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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/17/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Nimrod

    Cunard Christmas Canaries Cruise

    Thank you so much Dancing Queen for the very detailed information, that was just what I needed and has put my mind at rest considerably. I love Christmas and usually I am the one organising Christmas with my family & grandchildren but since September last year my health has taken quite a battering and last Christmas was rather a "non event" despite everyone's best efforts so in view of this my husband booked this cruise for me. We did 70 days of the World Cruise and a Baltic Cruise on QV so know and love the ship ( in fact we have booked the same cabin as we had for the world cruise) and as we are doing a short cruise in August with all our family & the grandchildren to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary we won't feel too guilty being away from them at Christmas. Having had tests & consultations myself nearly every week since September 2018 I do hope your husband gets positive results and you will be able to join the cruise this year- maybe we can say Thankyou, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in person? I must confess it is the thought of the next cruise and the photo's and memories of those I have already done that have got me through some very difficult times over the last year so I will now go out and purchase a new "tasteless" Christmas jumper & hat for my husband and an equally "tasteless" Christmas Tiara & earrings for myself and look forward to my Christmas cruise!!! Much appreciated.
  2. 2 points
    After a dozen sailings with P&O we decided to try an alternative cruise line for comparison. We thought we had heard good reports of Princess so booked a 7 day cruise to France and Spain to try the Sapphire Princess out. We arrived for embarkation well ahead of our allocated time. At 10:35 we handed our car to CPS and by 11:35 were sitting in the buffet on board the ship. To say this was an excellent experience was an understatement and something P&O should certainly get to grips with. We were fortunate to have qualified as “Elite” passengers, the highest level tier, due to our P&O loyalty points which only places us half way up the P&O ladder! Our Balcony cabin had a good, large outside area with 2 chairs, footstools and large table. Inside was rather disappointing as it was quite small and insufficient seating to allow both of us to sit on seats rather than the bed. The bathroom was also small but the shower was very good. Overall the cabin was very clean and kept that way by our steward throughout the cruise. The ship seemed to have a very happy crew who were very helpful and friendly. I did wonder if this was due to the significantly higher auto gratuity charges of $14.50 per day per person. I thought the ship seemed jaded and in need of a refit. It did not seem that disability friendly but it did make a change to see signs in Chinese and English. Entertainment we excellent and varied. One of the things I was particularly looking forward to was the food and have to say I was very disappointed. We have had much better menus on the various P&O ships we have sailed on and with more variety and if a better quality. We tried the speciality Steakhouse and have to say our local Miller & Carter is much better with a price about the same as the Speciality restaurant surcharge! The best part of the menu were the chocolate desserts. Drinks were expensive with a £7 supermarket bottle if wine costing $42 and drinks seemed to be around €10 a drink. The ports of call had me scratching my head as the ship was as much as 2 hours travel away from the advertised port. We went on a ship organised excursion to Santiago di Compostela as we wanted to see the Cathedral there only to find there was very little to see inside due to renovations being undertaken until 2020. A warning would have been good but the trip, for us, was still worth it. Disembarkation was again excellent being timely and very efficient. For the first time cruising we could spot our bags immediately. Would we book another Princess cruise - probably not unless they were stopping at particular ports that other cruise companies were not offering.
  3. 2 points
    An excellent choice Nimrod and I'm sure you will love QV . We have celebrated Christmas on a ship for the last 30 years and I don't think it is as 'Christmassy' as it once was but don't be put off by that as it is only my opinion and probably due to the fact we don't join in a lot of the events as we once did, we tend to host a cabin party these days and share the day with friends we have met over the years - it works for us our own little family away from home !! The atmosphere will be there from the minute you step onto the ship, it will be beautifully decorated and of course Christmas music will be playing which all adds to the excitement of what is around the corner, as Davybe says Christmas day will be a sea day there will be various activities happening around the ship so really it's down to you and what might be of interest to you, one thing I particularly enjoy is going to the Queens Room to see Santa arrive on Xmas morning, even though we don't have children I do like to see the excitement on the children's faces in anticipation of the present they are about to receive oh and you won't be forgotten either Santa will pay you a visit too, another event which always used to happen but hasn't for the last couple of years ( although that might be down to whichever cruise director is doing the organising ) is an afternoon pantomime, now I'm not particularly a pantomime person but Xmas isn't Xmas without one is it !! the ships choir will also entertain you in the evening assuming you are in the Britannia restaurant ( they don't do it in the other restaurants ) Christmas dinner is served in the evening - do keep an eye on the times in the daily newspaper as they tend to alter slightly for Christmas day to allow for a more relaxed experience for both passengers and crew, you will find the crew love to take part in the celebrations and many of them will be wearing their Xmas hats so do think about taking a couple of your own as they seem to really appreciate passengers making the effort too plus the paper hats you get in the crackers are a bit 'naff' anyway, another nice tradition albeit an American one is the crew go around the ship on Xmas morning giving out small glasses of Eggnog - a bit like Marmite you either love it or loathe it. I always take Christmas decorations to decorate the cabin but that is personal choice some do, some don't, you might like to take a few Xmas cards too from home to give your cabin a more homely feel plus a few blank ones because table mates tend to give them also. There won't be much else happening after Xmas day but then it will be pretty port intensive so that is to be expected, New Years Eve is always a grand affair and of course the bonus is being in Madeira for the fireworks which are spectacular I think you will be suitably impressed. Please ask away if there is anything specific you want to know and I will do my best to answer you, we too hope to be on this cruise but at the moment my husband is awaiting some test results so we are unable to commit ourselves until we know the outcome. Wishing you a very Happy 70th Birthday in advance and the icing on the cake is that you will be enjoying it on the very beautiful Queen Victoria.
  4. 1 point
    sinbad10

