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Everything posted by Nimrod

  1. Seasoned cruiser but doing a Christmas cruise for the first time. We are booked on Cunards QV for the Canaries Christmas and New Year Celebrations 23 December - 6 January but can't find much info on what happens on the ship re Christmas that makes it a bit different and "Christmassy"? Understand the fireworks in Maderia on New Years Eve are pretty impressive so that will help to celebrate my 70th birthday which is on the 2nd January but am hoping that Christmas Day & Boxing Day won't be a damp squib!!?? Anyone out there done this cruise in previous years and can confirm that there will be a bit of "Christmas Magic" and not "Bar Humbug" Thanks.
  2. Nimrod

    Cunard Christmas Canaries Cruise

    Thank you so much Dancing Queen for the very detailed information, that was just what I needed and has put my mind at rest considerably. I love Christmas and usually I am the one organising Christmas with my family & grandchildren but since September last year my health has taken quite a battering and last Christmas was rather a "non event" despite everyone's best efforts so in view of this my husband booked this cruise for me. We did 70 days of the World Cruise and a Baltic Cruise on QV so know and love the ship ( in fact we have booked the same cabin as we had for the world cruise) and as we are doing a short cruise in August with all our family & the grandchildren to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary we won't feel too guilty being away from them at Christmas. Having had tests & consultations myself nearly every week since September 2018 I do hope your husband gets positive results and you will be able to join the cruise this year- maybe we can say Thankyou, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in person? I must confess it is the thought of the next cruise and the photo's and memories of those I have already done that have got me through some very difficult times over the last year so I will now go out and purchase a new "tasteless" Christmas jumper & hat for my husband and an equally "tasteless" Christmas Tiara & earrings for myself and look forward to my Christmas cruise!!! Much appreciated.
  3. Nimrod

    Oriana sold by P&O Cruises

    Had my first cruise in 1997 on Oriana when she was alongside Canberra in Cannes. It was Canberra's farewell cruise and we went onboard her and said goodbye. Now all these years, and many cruises later I am in a dilemma if I should book a trip on Oriana to say farewell to the ship that gave me such wonderful memories that I have been cruising ever since. After a bad cruise on Arcadia for the 175th I must admit I lost any loyalty I had for P&O and have not been on one of their ships since! Oh dear, should I try and re live those special moments that initially "gave me the cruise bug?" Can I be the bigger person and look past some of the problems she has now and just remember what a fantastic time we all had then and say "Thanks for the Memories" or is it a mistake to go back? I guess only I can answer that, but I would like to know how others feel!!
  4. Nimrod

    First time on Queen Mary 2

    Carol, have cruised twice on QV, 70 day portion of her World Cruise in 2013 and her Baltic cruise in 2014 both absolutely fantastic can not fault anything so am sure you will enjoy your celebrations, we love that ship. Kev 58 we will be boarding QM 2 in New York on Sunday 12 November this year, getting very close now, to sail Translantic to Southampton so will let you know when we return on the 19 November what we thought of her. We booked through Bolsover the pre cruise trip to Toronto, Niagara Falls (3 nights) Amtrak train from there to New York ( 2 nights) and sail home on QM 2. We fly out on Tuesday, bit apprehensive of all the different modes of transport as we are no " Spring Chickens" but am sure we can relax our weary bones once we board QM 2!! Keep an eye open for my thoughts when we get back.
  5. Have just booked with Bolsover the Niagra Falls, Amtrak Train to New York and Translantic crossing on QM 2, November 7 to 19 th and would love any feedback from anyone who has done/ is doing this type of trip. Have inclusive helicopter trip over falls but nothing else organised. Have no knowledge at all of what to expect on the Amtrak train ( we should have been Buisness Class, but were told that was sold out so are Standard!) so any tips would be appreciated. Have been to New York on Queen Victoria but only for a day and just managed to get to Ground Zero, have two days this time so some " must sees" would be appreciated. Also as we shall need our "Posh Frocks & DJ's" on Queen Mary does anyone know if we can send a suitcase with these in ahead to the ship ( think Cunard has something, but not sure if it is reliable or we can even afford it??) Even tips on what the weather might be like would be gratefully received. Thank you.
  6. Thank you mitch and smtcan for your help. We will be flying into Toronto at about 9pm your time and am not sure if we will just be picked up from the airport and taken directly to our Hotel at Niagara? I would love to see Toronto as my late cousin lived there and in Ontario and the whole trip is a bit of a pilgrimage too. My husband loves ice hockey and would have liked to see a match ( Toronto Maple Leafs I think) but have no idea if this would be possible considering time and distance? Glad to hear Amtrak train staff are helpful as we are 70ish and although our son is coming with us to help, we are a little "doddery"!!!
  7. Nimrod

