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kruzseeka

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  1. Well we've certainly done well out of them. Discounting variations in the value of the shares - they do go up and down and you have to be prepared for that - we get something like £120 p.a. in dividends plus £150 obc per 14n+ night cruises. If you did two cruises, that's about £420 return on the year. Currently shares are at a much lower level to buy than their peak when they were around £5,000 (at a guess 12 months ago but you can look that up) and are now about £3,500 for 100 shares (minimum to qualify for benefits). We bought several years ago and did better still but we didn't buy gambling on share value but the benefits for cruising. A return on current values with the example above is very good as a %. You can only have one claim per cabin so no point in a couple buying 100 each. After you have made full payment for your cruise, you have to claim through Share Holders benefits at Southampton HQ providing proof of current ownership of the shares so you need a statement dated after your payment date. I would say in consideration of where prices have risen to (and dropped!) it could be worth considering buying some especially if you do quite a bit of sailing with Carnival brands. On the P&O Faq's if you look at share holding benefits it gives you the detials. We bought ours through our bank but others buy through brokers associated with P&O. It may make providing proof of share holder is a little easier this way. I'm sure some advice will follow.
  2. I never thought I'd do a TA and couldn't imagine what we'd find to do but surpringly we've done three and thoroughly enjoyed them despite always maintaining we were 'port' rather than 'sea day' people. It's a change of pace - but we find there's quite a lot going on. The lectures, films, port talks (which on an outward TA aren't at all rushed!), classical concerts as well as games, quizzes etc offer quite a bit of diversion. They usually have a passenger choir run by the musical director or someone from the entettainment team for anyone who enjoys singing. They rehearse in preparation for a performance at the end of the cruise. I like reading and always save a book or two I've been looking forward to reading for such trips - a tome like one of Ken Follet's Century Trilogy proved a winner for lots of sea days! And there's always the library. If you want some exercise, there's the gym, pool (usually very quiet because of the nature of the cruise it's unlikely to have children) and many people set themselves targets for laps of the deck each day to say nothing of relaxing afterwards on deck! It's surprising too how long a coffee can last once you start chatting to other passengers who, like you, have plenty of time! It's different but we find it's another style of cruise which has its merits. If you take the plunge, I hope you'll find the positives too.
  3. I'm really disappointed that it's not worked out - would have loved to have a good chat. But who knows we might make it one day. We adore Venice - have a wonderful time. 😀
  4. 😭😭😭 No! We've gone for the March one! What a shame....... Perhaps one day!
  5. Have you booked a repro? We have!!! May meet up at last!!😉
  6. Yes, I checked out the port schedule too and was relieved that it was central Amsterdam and the information about the €8 charge to the account confirmed central docking. P&O should have done the same and honoured cruises already booked, especially the over-nighters, then made a stance in the future. Well that's my opinion for what it's worth! Anyway - not our problem on this one! 😉
  7. Yes, real bonus brian 👍 Not sure how well they did disguise it though - I think we all had a very good idea of their motives! I felt so sorry for the passengers where it was the only destination though - not the trip they thought they'd booked.
  8. Well I'm happy to pay it - absolute bargain in my book compared with the hassle of the transfer from Ijmuiden. Pity Carnival took a different stance cancelling berthing in central Amsterdam - principle over passengers imo creating a lot of disappointment for those who'd booked expecting an overnight in the city. We're lucky - am very happy to pay €8 extra! Sorry Marella didn't offer that convenience on your trip Stephen. Perhaps unable to secure a berth that day? Hope you enjoy your day anyway.
  9. So you're using the Marella cruise to get back to your starting point (more or less). Very good idea. I think you might find that leg interesting ..........but it all adds to the experience!
  10. We did a Marella cruise from Southampton last year - bit different from P&O in that you don't get your luggage labels beforehand but at the terminal when you arrive there are desks outside where you just give your name and are given an envelope with your labels inside. Attach these to your cases and give to the porters as usual. We were embarked in 15 minutes!
