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Everything posted by Thejuggler

  1. £500 will be an estimate of what isn't spent on board when a solo person travels. An ex colleague does 4-5 cruises a year as a solo traveller. She spends nothing when on board.
  2. There's not much in Stornoway town to fill a day, so you need to get out, but there isn't much on Lewis (I stayed for a week a couple of years ago)! Callanish Standing Stones, Gearannan Blackhouse Village and maybe a Harris Tweed weaver. Scenery isn't as spectacular as other areas of Scotland, largely flat peat moorland, but some of the beaches are spectacular if the sun is shining.
  3. There are a number of tour companies operating tours from Greenock Port. A google search will reveal them. Contact them directly and see if they will quote for a tailor made day out to Falkirk Wheel. They may also suggest a visit to The Kelpies as that attraction isn't far. Journey from Greenock to the wheel is about an hour and the boat trip on the wheel is also an hour.
  4. I've enjoyed all our Norway cruises, but they have all included actual fjord cruising deep into the heart of the country. The ports on that trip are all more or less coastal. Andalsnes is at the end of a short fjord, which is little more than a coastal inlet. The town offers very little to do, but it is good to get to see Troll Road and Trollstigen, but both need good weather.
  5. The bank brand isn't really relevant, if cards issued are Visa or Mastercard there should be no issues using it.
  6. Similar response to another post. Premierinns are all very similar. Plus rooms have fridge, coffee machine and faster wifi. There are plenty in central London, none will be far from sights. To get from Heathrow to central London take the Elizabeth line service to a station near your hotel (Tottenham Court Road is central for Westminster/Waterloo) then jump in a black cab which will take you to the front door of the hotel. Easier than changing trains and lines on the Underground and then still being left with a walk, this can be an issue at larger tube stations which have multiple exits. A black London taxi to central London is £80+.
  7. Always have insurance. However helicopter airlifts from UK waters are generally undertaken by UK Coastguard service for which there is no charge.
  8. A black cab from the rank outside the terminal will be about £80-90 and take about an hour. Most popular way is now Elizabeth Line, but rather than navigate tube station interchanges which can involve long walks and escalators I'd get to Tottenham Court Road, exit the station, hail a black cab and they will take you to the hotel front door less than 2 miles away in 10 - 15 minutes. £15 or so.
  9. Many schools have complete autonomy on holiday dates so avoiding them completely isn't easy. Private schools have far more holiday. July and August are always out, Scotland finish late June. September and early October are probably quiet, mid November to early December and Jan-March if Easter is in April probably aren't months when families go cruising. Of course the alternative is to choose an adult only ship or cruises less popular with families.
  10. Grand class ships layout and accessibility are considered very poor and always have been, even with refits. Madeira (and Portugal in general) prices show how expensive the UK has become. In Faro last year I went in a bar for two 330ml bottles of Super Bock and took a €10 note. It cost me €2.60. Coffees were never more than €1.50.
  11. Manchester Airport latest offers email is giving 24% off lounge access and parking.
  12. Norway is all about fjords cruising and over the years the routes have changed significantly, both due to ships getting larger and Norway clamping down on visitor numbers. Flaam, Gerainger, Olden were the classic inland stops, but Olden seems to be the main port stop for P&O. Of the three its the last I'd choose. If its a one off trip look at doing a 14 day cruise so you can get to the North Cape.
  13. I watched the programme and it is incredible how they are built, but that's only three years of the story and you can't tell much of three years in a short documentary. A detailed look at all the design work leading to the first day of build would be interesting.
  14. If considering a tuk tuk confirm the price before getting in. Some advertise a price then reveal at the end if the trip it is per person.
  15. Whilst you can walk, you go from sea level to hundreds of feet above in a mile or so. Its a far easier downhill walk back!
  16. New cruisers go for shiny new things as they have more to offer. 15 or so years ago when Ventura was launched as the the largest P&O ship that would have been the fun ship (outdoor circus school and trampolines anyone?) with the older now long retired ships offering something completely different,
  17. Only you know what you booked. You need a flex rate then you can book at the new price and cancel the original more expensive booking. Flex most expensive can be cancelled and refunded Standard mid price date can be changed but not cancelled or refunded Non flex no refunds no changes.
  18. There has been a live stream from Manchester Airport this morning, but its gone off air just minutes before it lands!
  19. P&O will act as an agent for the flights, so they will arrange flights which meet your requirements. Departure and arrival airports, routing, seat class etc If you aren't London based and don't want to do a London connection Emirates are an obvious choice as they fly to Dubai from most major UK airports with connections via Dubai. Have a play with Google flights and see what comes up.
  20. A hotel the night before is less stressful. It doesn't have to be in Southampton, I just look for the cheapest hotel (usually Premierinn) within no more than an hours drive from the port. Parking depends which line you are sailing with. For first trip I'd use the recommended company. ABP is brilliant as the car is parked and left next to the ship. CPS is a bit of a faff as its valet parking so you need to queue to hand over keys and then pick the car up from the terminal car park on the return.
  21. I don't know if its still the case but when we cruised the waiters would remove the drinks menu from the table whether you ordered or not so they knew your table had been 'visited'.
  22. 3-3-3 is all economy layout and fine for a hop to the Med but not longhaul. 2-4-2 was the lower density option for the A330 and much more appealing. Monarch had the same 3-3-3 on their A300s and it was purgatory on Goa flights, especially when coupled with a 28 inch pitch. The only bonus was they had to refuel in the Middle East so you did get a break after 7 hours or so!
  23. We've been on three fjords cruises with P&O and Celebrity, Arrival has always been early morning, berthed by 8am (part of fjords cruising is getting up early to experience the fjord and arrival). Back on board has always been around 5pm. Port websites are often the most reliable source of arrival and departure times. There are excursions to pulpit rock, or you can DIY from Stavanger.
  24. Changed 'plane' could actually mean changed 'airline'.
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