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afcandrew

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afcandrew last won the day on January 11

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About afcandrew

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    Midshipman

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    Male
  • Location
    Hertfordshire
  • Interests
    Cruising, Ocean Liners, Football, Theatre, Dance.

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  1. afcandrew

    Amsterdam Tourist tax?

    I can understand Bath & Edinburgh as they are two very popular tourist cities but Aberdeen?😲 They are obviously wanting to get everything they can out of the Oil Industry before the oil runs out 😁
  2. afcandrew

    Brittania 7th April

    Sistersue - Madeira - If you haven't visited before, I would suggest the Cable Car up to Monte and Toboggan/walk back into town. It is then a pleasant walk around town with lots of places for refreshment or lunch. This option assumes you have fairly good mobility and a head for heights 😁 La Palma is a very small town and doesn't take long to see so you might want to look at an excursion to the interior which is lovely. Lanzarote - Arrecife, the main town is not very inspiring so I would definitely suggest an excursion of some sort. As Trent Ann says above, the trip to Timanfaya to see the weird volcanic landscape is very interesting as are the Jameos del Agua and Cueva de los Verdes, which are very close together. TrentAnn - re Lisbon, two possible suggestions. 1) Get an ordinary tram from the top of the Main Praca out to Belem. Go into the Monument to the Navigators for a lovely river view and look down onto the fabulous Mosaic Tiled floor below; the almost adjacent Jeronimos Monastery and then a couple of hundred yards down toward the city centre, have refreshments in the Antiga Confeitaria de Belem - home of the delicious Pastel de Nata (custard tarts to die for!) or 2) Jump on the little Ferry boat across the river and then get on the local bus that takes you to the Statue of Christ, which you can ascend.
  3. afcandrew

    Amsterdam Tourist tax?

    I'm afraid I can't get very excited about this. This type of tax is already charged to hotel rooms for overnight visitors - and they spend a lot more than cruise passengers do. Of course, cruise lines never increase a charge after they have published an itinerary do they (for instance raise the gratuity charge......). Even if their profit margins are so narrow (which I doubt), the lines could write a nice, apologetic letter to pax already booked explaining that a new tax has been introduced in Amsterdam and that they will therefore need to pass it on to the pax. How many people are going to be seriously worried about €8 - the cost of a couple of beers in Amsterdam if you are lucky! The cynic in me says that the cruise lines will get a better deal on Port Fees in Rotterdam and make money selling excursions to Amsterdam...
  4. afcandrew

    Is The Bubble About To Burst

    As has been said before, it is 'horses for courses'. When I travel solo, I really feel a cruise is the best option. In general, cruise ships (and especially the smaller ones I choose to sail on) are very friendly places and I never feel the odd-one-out, as I sometimes do in a hotel when no-one seems to want to speak to you (and I am outgoing - not a shrinking violet :-)). I have been lucky enough to have done 20+ cruises to many different destinations, some of which have been fly-cruise. Next year on Aurora, I am visiting four new-to-me Mediterranean ports (Valencia, Calvi, La Spezia & Olbia) and also Ibiza, which I have only been to once many years ago. The larger ships are doing very repetitive itineraries but smaller ones are more interesting. Aurora in 2020 has some interesting ones and Fred Olsen's small ships have a very varied itinerary. Of course, if you are prepared to fly and try different cruise lines, there will always be some new destinations to find.
  5. afcandrew

    Is The Bubble About To Burst

    Difficult to know how 'strong & stable' (😁) the bubble is at the moment and I guess its future depends on a number of things. I would imagine that oil prices will be a major factor and it is pretty impossible to know where they will go. LNG powered ships will become more common and I presume that they will be more economical for the cruise lines to run. I do expect cruising to be more expensive for me because I prefer to sail on the smaller ships by today's standards. I am happy to only have the choice of a mdr, buffet and maybe one alternative for-fee venue and won't be looking at, for instance, P&O's new Iona, which to me looks like a floating shopping centre/retail park with a large food-court! New cruisers today generally seem to find that the product they buy is good quality and good value. It is difficult to compare it with an all-inclusive land-based resort as they only have local operating costs to contend with. Their energy costs will undoubtedly be cheaper and they don't have to pay a succession of port fees. Its also worth remembering that cruising is still an awful lot cheaper now than when I started cruising in 1997, when a 14-night Mediterranean cruise cost us £1300 each in an outside cabin. When the new cruise ship order books start to slow down, we will know the bubble is getting a little fragile.
  6. afcandrew

