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mobilegb

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  1. Like
    mobilegb got a reaction from Smiffies in Does the size of the ship / number of passengers impact your choice when selecting a cruise?   
    I agree with Sammy Sun that the mega-ships are just too overwhelming and, whilst they offer a plethora of entertainments, some things get lost. For example, we like the 'normal' mix of shows with a different one each night whereas when we travelled on 'Norwegian Breakaway' there were just two shows alternating every day. I suppose that the architects can't design a 2000 seat theatre into the available space, but with one only accommodating 800 and a ship with 4000 + passengers I guess the lines are forced into this.
    For me, P&O's 'Azura' and 'Ventura' are the limit in terms of size; even 'Britannia' is too big.
  2. Like
    mobilegb got a reaction from B&M in Big Ship Are Best   
    I wouldn't really regard 'Oriana' as small - more mid-size and, of course, despite recent refurb she is quite an elderly lady with the restraints that imposes.
    At the end of the day, it is all about what appeals to the individual cruiser. If it's about bling and rock climbing/ice rinks/robot bartenders and a buzzy vibe then the big ships are fine. On the other hand for some of us it is more about a relaxed atmosphere with great service and food and less (or no) children. You pays your money ........, but at least the choices are out there.
    If food is your main thing Sea View, try Oceania's "Marina' or 'Riviera' with a great MDR and 4 no fee speciality restaurants serving fantastic dishes in a 'country club casual' atmosphere. No childrens' activities as such although they are welcome. 
  3. Like
    mobilegb got a reaction from Mayway in Big Ship Are Best   
    I wouldn't really regard 'Oriana' as small - more mid-size and, of course, despite recent refurb she is quite an elderly lady with the restraints that imposes.
    At the end of the day, it is all about what appeals to the individual cruiser. If it's about bling and rock climbing/ice rinks/robot bartenders and a buzzy vibe then the big ships are fine. On the other hand for some of us it is more about a relaxed atmosphere with great service and food and less (or no) children. You pays your money ........, but at least the choices are out there.
    If food is your main thing Sea View, try Oceania's "Marina' or 'Riviera' with a great MDR and 4 no fee speciality restaurants serving fantastic dishes in a 'country club casual' atmosphere. No childrens' activities as such although they are welcome. 
  4. Like
    mobilegb got a reaction from HLM in Is this the beginning of the end for dress codes?   
    I agree with the consensus that the trend is away from formal dining. My wife and I enjoy them when travelling with lines which still hold them - P&O/Princess - but it is not a deal breaker for us; the itinerary and quality of food are the main criteria. What we object to is setting a code and then not sticking to it, there is no reason for this as it is abundantly clear what is expected.
    Having said this, our next cruise in on NCL 'Norwegian Jade' out of Southampton in June and, based on our previous experiences with NCL I would not expect to see many 'scruffy' passengers in the restaurants although the ambience is casual - the Grand Pacific MDR does in any event have some dress limitations in the evenings. In our view, the best compromise is with Oceania where the dress code is 'Country Club Casual' at all times so no formal, but appropriately smart attire for the time of day/venue. Passengers with Oceania certainly do seem to stick to the rules.
    At the end of the day, there is a variety of lines to choose from so 'you pays your money and takes your choice'
  5. Like
    mobilegb got a reaction from Oldworldtraveller in Is this the beginning of the end for dress codes?   
    I agree with the consensus that the trend is away from formal dining. My wife and I enjoy them when travelling with lines which still hold them - P&O/Princess - but it is not a deal breaker for us; the itinerary and quality of food are the main criteria. What we object to is setting a code and then not sticking to it, there is no reason for this as it is abundantly clear what is expected.
    Having said this, our next cruise in on NCL 'Norwegian Jade' out of Southampton in June and, based on our previous experiences with NCL I would not expect to see many 'scruffy' passengers in the restaurants although the ambience is casual - the Grand Pacific MDR does in any event have some dress limitations in the evenings. In our view, the best compromise is with Oceania where the dress code is 'Country Club Casual' at all times so no formal, but appropriately smart attire for the time of day/venue. Passengers with Oceania certainly do seem to stick to the rules.
    At the end of the day, there is a variety of lines to choose from so 'you pays your money and takes your choice'
  6. Like
    mobilegb got a reaction from CJW in Do cruise lines offer ship visits or experience days?   
    Yes, it is a great idea to visit ships before sailing on them which enables the cruiser to check out things which may not be so obvious. My wife and I have visited ships from RCI, Saga, Holland America, MSC and several of P&O's., although I suppose we are lucky living within reach of Southampton and Dover which is where most visits occur.
    As a result of visits we discounted a cruise on MSC 'Opera' as we didn't like the cabin layouts/space, and decided that we weren't keen on 'Oceana's' balconies as they were sheltered and not fully open.
    Our favourite visit was in Dover to Oceania's 'Marina' which included a 7 course tasting menu for lunch - fabulous! As a result of this we have been on 2 cruises with Oceania, and not been disappointed. To be fair, this was arranged through an agent (not Bolsover, but no names no pack drill). Main stream lines, P&O in particular, can be booked direct.
    It is a great idea for non-cruisers who are dubious about the benefits of a cruise, and of course there will be an incentive to book a cruise on board or shortly thereafter - at least a refund of the cost of the visit, or perhaps £100 discount. In any event, £25 or so is surely a reasonable price to pay for lunch including wine. 
  7. Like
    mobilegb got a reaction from Odyssey in Norwegian Cruise Line Goes All Inclusive   
    From a conversation that I have had with NCL, service charges have been removed along with gratuities for all items included in the package. Gratuities will still be charged for extras such as bottled wine, spas and speciality coffees taken outside the dining rooms at the current 18%. Sadly, the speciality dining package currently available as a promotion has been removed, so the deal is not truly 'all inclusive' and all speciality dining will be paid for.
     
    Lorry, sad to say that the deal only applies to new bookings so existing bookings will remain as they are. This is not all bad news however, as to pick up on The Seven Seas point, there is a price to pay for the deal. We also have an NCL booking for next year, and having run a quick comparison comparing the same benefits except the speciality coffees (which we always take in the Atrium where they are not included in the deal) and bottled water the new deal worked out at £274 pp more. Apparently, the current advertised prices are for an introductory period with a £200 discount, so the real comparison could be an extra £474 which, in our case, is a 20% increase.
     
    I think that there is a risk of NCL becoming uncompetitive on price where passengers just look at the advertised prices. We will see!
  8. Like
    mobilegb got a reaction from Sistersue in What to do in Stockholm / Helsinki / Oslo   
    Sculpture Park in Oslo is fascinating and, in my view, the Viking Ship Museum is a must see. The latter is on a peninsula with some other museums so it is possible to spend a whole day out there if museums are your thing. There are great views from the Olympic Skijump site up above the city, but as we did a ship's tour here I'm not sure what the other transport possibilities are - maybe hop-on hop-off bus. Assuming that you dock by the Akershus fortress which is the main terminal it is an easy walk along the waterfront into town.
    In Stockholm, the Vasa Museum is a great experience as the ship is in even better condition than the 'Mary Rose' over here. A good way to get there is using the 'hop-on hop-off' boat which also takes in some other sights as well as providing a short harbour tour. Would suggest getting tickets on-line before departure for both to save queing for tickets. Old Town and Royal Palace can easily be done on one's own.
    We were disappointed in a tour to the Sibelius Monument and Rock Church in Helsinki, and had a better time just exploring the waterfront with its market and the Cathedral. We haven't been, but friends have told us that Porvoo is well worth visiting.
    Hope this is helpful.
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