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About groovechick

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  1. My adult daughter's petite and we've had several instances of her being barged out of the way/knocked over by rampaging passengers when queing for tenders/getting on and off shuttles/entering/exiting the theatre or other busy venue. As a result she now tends to cling on to me or her 6 ft athlete brother for dear life whenever we are in a busy area. Two instances I've seen in our handful of cruises: elderly gentleman in a motorised wheelchair lashing out with his walking stick at anyone he perceived to be in his way and swearing like a trooper, this in the middle of the day in a mildly busy area; elderly couple at dinner in the MDR clicking their fingers at the waiter, shouting "Come here boy", talking about him as if he wasn't there when he was serving them and generally treating the lovely waiter like dirt, with the kind of attitude one associates with colonial types in films set around the turn of the century.
  2. The hairdriers are the standard, beige chain hotel type. I have medium length, quite thick hair, my daughter has long, thick hair and we have always found them adequate. They do have Marmite in the buffet and probably in the MDR too, but it's the little pre-packed pots. My family tried it once and declared it digusting, nothing like the real thing, so I would say approach with caution, i.e. don't slather it all over your toast, taste it first. Yes, there is a kettle, mugs, teaspoons, tea, coffee, hot chocolate, sugar and milk sachets in the cabin, which will be replenished every day. Your cabin steward will probably notice which you use more of and tend to give you more of tea, coffee or whatever accordingly. They used to also provide biscuits, but this seems a bit hit and miss now from some reports. If you don't like the milk in sachets, there are little jugs on the breakfast counter above the cereals in the buffet and large jugs of milk, so you can fill a little jug and take it back to your cabin to keep in the fridge.
  3. Yes, of course you can, but if you ask questions in the specific Ports of Call section you're likely to get a wider range /more detailed information. Think it was when we went to the fjords that I got fantastic information from someone from Ohio! If you list your ports of call that will help too - the P&O itineraries change all the time. There are great beaches on most of the islands - just depends whether you want lively or quiet, lots of facilities or just a café/bar and toilets, whether you want a beach that's good for snorkelling, whether you want to stay reasonably close to port or are happy to go further afield.... you get the picture 😊
  4. You would probably be as well to pay for a tour from the quayside for her. I know you won't be able to "give" it to her in advance, but you are pretty certain to get better value for money. When you dock you will see lots of taxis and mini buses quayside offering tours of various lengths. If you want to have something definitely booked in advance, I can highly recommend John Lopez of Gibraltar Rock Tours https://www.gibraltar-rock-tours.com/. The four of us took a tour with him and it was absolutely brilliant. He looked after us superbly and was funny, informative, solicitous of our welfare, all you could wish for.
  5. When we did the Caribbean on Britannia there were quite a few ladies in full length dresses, although it was Christmas, so maybe that made a difference.
  6. The OP said it was the outside area of the buffet - does that make a difference? Not questioning your correctness, I genuinely don't know as I and none of my immediate family are smokers.
  7. Just wondering - by "P&O shore officials", do you mean shoreside staff employed by P&O or subcontracted to P&O? Perhaps, if they do not often go aboard the ships, they are not aware of the general no smoking rule? Also, I'm in no way endorsing smoking or vaping (I'm a non-smoker), but I know from friends/family who do or have smoked that it is often a reflex. Psychologically it's the fact of having something in your hand/mouth that is almost as important as the actual nicotine addiction (which is why many people who give up smoking either take up hobbies that keep their hands busy, or eat sweets/snacks and their weight goes up!). The person in question probably didn't even consciously register the fact that he was lighting up the second time, rather than deliberately flouting the rules.
  8. When we've booked with P&O through a TA, we have always had to complete a form that included details of our travel insurer, the insurer's emergency contact no. and our next of kin. On one occasion we weren't able to provide some of the insurance info. immediately (confusion over emergency contact no. IIRC) and the TA chased us frequently, as did P&O, until provided.
  9. But look how much capacity has been added since then. Britannia came on line in March (?) 2015, RCI has launched about 6 ships, Iona's on her way - I make that about 24,000 passenger spaces to fill. I'm no mathematician, but it would seem to me that there is a max. no. of people likely to be in the market for a cruise at any given time, and this upsurge will at some point tail off through natural attrition (age/finances/changing tastes/tried it don't like it). When numbers do level off they will be fighting tooth and nail to fill the places. Let's hope it's reflected in the prices for customers and not in cuts to services/staff pay.
  10. On Grenada we took an tour organised in advance with Grenada Sunsation. This was back in 2015, I think the cost was about $35 or 40 pp and was really good. Covered all the main sights on the island and our guide Glenn was so knowledgeable, especially about the indigenous plants and spices. Antigua - Scenic Tours, $33 pp, 6 1/2 hour tour of the island, covering all the main sights. You can also add a beach option for a few dollars more. St Maarten - Twin Island Tours: tour of the island including time at a lovely beach, shopping in Marigot, all the main sights, plus an ice box in the car with all the fruit juice/water/rum punch/beer you could want.
  11. Yes, my daughter received something in the post every day last week. I also receive e-mails most days. Wouldn't mind if they were genuine special offers/discounts, but there's nothing like that. It's not just that P&O has more ships to fill, so do all the lines, and even though more people are cruising than ever before, there has to be a finite number of potential passengers.
  12. Whilst the captain would never make a difference to me choosing a cruise, I do think it affects the overall cruise because of the mood it generates on board, especially with the crew. Our first P&O cruise in recent times was on Aurora with Neil Turnbull, a summer holiday cruise to the fjords. We thought he was great, our children got to know him and his wife a little better because our son played with his children, and he is a really lovely man. He did a Captain's Q&A, which was hilarious. The atmosphere on board was great, all the crew seemed very happy and a couple of them told me they loved having him as captain. Next was Azura under Paul Brown, with Neil Oliver as Cruise Director. Again a very enjoyable cruise, although PB is much less visible and sociable. Entertainment was excellent, though. Britannia under the same PB/NO combination was a disappointment, despite it being her maiden season in the Caribbean and a Christmas/New Year cruise. PB hardly seen, staff seemed very demotivated and grumpy, entertainment very good to excellent, but NO had got very big for his boots and wouldn't deign to even say hello to passengers. Finally Aurora under Wesley Dunlop, again generally very happy, pleasant atmosphere on board. Capt Dunlop quite visible around the ship - eating in the buffet, strolling around the deck, etc., and always had a word for passengers and crew. CD was Jon Bartram - entertainment was OK, some good Headliners shows, but very disorganised - equipment not available, not working, members of entertainments team not turning up to run quizzes, etc, or turning up late. All these cruises have been in school holidays, so peak times and that may make a difference too.
  13. A mini sewing kit - never needed it yet, but the one time I don't take it... Also a tiny cheap religious medal that came from a St Patrick's Day badge sent to me by my long-departed Nana - my good luck charm.
  14. Why should it not be fresh? It's kept refrigerated in the galley/hold. We buy 3-4 large bottles of milk per week from our supermarket (ensuring they are long dated) and it is very unusual for us to have to throw any away after a week or more. Usually the last bottle is a fresh as the first.
  15. Usually, on a shelf above the buffet breakfast cereals counter, or maybe at one end of the counter, there is a shelf with small jugs, and then big jugs of milk on the counter for use in cereals or if you want a glass of milk. We fill a small jug with milk, take it back to the room and keep it in the fridge. During our last cruise on Aurora it kept plenty cool enough and a jug was sufficient for 3/4 cups of tea/coffee. The steward removed the used jug when he gave us fresh mugs, repeat process for the next day.
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