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Thejuggler

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  1. If I wanted a day trip to Berlin I wouldn't start from Rostock!

     

    We did morning in Warnemunde and then an afternoon trip on the Molli train along the coast.  Very pleasant and we had a great young guide who explained what the area and life were like when it was part of East Germany (something most on the tour had forgotten about).

     

    The only downside was the tour arrived back 20 minutes before our set dining time.

  2. 43 minutes ago, ace2542 said:

    Did they help you. Where they calling people forward based upon the flight they where trying to catch? Like at the airport when your in the check in line and they call out a flight and ask if anyone is waiting.

    Sounds like the system worked.  We had passengers in the queue who were tight for flights departing around 11am (we were in the queue at about 10am), but airport staff were very good at calling out destinations and prioritising passengers with tight connections.

  3. We did pre clearance for a NYC holiday in August 2022 and compared to the arduous process which is US customs in NYC (which can take hours) it was fantastic and a choice I'd make again.

     

    We flew to Newark NJ from Leeds via Dublin and the following is the process at the time.

     

    As soon as you enter Dublin airport terminal you will be directed to pre clearance.  Lots of staff around  showing you where to go.  As there are many US flights within a few hours you will be in a queue of hundreds, but it flows quite quickly.

     

    You eventually reach an escalator with a US customs officer at the top who scans boarding cards.  Once you descend the escalator you are on virtual US soil and under US jurisdiction and border force laws.

     

    You then join another queue for formal US entry approval.  Passport, ESTA checked, photo and fingerprints taken.  Whilst in the queue the staff will call for passengers on the earlier flights so they don't miss them.

     

    Following this you go through the usual airport security scanning.

     

    You are then airside in the terminal.

     

    The whole process is very efficient and takes 60-90 minutes.

     

    At Newark from leaving the aircraft to picking up luggage and getting our taxi was 30 minutes.  Had we not had to wait for luggage it would have been about 5 minutes.

     

     

     

     

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  4. As long as its near a metro station getting to sites won't be a problem.

     

    If you are struggling to find somewhere I can recommend the Hotel Exe Cristal Palace, north of Placa Catalunya in L' Eixample, the heart of the upmarket shopping area and 5 minutes walk from Las Ramblas.  Its on a quieter cross street so no traffic noise disturbance.

     

    Passeig de Gracia Metro station a short walk.

  5. About the only time you will spend less than £5 on anything in London are public transport fares and they are cashless anyway.  Buses you just tap the reader when you board as its a flat fare, the tube you tap on entry and on exit so the fare can be calculated.  Most readers are on the ticket barrier gates at the station.  Some stations don't have barriers, but you are unlikely to venture to them if you are staying central.

     

    As a result the majority of people use cards or apple/google pay.

     

    I'd certainly set up every card on a phone as its a useful alternative.

  6. HOHO are great for an overview and the commentary is always useful if you get a knowledgable guide as there is so much history in London.

     

    However to get from one area to the next public transport is better.  Underground for longer trips, but for shorter hops use the buses.  They are plentiful, have a flat fare of £1.75 per trip (regardless of distance) and a daily cap, you just need contactless or Oyster payment cards (one per person).

     

    It needs some planning to know which bus and which stop, but Citymapper app can provide all this information.

     

    My last visit I took a seat on a bus and happened to be sat near a guide who had some visitors.  I had a free HOHO experience between the Tower and Trafalgar Square as he explained what was being seen along the route!

     

    Joolz Guides is a fantastic youtube channel if you want to know interesting facts about different areas of London.

  7. Le Verdon.  Not seen it on a trip for a long time.  Nothing worth getting off ship for, but after a day at sea you may want to.  Small town and huge beach.

     

    Cartagena smaller Spanish town, Barcelona and Cadiz offer more.

  8. The tour you have quoted was once called 'Norway in a Nutshell' a and it's the trip we did in about 2010.

     

    This may be a contentious opinion but the poorest part of the whole day for me was actually the Flam railway!  The coach drive through tunnels, along valleys and alongside the fjord was far more interesting.  Voss is not a particularly attractive place, being quite modern, but it is a main centre for outdoor pursuits.

     

    Its built on the edge of a lake and on our visit there was barely a cloud in the sky, lots of paragliders, even had a floatplane land on the water.  The buffet lunch in a local hotel was brilliant.  Had we paid it would have been about $80, so probably nearer $100 now (hence the price of the trip).

     

    The train from Voss climbs up the valley side to Myrdal before you change trains for the descent into Flam on the railway,  a lot of which is in tunnels and avalanche shelters which reduces its impact.

     

    On our visit the trip ran in both directions, so some did the Flam and Voss trains first before lunch and then returned on the coach.

