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Everything posted by ann141

  1. We nearly always have an inside cabin, too Jean though now we are cruising in a couple of weeks time am wondering if we should upgrade in case we get confined to our cabin! We also like to have a balcony if we are doing a translantic or we had one once for the Fjords.Inside cabins tend to equal more cruises!! I think we are on the same cruise as you in October(inside cabin for a similar price you paid)
  2. I think drink packages tend to be more appealing to people on shorter 7 night cruises where the total extra cost doesn t sound as if it costs the same as the cruise! On 14+ nights the amount sounds scary and I have heard that on the current 35 night Ventura they are offering the package on half the cruise which may appeal to some particularly if there are lots of sea days.We buy drinks when we want to but hubby doesnt drink at all (apart from tea and water!) and I probably only have a couple of alcoholic drinks a week and the odd costa coffee or mocktail-I do miss the costa and pepsi cards)so definitely wouldn t work for us.We often have an inside cabin which means the cost of the drinks package in proportion to what we paid for the cruise is greater than someone who has paid for a balcony or suite
  3. We love Aurora and Britannia equally and I would be happy to try Iona if the itinerary were more appealing.I quite like some children on a cruise but always avoid school holidays having previously sailed on a RCI cruise mid august! I suspect that Iona will be a 'love' or 'hate' ship but if the itinerary was appealing I would happily give her a try
  4. Thats one reason we always choose freedom dining.We did 28 nights last year and really enjoyed that
  5. I think we would possibly have a similar problem as 35 nights will be the longest cruise we will have done.Also, whereas we often have an inside cabin, I have insisted on a balcony for so many sea days!
  6. Although the 35 night Caribbean cruises are popular and usually the best price is to book when first released occasionally if there has been hurricane damage during the autumn months, prices fall.I suppose its a case of supply and demand
  7. P and O have fairly recently removed admin fees for transfer of cruises which is good 🙂
  8. We were booked to go on a cruise in January this year which we had to cancel for health reasons.Although the insurance company (Aviva through HSBC) have said they won t cover me for one year for the new condition when I queried this as we have another 3 future cruises booked, they checked with the underwriters who have agreed to cover me for the cruises before the new illness was diagnosed because I hadn t got the condition when I booked them.They wont cover me me for any other holidays that I book in the next year.It may be similar to waiting to see a specialist because as I was told 'You acted in good faith when the future cruises were booked' Good Luck
  9. Another reason we book Select fare is the option to transfer the cruise to one at a later date if necessary with no loss of deposit.I think we are due to go on the same 35 night cruise Jan 2021?
  10. I have just realised that april 26 is a sunday which is not the best day to catch a train (engineering works delays etc)If she feels ok to stay overnight in Southampton I would recommend staying the saturday night.Premier Inn and Travelodge are reasonable and West Quay Premier Inn is particularlyl popular with cruisers.
  11. If she wanted to catch the train, several trains go from Malvern to Southampton (just change at Oxford) then it is easy to get a taxi to the ship.We tend to stay the night before a cruise in Southampton but if she didn t want to stay I would recommend her getting a very early train to arrive in Southampton about 11am and either have a coffee in the Costa opposite the staion , get a taxi to the ship or if a nice day walk to the West Quays shopping centre for a while and get a taxi from there.If she tells the taxi driver which ship she is sailing on they will know where to take her!
  12. Occasionally when excursions haven t been selling well P and O have done a special offer onboard e.g book 3 excursions and pay a slightly cheaper price but we have only had the offer when in the Caribbean where there are a lot of ports and more people do their own thing.Popular excursions do tend to sell out quickly so we either book before we go or as soon as we board for ones we definately want to do.P and O sometimes cancel excursions if not selling well rather than reduce the price
  13. I think that is sometimes the case, similarly sometimes we tend to criticise children when they may have special needs and not understand everything(particularly if they look 'normal') I have been more aware of this since my grandson was diagnosed as Autistic and my daughter has had some terrible comments about him.His behaviour isn t bad but if he is scared and doesnt understand something he has a meltdown.I soon learned that trying to bribe him with chocolate (which I can do with my other grandson) wasn t going to work!!
  14. Unfortunately people tend to notice (and comment on) annoying behaviour more frequently than good behaviour.There was a gentleman on our last cruise with a disabled wife (I think she may have previously had a stroke or similar) It brought tears to my eyes the way he interacted and cared for her and several people went over to him and remarked on his handling of the situation .I thought it was lovely that people went over to him and commented on the positive 🙂
  15. I am pleased to hear that the insurance company are paying up, Ataraxia for your claim I recently had to cancel a cruise and am awaiting to hear if insurance will pay up, not helped by a few anomelies to do with my hospital treatment and medical records.Firstly I went to see my GP for a problem that came on suddenly.He referred me to hospital same day for tests- a diagnoses was made(at very end of day) and I was discharged to care of GP with medication.I wasn t well enough to travel and had to cancel a few days before travel.Saw same GP a week later who was surprised that I had been discharged to his care as according to NICE guidelines my condition should be led by a hospital specialist so GP had to ,Google!' long term management!!Sure that won't help my claim.Additionally same GP (who I only saw for first time when he referred me to hospital) completed my claim form for insurance purposes.I was surprised to see under 'other long term conditions' a diagnoses of a condition that I had supposedly had since I was 12 years old which had been listed as 'stable'.I queried this to be told it wasn't possible to change a medical condition which apparently had been coded! I insisted that there had been some error and that my sisters could confirm that I had never had a day off school as a child let alone been to hospital and another GP agreed to look through my paper records.She could find no evidence that I had ever been diagnosed or treated for such a condition and over the top of the listed condition which is said to be 'stable' on my medical certificate she has added 'incorrect code and removed from patients records'.After watching all the TV programmes about insurance companies trying to get out of paying, I am expecting problems! It has not helped my blood pressure which after years of being borderline is now high needing tablets and another new condition to declare!! It is also important to read documents carefully as we have insurance through our bank and about a year ago we had a letter stating that in future anyone diagnosed with common conditions like high BP, cholestrol etc no longer had to notify the insurance company about the diagnoses.Shortly after receiving the letter I had to phone to add a minor new condition but was due an annual check up so mentioned this and said that I understood that if my BP was high etc I would not have to declare it.'Oh you have to declare everything 'she replied,the letter just refers to anyone who hasn t already got any medical conditions! The letter certainly didn t seem to imply this. I am sure a lot of the problems have been caused by people being encouraged to make insurance claims on TV and by phone.I am waiting to hear from my insurance company with baited breath!
