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Colin 2905

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Posts posted by Colin 2905

  1. 18 minutes ago, CruisingWalter said:


    Honest question for those of you who sailed in Australia.  How full were the ships?  From the little information I was able to glean, it didn't sound like the sailings in Australia were sailing full.  Just curious for those who actually sailed the ships in Australia, were the ships sold our or sailing light? 


    For the cruise we did (our first cruise, ever) from Feb 1 - 7, Melbourne - Sydney - Hobart - Melbourne, the figure I heard was 2300 passengers (or "sailors", if you prefer) and 1300 crew.


    (Of the cruises available to book with Velocity points, as we did, this was the longest one.)


    • Like 2
  2. 3 hours ago, aussielozzie18 said:

    There was also apparently a  games room close by  - The Arcade - with old style machine games that could played for free but I didn’t see it.


    Using your last photo as a reference point, The Arcade is towards the windows then around to the left. It's a rather smallish arcade, with about ten machines (I didn't actually count them). A couple of the machines were Out Of Order when we cruised on RL at the beginning of the month. I only went there a couple of times, and played Space Invaders (badly) and the car racing game (even worse). Our son (28) went a few more times than I did, and seemed to enjoy it for what it was.


    • Thanks 1
  3. 24 minutes ago, Swells1 said:

    Valiant had Coke Zero as well as Diet Cokes. Most bars had one or the other. 

    I'll be on Resilient Lady, but I imagine the offerings will be the same.


    Coke in Australia has changed the names and formulas a few times over the past few years. Coke Zero became Coke No Sugar then Coke Zero Sugar. I'm not a fan of any of them, especially the first iteration, which tasted like fly spray to me.


    Thankfully, when Zero replaced Diet in the Vanilla range the taste remained much the same (to me, at least).


    At a pinch, if I need a caffeine fix I can drink Diet Coke, which is what my wife drinks. Some years ago I experimented with adding vanilla essence to Diet Coke using an eye dropper, with mixed results. 😄


  4. I've looked into this, as I don't expect that VV will have my preferred soft drink / soda on board, which is Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Vanilla (or whatever they're calling it here in Australia this week).


    From the VV web site:

    Can I bring water or soft drinks on board?

    Small quantities of water, protein based drinks, non-alcoholic beer, or soft drinks in boxes and cans are permitted in hand luggage only. Drinks in bottles (glass or plastic) are not permitted. A small quantity is considered a maximum of twelve (12) sealed, unopened cans/cartons of twelve 12 ounces each or less per person. - If there is a special need for having a specific drink, please contact Sailor Services.


    A standard can in AU is 375 mL, which equates to about 12.7 US fl oz. For my first ever cruise coming up next week I can either risk being pinged for being a bit over, or play it safe and get some "mini" cans instead, which are 250 mL (about 8.5 US fl oz).


  5. 3 hours ago, jon81uk said:

    It should tell you in the app on the restaurant page what the policy is, it might be seven nights or longer to book places more than once now?

    I can’t see it in the app as my cruise is too far away!

    When I booked them last month (via the App), it told me what the policy was, but it wouldn't let me book dinner at the same venue more than once, even though our cruise duration meant that I should've been able to. As a steak and chips kinda guy, I wanted to book The Wake, Pink Agave and Extra Virgin a second time each. In the end I booked Razzle Dazzle for night four, and figured we'd just wing it for nights five and six. (I have no interest in The Test Kitchen or Gunbae.)


    Notably, I can't find any mention of the policy in the App now, in relation to the cruise duration.


    • Like 1
  6. 1 hour ago, Mareblu said:

    I have one I use in Canberra.  It's attached to my keyring.  

    Likewise. I bought six or so from Fosko via eBay some time ago. Attached one to my set of keys and gave the rest away to family and friends. Whenever I see someone at the trolley bay fumbling through their possessions for a suitable I coin, I'll whip my Fosko out and unlock a trolley for them.


    • Like 2
  7. 30 minutes ago, Ima Ginaree said:

    Wow! There is so much info in the Whirlpool Forums, thanks for sharing the link. There were links to other related whirlpool threads plus a link to apple support re using dual Sim/eSims.


