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Everything posted by berlingo

  1. The travel insurance policy I have ( which was is brilliant by the way) does not require any medical details at all. Therefore I do not advise them of any medication I am prescribed. From past experience with other insurance companies they have asked questions about treatment such as chemotherapy, surgery etc and this has had a bearing on the policy they offered. If I was still using this type of provider I would definitely tell them if I was prescribed Oramorph.
  2. Yes I have taken a small bottle of Oramorph with me on every cruise for the past 5 years. It is a drug I need occasionally rather than on a regular basis. We always sail from Southampton and I keep it locked in my cabin safe. I do not have a specific letter from my doctor about the Oramorph although I do for other drugs such as my insulin injections but I do take my prescription sheet. I have never had a problem taking my Oramorph on board. Juliax
  3. I do agree with you on both points. A lot of new cruisers unfortunately do not understand their dining options. P&O should do much more to provide this and other basic information. I am sure it would improve the passenger experience and satisfaction at very little cost. Plus as you mentioned a little publicity about MDR lunch placed in the Horizon could really help. After all P&O provide few income generating lunch options which this would impede and overcrowding in the buffet is a perennial complaint. Juliax
  4. We love a Great British Sailaway! I am afraid that it is a very old fashioned notion that we should in some way be ashamed of being British. The younger generation have no such pseudo guilt. Every nation in the world celebrates it national identity. It is arrogance to feel morally superior for not celebrating.
  5. I am sure you will have a fantastic time. My daughters have cruised since they were little and absolutely love it. Sunbathing, in the pool and jacuzzi, hanging out with new friends, watching movies, sauna, steam room, meeting up for lunch are some of the things they do in the day. They enjoy dressing for dinner and this can take a long, long time. They go to a show, do some shopping, movies under the stars, midnight swimming and probably lots of things I don’t get to hear about. Unfortunately it is correct that you won’t be able to go to the kids club. Believe me my eldest daughter tried by changing her birthday slightly but they have a list of all the under 18’s. What my daughters did do once they were over kids club age was to arrange a meet up for under 25’s one evening. They did this by contacting the Cruise Director who was only too happy to help and it was advertised in the Horizon. It turns out that there are often lots of that age group who were wanting to socialise and they have a great time for the rest of the cruise. I am sure you will find more than enough to do and have a great time. Juliax
  6. Hi there Sorry I don’t know about the cost but can tell I love the Retreat. We tend to use it on sea days on warmer cruises. It is lovely knowing that you have sunbed waiting and you will not have to wander the ship looking for one. We also book the afternoon only if we can. We are late risers so booking a whole day is a bit of a waste. On other days we love the Serenity Pool area on Britannia. But go early on in the cruise before everyone finds it😉
  7. It’s the old cliche of “layers” I am afraid. You maybe okay in very summery clothes in Paris but here in Britain you would probably get hypothermia or at least severe rust in shorts. Unfortunately hot days can happen but they are not that common. Three warm days in a row constitutes a heat wave😊. And the further north you go the cooler it is likely to get. When we go on holiday in this country for day wear I optimistically pack one beachy summer dress and a pair of linen trousers then the rest is jeans, tops, fleeces and waterproofs. As far as looking a certain way goes don’t worry about it. Once you are out of London no one will even think about labelling or judging you. Out here in the sticks people are more likely to be just interested and politely curious because we routinely do not come across our American cousins. Also I would not over worry about churches here. Unless you are in a bikini or in central London I don’t think people would bother to be honest. I would be very, very surprised if I was asked to cover my shoulders in a church over here. Us Proddies tend to be relaxed about things like that. Have a lovely time and I am sure you will enjoy your visit x
  8. Here in the UK deposits for cruise and other types of holiday are never, ever refundable. Regardless of the travel company deposits are usually around 10% of the total cost. You may be able to get some money back if you make a claim on your travel insurance but strict criteria are applied, serious illness or death are usually the only acceptable claims. I have never come across a policy with an any reason cancellation term. Also regardless of how much your cruise may be reduced once you have booked you are tied into the price you agreed to pay. Juliax
  9. Totally agree. Maybe hot, cold, wet ,windy or foggy and that is all in one day! You should be safe from snow but you never know. October is supposedly the stormiest month but anything goes. I would play the sea sickness meds by ear. You may not need them but definitely don’t travel without themxthem
  10. I totally agree. Our two girls would do exactly the same. They had the most fantastic time and some of the other “cruise kids” they met are still friends years later. Just get them registered on the first day when everyone is looking to make friends. Leave it any later and it becomes very difficult to break into established friendship groups.
