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jinky

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Everything posted by jinky

  1. jinky

    HAL Alaskan Cruise

    Got back from this cruise and a stay in Vancouver recently. Fantastic time. Holland America Line have to be my favourite line ion terms of service and food. Was only bettered by a luxurious river cruise with Uniworld in our experience of sailing with P&O, Royal Caribbean and HAL once before. As for the venues themselves it was stunning and the memory of floating quietly in Glacier Bay watching the ice calve will stay with me for many years.
  2. My idea of hell to be on a boat for days without being able to get off. The destinations are the key part for me. That said with the FCO advising against all cruising and nullifying most insurance the question is answered for me.
  3. jinky

    Cruising after the 'virus'

    The biggest change I`ll see is that my cruising days are over I think. The idea of what it must have been like in the worst cases of cruising around with nobody wanting to let you dock and stuck inside a cabin has made me think that`s it for me.
  4. jinky

    Buffets

    I saw that happen extensively on P&O and have also seen it on RCI ships - mainly Brits. I know people who do this as a matter of course on whatever ships they can as well as in hotels - even if as simple as taking fruit. I must say that bananas in their skins have been rarer as time has passed. When we cruised last on Holland America the "buffet" was served by staff even to the extent of drinks at the counter / stations due to a virus on board the previous week. I preferred it that way. That said I usually try to use the MDR for breakfast , lunch and dinner when onboard as it is a way of controlling how much I eat!
  5. jinky

    Cruise Refund

    Where did I say I was talking about you? It was a general point saying that people whether cruising or on other holidays will have to accept the delays will be long. If a delay means the company I`ve booked with gets through the crisis without going under I personally am happy to wait to protect jobs if I am assured a refund is on it`s way .
  6. jinky

    Cruise Refund

    I think people will just to have accept they`ll get it when it comes. People are so unrealistic expecting refunds within timeframes that would be fine usually but are impossible during these times. With so many staff laid off / working from home and companies wrestling to save their futures if you`ve been told it`s on it`s way you just have to wait. I`ve 2 holidays up and coming where I expect problems even in getting money back because of the nature of them with an insurance company saying no insurance companies are paying up for the virus and the holiday supplier saying claim on insurance. If I was told you`ll get it back in 90 days I`d be delighted!
  7. jinky

    Annual insurance

    My insurance company (Explorer) are saying that no-one is covering corona virus cancellations, other than falling ill with it on approved travel, so they won`t be having huge losses. I`ve 2 land based trips coming up - Spain end of June and Madeira in September. My annual cover comes to an end in late July . he June trip is an Easyjet flight with privately booked accommodation through an agent. I expect Easyjet will cancel and are currently offering refunds but accommodation in Spain might be open then. Checked to see if insurance would cover accommodation if so and told no - nobody is covering covad 19. For the Madeira trip the company (Fleetway) have stopped posting on facebook (mid March) and tell everyone to claim from their travel insurance - even when people know they`ve been refunded by hotels and airlines. Clearly wrong bu o travel insurance company will cover that. Means court or bank card claims although many are saying the banks won`t get involved either. Collective buckpassing to ensure they don`t go bust!
  8. jinky

    Scarlet Lady

    Great photos - looks cool Nice to see something new.
  9. jinky

    Brexit

    It might be British politicians that are stupid enough to do the damage. Why always blame the EU when it is us that are out of step with the 27 other countries working together?
  10. jinky

    Let the Train take the Strain?

    We did the Rocky Mountaineer a few years back - Vancouver to jasper with an overnight in Kamloops. My wife loved it whereas I tolerated it. As a photographer I was frustrated with the lack of opportunity to shoot stuff at times when I went onto the end of the carriage outside in the heat. Like any railway bushes /trees came at the worst times when I wanted a shot. I much preferred driving back through the Rockies to Calgary in a hire car stopping whenever I wanted.
  11. jinky

    Havana US ban

    One of my favourite cruises was some years back around Cuba. It was a Louis crystal (then) cruise chartering a Greek islands ship and packed with Canadian food for guests. We cruised around the island stopping at the main places making one stop at Montego Bay (unfortunately) to let Americans on who were beating the blockade by getting on / off there. They were Ok as long as they were not found with Cuban goods on them when going home but only a handful risked it. We went as we were then worried about the relaxing of US access and fears it would change Cuba. No problems even then with insurance / access but ours was the only cruise doing such a tour after the failure of various Russian ventures to do the same.
  12. jinky

    Waste paper

    I mentioned this on one post and they replied and advised me to email / use the contact button here and ask for all to be stopped. This I did apart from Into the Blue.
  13. jinky

    P & O going down hill

    Exactly so. I threatened to go to formal dinner in swimwear in a desperate attempt to get access to a cabin for a shower. In the end they gave access to an inside cabin 2 decks down at the other end of the ship saying there`ll be dressing gowns in the room. yeah because inside cabins come with gowns! I`m a "he" by the way. Others seemed accepting to the idea of showering poolside in swimwear and then changing. The only thing as bad as the actual responses in terms of service was the speed at which a non-disclosure form came out of the hotel manager`s drawer before our compensation was agreed. More concerned at secrecy than customer satisfaction. Took me 2/3 days to find that some 30 cabins had been affected by the same outage that we were told only affected us and the 2 cabins next to us. As if I`d wait that long for drinking water! I realised I was on a loser when we asked for ice on one of the early nights of the cruise to be told by the cabin steward " I don`t have time" before he then offered us the leftover ice from a cabin he hed just cleared!!!!!
  14. jinky

    Jane back on Friday.

