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ozscotart

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About ozscotart

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Scotland
  • Interests
    Travel, art , ferries
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL

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  1. NCL are very good with special diets : please make sure that when you are served food that it is the special diets waiter who is serving the food or if not, check and double check with the waiter that they understand that it is an allergy and the food is prepared separately. I would not use the buffet or room service or o’sheehans (we do use o’sheehans for breakfast but I’m told it’s a very small kitchen with a strong risk of cross contamination, I have intolerance only so a bit of cc isn’t going to kill me) only the mdr and specialty restaurants with all meals preordered via the special diets waiter. Contact the maitre d’ in the larger mdr after boarding to organise this.
  2. I totally agree : we have found NCL best of the cruises we’ve done in recent years for dietary issues. We were assigned a special diets waiter and he or she handled my needs. You will be able to dine in the mdr and specialty restaurants but the buffet and the pub are probably best avoided. There is, I think, some variation in how it is handled on different ships, but following the advice above, and mentioning to every waiter you deal with the seriousness of the issue (my husband has a standard message “she needs gluten and dairy free food and she will get very ill if she eats gluten or dairy”. Also, if it’s not the special diets waiter bringing the food check that she is receiving the actual meal ordered etc etc. No doubt you are already very used to this. GF choices on the menu obviously won’t be suitable for coeliac you’ll need to specify gf for coeliac so it is prepared separately. I would also take some snacks for excursions. But we have had great cruises since we switched to NCL , it really takes the worry away to be able to eat nice food on holiday safely,.
  3. I’ve just realised we are talking about coeliac here, you will need to stick to the MDR and speciality restaurants and mention to each waiter about coeliac to ensure you get the maitre d’ or chef’s attention if the meal has not been preordered.The special diets waiters are excellent and well informed on coeliac. My husband usually mentions my needs each time. I would also suggest bringing some packaged snacks onboard for excursions (where you can take them ashore). GF desserts are variable, so if she has a sweet tooth you might bring some packaged sweets.
  4. Notify NCL via your travel agent or direct, they will send you a form. They can cater without notification for the usual allergies and kosher diets but it is helpful to notify in advance. On embarkation meet with the maitre d’ to discuss your requirements, if complicated they may assign the special diets waiter to you, and you can, if necessary, order every meal through them. They are very helpful. It is better going this route, the normal waiters are helpful but not fully informed about every potential variation in allergies or other dietary requirements. NCL is by far the best cruise line I’ve experienced for dealing with this.
  5. We’ve stayed a number of times at the Crowne Plaza Changi , it’s one of our favourite hotels, it is inside the airport. Raymond is a great host in the club lounge, extremely helpful.
  6. We were recently on an Asian itinerary from Japan to Singapore, I ended up in the wheelchair from Taiwan onwards but can walk with sticks. We stopped in the port for Bangkok, we have been before, and did not go into Bangkok, it was 2 hours each way from the port. I would have a look at the excursion to the Ancient City, this is an attraction that has models of Thai houses and so on, I thought the length of the excursion would be too much for me and we did a shuttle to Pattaya instead, which wasn’t exciting. The last time we were in Bangkok we took taxis, very reasonable, and i went to the Jim Thomson house, this is partly accessible, and on the boats. We did also go on the sky train, the station near us was accessible, but many footpaths are not good, they don’t have lowered curbs, people park on the footpath etc. I wasn’t in the wheelchair then, though very limited mobility, and can’t be certain that these places are fully accessible. In so far as I recall, disabled toilet facilities are few. In Vietnam, we did ships excursions that avoided Saigon, the one we did was fairly dull, but was partly accessible including the refreshment stop. The one we did in Nha Trang to the Cham temple was less accessible than I thought it would be, roads and footpaths are quite difficult. I think a taxi might be the thing in Thailand, it is a developed country though definitely has a lower awareness of disability, Bangkok is a fascinating city and if your ship does an overnight you could stay in a hotel, and get around by taxi.
  7. Re flying with the rollator, you should have no problem with an European airline as long as it folds. Bungee cords are a good idea. We just flew to Malta, from Edinburgh, with Ryanair with a rollator, no problem. We were able to hand it over at the aircraft, I was in wheelchair, husband handled the rollator. They used the ambilift for the largish contingent of people in wheelchairs, with sticks, walkers etc. The same the other end. You are dependent on the airport as far as handling of the Walker is concerned. I generally ring the assistance desk at the airport to check procedures because they are different everywhere. Airlines staff frequently don’t know the details. Re the Luas : it should be accessible, it’s a while since I’ve been on it. Buses in Europe are generally fully accessible and I generally travel by bus. Euan’s Guide is a great resource, produced here in Edinburgh: https://www.euansguide.com/ The only negative thing about Europe is cobbled streets, picturesque but hard to negotiate with your rollator! There is not always a dropped curb, including here in Edinburgh, so that can make life slightly more difficult.
