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sammy sun

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  1. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from jinky in Following the Dress Code.   
    I've been away from the forum for quite some time and have just been catching up on the latest threads. To get back to the original question, rather than address the merits of individual cruise lines, I think it's better to take a look at the industry overall. In the past, deciding on a cruise line based on dress code was extremely limited. If you enjoyed the formality then it was ideal, if not then it was difficult to find suitable options. Nowadays however, let's just appreciate the fact that there are so many different cruise lines to choose from that no matter what your preferences, there is something for all.
    For those seeking formal evenings, the options are there; for those who could think of nothing worse, the options are also there. it's great to have such a diverse range of ships, cruise lines, and individual offerings. it's nice to be able to pick and choose based on what suits you rather than the one size fits all approach. I realise the last sentence was packed with puns so I apologise! 
  2. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from mitch in All Freedom Dining on Iona   
    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 lines will make their attempts to address this in order to tempt new to cruise passengers going forward. I'm therefore not surprised at all that P&O have taken this decision for Iona.
    I happen to love freedom dining because I much prefer to have the choice of when I wish to dine rather than being confined to a sitting. I do however appreciate that many people prefer traditional, quite often for the camaraderie and rapport you can develop with waiting staff and the sharing of a table with regular company. You pay your money, you take your choice ūüôā
  3. Thanks
    sammy sun got a reaction from Captain Kidd II in Just Curious !!   
    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 with P&O came on the back of Gills going under quite a few years ago now. That had a major impact on the market and because of that the system seemed to change.
    If an agent is actively giving away their full commission, I'd be concerned about their longevity in the market, unless they have unlimited cash reserves.
    I, like many others have commented, try to combine the two wherever I can. I look for price but I also look for service and Bolsover have ticked these boxes well for me for many years now. Like most people, i still actively look at pricing to see what's out there but I always check Bolsover to make sure they're approximately on par and if they are, I'll go with them. I trust them and they've been excellent over the years for me.
  4. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from sinbad10 in P&o gratuities   
    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.
    How it will impact pricing, I don't know but like always, if you aren't happy don't book, it's as simple as that.  Vote with your feet and venture elsewhere. I suspect it won't have too much of an impact on pricing in the long-term as the booking trends certainly seemed to have changed towards last-minute rather than the early-booking trends of the past. I would imagine that the only time that isn't the case anymore is when it involves new ships such as Iona going on sale.
    I don't think too much will change apart from the fact that we as passengers, when travelling with P&O, will no longer have to factor in gratuities unless we wish to do so at the end of the cruise. Either way, it puts the control in our hands and that's what many have been demanding for a longtime so why all the fuss? You can only control what you can, everything else is just noise.
  5. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Oldworldtraveller in All Freedom Dining on Iona   
    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 lines will make their attempts to address this in order to tempt new to cruise passengers going forward. I'm therefore not surprised at all that P&O have taken this decision for Iona.
    I happen to love freedom dining because I much prefer to have the choice of when I wish to dine rather than being confined to a sitting. I do however appreciate that many people prefer traditional, quite often for the camaraderie and rapport you can develop with waiting staff and the sharing of a table with regular company. You pay your money, you take your choice ūüôā
  6. Like
    sammy sun reacted to Pesky Pirate in James Corden parachute jump   
    If anyone is feeling a bit down, there’s a clip on the BBC website where Tom Cruise challenges James  order to do a parachute jump. It made me smile. Sorry I don’t know how to put a link on here....
  7. Like
    sammy sun reacted to Davybe in James Corden parachute jump   
    Hope this works All good publicity IMO.....Davybe
  8. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from HALaP&O in Oriana sold by P&O Cruises   
    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 they are and what they do well. P&O don't. They hammer away at the "best for British" line but in my opinion, what they really need to do is to differentiate that further by splitting the fleet into two different entities. That would enable them to build ships truly fit for the purpose they were aiming for, rather than trying to create one-size-fits-all builds.
    As always, just my opinion but I feel it's a good opportunity missed here and another example of their poor organisation in recent years.
  9. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from HALaP&O in Virgin Voyages Choose Scarlet Lady As The Name For Their New Ship   
    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,
  10. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from *Dancing Queen* in Livorno or Florence   
    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.
  11. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from HLM in P&O's new drink packages?   
    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 value for money to the British public they're targeting and badly in need of considering the increase in beds to fill come the arrival of Iona.
    Fred Olsen might not be targeting the same audience these days as P&O but they do appeal heavily to the British public. They get so many things right that P&O don't and at least Fred Olsen are clear with who they're targeting and how they're doing it. P&O go back and forth more times than a tennis ball at Wimbledon!
    The fact that it only applies to drinks priced at £6.95 is protrayed as a positive when in reality it's nothing special at all. The t&c's of it are exhausting, as are the limitations. Another example of this is not being able to purchase the package after 2 days on board. What if you decide after a few days that it's actually a good idea for you???
