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Everything posted by ovccruiser

  1. There was a dartboard in Brodies on Azura, so guess there may be one on Arvia. Not sure though if you are allowed to use your own darts. May be worth a check worth P & O
  2. It is illegal to drive in Norway whilst operating a mobile phone, much the same as here, but, would you call into your nearest police station if you saw someone in the UK doing the same? There are virtually no police on our roads so many people take the risk unfortunately.P & O will probably do nothing about it if you complained.
  3. There are also far cheaper ways to get to Flam much cheaper than cruise ships, but no one raises that point, just the price of excursions😂 My experience over the many cruises we have done is, it depends on where the excursion is going. For example, Rome, cruise excursion only, no waiting in queues at the various sites, Borobudur temple cruise excursion only, you get a police escort there and back and all traffic is stopped for the coaches. There are others. Madeira get off the ship and hire a taxi for either half or full day, Many of the Caribbean Islands I would only use local taxis.
  4. My first cruise with P & O was on Oceana, probably the worst crossing of the Bay of Biscay we have done. Weather was about force 10-11 seas were rough and we had windows blow in on Deck 7 towards the front and also the window to mid ships bar area, you can see a sheet of plywood covering one of the windows
  5. Did exactly this but in February, really enjoyed this and have already booked for next year.
  6. Interesting reading yet again, the gratuities topic🤣 My UK view on the subject. I also holiday at all inclusive hotels very much like a cruise on shore including entertainment, drinks and food almost 24/7. At no time are we asked to pay gratuities. The price equates to cruise prices, so more expensive than cruising as the hotel has no mooring/birthing costs or has to buy fuel to get from A to B. 😂 I also recently cruised with P & O on a 2 week cruise and again there were no gratuities required on that either and they are part of the same group. Yes, we didn't get "free" chocolates at night and the bed wasn't turned down, but that did not worry me.
  7. From the dates above I have just returned from a 2 week cruise on Azura around the Canaries and Madeira a cruise to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. The first week getting used to the ship found many "dead ends" where looking at the ship planner we wanted to go somewhere on deck 6 but when we left the rear lifts we could not get through to where we wanted with going up a flight of stairs along a bit and then down, most ships offer the same exercise 😄 so not really a problem just getting used to the ship. The food. We used only the self service restaurant the whole cruise and I must say the food was excellent especially the roast carved meats and roast potatoes were excellent. It is sometimes very busy, but we found if you go between the set dining limes around 7:00pm it was not too bad. Breakfast times, we were late risers so did not get there much before 10am so again not too crowded. The bars. We attended most bars, however the Planet bar does have dress restrictions, no shorts and on formal nights you must have a dinner suit or suit and tie. Other bars were also the same except Brodies which was not so strict. That was the only small criticism we had as on this cruise I decided not to do formal and choice of bars was limited. The ship. Generally was in good condition apart from the clocks on promenade deck 7, most were wrong and some had no hands at all so hard to see if they were wrong 😄 read none were correct. The ship I believe was last refitted in 2020 so maybe could do with a look at in the next couple of years. The cabin we had on deck 8 with restricted outside views was fine, spotlessly clean and well laid out with a walk in wardrobe. The cruise overall was really good although the sea days to and from Madeira the weather could have been better, but who can control that.
  8. We have recently completed a cruise for 2 weeks on P&O where we were offered £350 OBC and with my shareholder benefit that was increased to £500, great, but, not till the end of the cruise did I realise that when you use the OBC you do not get the Peninsular discount applied. So for my £500, which I totally used, with my meagre 5% club discount had it been applied, was only allowed to buy £475 or if the discount was applied I could have had £526 a difference of £51. Now, there are higher discounts up to 10% where the difference will be £105 (£450 to £555). Which makes it even worse, the passengers most loyal get less for their OBC than someone who has just had their first cruise. I appreciate the OBC is a gift and much appreciated, however, the most loyal passenger get less for their £ than the passenger who are taking their first cruise. At present there are a number of cruises being offered with OBC as an incentive for you to buy. Interestingly since my last cruise I have moved up a grade and now get 7.5% so next time my £500 OBS will only afford me £462.50 so my loyalty will cost me £12.50. I think P&O need to look at this, they are not appreciating loyalty by offering these OBC's without discount.
