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Everything posted by HALaP&O

  1. I tend to turn my mobile off, a few miles after we've left the Port and the local signal behind. Similarly, I open the phone again when approaching, or more likely, upon arrival at the next Port. I'm on a cruise, with hopefully a few days at sea, here and there, to look forward too? If I've anything to write or share, I'll find a café with free Wifi internet somewhere, rather than pay absurd amounts for a still oftimes very slow signal, that eats through US dollars in just a few minutes. In a real emergency, of course I'd use it, that's what we all a part of, by way of our Travel In
  2. I'll be totally honest, I met Sir Richard some considerable number of years ago, and I was 100% convinced that I was not going to like him. However, he turned out to be amongst the most Charismatic people, that I've ever met. He has a very rare gift of putting people at their absolute ease within seconds. A very clever man indeed. I think he'll 'test the waters' over on the other side of the Atlantic first, before deciding upon any ventures into the British/European cruise markets. I wish him well, but like most others it seems, I'm not that keen on the name either : 'Virgin on the R
  3. I'm pleased that I seized my chance to go on Oriana last year. Only a quick 7 nights 'around the Bay and back again' but well worth it now. She is without doubt a lovely and still very 'atmospheric' ship indeed, but sadly anyone with any engineering 'nous' about them, on listening to all that mechanical disturbance below the aft dining room and most probably the water line too, would understand that she has some serious problems which despite many attempted fixes now, just haven't solved her long lamented problems. Better surely, that she goes next year and still be fondly remembe
  4. Thanks for the encouraging endorsement. We managed to book Saga Ruby and seemingly, MV Funchal in their final seasons. We are thus, sincerely hoping that it will not prove to be Marco Polo's final season, just yet. Whilst I'm more than familiar with P&O, Cunard and HAL's Vista class ships, etc. etc. I still much prefer the 'feel' of hand built ships of older times, than the essential mono block construction of today. (Whilst respectfully acknowledging, how incredibly cleverand complex a modern day ship building system actually is.) I guess I still love the old ships, as they more
  5. Given a calm sunny day, it can be a really beautiful stop, but its the tendering itself that can cause problems if the ship encounters 'wind over tide' conditions, on the day, which can create a nasty and very difficult chop, for the tenders coming alongside or leaving the ship. Within the port itself, embarking or disembarking the tenders, is all a lot easier nowadays than before, via a long a long floating bridge pontoon to eventually terra firma, itself. I've been able to get ashore there 5 out of 6 times, so quite a good average. Be prepared for some reasonably steep hills and also st
  6. 52 days to CMV Marco Polo's Land of Fire & Ice. Departing from and arriving back to Cardiff Docks! I've waited a very long time indeed, and always wanted to cruise on Marco Polo. She was long out our way with Orient Lines, such beautiful lines. She remains one of the truly classic ships of that now fast and sadly diminishing era. We need to cherish them, whilst we still have them.
  7. In my/our experience, P&O has always been the exception in allowing Passengers to bring 'their own supplies' and in the past also 're-supply' en route as such. I/we do not do so many cruises with P&O, simply because Southampton is so very far away. Although last year out of Southampton, I noted we were allowed to bring a Litre of Spirit and similarly a bottle of wine/champagne each. Precious few other cruise lines allow anything more, than a 'carry on' 76cl bottle of wine or champagne each, (if that with some?). So I think it might be a case of being grateful for small mercie
  8. Therein surely lies the dichotomy of the entire, and never ending, tip/gratuity/bribe argument/debate? Be it also known, that on 14 different cruise lines now, where they ( the gratuities) ever applied? We have never cancelled any gratuities, either. Not a statement of boast or grandeur either, simply a statement of fact. Personally, in circa 2018, I still truly believe that all people/all cruisers should be allowed to make their own moral/chosen cruising choices, and then truly stick by them, without fear or favour. Rather than (as is most clearly apparent now, in some notably insta
  9. Me too! (other than E.111) that does not apply to us!
  10. Now that would seem entirely logical, thanks indeed! : We turned up at our appointed time, to be told that the 1.30 group had already been called through, so were immediately directed to the check in queue, without further hesitation. Alas, check-in procedures around the world are not always so rigorously followed, or even adhered too? So yet again, a good reason to print off the e-tickets, even if not always fully understood by agency terminal staff. Thankfully, the Sydney OPT seems to be back up to full operational standard, once again. Whilst on that topic, can anyone p
  11. Very interesting, Thanks! Not the prettiest of ships externally perhaps, but she is very nicely appointed throughout, on the inside. We cruised on her about 10 years ago now; Bangkok (Laem Chabang) to Sydney, and we had a really lovely time. She does have the advantage of having quite a few optional Restaurants to choose from, plus the Lido) so that probably helps ease the hunger pangs of those who don't want to wait for later dining. I've a feeling that her sister ship: Sapphire Princess, is doing a Southampton season next year?