    A couple of comments implied that to receive SMS when overseas, as long as you’re hooked up to wifi calling, you don’t need to turn on international roaming with your Australian provider. I need to delve into that further as this would negate the risk of ‘accidentally’ using Australian data.


    There's also a thread on eSIM's and international travel on the AFF (Australian Frequent Flyer) forums that's worth a read. Look for the thread titled, "eSims, what is your experience".


    As I mentioned in my previous post, you won't receive SMS's over WiFi with Aldi Mobile (even in Australia)..... yet. Only Telstra themselves and Boost at this stage. If you need to be able to receive text messages when outside Australia, see my previous comments.


    24 minutes ago, Ima Ginaree said:

    Thanks Colin, this is a great suggestion, to better understand how eSims work without the anxiety of doing it for the first time when overseas.

    I have a newer model iPhone with one Sim slot and allegedly room for several eSims.


    You can have multiple eSIM profiles, but you can only have a maximum of two SIM's active at any one time. Newer models (iPhone 13 and later) will let you have the physical SIM plus one eSIM active, or two eSIM's active. Older models (XR / XS to 12) are restricted to the physical SIM plus one eSIM. It's all done through the Settings > Mobile menu, and is fairly simple.


  8. I've only been to NZ once. It was nearly eight years ago and land-based, so anything that I can recall isn't going to be of much use. However, a quick search found an article that might be of some help...


    Specific to one of your questions, none of the three NZ carriers have coverage in Milford sound.


    Yarramar's suggestion of WiFi Calling (aka VoWi-Fi) is good one, and it appears that your handset supports it (what do you have?). It works internationally for providers using Telstra, both Retail and Wholesale, but you can only call Australian numbers. (It doesn't work at all for providers using Optus or Vodafone, as they geo-restrict it to Australia only.)


    Note that SMS over WiFi (aka IPSMS) on MVNO's that use Telstra Wholesale (such as Aldi Mobile) is still a work in progress. I tested it with my Aldi SIM this morning (I have multiple services, spread across all AU networks), and it still doesn't work. You should still be able to receive SMS's (for free) though, if / when you have roaming coverage.


    As for International Roaming using Aldi, since they're pre-paid only there's no possibility of the so-called "bill shock", but there is the real possibility of using up any PAYG credit you might have in the blink of an eye.


    If you have a dual SIM phone that supports eSIM, do a search for the Eskimo promo that'll give you 1GB free to play around with (and maybe an extra 500MB if referrals still apply).

  9. 13 minutes ago, Ondine said:


    I saw Emma Cruises youtube and she said that she could get Diet Coke at certain bars.  I understand that you get coke from a fountain (?) if the machine is there but if not then you are given cans of coke from the other bars.  Son lives on coke so we will find out in 2 weeks. ...

    I look forward to your report. 🙂


    It's been a long time since I've seen post-mix Diet Coke, but at least some venues still offer it in bottles or cans. Maybe that's what VV are doing??


  10. 1 hour ago, MMDown Under said:

    ... Such a shame your daughter doesn't have enough leave to cruise with you.  Did she ask for leave without pay. ...

    Without going into the details, it's not an option unfortunately. 🙁


    1 hour ago, helkatred said:

    ... On velocity topic though, does anyone know how to add your velocity number to a booking? Or even if it’s necessary? ...

    I don't think it's an option. I thought I saw an option to add a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club membership (not that I have one) when I booked, but I can't find any reference to it now.


    1 hour ago, MMDown Under said:

    Yes but they mightn't have the soft drinks Colin wants. ...  

    This. Most places have never even heard of No Sugar Vanilla Coke, let alone have it. At a pinch I'll drink Diet Coke (which is what my wife drinks), but I have to be really desperate for a caffeine fix before I'll touch No Sugar Coke / Coke Zero. To me, the latter tastes like fly spray and the former isn't much better. 😝


  11. 8 minutes ago, helkatred said:

    What's the Velocity Points deal?  I guess we have some - in fact I don't even know if we've added our Velocity numbers to the booking!  Re the app, we have both downloaded and chosen embarkation time and added all the personal info but am expecting problems.  In that second video, they mentioned taking a bottle of bubbly onboard which was delivered to the cabin; I thought I'd seen that they allow you one bottle (each??) but to take it on in carry-on bag.  We have a drinks package as part of our deal.  I believe they don't charge the extra gratuity other cruise lines do which is great.