  11. I must confess I have fairly conservative tastes and I can't remember exactly what we had to eat but I know we found it very acceptable - and geared to their audience rather than presenting us with 'unusual' fare. We did a big trip from both Reykjavik and Akureyri and I think one of the restaurants was at one of the sites we were visiting (the geyser?) and the other might have been a place overlooking the Mytvatn (sp?) Lake. I think we had soup and salmon at one. Sorry can't remember any more but have no memory of being fazed by the fare. Only 15 days to go! 😉
  12. If you are happy to do DIY, one or two of these ports are suitable for independent exploration. Tromso: take the shuttle bus to town, catch a local bus to the cable car then go up yourself - spending as much time as you want to on the top - fab views! There is a cafe there too. Come down then walk to the Ice Cathedral - not far - charge to go in. Then catch the bus back or if you don't mind the walk, go over the bridge back to the centre. You get your bus ticket from a machine using your card on the way out - paying the bus driver is more expensive but we had to do that when we returned as there was no machine at the bus stop by the Cathedral. The first time we did Tromso in the summer, I'd read about the University Botanical Alpine Gardens which are across the road from the port (we crossed via a underpass). It was free to get in and was beautiful. Apparently it figures in Monty Don's book of the 80 best gardens in the world. I was amazed by the riot of colour! We spent a couple of hours there before it was time to get back to the ship (after doing the cable car and Cathedral earlier). Might be worth checking out on line to see if it's still open to the public. So plenty to do here if it's of interest to you. Alta: We went to the Rock Museum which is just out of town. IIirc we got the ship shuttle into town then caught a local bus to the Museum. It was lovely and very interesting. The bus stops outside the entrance. Again easy to DiY and no doubt much cheaper then an organised excursion. I checked out bus times, entrance fees etc before we went. Isafjordur: we found small but quite charming. There is an interesting folk museum very close to the tender point. You can pay to go in independently - much cheaper then the ship's excursion and really no distance to walk to get there. We just ambled round the town, found a nice cafe for coffee then wandered up to the Church. That's worth a visit. There are a flock of birds on the wall above the altar. Apparently a sculptor did some but villagers were involved in making many of them. It's a 3-D display and quite impressive. The 'botanical' garden on the town map (go through a whale wish bone to enter!) wasn't anything at all and a complete misnomer. However our friend did a ship's excursion to a botanical garden which clearly wasn't the one in Isafjordur itself and she enjoyed it. We were glad of a lazy day just walking along the water punctuated by the activities above as we did the two 'big' full day trips from Reykjavik and Akureyri so were glad of a more relaxed day. There is a museum about everyday life in a building set back from a green with a fishermen's statue which we didn't go in but I have read reviews which say it's interesting. Reykjavik and Akureyri as I said, we did the Golden Circle and Jewels of the North. Expensive but as brian1 has said, it includes lunch. If you haven't been to Iceland before well worth doing as you get to see some spectacular waterfalls, geysers, mud springs etc, and Thingvellir National Park is fascinating. You can stand astride the tectonic plates there. The geology is amazing. Excursions are expensive in Norway and Iceland - unavoidable but if you want to see the main sites I think it's the only way to go in Iceland. Perhaps private tours may be a little cheaper but it's worth thinking about the lunch included aspect - food and drink tend to be very expensive in these countries. The cost for the equivalent Golden Circle on Marella is £110 p.p. and Jewels of the North £100 - I would expect them to be very similar on P&O. Unfortunately I haven't got a record of what we paid on P&O but I have an impression that it was £90+ for that type of trip but it's a few years ago now. We went to the Lofoten Islands last year and did a trip which included Nusfjord. Really recommended. It's a really interesting itinerary. Enjoy!
  13. We had a duo - Brandi & Max (BraxiMusic)) who did the most amazing spine-tingling operatic sail away from Flam last year on Marella. It was magical and I shall never forget it. Things may have changed but I have memories going back a few years of the CD on Thomson doing commentaries as we sailed past Gallipoli with appropriate music which was so respectful and moving and, in the Fjords, a commentary at a specific point accompanied by Grieg. Music enhancing the experience of sail aways can be absolutely amazing - I think it's possible to do something which can celebrate the place, or our patriotism - I think it's down to choice of material and how it's handled.
  14. Well that's exactly what happened on one sail away albeit not in Warnemunde but we were adjacent to a ship with predominantly German passengers. A few people even gave 'salutes' (disgraceful) and encouraged their children to follow suit. We were appalled. Granted it was only a small minority whose actions were deplorable, but we've never been to one since. And you're right, running around with arms outspread to Dambusters is certainly not good especially in that situation imo. I think a patriotic sailaway could steer away from certain pieces of music which could be seen as insensitive and out of place these days. The sentiments of e.g. 'ruling the waves' is so untrue and makes us look ridiculous if onlookers think we believe it!
  15. Mirrors our thinking too - we'll wait for further details and prices of course(!) then make a decision. Keep us posted! 😉
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