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  1. We were on the Crown Princess in May and because of computer problems??? we could not leave Southampton and therefore had half a day in Bruges. As this was the ship's fault we all got 100$ each compensation but the other place we should have visited was not visited because of a tender problem with the weather, so no compensation. A couple of years ago we went to Villfranche along from Monaco and in the morning sunny and calm and all was fine and then around lunch time we saw the sky darken and waves whipping up so got the tender back on the Azura and by 3 30pm (last tender 4pm) it
  2. Hi Don't worry about the children, you have options to eat with them in the buffet, eat with them early dining in the main dining room or if they are happy to remain in the kids club early evening then you have an hour and a half etc to eat alone., the waiters do not turn a hair if they are under the tablecloth halfway through the meal, need taking to the toilet etc, ours were called "princess" and loved it. As long as they sit quietly I should not worry. They have a special menu for children if you ask for it and ask if you can be served promptly. Yes, care on deck don
  3. Things we like about p and o are the matey games like deck quoits and shuffle boards,carpet bowls teams ideal for meeting up with people especially if you were on your own. My partner likes whist as USA ships can play bridge differently and be a bit too keen. The jokes in the theatre we understand too. Lectures off season can be good whereas USA ships we don't find quite as interesting. I did think the food in the mdrhad improved a few weeks ago when we did a three day zeebrugge Guernsey cruise on the Azura however as there were hen do sand the like the passengers on the deck party were very i
  4. We like P and Ventura and Azura as there are places of a night to choose from and more space with the various deck levels. When you are on a small ship in bad weather and below decks due to them being blowy and slippery we feel very claustrophobic. More ships with a glass roof over the pool would be ideal as they are more adaptable in autumn and winter cruises.
  5. We have not had free coach transfers but last time went with Eavesway which were excellent from Cambridge. They pick up there at 9.30am having been on route from Norwich and we paid £90 each return. The coaches are clean and comfortable admittedly there are stairs. The driver courteous and stops for lunch/comfort stops. We arrived 2.30pm. On the return there were just 4 of us and we got home by 11am with the other couple taken onto Norwich. It could not have been financially viable but the driver said even if there had been just two of us we would have been taken home and implied that other co
  6. Tips from grandma who took our daughter and son in law and three girls aged 10, 6 and 4 with them! The girls had non spill cups with them and we took a bottle of squash for cabin use. At breakfast up in the buffet, orange, apple and pineapple juice is usually on until at least 1130am. Tea and coffee all day is free up there but obviously not in any Costa Coffee bars..Iced water is freely available in the main dining room . If you ask at the bars anywhere for a glass of iced water they will give it to you free of charge. Each girl was in a different kids club and we thought the little one would
  7. On our last holiday in the people carrier to the ship from the airport the woman behind us was being very sick. She had stayed in a hotel in Stansted the night before and thought it was something she ate. Another couple saw her husband 2 days into the cruise who said she was still ill. I am sure she did not admit her illness as she was up the gang plank before us. How selfish. On the day before we went home a man did a huge sneeze right over our coffee table and of course I was really ill with a terrible cold which then went to my partner. One week on - never felt I had the benefit of going aw
  8. We did the Celebrity Reflection. We flew Ryanair Stansted to Rome, on time to a small new, clean Ciampino airport, baggage straight off and then 50 min minibus (Holiday Taxis) to docks at Civitavecchio.Easy Peasy. In Athens, suggest really early disembarking, we took a taxi with Dimitri (about 50yrs old) with 2 others 25 euros each who just walked behind us off the ship. He took us to the Acropolis etc (big queues) 20 euros (very slippery marble up slopes and gravel so take great care), offered us change for the loo and told us where it was. ~Then took us to Temple of Zeus, 3 euros as we a
  9. My daughter lives on the island and it is really lovely. I do recommend the underground hospital, and perhaps climb up to the ruins near the port - lots of steps for a view, however there is not a lot to do and see other than it is really pretty and the bus fares are very cheap. The nicest bay is Vazon Bay a lovely sweep of sand and a few eateries opposite. We always visit Le Friquet garden centre in the middle of the island where there are a few climbing frames for the children and a coffee shop and cheap pensioners lunches and baby friendly too. There are very few places for children to play
  10. I would think in November you would have no problems with the ship being full. You can do a late deal about July/Sept each year it is cheaper and we never have had a bad cabin if you want a balcony eg. You can always change your dining the 2nd day with the restaurant manager if it is not what you want. You leave about 630am fly until tea time get off exhausted and they are slick with embarkation in Barbados, after a short coach ride. Wear layers, I wear my gilet and cashmere cardigan and lightweight top and black or coloured trousers because when you get there the cases have not got to the cab
  11. I think in retrospect the entertainment mix is better on P and O. My partner loves going to whist, we like deck quoits too and indoor bowling, quizzes etc in that people who are single can join in friendly competitions and not feel isolated.They can meet up at a special tea time table etc. The lectures don't insult your intelligence and are usually interesting or amusing. On Celebrity Reflection/Eclipse there was nothing much like that as there was a more international mix. I suppost comedians and jokes are harder to understand in some cultures. i.e. the many Japanese on board came to the
  12. I must say that Celebrity are possibly the cleanest vessels we have ever sailed in. There is often a staff member in each toilet wiping down and disinfecting for each person entering the toilet. They stand by the buffet door with gel and also near the restaurant indicating the gel. The standards are exceptional - however on the transfer from Rome airport last holiday the woman behind us in the minibus was unwell and when we got to the embarkation tent I am sure she would not have declared her illness. Another on the coach (8 passengers) said they saw the husband round the ship the next day and
  13. We like P and O Ventura and Azura and don't find them too large or impersonal. If you join in say the shuffle boards or deck quoits etc or whist you tend to meet the same people each day. The entertainment staff really get things going. Headliners are really good but some acts we had seen the year before but still enjoyed them.If you were on your own it would possibly be unlikely you would see the same person again on the whole cruise but then they have single afternoon tea tables and meeting up for shore excursions. Did not enjoy Oriana as much as felt "hemmed in" on the atrium area with stal
  14. These passengers who say "be satisfied with what you have paid" and be happy about it usually have gold plated pensions and have more money than sense. I also think that sometimes the trades descriptions act should come into force.It all comes down to the cruise companies fiddling about with their marketing ploys and prices and penalising those who are told things like "the allocation of under 7's is full" etc so you have no choice but to book in the school holidays and book early and "add another person at your peril " really it is about appalling customer services and they could not care les
  15. We booked 4 adults and 3 children in two cabins in January for 25 July 8 nights and within 2 weeks in February the price of the Early Saver Fare was dropped to another Early Saver Fare which affected us by as much as £800. I wrote to Bolsover and P and O customer services as I felt disgusted that we were paying as much as a select fare but with no on board spend, drinks package or anything. They eventually wrote and offered 3 teddy bears for the grandchildren (one is 9 years old!). On the Oriana 24 June 2013 our friends booked E Saver Fares a year ahead for £1750 each for an inside cabin. They
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