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About dsrdsrdsr

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  1. Lerwick's a sheltered port - between two islands. It's unlikely to be cancelled in summer unless (as the post earlier says) the sea as a whole is too rough for the ships. The ferry to Aberdeen is rarely cancelled in summer, and those ferries are smaller than all but the smallest cruise ships.
  2. That's impressive. In the Panama Canal, the narrow parts, they fasten the ship to railway engines on either side to keep it straight. But that just seemed to have a single tug - how does that work?
  3. Cruises from the UK sail from almost any port. My next one goes from Liverpool. I have also sailed there from Southampton, Tilbury, Glasgow, Hull, Newcastle. Look for Fred Olsen, P&O, Cruises & Maritime among others.
  4. It's fairly normal, in Europe at least, that if the customer books anything and pays a deposit, and then the customer cancels for some reason which is no fault of the supplier, then it's the customer's risk. It would be reasonable but pointless to complain to the cruise company for not getting you there, or you could claim on insurance, but it isn't the supplier's fault and he shouldn't be expected to bear your risks. He could, after all, have perhaps sold the trip to someone else. This may be a US / Europe cultural difference.
  5. So this girl was gang raped by 12 men - and then what? She went back to her cabin and neither grandparents nor sisters noticed anything was wrong? Seems unlikely. (As does the idea that 12 passengers could be found in a random group to take advantage of any drunk female regardless of age, but that of course is possible. But like all conspiracies, the first difficulty is finding the willing conspirators without ever finding someone who won't play; 12 random men in a bar seems to be a long shot.) As for the idea that 15 year olds should be supervised at all times - it is surely nonsense. I know that parents sit with toddlers in the cabin rather than leave them alone, but 15 year olds? Do people really put their 15 year old daughter to bed and then sit in the cabin to ensure she doesn't sneak out? Surely not.
  6. The Hurtigruten ship Finnmarken has a heated pool, and runs up and down the Norwegian coast every 11 days throughout the year. Though it's pretty cold getting in and out of the pool!
  7. Not a lot. I had a couple of hours to kill while changing trains.
  8. The one thing Sweden has not yet solved is how to receive money. Not normally a problem for tourists, but at present the only cashless way to receive money as opposed to spending it, is to buy a very expensive internet-enabled mobile phone.
  9. Context is valuable. I've been to the oldest house in Los Angeles, and wouldn't say the experience was worthless just because my own house is bigger and older.
  10. On your first trip to Norway, you don't need to splash out on excursions. Especially now you can do internet research - first time I went, my mother had to write to all the tourist offices and get them to send things on paper! At Bergen you will either dock or be taken by bus to a place near the city centre; at Stavanger you will dock actually in the city centre. Geiranger, Flam, Olden and Andalsnes are all rural and you can just get off the ship and go for a walk to look at the scenery. No need to travel inland. The Flam railway, assuming you can get a ticket, starts 200 yards (if that) from the harbour. Other places in Norway are similar. There are few places where excursions are a must-do. As for cruise lines on a budget, Fred Olsen or Cruises and Maritime are the two relatively cheapest. Both have few frills but IMO do not miss out on anything that's worth the extra money. That's because essentially I go for the ports and scenery, and as long as the ship provides good food, comfortable beds, and a little bit in the way of entertainment, I'm happy. Look on their various boards on here for details.
  11. Under UK law, at least, they can't make changes that completely change the holiday - eg. taking you to a different country. My Shearings/A-Rosa holiday has it in their terms and conditions that if they make a major change (which this is) then they will offer a full refund in advance.
  12. A quick info for our American readers - in the UK it is illegal to have high powered electrics in the bathroom, because of the risk of electrocution. Even light switches have to be string-pull or else outside the bathroom door. But yes, I took a lot more out of your review than that! Maybe take in a performance at the Globe next time?
  13. My recommendation would be Hurtigruten in mid-March. I flew to Norway, took the train across to Bergen, and the full round trip. Mid-March gives almost 12 hours daylight so you see plenty of scenery, but also is still winter so the mountains are covered in snow. If you can do it our way, following a snowstorm all the way up and down the coast (or so it seemed), the snow is always pristine and fresh! You don't get long on shore at most places, but the ship does run special tours that leave at one port and meet up again at the next.
  14. Smacks of bribery to me. I tend to assume that people who are getting paid to do a job will do the job well anyway without further bribes; if they won't do a good job because they don't think basic salary is enough, then they ought to get a different job. Of course, American bar staff (they tell me) don't get paid a proper wage and rely on tips. That doesn't apply on cruise ships that sail out of the UK; I don't know about American ships. But if the 18% auto tip is a tip, then that is enough.
  15. I know it's a year ago, but I doubt that any cruise line would be especially impressed with a claim that says the jewellery was stolen from my cabin in the first night but I didn't notice until I got home.
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