  11. It does depend on the ship you are sailing on but on the Ventura and Azura a sofa bed as the third bed is only available in cabins above a standard balcony. The OPs cabin is a Superior Deluxe Balcony and a Suite will also have a similar arrangement. I understand your frustration. If you booked through a travel agent who did not explain the sleeping arrangements to you I would be tempted to share my frustration with them in the form of a strongly worded complaint. After all as a new cruiser you are paying for their expertise to ensure your holiday meets your requirements. Having said that you live and learn. Our first cruise was in a tiny outside cabin with just a small window and our two daughters in bunk beds above our single beds. It was a bit of a shock when we saw it but we still had an absolutely fantastic time and have not stopped cruising since. Go with an open mind and a positive attitude. After all you may not have wanted to pay the premium for a larger cabin for your first cruise.
  12. With the greatest respect and not wishing to offend anyone can I suggest another reason why some people find the entertainment too loud and others don’t ? Hyperacusis is a type of reduced sound tolerance and increased sensitivity for sound. People with Hyperacusis often find ordinary noises can be too loud and unfortunately for them loud noises such as in a theatre can often be uncomfortable or even painful. Exposure to loud noise can in the short term increase sensitivity to noise and worsen tinnitus ( buzzing, whistling and ringing in the ears.) It can also cause a popping sensation. The condition is very often caused by aging of the structures in the inner ear and can often be associated with hearing loss. There is is usually no cure for Hyperacusis once the sensitivity has started because it is often due to natural aging. However there other disorders of the inner ear which can cause similar symptoms which can be treated. Therefore getting a prompt ear assessment is important. ref betterhealth.org.au
  13. Hi OP here As I mentioned in my original post my brother was told that the change was “necessary because of Iona”. I agree that it is likely by this they meant the size of Iona made embarking passengers more challenging. However to my mind the solution they propose is far from ideal. Inconveniencing ones clientele and reducing customer service whilst continuing to charge a premium price is not the best business practice. Secondly ensuring disabled individuals have equal access to a service is not optional. To say assistance for people with a disability “should” be available is outrageous and potentially illegal. Finally to make a major reduction to the service provided without notice or compensation as my brother and many others endured last week is sharp practice to say the least. Julia
  14. Hi OP here Just had some new information from my source on Britannia. Apparently when the new CPS system was operating on Saturday if passengers expressed dissatisfaction they were told that the change was down to P&O not CPS and any complaints should therefore be made inside the terminal. Interesting don’t you think? Julia
  15. Hi I have just completed our Guest Information on the Cruise Personalizer. We are UK residents and will be sailing on Sapphire from Southampton on the 18th August 2019. The last part of the Shipboard Account section asks you your preferred currency when settling your account ie sterling or dollars. It also states if you change your mind you can go to Passenger Services on board and alter it.
