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Everything posted by Vader1111

  1. My version is... P&O Australia and Carnival both target bogan families Royal Caribbean target middle class families Princess targets the baby boomers Holland America targets the baby boomers' parents
  2. Leave Loading hasn't been available in the Australian Public Service for 20+ years. Not sure about the various state public services though.
  3. According to the P&O website, Back to School is only done on cruises of 7+ nights - so it won't be held on a 4 night cruise. Also, Island Night replaces Back to School night, as of 22nd June. That's the date for Encounter - the other ships make the change earlier in June.
  4. My first cruise was also on the Pacific Sun, back in 2007. While the P&O ships have improved since then, the service has gone backwards at a rapid rate of knots. I doubt they will be missed, by the time they are subsumed into the Carnival megaline.
  5. Hard to go any further downhill, from where the company is already.
  6. I suspect you haven't received any answers, because you ask an impossible question. We can tell you which shows & which theme nights they have - but not which nights they are on, or even if they will all be scheduled (given the short duration of your cruise). Short cruises (less than 7 nights) will have Gatsby and Bianco (white) parties (i.e. theme nights): https://www.pocruises.com.au/experiences/at-sea/entertainment/themed-events My guess is that these will be on the 2nd & 3rd nights of your cruise, though I have no idea which order they would be scheduled. The production shows currently on P&O ships are: Let's Misbehave Rock Anthem of the Ages Musicology Seven One Sideshow Alley They also have a few shows which are "pay to view": Purple Rabbit Blanc de Blanc Uncorked Each ship runs 3x production shows and 1x "pay to view" show. There is no indication on the P&O website which of these are on which ship: https://www.pocruises.com.au/experiences/at-sea/entertainment/spectacular-shows These could be scheduled any time on nights 2-4, but almost certainly not on embarkation day. I haven't sailed on Pacific Encounter, so I can't tell you from personal experience which shows are on board that particular ship.
  7. My guess would be due to the tender wharf being very small, and the increased size of ships, making it a logistical nightmare. From memory, the wharf there was only big enough to have 1 tender tied up at any given time. That slows down the tendering operations to the point where it's no longer feasible for larger ships to visit. I went there on Rhapsody of the Seas, which had around 2,500 passengers when full. That was probably about the maximum capacity for the Champagne Bay wharf. The likes of the Voyager class ships, and Pacific Adventure, are just far too large. It's a real pity though, because Champagne Bay was one of my 2 favourite ports - alongside Isle of Pines. Snorkelling off the beach, with distinct cold/fresh and warm/salty water layers, was a rare experience.
  8. I would have thought that dropping Noumea from cruising itineraries was a positive thing.
  9. The loading/unloading process is marginally faster. The scan process itself is slower, and the conveyor system for handling the bags after they go through the scanner seems to take forever. They've just shifted the delay to another part of the system, and made it 3x as long. In the past you'd put your bag(s) on the conveyor belt, step through the metal detector, and your bag would be waiting for you on the other side. Now you put it on the conveyor, wait to spread your arms & legs for the x-ray machine, then wait another 3-5 minutes on the other side for your bag(s) to emerge. Bags come out of the scanner, and get diverted into 1 of 2 tracks - the fast lane, and the lane for review. Except that very few bags ever seem to go into the fast lane, everything goes into the review lane. The review lane moves very slowly, because the operator has to review every image manually, before handing you back your bag. It's even worse if someone's bag contents need checking manually (having already been scanned & reviewed on screen). I have no doubt that the new scanners detect things that the old x-ray machines did not, and travel is more secure as a result... but they move slower than the average glacier.
  10. I don't know about Sydney, but Canberra has the new CT technology - remarkably, it makes the scanning process even slower.
  11. Cheaper for 1 or 2 people, maybe not for a whole family. Depends on how many are in the group.
  12. You got very lucky. I was in Airlie Beach on Pacific Adventure, last June - many people waited for well over an hour for the tender back to the ship.
  13. Tauranga is the jumping off point for trips to Rotorua (basically one big thermal wonderland), and Hobbiton (where they shot parts of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies). Neither of these attractions are terribly close to Tauranga, so pre-booking tours is an excellent idea. I must admit, I've never spent any time in the city itself - I've done tours to Rotorua on both of my previous visits.
