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About towny44

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    Able Seaman

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  1. I think Garry that you might find large changes in the same cruise price, especially when most cruises are launched over 2 years ahead of sailing date. It is possible that you were comparing the low point on the first cruise against the high point for the same one a year later. If, like us, you had to book on launch because of the need to secure an accessible cabin, you would notice only a gradual increase due to inflation. However cruise prices booked since the Brexit vote and the resultant drop in the pounds value, do show the effect of that change, as fuel, food and probably wages will all be higher as a result. In fact if you look at the US lines you will see an even bigger change in cruise pricing than P&O.
  2. You need to have done your homework before your cruise, only then would you know if the on board price is better than you could get from your TA or even direct with P&O. But I do know of people who have received very large OBC, not available at home, when booking on board, so it can be beneficial.
  3. You have every right to be confused because it is 5200 passengers not cabins. It will be very similar to AidaNova and this will have 2500 cabins, so not quite as big as OWT speculated. Terrierian, I understand from the advance publicity, and the computer renderings, that it will have a wide wrap round promenade deck, but this will host the alfresco areas of various specialty restaurants so you may have to walk through these areas to take your daily constitutional, and I do hope that this is a level area as the renderings show and does not have the terraced steps that the Aida ship will have, otherwise I will find it impossible to push my wife's wheelchair around. The new ships also have a sky dome on the upper decks housing day time pool activities and night time entertainment. For further details check out the P&O website. http://www.pocruises.com/cruise-ships/new-ship/
  4. I do believe that all the RCI group have now stopped demanding you pre-pay gratuities if you select their freedom style dining, they will still offer this though but you can decline and have the gratuities added onto your on board account.
  5. I think you are mixing up your ships, it is the Majestic Princess that is the new build for the Asian market. Sapphire is new to the UK but is about 10 years old.
  6. The introduce yourself section seems to have been spammed by some US spammer with lots of sports news. What sort of pleasure do these idiots derive from this sort of action?
  7. After 3 glasses of wine in the MDR I am well over the limit for pushing my wife's wheelchair, even if we do get out before 9:00pm.
  8. Strangely enough Sinbad on my only RCI cruise, as a Diamond member of the C&A loyalty club from my Celebrity cruises, my on board bar bill was zero; my Diamond membership gave me 3 free drinks between 5:30 and 8:30 every evening which allowed me to drink free wine in the MDR over dinner for the entire 2 weeks. But I agree with you that tips were more expensive, but outweighed by the far better service you get on RCI than P&O, and overall I felt much better off on Navigator OTS than I would have on P&O.
  9. All hotel venues whether afloat or ashore are susceptible to noro and try their best to ensure best hygiene practice at all times, and extra special when there is an outbreak. But as noro is passed on from person to person should the hotel industry hold all customers to account? Personal hygiene like washing your hands regularly especially after visiting the toilet will help to reduce and stop outbreaks occurring.
  10. The RCI group only require payment 8 weeks before the cruise, and via Bolsover they have always accepted credit cards without a fee, as well as only wanting 10% deposit.
  11. I do hope you're right about this although it will cost Bolsover something, and as more customers switch to credit card maybe even more than now, unless the card providers equalise the cost they apply to debit and credit cards. I wonder why the eurocrats in Brussels did not consider legislation on the card providers to do just that, so there was no justification for businesses to apply a fee; although that would probably have required much shorter statement periods.
  12. Cruising numbers according to the travel industry is increasing year on year, so any brand has to ensure that it has enough capacity or it will lose out in the future. Carnival did not get to be number one in the cruise industry by making too many wrong decisions, so I guess they feel fairly certain that Cunard will need extra capacity by 2022.
  13. I believe that Oceana balconies have cut outs in the hull and they have wooden balcony rails with 2 thin metal bars across below, which allows for a full view through, On Aurora A and C deck balconies are similar but they do have full glass fronts, whilst B deck balconies are similar to Azura and Ventura. Not sure about Oriana, but their balconies are much more expensive.
  14. HLM, are you being deliberately obtuse. I said that cancelling the auto tip but then tipping in cash IS PERFECTLY OK and does not affect me, however those who do not tip at all are freeloading on both of us.
  15. Cancelling the auto tip and then tipping in cash is perfectly OK, not tipping at all IMO is not. The disadvantage is that the more people that cancel tips altogether the greater the pressure for the cruise line to increase the auto tip, which leaves those of us that do pay it, paying more. Why you don't see that leaves us disadvantaged is also beyond me. After many years of cruising and reading various forums I tend to accept that the auto tips are not truly a gratuity but rather a way of topping up the wages of certain service staff, waiters and stewards, whose basic wage is set far lower than most other service staff, including all those in the galley, bar staff also benefit in a similar way as tips are either added to or included in drink prices. This appears to be a hangover from the period between the wars when stewards would actually pay the Maitre D' in order to secure a job, such was the reward from wealthy passenger's tips. As a result my own view is to take this into account as part of the overall cruise fare and leave the auto tip in place, so my answer would be, if you cannot afford the auto tip you should not consider a cruise holiday, because as more people refuse to pay tips the cruise lines need to increase the level to maintain staff wages leaving those of us who do pay them disadvantaged. Yes it would be fairer if all cruise lines included tips in the fare, but until they do I will continue to feel aggrieved every time the gratuity level increases. But this is only my opinion and I know there will be many who disagree with me, but possibly an increasing number who feel the same as I do.