    Jane Mcdonald goes cruising @

    I agree a very good programme and it showed the ship in an excellent light and bought back fond memories of doing a similar cruise on Queen Victoria. I smiled over the laundry incident as the "Mutinies ' that seem to occur in all the ships that have laundry facilities would compete with Captain Bligh and the Bounty!!! Most enjoyable and I hope the rest of the series continues to be as good, looking forward to next week.
  8. Nimrod

    Jane Mcdonald goes cruising @

    Totally agree with your comments about Andrew Sachs, a lovely man. My Dad & I I met him at one of the Royal Garden Parties and he was so interested in my late dad's experiences as a Commando that we wandered round the grounds of Buckingham Palace talking and nearly missed our tea and the Queen!! I hope Jane McDonald does as good a series of programmes as she did last time, which although not totally perfect were certainly many, many times better than some of the other Cruise Type programmes we have been assaulted with before which show some cruise lines in a very bad light and do nothing to promote the wonderful experiences I have come to know and expect from a cruise holiday. I try now not to have too many preconceived ideas about "Celebrities " as on so many occasions I have found my judgement to be wrong, now I wait till I've actually met them then form my opinion ... after all I am not sure I would want to meet myself on a bad day!!!!
  9. Nimrod

    Navigator of the Sea's

    We were on Navigator of the Seas on May 12th this year and totally agree with the comments made by Oldworldtraveller as we cannot fault the ship or the cruise. We are fairly "seasoned" cruisers and allthoigh RCI is not usually our company of choice when it is just my husband & I, this was organised by my son who is a great supporter of RCI having been on many of their ships. We had a family of five in the cabin next to us two girls and a boy, I would think the eldest girl to be about 11 or 12 and on the brief occasions we met outside in the corridors they seemed to be having a wonderful time ... one evening the girls were all dressed up like princesses and on the " meet the Captain" evening the whole family went together looking super in their "posh frocks" (not dad of course, though he looked quite smart!!) I heard them asking our cabin steward for a few extra bits & pieces they needed and he was happy to oblige. There were quite a few children on that cruise even though it was not school holidays here so I would think during the school holidays there would be plenty of company for your daughter and there is certainly loads to do. All I can add to OWT's comments is to make sure you read the daily paper of all the events happening as this will tell you times of shows, if you need to book tickets, such as for the ice show ( you don't have to pay for these but it will assure you a seat, but try to get there early for a front one) generally everything that is happening on board. For a first time cruiser it is a " must" read. I hope and am sure you will have a wonderful time but be warned I took my family on their first cruise in 1997 and we are all still cruising 20 years later, this time my son paid for us!!!
  10. Nimrod

