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About DamianG

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Sport, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    P & O Cruises
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Spain & Norway

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  1. We've pre-registered for B118 14 nights Mediterranean in the main summer school holidays and are delighted that there are 3 ports which are new to us (Alicante, Villefranche and Ibiza). We're also really happy that the last port is Lisbon rather than Gibraltar (nothing wrong with the latter but Lisbon gives us far more choices of things to do ashore with our son). In terms of prices we're paying £320 more than our 2020 booking (same ship, same cabin, similar itinerary) so we're okay with that too.
  2. They're all going to either Spain or Portugal one way or another. The only 7 nighter is E135 20th Sept Vigo, Lisbon, Porto, St Peter Port.
  3. If you mean Scandinavia and Baltic then I'm sorry to say I don't see any for Oceana!
  4. Hi John I've just had a quick look & reckon that there are 22 cruises which match your criteria: Britannia 11 Med cruises B112 8th May to B117 17th July then B119 14th August to B123 9th October Ventura 9 cruises N109 to N114 (alternating Med / Baltic) then N117 22nd Aug to N119 19th Sept Oceana E116 8th May & E136 27th Sept (Spain, Portugal, Canaries) I don't fancy typing out 22 itineraries though!
  5. We were super excited to receive a brochure this morning, completely unexpected on my part at least. Unfortunately the excitement lasted about 3 minutes which is all it took to choose something for 2021 based on our preferences (son prefers newest ships and Med or Canaries, restricted to July / August school holidays cruises). That quickly narrowed it down to 2 choices and we're happy with the result. To think we used to spend hours browsing and making plans...….
  6. 1st time we went we took the "Rome on your own" excursion and though we had a good day we didn't enjoy the coach trip (it was a busy day for ships in port and the journey was delayed with a chaotic stop at a very overcrowded services). Following that we had 2 successful independent trips via the trains with no problems whatsoever (though I do respect others comments about potential delays etc.). Nowadays we always stay in Civitavecchia as our son loves having a swim at the lido at the Water Polo club. Last time we were there I went to Sunday mass in the Cathedral then met with the rest of our group at Mastro Titta Pizzeria for lunch followed by an afternoon at the lido. Obviously it's hard to know what will appeal to your father-in-law but if he stays in port a stroll down the promenade followed by a good lunch in a friendly restaurant may be of interest?
  7. On our last 7 cruises we have travelled with my in-laws and we all dine together in the MDR every evening. Our son usually chooses from the kids menu and on occasions Grandma and Grandad have had items from that same menu without any problems whatsoever. Grandma sometimes just wants something plain (e.g. fish fingers and chips) and Grandad is very partial to a cream horn for dessert! As others have said the waiters are always fantastic and very accommodating.
  8. You just reminded me of an excursion down the River Nile many years ago with lunch included. One of the options was pasta with a separate tomato sauce. An older lady in our picked up the ladle from the sauce then raised it to her mouth for a taste before putting it back into the sauce. We carefully avoided anything she went near, however a few days later I caught my one and only dose of norovirus. Thankfully it was a very minor case and I was confined to the cabin for a couple of days only.
  9. Farewell our favourite ship by far. Our 1st cruise on her was 18 nights to Egypt in 2008 where we only had half a day in port (Malaga) in the first 7 days. It was probably the most sociable cruise I can ever remember as we got to know quite a few passengers outside our party during that first week, definitely helped by the size of the ship which meant that you met people then actually saw them again (unlike on some of the biggest ships these days). We followed that up with a memorable 17 night Easter cruise in 2011 which included Venice and we have fond memories of cruising away from that port sat out at the tiered stern with classical music playing. We are by no means classical music fans or experts but it was perfect for the setting. We also tried the Gary Rhodes restaurant on that cruise and thoroughly enjoyed it (and the man himself said good morning to us when passing on a staircase). Our final adventure was a 17 night Christmas and New Year cruise where the staff made a real effort with Carol Concerts etc and I (nervously) delivered the readings at a packed Midnight Mass. It felt like every crew member who attended wanted to shake my hand afterwards. Great memories.
  10. We've never had a cruise spoiled by the Captain and doubt that we ever would. However, we have fond memories of some of the (in our opinion) "better" Captains such as Chris Wells, Robert Camby and most recently Derek Gray. We saw a lot of Chris Wells as our cabin was near the bridge and he would always take time to say hello if we saw him on the corridor. I also remember him joining in with ballroom dancing in the Atrium which must have been a lovely experience for the ladies he invited to dance with him (I hope so anyway). Robert Camby was every bit as good as others have posted here, and took time out to speak to our son in the Atrium prior to the Captain's Welcome On Board reception. I posted some positive comments about Derek Gray in my recent onboard blog and he is the only Captain I can remember who attended the Caribbean Tier lunch and went from table to table to speak to the guests. These are all just little things, not vitally important, but happy memories that help us to recall our cruises with fondness.
  11. We did 3 Christmas Market cruises in our pre-parenting days including the first ever by P&O back in 2005. Loved them all. Enjoy!
  12. I'd better not say that we take the in-laws with us (even though my wife suggested this as our "odd" thing to take). I'm sure lots of kids take a favourite soft toy but our son has a collection of nearly 500 (honestly!) and we always end up taking at least half a dozen on our cruises (with Doggy now being a 7 cruise veteran). We usually come home with a few new additions as well. With one exception our cabin stewards have always been great and often we'll return in the evening to find the soft toys carefully placed around the cabin in different poses. In particular one steward must have been a budding hairdresser as on that cruise our son's soft toy sloth was given a different hairstyle every evening.
  13. My wife is exactly the same. When we took a North Cape ("midnight sun") cruise years ago she was like a black-out warden at bedtime and for once I wish that we'd booked an inside cabin.
  14. I've not tried that but theoretically I suppose that it would. The advantage of the router is that it does boost the signal strength in the cabin which helps as the speed is generally very slow.
  15. Hull, Liverpool or Tyneside would suit us too but this has left me thinking how would these ports be able to provide the staff required for a typical P&O embarkation process? Southampton has a well established number of experienced check-in and support staff covering the different terminals as and when required, along with the baggage handlers etc. Could the other ports cope with the huge ships that P&O are pushing us all towards these days or would the check-in process be slower at another (non-Southampton) port and leave us all grumbling? Has anyone embarked or disembarked a Fred Olsen ship at Liverpool or Tyneside? I appreciate that their ships are smaller but it would be interesting to hear their experience.
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