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John Bull

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About John Bull

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Lee-on-the-Solent, England
  • Interests
    vintage & classic vehicles
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Voyages of Discovery
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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908 profile views
  1. That sounds like sensible advice, because it's clear from this thread that some card issuers still require this. JB
  2. We drove Addo Elephant Park in a very ordinary little 2WD rental car. There's an area, the Kabouga Trail which is just for 4x4's, but the bulk of the park is tarmac and smooth dirt roads and, as Omega's post, off-roading isn't permitted. We weren't concerned about bumpy roads, but I do recall it as being smooth. Three suggestions - ask the excursion provider (the cruise line?) whether the route ccvers 4x4-only territory. Sometimes cruise lines do go o.t.t. about steps, walking difficulties etc, and they're probably just being as o.t.t. about bumpy rides. - fix up your own car & driver - a 4x4 is not necessary, but if the operator is experienced with Addo (and therefore likely to be knowledgeable about the wildlife) it probably will be a 4x4. - rent a car from a Port Elizabeth rental agency & drive yourselves. It really is very simple. BTW apart from elephants there's an abundance of game (zebras, Cape buffalo, kudu & other antelope), warthogs, hyenas, etc but the park is light on big cats - we didn't see one. JB
  3. Very very limited these days. Old Northam Road, which used to be the main route east out of the city centre but is now a blind road, was 90% antique & junk shops when I was a nipper but now has just a handful. Best known is Cobwebs, at the far end of Old Northam Road - it specialises in ocean liner & other shipping memorabilia. http://www.cobwebs.uk.com/ It's about a 30 minute walk from City & Ocean cruise terminals or 15 minutes walk from the city centre (the Bargate) https://goo.gl/maps/YWfUbC8xC7rkTxh76 There are a few others scattered around the city, but only Old Northam Road has a few together. For worthwhile antique-hunting you'd need to head out of the city to places like Winchester or Lymington. Are you spending time elsewhere in the UK? JB
  4. That has certainly happened in other parts of the world. Twice we've taken ships' tours (neither was Princess) because that was the only option on the days when places were closed to Joe Public. JB
  5. I'm sorry, we are experiencing a high volume of calls at the moment. You are 487th in line for a human, but your call is important to us. So please listen to some lovely music, and one of our humans will be with you in..... 7 hrs and .....39 minutes JB
  6. I though you'd enjoy the reference to the evil black brew, Hank Yes, I'm sure that's the way you'd like to go on judgement day For myself I'd want to die in my sleep - just like my old grandpa did. I wouldn't want to die in terror - like the passengers on the bus that he was driving at the time JB
  7. No, Hank, there's no point in doing that. As my learned friend K32682 has pointed out, he may not answer his phone or you might not be able to get to where he is. Or he might have drowned in a cask of Guinness, or been abducted by aliens JB
  8. Our cc providers don't want to know - when I queried this I was told they don't even make a record of our trips. A few years back one card was declined at Gracelands of all places, even though we'd advised them of our trip to the US and had by then used it there for a couple of weeks. No worries, we used another, and when we went on-line that evening we found an e-mail asking whether the transaction was genuine. Now if they're suspicious about on-line purchases (I don't know about POS transactions, none have been declined since Gracelands) they automatically hold the transaction & say they need a verification number that's in a text which is automatically sent at the same time. Cell-phone rings, there's the verification number, pump it into the transaction, job done. But there's no rhyme nor reason for choosing "suspicious" transactions..... I booked open-jaw return air tickets to Tanzania, had to go thro the text verification process. Fair enough. In fact, good for them. But a couple of hours later I booked an internal flight between the two Tanzanian jaws of the international flights - and had to go thro the same routine One thing I've learned from this - keep my cell-phone with me, and turned on when making a transaction. Have American members experienced the verification text system ? JB
  9. You don't give up. do you There's no "if" or "hope" about locating the ship's shore agent - we carry his contact details, which are always on the ship's news-sheet. So it's if we miss the sailing and if the crew haven't handed our passports to the port agent. That's a tiny risk that we're prepared to take in order to ensure that at the end of our cruise our passports are in our cabin safe along with our air tickets, ready to present at the airport for our flight home. Capriccio - it's my understanding, not from personal experience, that getting a replacement for a lost or stolen UK passport is just as fraught & time-consuming as it for a US one. And Murphy's Law of course says yes, it's bound to happen at a weekend. JB
