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Everything posted by RayO

  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


    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


    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


    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


    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
  16. RayO

    Platinum status

    Princess also have Platinum status. The question was about check-in not loyalty benefits, so I agree with the first comment that is if you're Platinum then you should know what happens at check-in. The post seems very wishy-washy as if everyone is supposed to interpret the question. RayO
  17. RayO

    Solo Travelling on P&O's Ventura

    Just returned from my Ventura cruise and there were no arranged evening drinks for solos, just the morning coffee and afternoon tea as noted before. Also, much to my tables annoyance, they were trying out 1930 and 2100 shows rather than 2100 and 2230 shows. Everything seemed to be geared to first sitting and early diners, even the syndicate quiz was moved from 2245 to 2230, which may not seem a lot but was never put back when dinner was at 2045 rather than 2030. The cruise after ours reverted to the latter format. Very little show wise after dinner for us to do. We couldn't get in to see a couple of acts as they were put on in Havana at 2100 and 2230 rather than the theatre and were packed when we finished dinner. RayO
  18. Presumably registering a card on CP will be to pay for pre-cruise bookings such as excursions and indulgence packages. RayO
  19. RayO

    Solo Travelling on P&O's Ventura

    As a first time solo traveller last August I was put on a table for eight with an adult family of four and three others solos. It worked out very well. This was on Princess btw. RayO
  20. RayO

    Solo Travelling on P&O's Ventura

    I shall be travelling solo with my daughter and her husband on Ventura next week. In order to give them time on their own I shall be looking out for some solos events. I do not attend the morning get togethers mainly because I'm not a morning person. A pre-dinner drink would suit me better, I'll look out for that. RayO
  21. RayO

    Cruising around the Greek Islands

    It would seem that limits on Santorini visits are already in place, more for logistics than anything else at the moment. The cruise mentioned earlier by two posters, Ventura 14/05/2017 has had its itinerary changed: Rhodes has replaced Kusadasi and the order of visiting the Greek Islands has been altered. Taken from Bolsover email "Your cruise operator has recently been made aware that there are five ships due to call to Santorini on Wednesday 24th May, which is likely to cause congestion in and around the port and may delay the operation of any shore excursions that day. In order to avoid any disruption to your experience ashore, it has been necessary to amend the port order from Sunday 21st May to Wednesday 24th May. The revised portion of the itinerary is as follows:- 21/05/17 Athens (Piraeus), Greece – Arrive early morning & Depart early evening 22/05/17 Santorini, Greece – Arrive early morning, Tender required, Depart early evening 23/05/17 Rhodes, Greece – Arrive morning & Depart early evening 24/05/17 Heraklion, Greece – Arrive early morning & Depart afternoon" The Crete visit has been changed from depart early evening to depart afternoon. RayO
  22. A while ago but, from memory, shuttle buses in Alghero are unnecessary as it is/was a tender port and you are dropped in the harbour of a relatively small town. For preciseness, you don't dock in Florence as it is inland. You dock at Livorno (usually) or La Spezia. It's like Southampton being London or Civitavecchia being Rome, I do wish cruise companies would stop this. Shuttles, as in short hop transport, are provided in Livorno docks (horrible place) to Livorno town. RayO
  23. RayO

    Was P&O better before Carnival took over?

    P&O was taken over by Carnival in 2003. I started cruising with P&O in 2004. So I have no before and after experience to draw upon. I believe anyone who can make the comparison will be comparing chalk and cheese. RayO
  24. Well, I wouldn't completely ignore the moaners as they are allowed their opinion too. However, I certainly would take anything stated with a pinch of salt as I don't believe that everything can be that bad as sometimes stated. For goodness sake you're in The Caribbean, how bad can it be? It was very pleasant to read your thorough and positive review. There are sometimes too many first post moaners on here, then we never hear from them again. Problems can occur, as you state, but these are either not very important or can usually be sorted at source. I love The Caribbean with its diverse islands, people and, of course, rum. It is a couple of years since I was over there, but your review reminded of what a great area it is. Happy cruising for many years to come. Cheers! RayO
  25. RayO

    Missing in action

    My own theory is that eventually people just get fed-up with the same old same old. I have not contributed much recently after my wife died, but also because there is only so many times you can answer the same questions. I admire those who can answer the numerous repeated questions again and again, but I do not have the patience to do that. For example there was a post that I gave a detailed personal response to about the problems of being a solo/single traveller. A couple of days later rather than expand on the original debate someone posted a brand new topic with virtually the same questions as on the previous topic. By doing that I believe that it diminished mine and other peoples contributions to the original post. I could not be bothered repeating myself so did not contribute. I believe that this happens all over the forum. I look in as a guest every couple of days and if it's the same old same old then I do not bother contributing. I accept that newbies will want there own personal response, but I am not the one to repeatedly give it. I do find the one post moaners amusing though. They bother to register, post there moan about something, get some sympathetic responses but never post again even to expand on their original post. Each to there own I suppose. I too miss Terminator's pithy one liners. RayO