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Everything posted by dst87

  1. Something I found really odd was that a few years back they played Final Destination as the in flight movie! Again, it didn't bother me but given so many people are bothered, I thought it was an odd choice of flight. It'd be like playing Titanic on a cruise... just seems wrong for some reason!
  2. I am pretty rational when it comes to this sort of stuff, so it doesn't faze me at all. I'll sit in row 13 of flight 13 on the 13th of the month - don't care! Give me room 13 on the 13th floor - wouldn't bother me in the slightest! Shoes upon the table, breaking a mirror, spilling salt. Wouldn't even cross my mind. The Brazil Airlines thing strikes me as paradoxical. You'd think the 'clairvoyant' (hereafter known as scammer) would identify that a flight was going to crash, and identify the flight that was going to crash by telling people the flight number. This relies on a pre-
  3. I was really concerned about that too, but it wasn't my experience (on Celebrity Eclipse). In fact I wasn't even told about (let alone pressured into selling) any additional products during or after my massage. Ultimately if they did that during treatments they'd put a lot of people off coming back Remember, this isn't a bait and switch where they offer cheap treatments to sell products; the treatments themselves are quite expensive.
  4. I tend not to use the buffet or the gym (though I have used both in the past) - I'm not a fitness fanatic at home so I certainly don't intend to be one on holiday! I occasionally use the pool though.
  5. dst87

    Trip To Bruges

    Add my support to the idea of doing it yourself. Unfortunately the trains are very infrequent and I think one was cancelled when we were there. Nonetheless it's the easiest way of going. Many other people got the bus when they discovered the train was cancelled. We ended up hanging about in Blankenberg while we waited which may be one of the most depressing little seaside towns I've seen. it was dead, and the weather was miserable.
  6. I love Amazon's Black Friday events. They run daily deals that last only for minutes (on popular items) for the week running up to the Friday - starts on Monday!! They've tried temping us with some of the deals last night on a 'preview' but I know they'll be better during the week. I've bought loads of stuff there, mostly things I was thinking about anyway, and the prices are genuinely reduced unlike most of the high street 'sales' where a few heavily discounted items have been brought in and sold at stupid prices for a month beforehand. Well worth a look!
  7. I don't bother with those things, as I have my own very nice shampoos and body washes (Aussie and Molton Brown respectively) and wouldn't really want to use silly little miniatures. In fact I don't take anything from hotels at all - I don't see the point. They're nice to have while staying (and I might discover some nice new brands that way) but don't see the point in taking them. Actually, one exception. I was staying two nights in a hotel that had some really nice biscuits. I normally eat them while staying, but I didn't on the first night so slipped the unopened biscuits into my
  8. How exciting! I won't hold my breath for a while Christmas though. Better get the winter clothes sorted I suppose!
  9. I don't know what the criticism was, but there are certain things that are baselines requirements for a hotel - cleanliness being one. If those aren't met then I don't see the problem with a negative review regardless of how much was paid. I use TripAdvisor a lot and have written many reviews. One thing I try to do is keep reviews objective. If a hotel met my expectations that doesn't mean it gets a 5* review. As such, even if I got what I paid for from an £18/night hotel (not that I'd ever stay in one), I'd still be unlikely to rate it any more than 3* because that's the standard the
  10. I guess that's true but you're comparing luxury lines with mainstream lines and there will always be a difference there. I'd much sooner book on a Silversea ship that was the same age as a Fred Olsen ship.
  11. I love a nice Hendricks and Tonic but honestly couldn't tell you how much various lines charge, as I'm too busy enjoying myself to remember or worry about how much a drink costs! Good luck with your list though, as I know many first-time cruisers who are budget conscious and the information out there isn't hugely accessible, which is especially important when analysing the value of a drinks package.
  12. I don't think the age of the ship matters directly, but it is certainly indicative of other things that do matter (to me). Older ships tend to be smaller and have a more dated decor. They tend to have less impressive spaces, fewer dining options, fewer entertainment options, etc, etc. They tend to have shower curtains rather than glass screens (shower curtains should be illegal, IMO). The staterooms tend to by less well thought out generally. Naturally the service levels and quality of the food needn't be indicated by the age of the ship.
  13. I think that's a good point that many people seem to miss. The drinks package, gratuities etc. aren't free! They're calculated into the price offered at the time. I saw this with my last Med cruise in Eclipse. Booked early with no offers and when the offers arrived the price increased by about £600 each.
  14. Hi Matilda, Appreciate your comments, thanks I certainly asked the agent how I could get back in touch, and there was a definite 'don't call us we'll call you' vibe. That I could call and ask for her was never explained and, frankly, she didn't seem like she was interested unless I was going to make a decision there and then. If she'd said "Have a think and call back this number asking for me" then I would have found that perfectly acceptable, but she didn't and many call centres don't have the ability to transfer calls to a specific agent, so how am I to know Bolsover's rules?
  15. It's not just the lack of an e-mail quote, but the idea I'm going to hand over thousands of pounds without having anything in writing from a company formally stating what they're offering is a bit much for a company I've never had dealings with. Further, the service was quite pushy "I'll call you back at 16:00" then expecting a decision. If no decision had been made and I wanted more time, I had to arrange a further call back from the consultant as, of course, I have no way of getting back in contact! As I said in my reply to Cruise Chef, I'm not particularly bothered by this as I have a
  16. I understand that - but I like written confirmation of what's been discussed. Bolsover advertise a 'One 2 One Service'. This page on their website makes it very clear that their customers have their own dedicated cruise consultant who will deliver their renowned service. Sounds great, but what use is a dedicated consultant and One 2 One Service if you don't have that consultants e-mail address or telephone number? I'm not really grieved by this so while many others clearly love Bolsover's service perhaps it's just not for me. There are other agents out there including the cruise lines
  17. The credit card fees were the incentive I needed to pick up the phone, though now my usual agent has agrees to waive the Amex charges too. My disappointment was that when I called the agent I spoke to didn't really seem to care much about my enquiry, refused to give me a quote by e-mail (albeit with the understanding the prices can change) and apparently didn't have a direct dial telephone number or e-mail address, which in my view doesn't back up the idea that I get an agent dedicated to me who gets to know me. I didn't get as far as having a membership number, though I did provi
  18. dst87

