feelings on this nostalgia experience. A former Ocean liner, now sadly converted to the 'Cruise Industry' trying hard with the obvious competition. They surely will be retired in the next 2-3 years for the new Q Mary 2,which apparently will have all the usual verandas, buffets and resort type entertainments! We enjoyed the old style though, for me it was a trip back to the 70's. The Restaurant (the Caronia) used to be the first class and is still excellent, with great service, cuisine  etc. and recently refurbished decor. The problem is that on this World cruise, about 1/2 are nice Archie Bunkers 1/4 Brits,1/4 Euros and 1/2 US, for whom the Lido buffet is the epitome of the high life, eat as often and as much as you can!! Then there are the 'experienced world cruisers' now on their 9th around the world, a small but distinct entity, several of whom we met. Unfortunately one at the dinner table! Overall the ship tries hard, but the clientele is simply not what it used to be on the transatlantic!; in a similar way  the staff (inc.50% Philippinos) try hard but not what it once was!

 The fabric of the cabins show wear and tear and the new layout of the interior, trying to resemble  a 90's cruise ship just cannot do it! As for the trip, the Panama Canal is showing a bit of its age and mainly of historic interest, Cartagena-great Spanish history, 3rd world and same for Costa Rica, until we spent 3 days in Acapulco to revisit the old hotels, the divers, the old city and the amazing new Museum in the old fort-explaining to me for the first time how the Spanish used Acapulco and New Spain as the staging point to the Orient- Very well done! 

In summary, enjoyable, interesting, Panama Canal, once is enough!

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