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About GastroGnome

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  1. We were on Silhouette in October this year which should have gone to the Azores - which was the reason for choosing that itinerary. But we were told on boarding there was a change, and what the change was once on board (although we guessed - the weather forecast was dire!) We got back port fees and excursion costs. The ship went to Vigo instead. As others have said - the ship has the contractual right to change and I would far rather be safe. The vessel still has to accommodate us, feed us, clean up etc. I wouldn't expect a refund of the cruise fare unless it was more than just weather / safety. Nothing like what has happened on Ovation. That must be a somber ship right now.
  2. I always got premium non alcoholic for DD when she was under age. As CC says it just gives them some freedom. The can get pretty much whatever they want where ever they want. Virgin cocktails proved to be more popular (and easier to get) than smoothies.
  3. We do this regularly - although until this year the unlimited package included hard copy as well. I am glad not to be dealing with 300+ photos going forward. I think DD was 15 or 16 the first time we got it and it was the best entertainment for her. She visited every photo station every night - and sometimes changed clothes and went back again. The photographers were so nice to her. She's now 21 and we still do it. One year she made a friend and they had loads of photos taken together which then meant friend and her family got included even when DD was not in the picture so if you have your photos taken together often enough the recognition software just picks them out. Last cruise when we were without her (and without a photo package - I hate being in photos!) a couple of the photographers recognized us from earlier in the year when she had been there and asked after her. Your daughter will have a ball!
  4. Depends on your route. If you are heading south from Dublin, through the English channel and then upward you have a better chance of calmer seas than if you are going north around Scotland. There is a patch between the Island of Ireland and Iceland which is fairly notorious.
  5. Another vote for Bands. I can't use most conventional seasick meds either. I have the "upgraded" version which not only applies pressure but also a TENS like pulse stimulation. Effective within 15 - 20 mins max - usually only 3 or 4. Non invasive. It also works on Chemo sickness when I lent it to DM.
  6. We did Ireland and Iceland on Sihouette this summer. We did dress up - always do. But there were a fair proportion who didn't. But contrast the same ship to the Azores in October (although we didn't actually get there!) was very dressy - to the extent of the correct use of white tie / long dress; tails and kilts (not on the same person.) Really nice to see actually.
  7. Depending on itinerary shows are usually 7pm and 9pm or 7.30 and 9.30. The last time I was on Connie Select dining was on the upper floor. I'm not sure what you mean by the best way to use Select dining - turn up and eat usually works!
  8. I have electronic sea bands - the thing that goes around the wrist and zapps you. It actually works quite well. Kwells are a UK based over the counter medication I've carried for DD but only used once. I'm paranoid so do have scpolamine patches - but never had to use them. Bonnie is only available in the US - or to buy on board. It is a balancing act - if you drug up in case you never know if you are feeling odd because of drugs you did not need or the motion. (Or the drink...) But if you leave it until sickness sets in it can be too late. I am paranoid about feeling sick - its my worst nightmare. But although I get very sick on RoRo ferries and hovercraft I have never felt unwell on a cruise ship.
  9. For years we had a theme (stopped now - it got too much!). One year we got shot glasses - that worked really well and was terribly easy as there are shot glasses everywhere. But there are only so many shot glasses you can have at home! Several times we've gone for lizard theme - you can get tiny ones which you use for decoration etc and our house is full of lizards and dragons. (Not live ones - in case that needed saying!) We've done "nothing over £1" (limiting - slightly tacky). Ducks. (Long story..) Fish. Something green (I think we lacked inspiration that year!) If you collect beer / wine, as GMT says - dispose of locally, but soak off the labels and bring them back. Beer mats? If you don't want a theme as such just aim to get something truly representative of the local culture at each place - as long as it is small. DS collects photos of herself and her partner in as many local bars as possible. Its a life goal...
  10. What about a comprise and opting for a line like Celebrity. They are not the massive mega liners. The classes usually used for Norway and Iceland are the S class with about 3,000 passengers. But there is loads of entertainment available and they are certainly luxury; over and above the lines you have cited. Also - look at the itinerary you choose. If there are lots of sea days you'll need more on board entertainment. If it is very port heavy the you'll need less on board. For probably the most port heavy try Hertigruten. Not luxury (but not bad either!). Not much on board - but it gets everywhere. Its particularly good in winter when it is the only means of access for fjord towns.
  11. It does depend on the itinerary - we regularly don't use shore excursions and either book something local or stay in port. Are you on the 14 night south Asia? You do have some stunning ports. I guess it depends on what you want to get from the cruise - if you don;t want to take a shore excursion then don't!
  12. We do get a photo package but I make my own book with a mix of our photos and the ship ones when we get back. The image quality of the ship ones is high - but they have a bar code on the bottom right you can edit out if you are doing it yourself.
  13. It took 8 days for us to get the link from a sailing in August. They used to send it really quickly but it is a lot slower now. But either way you have waited too long. Hope you get it sorted.
  14. I don't think surf allows you to post anything more than text and you won't be able to view picture content. You could opt for a one device package. Its one device at a time - not one overall. So you would just switch from device to device as you need. Or wait until you are on shore and use a local WiFi point?
  15. Yes - probably less actually, it isn't big. But it is suspended hundreds of feet up in the air with no access or safe hitch points. There is a sort of lattice work which supports the watering system and the planter. But no access point onto it or tie points for a safety harness. And once you cut it - where do you drop it? Its about level with floor 11 and a straight fall to the grand foyer at floor 3. Draping it with lights would definitely be the easier and safer option - but staff can't get to it. There is no abseil point above and it is well above the maximum height of a cherry picker. There is no point for someone to climb out onto the gantries - or for them to be safe whilst there. I can only guess no-one thought the poor thing would die. The others on the S classes are OK I understand.
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