    Christmas Food

    I love all of the Christmas food pretty much! My Christmas food build-up always starts... about now! With Starbucks red cups (Toffee Nut or Eggnog Lattes) and the various Christmas sandwiches that appear in supermarkets and sandwich shops. Not to forget mince pies, which I've already had a few of this year! Later will be the plethora of Christmas lunches with friends and ex-colleagues. Then my Edinburgh break with Alex where some intimate Michelin-starred festive dining will be enjoyed. Finally Christmas day with family always has to be some sort of roast bird (who are these people
  19. I'm already planning to book the Eclipse cruise to the Fjords on 30th April 2016. I can't wait! Doubt I'll book with Bolsover after a poor experience dealing with them when getting quotes for my Splendour cruise. Shame, as I've heard so many great things!
  20. Oh my goodness I love that show! I was hooked and as I didn't start until some of it had already aired I had several seasons to binge-watch on Netflix. I now watch some new shows and am disappointed that the writing and performances don't come up to the high standard set by BB!
  21. There are a lot of misconceptions about Cunard, and I see you've discovered for yourself how wrong many of them are! I'm itching to try Cunard again myself. My one question: which cruise lines don't have a small fridge in the stateroom?!
  22. I'm not an expert on Christmas Markets, but if you don't want to leave the UK you could consider Edinburgh. It's a gorgeous city at any time, but the Christmas stuff there is fun. Alex and I have an annual night out where we book a nice hotel and enjoy the festivities!
  23. I've gone for the all-singing, all-dancing drinks package which should include everything on board except some of the most expensive beers, whisky and wines. I was a bit miffed by the drinks packages on Royal, as there are far more of them that I would think is really necessary. I don't know if I'll drink as much as the package, but I do like the flexibility.
  24. Thanks Richard - I can't wait! I hope my blogging bone hasn't gotten rusty! Thanks for the tips OWT. I really like the sound of the R-bar and it's one of the places I'd like to take advantage of with my Ultimate drinks package. Do you have any drinks recommendations on Royal? I'm very much looking forward to seeing how the dining is. I don't expect it to be to Celebrity's standard, but I might be wrong. We'll be trying Izumi and Chops Grill during our cruise, as well as trying to get a reservation on the Chefs Table, which sounds like a fun, social experience with great fo
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