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MrandMrsCoz

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  1. Well....only now, after a week of being back of normality am I ready to write a quick review. The reason being, we had the best holiday ever and to be quite honest, I tried to write a review last weekend after our return but it became too hard as I was emotional! The dining worked out absolutely fine. My mum-in-law and us had been given different dining options (us on freedom and her on 6.30 sitting) but I asked at reception if this could be changed. They pointed me in the direction of the restaurant manager who had a large queue on embarkation day with people with similar problems. All turned out well for us as it seemed that many people wanted the early sitting so the manager seemed happy to give my mum-in-law freedom to sit with us so all was good. Now for a quick review: Wow!!! Myself, my husband and son had never been on a cruise and as we normally sort our own holidays independently, we were slightly apprehensive at how we were going to deal with being on a ship with over 3000 people. My mum-in-law had been on one cruise previously with Royal Caribbean. We really shouldn't have had any apprehensions as from the moment we got to the Ocean Terminal till the disembarkation day, we had the best time ever! We decided to try things we wouldn't normally do and to embrace the activities put on and that's exactly what we did. We tried to learn the ChaChaCha (badly), we played pop quizzes, we watched Tina Turner tribute act, we watched several Headliners shows, we played 'fake' horse racing, we played Wii bowling, we learnt archery, hit golf balls, watched sunsets/sunrises, woke at 5am to watch beautiful scenery out of our cabin, dressed up posh for dinner, ate at the select restaurants on a few evenings, spoke with new and interesting people, tried foods we wouldn't normally try (only failure was the salt and vinegar ice cream which was served with a dessert and was awful in my opinion), viewed lovely art pieces, visited amazing places and had the pleasure of seeing our 9 year old son being so moved by natural beauty, it moved him to tears (at the glacier), drank far too many delicious cocktails, took lots of cheesy selfies, took lots of beautiful photos of Norway's amazing views, made time to speak to each and every one of the lovely staff who were so kind to us, at dessert with each and every meal, smiled so so much every day and were proud at each and every day of how many compliments we received on how charming our son was when we shared dinner tables with our fellow passengers. We are totally converted to cruising and embraced each and every day we were on the Ventura. Yes, there were imperfections in our amazing holiday but that is life and nothing (even the mad crush at breakfast at disembarkation day) could spoil our amazing holiday. We all had the best time ever and will soon be organising our next cruise to celebrate my mum-in-law's 70th in 2020 and can't wait for more memories.😀
  2. thank you 🙂 We are in a cabin on B deck at mid-aft, and with only 2 days left in work.....the dining times seem less important haha.
  3. I'm hoping due to us being on a bigger ship (Ventura) that we may be ok and get either the early sitting or freedom. I totally realise that the more expensive select price would've allowed us the flexibility and had myself or my husband being the one who booked, this is the option we would've gone with as we research our holidays before we book. My mum-in-law did what she thought was good and jumped in and booked without researching first in the trust that the travel agent in our high street would look after her. She did this after having booked a cruise with a travel agent for her an a friend 3 years ago and getting looked after very well. The travel agent have been absolutely dire and have left us so frustrated that I wrote a complaint on due to the lack of service my mum-in-law was given. The only information they have given is the booking reference number and print off of our E ticket and luggage label - this was only given to us 2 weeks ago, not for want of trying to get other information. They definitely didn't explain any dining options with my mum-in-law which I know as she seemed shocked when I explained the different options which I had found out after reading this forum and the P&O site. She asked them to make sure that we were situated close by as she is a single traveller with mobility issues/meds to take etc and instead of explaining at the time that to guarantee this, she needed tobook a select price, they just said that we had to wait until the cabins were allocated to find out but that 'we should be fairly close'. As it turns out, we are on a balcony on port, her on starboard but not to far away but I guess this is only pure chance. We totally understand that those people who've paid extra should get the first choice - had we known at time of booking, we too would've paid the extra. I also know that we are able to dine in the buffet but that is not how we would choose to eat our main meal if we had the choice. With regards to the suggestion from someone that we are able to eat late like families in some other countries do regularly - again, it's not how we would choose if we had the choice but obviously if its the only choice then, we will cope with it. We will go onboard with an open mind and good manners and hope that all works out well for us. This is why I always book holidays after extensive research normally and not through travel agents but, it's a one off to appease my mum-in-law 🙂
