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About towny44

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  1. Not sure I would want to do a QM2 north atlantic roundtrip, but we have done a Caribbean roundtrip and have 2 more booked with P&O, and I can advise that apart from the first and last 2 or 3 days the weather can be warm and sunny even in mid winter.
  2. We are on Navigator in 2 weeks, glad you enjoyed it, do you have any other tips or comments that might help us?
  3. Yes it did look good, I quite liked the roller coaster simulator, this seems something that P&O could include on the new ship without too much effort, and hidden down below it would not offend those who cringe at the water slides.
  4. Tally, As long as passengers are prepared to the premium prices that apply to Oriana, Aurora and Arcadia then I assume they will try to keep these refreshed, and I still believe they might build a new medium size ship to satisfy these aficionados.
  5. What you fail to appreciate Tally is that P&O tries to offer cruising to everyone in the UK as it attempts to remain a viable part of the Carnival fleet. That being so it needs to offer both traditional and modern cruising across its fleet as it tries to maintain its role in the UK. To this end its needs a floating theme park to attract those passengers who prefer the lively feel of RCCL and NCL and prevent them from jumping ship. I don't believe this means the end of them offering traditional cruising and maybe the higher profits produced might enable them to order a new medium sized ship to please the traditionalists, that would be a win win.
  6. A good idea from RCCL although I imagine that these staff will be mainly Florida based office staff and families, but there will likely be many W Indian hotel staff on board all their ships who will be worried about the safety of their families back home.
  7. Since 2011 we have needed to book on launch to secure an accessible cabin, which of course denies any opportunity to take advantage of special offers. However over the last 3 or 4 years the prices we paid at launch have never been bettered by any subsequent saver deals, even taking account of sometimes large OBC offers. As a consequence we are more than happy for this to continue, because from our Celebrity experience the addition of drinks packages, to bring the cruise up to an all inclusive standard, only leads to a massive increase in the drinks price menu, which for us as low volume drinkers results in a higher on board bill. So we would prefer that P&O continue to incentivise customers with extra OBC, which can be used to pay the bar bill, rather than introduce drinks packages, and have periodic free drinks offers.
  8. Our last Celebrity cruise was in 2016, booked in Sept 2015, and we had to pre pay grats to secure select dining on that; and our RCI cruise in Sept 2017, booked in April 2016, also required pre paid grats to get MTD. Mind you that was a steal when you compare today's rate of exchange.
  9. The only cruise line I know to offer a price match to UK cruisers is Princess, we enjoyed a substantial reduction a couple of years ago. But RCI were offering a one off price match for our September 2017 cruise when we booked in April last year, however the price is now well above what we paid so that's one offer I won't be taking. I did not know Celebrity had dropped pre payment of gratuities for their Select freedom dining, and we were also required to pre pay grats for the above mentioned RCI cruise which own Celebrity. However payment was only with the final balance, and the RCI group deposit is normally only 10%, or £150 if using a future cruise deposit.
  10. That would only apply if drinks were part of an all inclusive cruise price, at present most cruise lines offer this as an extra charge add on, which gives passengers the choice of buying one or not. My point is that in these circumstances those who drink little would not buy one, however my Celebrity experience is that all drinks packages do is drive up the bar prices so that only those with a "free" drinks package benefit; and even then they have probably paid for it with a higher cruise fare. I very much hope that P&O do not go down this route.
  11. Quite the opposite, if you have to pay for a drinks package at super inflated prices it's only going to encourage passengers to bring more on board, and to try and sneak it out with them, and not just drink it in their cabin.
  12. There is a saying that there's no such thing as a free lunch, or drinks package in this context. However you spin this the customer always pays, yes it's nice if you manage to get a free drinks offer, but the cost will be in the price somewhere, maybe not your's but somebody will pay; and if the Celebrity experience is anything to go by then it's those passengers not getting a free package. In the 3 years from them introducing drinks packages, the cost of their drinks increased by about 30/40%, and the reason is simple they want to encourage as many passengers as possible to buy the packages, because they are priced so that unless you drink yourself stupid they are just not good value; unless of course you are stupid enough not to notice how much more expensive the drinks are compared to home.
  13. I have to agree with the OP but, as my wife uses a wheelchair and we want an accessible cabin and ease of wheelchair access around the ship, we find we need the newer facilities that the bigger ships provide make for a more enjoyable cruise. Mind you I still think I would prefer the bigger ships even if we were both able bodied.
  14. Our first P&O cruise was in 2006 on Arcadia in the Caribbean and thinking back to that even at that time it compared unfavourably against the two Princess cruises we already done. We were also kept waiting at the quayside to check in, their photo system had failed, so nothing much different there. We had a table for 2 on fixed dining, cannot remember if it was first or second seating, the food was OK but not up to Princess standards, I do remember that there seemed a preponderance of old ladies on the cruise, all complaining bitterly over breakfast that standards had dropped since they started cruising, so again no change there. There is constant comment about the lack of silver service, strangely we yearned for the plated meals we had enjoyed on Princess, which arrived looking rather special and mouth watering; a main meat plate going cold while you waited for some watery vegetables to appear, did not have quite the same appeal. The entertainment was very similar, although the theatre company shows were more to our taste then, they seem a bit edgy nowadays, but the guest artists were very similar, in some cases the same and probably the same jokes from the comedians. Service did seem a little better then, although it has seemed to be improving on our last couple of cruises. Overall it was a very enjoyable holiday, taking us to never visited before hot tropical shores, in a fairly luxurious mostly all inclusive hotel with all the entertainment, restaurants and bars that you would find in a land based resort; and it still does so what the neck is there to complain about.
  15. I think P&O waiters tend to pour water via the spout, which on the jugs they use traps the ice in the jug, whereas certainly on Celebrity they pour it out of the side to ensure you get ice cubes in your glass, which is how the Americans prefer it served. In the buffet breakfast drink dispensers on Celebrity and Princess I don't think I have ever seen an ice dispenser, but I could be wrong.