    I wish she`d do her own shore trips or the cheaper ones instead of always going on the dearest excursions possible!
  15. jinky

    P & O going down hill

    I`ve no idea if P&O are going downhill - I just know I wouldn`t go with them again after the one cruise we did with them to the Caribbean. Shocking customer service after going without water i our cabin for 26 hours! Poor service generally. I`m almost embarrassed o other lines when busy workers are flying around the corrdiors and insist on you going first even when it`s easier if they do. No such issue with P&O where they just carry on and in one instance just rammed the trolley into my leg claiming right of way! I argued all the way to the top - with much difficulty - and ended up with compensation as we sailed but due to the non disclosure form that came out from a readily available pile in their drawer can not now and could not say more at the time. Suffice to say others affected that seemed to accept the instruction to shower "poolside" for formal dinner night did not do as well it seemed and were far more accepting of the situation. Maybe they`d sailed P&O before and it was the norm!!!!
  16. jinky

    Following the Dress Code.

    I always have to smile at the blokes in very old, hopelessly outdated tux sets that still have the food stains from their last few cruises on them and yet think they are smarter than someone else in a jacket tie and shirt . I really hate this judging by dress that goes on and the "if they cannot dress up they can eat in the buffet or elsewhere". Fact is if they have been allowed in by dining room staff either they`ve been judged to meet the standard or else the ship itself places no importance on the dress codes they have supposedly i force so then it become no-one elses business.
  17. jinky

    Following the Dress Code.

    Exactly it. Dress doesn`t make the man or woman. Me? I dress smart to go out for dinner whether at home or on a ship but I don`t see the need to dress in an out of date dj and bow tie. Insistence on that is no more than snobbery and to be told if you don`t want to dress like that eat in the buffet is insulting. I`ve never been stopped by cruise staff re: my dress even when deciding to dress down from a DJ to a smart jacket/ shirt and tie so will eat anywhere I want to. I`d never eat out in a proper restaurant in shorts/ t-shirt and a baseball cap and would expect those dressed as such to be stopped and asked to eat elsewhere. If the are not then the cruiseline should dispense with the dress code and give it up.
  18. jinky

    Are the Critics Right??

    Can`t say i`m impressed with the new Alan Partridge series - a few funny, embarrassing type cringe laughs but largely his time has passed I feel. Warren I really do not like. Such a waste of Martin Clunes` talent. He`s an unlikable character with his attempts at fly tipping, rudeness and some aspects just don`t stand up. Who still has dial up internet - how old are the writers and who are they targeting. I think some Alan partridge viewers might be lost trough people turning off Warren before and getting into another programme. I rarely trust critics for films / tv I select to watch.
  19. jinky

    Time to Wave Goodby

    Yes I only book 3rd party tours that guarantee a ship return or link up travel to get back to the ship in a catastrophic event.
  20. jinky

    Would you pack this??

    I often take it now after having a hard shell case get smashed en route on it`s first outing to South Africa. The scarey trip to purchase tape to last my travels at a local "supermarket" complete with hand cleaners to combat the spread of aids, cashiers sat inside bullet proof cages and being followed out and down the road after purchase left me never wanting to be in such a position again.
  21. I look forward to the day when all cruises include tips in fares so that we all pay the same. What gets me are the number of people, usually Brits I am afraid, who make great play onboard to remove tips as they board and encourage others to do the same. Others like on our last cruise talk loudly of their surprise that all don`t remove them as if others are thick and then say but "we still tip who we feel deserve it - it wasn`t much but we left all our spare coins". I know that RCI use tips to top up pay of dining room staff and cabin stewards and that all other staff on RCI are salaried including kitchen staff / chefs / entertainers etc. I know because I left a note on my review stating that I was annoyed that so many other Brits were boasting about taking off tips and saving money for drinks and suggested they needed to change their policy and could someone contact me to discuss policies. Some 6 weeks later a woman rang me from RCI in Florida who was happy to discuss gratuities. She didn`t want to offend anyone and said it was a customer decision but staff were interviewed about what in their service was not going right if tips were removed and removal did affect pay. That they had no intention of removing them and upping fares at that time surprised me but again she stated that she was aware that the tipping culture in the Uk was very different. I stated that I resented being charged extra on my fare in effect by not wishing to reduce crew wages and again she thanked me but stated it was up to individuals. very surprised by the whole conversation.
  22. jinky

    Which Ship?Has that Wow factor?

    Biggest wow is still from our first cruise on Independence of the Seas RCI. Never imagined it being so big when we pulled into Barcelona port and then when we saw the main "street" with acrobats high above, the parade, the ice rink, the full West End stage show and the flowrider - just immense. No ship since has matched in terms of wow factor although I do love the understated elegance of the art deco Holland America ships and their cookery theatres.
  23. jinky

    MSC angers cruisers

    Standard practice so I doubt you`ll get anywhere. The only way you can get a package is if you pay for it in full before the changes and unless you have something in writing promising you the same rate if you book it later I cannot see why they would concede as their terms allow them to change packages.
  24. jinky

    Amsterdam Tourist tax?

    They`re looking to do it in Bath, Edinburgh and even Aberdeen now if they get a change in the law!
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