    They've had so long to plan for this and somehow they still manage to find ways to take the shine off it. I won't say "mess it up" as I think that would be a little too harsh, but it's certainly nothing to write home about and given the time they've had and the advantage of watching others trial such packages for so long, they were in a position to really get it right and they've flopped in my opinion. Of course it is just my opinion and I understand others may be a fan of it.
    I just think that if P&O were a school report, they would forever find "could do better" at the top of the page.
  12. Like
    sammy sun reacted to sinbad10 in All inclusive trial?   
    Brother-in-law was thinking about booking a P&O cruise couldnt get hold of a paper brochure went online saw all the different grades and types of cabins and didnt understand having never cruised before why some balcony cabins were dearer than others. Then it was Select, Early Saver & Saver and then the pros and cons of freedom or fixed dining he got totally confused gave up and booked a sea view room in hotel in Lanzarote. It is easy when you know the rules and all the benefits but for newcomers it is very confusing and far from simple.
  13. Like
    sammy sun reacted to Oldworldtraveller in All Freedom Dining on Iona   
    Love it or hate it I genuinely believe the days of dressing up are disappearing as fast as snow in August. Yes, there are the hardcore who like dressing up but they are very much in a minority and I say that from spending a lot of time on ships belonging to different cruise companies. Cruising to many is nothing special,  just another holiday and they want to relax. To some it is a drop in standards whilst to others dressing up on holiday is the last thing they want to do. Last evening I was at a travel awards ceremony and had the opportunity to speak with many in the travel industry and whilst they agree there is a market for 'Formal Night' they also acknowledge casual is the way forward. I know some will disagree but you only have to look at how things have changed in the last 10 years and the number of top cruise lines who have relaxed the dress code. If relaxation wasn't needed, they wouldn't have done it, they have gone with the majority view. As always, just my opinion.
  14. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Tally in P&O Cruises Oriana leaving the fleet   
    I understand the reasoning behind letting Oriana go as the ship has had its issues now for many years, particularly when it comes to aft vibration. What I would say though is that I think the way it has been handled is very poor and unforuntately, quite typical of P&O lately. I'm sure they were unable to inform passengers sooner due to terms of sale and negotiations being agreed but I first saw the announcement on Facebook and followed the conversation on there of the many comments following the news. P&O appeared to have a team on hand to reply to all comments posted on Facebook trying to fan the flames. What struck me most of all was the sheer lack of organisation and preparation. For someone to use the sentence "as a gesture of goodwill, we are allowing passengers to cancel or transfer their cruise free of charge" is just downright stupid.
    How can anyone be so daft as to comment with things like that? Of course you're going to let people cancel free of charge, what else are you going to do? Let them carry on with the cruise only to stand at the quayside waiting for a ship that will never arrive? Not only was that a daft comment to make, especially on social media but there was a clear lack of prep that had gone into the announcement. The hierarchy had clearly not filtered down the responses they wanted the social media team to use and stick to. It's just so typically uncoordinated and sadly that's become synonymous with P&O of late.
    To top it off, not long after they made the Oriana announcement, they went and posted a picture with the caption "how's everyone feeling this Friday?"  I mean come on, are they serious? Obviously they were inundated with negative comments and they deserved it because they asked for it by posting something as stupid as that when people are currently being informed that the holiday they had booked is now being cancelled!
  15. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Oldworldtraveller in Oriana sold by P&O Cruises   
    Oriana was the first ever ship I sailed on so I read the announcement with a heavy heart. That said, I do completetly understand their decision. I enjoyed two fantastic cruises aboard Oriana in the late 90s early 00s but as much as I had a great time on board, the more I cruised, the more I realised that for me, there were much better choices. 
    The traditional elements of Oriana are lovely and it's certainly a long-way from where P&O seem to be heading with their new ship designs but there are so many issues with Oriana these days that I think they're making the right decision to let her go. The aft vibration has always been an issue no matter how many times they tried to fix it. Dining in the Oriental Restaurant felt like sitting on top of a tumble dryer at times!
    It's a shame to see her go but it's also the right move in my opinion. I do however, think that they'll need a smaller ship addition in the future to address the growing gap between what they had before and the upcoming super-size ship additions to the fleet. Having lost Adonia and now Oriana, it's a lot for Aurora and Arcadia to carry and I think they'll need another to bridge the gap.
  16. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Countrygirl in Oriana sold by P&O Cruises   
    Oriana was the first ever ship I sailed on so I read the announcement with a heavy heart. That said, I do completetly understand their decision. I enjoyed two fantastic cruises aboard Oriana in the late 90s early 00s but as much as I had a great time on board, the more I cruised, the more I realised that for me, there were much better choices. 
    The traditional elements of Oriana are lovely and it's certainly a long-way from where P&O seem to be heading with their new ship designs but there are so many issues with Oriana these days that I think they're making the right decision to let her go. The aft vibration has always been an issue no matter how many times they tried to fix it. Dining in the Oriental Restaurant felt like sitting on top of a tumble dryer at times!
