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Everything posted by afcandrew

  1. Don't forget to come back when things get going again - you make a welcome contribution. Stay well and safe.
  2. They are not really a child-friendly line. To the best of my knowledge there are no dedicated facilities for children on any of the current fleet. They do have a kids club on selected school holiday sailings. Outside those sailings I doubt if there is ever a significant number of children aboard. Until they release plans for the new ships, we won't know exactly what their intentions are but I would be surprised to see a major change of focus.
  3. I haven't sailed on HAL but have checked out videos of the two ships. With cash not being abundant, I don't suppose Fred will be able to do full refits immediately. They might want the Exploration lounges to look a bit more like the Bookmark Cafes in their fleet. Installing an Oriental Room might be a relatively easy and cheap change too. Both ships have a children's area which Fred may want to replace - maybe with some single cabins as these ships don't have any? I just hope and pray that they don't re-carpet the Crows Nest/Observatory with the hideous 'nautical-themed' design one they
  4. Hadn't heard of this but have now looked them up. Not sure what market they are going to appeal to, apart from a fairly wealthy one probably 😄
  5. Yes, good news but I think this will be quite a different product. Swan's ship Minerva carried over 300 pax in a 'country house' style environment. I suspect this is more a case of buying a name and 'heritage'. Swan Hellenic sailed interesting and different itineraries with a high cultural input but we're probably not 'expedition' cruises as such, at least not most of the time. It will be interesting to see if the new owners actually make reference to the ' heritage' on board...
  6. She is a lovely ship. I should have been on her for 18 nights around the Med in October. I really do hope she is operational early in the new year because if not, I will start to sorry that we'll not see her again.
  7. A guess, but probably not. Earthquakes are pretty common in that neck of the woods. I was lucky enough to go to Alaska last year and there was a significant quake a month or two before we went and a small one in Seattle (where we flew to) a week before we went 😮
  8. Fares on smaller ships will always be expensive in comparison to ships that carry 3, 4 or 5 thousand pax - especially if you require a balcony. CMV's opening bogof deals are usually in the region of £100 pppd (outside cabin) and then later special offers often less. CMV is closer to Fred Olsen in style than P&O and prices compared well with Fred. I have been a long-term, loyal customer of P&O but sadly for me they are going in a direction that will not take me with them. The longer the Covid crisis continues, the more I fear for the future of Aurora, which would leave only one ship in
  9. Oceana has had her P&O livery painted over and been given a new name by her new owners, Seajet.
  10. A great shame indeed. Whilst I didn't have a current booking with them, it was certainly my intention to sail with them again - maybe as soon as next August when the entire fleet were due to meet in Rotterdam. If, as looks likely, no-one takes up the slack, there will be no 'budget' cruise line sailing out of UK ports.
  11. I do think the situation on River Cruises is very different to Ocean Cruises though. They hold far fewer pax - often only a couple of hundred. Also, they seldom have a non-port-day, so it is very easy to offload a passenger who has any illness symptoms.
  12. I use a similar site called Marine Traffic. It was a bit more enjoyable when I lived down on the south coast as the ships were sometimes 'just down the road' - albeit far enough out in the English Channel not to be visible.
  13. The announcement from Fred's holding company said they would be looking to divest two of the current fleet. Whilst not confirmed, I would be very surprised if this is not Black Watch and Boudicca. I would therefore expect the two new ships to largely fill the same itineraries on the same dates. The ones that probably will change are any that transit the Keil Canal.
  14. I think this is a very good move for Fred as this pair are roughly 20 years younger than Black Watch and Boudicca, which are likely to leave the fleet now. I will be sorry to see them go as they are lovely, elegant sister-ships who are very much grande dames of the sea. On a personal front, it will also put the kibosh on my double-transit of the Keil Canal aboard Boudicca next year ☹️
  15. Many cruise fora have tended to go quiet in the winter months when there are less pax off on cruises. I guess it stands to reason then that things will be even more quiet with no cruises happening at all. Hopefully once cruising returns things will perk up again.
  16. I do so hope that they survive. Had a great cruise aboard Marco Polo a couple of years ago. If they do sadly fold, those of us that prefer smaller ships will have very little choice in the mid-market range. All the new smaller ships seem to be in the boutique/luxury market.
  17. Hmmmmm. "Could be ready" and "needed for an emergency". That certainly doesn't fill me with confidence....
  18. Aye, but there's the rub, as they say. All the time Covid is causing alterations to cruising, the experience on board is not going to be the same. We don't know how entertainment is going to be presented. With reduced numbers, social distancing, one way systems etc, who knows what things will be like?
  19. As much as I love my sea days, a 10 to 14 night cruise going nowhere just wouldn't be attractive to me. You also have to remember that as the weather turns worse in October and onwards, you would have 2 to 3 days at either end when the weather might not be good enough to be out on the open decks...
  20. I just hope that this doesn't put Aurora in the frame for, as Carnival's CEO says, recycling! If she goes, there will only be one ship I would sail on....
  21. Sadly, I suspect with hotels operating at reduced capacity and many people reluctant to travel overseas at the moment, prices will probably have rocketed.
  22. Have you tried checking Eastbourne for hotels? It is a fairly traditional seaside town and might have more hotels offering full board. A friend of mine regularly visits the Hydro Hotel there and loves it.
  23. Will keep my fingers crossed for you for both of them but I think February is more likely than November.
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