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About Denarius

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Lancashire, England
  • Interests
    Music, cinema, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Star Clippers
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Not been on Easter Sunday but have been to Santa Cruz on a normal Sunday. Bars and cafes are open but most shops other than those targeting the tourist trade are closed. There is however, a hugh Sunday morning market in the streets around the Our Lady of Africa (market). I don't know whether this will be open as usual on Easter Sunday but it may be worth making enquiries if you would be interested.
  2. ...but not to socialise. To me the Sunset Bar cried out to be a venue where you could relax with a drink on a warm evening, like the terrace bar on Oceana or the equivalent bars on the Celebrity Eclipse class ships. Instead, half of it was colonised by the Beach House and off limits to non diners, whilst the other half was a smoking area and covered by a fug of tobacco smoke. A missed oportunity imo.
  3. Sailed on both and much prefer Azura. She feels like a ship, with a proper promenade deck and plenty of connection with the sea. Britannia on the other hand, to me feels like a hotel with a keel. Almost as though they were trying to keep that nasty wet thing out of sight and mind, it is even difficult to see the sea from the "rooftop" swimming pool. Britannia has a much better buffet than Azura, whose buffet is too small and always overcrowded. On the other hand, the Glasshouse on Azura is a proper self contained wine bar with plenty of seating whereas that on Briannia is merely a part of the atrium balcony and is more focussed on dining than socialising. The absence of stairs in the centre of Britannia makes waiting for lifts a pain in the behind as she has only the same number of lifts as Azura for 500 more passengers.
  4. So do I. I always thought that part of the exercise as far as the staff were concerned was to assess how long it took all passengers to get to their muster stations after the alarm was sounded.
  5. Agreed. I suspect that the majority of long standing P&O passengers prefer the smaller ships and for many Iona is a step to far. This was brought home on a recent cruise on Oceana (3 Oct, Canaries) when at the Peninsular coctail party the anouncements re Iona were met with an obvious lack of enthusiasm. So much so that the officer making the announcements actually commented on the fact! It is interesting that the new Cunard ship being introduced in 2022 is roughly the size of Azura and Ventura; 113K tonnes and 3000 passengers.
  6. It is. I am sailing on Azura in January and recieved a tours brochure with the old wording yesterday. Today I received an email from P&O which stated Oops...we made a mistake Mr*******, we wanted to get in touch to say sorry and to set the record straight; a communication you may have received contained some incorrect information regarding tipping on your holiday. It included our old tipping policy (a discretionary service charge of £7 a day for guests aged 12 and over). In fact, great service is now included as standard on all P&O Cruises holidays and we'd like to reassure you it's all very much part and parcel of your experience. No tips are required or expected. We're sorry for any confusion this may have caused and look forward to welcoming you on board for a relaxing and carefree holiday.
  7. I agree. Whilst I prefer casual dress, I am quite happy to don black tie if there is a special occasion to do so. A special occasion like the captain's reception or the gala dinner. I am less happy to do so when there is nothing special about the evening but black tie is to be worn simply because it has been decreed that there should be a certain number of such evenings on the cruise.
  8. I believe that P&O (in the typical British manner) brought out the sledgehammer to crack the nut. There was I believe, a minor problem concerning stag and hen parties where it became increasingly common for special items of clothing etc to be commisioned for the occasion, often featuring risque images or wording. Harmless fun to many but offensive to others. Rather than target the specific problem and just ban clothing etc bearing sexually offensive wording or images P&O opted to ban fancy dress full stop. A gross overeaction imo.
  9. For a single gentleman of a certain age such as myself the new Saga ships, with only 1000 passengers and 80 single cabins, look an attractive proposition!
  10. For the benefit of those fairly new to cruising, the dress code for the evening was determined by the movements of the ship that day. First and last nights were casual. Subject to this, any evenings in port or when the ship sailed after dinner were casual: Days at sea were formal: All other evenings were informal, which meant a jacket and tie for men. This meant that the balance of dress codes could vary considerably from cruise to cruise.
  11. In cruising as in life itself, things change. If we had been sailing a century ago and had been fortunate enough to afford first class, white tie and tails would heve been worn at dinner. P&O tend not to be in the vanguard of change and to follow the pack at a safe distance. But change they do, eventually - often by trialling change on one or two ships and rolling it out across the fleet if it is in general well recieved. Most cruise lines which still have formal nights now restrict them to one a week and many - like Regent, Oceania, Azamara, Star Clippers, NCL, Celebrity... - no longer have them, if they ever had. Some of the latter lines are much more expensive than P&O, this is not a "class" thing but more one of lifestyle. I expect that P&O will extend this to the rest of the fleet pretty quickly and may even do so at the same time Iona comes into service.
  12. I joined Oceana on this flight, 2:05pm from Manchester, on 3 Oct. The flight was one and a half hours late and we finally arrived onboard at 8:30 - too late for the 8:15 safety drill, a special briefing was held for us in the theatre at 9:15. Coming home, our flight was timed at 7:30pm and we left the ship at 4:40. I booked a day cabin, balcony at £70, so that I could make best use of the day and shower before disembarking. The flight was again delayed and it was about 11pm when we landed at Manchester. Not ideal arrangements!
  13. Back to topic. As someone who has cruised with P&O for some time, I have definately seen marked changes in eating and associated behaviour patterns over the years. When I first sailed with them, lunch was served for a very limited time in both mdr and buffet; something like noon until 2 pm. Both then opened for afternoon tea at 4pm. Many passsengers tended to rush ashore as soon as the ship docked, then return for lunch. Never miss a free meal! Nowadays food of some kind is available all day, and passenger behaviour reflects this. People tend to go ashore and return later, in the knowledge that they will be able to get something on their return. Often they do not return until after lunch service in the mdr has finished, inevitably resulting in a lower uptake.
  14. A very relevant point. Whilst I personally prefer all casual cruises, I am quite happy to dress in black tie if there is good reason to do so. A special occasion such as the captains reception, the black and white ball, the gala dinner.... After all, special occasions on shore such as professional dinners are often (usually?) black tie. What I do object to however, is being asked to wear black tie on what is otherwise just a normal evening simply because it has been decreed that there will be a certain number of such evenings during the cruise.
  15. I did Northern Cyclades and Southern Cyclades "back to back" in 2016. The current itineraries appear to be same except thet on Northern Cyclades we visited Monemvasia not Spetses. Both itineraries are good, but I prefered the Southern one because Patmos and Amorgos were a little too underdeveloped for my personal tastes; I much preferred Hydra and Rhodes, and Bodrum is better than Kursadasi unless you want to go to Ephesus. Mykonos is however much better than Santorini. Santorini looks lovely from below and the views from the top are stupendous, but the town itself is nothing but streets full of tourist tat shops without any character; something that Mykonos has in abundance.
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