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Land Ahoy

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Everything posted by Land Ahoy

  1. Hi I would be happy to sail on any of the ships in the Azamara fleet, I consider them to offer a great cruise experience and considering the quality of the product ion offer they are probably the best value for money in the cruise market today.
  2. Land Ahoy

    Brilliant Boudicca

    Hi Thanks for the review and I'm pleased you enjoyed the Fred Olsen experience. This line gets a lot of criticism by many cruisers because they employ older vessels but the standards on board is IMO is far better than those offered by their competitors.
  3. Land Ahoy

    India visa

    HI I haven't been to India so I can't comment on the value of obtaining a visa but I have read that you still have to obtain a visa even if you don't go ashore but the situation may have changed.
  4. Land Ahoy

    Hawaiin ports

    Hi It's been about eight years since I did an Hawaiian cruise so I think the situation may have changed. In Honolulu we did undertake an independent island tour which was half the price of the ship's excursion. We went to the volcanic area and had a few stops along the way and went to a beach to see sea turtles. However, the number of tour operators was limited compared to that in the Caribbean so if you wish to take advantage of these trips depart the ship early but I accept that there may be many more tour operators offering these trips now. Alternatively, there's a good public bus service which will take you to Pearl Harbour (queues can be long to get on the guided tour of the site so again get there early). Maui (tender port) was the most under developed island and my favourite the main town was pleasant just to wander about but a trip in the heart of the island showed the natural beauty of this paradise. At the other islands we went to the beaches and just chilled out (hired paddle boards, it much easier than surfing) and had lunch in the many and reasonably priced beach front cafes. I can't comment on the night life on islands as we had no overnight stays.
  5. Land Ahoy

    Should Speciality Restaurants Cost Extra?

    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.
  6. Land Ahoy

    Any " must see or do's " in Barbados ?

    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.
  7. Hi Although I do feel sorry for the hard working bar staff, I expect the accountants loved the bar profits.
  8. 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
  9. Land Ahoy

    Britania Caribbean Cruise Port location to towns

    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)
  10. Land Ahoy


    .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.
  11. Land Ahoy

    Traveller 96

    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.
  12. Land Ahoy

    Azamara Pursuit NEW FOR 2018

    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.
  13. Land Ahoy

    Ever been to Fife?

    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)
  14. 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,
  15. Land Ahoy

    To go or not to go?

    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.
  16. 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.
  17. Land Ahoy

    Nearly a virgin

    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.
  18. Land Ahoy

    QM2 to Norway via Hamburg return

    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.
  19. 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.
  20. Land Ahoy

    First timers

    Hi queby I agree that many cruise lines are now going the "all inclusive" route or having reasonably priced drinks packages and following the trends already used by many land based packaged holidays. I have purchased drinks packages or had them included in the boarding fare but I really don't mind having to purchase beverages on my on board account, I don't drink that much that so I don't have to worry about my final bill. It can be slightly quicker to receive your order as you don't have to sign the bill but the difference in time is not that great in my opinion.
  21. Land Ahoy

    P&O Cruises have sold Adonia!

    Hi I totally agree with your comments. Unlike P&O do not target their cruises for the British market but they are aimed at the more the international market (particularly USA passengers) who wish to have a more exclusive cruise experience. I am sure that the venture will be successful and that the Azamara Pursuit will be just as popular as their other two ships. Most ships these days cater for the "pile them high, sell them cheap market" but there is a niche market for those who wish to have a more sophisticated vacation.
  22. Land Ahoy

    Hurricane Update on ports!

    Hi I am going to the Caribbean in December and I have never considered cancelling my cruise. I am sure I will enjoy my vacation, there may be a change of ports but the similarities for most of the islands is greater than their differences. I don't mind whether I miss a few ports and have a few more sea days, it relaxing. However, it's your decision and what I do may not be the best thing for yourself
  23. Land Ahoy

    Hurricane Update on ports!

    Hi Thanks for the update
  24. Hi There's an interesting item on the BBC's website on the QE2. It's fifty years since the ship was launched, I have had the privilege of sailing on this vessel and reading the website it brought back plenty of good memories but the one which sticks in my mind the most is disembarking in Lisbon and seeing that the ship had a whale impaled on the bow. The service and food were excellent but I remember being totally unimpressed with the main theatre, it was not separate and the outer aisles acted as general corridors between the different areas of the ship. What are your memories? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-41282633
  25. Hi I'm off to the Caribbean in December and I am sure that the cruise line will try to alter to the itinerary if the proposed ports of call are so damaged that it makes them unsuitable for tourists. Unfortunately many other ships in this region will be looking to do the same thing and it may be difficult to accommodate them all at alternative destinations while those which are considered suitable may be filled to capacity. However, I fully understand that my vacation may be "marred" but I won't complain, compared to those living on these islands my minor inconvenience falls into insignificance.