  16. There will always be some on this board who defend P and O whatever the criticism, others who only see the negatives but hopefully mostly those who see the positives and negatives (and have travelled with other cruise lines to compare)and decide that currently P and O still offer what they are looking for at a reasonable price.This will vary according to what individuals priorities are . .At the moment we are happy to choose P and O but we sail with other cruise lines as well and can see positives and negatives in all lines.Happy Cruising 🙂
  17. I think it is a good idea to send the email.It reminds people about the different dress codes before they go(particularly good for those new to cruising) and helps to plan packing, knowing the number of formal nights and dress themes.I think a few people book a cruise for the first time without much thought about what to wear and I think this should help them more aware
  18. We have just been informed that for our next cruise on Aurora there will be 3 formal nights and 9 casual nights.I am happy with the numbers and as long as they dont reduce the number of formal nights to less than one a week that is fine with me.On our recent Cunard cruise there were 3 formal nights on each translantic section of the cruise and I found that too many.I would be disappointed if P and O did away with formal nights altogether but its difficult to have them regularly if increasing numbers of people choose not to take part.As someone has suggested it might be good if P and O had distinct options for the ships e.g Aurora and Arcadia formal and Iona and Britannia more relaxed and emphazised the different choices in their advertising literature
  19. Excellent post Selbourne .We tried Cunard (for the second time) last November and really enjoyed it apart from the fact that there is only Fixed Dining and we prefer Freedom.At the moment we still tend to look at P and O cruises first but will certainly consider Cunard again.Like you I feel the Saga ships look amazing but as we are only early 60's we prefer a mixture of ages (some beautifully behaved children on our Cunard cruise)Its great to see a post with a balanced view.
  20. I think one problem is that people notice and remember negative points.I have once seen drunken behaviour on a P and O ship It was a Caribbean translantic on Britannia and a couple who had boarded in Barbados were apparently drunk and rude to crew and some passengers .They were put off the ship at the Azores and the Captain said he apologised to anyone who had been affected and that he would make sure they would not be allowed on a P and O ship again! Very occasionally I have seen the odd person push in the lift but I have seen that on other lines too.With 2 or 3,000 people on a ship there are bound to be all sorts of people and the majority are lovely and one reason we enjoy cruising so much.I think the food has gone downhill slightly over the last few years but for me personally that is not one of the main reasons I choose to cruise and as long as there is something reasonable to choose from the menu it will not put me off P and o. I agree that the P and O adverts possibly give a slightly glamorous impression but most holiday adverts do too.I feel very lucky to be able to cruise several times a year and unless the odd incidents(that you occasionally get in any holiday resort)become more prevalent we shall continue to cruise with P and o though we cruise with other lines too.
  21. We tried Princess and RCI before coming across P and O and although despite some things we are not keen on, we still prefer P and O to Princess and RCI (We tend to choose by Itinerary and more P and O cruises sail from Southampton than other lines.We have come across occasional grumpy staff(not just on P and O ) but only rarely and often because they are overworked e.g short cruises where there is a quick turnaround.It would be nice if we could pick the best the best bits of each cruise line but I suspect we would all end up with different choicesIthink it is great that we have such a choice and I feel very fortunate to be able to cruise.Free ice cream would be nice(as on Princess and RCI but it is not my top priority or the reason I choose a particular cruise line!
  22. We travel by train to Southampton and stay over night.If we need more than a large suitcase each it is a struggle on the train with changes, particularly finding somewhere to put them.I have also heard of people using the company if say there are 4 travellers and a car with a small boot or people flying down to Southampton.I was concerned that the clothes would be really creased sending them ahead in advance but my fears were unfounded
  23. I used them for the first time in November and found them ok though they collected my luggage a week before sailing and I only found out a week before that of the actual day they were coming to collect
  24. We went on a cruise to the Canary islands and several people were complaining because it wasn t sunshine as soon as we left Southampton! It was february but I think those of us who had checked temperatures for other ports as well as the few we were visiting in the Canaries realised it wouldn t be warm for a few days.Those who hadnt done any research into weather had unrealistic expectations and for me researching all about places and individual ships etc helps me to be prepared and to enjoy the cruise even more.I get excited as soon as I start researching rather than having to wait until I step aboard!
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