  10. Both Ashdod & Haifa are ports where the ship berths (ie no tenders), and we broadly found them no different to most ports elsewhere in the world. I do recall that Ashdod was a secure port, and we had to take the port's shuttle between ship & port gate - but that didn't cost much time. JB
  11. Indeed I did - Heidi's post was responding to a poster who said that "the ship will" rather than "the ship probably will", and has since clarified that the possibility of a missing passenger's passport not being handed to the port agent is low. And to that low risk add the low risk of not getting back to the ship in the first place. Thus I don't need anyone to give me any "soothing reassurances". We leave our passports in the cabin safe, the first - and possibly the only - place the crew will look. We base our choice on the risks of our passports getting lost or stolen or damaged ashore being greater than the risk of being left behind without our passports. That said, the risk in either case is low. JB
  12. Just bumping this thread to the top (yes, I know it's against CC rules) in case the OP hasn't noticed my reply re coach travel to Oxford. The fare for the 08.35 am direct coach has gone up to £6.25 but still a bargain & there's still availability JB
  13. I see no posts on this thread which "dictate" that folk leave their passports on the ship, or indeed any that dictate that folk should take them ashore. Perhaps you can direct me to a post that has "dictated", because all that I see is folk saying why they choose the one or the other. There are pros & cons for either choice - as Chipmaster so succinctly put it "it depends which Murphy you believe will meet you". And you too have appreciated this - "Travelers can make their own decisions. There are two sides to the story...............". But you spoil that sentiment by continuing with "...............not just view from those who prefer to rely only on their cruise card while in a foreign country and have unwavering confidence in cruise ship employees", which displays an arrogance that those of us who choose to leave our passports on the ship are somehow mindless inexperienced sheep. How very very wrong you are Whilst I agree with much of your post, you continue with the same theme. "Soothing reassurances offered by anyone" seems to imply that those of us who choose to leave our passports on the ship are inexperienced . Just check the travel history of the likes of the Flyer, Sloopsailor, Cruisemom, SantaFe Fan, Itchy&Scratchy, Chipmaster. Trust me, they're no novices. And cruising is far from the only travel that yours-truly has done - multiple road trips in most countries in Europe, the US, Canada, South Africa, Aus, New Zealand. Safaris. DIY city breaks. Yachting. Even hitch-hiking when I was a lot younger. So you really need to acknowledge that the opinions of the majority, who prefer the Murphy's Law of passport on ship rather than the Murphy's Law of passport on person, are at least as valid as yours. JB
  14. P&O are very reticent about quoting time in port on their website & literature. Arrival & departure are quoted only as "am" or "pm". So you may not get an answer - but there's only one way to find out. Have you researched access to the Neanderthal caves? There's no public road nearby, and access on foot may be restricted. They're at sea-level on the Mediterranean side - a road runs along the eastern side, but near the Neanderthal cave it goes into a tunnel. JB
  15. Hi, Lydia, The part of your post I've coloured red doesn't make sense. I suspect it means allow 3 hrs between your arrival time at the airport and your flight departure time. So to allow that time at the airport you wouldn't need National Express, you'd need a teleporter. Since Captain Kirk & Scotty are no longer around that's not going to happen. Check out the self-same question and answers at https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2687079-what-time-should-we-look-at-flights-out-of-london-after-docking-in-southampton/ But there's a further complication. Currently there's a direct coach from Southampton to Heathrow at 08.00, which should be achievable by unassisted disembarkation at about 7 am and a taxi hop, which takes five minutes or less. Coach journey time 1 hr 49 ms (other days of the week 2 hrs 15 mins) However I've checked the National Express timetable for Sun. 19th July 2020 and can see no direct service to Heathrow beyond 17th May next year After that date the route to Heathrow is via a change of coach in central London and a total journey time of around 5 hours !!!! That's very similar to the convoluted journey by train I don't know whether this is a glitch in the timetables, or whether it's a pruning exercise by the bean-counters at Nat Express. But it does seem mildly ridiculous that there'll be no direct service between Southampton & Heathrow. I'll make a phone call or two, & come back here with any info. In the meantime, check the thread that I linked. If you decide to book a private transfer or ship-sponsored bus transfer that information holds good, but most private transfer operators don't take bookings until about 6 months out. JB
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