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john watson

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  1. In recent times P&O cruises which used to be an autonomous independent cruise line, is now managed with an over all control by Carnival Corporation. Major decisions like new ships seem to be centrally ordered and allocated by the central management of the corporation. An example of this is Queen Victoria/Arcadia and new huge ships suddenly arriving and others departing the fleet. I wonder how much influence comes down to the day to day running of cruises. Certainly Amsterdam ifs corporation wide, but how much else is decided by them also? If there is a policy on anything, it might not emanate from P&O. Do not forget that Carnival Corporation have had to face some major problems in the last decade or so; fatal tendering accidents, Costa Concordia and pollution fines. Most problems are unrelated to P&O. Regards John
  2. I am wondering if this line of thinking stand up to scrutiny. Does a cruise line have to pay any fees for a no show whether a berth was booked or an anchorage arranged? In the event of not stopping at a port, I am thinking that the passengers booked in on shore excursions will be refunded. This will not be financially good for the cruise line. The only way I think the cruise line could benefit is if it could arrange a late alternative port with a financial incentive from the new port, but they would presumably be out of pocket from the one they missed. Regards John
  3. I think P&O have a disabled passenger section at Carnival House. I think you should phone them. They deal with such matters as booking a disabled cabin, suitability of mobility scooters in relation to type and whether they will fit in your cabin, manual wheelchair users etc. etc.. A range of excursions are often available at the ports but sometimes get cancelled due to lack of participants. They keep them separate to stop the limited places being snapped up by people who do not need a tail lift etc. If you book these places you really need to be disabled/mobility challenged or travelling with a disabled/mobility challenged passenger. You will be on their booking or need to reciprocally link the two bookings then book via the special unit at Carnival House. Also consider looking into assisted boarding and or assisted disembarkation this latter service can be booked at reception on board. You disregard the standard disembarkation schedule and wait in the disembarkation lounge as advised on board at the time, and wait for the pushers to collect you and push you off together with your party. Things may have changed but phone and discuss the current arrangements with P&O at Carnival House. Regards John
  4. When folded correctly the information left on the outside helps the porters and crew direct the cases to the correct stairwell, forward/midships/aft and deck number. It describes your cabin number, voyage A bit like a postcode to efficiently get the cases to the correct deck and right end of the ship. Similarly the cruise number to make sure they do not reload disembarking cases back onto the ship etc. Personal information, name, phone number is on the inside, discretely for security reasons and only if a case is thought to be lost they can contact you on your mobile. You would not want this information too easy to read by people, by casual observation of suitcases who could deduce you are away from your home for a week or whatever. Anyone working with suitcase handling caught on camera peeking inside luggage labels will be asked to explain their actions. It seems you have correctly got the labels constructed. Regards John
  5. john watson


    Some hotels are suspicious of people with no luggage. It sometimes looks like you have just met up in a local night club or something. Although this "simply keep you luggage with you" is radical, I think it is the best way to roll. Then there is no embarrassing explanations at hotel check in as to why you have no luggage and "Do you sell toothbrushes?" incidents are avoided as it looks long term planned. Regards John
  6. I am now 61, started cruising with Cunard at age of 7 in 1964. First P&O cruise in 1968 on Oronsay. Since then have done many cruises as my father was a travel agent then I worked at the same travel agents for fifteen years. Regards John
  7. Crucially it is either the first or second night as it tends to vary but neither is ideal. Last night is always more tricky with luggage leaving outside cabin etc. The only consolation is huge numbers of people self-help disembark. Regards John
  8. I think you mean St. Helier in Jersey as opposed to St. Peter Port Guernsey. I think the Jersey problem is not being able to accept large ships. I went there recently on Pacific Princess on a British Isles cruise unfortunately the small ships P&O has had in the past have been moved on. Regards John
  9. If this ruling comes into place P&O will only be peripherally affected in comparison to other Carnival Corporation brands. Many of those do round trip cruises from US ports, Ft. Lauderdale, Los Angeles, San Francisco etc. Cunard does transatlantic shuttle, New York for the bulk of its QM2 voyages. Only a few P&O port stops include the US. I cannot see that a US judge will completely prevent all Carnival brands from docking in the US other than for 30 days or something if at all. Regards John
  10. This change was made before leaving Southampton due to anticipated terrible weather in the Guernsey area. I have also been on a Cunard five nighter with three ports scheduled. It was calculated as we left Southampton that the first port would be missed due to weather, this was a three port itinerary. Amazingly the first port was rescheduled to be the third port, one of the other ports was rescheduled into a different order and one port was cancelled completely. Finally a completely unscheduled port, Rotterdam was put on. So we got three ports, it can be done but this was off season pre-Christmas shopping when I suspect cruise terminals are slack on trade. Regards John
  11. Last cruise I went on was scheduled to go to Guernsey (Princess), it was decided before leaving Southampton to substitute due to storms in the Guernsey area. We went to Brest. Regards John
  12. Not sure on the VAT aspect but the Guernsey two nighters allow duty free purchases unlike the Bruges two nighters. This must make stag/hen nights extremely viable. Regards John
  13. We successfully got ashore on a Princess cruise at Guernsey. The weather changed later in the day and the sea became incredibly choppy. The tender was going up and down by a metre. Tendering was suspended at the ship's tender dock leaving five tenders circling just off the ship for over an hour. One tender ran out of fuel. Our tender had an elderly lady on it who suggested she was having a heart attack. She was sitting very close to me. Apparently her GTN spray was on the ship. I asked her if she had any aspirin, another passenger did so that was handy. She had no drink but a returning crew member had a mineral water thus sorting the short term problem out. The guy driving the tender announced a "medical emergency" over his radio which was on speaker mode. As soon as the ship's tender dock reopened he announced our tender was coming in. Unfortunately another tender beat us to it due to positioning at the time of reopening. So we rushed in second and hit the tender dock so hard it was like airbags should go off. People were screaming, the guy came down from the steering wheel position and pulled out a huge plastic ball shaped fender to put between us and the ship. He then returned to the driver's seat and we came alongside. There was still a couple of feet difference going up and down and we all got back on the ship safely. There have been fatalities in the transfer phase of tendering with other lines, so even if you do have tenders operating you have got to assess your own capabilities regarding agility. Regards John
  14. On a positive note, every time there was a bodge an unlimited "Free Drinks" policy was introduced by the cruise line at the hotels and on board. The eighteen sea days cruise was hit by a storm. One American guy just got a plate of breakfast when the ship rolled at an incredible angle. He ran down the hill across the ship chased by about fifteen chairs smashed himself into a pillar and stopped breathing for a couple of minutes. Doctor resusitated him bandaged his chest up, broken ribs, I think. He spent three days in bed with his cabin door propped open. We all took turns of going in for a chat with "Bob". Eventually he was back out and about. The final day doctor consoled him and said he thought he might have died earlier. Bob was a bit irritated apparently as he could not get his chosen airport. He had a four flight schedule organised by the cruise line back to where he had parked. The real gripe was other passengers had his preferred airport on a two flight schedule organised by the cruise line. His cruising buddy emailed me after the cruise was over and said Bob's wife had left him for another man whilst he was away. I always am of the opinion that it could be a lot worse. KLM upgraded me to Premier Economy on the flight to St. Maarten. Regards John
  15. It never docks, it anchors. If you get ashore look out for the "HARBOUR MASTER" he has a little rowing boat with the aforementioned sign on it. It looks ridiculous. Regards John
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