  4. it seems my question has started a debate - I'm sorry that this has caused this. Thank you to 'majortom10' and several others who helped and gave advice and courteous responses. In response to 'dgs1956' - we have never been on a cruise before and so this is all very new to us which is why I've been reading this board for months to try to assist us. The travel agent was rubbish which we have found out more-so as time has gone on and didn't explain anything to my mother-in-law at the time of booking. The reason we found out the type of dining we had was when we were given our log ins for the cruise personaliser. Over the last few weeks we have logged in and found out that our dining preference will be confirmed onboard due to the type of booking my mother-in-law booked. This is when we assumed (by the information I have read on this normally helpful page) that we were booked on a Saver fare. thanks again to all those who have been so kind as to spare time to give advice without being condescending 🙂
  5. Thank you for sharing the horizon (both the paper edition from Damien and the other one from Brian!) 🙂
  6. Hi, My mother-in-law booked our cruise through a local travel agent who were rubbish so she wasn't told of the different options for dining during the booking. Had she been told, she would've picked the option where we could all select our dining time - This has left us with the type of option where it says in our cruise personaliser that we will be informed once boarded what time we will dine. We have put our preference in the cruise personaliser but due to being on the saver option, have been told it depends on what is available. As our son is only 9, we are now worrying about the fact we may get a later dining time of 8.30 if that's all that's left. (our favoured option would be freedom or 6.30 as this would mean it not being too late to eat as a family with our son) I know there is an option for children to have an early tea but this isn't how we envisaged our holiday as we like to eat together as much as possible. Are P&O sensible enough to realise when a booking has been made with a child to know it's best to give an earlier dining time? If we are allocated a later 8.30 time, will they be open to a possible change due to us having a child with us or will they refuse to budge? thanks in advance 🙂
  7. Hi Damien, Thanks again for your blog as it's really helping us get a real feel for time on board. If you have chance, would you be able to post a pic of a horizon from a sea day during your cruise so we can see what's on? We go next Friday 🙂
  8. This is a great idea for a blog to update day by day as it gives cruise-newcomers like us a real feel for how the days and nights can be spent. Thanks DamianG. Hope the 12 year old is ok! every parents' nightmare 😞
  9. We are on our first cruise in a few weeks so new to the cabin layouts etc. After reading that you have a sofa-bed for your son, i'm slightly jealous as we have balcony cabin which apparently has a bed for our son suspended from the ceiling meaning my husband and I have to have the beds on the floor made up into two singles.....not idea. I think if we are to cruise again, I will make sure I stipulate the bed layouts. I just assumed that a couple plus child would be in a cabin with a double bed and sofa/childs bed!
  10. Hi everyone, Only 5 and a bit weeks till we are on our first cruise and I have another question which isn't made clear from the P&O website FAQs. We aren't big drinkers but like a couple with dinner and I'm thinking the enomatic wine system may be the best way of doing things for us as aside from the odd G&T after dinner, we probably won't drink much. My question is, is the enomatic wine only available in one area and if so, will I be able to purchase my glass of wine using my prepaid card and then take it with me to wherever we are dining/sitting? thanks in advance and sorry to bring up the dreaded drink subject again.
  11. Thanks Tom, great advice 🙂
  12. We have a 9 year old who although not the kind of boy who would like to be in the club all the time, was looking firward to bring able to drop in if he needed some company of his own age. Its a shame that it's first come, first served as this means the availability of kids club is determined by the time we are given for boarding on the first day as I assume this is when we can hand the forms in? It might be fairer if they split the club into morning/afternoon/evening sessions and let all the children who what to go, have at least a chance of attending some sessions during the trip rather than the ones who got there first being able to use the facility whenever they like.
  13. Thankyou everyone - sorry, I think I didn't explain myself properly on the original post. We are booking our own tours rather than use the P&O tours. In answer to 'wowzz', I'd heard the disembarkation and queue for tender process was disorganised after reading recent reviews to say as such. So it seems after reading above that tje passengers who book the P&O excursions are given priority in the queue to disembark? I think we will just be patient and book any excursions when we arrive at the ports as it still would seem we might be some time getting off the boat if I'm reading right.
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