    Cruising on TV

    Caught up with both Jane McDonald and The Cruise last night. A bit same-old, same-old with Jane - as much about her as it is the cruise. I fast-forwarded through a few bits of her in Aus before getting on the ship! Re The Cruise, I am on Coral Princess in Alaska later this year. It is one of their smaller ships so sadly I may not get the chance to play the ever-so-exciting "Elevator Roulette" πŸ™„. I do so hope we get the chance to see the Entertainments Team doing their "Bavarian Thigh-Slapping Routine" - not! 😁 Unfortunately, I don't have a birthday whilst on board so wont have three violinists playing happy birthday and a plethora of officers presenting me with roses - after all, they obviously do that for everyone with a birthday on board.....
  7. afcandrew

    Cruising on TV

    I haven't watched The Cruise yet but have recorded it. I assume that there would be a lot of Australians aboard and I understand that they enjoy their cruises in a somewhat 'informal' way....
  8. afcandrew

    Sues cruise

    I agree with the comments about Cadiz. It is a lovely little place, easily explored on foot and you can walk across the town to the lovely wide sweep of beach. Lovely atmosphere in the town with lots of places for lunch or - especially at this time of year - hot chocolate & churros πŸ˜‹. Seville is lovely but to my mind, it is one of those places you can't do justice to in a day. I have spent 3 nights there but still didn't get to see everything. Jerez is another viable option, especially if you fancy a sherry-tasting ☺️ If you haven't been to Athens before, The Acropolis is a must. It is possible to get a train from Piraeus into the City and diy but booking a tour makes it a lot easier and provides a guide who can bypass the queues for tickets as well as giving you all the useful historical information.
  9. afcandrew

    Tourist Tax in Venice.

    As it will be charged to hotels as well, it will not be a tax just on day-trippers. This is nothing new really. I have seen a 'tourist-tax' added to hotel bills in a number of places around the world. In the USA, many cities add a "local tax" to hotel bills. I am sure that cruise lines will just take it into account when they price up cruises calling there. It certainly wouldn't put me off visiting - after all, it is probably less than the cost of a coffee in St Mark's Square πŸ˜€
  10. afcandrew

    Happy New Year.

    Glad you had a good cruise Jenjen. Funnily enough I was looking at the Holiday Inn train,stay & cruise package yesterday but for the dates I want it isn't very good value. The cost of the three taxis plus breakfast for one comes out at Β£69 over the room-only price, which doesn't seem very good value - especially when I am sailing out of Ocean Terminal.
  11. afcandrew

    Celebrity Pricing?

    Aurora is only slightly smaller than Arcadia Mitch but she feels a lot more intimate. After Oriana leaves the fleet, she will be my favourite P&O ship. She has good facilities and the beautiful tiered stern, which will remain the same after conversion to adult only (apart from losing the children's paddling pool!).
  12. afcandrew

    j815 arcadia 28 night cruise 20 oct-17 nov

    Yes, I am lucky to have a fairly short journey home by car. I do realise it is not so easy for those travelling some distance and using public transport etc.
  13. afcandrew

    j815 arcadia 28 night cruise 20 oct-17 nov

    I must say that I never see a problem with embarkation/disembarkation. Maybe its because I started cruising back in 1997 when you turned up and sat in the lounge to await embarkation to start - but then there were only around 800 of us embarking in those days 😁. With disembarkation, as I only have a couple of hours drive home, I always request the latest disembarkation time, find a comfy chair to sit in and await the announcement "Will all remaining passengers please now disembark". I then saunter off, find my case easily as there are hardly any left, jump in the car and off I go 😁. I do only tend to sail on the smaller ships though - which I guess helps.
  14. afcandrew

    No service charge on P&O Cruises

    It never ceases to amaze me how some of the big cruise agents can be so inaccurate at times. I have seen adverts & TV selling where they feature a ship and put a photograph of a different one up! Recently I saw a comparison of P&O and Marella on a large cruise agent website and about 4 'facts' presented about P&O were years out of date!
  15. afcandrew

    lest we forget

    A very reasonable 'rant' Mitch. I have some very big reservations about many of the more recent 'hostilities' the UK has involved itself in but the two World Wars were indeed fought for very altruistic reasons and the hundreds of thousands who lost their lives do indeed need to be remembered. I have had the privilege of visiting Tyne Cot Cemetery and Ypres, which I found very moving. I was in Southampton on Sunday (sadly not getting on or off a ship) and attended the Remembrance Service at the City's Cenotaph. I don't normally do this but felt it important to mark the 100th Anniversary of the end of WW1. It was good to see a lot of young people and young families there.
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