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Lottie A

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About Lottie A

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

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  • Interests
    Cruising, Playing my Violin, learning Italian and Cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Azamara, Celebrity, Cunard Oceania and P&O
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Not at all being contrary at all Phil. Just not agreeing with your post that Quai Amiral can’t ever be used to embark/disembark because of luggage issues. Both Pam and I have embarked and disembarked at Quai Amiral in Nice on occasion and we were just giving that information to the OP. Trying to be helpful for the OP. Don’t know why you think that is contrary? I know you have an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things Azamara and I respect that. I have also been at Commerce Quai for embark in the past. As I said, my personal opinion on Uber taxi’s is just that. Your opinion is different and that’s OK with me. I know many people, including yourself use them a lot with no problems. I prefer not to for personal reasons, as I said.
  2. This tent was at the Quai Amiral quay Phil. Having embarked from Nice many times I do know the difference. I have never used an Uber taxi either and don't ever intend to. A friend once had a very unpleasant experience with an Uber driver and when she reported him to the Police it turned out that he had never been CRB checked and had a record of assault. I know many people use Uber and are happy with them but I am not.
  3. Phil, I have also embarked and disembarked at Quai Amiral Infernet in Nice. As I remember there was a tent set up next to the ship for luggage and Ryszard was very efficiently (of course) directing the whole procedure. Our taxi driver had first taken us to the Quai de Commerce quay by mistake and then had to go around, so I guess they don't use Quai Amiral that much.
  4. How is that possible? Early dinner starts at 6:15/6:30 pm so the early diner show is after early sitting dinner..,about 9:30 pm give or take 15 mins or so. And then vice verse for the late sitting...it has been on my Fred cruises anyway but I stand to be corrected if that’s not the general consensus! 😄 I’m on Balmoral in a week so I can check it out.
  5. Yes there are two shows a night. The early show for late sitting dining is about 7:30 pm ish and the late show for early sitting dining is around 9:30 pm ish. Precise times will be in your Daily Paper or on the Fred Olsen phone app which I find very usable for all kinds of info onboard. It’s free to use, no internet package is needed.
  6. Yes, that cruise is sold out I think. Well done on getting such a good price. If your Azamazing Evening is in the Goldoni Theatre in Livorno it will be wonderful. I have done it at least five times. It’s not heavy Opera at all and I think you will love it. Have a wonderful cruise and I will be thinking of you on Quest when I’m sailing up The Seine to Rouen and Honfleur on Balmoral...also on Oct 19th!
  7. Not at all Tring. That seems like amazing value for Azamara! What’s the itinerary if you don’t mind me asking? Is it a repo cruise as they do sometimes have very good discounts. My next Azamara 9 night cruise as a solo is costing me over £4000 and that’s without the flights or transfers in an OV cabin. I do have high loyalty with Azamara and so I had 7% off with substantial OBC but it was still over £4000 to pay. By the time I have booked flights, transfers, transport to Heathrow and a pre cruise hotel I expect the cost to approach £5000. I am going with friends and I know we will have a wonderful time but it’s still a lot of money for 9 nights on an OV cabin. They used to have solo supplements of 25%-50% but those days have long gone. Anyway isn’t it great to have all these options? Now I have taken early retirement I intend to cruise or holiday at least every 6 weeks or so. Life is short!
  8. Here is a photo of the little port of Swinoujscie in Poland, taken from a balcony on Balmoral this morning, The weather looks glorious and it seems like an unusual and attractive little port. I understand it was a late substitution as the port they intended to go to on the Kiel canal had some damage.
  9. Tring, you will love Azamara. Compared to Fred the prices are much higher of course, but the Azamara onboard experience is truly the best. I just wish I could also say that about the AZ pre cruise info and admin but I can't as it's dismal. Fred Olsen beats them every time with their very usable app, cruise documentation and even printed luggage tags. With Azamara it's a "Blue Peter" type job with a printer, double sided tape and staples. 🙁 I have only recently started cruising solo and Azamara solo prices are just extortionate now, so I'm happy to have found Fred who do very good solo prices (especially when I book through my local specialist solo travel agent) but of course, I will still do my essential Azamara fix at least twice a year. It just won't be four or five times a year anymore.
  10. I also think they only had a short few hours in Ijmuiden so there was not enough time to get to Amsterdam anyway. That would be disappointing to me. Looking at the Fred Olsen Facebook page it seems that many passengers onboard are happy with the itinerary but of course, being a primarily British passenger mix ...there are a few moaners! 😂 Balmoral is in a little Polish port called Swinoujscie today. Apparently it has parks, museums and a lighthouse with views over the harbour and the Baltic Sea. I would never book a Mystery Cruise as I like to know where I am going and enjoy researching the ports but they do seem popular with Fred passengers and generally good value.
  11. Well, I would never book a Mystery cruise as I like to know where I’m going! However this one does seem to be a bit of a disaster for Fred and according to The Daily Wail some passengers have staged a “sit in” onboard Balmoral. Needless to say, the reporting from this rag was over sensationalised. The ports were Great Yarmouth, Dunkirk and the industrial port of Ijmuiden which is 20 miles from Amsterdam. Some passengers were not happy with these ports at all. I believe Balmoral is now in The Kiel Canal so next Port is possibly Warnemunde? The recent Mystery cruise on Braemar seems to have been a success though. They visited Aviles in Spain, Bordeaux overnight and Falmouth ...all very nice ports. I’m on Balmoral in less than a month for a little jaunt up The Seine to Rouen and Honfleur and I can’t wait.
  12. Yes, thanks Ann for a very informative and detailed blog, as well as your excellent photo's. I have looked forward to reading it every day during a very difficult family time for me, so thanks again. Hope your Hotel stay is great too.
  13. I’m on the Balmoral Rouen/Honfleur cruise next month too. I have been to both ports before and they are lovely. Really looking forward to the cruise along the river Seine as well.
  14. I am surprised you think Fred Olsen fares are high Britboys. I think they are very reasonable indeed, especially for solo passengers. I can do three cruises on Fred for the price of one solo cruise on Azamara, especially when I book through my solo cruiser specialist. I am not allowed to recommend a travel agent on here but if you google specialist solo cruise travel agents you will find some marvellous bargains on Fred. Never book directly with Fred Olsen themselves as much better prices for solo’s can be found in travel agents who are solo cruise specialists. That goes for all cruise lines of course, not just Fred. I am really quite “passionate” about that! 😄
  15. I certainly could smell it on my island tour of Corsica in July. It smells like eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender mixed together to me.
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