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Posts posted by afcandrew

  1. As ever with P&O Marketing and IT, it is anyone's guess as to the rationale behind who has been sent the email. I got one, which goes to prove there's no monitoring of their social media as I have made it clear that Iona doesn't interest me. I have however accepted the invitation - but did wait until the shut-off date so as to hopefully not deprive anyone who is keen to go on her. I am interested in the naming ceremony but don't expect to ever sail on her.

  2. On 5/2/2021 at 4:08 PM, 2torts said:

    Had 2nd jab on Wednesday & felt giddy with relief.

    Also felt giddy on Friday & fell & broke 2 bones in my right wrist.

    never broken a bone before - hurts doesn’t it? 😀😢😂

    Oh no - how rotten. Hope the pain is easing now and that you are feeling on the mend.

  3. 42 minutes ago, donag said:

    I also like the smaller P&O ships, done most of my cruises on the Aurora including 2 full world cruises. Also sailed twice on the Arcadia.

    Aurora became my favourite when they sold Oriana. I haven't sailed on Arcadia for years but only because Aurora's itineraries have held more appeal for me. Tried Azura twice and hated her on both occasions, so won't sail her again or try Ventura. Would like to see Britannia on a short cruise but not remotely interested in the two new ones.

  4. 23 minutes ago, donag said:

    I’ve registered to sail on the Arvia maiden cruise. I was previously booked on the original Iona maiden cruise. I’ve not had much luck in recent years with my choice of cruises. 
    I was supposed to have been on the Oceana doing its repositioning cruise Malta to Dubai, then all the Dubai cruises got cancelled. 
    I end up still on Oceana doing a Canaries cruise. Then the Iona maiden cruise got cancelled due to COVID-19. Now booked to do a Med cruise on Britannia in 2022. Hopefully I do get to cruise again in 2022. Fingers crossed.

    Hopefully your luck will change now! As I am only interested in P&O's two smallest ships and not interested in the Caribbean, I knew there would not be much that would appeal to me in the winter release. I was interested in the World Cruise itinerary as I had a 39 night sector of this year's Worldie cancelled. Sadly, the nearest sector to that in 2023 is, at 71 nights, too long for me.

  5. 18 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

    It will be interesting in several ways. Firstly when the ship is more than 12 miles out it has left 'British' waters and is in 'International' waters and if it enters the waters of a different nation (Non UK) will this count as foreign travel. Secondly what if the ship docks in a foreign port even though no passengers are allowed to go ashore does this count as visiting a foreign jurisdiction to which the 'Traffic Light' system will apply. And thirdly as the ships are not UK registered could you be classed as going overseas when you step on them. I don't know the answers but it would be interesting to hear what others think, food for thought.

    Agree with you OWT. On another board I am on there is currently much discussion about Travel Insurance - particularly as Carnival UK brands are specifying a high level of Medical Cover. It seems that Insurance policies normally only cover a lower level of cover when travelling within the UK. A further issue is around prices for drinks and in the on-board shops, which may be subject to VAT when not leaving the UK?

  6. On 3/27/2021 at 2:24 PM, sinbad10 said:

    Think they should start with a new President.

    Yes, that's who I meant really sinbad. Can't be doing with these daft titles. A President runs a country in my book not heads up a division of a company...

  7. Having released a series of three and four night UK cruises aboard Britannia on Monday of this week, they today cancelled six of them and replaced them with three seven night cruises. The reason given is that demand for 7 nights is much higher than demand for 3 or 4! To be fair, they have offered to upgrade booked pax from the short breaks to the 7 night cruise instead but there must be a number of people who cannot do a week or don't want a week at sea with one port of call and cruiseline excursions only.

    I somehow suspect that once the pandemic has, by and large, passed that we may see a new CEO installed...

  8. Interesting to see that different lines are doing things in different ways. Disney cruises are the latest to throw their hats in the ring (or should that be English Channel?). It appears that they have not decided whether pax need to be vaccinated and children will be allowed on the cruises.

  9. I suppose it is early days still in respect of Vaccination Passports. The problems with the Track &Trace App don't exactly instill confidence. P&O have said that pax will need proof of both vaccination jabs before boarding but at this stage haven't confirmed what type of proof. The system varies a lot. I was given a card with a space for the batch number of the vaccine and there is a second space for the second jab. I am aware however that a lot of folks haven't been given any proof at all.

    As usual, P&O got in a right pickle with their communication over this. The details on their website were deliberately worded vaguely around children and although I didn't see it, I have seen reports of Mr Ludlow trying desperately not to confirm that children would not be allowed on these new uk cruises.