     

    The day is expensive, but with a $100 (ish) cost of lunch it is well worth doing as you see so much more than the Flam railway in both directions,

  9. As someone who spends many hours of winter outside coaching and watching rugby its all about layering rather than brands.

     

    Merino wool baselayer, both top and bottom.

     

    Thin long sleeve sweatshirt or t shirt

     

    Fleece or hoodie

     

    Then either a down jacket if its dry or a rain jacket in the wet

     

    Fleece snood for the neck and a decent thick woolly hat

     

    Fleece inner gloves and waterproof outers.

     

    Thicker outdoor down trousers with a pair of waterproof outers,

     

    Thick long skiing socks.  Darntough, Bridgedale are a couple of brands.

     

    Now is a good time to buy as many stores will be having end of season sales.

     

    TKMaxx is worth a visit. They had lots of outdoor gear on sale a few weeks ago as its end of season. I also rate Decathlon if you have a store nearby,

     

    Helly Hansen has been my go to brand for outdoor coats for many years.  Sale on their website at the moment.  

     

     

     

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  10. 4 hours ago, 9265359 said:

     

    Jainism certainly is, and it is promoted within Hinduism and Buddhism and I am not sure that P&O would want to argue in court that it is not a requirement of a particular religion.

     

     

    Take a read of the Equality Act 2010 and then see if the courts would agree with that view.

     

    But irrespective of whether P&O are required to do this, it would be a pretty stupid business that would deliberately exclude a section of the population that want to give it money.

    P&O Ferries successfully argued the UK minimum wage legislation doesn't apply to them and had very bad publicity until the day after they took the decision to sack everyone, they are still operating ferries, The UK Equality Act will be no barrier as they aren't a UK land based company.

     

    They are getting bad publicity for being useless at vegan food so a day or two of bad publicity for removing it probably won't affect them too much.

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  11. Its a few years since we cruised, but the food court style buffet set up on Celebrity Eclipse was outstanding and streets ahead of similar sized P&O and Princess ships.

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  12. Providers need to make a choice.  If they are going to state vegan food can be catered for it needs to be and be done well.

     

    An excellent menu would have dishes which are so tempting even non vegans would choose them, as is the case with an Indian restaurant I visit regularly and I'm not vegan.  They are 100% vegetarian and over 50% are vegan dishes.

     

    However if the vegan option amounts to little more than variations of boiled rice with a few pieces of veg take the bad publicity and stop offering it as an option.

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  13. Both Flam and Gerainger are many many miles from the sea (Flam is on Sognefjord which is almost 130 miles from the coast at the furthest point!) as soon as you leave the North Sea you are therefore entering the fjord and will usually be cruising overnight, although depending on time of year it may not be dark for long.

     

    Get up as early as possible.  Head to buffet, coffee and enjoy the slow cruise to the port.

     

    • Like 1
  14. I can understand why it is difficult on a large bus to do both as a Vatican visit can be 5-6 hours if you do everything.  We visited Rome for a few days and had a 4pm Vatican tour, but even then had to meet at 3pm as it took an hour to walk to the ticket office and get through the ticket office 'quick' line!

     

    That leaves little time to go inside the Colisseum which is also a couple of hours, more if you want to see all the levels.

     

    A private tour will probably be the only way, signing up to the roll call may offer opportunity to join other passengers on smaller trips.

  15. We hired a car for two days on a 7 day holiday to Sardinia during late May about 10 years ago, but we were in the north near Alghero not around Cagliari.  We covered a few hundred trouble free miles and saw plenty.

     

    General thoughts was driving isn't as chaotic as the Italian mainland.  It was easy enough, plenty of motorways, roads not busy, roadsigns in towns pretty hopeless so satnav is required,

     

    Traffic police were everywhere checking speeds, which is also an issue as speed limit signs are sporadic, so know the limits before you travel.

     

    We hired our car from the hotel, but I'm sure you will find options online.

     

     

  16. The sail in and out of Oslo and two days in Stockholm is difficult to say no to. Both lovely cities with plenty to see and do.  Gdansk and Visby are places I'd need to really research and be convinced they offer more than those two do.

     

    Its so easy to get from Rotterdam to Amsterdam so I wouldn't see that as an inconvenience.  Trains every 5-10 minutes and only a 45 minute trip.

  17. I've visited a few times.  Town is small, walk along the front to see the coloured houses, stroll up the hill behind the main street and there are walks along the headland to the lighthouse which takes about half an hour each way,

     

    Distillery is in the town centre and interesting to fill an hour, but go there first and book a time slot for later in the day as numbers are limited on each tour.

     

    If you want to see more there is a public bus service to Craignure or Calgary Bay (which is stunning if the weather is good).

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