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Posts posted by cruisemad

  1. We booked this cool.png

    It's not actually going to the Black Sea, only as far as Istanbul.

    The other Turkish port is Kusadasi.

    21 ports in 30 days.

    We love the smaller ex Renaissance ships.

    After the poor summer here, it seemed like an excellent opportunity to see some sunshine and say goodbye to Adonia.

    I just hope when they refit her for the new venture that they don't destroy her charm.

    3 weeks to go - still some spaces smile.png

  2. We are going on Oriana in February to hopefully see the Northern lights.

    I had seen lots of reports about problems, mainly plumbing.

    It did give me pause before I booked, but my partner was so keen to do this trip.

    Hopefully there won't be problems, 

    There aren't many cruise ships that do the Northern Lights, Fred and CMV, plus Hurtigruten.

    My S-I-L went on a Hurtigruten ship to see the lights and was not impressed, so P&O it was.

    I'm going with a PMA, and fingers crossed we see the Aurora.smile.png

  3. Our Azamazing evening in April in Safaga is going to be held on-board the ship.

    I have heard such mixed reviews about these events that I am pleased about this, as we can take the decision whether or not we

    attend on the day and presumably not be 'fined' if we decide to give it a miss.

  4. Personally I would prefer to see gratuities included in the price of the cruise which would stop those who leave gratuities on

    their account subsidising those who remove them.

    We are not stupid enough to believe that these are 'gratuities' in the true sense of the word but a contribution to the salary of the staff.

    I doubt that this system will ever change, the 'American' culture which dominates cruise companies in the UK is too ingrained.

    Even though Azamara includes gratuities in the fare price there are always threads on the Azamara Cruise Critic board concerning how much extra to tip.

    I prefer the auto gratuity route, I dislike handing over envelopes like 'Lady Bountiful' on the final evening, somehow it seems demeaning to the people who

    have helped make my cruise so enjoyable.

    I'm sure many will disagree but that is how I feel.

  5. We toured with Alla tours in St Petersburg this September.

    A full on 2 day tour in a small group, the guide spoke excellent English.

    It cost us £368 for the 2 of us including the visa.

  6. Just a word of caution for those who use Insurance issued by Bank Cards. The coverage is usually basic and not everything is actually covered, especially the Cancellation and Curtailment amounts, which tend to be low on these types of insurance. Also the length of individual trips may be restricted as well , especially on the longer trips.

    if you are going on a long trip and be away from your home for a while, then you also need to check your own home insurance. Most home insurances expire on the coverage if the home is left empty after a certain time.

    Travellers really do need to check the insurance Policy and especially the small print. You don't usually get something for nothing.

    We usually shop around until we find the coverage needed and the most competitive quote. We also tend to look for Annual Travel Insurance too as this works out cheaper if more than one trip is planned.

    I think this is good advice, a case of  'You get what you pay for'.

  7. Beware those that do it through their bank. My son has just had a horrendous experience.

    Like all insurance companies they are quite happy to take your money but will fight tooth and nail to minimise their pay out's


    I have insurance thru Nationwide and have used it for European trips but have just taken out an annual policy with Saga for our trip to Rio next month as anywhere outside of Europe wasn't covered. I usually take out an annual multi trip but used the Nationwide cover when my annual one expired.

    Fortunately I've never had to claim.

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