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Everything posted by GOQ

  1. Thanks from me also, I was getting a little worried that I had not received any flight tickets for my upcoming Gatwick to Barbados flight. On my last cruise, a TA Southampton outbound return by plane, I was sent a "flight notification" email before the cruise so I felt at least I had proof of a flight booking. Then I actually received my return flight ticket whilst onboard Arvia. For my next cruise I only have my ship Boarding Pass and no emails, so I am a bit more reassured by your post.
  2. This the big advantage with Freedom dining, you mostly get to meet new people every day. Going back to my original confusion, the P&O brochure lists all ships Except Iona and Arvia as freedom and club dining. Wading through P&O website it lists Britannia as freedom dining only, perhaps they have changed the dining arrangements, or the website is inaccurate. FreedomPdf.pdf
  3. All the comments previously made seem to be good advise based on personal experience. Just to add I met 2 naughty ladies on a Ventura cruise who used to pop into local Spanish supermarkets buy a bottle or 2 of local red wine, were not challenged on bringing them back on board, then poured the contents into an empty bottle of P&O wine. Which then ..... ☺️🍹
  4. Never mind, it will be something new for me even if it's horrible. Bits of China were horrible, bits of New York, San Francisco etc., but was an experience, I am getting older now and I want to do/experience more. 🥵🤧🙃
  5. Because of covid I had a cruise to Casablanca cancelled. By comparison with other cruise lines it seems that unless you travel with the 28 night+ cruises P&O are not very adventurous (unless you do a segment of a world tour, another topic). However in April 2024 R406 Aurora visits both Casablanca and Tangier. I am very tempted.
  6. 1. It depends which ports you will visit , but try googling e.g. "weather in stavanger in july" and you will get average temperature and rainfall figures. 2. In a double balcony cabin on Iona I have had the bed by the wardrobes and on Ariva (Sister ship) the bed was by the balcony doors. I think there is a pattern to this which I am sure other posters will have figured out. If you look on the deck plans you will see some cabins are marked with a square meaning cabin has an additional pull down bed. My Iona cabin had this, the extra bed was over the sofa next to the doors. 3. Booking a specific cabin, definitely a good idea, on my Arvia cruise I booked an early saver fare and got a dreaded balcony cabin on deck 8, the promenade deck where absolutely any passer-by can look into you cabin. 5. As selbourne has commented, norproblem.
  7. This is from my booking receipt: "Early Savers receive second priority for dining. We will attempt to accommodate your request but this is not guaranteed. Dining will be allocated on board and cannot be changed. To register a dining preference please click on the below link http://www.pocruises.com/early-saver-dining/" And this link does not seem to work. Thanks Fionboard and zapp99, hopefully if I get allocated fixed dining I will be able to change it onboard. I have only ever been on fixed dining twice, on HAL in 2007 and P&O Oceana in 2009, then if I remember correctly we were allocated a fixed time in a specific restaurant with the same people, same table every night. Every other cruise I have been on since has had freedom dining, hence my inexperience. If I do not get allocated freedom dining on Britannia does it mean I just get a fixed dining time or do I get a fixed dining time with the same table/people every night, not sure how it works. One of the things I really like about P&O, as a solo cruiser, is the option to share a table in the restaurant. With freedom dining I get to meet new people every night and that is possibly the best part of the holiday.
  8. Take a look at the first photograph in this sequence. I had the Exactly equivalent cabin on Arvia on its TA cruise in January. It was absolutely horrible, the last cabin on the starboard side deck 8, cabin 8.123. 1. The seated view was obstructed by the green/frosted glass and the windscreen opposite. 2. Next to this cabin is an equipment room of some sort, I am guessing it is aircon with extraction grills onto the deck. During the passage across the Bay of Biscay (TA Southampton to Barbados) it was horrendously noisy. It sounded like a metal filing cabinet was being thrown repeatedly across the room next door. After the BofB this racket fortunately stopped.. 3. Everybody, absolutely everybody, could look directly into my cabin. Some people passing by were quite brazen about it and had a good look, others were embarrassed and others might say good morning and might have a chat. 4. Somebody actually vomited onto my balcony (I have a photo to prove this), the mess looks like Weetabix ???, my mind boggles.
  9. I was chatting to a fellow passenger on my January Arvia Caribbean cruise who told me she was flying back to Heathrow on Virgin, I thought that's a good idea I will have to check this out. Then my return TUI flight from Barbados to Gatwick was delayed for 2 hours. Definitely a good idea.
  10. Well that sounds encouraging, it seems every TUI flight I have been on to the Caribbean had been delayed for some reason so the option to choose a flight on Virgin from Heathrow looks good. Also Heathrow is a tiny bit nearer to me.