    Afternoon Tea On Cruise Ships

    Afternoon tea on Ciunard ships is just one more of those lovely traditions I would really hate to see disappear and makes the whole experience just a little bit more special. Although it is not something we do every day while on a cruise it is well worth sacrificing breakfast and/or lunch for. When we went ashore on our first day in Australia we had sailed and landed in a cyclone we tried to make the most of it despite hideous weather but how nice it was to come back to the ship and sit in the ballroom, although windswept and wet and be served a delicious afternoon tea while a excellent pianist played as if nothing at all was happening outside!!! Maybe eccentrically British and a bit reminiscent of that 'Carry On' film where they continued with 'Tiffin' while the Embassy was attacked but sometimes being "eccentrically British" is not such a bad thing I feel.
  11. We have never registered a debit card and do not use or posess a credit card! We always take the currency used by the ship and load some onto our account at the first opportunity after boarding then top up as the cruise progresses. Obviously the ships do not advertise this but so far ( and we have been cruising since 1997 and our last cruise was two weeks ago) with RCI we have never had a problem even on our world cruise with Cunard. We do exactly the same with hotels, I agree they sometime raise an eyebrow when we say we don't use or trust credit cards but they have never yet refused our cash! Surprisingly, and maybe it was because of this duplication of payment business, on our last cruise we spoke to three people who did exactly the same as us. We do book our cruises with a debit card but always through a reputable agent or direct with the company and never use price comparison sites or 'too good to be true deals' so I am sure our system is not for everyone, but we are old and set in our ways and don't trust banks or computers!!
  12. Do so agree with you. My husband & I are 20+ year ago cruisers too and share your sentiments that there is room for both. This Friday we are boarding a ship that would not necessarily be our ship of choice were we on our own, but it was organised by our son for my husbands 70th birthday, other people are involved, and our expectations are different. We intend to enjoy ourselves and am sure we will but for different reasons. At least at the moment we have that choice! Althoigh I am fully aware that soon we will all be in "Davy Jones Locker" and are such a "drain" on society trying to hold on to our traditions and are probably fighting a loosing battle, change is not always for the better,
  13. I agree totally with, what appears at this point, to be a majority in favour of keeping the dress codes and the formal nights. It is such a shame that the whole "Theatre" of cruising , travelling from place in a civilised manner, with the various themed nights such as Black & White Ball, Masquerade Ball, Hawaian /Island night ( which was certainly not formal) etc.,etc., has come down to certain people not wanting to follow a dress code for a fairly small number of nights in possibly a 14 day cruise while they eat!! I agree some of these "so called" Fine Dining establishments don't require Suit & Tie or a DJ but they don't have beautiful dance floors, theatres with live shows & music , different ports everyday and all the other entertainment I associate with cruising ....it's not all about food, it is the whole package that you can not get from a land based holiday. I don't understand why people will pay hideous amounts of money to attend a "so called" celebrity Black Tie/ Red Carpet Event yet ask them to follow a dress code on a cruise ship and suddenly it's taking away their freedom? As for all these "younger" people why will they ( or their parents) spend silly money on a school prom, or clothes for a fancy dress party yet dare to suggest they put on something appropriate on a ship and it's mutiny! I have no problem at all with ships that have a casual dress code and would respect that but please pay that same respect to those who have a formal code too and if you don' t like it choose an alternative type of holiday. As for the Cruise Lines that would rather become third rate floating hotels catering for the masses rather than look after their regular loyal customers ,Beware, just remember who has the most free time and money!!
  14. Wow, thanks for the photos bought back many memories. Unfortunately when we transited our first lock at 5 am we were in our cabin because my husband (who was perfectly fit & healthy when we left Southampton) had developed a massive abcess on his knee which had to be removed by surgery in Montego Bay Hospital and had to go down to the medical centre at 6 am for more antibiotics! Although he was confined to a wheelchair for a large portion of the cruise & obviously it limited a lot of things we could do, such as swimming, dancing etc we were so,so lucky to be allowed to continue our "journey" thanks to QV's great medical team, but as I said previously that's another story! I found it hard to comprehend the speed at which the ship was lifted ...one minute in our cabin we were looking at a brick wall then in a flash it seemed we were looking at the top and land. I've watched many narrow boats go through locks here in England and it always fascinates me but lifting vessels of that size, that quick, amazing doesn't really describe it!! Only just mastering the art of the iPad & caused havoc some time ago just posting on this forum so don't think I dare attempt a photo yet but loved yours!!
  15. Totally agree RoBar we did the Panama Canal on Queen Victoria as part of our 70 day portion of her world cruise 2013 Southampton to Hong Kong. As you say utterly amazing ,as was the whole cruise, totally changed my whole way of thinking but that's another story or maybe for my memoirs ( not that anyone would read them) have enough trouble getting anyone to read my diary, poem or look at my photos.......their eyes seem to glaze over!!!
  16. Thanks RobBar at least I know now things are not any different in Canada! Though I must admit when we sailed out of Vancouver in 2007 on Princess to cruise Alaska we had several lovely strangers wave us off from the dock/pier area, this was for my husbands 60th birthday. Sadly we are sailing on the 12th May from Southampton for my husbands 70th birthday and not even a stranger to say 'Bon Voyage', as it is certainly not worth our daughter travelling all that way for nothing! By the way we loved Vancouver and would like to see more of it. We have on our second " Bucket List" another cruise/ train journey that leaves from there so look forward to visiting it again .... money & health permitting of course!!
  17. We have done about ten cruises over about a twenty year period with another booked for May 12 th, but If you counted our 70 day portion of a World Cruise as seperate segments it would probably make it about fifteen so can not compete with most of the entries! All have been on different ships and four different cruise lines - P&0, Princess, RCI and Cunard. I can understand someone sticking to one cruise company after they have tried others, but I do feel glad a bad experience on one cruise made me try another cruise line. Now I try to keep an open mind and certainly will try others, especially if they offer one of these cruise, followed by a train journey then maybe staying in a Lodge or hotel and trip back on another different cruise line, as we did when we went to Alaska on Princess. When we were on our World Cruise with Cunard we spoke to a lady who was doing her eighth World Cruise on Cunard, at about 140 days a time that makes it about 1,120 days!! She said that wasn't at all unusual many people virtually lived on the ships rather than end up in a bad care home!! Don't think I'll have enough money to do that even if I sold the house but have dropped serveral hints to my family!!! When money and time is tight I can understand sticking to a tried and tested ship but when I can, I do like to mix it up a bit!
  18. Nimrod