    Most of my P&O cruises are taken solo and the sociable aspect is very important to me. I could happily do without that for 3 or 4 nights but I feel the solo prices will be exorbitant. Only balcony cabins are being sold and the lead-in price, which is early saver I believe, is £449. I will be very surprised if the solo fares are less than double, meaning £300 per night for a 3 night cruise... No free parking or obc is likely either I understand.

  10. Further to my post back on 23rd Feb, I do find P&O's current marketing strategy for their two new ships somewhat bizarre. As I said above, despite Iona having been handed over some months ago now, they have not released any photos of her interiors. The only widely-seen renderings have been of the Atrium, Skydome and cabins. A few days ago they released renderings of Arvia's Atrium, Skydome and some restaurants. So now they have published almost as many renderings of a ship that is nearly two years off service as they have for a ship that is ready to sail. All seems very strange to me...

  11. 55 minutes ago, Pesky Pirate said:

    I suppose it may be a series of short cruises which would be ok as a tester to see if you liked the ship or not, particularly the big ones.. I don’t think cruising will go back to how it was for quite a while and it will only need one person to get on a boat with the virus for it to spread. Better to be in uk waters and get taken off in the uk rather than abroad.

    I believe they will be 2, 3 and 7 night cruises. No 'back-to-backs' allowed.

  12. I see that P&O has cancelled all international cruises until September/October (depending on ship) and will be replacing these with UK Coastal Cruising. Full details yet to be released but initial publicity suggests that there will not be any ports of call. Princess has announced similar intentions and it is likely that Cunard will too.

    Anyone interested these? I might consider one depending on price but only because I have recently priced solo breaks with Warner Hotels and they seem to have gone sky-high. If I do, I will probably look to try a new ship - even a larger one that I wouldn't consider a full-length cruise on.

  13. 23 hours ago, Jenjen said:

    I could not in this forum, having done many posts I was a bit upset, 

    In my last post I told you my husband had a terminal illness well he was ill for six weeks than sadly died in October.

    now I will have to brave and think about cruising on my own, I know a lot of you do this, but the idea terrifies me.

    So sorry to hear this Jenjen. There is nothing anyone can say to make things any easier or better but please know you have my deepest condolences.

    We had been cruising on & off for 17 years when my partner died in 2012. Strangely enough, it would have been his 66th birthday today. Tony died in early June that year and I actually went on a cruise in October that year. It felt quite soon but was also partly driven by wanting to get his ashes scattered at sea. Various other options to do it hadn't worked out and I knew it was possible to do it from a cruise ship. P&O were fabulous in helping me arrange that and Captain Neil Turnbull was marvellous on the day.

    It was a tough cruise but I met some wonderful people on it and a little bizarrely, shared a dining table with 3 ladies, all of who were widows. Sail away from Southampton was really tough but luckily, I have friends who live close to Southampton and kindly they had driven to Mayflower Park and were waving and flashing their car headlights as Aurora passed by. That really helped. Since then, I have done a number of solo cruises as well as some with two (separate) friends and I enjoy equally both those with friends and those I do solo. I've also taken a few solo short breaks at Warner Hotels and enjoy those too but cruising is a great way to travel after losing the love of your life - it is safe and supportive. I highly recommend it but only you will know when it is the right time for you to try it.

    I have one amusing anecdote from my first solo cruise. Other friends had kindly bought me a gift package that included a half bottle of Champagne. After the short ceremony to cast Tony's ashes, I decided to have the bubbly to drink him a silent toast. I took it up to the Prom deck and set myself up by the ship's rail. We both had enjoyed a fair bit of bubbly over the years, so I was quite practiced opening bottles of the stuff. I took the metal cage off and for some reason, didn't put my hand over the top. As I leant over to pick up my glass, the cork shot out, hitting me fair & square on the upper lip! I must admit that at such a sad time, it made me chuckle and whilst I don't think I believe in an afterlife, I did kind of think it was Tony's way of saying "that'll teach you to be down there drinking Champagne without me".

    I am sure when the time is right you will be able to start enjoying cruises again. Thinking of you at this difficult time.

    Take care,


  14. On 2/18/2021 at 10:24 AM, DavidH said:

    We haven't sailed with P&O since disembarking Aurora in Auckland 5 years ago, almost to the day.  What we perceived to be declining standards over the years from our very first taste on board Arcadia (was that really around 20 years ago?) and a preference for smaller ships, with more interesting itineraries, have steered us elsewhere.  Arvia is unlikely to attract us back.

    I would never say "never" but most unlikely.


