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HALaP&O last won the day on October 22 2016

HALaP&O had the most liked content!

About HALaP&O

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    Able Seaman
  • Birthday June 15

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    Outside UK & Europe

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  1. HALaP&O

    Using your Mobile.

    I tend to turn my mobile off, a few miles after we've left the Port and the local signal behind. Similarly, I open the phone again when approaching, or more likely, upon arrival at the next Port. I'm on a cruise, with hopefully a few days at sea, here and there, to look forward too? If I've anything to write or share, I'll find a café with free Wifi internet somewhere, rather than pay absurd amounts for a still oftimes very slow signal, that eats through US dollars in just a few minutes. In a real emergency, of course I'd use it, that's what we all a part of, by way of our Travel Insurance, surely? BUT paying for a continual 24/7/365 feed or coverage? Not at cruise company internet rates.
  2. I'll be totally honest, I met Sir Richard some considerable number of years ago, and I was 100% convinced that I was not going to like him. However, he turned out to be amongst the most Charismatic people, that I've ever met. He has a very rare gift of putting people at their absolute ease within seconds. A very clever man indeed. I think he'll 'test the waters' over on the other side of the Atlantic first, before deciding upon any ventures into the British/European cruise markets. I wish him well, but like most others it seems, I'm not that keen on the name either : 'Virgin on the Ridiculous' in fact!
  3. HALaP&O

    P&O Cruises Oriana leaving the fleet

    I'm pleased that I seized my chance to go on Oriana last year. Only a quick 7 nights 'around the Bay and back again' but well worth it now. She is without doubt a lovely and still very 'atmospheric' ship indeed, but sadly anyone with any engineering 'nous' about them, on listening to all that mechanical disturbance below the aft dining room and most probably the water line too, would understand that she has some serious problems which despite many attempted fixes now, just haven't solved her long lamented problems. Better surely, that she goes next year and still be fondly remembered for many years to come, than meet some unexpected fate in the future that might possibly tarnish her once great reputation. I feel that with the current mass building/mass production of modern day ships, we are fast approaching the end of the true Maritime icons. Ships (not just cruise ships) are no longer unique, they are just names and numbers, without a distinctive profile to mark them out, at distance. We should cherish those that are still left, and whilst they are with us, then sadly say our fond farewells to those icons, who have sadly, yet thankfully, served their time. Amen to them all.
  4. Thanks for the encouraging endorsement. We managed to book Saga Ruby and seemingly, MV Funchal in their final seasons. We are thus, sincerely hoping that it will not prove to be Marco Polo's final season, just yet. Whilst I'm more than familiar with P&O, Cunard and HAL's Vista class ships, etc. etc. I still much prefer the 'feel' of hand built ships of older times, than the essential mono block construction of today. (Whilst respectfully acknowledging, how incredibly cleverand complex a modern day ship building system actually is.) I guess I still love the old ships, as they more accurately reflect the ships and thus the dreams of my long lost boyhood days. Thanks for your kind words.
  5. HALaP&O

    Tendered off , Guernsey

    Given a calm sunny day, it can be a really beautiful stop, but its the tendering itself that can cause problems if the ship encounters 'wind over tide' conditions, on the day, which can create a nasty and very difficult chop, for the tenders coming alongside or leaving the ship. Within the port itself, embarking or disembarking the tenders, is all a lot easier nowadays than before, via a long a long floating bridge pontoon to eventually terra firma, itself. I've been able to get ashore there 5 out of 6 times, so quite a good average. Be prepared for some reasonably steep hills and also street cobbles within the town of St Peter Port itself. Enjoy, great places to find at any budget for a great lunch ashore! There's even a Marks and Sparks along the front, if you just want to munch on a sandwich on a bench in the sun. Its a beautiful place, but do be prepared for disappointments, if the wind and the tides aren't necessarily agreeing with each other, on the day. My fingers R crossed for U.
  6. 52 days to CMV Marco Polo's Land of Fire & Ice. Departing from and arriving back to Cardiff Docks! I've waited a very long time indeed, and always wanted to cruise on Marco Polo. She was long out our way with Orient Lines, such beautiful lines. She remains one of the truly classic ships of that now fast and sadly diminishing era. We need to cherish them, whilst we still have them.
  7. HALaP&O

    Has P&O implemented their drinks ban?

    In my/our experience, P&O has always been the exception in allowing Passengers to bring 'their own supplies' and in the past also 're-supply' en route as such. I/we do not do so many cruises with P&O, simply because Southampton is so very far away. Although last year out of Southampton, I noted we were allowed to bring a Litre of Spirit and similarly a bottle of wine/champagne each. Precious few other cruise lines allow anything more, than a 'carry on' 76cl bottle of wine or champagne each, (if that with some?). So I think it might be a case of being grateful for small mercies when booking P&O. Similarly said, if we want a drink we also go to the bar too, preferably at Happy Hour!!
  8. HALaP&O

    Is It A Bribe or a Tip?