    It's a shame to see her go but it's also the right move in my opinion. I do however, think that they'll need a smaller ship addition in the future to address the growing gap between what they had before and the upcoming super-size ship additions to the fleet. Having lost Adonia and now Oriana, it's a lot for Aurora and Arcadia to carry and I think they'll need another to bridge the gap.
  17. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Gill57 in P&O Cruises Oriana leaving the fleet   
    I understand the reasoning behind letting Oriana go as the ship has had its issues now for many years, particularly when it comes to aft vibration. What I would say though is that I think the way it has been handled is very poor and unforuntately, quite typical of P&O lately. I'm sure they were unable to inform passengers sooner due to terms of sale and negotiations being agreed but I first saw the announcement on Facebook and followed the conversation on there of the many comments following the news. P&O appeared to have a team on hand to reply to all comments posted on Facebook trying to fan the flames. What struck me most of all was the sheer lack of organisation and preparation. For someone to use the sentence "as a gesture of goodwill, we are allowing passengers to cancel or transfer their cruise free of charge" is just downright stupid.
    How can anyone be so daft as to comment with things like that? Of course you're going to let people cancel free of charge, what else are you going to do? Let them carry on with the cruise only to stand at the quayside waiting for a ship that will never arrive? Not only was that a daft comment to make, especially on social media but there was a clear lack of prep that had gone into the announcement. The hierarchy had clearly not filtered down the responses they wanted the social media team to use and stick to. It's just so typically uncoordinated and sadly that's become synonymous with P&O of late.
    To top it off, not long after they made the Oriana announcement, they went and posted a picture with the caption "how's everyone feeling this Friday?"  I mean come on, are they serious? Obviously they were inundated with negative comments and they deserved it because they asked for it by posting something as stupid as that when people are currently being informed that the holiday they had booked is now being cancelled!
  18. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Oldworldtraveller in The end of the traditional cruise?   
    Because their home isn't in the Caribbean with warm climates and regular sunshine
    Plus, I doubt they get table service at home
  19. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from TrentAnn in P&O have done it again!!!   
    Couldn't agree with you more on this afcandrew. I too have criticised P&O for quite a few things over the years but shutting the shops for the last few days of a cruise is something that wouldn't bother me in the slightest. They'll still offer the same "sales" throughout the cruise, right up until the last day so why all the fuss?
    Of course it's just my opinion but I'm with you completely on this. I think they deserve to be criticised for certain things but this isn't one of them.
  20. Thanks
    sammy sun got a reaction from Countrygirl in P&O have done it again!!!   
    Couldn't agree with you more on this afcandrew. I too have criticised P&O for quite a few things over the years but shutting the shops for the last few days of a cruise is something that wouldn't bother me in the slightest. They'll still offer the same "sales" throughout the cruise, right up until the last day so why all the fuss?
    Of course it's just my opinion but I'm with you completely on this. I think they deserve to be criticised for certain things but this isn't one of them.
  21. Like
    sammy sun reacted to Oldworldtraveller in Security at Southampton   
    Baggage scanners are only as efficient as those watching the screen and being able to determine what the various images in cases represent. How often do bottles of drink, electric irons and the like get through the scanners!! Only my opinion of course.
  22. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Oldworldtraveller in Royal Caribbean to purchase majority stake in Silversea   
    Everyday's a school day. Thanks for that OWT.
  23. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Terminator in Atul Kocchar - Sacked??   
    Get what you're saying Terminator as these days so many things get blown out of proportion but nevertheless he should be aware of such possibilities when posting on social media. To be a household name within the restaurant business as he is and not be mindful of such a backlash is either naivety or simple stupidity. Just my opinion of course.
  24. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Tally in What will the outcome be in Venice?   
    I completely agree, something has to be done. This is not just one person, it's 4,000 people protesting so surely their points will be heard.
    I understand that they need to find a balance between the revenue stream that tourism presents and the quality of life for the city itself but having seven ships in the lagoon at once is too much in my opinion. 
    It also makes for an unenjoyable experience from the passenger's perspective too. If there are 14,000 cruise passengers descending on the city all at once, getting around must be a nightmare for them let alone the locals.
  25. Like
    sammy sun got a reaction from Davybe in The end of the traditional cruise?   
    I've actually just been reading about Royal Caribbean's private island expansion and I can't believe the price of things. Not only are you paying for the cruise itself but when you get to CocoCay you then have to fork out what seems a lot of money to be able to full enjoy the attractions there. It looks as though it could cost as much as $99 per person for a full day at the waterpark there and upto $869 for six people to hire a waterpark cabana for the day. It's even a minimum of $79 to do the zipline they promote so heavily in their recent adverts!
    I actually think a lot of what Royal Caribbean do is brilliantly innovative but the pricing for this, on the surface at least, appears well over the top. I know some will point to the fact that it's just like the prices of excursions in any other port of call but this is Royal Caribbean's private island and charging people so much for entertainment looks a bit of a rip-off when they've already spent a decent sum on the cruise itself. Just my opinion though.
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