    P and O Oriana

    Like yourself Sammy Sun Oriana was the first ship I sailed on in 1997 when she was alongside P&O's Canberra in Cannes who was on her final farewell cruise, and also started my love of cruising too. It does make me sad to hear Jules was disappointed with the ship, I remember the propeller "judder" especially more obvious in the dining room, but it almost came to be part of its character, it would seem it has never been fully sorted out! We cruisers are a passionate lot fiercely defending our ships that have given us such fond memories but loyalty can quickly change when they disappoint!, I didn't actually loose faith in the ships but was extremely upset by P&O.'s attitude when I complained about a very bad cruise on Arcadia and they replied with a standard pro forma type letter apologising for issues that I had not even complained about!! Since then I have not cruised with P&O for I do feel that these companies do need to realise that when things go wrong, if the situation is dealt with in the right way passengers can be quite understanding, but ignor them at your peril!
  19. Thank you OWT and Sammy Sun for help and sympathy. Will try and find this Mayflower Park & Town Quay, unfortunately although Harwich is very near to us it's always Southampton we seem to sail from and it is a hideous journey and we always end up just going straight to the port so don't know Southampton very well. Usually it is our family that drive us there and it is so sad especially when we did our World cruise to see them (especially my young grandchildren) like little dots in the car park only knowing it is us because we are on our mobile phones (which like us are old and not smart!!!) It was made even more poignant on that cruise because so many of the ports gave us fantastic send offs with people so close to the ship we were able to talk to them as they waved, in all honesty at no time did I feel security was compromised, but as you so rightly say the world has changed, and not for the better I feel? Do wonder though if I were a so called VIP or TV personality/celebrity instead of Mrs Ordinary Passenger my family would have to wave me off from the car park, especially on a 70th Birthday?
  20. Thanks Daveybe, wasn't aware of these actual ships visits until I'd seen the above blogs. Sadly I'm still living in the age of P&O's Canberra days and the Posh club where you were always given the opportunity to visit new ships to their fleet, could wave goodbye on the quayside with brass bands and streamers every cruise and less security. Looks like I'm going to have to stop living on my happy memories and "get real" to how it is today, so sad though!!
  21. My son is taking my husband & I on RCI 's Navigator of the Seas for my husbands 70th birthday on 12th May and we were desperately trying to get my daughter on board for a pre-cruise drink/celebration as she is unable to join us on the trip. Even though he has travelled many times with RCI (as have we with Cunard & others including RCI) again, as has happened before when we have tried to get someone on board pre cruise, our pleading letters have not even been answered by any of the cruise lines let alone allowed this! Where are we going wrong Oldworldtraveller we have been cruising since 1997 beginning to get a complex about being ignored??!! We have even had massive problems finding somewhere where my family can even wave us off, can you share your secrets please, even though this time I fear again we are too late?
  22. Nimrod

    New Boy To The Cruise Club Forum

    Welcome afcandrew. Like yourself my husband and I prefer old style type of cruising and our first cruise was on Oriana in 1997 when she said farewell to Canberra in Cannes. We too have sailed on P&O's Victoria wasn't she a lovely old ship with her brass portholes, not too many people remember her now. Over the years have lost a bit of faith in P&O when they let us down badly on Arcadia in 2012 so now tend to go on Cunard more ....though must admit there are not too many cruises I would turn down a "freebe" on, I love it so much! I'm fairly new to the forum and to using an iPad so do cause havoc from time to time but members are very helpful and friendly and tend to be very fair and kind with their comments, unlike some other forums I have seen. Hope you enjoy reading the comments as I do.
  23. Although we have quite a few weekend breaks on land, as we can only manage one main holiday a year, it has to be a cruise every time. There are so many places I still want to see and things I want to do. At 67 I hate to think I'm wasting a precious minute so love the fact that for me a cruise has it all. Between ports I can relax watching my beloved sea, but when night comes I can socialise with like minded people over an enjoyable dinner, go to a live show and still be the last one in the bar! Not for me the early night, even if I have an all day tour the next day! I totally agree with your Uncle, Waves. I have been to numerous lovely hotels in beautiful locations but once that cruise bug has truly bitten no hotel can give you that feeling of anticipation in your stomach as you board your ship nor that utter depression as you wait to disembark at the end. For those that don't get that feeling maybe that bug has not bitten yet or perhaps they have not found the right ship, but once you have got it there is no cure!!
  24. Oh so many where to start? Most of those already mentioned I totally concur and identify with, and those I have not experienced sound wonderful too. I am now on my second "Bucket List" having completed my first on a World Cruise on 2013 but some others that were epic for me were: saying farewell to my first introduction to cruising, the cruise ship Canberra, from the deck of Oriana in Cannes in 1997 to swimming with stingrays in the Carribbean, "crossing the line" with its uniquely silly ceremony, bathing in the Blue Lagoon in Rejklavic, witnessing the Midnight Sun in both Iceland and Alaska and just that sheer wonder of sailing an ocean like the Atlantic or Pacific looking out from the deck of a luxury cruise ship and imagining how on earth those early sailors ever circumnavigated the world ....no fine dining, on board credit, drinks packages or wonderful entertainment for them eh?