    Just back off the Aurora

    Thanks after a visit to the doctors she is now on antibiotics. I dont think it is down to new carpets there have for many years people complaining of coughs,colds and chest infections after a recent cruise and a lot mention Arcadia cough but dont think there is one ship any worse than others. Air conditioning is the problem because when you have 2000+ people in a confined space any viral problems can soon spread.
  5. 1 point
    The Harpers

    First time

    I did that in January with my daughter. The stingray trip to Gibbs Cay with P& O is fab and does get sold out. We also did the swimming with turtles trip in Barbados, only saw 2 turtles but was amazing and lunch on the boat was lovely. Most places when you get off taxis are waiting to take you on island tours or to the beach. You want about 20/25 dollars each port plus a sun lounger and brolly each on the beach is around 10/15 dollars. In Grenada we picked up a tour for $15 to a waterfall, spice shop and rum shack which we really enjoyed, though the spiced rum was knockout stuff!! You will be fine with just US dollars. Hope this helps
  6. 1 point
    Hi, I found this really useful, thank you. I have only been on Royal Caribbean and P&O. I prefer P&O in a lot of ways but I suppose if we hadn't tried it we would never know. It is scary to spend money on a new cruise line though, we want to do a world cruise and like the 2021 Fred Olsen itinerary, particularly as it does Havana, although we are not able to go until 2023/2024 so whether it will be the same we'll have to wait and see. I am nervous about going for so long on a new cruise line so may do a shorter one first, but if I don't like it would it stop me doing the world one? I don't know
  7. 1 point
    cruise chef

    Trying it on??

    Thanks for the reply 'Dozydo' and not meant to be a Belittler as you put it but simply if you have a cabin that has what you asked for why risk changing. Bit if you do then it goes without saying!
  8. 1 point
    The cynic in me thinks that on this type of cruise, the itinerary will be fixed and ports booked well in advance but the public vote will be "manipulated" to give the desired outcome.
  9. 1 point
    sinbad10

    Cruise Travel insurance

    We all must remember or for those that dont know be told that Nationwide Flexiplus Current Account travel insurance only covers for you up to the age of 70. Over that age and you have to pay for an age extension on top of any medical issues that might not be covered. Flexiplus is the only account that now offers travel insurance to new customers and you have to take into account the £13 a month charges for that account.
  10. 1 point
    Dozydo

    Cruise Travel insurance

    I have Nationwide Flexuplus current account which gives cover for car breakdown, loss of mobile phone and also whole-world,travel insurance. I am 82, he is 81 and we both have declared medical conditions the extra cost is £50 a year on top of monthly account charge. Happily weve never had to claim so don’t know how,good they are but I do know that Without existing conditions several companies mentioned wanted almost £1000 for annual cover.
  11. 1 point
    Dozydo

    Trying it on??

    I did not complain because we were on a lower deck. I complained that the DOUBLE bed we had specified was ignored and I was told that despite booking on “select” basis, once passengers agree to accept upgrade they are treated as”Guaranteed” basis. Would a woman accompanying her elderly father or a middle-aged brother and sister travelling together be expected to accept “fixed double” when they had stipulated singles. I don’t think so. Before you join the “National Association of Belittlers” take the trouble to read what had been written.
  12. 1 point
    cruise chef

    Trying it on??

    This always makes me laugh when I have listened to people on ship, when they were in an obstructed view cabin and upgraded to a clear view and they were moaning it was a downgrade because it was lower down in the ship? What part of unobstructed to clear isnt better? Its just down to the NAoC'S on ship (for those who dont know what this means 'National AssocIation of Complainers' who have nothing better than moan, they are supposed to be on holiday enjoying themselves).
  13. 1 point
    sinbad10

    Trying it on??

