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Land Ahoy

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About Land Ahoy

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  1. Hi As usual OWT has opened an interesting topic for debate. I have no doubts that the standard of dining on most cruise lines has declined in recent years directly in response to the low boarding fares offered by the majority of operators and this has certainly led to a greater increase in number of passengers taking this form of vacation. However, most of these passengers don't have the knowledge to know what type of quality product in the past. I used to have the majority of my vacations on ocean cruise ships but I now take the majority of my breaks on river cruises and land based hotels. I may be an exception but I find that most ocean cruise lines these days only offer an acceptable product but rarely visit ports I haven't been to many times, maybe I have been spoilt in the past.
  2. Hi I enjoy visiting Barbados and I too am staying overnight in early December. I have done a few excursions, some using the ship's excursion programme and some independently. I enjoyed a trip to a plantation house, having a short of the history comparing life of the owners with those of the slaves (glad these days are over, although modern slavery is still taking place) and this was followed by a trip to the Concorde museum (adjacent to the airport) where you can board the supersonic jet which travelled weekly from London to this island. I have also undertaken a catamaran cruise which included lunch and swimming with Turtles and you get many beautiful views of the coastline. Independent island tours are available and many will go to Gun Hill Fort which has fine views over the island. If you wish to visit the beach their are so many to chose from (a favourite of mine is Holetown, it has many bars and restaurants) but be careful and don't opt for a beach on the Atlantic side of the island the waves and currents make swimming problematic.
  3. Hi Although I do feel sorry for the hard working bar staff, I expect the accountants loved the bar profits.
  4. Hi The high single charged by most cruise lines and for that matter land based holidays is often a bone of contention amongst solo passengers. It is obvious that the entire holiday industry is out of date with current living arrangements as there is more single households in the UK than there are "nuclear families". The industry bases the fares on the full occupancy of the available cabins, and probably believe that solo passengers have a larger disposable income and are willing to pay the hefty supplements. I agree with your assessment that most single cruisers are likely to have a larger than average on board spend and would cruise more regularly if the prices charged were closer to that paid by couples. I am a single cruiser and I never pay a huge single supplement but I am fortunate that I can cruise at any time of the year and I am not confined to undertaking cruises to and from the UK and find that I can always find a suitable cruise at a reasonable fare. P&O and Cunard are two cruise lines which definitely penalise solo passengers with large single supplements but other "better" lines such as Azamara often only add a 25% supplements on their cruises meaning I can often have a more refined product for a lower boarding fare
  5. Hi I do not know which ports of call this cruise is calling at so I can't answer your question. However, I would recommend that you consider using independent tour operators rather than the cruise ship's excursion programme. There will be plenty of tour guides offering reasonable priced tours at the exits of the port and in my experience they are at least as good and often better than those offered by the ship. If you just want to chill out on a beach these are also offered. If you want further specific information just browse the web (type in something like what to do in ports in the Caribbean on a cruise)
  6. .Hi I do think that this venture will be successful and with the company partially owning an airline. They will be able to offer competitive fares for European and particularly UK passengers wishing to undertake a fly cruise to the using scheduled flights rather than chartered flights used by P&O and Fred Olsen. Any new alternative cruise line is always welcomed although I will not be rushing to book, I'll wait and see what the cruise ambience is on board before making a decision.
  7. Hi Welcome to the forum. I agree with your assessment and I have found that the standards on Britain's most popular cruise line have fallen and I rarely consider booking a cruise with this company. I like you, have found that many other cruise lines offer a "better" cruise experience for a similar boarding fare.
  8. Hi I am not surprised that Azamara is not using Southampton as a "home" port the majority of passengers when I have been on this cruise line have come form North America and I understand that the attraction of many European ports (eg Venice, Athens, Barcelona) offer a lot much appeal to passengers than Southampton for a pre or post cruise experience.
  9. Hi The obvious place to visit is St Andrews, take a walk on the beach (weather permitting) where the famous scene from Chariots of Fire was filmed. If you are interested in golf you will be heaven, even for a non-golfer like me it's still fascinating being able to walk around the old course and play on the putting green next to the eighteen hole. I can't remember exactly where it was in Fife but I have visited an old nuclear bunker which was to be used in the event of a nuclear war. I would also consider going to Falkirk to see the unique rotating canal barge lifting hoist (Falkirk Wheel) and the art installation the Falkirk Kelpies (look them up on the web to see if you would like them)
  10. Hi As a general rule the cruise lines which have early boarding which allow you have lunch, I have rarely found that your cabin is available for immediate occupancy. When the embarkation is later, the cabins are usually available on boarding the ship. In my experience there doesn't seem to be a correlation between the cost of the cruise line and the availability of the cabin at the time of boarding. I have always had to wait for the cabin to be available on Azamara and NCL but on Princess and Silversea it was ready immediately,
  11. Hi I am booked on a Caribbean cruise this December and I have considered not going on the cruise. I have been to this region on numerous occasions an if the itinerary is changed due to some of the ports being cancelled due to the extensive damage due the hurricanes reeking havoc in this region and replaced by others or extra sea days I am not concerned, my minor inconveniences are nothing compared to those living on these islands.
  12. Hi I don't moan about P&O cruises after many enjoyable vacations with this company. I no longer consider booking a cruise with this company. It's a personal decision and many have different views (each to their own) but I believe that there are many cruise lines offering a better cruise experience for a similar boarding fare.
  13. Hi I am please that you have found a new partner and I wish you both well for the future. I really don't like to recommend cruises for other people as we all have different preferences. However, there is a few things to consider before making your decision. Their is a lack of dates and cruise lines which sail to and from the UK to the Caribbean and these cruises are of a long duration, and if you or your partner is prone to sea sickness the long sea days may be problematic. With the fly cruise option you will have a much larger choice of dates, duration and cruise lines to select the holiday which appeals to you the most. A third option you may consider is a repositional cruise by which you sail one way and fly back the other, again the choice of cruise lines is limited and these cruises sail only in the autumn/winter and the spring.
  14. Hi I sailed on Cunard's twice named ship the Vistafjord and eventually Coroina in the late 1980's and this vessel was a bilingual vessel with announcements made in English and German so your experience is nothing new. It is possible that Cunard may be trying to increase their potential market share by opting to becoming a more international cruise line rather than relying on UK passengers.
  15. Hi I don't believe children should miss school attendance to go on holiday, a good education is too important. However, I am unsure whether fines should be imposed on parents who take a different view. In the past parents were "allowed" remove school pupils for up to two weeks per year without punishment.