  14. The reason you can re-claim GST, and the ship can make duty-free alcohol sales, is that Willis Island is in Australia's Coral Island Territories. The Coral Island Territory is considered to be an external territory (unlike NT, ACT, or Jervis Bay Territory), thus cruising around Willis Island means you have gone overseas. They probably should setup a TRS stand in the Cairns cruise terminal, but are too lazy to do so.
  15. "Head office wanted the ship to embark, and only government intervention would have stopped it." This, in a nutshell, is exactly why Princess were found guilty. They chose to board the passengers, knowing that there was a risk, and failing to do everything they could reasonably do to minimise the risks. Temperature checks were in place around the world, at least a month before Ruby departed. They had no excuses for not performing them, even if they weren't overly accurate - at least it provided a first level of checking, which could be confirmed by sidelining anyone found to be hot (for further checking by medical staff).
  16. I was temperature checked repeatedly, as I passed through Changi Airport in Singapore, in mid-early February. Whilst we obviously know a hell of a lot more about COVID now, than we did back then, one thing that was known was that a high temperature was one symptom which could be checked relatively easily. Royal were definitely doing temperature checks, when I went to the OPT in mid-March, for the Radiance cruise to NZ which never left the dock. The courts quite rightly ruled that there was negligence from both the passengers, and the cruise line. The passengers knew that COVID was around, and the reputation of cruise ships as big white virus incubators has been around for decades. However, the cruise lines also needed to be doing everything they could, given the information available at the time, to keep their passengers safe. The judge found, also quite rightly, that Princess did not.
  17. Princess' problem was that they weren't doing everything they possibly could, to keep the passengers safe. For example, they weren't doing temperature checks at embarkation - at a time when high temperature was known to be a COVID symptom. That's not to detract from the actions of the passengers themselves, and you are quite correct in your statements about them... but to say that Princess was doing everything possible is just flat wrong.
  18. As a slightly different perspective, I'd be seriously contemplating option #3. Option #3 is the only cruise going south to north. As such, it will see you enter Milford Sound around dawn, when it's at its most majestic. Don't get me wrong, the Sounds are magnificent at any time of the day, but Milford at dawn is extra special. North to South cruises will see you pass through Milford as your last itinerary item before leaving NZ, usually mid-late afternoon.
  19. Sorry for the delay in responding. Normally there are a whole bunch of drivers waiting just outside the port gate (sometimes inside the gate - depends on whether or not the port officials are having a crackdown). You just hire them there, agree on a fare for the day's travels, and away you go.
  20. The usual thing to do at Port Vila is to just hire a driver/vehicle, to take you where you want to go, for the entire day. Most of the nice places are outside of the city - e.g. Mele Cascades, Hideaway Island. If you really do just want to go into the town centre, and back again, you can probably just get a driver to bring you back to the ship for a nominal charge. You'll probably even hear them calling out to you, asking if you want to be driven back to the ship. Don't worry about the lack of local currency (Vatu). Australian Dollars are accepted pretty much everywhere, so take a reasonable supply of AUD with you and you should be fine.
  21. As for having bookings pre-made for the first 3 nights of the cruise... I'm guessing this must be a Suite thing? It's never happened to me when I've been sailing plebian class. It's worth noting that Angelo's & Dragon Lady only have 2x menus, which they alternate every 3rd day. This means that menu #1 is used on days 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, while menu #2 is used on days 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12 (and so forth). This is probably why suite passengers are booked 3 days in advance.
  22. Assuming the app is working correctly, which it often doesn't. The P&O app is notoriously flakey. On my recent Adventure cruise, I was unable to make restaurant bookings through the app - but my friend had no such difficulty. Go figure!
  23. Angelo's & Dragon Lady are both much, much, much bigger on Adventure than they are on Explorer. I highly recommend booking these as soon as you board the ship, to avoid disappointment - as they do fill up. This is a complete non-issue for Adventure, where P&O like you to book, but the restaurant capacity is such that there is absolutely no need whatsoever to do so. Part of the problem is that some groups book large numbers of tables, and then don't turn up. I guess this is a problem for small restaurants everywhere, not just Angelo's & Dragon Lady. You can probably take your chances in turning up without a booking, but don't be surprised if you are turned away. Explorer's Waterfront is larger than Angelo's & Dragon Lady combined. Bookings are definitely recommended if you have a large group - but small parties of 1 or 2 can usually be accommodated if you just rock up to the restaurant.
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