  16. I have similar problems with insurance. As I have incurable cancer and am on permanent chemotherapy a lot of the companies mentioned, although my doctors say I am fit to travel, will not offer me any cover at all. Thankfully I found that the Women’s Institute have partnered with Open Travel Insurance to provide annual worldwide Travel Insurance with no medical questions. Without this I would not be able to cruise. Juliax
  17. Another vote for the cable car and gondola ride back down the hill. We have done it three times now because our daughters love it. You can do it independently but getting from where the gondola ride stops back down into central Funchal is a bit of a slog. I would recommend the ship excursion which as well as the cable car and gondola includes a visit to the top of the mountain where you can look down onto the ship in the habour. There is also a little cafe up there which is very child friendly and serves delicious Portuguese tarts. You then go back into Funchal for a well deserved adult orientated visit to Blandeys Madeira winery where you get to sample the fare. Julia
  18. Hi Thank you for posting. I am the original OP so it is great (or maybe not! 🙁) that you have been able to confirm what I understood to be the situation. When you are sharing new information it can understandably causing a reaction. It is reassuring to know the information was reasonably accurate. Thanks again Julia
  19. I have not sailed with HAL but the OP mentions they have sailed with Princess. Much as we love them Princess ships are definitely much more successful than P&Os cabin decor when it comes to replicating your 1980’s Travelodge. They have nailed that particular theme. Lots of plastic wood, browns, terracotta and beige are the order of the day. Also having recently sailed on Britannia I have to stand up for P&O interior design. Sea greens, turquoise and greys, beautiful fabrics and very pleasing artistic pieces for me make for an elegant, interesting and relaxing environment. Julia
  20. We too always ask for the latest disembarkation time slot and this is usually about 10.30am. However quite often the disembarkation process is quicker than anticipated. When this happens the time slots are all brought forward so that final announcement asking all remaining passengers to leave the ship can be as early as 9.30am. Julia
  21. Firstly with respect the answer is no, not all cases do have wheels. Secondly I am sure you are aware that many people have some physical limitations which make handling heavy luggage difficult and/or contraindicated. These may include people with heart conditions, breathing problems, those who have had recent surgery etc. These individuals may not be classed or class themselves as “disabled” and would not meet the criteria for a blue badge. I am sure you agree that not having a problem ourselves does not preclude us for having awareness of and empathy with those that may.
  22. Hi OP here. Just to clarify what I understand. There appear to be two main changes from to the previous CPS procedure. Firstly cars were directed away from the usual CPS drop off area immediately outside the Ocean Terminal. In stead they went to a new area further away but I am not sure of the exact distance. Secondly after passengers vacated their vehicle there were no porters available at all to assist. Instead the passengers were instructed to collect a trolley and load on their luggage. CPS then collected the car keys and completed the necessary paperwork before driving the car away as normal. Passengers then had to push the trolley to the luggage drop off area at the terminal. I am not sure whether there were any porters available to assist with unloading the trolley at this point. As I said this appears to be a trial they are running at the moment. I posted because I was not thrilled with the changes and wondered what others thought. Personally I should not be directly affected as I hold a Disabled Parking Badge. However I do have elderly parents who would struggle if they had to manhandle their luggage without an assistance. Also there did not appear to be any canvassing yesterday of the passengers for their opinions. Something which I would of thought was very important when introducing changes which I feel impact negatively on the customers experience. Hope this helps. Juliax
  23. My brother has boarded Britannia today. He booked parking with CPS but when he arrived at Ocean Terminal he was surprised to find that the established procedure for dropping off your car and luggage had been changed. He was directed to an area away from the terminal. Here the car was collected by CPS as normal but there were no porters to help with the luggage. Instead he was advised to unload his luggage onto a trolley and take it across to the luggage drop off area himself. Luckily my brother and his family are young and fit so it was not a big issue for him. I also understand that you can have assistance from a porter if you have disabled parking badge. He was told they are currently trialling this new way but that so far it had gone really well. It was also suggested that the change was “necessary because of Iona”. Juliax PS he is sailing to the Med for 14 nights
  24. Hi My mobility is limited but like your relative I can walk short distances and get in and out of a car. I hire an electric wheelchair for cruising as it makes things a lot easier for me and my family. I have been to most of the ports you mentioned and shall be visiting them again next month all being well. In Gibraltar, Barcelona and Liverno we have and will again be using taxis to get around. We just fold up my wheelchair and pop it in the boot. With four of us traveling together a taxi is very reasonable. In Cadiz you dock in the centre of town so we will get off the ship and have a wander. Cannes is a little more complicated as it is a tender port and you have to be able to climb aboard. I must admit if things are too complicated or if an excursion would be very long I tend to book my family on the trip and book myself in to the spa for a good pamper! It’s a hard life but someone’s got to do it! Juliax
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