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sammy sun

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Everything posted by sammy sun

  1. I actually spoke to multiple agents regarding a cruise earlier this year with P&O and I was advised the same situation by all. P&O do still apply the 5% flat commission to all agents but it's up to the agent as to what they do with it. P&O do try to monitor this apparently and control the discounting to prevent overkill but at the end of the day, agents will do as they wish to get bookings, which undoubtedly works in our favour. That said, I would always be dubious of an agent giving away their full 5% commission in order to get a booking. It seemed the whole commission change
  2. I've never sailed with them personally so I can't comment with full certainty but I would imagine they would be similar to other lines that operate such staggered check-in systems at Southampton. I think if you turn up earlier, you'll just be advised that they'll get you on board as soon as possible, much like P&O would do.
  3. Hi, glad you got the answers you were looking for. How do you find MSC? It's a cruise line I've discussed on this forum before but seeing as it's your third cruise with them I'd imagine you find them enjoyable? Just wondered how you would compare them to other cruise lines?
  4. The fact is that we're never going to know the full ins and outs of gratuities and how they're distributed. We can only interpret what impacts us, the paying passengers. They've clearly done their due dilligence and spent time working out the right way to move forward for the cruise line. I'm sure it took a long time to reach the decision but they've gone with it so fair play to them. It's a bold statement and certainly one that the majority of passengers will be pleased to hear. It prevents any awkward situations for passengers on board and it takes away the concern of gratuities for all
  5. Aside from the direct/agent debate, I think the Iona prices overall aren't bad at all. As a family of 3 looking at summer holidays 2020, the prices are much better than I expected for that time of year and the fact that it's a new ship. I do wish they'd gone a little more creative with Iona than what I've seen of her so far, especially if they really want to rival Royal Caribbean in the family market but that said, it does look a nice ship and despite the slight dissapointment, I did expect them to be their usual reserved selves.
  6. I was quite surprised to see Iona just doing back-to-back Fjords itineraries. I expected the usual mix of Med/Fjords/Baltic/short cruise options so it's interesting to see them go down the route of one sole focus for a new ship. Maybe we'll see the same again for the next new arrival.
  7. I'd certainly be willing to give it a try but I dont' have overly high hopes for Iona. It's not necessarily the size of the ship that puts me off but rather what they've done with it. This was a real opportunity for P&O to do something different but instead it appears to be more of the same with the exception of "Courtyard Balconies" 🤔. It's hardly a wow factor. I'm not saying I need all the hustle and bustle of a Royal Caribbean ship to keep me happy because I don't but I just feel P&O could have done more to overcome many of the negative perceptions people have of them of late.
  8. I was recently made aware of a film on Netflix that is set on board Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas. It's called Like Father. Has anyone seen it? I've only seen a trailer for it on youtube but I may well give it a watch, if only to see what the ship looks like.
  9. Personally, I try to adhere to dress codes but I do understand that some people will not. It's the way of the world and we all have to like it or lump it because as OWT quite rightly point out, it cannot be physically enforced. The cruising world is now a world of opinions and many differing preferences but as I've said before and I'll say again, the fortunate thing is that there are options for most tastes. The same applies to freedom dining. The limitations of traditional dining continue to be flagged as a negative perception of cruising to a younger generation and therefore more cruise
  10. I think it's a good idea in theory and at least it show SOME innovative thinking from P&O rather than the conveyor belt of normality they've dosed out over the past few years. My issue with it is that they will undoubtedly price this cabins at ridiculous fares for P&O Cruises, which will no doubt come tumbling down closer to the time of the cruise. I do think it's a nice concept though and it makes a positive change to see P&O introducing something different.
  11. It's a difficult one to judge but I do know one thing, I've recommended many people over the years to give cruising a try but I would never recommend choosing to do a "taster cruise" like this as I think it gives a complete mis-representation of how it really is. I've done the one short cruise and that was enough. The service was no way near as good and the whole process seemed unorganised in comparison to a longer sailing.
  12. I agree with the point you make but demands are changing. In order to keep up with modern day demands, cruise lines need to adapt. Hence the changes you see taking place.
