Jump to content


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Alistair

  • Rank
  • Birthday 04/12/1938

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    N. Ireland
  1. Alistair

    Christmas Cruises

    Christmas cruises are wonderful - but only only child-free ships. Having experienced hoards of noisy indisciplined children on P&O at Christmas previously - never again!
  2. Alistair

    British Isles

    I have completed several such cruises and enjoyed all of them. I would certainly recommend Swan Hellenic and Hebridean for wonderful itineraries, and the inclusion of excursions with these two lines makes the experience even better (and not too expensive considering the quality and variety of excursions offered). Irish ports of call (such as Cork, Glengarriff, Killybegs, Londonderry, Belfast, Dublin and Waterford are all very interesting in very different ways and are usually very enjoyable - though you may need an umbrella.
  3. Alistair

    Indirect Flights

    If leaving from Southampton, I have to use a regional flight to get there. Flybe provides a direct service to Southampton from a number of regional airports, but they are very expensive and the flight times are seldom convenient. Then there is the quite expensive return taxi fare from the airport to the port. I have found that it is nearly always less expensive to fly to Heathrow and then get the National Express coach service to Southampton (The coach station is in Southampton City Centre, so is just a short taxi drive the port). Air carriers to Heathrow from the regions are also a bit more generous (and flexible) with regard to luggage weight allowance.
  4. Alistair

    P&o Tirade

    My view on P&O cruises is that, over the years, they have moved/are moving to serve a different market niche. The cruise experience is constantly being downgraded, it is becoming more cheap and cheerful and Butlinesque,and is targeting a different (and younger) customer base than previously. One outcome of the changes, is that many of their previously loyal and more mature customers are feeling alienated to an extent. It seems that an increasing number of this group, are moving to experience other cruise lines, as I have done. P&O's complicated loyalty scheme is quite valueless (who wants a pair of towelling slippers in a bag!,) and does little to retain loyalty. Perhaps it is Carnival's policy that P&O is to attract the now defunct Ocean Village and younger clientele, and that Cunard should serve those more mature customers who were previously loyal to P&O.
  5. Alistair

    Cruising Over Christmas/new Year

    I have cruised with a variety of lines at Christmas. I too am over 60 (well, actually over 70), and do now prefer to travel with few or no children. I have quite enjoyed ORIANA (child-free) at Christmas, but continuing P&O cutbacks are now a disincentive to travel with them. The Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary Christmas cruises are better, and more sophisticated. This year, I am trying Oceania's Marina in the S Pacific for Christmas and New Year, and expect excellent food, accommodation and service, with few or no children. If you too value the peacefulness tha comes when children are absent, you might consider Seabourn, Regent, Crystal, Azamara, as well as P&O's child-free ships.
  6. Alistair


    Beautiful, and extremely clean and well-maintained ships. MSC seem to generate a more vibrant atmosphere than P&O, though the food may not be quite as acceptable to the British palate. Very much cruising with an Italian accent! If you go frequently, their loyalty scheme is miles better than that of P&O.
  7. Alistair

    Help - would you travel with Regent?

    Really excellent cruise line, fully inclusive. It is so nice to pay a reasonable fare, and to disembark with no frightful account. Being fleeced whilst on board, as with a growing number of other cruise lines, leaves a bad taste in the mouth!