    Definition of an "upgrade" is quite rightly in P&O's eyes is that the upgraded cabin given is of higher grade and would have cost more than the grade of cabin you would have booked. Unfortunately people dream of been upgraded to balconies or better when in reality this is very rarely the case. We always ask not to be upgraded.
  14. 1 point
    Dozydo

    Trying it on??

    We did the repositioning cruise on Azura in March. As outside cabins were full we selected partly obscured with double bed and were ok with this. It was an early celebration of our 60th Wedding Anniversary. We were offered upgrade the day before sailing but found it was outside with narrow fixed twin beds. Reception not interested - said if we accepted upgrade we had to take what we were given. She said all cabins were same size but this one was so small we had to move coffee table to get to area with tea-tray and getting into bed we were constantly banging our heads and elbows on wall. (We are not obese - my husband has 32” waist). Deck manager said he could put beds together by moving the bedside drawers but there would be no bedside lamps and clock, specs, glass of water etc would have to go on floor, and I don’t know where he intended to put the only drawer unit. Our plea that this was for anniversary was met with bemused smiles. P&Os reply to our complaint was that by taking “upgrade!!!” we reverted to “guaranteed” basis, even though we paid Select price, and changing the bed-specification was not a “material change” to our original booking. So if you agree to upgrade, note that P&O don’t abide by the Oxford English Dictionary that upgrade is an improvement on the original specification. It means take what you’re given and shut up.
  15. 1 point
    *Dancing Queen*

    Trying it on??

    One of the reasons P&O stopped 'cabin shares' was because many single passengers would book them to save money ( understandable ) but then complain they couldn't share for various reasons from snoring to hygiene issues and would demand to be moved. Many years ago we shared a dining table with a delightful 'threesome' ( husband/wife and sister ) all were well into their seventies at the time, unfortunately the travel agent hadn't done their research very well as they were sharing a cabin and no-one thought to tell them it consisted of 'bunk beds' we were horrified when they told us they were taking the mattress off the top bunk and placing it between the two lower berths at night, I assume they replaced it each morning otherwise the cabin steward would probably have spoken to someone about it, after checking with them that they would be comfortable if one of them moved to another cabin I spoke to the purser on their behalf and within the hour they had a second cabin FOC, needless to say they were very grateful for the intervention as they would never have dreamt of demanding an upgrade nor expected one, genuine people who had they not mentioned it in passing would have just made the best of a bad job. Had quite a few upgrades over the years but then 9 times out of 10 we do go on the upgrade list but only when we have a good idea what we might be upgraded to, we wouldn't do it for all cabin grades.
  16. 1 point
    towny44

    P & O going down hill

    I do find P&O's method of disembarkation far too controlled, with no general announcements except in the waiting venues. On Celebrity the announcements are ship wide and we always tried to time our breakfast so that we finished about the time our colour/number was called, more often than not our group was called while we were still eating so we just headed straight to the gangway after breakfast. No worries, no hassle just a far more relaxing experience.
  17. 1 point
    sinbad10

    P & O going down hill

    No they havent altered baggage hall and it was chaotic on Saturday not helped by the fact that Britannia didnt arrive in Southampton until 0830 and as first independent passengers didnt get off the ship until 1115 and then there was 2 queues the full length of the baggage hall with people trying to get through customs with everyone checked by one Border Force sniffer dog causing further delays.
  18. 1 point
    sinbad10

    P & O going down hill

    Returned today from our cruise on Britannia. Having done many cruises in the past with P&O but have not done many in the last five years only 3 on Britannia compared to doing 3 a year since 2000. I have been critical of P&O that is why we have virtually stopped cruising with them and to be honest was not looking forward to our cruise on Britannia. But I have to be truthful and say the food throughout the ship was as good as it was on the maiden voyage with plenty of choice on menus at dinner and served good portions and food was always hot. We did freedom dining and always asked to share a table and varied our meal times from 6-30pm until as late as 8-30pm and was only once told we needed a pager and there would be a wait of 20 minutes which wasnt a problem this however turned out to be no longer than less than 5 minutes. Staff throughout the ship always happy and polite and as this was the first cruise since dropping of auto gratuities service was excellent with no dropping of standards. The only downside was late arrival of Britannia into Southampton and not leaving the ship until 1115 and the chaotic disembarkation procedures which would put me off ever going on Iona especially trying to find your suitcases in the baggage hall which today caused massive queues and it was a further hour before we left the CPS car park at 1215.
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