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About MBP&O2/O

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    Having travelled the world - Panama Canal has got to be up there

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  1. We were in Florence earlier this month ... we arrived on the same day as they closed the museums and two days before they closed the restaurants 🤬
  2. Phantom ports of call ??? It was done ... back in the day 😀 Can I say this? I suppose so as apartheid is no longer with us! Ships would load a cargo of fruit in Capetown. The discharge ports were in the Arabian Gulf. Now at this time trading with South Africa was not seen to be politically friendly so they couldn't really be seen taking South African fruit to the 'Gulf ... could they? To overcome this political intrigue, ships loaded the cargo as normal - but all the boxes were labeled 'Product Of Botswana'! Then, en route to the 'Gulf, they stopped at Maputo. Whilst at Maputo they started a new 'Deck Log Book' and when they arrived at their first port of call the log book showed arriving from Mozambique! Political sensitivities soothed. Sneaky!
  3. “Yes, the food and water is in watertight compartments under the seats. Folks will have to crawl over each other or sit on each other to gain access to the compartments. ” Has been known to be hypothetical 😀 I joined a ship in a UK Drydock as 3/O, and checked the lifeboats and all the rations, tools etc. were missing ... stolen by dockworkers! Fortunately we found out in time and managed to replace then. As for my previous comments and photograph .. they ended up underwater 😀
  4. I wish 🥴 We were trying to come alongside a rescue ship ... well a T2 tanker ... and we shipped her bow wave as we slid down a rather large wave 😀 and we ended up with zero freeboard. Occupational hazard 🤬
  5. The ship I was on that sank ...we used the older style open top 40 seater lifeboat ... At the time we were in rough seas and F7 winds so when the lifeboat shipped a green one and was total swamped to the gunwales it certainly made life interesting ... especially as we had no power!
  6. We have one booked for late September this year ... from Italy ... so we are hoping that it should be under control by then. We have another booked for September next year .... surely to goodness it will be sorted by then, As an aside, we flew into Florence on Sunday when all was OK .... On Sunday evening they closed all the museums .... On Tuesday Italy went into lock down and made all restaurants close at 6pm ... There are more armed police than tourists ... it is deathly quiet ... no pun intended 🙄 Flights are being cancelled left right and centre but we are told by HMG FCO that we must self isolate for 14 days when / if we ever get home😷🤒 Our flight home is on Thursday lunchtime and at the moment it is still showing as being on schedule, but the earlier flight has been cancelled.
  7. We have recently booked 410 on the Spirit for next year. Again, we normally have a verandah but it rarely got used so we ‘downgraded’ (for want of a better word). It seems it is the same as a veranda suite but it’s £2000 pp cheaper .... which is one hell of a saving 😀
  8. The last time I had any involvement with a dry dock, the following surveys were made: (a) 3rd Special Survey of the hull with thickness determination. (b) Docking Survey. (c) Annual Survey. (d) Safety Equipment Survey. (e) Safety Construction Survey. (f) Load Line Survey. (g) Completion of Continuous Machinery Survey. (h) Tailshaft Survey. (i) Main Boiler and Steam Generator Surveys. Some of it was in a dry dock per se, and some was not. So ‘short notice’ changes of venue may not be practical The other thing of course is that some surveys etc. are time critical. As a total aside, if you ever get the opportunity to go down into a DD and walk underneath a ship it is well worth the effort. Even the smaller ships look huge when the keel is higher than your head😀
  9. I agree with Les about the actual illness. It is the potential for quarantined that concerns me. We have a Med cruise booked for September .... starts it Italy and visits various Italian ports so we are hoping that by then the situation will be OK. We also have a short break planned for Florence in two weeks. This is a DIY trip. The hotel can be cancelled up to 24 hrs before arrival so that is not a problem. The main issue will be the flights. Unless HMG /FCO advise against travel then we are stuffed as travel insurance will not pay out. Annoying to say the least! I suspect we will not go but fingers crossed.
  10. We booked a 2021 one in October and the 10% EBB expired on January 3rd. I expected that on January 4th the prices would go up but the EBB would remain. I was wrong! The prices did not go up and the EBB remained. Other than the fact that we were able to choose our suite we might as well have not bothered and the £X,000 could have stayed in my bank account.
  11. “A USCG command center called me to respond to a distress and asked my ETA two days You are only 200 miles away Yes ... but I got to around CUBA to get there . . .“ Sounds about right 😀 Desk jockey syndrome? When the ship I was in sank in the Pacific, the USCG Guam said they would ‘monitor’ the situation, but all the rescue coordination was courtesy of the Japanese Coastal Command (as was), but when, last year I tried to contact the USCG to see what records they had kept they told me they send all their documentation to the archives .... who had nothing. Never ending circle 🙄
  12. I must admit that when I was a deck officer we never did anything like that. When we sailed we would give head office an ETA for the next port and would keep in touch with them as a matter of course. The only time we told them of a specific route was when they queried an ETA. Their desk jockey claimed we could could manage Udevalla to Baltimore far quicker than our ETA suggested because they were suggesting a northerly passage around Scotland and, in January, we ‘declined’ and routed south of GB. The weather was vile even on our route and we avoided some pretty nasty looking storms.
  13. We were on a cruise in October and we took the ship excursion to Jerusalem. It was scheduled as 0800 x 1800. There was an accident on the highway into the town .... so we didn't even arrive until after 10:00am, much later than expected. The guide was running round like a blue tailed fly trying to get back on schedule, and offering little or no sympathy to one pax who had mobility difficulties. It was rush rush and more rushing about. When on the coach in the city it was one big traffic jam..... mainly coaches. We set off back later than we should, and the journey was further delayed by Mr Weak Bladder .... three stops in all. 🥴 and then an issue at a security check point. We got back 30mins before departure time! Yes we saw quite a lot and what we saw was very good .... but the excursion experience was not pleasant. If you do go on on a ship then these are the type of things that do occur ... so bear it in mind. Also bear in mind that it can be hard work in the heat.
  14. Re my previous ... we were told they would contact us “about nine months” prior to departure to discuss flights as ours are not straight forward. Having said that I will contact them beforehand .... just in case 🙄 .
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