  9. As long as you tip using notes not coins, any currency will be acceptable, usually easy changed at banks
  10. Used to use distilled water in car batteries now it's de-ionised water, is that safe to use or must it be distilled?
  11. Bear in mind, duty free is not profit free and the term "up to" is I think a term that must be used when advertising, no longer allowed to say 100% but now have to say up to 100%, there be be the odd one I guess 😄
  12. Not quite as bad, but a few years ago on the Oceana crossing the Bay of Biscay we had a "port hole" blow in and a window both on deck 7 and that was only in a force 9/10. I would not like to be on the Balmoral.
  13. Thanks for that fantastic review, we have booked the Azura in February '24 to celebrate our Golden Wedding Anniversary and was a little apprehensive, not been on a P & O for several years. We liked the Artemis and Oceana, a little smaller than Azura and that was what we were apprehensive about. You have put our minds at ease, thank you.
  14. Excursions are always given priority when tenders are used. After the excursions have left, all others going ashore are allowed to use the tenders.
  15. Depends on the cruise line, if the onboard currency is $ you get the $ amount, if on board currency is £ you get the sterling amount. So, for example, Cunard is in $'s and P & O is in sterling
  16. Where would the Tax liability be paid, country of birth of the crew, registration country of the ship, os where the ship is owned? In order to pay the tips to the crew, the cruise line would also need to show the income to cover the tips of course. Is it possible the crew are responsible for their own tax liabilities and are paid gross with no tax deductions, otherwise their "board and lodging" whilst on a cruise would also be a liability as "gift in kind" as it is termed in the UK.
  17. Strangest thing I have witnessed on a Cunard cruise was an American ordering a drink and tipping the wait staff. So he will pay for the drink plus the 15% charge(gratuity) and gave a tip on top. It looked almost like a habit to give the tip.
  18. There is a charge, but according to their package it's included in the package, but there is a maximum drink price of, I think, $12.50
  19. We are discussing the daily all inclusive package price, the higher prices on Cunard would make the P & O even more expensive or drink much more. My gripe is that I cannot buy an all inclusive for just one person in the cabin and I certainly can't drink for 2 these days 😁🤣
  20. See my earlier post, my wife doesn't drink, so I would need to consume 2 glasses every night, cheaper by the bottle then 😀 There are a number of couples where one of the couples does not drink, there is no allowance for one drinker per cabin. Interestingly had an email today and Fred Olsen is offering FREE drinks package on selected cruises. £99 per day on a 14 day cruise £1386 is just under the price for one person on that cruise to the Canaries. Cunard drinks package on cruises over 5 days is $70 (£55.81) I know the two above cruise lines charge daily tips Cunard £9 per day and FO £5.00 per day, that is still a lot cheaper than P & O.
  21. Wow £90 or £99 per day, as said for one person even me 😀 thats way too expensive
  22. Oops misread the original post, I read wine by the glass as house wine.
  23. Private tours or otherwise IMO depends on the port of call. I have visited Rome and booked a tour through the cruise line and IMO the trip we had could not be done privately. On the coach we had 2 couriers, one stayed with us and guided us to the sites, the other went ahead and bought all the entry tickets to the various sites. The queues at each venue was horrendous and no way could a private individual queue jump like we did. Visited Borabudur Temple in Indonesia, again we traveled to the temple, stop for coffee on the way, had lunch a full tour of the temple time for souvenir purchases and travelled back to the ship in plenty of time. 4 people on our dinner table did it themselves and just about had an hour at the temple, no other stops. Other sites on our cruises, would not entertain paying for a trip, sort my own usually through a local taxi.
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