  12. I've always printed them off and taken them along, yet quite often all they want to see is your Passport and Credit/Debit card. However at check-in at Southampton for P&O Oriana recently (June 2017), they did in fact ask for the e-tickets upon entry into the building itself. Generally, we print them off at the same time as the baggage tags, so that's usually just a few days before we leave home. Smartphone technology is great, always presupposing that one's partner then doesn't leave it in the car, having been dropped off at the airport beforehand. Thankfully it was only a
  13. I was on Oriana in late June this year, and we did not queue even once for breakfast on any morning, including disembarkation day. We are neither early morning, nor last minute people, similarly we are always happy to share. Its civilised and always a good way to meet and get to know fellow passengers whilst on board the ship.
  14. I am in total agreement with your sentiments expressed, other than we much prefer the later sitting. When reluctantly doing 'Freedom dining' on some ships in the past, we've always found that the 8-8.30pm are heavily over-subscribed, and just cannot cope with the demand placed upon them at that time of the evening. Even my much admired HAL, are devils in always pushing their 'Freedom' type option. We suffered it on Prinsendam, then again on Ryndam. The Maitre'D himself despairing at the seemingly enforced unstoppable demand that so many of us just didn't want anyway. So nowadays
  15. Whilst the (likely) weather or climate is always a consideration, the proportional balcony cost, against the ship size, also comes into consideration too. On Port hopping cruises there seems little to be gained for the expenditure, unless you are morning larks and/or possibly on late dinner sitting too?. Of 35 current cruises, we've splashed out 13 times for a balcony, and once for a Lanai cabin, the rest bar one, all O/view, otherwise. Our main consideration always remains dependant on the number of sea days. With all of our longer Ocean crossing voyages, and when affordable, we ha
  16. Got it! LOUISA or maybe LADY EMMA!! Sorry, couldn't resist it! Peter.
  17. Whilst I fully agree with you, I can also see the other side of the argument/mind-set too; when cruise passengers are likewise expected to stump up absolutely ridiculous amounts of money for the privilege, nay convenience of having bottled 'Mineral' water, in their cabins. So who is actually fooling or 'con'-ing who? In these mind/over 'easy' profit making games?? I'm not identifying any cruise line, at all. Sadly, I'm identifying almost all, who are most definitely, at it, nowadays! Peter.
  18. Welcome [email protected], Good question, we do both. We love Aurora incidentally, and I have recently become an Oriana fan too. Both being, my most preferred size of ship. We are similarly retired, although living abroad. Although we still book mainly through Bolsover CC, simply because we have always enjoyed their excellent service and more especially their support, in the those very rare times when things go sadly awry. We also cannot book 'direct online' to Carnival UK from our own neck of the woods, as such, so Bolsover CC is most often our first port of call, after browsing through th
  19. Respectfully said: With 13 cruise lines under my belt, I certainly do not consider myself anything like totally 'loyal' to any of them, whilst still having my first preferences, of course. Yet essentially and when possibly, I've remained more loyal to Bolsover CC from 2006 onwards, future cruise deposit or not, than to any other cruise line or cruise agent, ever since. I guess future cruise deposits work, perhaps, if you are totally cruise line 'brand' loyal? Myself, I prefer the freedom to find/hunt down the cruises that I'd like to do, and then let BCC find me the best deal,
  20. Thanks for that info sinbad, most kind. However all record of our first two cruises with P&O, have seemingly vanished into thin air, despite producing the P&O ticket counterfoils. (Those were the days!) A 7night Arcadia in August 2005, followed by a 6 night Aurora in September 2005. It's all really of little consequence though, for the reasons stated above. I'm on Oriana in just under 4 weeks time, out of Southampton, but given our location, we often tend to look out for Part Worldie sectors, 'Out East' if they are going to places we've not seen. We are not particul
  21. I think I am Platinum now with Cunard? 3 Star Mariner (fast approaching 4 Star) with Holland America Lines; Only 'Pacific' with P&O still, because they want continuing loyalty within 3 years, or they begin subtracting earlier cruises, that's not really a happening thing for us, given our location. Politely and hopefully respectfully said; We will always go where we want to cruise first, rather than collect brownie points, for meekly going where they want to take us, in the name of 'loyalty' Whilst they are 'nice to haves' they are not 'cruise essentials' by our standard, given t
  22. I'm not Brand Loyal at all, and far more interested in the ships themselves, and the destinations we would hopefully like them to take us to. So yes,( and hence my chosen 'name on' this site), unless its a 'niche' cruise line we are looking at, we tend to first research those we've travelled on and enjoyed most frequently, namely: Holland America; P&O; Cunard; Celebrity; Fred O, and more often than not, Princess as well, even though we've only been with them once, we still liked them a lot! We cant judge a book by its cover, nor can we judge a ship by its livery. All are crewed
  23. One is tempted to ask what PORT you would prefer to begin and end with ?? LOL! Beautiful area. Only seen it by coach and train. I am sure the river would be equally revealing and likely, more relaxing too. My Sister & Bro in Law are more into River cruising, but I could certainly be tempted back there again! Peter.
  24. Quite so CK II, ....and who of any one of us, will be the richer for the experience?? None of us, I respectfully and humbly suggest !! Our bombastic friend on the other side of the pond, wanted to build walls and barriers. Yet now he suddenly finds himself already within his own Inner Bailey and heading for the Keep . We need to keep our heads and solve these non -insurmountable issues together, not waste words forever magnifying them. I feel we should keep the Schengen agreement, as it is, otherwise the UK cruise industry is dead. Peter.
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