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kentchris

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About kentchris

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Overlooking the Straights of Dover
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard, Saga

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  1. Try reading the sticky threads at the top of the forum, pretty much everything you're asking will be covered in at least one of the articles they link to. Start here:
  2. They are a pain, although we were always up by the time we were shouted at in our cabin the mornings so it wasn't a deal breaker (I can't remember whether it happened on our first ever cruise, on Saga Sapphire just over four years ago). The port departure announcements from the bridge were really annoying. At Gothenburg my wife was in the middle of a long involved call to EE customer services after receiving an almost plausible "click on this link otherwise your account will be frozen" text when the Captain launched into a lengthy description of what was going to happen over the next 24 hours, with the result that after a couple of minutes of keeping the EE person on hold my wife did her best to hide in the wardrobe to continue the call. According to the ship's information booklet non-critical announcements are meant to be made over the ship's map TV channel but never happened in our experience: everything from the Captain and Ents Director (none of which I'd have classified as safety critical) came over the PA direct into the cabin. We made it clear on both questionnaires that we weren't impressed.
  3. My experience is that any headphones with a standard mini jack can be used with the Quietvox units I've encountered. It's difficult to imagine that units in use next year (when ships may have been re equipped) would be any different, but that's about the limits of my crystal ball's predictive powers. Lots of people may jump in with guesses, but I suspect only Viking know for certain what the equipment on a particular ship may be in a new season.
  4. The Jupiter roll call forum has been created and there are already roll calls in it. If there isn’t one for your cruise then you’re welcome to create one yourself, you don’t have to wait for another CC member to do it for you.
  5. Possibly Pommeau which is a dangerously drinkable blend of Calvados and unfermented apple juice. Very popular in Normandy.
  6. Have you actually experienced this or are you reporting someone else's experience? We were on board for two weeks last month and dined in the grill on the final formal night of the cruise, on the self service side, and didn't spot anyone in smart casual. Obviously with a new ship there are ongoing snagging issues with the hardware and adjustments being made to the way the human side of the operation is managed, but relaxation of the dress code wasn't in evidence then.
  7. There was a lot of Russian merchandise for sale on last month's Baltic cruise along with someone from the UK importer who gave lectures on Faberge etc. Stock such as art quality matryoshka dolls was on board when we departed Dover and new stock, mainly souvenir quality stuff plus tourist tat, was loaded in St Petersburg for sale on the way home. That was probably exceptional because of a link up with the theme of the cruise, but it shows that the shop can on occasions reflect the itinerary.
  8. That's correct (and I can't remember the exact cutover date for all inclusive either): until about the end of October SoD cruises are described as 'Full Board' i.e. wine/beer free with lunch and dinner, after that they're AI. I posted the bar drinks menus elsewhere, on the 'Saga Food' thread: even the premium drinks which will presumably be the chargeable ones once AI comes into operation are very reasonably priced compared to many lines.
  9. Perhaps you could list the distinctively Nov 5th food/drink items and celebrations which don't involve fireworks and/or burning effigies, and which would be recognisable by anyone from the UK.
  10. I took a satchel type shoulder bag ashore at every port on our Baltic cruise. It was only scanned once when I also had a carrier bag in my hand, otherwise Security didn't seem at all bothered. At most ports we used the Deck 4 doors which have scanners available, but at Gothenburg we used the Deck 5 entrance which doesn't have a scanner at all.
  11. Not just yet as we’ve got a fair number of foreign trips planned up to the end of next year, including a fortnight on Queen Victoria next summer, but Saga’s offer works well for us so it’ll be high on the list when we next think about an ocean cruise. I’m taking a few days out to catch up with the reality of having to do my own cooking etc, but once everything’s gelled I’ll come back with a summary.
  12. Yes, the same breakfast options are also available in the grill (the grill's menu is basically the same as the GDR for all meals), along with a few cooked to order items (see above) which can be delivered to your table if you don't want to wait for them.
  13. Tea, coffee, and juices are available along with some pastries so it’s not all bad. Tag numbers are scheduled to be called every 10 minutes, and today go up to 23. After starting 15 minutes late they’re now roughly on schedule so the coast bound closure of the M20 at J11 can’t have had too much effect after all (although breakfast in the grill was extended by 30 minutes in anticipation, although too late to benefit most people).
  14. We can see Dover Cruise Terminal from the end of our garden - even as first timers we were allowed off Sapphire at about 09.30 so that our driver could do a second run, to Wales, but this time we’re last off so we’ll be able to observe the whole process. News coming over the tannoy that the M20 is blocked due to a major incident so the best laid plans have gone awry already. At least once SoD is operating out of Southampton more of the time there’ll be fewer instances of a single point of failure like the M20 messing things up.
  15. Quite a busy evening as the final cocktail party was tonight rather than as part of last night’s formal evening. The formal nights have been a bit strange because of the number of port calls and two overnights which have meant two formals on port days, but everyone seemed happy enough to drink champagne in smart casual clothes tonight. Now time to set watches etc back an hour which will compensate slightly for having to get up early for breakfast and for leaving our cabins. Then a bit of a wait to depart due to the large number of high tier Britannia Club members who disembark first.
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