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Everything posted by Coravel

  1. So sorry to hear of your nightmare scenario Egelbrech, it’s a horrible situation to be in. When the same problem happened to us on that ship our maximum speed was just 10 knots and we had to use a deep way harbour in San Diego to get it fixed. The ship was crippled basically.
  2. I should imagine many potential customers are too worried about rising bills to book a cruise at the moment.
  3. We may have had the discount because the captain was to blame for steering the ship through an area known to contain fishing nets. There were a number of retired BP tanker captains on the cruise and they kicked up such a fuss that the captain was replaced in San Diego.
  4. That must have been incredibly annoying since Sorrento and Amalfi were the highlights of the cruise. Did they give you a voucher for a discount on a future cruise? When our Californian cruise was ruined because of a fishing net getting wrapped around a propellor we had to rearrange the itinerary because our speed was halved and ports were cancelled. Everyone was given a voucher for 10% off a future cruise.
  5. We live in an apartment block so our building insurance is paid out of the service charge. Contents insurance is our responsibility. Fortunately neighbours are happy to keep an eye on everything and there are CCTV cameras on every floor of the building. All our long cruises have been on the Balmoral and they've all been very enjoyable. I could happily spend my entire life on board if money was not a consideration.
  6. I've made a list of insurance companies that cater for oldies to find out if the Antarctic cruise next January is a possibility. I have a number of reservations about it including the fact that most of the ports are a repeat of our 2012 cruise around South America on the Balmoral. Cuba is one I've not visited so far. My wife is far more keen than me to book it!
  7. You clearly made the most of your day there Barbara and I'm pleased you had such a good time. I'm resigned to missing a port on every cruise but it's ironic that it always seems to be the one we were most looking forward to. It's just one of those things - my parents rarely left the country and my grandparents didn't go further than the West Country or Wales. We are the luckiest generation ever born where ordinary people are able to literally travel the world for leisure. We also realise that it will soon come to an end for us because of age issues - primarily myself. My wife is coming up to 72 so she will be able to get insurance for another eight years yet. Our cruising friends are slightly older than us but use bank insurance which we do not believe is safe. They are millionaires so can bail themselves out if they come a cropper. We would probably become bankrupt so it's either proper insurance or we don't go at all.
  8. It was the port I had most looked forward to because as a teenager in the 60s it was possible for me to listen to American pop music on Voice of America broadcasting from Tangier. Never in a million years did I think I might one day pay it a visit - and I still haven't! But a second and more recent reason is that close friends of ours have a daughter who works as an estate agent in Tangier. I've met her and her husband several times and they wanted to show us around. Next time maybe.
  9. Bolette didn't make it to Tangier because it wasn't allowed in owing to high Covid levels. We went to Gibraltar instead but after the ship sailed out we were told that 19 members of crew were waiting to board the ship at Tangier so we had to visit after all! But we had to park in the bay while a local tug transferred the crew members to the ship seven at a time. At least we can say we were close enough to have a good view of the town. I hope the Balmoral visits Menorca in October because they have axed all the ports of call we were looking forward to and left us with ones we visited earlier this month or have not previously heard of. We are really looking forward to Menorca as we have not been there before!
  10. Best to check online to find out if the tours are available. It's easier to book that way and you will be able to view the tours booklet which may contain additional excursions. Log in with your booking reference.
  11. That's great news! I hope they get rid of those useless trace bands too.
  12. They will test all passengers at the terminal before they are allowed on the ship but when we went a couple of weeks ago it was all incredibly quick.
  13. We only saw Pepsi but we tend not to buy fizzy drinks other than tonic water or ginger. Lanson is available along with other Champagnes and various proseccos. I'm certain someone else might provide you with better information.
  14. Many thanks for the review. We are on the Balmoral at the end of September to it's good to know they also have a colours and tastes restaurant. The attention given by staff on the Bolette's C&T was awesome.
  15. We've been in deck 2 and 3 inside cabins near the bow and can vouch we have heard absolutely no noise at all. The cabins have plenty of space and have lots of wardrobes and drawers. Most can be converted to a double bed if you wish.
  16. No complaints about staff on the Bolette who were all very friendly and hard working these past 18 days.
  17. We left the ship this morning after an 18 night Balkans cruise. Over 100 passengers were declared to have Covid and estimates were twice as high as that. The policy according to the captain was anyone with a positive test had to quarantine for 10 days but since the Government say we now have to live with Covid testing was not mandatory. It was clear from the amount of coughing that most adopted the latter course. Embarkation was incredibly slick with absolutely no hold ups apart from waiting for the results of the Covid Tests. Disembarkation was equally efficient as Deck 3 starboard passengers were in the baggage hall before 8.30 am. A few of the ports such as those in Albania and Bosnia were not really geared up for tourists and we were allegedly the first cruise ship to visit. All part of the Olsen adventure! Food has improved somewhat in the View but was mediocre in the Bloomsbury restaurant. Lots sent food back because of quality or lack of warmth. The show company was more polished since I was last aboard in December but it was the same cast. The supporting acts have been returning for decades and I can't watch them anymore. Some of the "enrichment talks" were very good, especially the ones on DNA profiling and the scientist talking about black holes and Einstein.
  18. A river cruise has always appealed to me although it would mean flying to the farthest point and flying home again at the end. Whilst I enjoy flying and even waiting in departure lounges, my wife absolutely hates it.
  19. The "other" port may well have been Sevastopol as we visited it along with Yalta during a Black Sea cruise in around 2005. We were looking forward to Odessa, Constanta and Batumi on the September cruise but it was not to be. What they have done is to substitute Croatian, Greek and Turkish ports of call. I've definitely not visited most of the Greek ports before but they seem very interesting from an historical point of view.
  20. I notice that cases in the UK increased by 53% in the past week and Princess Cruise Lines have brought back mandatory mask wearing. Other cruise lines just might follow suit. A positive test onboard results in 10 days cabin confinement which would wreck any holiday. Perhaps it's time for a bit more caution.
  21. We were supposed to visit Visby some years ago but fog prevented the tenders from being launched. The deal we had by accepting the revised itinerary was excellent. There was a 10% discount because of problems with a previous cruise and I get an affinity discount because I was a BP employee. Add the Oceans discount and yet a further £700 added to our on-board account. I have to admit being disappointed that the best bits of the itinerary were axed and much of the new itinerary is a repeat of the Balkans cruise next week. Our friends pulled out of the Black Sea cruise and switched to the Antarctic voyage next year. I don't really care where we go as long as we are on a ship!
  22. We will find out if the grill has reopened when we sail on our "not the Black Sea cruise" in September. Lots of fond memories of that restaurant over the years. It seems you had an enjoyable cruise Barbara.
  23. I'm sailing on the Bolette from Tuesday next week and our information from FOCL is that masks are only mandatory during check-in. Provided you pass the lateral flow covid test, once you board the ship you can make your own decisions regarding masks. We won't be wearing any on the ship! As for getting off the ship at ports you are free to do as you please. However, if you travel on a bus or visit certain shops such as pharmacies, masks are still mandatory. The pre-departure health questionnaire is no longer a requirement even though the blurb they send out claims that it is.
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