Laptop Coaching: Spotting Suspicious eMails

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We spent the morning looking at fake emails and developed some ‘rules’ for how to identify them without opening them.

Film: Avengers: Infinity War

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The mighty juggernaut that is the Marvel film franchise (or to give it its proper name, the Marvel Cinematic Universe) continues on its unstoppable journey with their nineteenth movie (yes, really!) entitled: Avengers: Infinity War. Shares in the firm Spandex have already risen, as the movie was launched worldwide this weekend – and there’s a lot of Spandex in this one!!!

Reported to be one of the most expensive films ever made (and maybe that’s not surprising, given the sheer number of big names appearing in this latest super-hero outing), it’s a all-out-action movie… on steroids! Don’t worry about the plot (as good as it is) just sit back and enjoy a screen full of your favourite super-heroes doing their very best to beat the bad guy! (Thandos“, if you’re asking).

Apparently, this is Part 1 of a two-parter, so don’t expect things to be completely wrapped-up in this (bladder-testing two-hours-twenty-nine minute) adventure – it’s perhaps NOT the ending you’re expecting. The sequel is coming in May, 2019, and it’s already been filmed, so expect some leaks any time soon – and gazillions of fan theories too!

If you’re new to all this Marvellous stuff (see what I did there?), it helps if you know the back-story to some of the on-screen heroes – May I suggest, as a taster: Captain America – The First Avenger, Guardians of the Galaxy (the first one), Black Panther (the DVD is out in June) and of course Iron Man – the film that kicked-off the franchise in 2008.

Oh, one more thing – don’t forget to stay beyond the closing credits!

In keeping with previous Marvel productions, after they’ve rolled, there’s a short three-minute sneak-peek that sets the scene for what’s to come in the next movie. About 50% of the audience were ‘in the know’ and stayed in their seat, but it’s fair to say that having ‘sneaked that peek’, we’re none the wiser!! ☺

Tablet Coaching: Amazon Prime Video

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Today, we discussed the features and benefits of Amazon Prime Video.

Laptop Coaching: Staying Safe Online

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Today, we discussed how to spot dangerous eMails and how to stay safe online.

Laptop Coaching: The Perfect Password!

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In an ideal world, the rules for PC passwords would be: different for every website; long enough not to be easily guessed; and best of all, easy to remember.

Sounds impossible I know, but today we discussed a straightforward way to meet all of these criteria, as part of our short series entitled: ‘Staying Safe Online‘.

Our Cruise Awards 2018

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Queen Mary 2 Interior Photos

Cruise Photos

QE2 Tour

Our ‘Awards’ based on experiences over the past few weeks. Some are best read with your tongue firmly in your cheek!

Favourite Port Award
Winner: Muscat, capital of the Sultanate of Oman
Runner-up: Colombo, capital of Sri Lanka

Best Tour Guide Award
Abdullah (Oman)
Sri (Sri Lanka)

Best on-Board Technology Award
Winner: The Ship’s Planetarium

Most Unpredictable Technology Award
Winner: My Stateroom Door Card
Runner-up: The Internet connection

Best Theatre Show Award
Winner: Cirque de Soleil
Runners-up: The Opera Boys

Dyson Award for Cleanliness
Winner: Oman
Runner-up: Dubai

Country most-in-need-of-a-Dyson Award
Winner: India
Runner-up: India
Honourable Mention: India
The ‘Need-To-Get-Your-Act-Together’ Award: India

The Award for The-Most-Difficult-To-Find Locations
Winner: The Cunard Tour Office on-board
Runner-up: Our Stateroom (after dwinkies at the Commodore Lounge)

The ‘Didn’t-like-it-last-time-still-don’t-like-it’ Award
Winner: Thailand

The Surprise Award
Winner: Visit to the newly opened QE2 in Dubai
Runner-up: Cunard doing it all for free

The Coolest Location Award
Winner: The fridge in our Stateroom
Runner-up: The Carinthia Lounge

The Most Colourful Country Award
Winner: Oman

The Most Colourful Language Award
Winner: Any Australian Guest (Oz Guest – “Your a*** is hanging out the lift mate!”. Overheard Brit reply (in a very posh voice): “WE wouldn’t say it like that!”)
Runners-up: No other possible nominations

Best at Breakfast Award
Winner: Ann
Runner-up: The Cunard Cumberland Sausage
(I’m now looking for the First Aider at Dubai, as Ann’s not impressed that she’s in competition with a sausage!)

The Smoothness Award
Winner: Cunard for getting us on and off the Ship without any drama
Runner-up: Cunard for most everything else

The Longest Queue in the Name of Bureaucracy Award
Winner: The four Indian Officials allocated to process over 2000 on-board applications to go ashore (even though we’d already got Visas)

The Karl Marx Room Award
The Laundrette (for not having any left-handed ironing boards)

The Shouldn’t-Be-Allowed-To-Call-It-A-Smoothie Award
Winner: The Cunard ‘Post Workout’ Smoothie (yes, really!)
(Oats, Dates, Chia Seeds, Peanut Butter, Cinnamon, Vanilla and Almond Milk)


Cruise 2018 Extra – “Ship Ahoy Cap’n”

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From a photography point of view, occasionally, an opportunity presents itself that’s truly ‘once in a lifetime’. We were offered one of those opportunities today! It’s Wednesday the 18th, we’re in Dubai and it’s our final day on the Cruise.

But first, “turn over your papers”, here’s a bit of ‘O Level’ Cruise history… (stick with it, it’s relevant!)

These days, there are now hundreds of Cruise Ships out there – as new Ships come along (which, these days, is fairly often), older ones are either sold off and given a new identity, scrapped, or if they’re lucky, given a new life as something else, somewhere else.

Cunard currently has (just) three Cruisers – ‘Elizabeth’, ‘Victoria’ and the one we’re on: Queen Mary 2’.  There’s a new one – as yet un-named – on the way, but that’s all a bit hush-hush at the mo’. Because there are fewer Cunard Ships, than many of their competitors, they tend to have a longer sea-life before the fateful decision is taken about their future.

If you’re a seasoned Cruiser (or even if you’re not), you’ll probably remember the ‘QE2’. Launched in 1969, it was then, the flagship of the Cunard fleet but was eventually ‘retired’ almost 40 years later in 2008 and sold to Dubai. Its future? to become a ‘floating resort’ (whatever that means).

“Pencils down”…

So, in typically under-stated Cunard fashion, an announcement was made on-board a few days ago, that there were to be some free – yes, ‘free’ – transfers to the legendary QE2 in the Port of Dubai, on the very day it opens its doors to the public, as a brand-spanking-new glitzy floating hotel.

So here was the promised ‘once in  a lifetime’ opportunity – and we’re on the 3pm Tour.

The complete gallery of photos I took on the day are HERE.