    And I wouldn't be surprised to see further changes to the P&O product over the next few years David. There will only be Freedom Dining on Iona (and therefore Arvia) and they will only have 1 Formal Night per week, named Gala Night. P&O have so far released very few renderings of Iona's interiors and despite her being handed over some time ago, no photos at all. The few renderings released mostly seem to show thirty-somethings dressed in jeans and t-shirts. My guess is that 6-12 months after Iona starts sailing they do away with Formal Nights altogether due to "customer feedback".

  15. On 2/17/2021 at 10:24 PM, Countrygirl said:

    Well that will be the end of my P & O cruises.  We went on a 38 night cruise on Venture last  February ( oh those where the days) can’t say I was very impressed with her, much prefer Arcadia 

    You are not alone.  Me too and I have seen the same said by a number of people on other cruise fora. Unfortunately, Carnival Corp has decided to take P&O down the 'pile it high, sell it cheap' path. As I said above, I have a cruise booked on Aurora next year but if they do sell her off before then, I doubt I will cruise with them again. I don't dislike Arcadia but wouldn't have any trust left at all with P&O as a company. It will cost me significantly more but I will move my custom to Fred Olsen who at least (currently) have 4 nice, smaller ships.

  16. On 2/17/2021 at 1:18 PM, sinbad10 said:

    Unfortunately it will see the demise of Arcadia and Aurora if not before she sails but very soon after.

    I would be very surprised if Aurora is still with P&O at Easter 2023. I have a cruise booked on her for August next year and just hope that she is still in the fleet then. Pre-Covid, I expected Oceana to go when Iona was introduced and Aurora when Gala 2/Arvia came on stream. With the effects of the pandemic crisis likely to last some time, their demise could well come forward sadly.

  17. On 2/17/2021 at 10:40 AM, Pesky Pirate said:

    So who knew P & O we’re having yet another new ship when Iona hasn’t even started sailing. Same size ship apparently as Iona... it does make you wonder how they are going to fill them once cruising starts again..

    whilst I say good luck with it I think they should have waited a while personally...

    These things are outside their control in that Carnival Corp have their hands on the rudder. The contract for "Gala 2" as it was previously known was signed a good couple of years ago. She has been slightly delayed as the original plan was for her to be introduced for the Summer 22 season but she has been pushed back to December next year so far.

  18. On 21/01/2021 at 12:49 PM, Countrygirl said:

    When comparing Saga with other cruse lines you must remember what the Saga price includes, 

    insurance, drinks, excursions, no extra charges for using other dinning options and travel door to ship and return. Therefore sometimes the difference is not as big as you think.

    I agree with you but only when comparing like for like cabin grades. As said above, if you normally sail in an inside cabin, the finances really don't work out. If you normally have a balcony and are not tee-total, then the differential is much smaller. If I had chosen an inside cabin for my 19 night Aurora cruise, it would have only cost £2,200. A two week Saga cruise would be more than double that.

  19. On 21/01/2021 at 12:47 PM, DavidH said:

    Hi Andrew,

    Hope you are well?

    From looking at the 2022 versions of the back to back cruises which we were booked on for November/December 2020, Azamara pricing had already gone through the roof before this move took place.  Whilst a massive fan of the cruise experience they offer, the cabin sizes do not warrant the prices they are now asking.  Sadly, I think we will be looking elsewhere when, eventually, I can persuade W to allow me to book another cruise.

    We have been re-booked by HAL for our twice cancelled Japan and Russia Cruise, now scheduled for April 2022.  Interestingly, Azamara are in and out of Yokohama on the exact days that we will be on and off Noordam.  The price of a Balcony Cabin on Azamara is twice that of our Signature Suite on Noordam, though I admit we are paying prices in relation to the original booking which was scheduled for April 2020. 


    Hi David,

    Yes, all okay with me thanks. Hopefully, once the effects of Covid are behind us fully, we will see prices for most lines start to reduce a bit. Interestingly, I see that Princess Cruises has just announced the sale of its last remaining 'R Class' ship. They haven't disclosed the buyer yet but I wonder if it could possibly be Sycamore for Azamara...

  20. 1 hour ago, DavidH said:

    Hi 2torts,

    Seems a sensible move to me.  Have to say, Saga's new ships look very tempting.


    Yes, the new ships look beautiful and are a lovely size David. Sadly, for me, having been built as all-balcony vessels and all-inclusive, they have priced me out of the market. I have booked an outside cabin for a 19 night cruise on Aurora in 2022 for just over £3000. On Saga, I have seen several 14 night cruises next year advertised at well over £5000 for solo pax. If you normally travel as a twosome and usually book a balcony cabin, they are reasonable value but it doesn't work well for solos or those who often book an inside cabin.

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