    Therein surely lies the dichotomy of the entire, and never ending, tip/gratuity/bribe argument/debate? Be it also known, that on 14 different cruise lines now, where they ( the gratuities) ever applied? We have never cancelled any gratuities, either. Not a statement of boast or grandeur either, simply a statement of fact. Personally, in circa 2018, I still truly believe that all people/all cruisers should be allowed to make their own moral/chosen cruising choices, and then truly stick by them, without fear or favour. Rather than (as is most clearly apparent now, in some notably instances), to those who seek and find fault at every plausible opportunity, with those people of a different mind set and/or persuasion, who choose to think somewhat differently, and recognise good service (when apparent) before, throughout, or ultimately at the end of the trip. If you want or don't want to tip, then simply go ahead, or don't go ahead, and forever enjoy/rejoice in the choice you ultimately made too. However, PLEASE, do not by return, similarly criticise or seek to find fault with those of us, who also do what we think by return, is the rightfully rewarded option in our hearts, rather than sadly ending up being seen as 'bribed' in the minds of the self-absolving others. Whilst it is always completely my own decision, and nobody else's, I usually 'tip' very discretely on the last afternoon or evening to barmen who have looked after us and served us well, on the cruise. In my opinion, it will always be nobody's business, other than my own.
  9. HALaP&O

    Do I actually need to print my e-tickets?

    Me too! (other than E.111) that does not apply to us!
  10. HALaP&O

    Do I actually need to print my e-tickets?

    Now that would seem entirely logical, thanks indeed! : We turned up at our appointed time, to be told that the 1.30 group had already been called through, so were immediately directed to the check in queue, without further hesitation. Alas, check-in procedures around the world are not always so rigorously followed, or even adhered too? So yet again, a good reason to print off the e-tickets, even if not always fully understood by agency terminal staff. Thankfully, the Sydney OPT seems to be back up to full operational standard, once again. Whilst on that topic, can anyone please advise on San Francisco cruise check in and departures, of late? All thoughts welcomed, thank you very much. Peter.
  11. Very interesting, Thanks! Not the prettiest of ships externally perhaps, but she is very nicely appointed throughout, on the inside. We cruised on her about 10 years ago now; Bangkok (Laem Chabang) to Sydney, and we had a really lovely time. She does have the advantage of having quite a few optional Restaurants to choose from, plus the Lido) so that probably helps ease the hunger pangs of those who don't want to wait for later dining. I've a feeling that her sister ship: Sapphire Princess, is doing a Southampton season next year?
  12. HALaP&O

    Do I actually need to print my e-tickets?

    I've always printed them off and taken them along, yet quite often all they want to see is your Passport and Credit/Debit card. However at check-in at Southampton for P&O Oriana recently (June 2017), they did in fact ask for the e-tickets upon entry into the building itself. Generally, we print them off at the same time as the baggage tags, so that's usually just a few days before we leave home. Smartphone technology is great, always presupposing that one's partner then doesn't leave it in the car, having been dropped off at the airport beforehand. Thankfully it was only a domestic flight and the ID card and credit card sufficed.
  13. I was on Oriana in late June this year, and we did not queue even once for breakfast on any morning, including disembarkation day. We are neither early morning, nor last minute people, similarly we are always happy to share. Its civilised and always a good way to meet and get to know fellow passengers whilst on board the ship.
  14. I am in total agreement with your sentiments expressed, other than we much prefer the later sitting. When reluctantly doing 'Freedom dining' on some ships in the past, we've always found that the 8-8.30pm are heavily over-subscribed, and just cannot cope with the demand placed upon them at that time of the evening. Even my much admired HAL, are devils in always pushing their 'Freedom' type option. We suffered it on Prinsendam, then again on Ryndam. The Maitre'D himself despairing at the seemingly enforced unstoppable demand that so many of us just didn't want anyway. So nowadays, my cruise bookings with them are conditional upon us getting the Later Sitting, otherwise I would not hesitate to cancel the cruise altogether, and, I think that they understand me better for knowing that now too. The other unstated purpose of the 'Freedom' push exercise, could be that in most cases, Freedom rather conversely acts as a means to 'Lock In' those tenuous Gratuity or Hotel Charge options? Call them what you will!
  15. Whilst the (likely) weather or climate is always a consideration, the proportional balcony cost, against the ship size, also comes into consideration too. On Port hopping cruises there seems little to be gained for the expenditure, unless you are morning larks and/or possibly on late dinner sitting too?. Of 35 current cruises, we've splashed out 13 times for a balcony, and once for a Lanai cabin, the rest bar one, all O/view, otherwise. Our main consideration always remains dependant on the number of sea days. With all of our longer Ocean crossing voyages, and when affordable, we have booked balconies, and yes, once been lucky enough to be upgraded to a suite on Aurora last year! We think of ourselves as being sociable people, but yes it is nice to have that little bit of 'me or us' space now and again. That said, I have on occasions felt rather embarrassed or quietly convulsed with the giggles, when restive or overly talkative people on either side of us, have perhaps forgotten, that behind those slim partitions, are quite likely, other passengers quietly relaxing too! PS. Also good for discretely drying 'smalls' washing, on a calm sea day too, but take your own plastic hangers and pegs with you!! Peter.