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Posts posted by afcandrew

  1. 22 hours ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

    13 days time and I should all being well be on Virtuosa. Will be interesting to see what is new and how the healthy protocol operates. Then it's Fred Olsen next month so something to compare it with.


    I see 2 passengers were not allowed back on a Celebrity ship on the other side of the Atlantic after disobeying the health rules by going ashore by themselves.

    A friend has been on Virtuosa and said he had a good time, especially with the reduced capacity. Virtuosa and then Fred - very contrasting cruises to compare. Look forward to hearing about your experiences.

  2. On 7/5/2021 at 12:52 PM, Stuart C said:

    I was one of the lucky ones to join Britannia on the first cruise after the lockdown period.  I have to say that I felt very safe and secure, from the excellent Eavesway coach trip down to Southampton, through the health screening prior to boarding, the boarding experience and then the cruise itself.  There are one or two things that we have to get used to: facemasks whilst indoors except in bars and restaurants: regular hand sanitation: acceptance that some activities are currently off the itinerary.  These only mirror what is happening on dry land but add to the feeling of safety.  My only disappointment is that the good old Indian restaurant managers seem to have been replaced by eastern European 'Restaurant Hosts'.  The old friendly welcome has been replaced by characterless individuals.  Let's hope that's only temporary.  This cruise was the next step to normality and I would recommend a staycation cruise to anyone. 

    Glad you enjoyed your cruise and especially good to hear you felt safe on board. Interesting comment about the restaurant managers. Were the majority of the restaurant and bar waiters still from India?

  3. 21 hours ago, 2torts said:


    I hope you mean 2023 because we’ve got one booked on Aurora in September 2022 & there are others on sale for later that year. We’re hoping there will be some on Aurora in June 2023 that are about 2-3 weeks long to celebrate our golden wedding.🛳😎

    Aurora still on sale for cruises up to Jan 2023. The two 50 night ones I am referring to are indeed early next year.

  4. On 6/29/2021 at 2:12 PM, Pesky Pirate said:

    I did a solo cruise a few years back, it was a table of couples and they didn’t speak to me for the whole cruise until the last night… so much for a bubble..

    it seems too much of a hassle to cruise at present, might leave it until 2023… 🙁

    I usually request a table of solos. Always been fine so far.

  5. 9 minutes ago, Oldworldtraveller said:

    I understood that you formed a "Table Bubble" which is great if you happen to like the people on your table and you all have the same likes and dislikes.

    The only line I have heard that is definitely doing this is Fred Olsen. Don't know whether any other lines are so far...  With P&O, I believe you have to book your restaurant (including the mdr) using their new on-board 'app'. I don't think there's any fixed dining.

  6. 4 hours ago, Pesky Pirate said:

    Hi All

    I received an email yesterday to the effect that Aurora cruises for late 2022 would be on sail early July.  The thing with new cruises starting off is the majority of them state that you can only mix with people you are travelling with, not so good for a solo traveller…

    hope you are all ok 🙂

    From what I've seen elsewhere, it appears Aurora will be doing two 50 night cruises. I was hoping that she would do some shorter ones for those of us who do wish to sail on the larger ships...

  7. 14 hours ago, Countrygirl said:

    Morning, it is good to see there is somebody out there. I agree I watch Britannia sail out on the “Solent Ship” live you tube site. Our cruise on Arcadia in November was cancelled last week, we were not surprised but still disappointed. It makes us wonder if the plan to sell the last two small ships Arcadia and Aurora. 

    We have now booked a cruise for September 2022 with Saga with the discount on offer it was a good deal, so worth a try.

    Sailing on Saga will spoil you for P&O! 😀.  Would love another cruise with Saga but now they have gone 'boutique' and all-balcony cabins, the prices are outwith my budget...

  8. Good to see P&O (amongst others) setting sail again with Britannia leaving Southampton today with 927 pax aboard.

    I am very ambivalent about cruising with Covid restrictions in place and am not keen on the larger ships which are being used. That said however, I really hope all goes well, that the pax on board have a great time - and that the weather improves for them!

  9. On 5/21/2021 at 11:33 AM, sinbad10 said:

    Apparently the fireworks were cancelled due to the inclement weather.

    I can understand that sinbad. Thanks. I do however think they could have had a contingency with some compact pyrotechnics on the quayside to set off at the bottle-smash.

  10. I must say that I was very underwhelmed. Half the ceremony was advertising for their various partnerships. I thought the ship was poorly lit and was very surprised that there weren't any fireworks. On the plus side, the tech worked very well!

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

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