  11. I usually book a mixture of Select and Early saver fares however I prefer Freedom dining. With Early saver fares I have previously booked, on Ventura I was lucky and was allocated Freedom dining, on Arvia and Iona, no problem as they only have Freedom dining. I now have a cruise booked with an Early Saver fare on Britannia, the cruise receipt came with a link for Early Saver dining preferences: www.pocruises.com/early-saver-dining which sends me to: https://secure.cunard.com/earlysaverdining I enter my cruise details and get an error. My booking confirmation says: Dining Request / Table Size - Requested, not confirmed So how do I request a dining preference Another Select fare I have also booked on Britannia seems to have automatically allocated me Freedom dining, my booking confirmation says: Dining Request Freedom Dining / Confirmed TIA Paul
  12. It would be nice to have your confidence. My late wife used to handle all this adventurous stuff for me. So I have to just do it, and work out some sort of strategy, guess do a bit of googling/you tubing.
  13. I have done about 17 cruises by myself, Mediterranean, Canaries, Caribbean and Scandinavia. They have all included a transfer from the airport to the ship, so it gives me a little bit of confidence as a solo traveller I won’t get lost and will be looked after by the tour/cruise operator. I would like to be a bit more adventurous and have Australia, Brazil, more USA and Asia on my bucket list, however because these are long haul to far away places (from the UK) they seem to involve a pre- cruise stay of 1 or 2 nights in a hotel offering Room Only or Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Staying in a RO/BB hotel by myself makes me a little bit nervous as I would presumably have to go out and about looking for places to eat and drink in a strange foreign place. Have any of you solo cruisers had experience of this sort of thing and how do you handle it.
  14. I cannot drive for more than an hour so I have no option but to travel down to Southampton by taxi, train or coach. I also have a bit of a problem dragging my suitcase and carry bag around. Traveling by train I have to drag my suitcase from taxi to station, on/off 2 trains, taxi again to cruise terminal, then drag again to the luggage pod at the cruise terminal. I once had no option but to take a taxi all the way, my taxi driver loaded my cases but sitting in a taxi for 4 hours was rather uncomfortable. By comparison, traveling by coach is brilliant. The Taxi driver loads my bags into the taxi and drops them at my coach pickup. The Coach driver picks up my cases and loads them into the coach. OK 5 hours on the coach but half way we get a 45 minute stop whereby I can have a little walk to iron out the kinks in my joints. Then my case ends up outside my cabin. A lot of physical and mental stress taken away.
  15. Sorry for the double post. I fly solo so it's good option for me. As a couple your solution is probably the best option. My late wife used to go walkabout, which is the heathiest way to fly, and used to drag me along too.
  16. It's much cheaper to pre-book a window seat 🙂, which is what I usually do, and I can watch out of the window. I've only got little legs.
  17. It's much cheaper to pre-book a window seat 🙂, which is what I usually do, and I can watch out of the window. I've only got little legs.
  18. A Transatlantic crossing from Southampton to Barbados, it depends what time of year you are travelling but I assume it’s K301, I am on this one as well, Tring gives good advice. First port of call is Tenerife. I have cruised Southampton to Tenerife in November and February, both times it was a bit rough across the Bay of Biscay with cold cutting winds on the decks. So I am taking a wind proof coat and heavy jumper for that part of the cruise plus travelling to Southampton and from Gatwick. However inside the ship anything should be comfortable although there might some be cold spots in the ship such as the theatre or restaurant, so a light jumper for these. Tenerife is usually quite warm in January around 19 to 21C although it can be overcast with rain sometimes. Previously I have only done a TA west to east in April so can only guess what the weather will be like between the Canaries and the Caribbean in January.
  19. OK Thanks Jean I will make a shortlist and book on-board, I usually do that anyway. Paul
  20. If I pre-book “Shore Experiences” through my account before going on my cruise will the cost be taken out of my on-board spending or do I actually have to book these on-board. My booking confirmation states that on-board spending money can be used for “shore experiences booked on-board”. Sort of suggests to me that if I pre-book I will have to pay upfront with actual money.
  21. In addition to a TA being cheaper it means only one 8 hour flight and only one airport check in. In a few years time I think I will try and do a Caribbean round trip from Southampton, no flying at all. I DO like flying, but 8 or 9 hours is a bit too long for me.
  22. As a solo cruiser I like to ask to share a table so that would not work too well for me. But for you that's a brilliant idea, I am sure you will enjoy Iona.
  23. Well I am in my early 70's and am a solo cruiser. I went on a 14 day cruise on Iona last February to the Canaries. I didn't have any problems apart from disembarking at Southampton. On every P&O cruise I usually use the app to book a Freedom Dining restaurant as soon as the app lists the restaurant open for bookings, about 10 to 15 minutes before they actually open. Then I join the queue 5 to 10 minutes before they open (because everybody else seems to have the same idea). I have never had to queue for more than 10 minutes. The only chaos was disembarking at Southampton, they ship was 4 hours late docking and everybody wanted to self disembark, it took me over an hour of queuing. Apart from that everything was fine. The secret is to book everything via the app early. Quite a difference of opinion here, regarding the app, but it worked for me.
  24. I booked a standard balcony forward on an Early Saver fare, and that's exactly what I got. No upgrades.
  25. Thanks for that devonuk. Just checked my account and find I have been allocated one of those "best be avoided" deck 8 balcony cabins near the bow. Never mind, it will be an experience. My account has been updated with the cabin number and I can print out my luggage labels which was my main silly worry, but my boarding pass still says cabin "tbc" I bet I was right about that bloke with the clipboard.
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