    The Velocity points deal has ended, but info can be found at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2964836-velocity-points-for-virgin-cruise/


    As for drinks, I'll probably take the maximum allowable number of cans of Zero Sugar Vanilla Coke in our carry-on, as I very much doubt that they'll have it on board. (I don't drink alcohol at all, and the odd shandy that my wife has is so weak that they usually only charge the softdrink price. 😄)



  12. 17 minutes ago, MMDown Under said:

    I can already see the Ap is going to be a learning exercise for me without my adult daughters. 

    Bon Voyage.  Where is your domestic cruise going?  I saw the Velocity points deal.  My cruise is 11 nights from Auckland to Melbourne on 12/1.

    The App seems to cop some flack over on the VV part of the forum, but I've found it not too bad so far. Have you looked at it yet?


    We opted for the 6-night Melbourne-Sydney-Hobart-Melbourne cruise (1/2 - 7/2), to get the most value out of my Velocity points. Since I'm awash with Velocity points, I extended the offer to both of our (adult) children, and their partners. Unfortunately our daughter doesn't have enough leave available but our son and his girlfriend do, and have opted to join us on the same cruise. I told them that they were free to choose from the other dates, and they did consider them, but in the end they decided to get the maximum value out of my points too. 😄


    • Haha 1
  13. On 11/22/2023 at 7:49 PM, MMDown Under said:

    Has anyone cruised on Virgin's Resilient Lady?

    Not yet, but we're booked to do a domestic cruise on her in early February, courtesy of the Velocity points deal. (It'll be our first ever cruise.)


    Speaking of domestic, VV seems to have updated their FAQ's since I last checked them, and here's what to do if you don't have a current passport, copied and pasted from https://www.virginvoyages.com/help-and-support/before-you-sail/travel-requirements ...


    What travel documents do I need to travel in Australia?

    For domestic Australian voyages, Australian citizens and permanent residents may provide a government-issued photo ID or a passport.

    • Please upload your government photo ID as a passport in Ready to Sail on the Virgin Voyages App.
    • After uploading, click ‘No thanks - I’ll do it myself’ and fill out the required information to complete your check-in. Note: In the passport number field, input your Driver's License number.


  14. 3 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

    Welcome to cruising and cruise critic.



    2 hours ago, Relaxing Robbies said:

    We are on Deck 8, which is above some noisy public areas. After looking at the deck plans I decided that there were some areas that should not be very noisy late at night. I rejected a few directly above the Arcade and a few noisy bars, before accepting one that I thought should be ok.

    Ah yes, I've read similar about parts of deck 8. Hopefully you'll be OK.


    I offered both of our (adult) kids enough Velocity points if they wanted in on this offer. Daughter would like to, but her circumstances look like ruling her out. Son said yes, and is now waiting for his Access Key (he only pulled the trigger on Wednesday afternoon). He's tossing up between joining us, or different dates which would include his partner's birthday. It could come down to availability when he gets his Key.


  15. 14 hours ago, Relaxing Robbies said:

    Finally we are booked on a 6 night Melbourne Sydney Hobart cruise. We are not all that happy with our cabin location, but at least we finally got a booking on our preferred cruise.

    My wife and I are booked on the same cruise as you. As cruise newbies (this will be our first, so Virgin seems fitting, lol) I figured I'd go all-in for maximum bang for buck... or points, in this case. (I had over 800,000 of them and nothing planned any time soon.)


    My first attempt, had it worked, would've seen us on deck 13, but I can't remember where. The second attempt worked, and has us on deck 12 aft. As best as I've been able to figure out from lots of reading since, our cabin's in an OK location. What were you allocated that you're not all that happy about, if you don't mind me asking?


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