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afcandrew

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Everything posted by afcandrew

  1. That's what it is all about Ann - doing what you enjoy. In principle, I don't agree with the whole 'Speciality' or 'For fee' Restaurants on cruise ships but they are here to stay so I have eaten in Rhodes, Seventeen & Sindhu on P&O and (long ago) Ocean Liners on Celebrity. Re the coffee, most people agree that standard cruise ship coffee (on all the major lines) is not great but personally, I don't really like the speciality coffees served on P&O as they don't seem to taste anything like those on Land. Now that Costa is owned by Coca Cola, I have even less incentive to use them
  2. We regularly enjoyed the Gary Rhodes restaurants on board P&O ships and on our one Azura cruise also enjoyed Seventeen - which we really thought was just a continuation of the cuisine & service of the Rhodes restaurants once he parted company with P&O. On our one Celebrity sailing (way back in 2005) we enjoyed the food in the Ocean Liners restaurant on Summit but felt the service was a bit OTT - along with the wine prices! Whilst I don't like spicy foods, I have also enjoyed two meals in Sindhu aboard Aurora. I guess I have been lucky to have felt the mdr food was pretty
  3. I am on this cruise and that doesn't seem to be the case as there is only one other cruise ship docked in Amsterdam - Viking Sky, with 900 pax! Sadly, this looks like another poor decision by P&O shore-side. Ijmuiden is a dump and I have severe doubts about how P&O are going to get 2500+ pax between ship and Amsterdam efficiently. The port website shows us as due in at 1600 - which was the arrival time in Amsterdam but even if we arrive at 1400, by the time the formalities have been completed and shuttles start, they will likely be arriving on the outskirts of Amsterdam in time for
  4. Knowing how large this ship was before watching, I knew it isn't a ship I would want to cruise on but thoroughly enjoyed seeing some sides of a ship that I never will otherwise. They are certainly engineering and technological miracles.
  5. You can get standard 'filter-style' coffees all day in the buffet areas on all ships, also a wide range of tea-bags are available to make tea. It is speciality coffees like Latte & Cappuccino that you pay extra for. Also, chilled water is available in the buffet too to dispense into plastic tumblers. As the packages are new I am not sure how they give out the bottled water.
  6. That may well be the situation generally Davy but wasn't my experience on Discovery 2 last January. Being on a solos table, we had the same waiters every night in the mdr. The assistant was lovely but the main waiter was thoroughly miserable. My cabin steward too was very dour and not very efficient, The bar staff in the live lounge were very happy but not very efficient. The bar staff at the deck bar were rude and even when not busy had no idea who was next. Bar staff in the 'posh' Bar 11 however were great and very friendly.
  7. Included tips may become the norm in the UK. Marella and Saga already do it; P&O doing it from May; Fred Olsen feature offers that include all gratuities; CMV offer packages that include drinks & tips. The US culture however is very different and I don't think the big players there will ever routinely include the tips. At least in the UK many of the lines now have marketing promotions that include tips. NCL are the only major US player that seem to routinely include tips but I don't know whether they do that on sales from the USA.
  8. This isn't a Tourist Tax as such, like the ones added for overnight hotels stays. It is in fact the local equivalent of VAT, usually known as IVA. See this link https://ask.pocruises.com/help/PO/on-shore/iva_tax?_ga=2.63128040.632507833.1549793551-483303058.1548677122 . Andrew
  9. Hmmmm. On the P&O website now, Northern Europe is Bruges, Hamburg, Rotterdam & Amsterdam (from Rotterdam). Winter sun ports so far are Lisbon, Cadiz, Tenerife, Gran Canaria and Madeira. Unless they add any more destinations, it sounds like they are basically doing the same two itineraries throughout winter?
  10. I see in an e-mail this morning from Bolsover that Iona will be spending her first winter in Northern Europe, Spain, Portugal and the Canaries. I may well be proved wrong but I think there may be some pretty cheap deals at some stage for those interested. Andrew
  11. I'm not sure that anywhere has yet brought in a tourist tax for cruise pax yet. Several are talking about it but I don't think anyone has actually started it?
