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About bvm49

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Broadbeach Queensland Australia
  • Interests
    cruising, travelling, playing cards and billards
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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84 profile views
  1. In 2015 we were given US$250 for a 49 night cruise around South America. Originally when we booked it as B2B cruises, we were given 2 OBC's but we changed it to 1 cruise when they dropped the price of the full cruise only. Last year when we did a 37 night cruise from Australia on Sea Princess, we were given AU$330 - maybe because it wasn't in US dollars and they converted it. Although we have a 37 night cruise booked for March, we haven't yet applied for the shareholder's OBC. Don't forget that Princess will also give OBC for past armed services including part time. Brian
  2. I can understand why with that fantastic deal. The best we've ever had was AU$60pp per day for an inside cabin.
  3. Mic; what was the reason Carnival gave? Yes, we bought them for US$35 in 2012 although they didn't go as high as our RCL shares - also bought for US$35 and reached US$130 recently. Brian
  4. Anyone thinking of buying the required 100 Carnival shares to get complimentary OBC for all their cruises - includes Princess, P&O, Carnival and Holland America - now is a good time to buy them as the US stock market has dropped considerably lately. The shares are trading now at US$54 (AU$76) which is a lot lower than it has been for a long while. We have always been able to get the OBC with these shares but don't recommend buying RCL shares as we have found it very difficult to use these. Brian
  5. After we gained Elite status on a cruise, we had 5 days to the next cruise. Even though we told the Captain Circle rep of this short change around and were assured by her we would be upgraded, this did not happen. We had to go to the Captain Cirle rep on the next cruise and then to the Passengers Service desk to get our cards upgraded. Due to a long line at the Captain Circle desk, this process was lengthy and meant we missed early dinner in the MDR. To make matters worst their printer ran out of ink so we had to return later for our cards. The reason we wanted our cards urgently was because we had laundry that needed doing from the 5 days in between the cruises. Normally things work well with Princess but sometimes you have to complain!
  6. bvm49

    Advise please

    You can't book flights until about 11 months out. We live on the Gold Coast and booked a multi (also known as "open jaw") flight. We're spending over 2 weeks in Southern Africa before the cruise prior to this - a 5 night Mozambique cruise. I notice the cruise before your's is a 3 night one which may not be worth the cost of a Mozambique visa. After arriving in Venice we're spending 2 weeks in Northern Italy. Our Africa adventure is as follows: After flying from Johannesburg on 30th March, we have 2 nights in Kasanein Botswana for Chobe NP. · Transferring to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe for 2 nights. · Flying direct to Cape Town for 5 nights - here we meet our friends (Stephen& Christina from Sydney) who want to avoid malaria areas. · Private 4 night tour for us 4 adults to Kariega Game Reserve via Stellenbosch, Franschoek, Excelsior wine farm, Oudtshoorn (ostrich farm), Cango Caves,Knysna, Tsitsikamma NP, Port Elizabeth and Addo NP. · Kariega Game reserve for 2 nights. · Fly from PLZ to Durban with 1 night stay. Brian
  7. bvm49

    Advise please

    Hello fellow Aussie. We're doing Durban to Venice in April this year although it's on Sinfonia. We've cruised once before with MSC and have come back because of the itinerary and the status match they offer (Black Card for Princess Elite). If you want some idea of what to expect check out the roll call for our cruise: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?p=55238201#post55238201 Brian
  8. bvm49

    Black Card Members

    We're going on MSC Sinfonia which doesn't have a specialty restaurant. As Black Card members we miss out on this benefit completely :loudcry:.
  9. David: Yes, when I saw your post on the roll call; I did some research and decided to start this tread with some exact numbers. I agree with you that it looks as if MSC has offered some incentive as these reviews probably have never heard of CC before. Brian
  10. bvm49

    Fairstar Itineraries - 1983

    The Fairstar was built as a British troop carrier in 1957 and converted in 1964. We did a 16 night cruise on 23rd March 1983 with our 2 children. Our inside cabin was at water level in the bowels of the ship. The cost was $1140 each with half price for the children. The cruise went to Vila, Lautoka, Suva, Vavau, Nukualofa & Noumea. In those days you could do the sail-away with party streamers from the ship to the dock. One guy who tied pantyhose together survived the longest. We were led onto the ship to The Tavern on the Promenade deck for a welcome drink. It was done like an old pub and you could even carve you name in the benches. As it was our 1st cruise we wondered if the rest of the ship was in the same condition! If I remember correctly, average drinks were about 80 cents. Drinking was heavy as duty-free prices were passed on to the passengers. As we sailed back into Sydney and the Tavern finally closed, some drunk passengers were asleep outside the closed door. Talking about pantyhose reminds me of the guy who won the fancy dress contest. He went as a "streaker" and opened his long coat to display his "crown jewels" made out of a stuffed pantyhose - the photo shop had record sales of his photo! As this so called cruise ship rocked and rolled a lot, I spent much time sitting on the midpoint of the Promenade deck. How ships have changed since then! Brian
  11. Yes, this number of positive reviews makes one suspicious - human nature being what it is; usually compels people to join Cruise Critic if they want to make a complaint about their cruise. Brian
  12. I can understand that almost all the CC reviews on Sinfonia's South Africa's cruises are from passengers with only 1 review as most are from SA. But I can't understand why there are so many this time compared to the last season - 104 for Nov & Dec 2017 compared to 4 for the same months in 2016 (same ship). During its Mediterranean season the average number per month is only a few with the highest total of 15 reviews in Aug What's even stranger is that 69% (72 out of 104) of the reviewers gave the top score of 5 for their cruise and only 10% (total of 11 out of 104) gave either a 1, 2 or 3. The year before had ratings of 2, 3 or 4 only. Either MSC is doing an amazing job or there's something funny going on in SA :confused:!!!??? Brian PS: We are cruising on Sinfonia in April.
  13. We love reading your adventures and it has been very helpful as we board the ship tomorrow.
  14. Thanks for the great advice. We fly to Singapore tomorrow for our cruise.
  15. Thanks for clearing that up - we are Sky Class. We wondered if we got the upgrade as we've just become Elite with Celebrity last week after our recent cruise. As this made us Diamond on RCI, maybe they thought if we experienced a suite we would cruise more with them. Also the deal when we booked a couple of months ago was a free upgrade from an outside cabin to a "guarantee" balcony. We hope we can be still happy with a balcony after this luxury;p.