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RayO

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RayO last won the day on July 8

RayO had the most liked content!

About RayO

  • Rank
    Midshipman
  • Birthday 09/15/1952

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    ray_otoole

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Farnborough, Hampshire
  • Interests
    Football. Cricket. Sport in general.
    Music - not limited by my age (Old Songs, New Songs), but still discerning, no easy listening.
    Cooking, eating and drinking.
    Gardening - as long as something to eat is the result.

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  1. RayO

    MSC Grading

    A google search revealed this. Can't verify the accuracy. https://www.cruisenation.com/blog/cruise-lines/msc-cruise-line-cruise-lines/difference-msc-fantastica-msc-bella/ RayO
  2. RayO

    Changing Insurers

    I find now that I have to use several comparison sites as they all seem to have different specials. It's worth it in the end to save money but sort of defeats the original idea of comparison sites. RayO
  3. RayO

    P&O's new drink packages?

    I would not go for their package for a slightly different reason. I see that doubles are not allowed and that there is a £6.95 limit. This for me would rule nearly everything on the G&T menu and a single measure just doesn't give me any taste. RayO
  4. RayO

    Hygiene

    I have looked on while this thread has developed and think that it is mostly about opinions which can vary wildly as to what is clean or not. I think the OP expected more support for their opinion but, because most people are not of the obsessive type, did not get it. My original thoughts were slightly askew from the way the thread developed. I don't see any designated use for certain areas of a cabin being stated when you get in there, okay certain parts are unstated such as "don't pee in the kettle" (don't understand why you would want to btw) but the rest is down to whatever your opinion might be. Opinions cannot be right or wrong except when they are stating facts which can be right or wrong. A drawer at the side of my bed can be used for whatever I want to use it for. Any bacteria or virus in it will usually die within a few hours. So, for as long as I continue cruising it will continue to be my dirty underpants drawer. RayO
  5. This discussion could be had about any of the world's most popular tourist destinations. As usual with anything like this the blame is usually put on the hapless tourist or cruise passenger, but all they've done is booked a trip to a hotel or a cruise that stops at Venice. The solution is all in the hands of the various Italian authorities who can limit numbers if they want to, so it would appear that they don't want to. The residents can protest all they like but it isn't as if they don't know what to expect: Venice has not just suddenly become popular. I suspect that while lots of money is being made not much will be done until Venice starts to sink with the weight of all the tourists. RayO
  6. RayO

    Blood types

    Only anecdotal I know, but I'm A+ and have never had norovirus even though I have been on many cruises where there have been quite severe outbreaks. On a slightly more technical note bacteria and viruses are two different things, although the end result can be the same. I think E.coli is the food poisoning bug caught from certain undercooked foods whereas Norwalk virus is spread by human contact. So, perhaps the research doesn't apply in this case. Also, I don't get food poisoning much either. RayO
  7. RayO

    Santorini

    Where the tender drops you off there are several options of local trips, so you don't even have to book a ship's tour. We went for a boat ride to Oia (pronounced Eeya btw) and a bus back to Fira. We had enough time in both to wander, have a drink and something to eat. Both places were very busy, May 2017, but it's what we expected. Very scenic, very beautiful. We then got the cable car down to pick up the tender, easy to find in Fira as there are signs everywhere. Enjoy. RayO
  8. RayO

    Duty Free

    I thought it was fairly obvious what countrygirl meant by lower octane. We quite often refer to fizzy drinks as full fat and low fat, and guess what, there isn't any fat in them. It is also incorrect to talk about proof these days as abv (alcohol by volume) is the standard used, even beer uses abv rather than specific gravity. 100 proof being roughly 57% abv. I have not noticed alcohol sold on board as being lower octane, rather the opposite in fact. Standard gins at home are usually 37.5% or 40%, whereas on board they are usually 43% or even 47%. Can only really speak about gin. This does not include the plethora of craft gins that are now available. As for the other duty free items mentioned they do seem to be about the same price as at home and I don't know why either. You would have thought they would be at least VAT free. I have checked perfumes and Swarovski and both have been bettered at home. I think they rely on peoples expectations over the information they actually have, ripe to be taken advantage of methinks. RayO
  9. I always qualify comments with "if it's still the same as when I last visited" as a couple of ports have changed. Anyway, if you decide to get a taxi back from Bridgetown and are feeling fairly tired ask the taxi driver if he/she is allowed into the port itself. My wife was very tired with the heat and all, we were dropped at the dock gate which turned out to be a bit of a trek for her with her exhaustion. Just a little tip. RayO
  10. RayO

    Krona or euro

    As with most places these days they will take Euros although the exchange rate may not be very good. My question is that if most of your cruise is within Norway why bother with Euros? If you have some left over from previous holidays then fair enough. I would certainly not buy Euros to specifically spend in Norway, the difference between buying and selling rates plus their %age would not make it a good financial transaction. Denmark would be a different matter as, although they retain their own krone, it is linked to the Euro (well, it was when last I heard). RayO
  11. RayO

    Mighty Cruise Ships on TV

    I do like this series and the original Mighty Ships which was fascinating in showing how ships are built for a specific purpose. So, here's the but. I do get a bit fed-up with everything they do being presented as an over dramatic crisis, e.g. this is the first time in this port - will they make it in?, they are delayed out of Harwich - will they catch up the time?, the pilot has never dealt with a ship this size - will he manage? And don't get me started about the stock (pun intended) scene of the ship's provisions being loaded sometimes with the chef squeezing and sniffing stuff. Apart from that it is an interesting programme showing the different types of ship that are out there. RayO
  12. RayO

    Arcadia cruise J715

    Glad that you had a good cruise despite all of the changes and that your approach is the same as mine. What can anyone do about the weather? Some people just get off on moaning about anything and everything. RayO
  13. RayO

    Oriana

    I did not go into the cinema so don't know if it was refurbished, don't think it was. Having done two cruises this year, Ventura 17 nights and Oriana 7 nights, I have tried almost all of the gins except the novelty ones, e.g. chocolate, elderflower. Anderson's was a very pleasant gin, not too flowery with a bit of spice. My favourites were The Botanist and Silent Pool, but a number of times I stuck to Bombay or Tanqueray as not all of the gins were available in all of the bars. After trying Fever Tree I have decided that I am a Schweppes Slimline man. Fever Tree is really being pushed but just tastes like flavoured soda water to me. My daughter and I did the Martini tasting on Ventura which started at midday: a great way to start the day. Hic! RayO
  14. RayO

    Oriana

    I was on a couple of months ago and Oriana is still one of my favourite ships. She is in very good condition considering her age. The refit was all about soft furnishings and I can hardly remember much about what has changed. In general everything looks fresher and newer. Let me think: the fake waterfall in the Atrium is now a living wall, Anderson's seating has changed, the restaurants look slightly different, the cafeteria has been changed around a bit (didn't go in there much). That's it really! Sindhu and the evening grill (can't remember the name) were excellent. The extensive gin menu is great for me. just a really nice ship. I remembered some of the crew from previous cruises and they half remembered me, so it felt very comfortable from the get go. Enjoy your cruise. RayO
  15. RayO

    Platinum status

    "Sorry for trying to help Rayo" Not meant as a criticism of you. RayO
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