  12. Yes - but at least they are a good, British Line - or so they keep telling us 🤨🙄
  13. I don't think I would want to do that actually. The sea days are not a problem - I love them. I would however like to spend a few days in New York and also get to Niagara as that is something I have not done. The friend I am likely to do this with (probably next year) also has access to cheap BA flights for the return from New York.
  14. Probably - at the time - Celebrity Summit. But that was, I think, getting on for 14 years ago! I think generally I prefer elegantly understated but that is becoming increasingly unaffordable for me these days with the mid-price lines building ever larger, flashy ships. I was impressed with QE too Davbe when I sailed on her three years ago. I would like to see QM2. We did an Eastbound Transatlantic on QE2 many years ago so I would like to do a Westbound on QM2. Andrew
  15. I'm with you Sinbad. I probably could do 5/6 drinks easily in a sea day but how many of them would be around £6.50 or so to make it worthwhile? Certainly not soft drinks or coffees. Also, as others have said unless you have an awful lot of sea days, the value is going to be far less.
  16. Going slightly off topic I know but I wonder if P&O will stick with Costa Coffee on-board once the sale of the company to Coca Cola has gone through? Guess it will depend on the franchise costs.
  17. So P&O have decided to bring in the Drinks Packages trialled last year. I think the prices are the same (£39.95pppd for the 'Ultimate' one) with the same conditions - drinks up to £6.95 included with 20% off drinks costing more than that. Maximum 15 alcoholic drinks per day (hic, oh my head hurts 😁) and the 15 minutes between orders rule. I am pleased for those who have been calling for this but just hope that it doesn't lead to an increase in drink prices for those not on the package or an increase in drunkenness on board. I certainly know I can't justify (to myself) spending
  18. I think I just about remember skiffle. Didn't Lonnie Donegan (?spelling) play the washboard? But then I am only a youngster 😉😁
  19. It is now one of the most used songs at funerals. Sadly, as it is so popular generally, it doesn't help those of us whose loved ones decided to have it in their funerals. One of the loveliest funerals I have been to was for a friend who was a humanist. He loved Gracie Fields and so of course chose "Wish me luck as you wave me goodbye" for the committal song. It brought a smile to everyone's face as we all literally waved him goodbye.
  20. Although that certainly doesn't always work if you are travelling solo. I am off on Azura for 4 nights in March (8 weeks on Friday) and it would cost me £160 more now than when I booked a year or so ago.
  21. Abide with me is one that I avoid whenever possible. My best friend's Dad was a big football fan and had it at his funeral. My friend & I are both Arsenal fans and have been subjected to Abide with me at numerous FA Cup Finals since and both find it difficult. My partner also chose two popular songs to be played at his funeral (Time to Say Goodbye - Katherine Jenkins & You Raise Me up - Westlife) and I still find these difficult to listen to, especially if they turn up unexpectedly! I really wish he had carried out his threat to have "The Best of TImes is Now" from La Cage Aux
  22. I suspect all the cruise lines and many holiday companies do just that Davy! Andrew
  23. You might find this site useful: https://www.cityguiderotterdam.com/travel/getting-there/cruise-ship/ I hope you enjoy your visit. Andrew
  24. Like many people, I have an eclectic taste in music, enjoying classical through to light rock. Many different pieces bring back memories from various stages of my 50+ years of being into music. Certain lyrics make me smile or even cry but there is only one piece of music that has some sort of bizarre physical effect on me and that is the Adagietto from Mahler's 5th Symphony. I find that actually breath-taking in that I sometimes have to remind myself to breath when I am listening to it. Good job it the only music that does that to me 😀. Pesky Pirate - my Brother & his wife wal
  25. P&O - like most travel companies - operate flexible pricing these days so it is difficult to know as prices rise & fall all the time.
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