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About Chrisifab

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  1. I’m considering the itinerary as my travel mate is a first time world cruiser. I think the itinerary is ideal for that, as it includes the likes of Australia and New Zealand, which HAL have missed out. Haven’t HAL sacked all their in house dancers and singers lately though? Isn’t entertainment more or less, “as you make it” according to reviews (sadly)? MSC aren’t American, and they have some of the best entertainment at sea out there currently. Your post slightly irked me, as you’ve judged a product before it’s even launched, based on it being “not American”. I’ve sailed HAL and thoroughly enjoyed it, but it’s a bit of a stretch to presume the exact same ship will be better or worse based on the nationality of the staff, who were mostly, let’s face it, from the Philippines anyway? Fred Olsen are definitely focusing on the Rotterdam’s speed as being a plus point in their marketing. I’m sailing with a new world cruiser, and I think that the draw of Australia and New Zealand etc. rather than China and the Amazon will be a huge bonus for them. With the money saved, we could do a Far East cruise independently. I quite like cruising Japan, but there’s only so many times you can visit the aquarium in Osaka and/or take a bullet train to Yokohama or Tokyo. It certainly isn’t worth double the price in my opinion, at the sacrifice of seeing a kangaroo, or an overnight in Sydney, especially for a first time cruiser. 😉 Short but sweet. Like a Carnival dessert 😂 Are you sure it was Fred Olsen you sailed, and not CMV? 🥴 I do appreciate the comment about the Indian cuisine though. We had an influx of immigration from the Indian colonies in the 1950’s and 1960’s, and we’ve embraced their culture as part of our own. Chicken Tikka Massala is the most popular English takeaway meal. It’s lovely! 🙂 Why would you ‘seriously doubt’ the dining and service is equivalent to HAL without actually trying it? HAL is Carnival. You do realise that? The fares on Fred are half the price. And they’re British. Where we queue, and say sorry all of the time. I think you’d be surprised. 🥴 The price is for the whole cruise, not just a segment. I did a dummy booking myself for the cheapest interior cabin for 2 people. I’ve attached a screen shot. 🙂 This comment got me laughing out loud! We must forgive them Mr Shakespeare, for they are Norwegian, and they know not what they do! 😂😂😂
  2. Hiya folks, Just looking for feedback here. Fred Olsen bought the Rotterdam this year, as most of you know, and today they’ve launched their 2022 World Cruise itenary and pricing for the ship (now renamed Borealis). It’s more or less the same itenary as Zaandam for 2022 world cruise, but half the price. Zaandam starts at £19,400. Borealis starts at £9,999. That’s a huge price difference for what is essentially the same ship and itenary. How many of you would consider 2022 with Fred Olsen on the old Rotterdam vs Zaandam with HAL? I’m trying to figure out how long I’ve got before I have to jump in and book for a good cabin! 🥴
  3. So the World Cruise 2022 has been announced for Borealis (ex MS Rotterdam), and prices start at just £9,999. I had a sneak peek over at HAL, and the sister ship to Borealis, MS Zaandam, has prices beginning at £19,400 for the 2022 World Cruise, and it’s more or less the same intenary...on the same class, layout and style of ship (except Borealis is slightly bigger and a bit faster too). It’s seriously tempting me to book now, as I’m fearful places will go fast. HAL seasoned world cruisers know this ship well, and might just be tempted to “cross over” to Fred to cruise on their favourite ship at half the price for the World Cruise. My issue is this: The OH. He hasn’t taken a cruise yet. He’s desperate to travel, and I planned to book 2 or 3 cruises in 2021, starting with a short one to see how he liked it? I’m sure he’d love it, and I know (having done a world cruise before I met him) that he’d love the destinations. I’m just not sure how he’d handle the sea days? I’m 43, and he’s 58, so we’re still relatively young. We took a Warner’s break recently, which he really enjoyed, and when I told him this is what a cruise feels like (entertainment included every night, food on tap, activities, spa etc., no need to pack and unpack throughout the break) he said he’d finally be up for trying one! He loved the Warner’s break! Should I wait and see how he is after his first cruise (or 2), and take the chance there’ll be some good cabins left, or should I book now and risk losing a deposit for the worldie if he hates the shorter ones? So anxious! 🥴
  4. I wonder how the tender process will work with social distancing requirements, plus more passengers to move relatively, as opposed to how it would have been on the smaller ships?