  8. We cruised on the Jewel very recently from Japan to Singapore and the vast majority of passengers were British, American, Canadian and Australian. There were some people from Singapore and the Philippines but few people from east Asia. Most people were English speaking. Possibly the shorter cruises starting and ending in Japan might attract more East Asian people. We’ll probably find out next year, we had a great time and plan to go back to Japan and do another cruise, probably starting and ending there. Yokohama was a very easy port to cruise from and we found Japan fascinating.
  9. We often have breakfast in O'Sheehans on cruises : it is not suitable for Coeliac due to possible cross contamination in the very small kitchen they have, but if you stick to simple breakfast foods (eggs), and get gluten free bread it can be an excellent option for gluten intolerant people. Coeliacs are best sticking to the MDR for all meals, or Cagneys (excellent for gf) or other speciality restaurants ordered in advance through your special diets waiter. In general, we've found NCL to be very good with special diets, and this is the main reason we cruise with them. The handling and availability of food varies a bit depending on the chefs and the special diets waiter/s, but overall much better than other cruise lines we've been on recently. You do need to double check every time you get served a dish with waiters who are not the special diets waiters that what they are serving you is Gf etc, they often have a more limited understanding. I am also lactose intolerant and so my main issue usually is about do I get dessert that isn't 'fruit plate' or 'sorbet'. On longer cruises this can get very tedious though obviously not life threatening. I usually take some snacks for a change onboard and for excursions.
  10. Thanks for that, I must look out for it when down south, I like Yorkshire Gold myself. Though, there are issues whether you drink it in a hard or soft water area. We were recently in Bath where my Yorkshire Gold didn’t taste the same, Angus pointed out that Yorkshire and Scottish teas are made for soft water and Bath is a hard water area. Bath is very near Cardiff, I wonder if Glengettie is made for hard water ? And is the water hard or soft on ships ?
  11. The coffee maker does not get hot enough for tea, they do sometimes have PG tips, which I am not a fan of, bring your own tea and use the boiling water in the buffet. You may think me crazy but I also don’t there are any adequate teas in the US, even British brands seem not the same as Scotland anyway.
  12. I have several dietary intolerances (not allergies though they can have unpleasant consequences) and found NCL excellent at handling them. This was on the Jade and the Jewel. They allocated a special diets waiter to take your orders the night before for the next days dinner, we were able to dine safely in any restaurant this way. You need to contact the special needs people, they will send a form to fill out. On the first day of the cruise contact the maitre’d and outline the issues. I usually try to do this on the first lunch in the main dining room. I would recommend against eating in the buffet in the case of peanut allergy. I was able to eat breakfast in most venues as I eat a very simple breakfast, but the risk of cross contamination would be high in most breakfast places for allergies except for the main dining room. I would not risk room service.
  13. We are just off Norwegian Jewel, I had to rent a wheelchair from NCL after a couple of days, you have to pay for the chair for the whole of the cruise, it was $340 for 16 days, it did have special needs at sea logo on it but was rented to us by the ship. We were able to take it ashore.
  14. Hi there, we’re just off the Jewel, we booked via a well known US based travel agent (they have UK phone numbers) , they are cheaper than NCL in the UK and you don’t have to book the all inclusive UK package. We used our cruise next certificates with no problems. We did have the drinks package via that booking, you have to pay the service charge on the value of the package, not the individual drinks. I gather that you can buy the package on board on the first day, people were saying it was USD99, I think that might be per person, am not sure, plus 20%. We thought we had good value by booking via the US rather than in the UK, but you do have to do your sums. Drinks prices on board are in the $9-12 range +20%, so it is worth thinking about.
  15. We have just embarked in Yokohama on the Norwegian Jewel. It has all been excellent so far. We stayed in Yokohama at the Hotel New Grand, this is a very comfortable hotel, accessible, with several restaurants and opposite Yama****a park. The airport bus from Haneda stops outside the hotel. The hotel was great with my food requirements, this is quite hard in Japan with a lack of English nearly everywhere. Th hotel is relatively near the cruise port, we got a taxi but sem people walked. People are very helpful and considerate. When you get to the cruise terminal tell them you require assistance and they will direct you to the disabled waiting area. We found we had to flag down the wheelchair guys as they had no real instructions on what to do, but no real problems with embarkation. They will put in priority as normal. Re excursions in Yokohama, we were very jet lagged, coming from Edinburgh but people coming from the US seemed just as bad, I found I managed to do things in the mornings. We took the tourist bus from outside the hotel, I mainly went to the Sogo department store (amazing) but Angus went around happily on the bus, I don’t think there’s a huge amount to see in Yokohama but I think it is easier than Tokyo. We plan to go back to Japan, it’s great, but I will plan very carefully when going to Tokyo, a woman on the cruise showed me a video she took of people crossing the road in Tokyo, it was very scary ! Sent from my iPad using Forums
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