  13. I saw the headline for this story a few days ago but I've just read a bit more about it today. I'm not keen on this name at all. I know it's a nod to the past and the history of the Virgin brand but for a new, contemporary, lavish cruise line image that they appear to be aiming for, it doesn't exactly fit does it? Just my opinion of course but I think it's a terrible name,
  14. There are many reasons why I love Celebrity Cruises and this is just another example to add to the list. I see they've announced plans for a $500 million makeover of their entire fleet. I love that they're not just satisfied with releasing new ships of a conveyor belt like some other lines, they're also taking care of the ships that have got them to this point in the first place. It means older favourites get refreshed with a new look and they're looking at the big picture rather than just the here and now. As per usual with Celebrity, they don't do things by halves as I see they're bring
  15. I understand where you're coming from on the transfer time to and from Florence but it is well-worth it. It's a beautiful city so my advice would be to forget Livorno and go for Florence, especially if you've never been there before.
  16. I agree that I think the potential for drinks packages to be abused would have been a factor in their thinking but they've addressed this issue in their terms and conditions of the trial policy. As you quite rightly say, P&O Cruises is targeted far more at families and speaking from experience, cruising as a family is an expensive travel option, especially during school holiday periods, therefore value for money is of even greater importance for those on a tight budget.
  17. Welcome to the forum Hattie, I hope you find it useful
  18. I agree with you on that sinbad, it is a considerably higher amount but what are P&O trying to achieve with this drinks package trial and have they considered their target market in doing so? Look at the success Fred Olsen have achieved with their packages and the clear, consice plan they've put in place for appealing to their target market. P&O do not have this structure in place, or it wouldnt' appear so as an outsider looking in. You would expect Princess to be at this sort of price bracket to run parallel to rival leading American lines. P&O however are targeting the
  19. I completely agree with you on this OWT. When I first saw the headline, I opened the link hoping so much that they would get this right and in my opinion, they've once again failed to take advantage of an opportunity that has been staring them in the face for a long time. So many people have been calling for P&O to give this a try and when they finally do, it's half-hearted, much like most of what they do these days. The price is, in my opinion, expensive. I understand that large American lines do compare price wise but this was an opportunity for P&O to hammer home the message of
  20. For me, it's another marmite of the cruising world. You either love it or you hate it. Since I tried Freedom Dining for the first time in 2008, I've loved it and opted for that choice at every opportunity since. I love not being confined to a specific sitting time and the overall flexibility of it suits me down to the ground. I understand that it's not for everyone and there are still many pros to sitting times, especially the opportunity to get familiar with your waiting staff and get to know them better as well as them getting to know you. That said, I still prefer the open seating
  21. I'd imagine they'll add "restricted" or "obstructed" to the cabins that are not clear sea views. Of course, it's all a matter of opinions but it wouldn't surprise me to see these changes made to fall more in line with land-stay terminology. An outside cabin is understood by people that have cruised before but for the many that haven't they don't understand what "outside" means, which then requires them to look it up to find out. All of which takes them further away from doing what cruise lines want them to do, which is obviously commit to a booking. The less obstacles in place, the more b
  22. I think many more people will have had the same or similar experiences sinbad and hence walked away from cruising due to the perceived complexities of it when you've never done it before. It is a different kettle of fish to a land-stay. When speaking to anyone about booking their first cruise, I always recommend doing as much research as possible but then speaking to an agent to make sure they're happy and understand what they're booking. Getting the first cruise right is often the decisive time to whether they go on to get the cruising bug or regret their experience and go back to land-s
  23. Despite my opinion that they do need another to bridge the gap, I have to agree that it doesn't look like they'll go down that route. I thought P&O had a real opportunity here to split their fleet properly between family-friendly and intimate/adult-only. Instead, they've done their usual in attempting to try to please everyone, which we all know, especially in the cruising world, is impossible. There are so many different cruise lines to choose from these days that P&O, in my opinion, need to nail down exactly what they'r about. Royal Caribbean portray a clear message as to who th
  24. Glad you enjoyed your cruise Sue. I hope the ship was just as enjoyable as the place you visited?
  25. Spot on OWT. I couldn't agree more. I'd add that it wouldn't surprise me if a name change to Gala evenings instead of Formal Evenings is in the pipeline. I think P&O as well as many other cruise lines are trying to do all they can to address the elephants in the room for many first time cruisers. The potential market is huge but many are put off by the age-old perceptions of cruise holidays being stuffy, over-organised and far from relaxing. Cruise lines are having to make signigicant changes to their previous ways of doing things in order to move with the times and meet the demands o
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