  5. Interesting news here folks...they’re determined to continue with the CMV offering of ex-uk no fly cruises. https://apple.news/AQHqZ1xSpQMq4lwSdIFEG6w “Sky News has learnt that a number of assets belonging to Cruise & Maritime Voyages (CMV), which appointed administrators last month, have been sold to a new vehicle established by Christian Verhounig, its former chief executive.” "Having developed a much-loved brand over the past decade and hugely popular value-based niche no-fly cruise product, we have been simply overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and pleased to re-launch the business." "This endorsement across the industry and customer base alike has been a rich source of encouragement and together with my previous management team, we are working hard to plug the huge market gap vacated by CMV's untimely insolvency." "The acquisition of the UK commercial assets provides a positive first step and we believe demonstrates our firm commitment and optimism to return much stronger and to work alongside our loyal suppliers and creditors to also help mitigate the pandemic impact," he said. 🤔 It also mentions that the ships weren’t part of the administration, which makes me wonder if Christian is planning to replace the fleet with newer ships by taking advantage of the fact ships are generally so cheap right now? Any thoughts? Personally I’d like a CMV like offering to stay for the UK, as it’s always good to have an option of affordable cruising available.
  6. I’m unsure about vibration, but both ships were built for world cruising, so I’d imagine they’re both still very sturdy. Perhaps minimal vibration when docking? If you like private space and a good view, there are 3 good options that most new passengers won’t be aware of until well into the cruise. The first is the crows nest. Once you’ve had breakfast in the Lido, come straight past the pool until you get to the entrance of the spa. Take the elevator or stairs one deck up, and you find yourself in the crows nest. It’s used as the nightclub. During the day however, it offers the best views of anywhere on the ship...even better than the bridge! It’s wider than the bridge, with much bigger windows that give an almost 360 degree view in any weather. If the weather is nice, you also have an observation deck directly above this (not shown on the deck plan for some strange reason), which is a huge expense of open deck space with glass windbreakers surrounding the entire space. You can set up a deck chair anywhere here and pretend you’re ‘navigating the ship’! 😉 My third and final place for you (and this ones kind of a secret), is that if you come back down the stairs to where the entrance to the Spa is again, you can march right through the gym, and on both the right and left hand side is a small glass door. If you go out of either of these, you will come out into a quite reasonably sized ‘open bridge’ style deck. It’s actually directly above the bridge, so you even have the ‘wings’ as viewing platforms on each side of the ship! You could hide here all day and hardly ever see a soul, as not many people ever find out about it! You’ll not feel like you’re on a big ship at all, apart from in the beautiful 2 storey dining rooms. They are the only part that I felt gave me an impression of scale; like stepping into a grand ballroom from the 1930s. So beautiful.
  7. I haven’t sailed the Rotterdam or Amsterdam, but I have extensively sailed the Ryndam when she was with Holland America (identical layout, just slightly smaller in size), and I can say that there is plenty of outside space on these ships. Terrace balcony equivalents would be the Lanai cabins and veranda decks. The layout of these ships is honestly the best I’ve experienced; everything just ‘flows’. You never feel like you’re far from where you need to be, and everything feels like it’s ‘where it should be’. The gym, spa and salon give amazing morning workout views, after which breakfast is just a stroll past the pool. The sports deck (one deck up) is surprisingly huge, with lots of open space. The promenades are beautiful. The Lido decks have huge open spaces just beyond the marketplace. I like open deck space, and was lucky enough to sail on the Southern Cross when she was Ocean Breeze. That ship had tons of open deck space up top, but it was mostly unused. Ryndam felt more utilised. Majesty of the Seas had a bigger atrium than these ships (I do like space), but outside space was wall to wall sun lounger. QE2 felt surprisingly cramped in bad weather when the pools were closed and we are all forced inside. I believe these ships will enable Fred to be more competitive in their pricing and offer a better overall product. Regards the smoking, I definitely agree (even as a smoker) that smoking on balconies should be restricted to either port or starboard, if at all. Not only is it a fire hazard, it’s downright rude to expect others to breathe in smoky air that can kill them or give them cancer. I wouldn’t choose to smoke on my balcony regardless, as the lady next door might end up having to wear a formal dress that stinks of smoke that evening, and that’s not nice at all. Just give me a smoking area and I’ll make my way to it.
  8. I’m saddened to learn that Michael Rosenburg passed away in 2015, survived by wife Jocelyn. The couple were a much loved instalment for every World Cruise on the QE2. I did a search for information here, but could find no posts, hence me making this one. Does anyone here remember them? Such a great couple. Very down to earth, and Michael had the driest sense of humour! He also loved his routine.
  9. I hear the Mauritania keeps children under control too, as well as Aquitaina. I’m interested in trying the Olympic, as I’ve heard good things, but the White Star Line website doesn’t seem to be loading. No idea why. 😂
  10. Such exciting news! Can’t wait for cruising to start back up again. Fred have bought the 2 flagships of the Holland America line, Rotterdam and Amsterdam. We’ll be booking as soon as we can. https://www.bonheur.no/latest-news1?SelectedRelease=http://publish.ne.cision.com/Release/GetDetail/7CDB812CA7F9D5C5
  11. Hey everyone I’ve had to register with a new username as I forgot my old password, but I’ve been browsing here for years. This latest story is very worrying, especially for those of you waiting for refunds :( https://apple.news/A4H5R1OQpTvuW6Hl3Un13yA
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