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Everything posted by Eglesbrech

  1. Personally we prefer the Spey and Avon restaurants to the bigger and busier main dining room (though it is absolutely fine too). They are higher up the ship so a little more ships motion but smaller, quieter and usually with a decent sea view from the tables. Any wine you bring onboard will need to be handed in, it will be returned to you at the end of the cruise. Some of the merchants in Oporto will deliver straight to your home. There is another section of cc for ports of calls, you may get some advice there.
  2. Welcome to cruise critic. You are off to the Azures then and the meteor shower. How lovely. Balmoral is an older ship but has very elegant public areas. We love the crows nest and the lovely outside areas. If you haven’t thought about it already have a look at the speciality restaurants which are very good value if booked in advance. The afternoon tea is also very pleasant. Fred offer some interesting activities and very good guest speakers, usually experts in what you are going to see. We enjoy the cookery demos showcasing local foods. The martini events are also fun. If you have any questions the folks on here are all friendly and have a wealth of knowledge, someone will usually be able to help you. @jeanlyon is just back from the Azures so may have some suggestions.
  3. I drove down to visit family at the weekend and made a detour via Limekilns to see Braemar one last time. You could see she was on the move as her position had changed. Another nice old ship gone. We had some great cruises on her.
  4. I like that one but we could get creative with other events such as: - The early morning towel on the sunbed race - How high can you pile the plate with food in the buffet before it topples or the ever favourite - how many more people can squeeze into the already full lift Endless possibilities.😀
  5. Yes CPS can be booked independently as you say however in the last year it is sometimes closed off for forthcoming cruises. They are only taking the select complimentary bookings for some cruises. We were looking at a cruise in June last month and there was no pay for parking available even back then. My advice to anyone now is unless you are booking well in advance then check that you have parking (any parking) before pressing the button to book, as it is becoming more difficult to get at peak times. September is a nightmare during the boat show.
  6. We use them for heavy jackets on cold weather cruises, saves crushing clothes in the wardrobe. Oh hangs them from the ceiling which seems to have a stronger magnetic hold that the walls and they don’t slide down.
  7. We certainly get enough and very regular marketing….but no surveys and we always got them in the past.
  8. The interview I read quoted the CEO as saying two to three years after agreement is reached at government level. There will also be primary and secondary legislation requirements, which are outwith the gift of the airport authority. And he said two years last year as well, I think... so I wouldn't take that as a firm timetable just yet, more just putting pressure on the government! That’s why I said “apparently”.
  9. You must be special. We have had none and neither have any of our travelling companions.
  10. Great description of the process from the Juggle above. Edinburgh airport will apparently be providing this service in 2 years time according to their press releases.
  11. Surely listening to feedback is part of good customer service and part of a managers role? anyway each to their own.
  12. And the coal out in the yard in a bunker or coal hole. I used to love the stories my grandpa told me about the fire fairies. Simpler times.
  13. Like you I give feedback, good or bad while onboard but not in response to the Ents manager in the theatre. I don’t think I have ver seen anyone stand up and say “no”. Sometimes immediate feedback is simply ignored anyway making it a complete waste of breathe. We stopped at the desk to speak to the Maitre,d to give very positive feedback about our waiters in fixed dining (having been moved from freedom days before as it was nothing but long waits) and she all but ignored us. We gave the names I suspect they went in one ear and put the other. I used to give feedback on the survey post cruise but I haven’t had one of them since before the pandemic. Do they still do them?
  14. Glad you enjoyed it Jean. I kept a note of the company in the Azures for future use. Sounds ideal
  15. You are not alone, I have been up since 2am after about 3 hours sleep.
  16. My friend used her on line banking to show available funds in addition to cash she had and that was acceptable. Helpful information though Snow Hill as it would obviously depend on how strictly the regulations are applied by each officer checking.
  17. Just discovered that travel blog Jamie was on this particular cruise. He has posted a 3 part review. He comments on the poor food and the long waits and pager situation so obviously not just me.
  18. We are just off Aurora and passports were checked at La Rochelle on the way back onto the ship. It caught out several people in the queue. Some French ports have been doing this for a while now.
  19. Good idea @zap99 Its just one more thing to add to the list of preparation when travelling, which has become a lot less of a pleasure than it used to be. Next year may see the biometrics and visa requirements being implemented as well, unless they postpone yet again. The queues are already long enough at passport control. We were ages in January getting into Madeira as they only had 2 people on for 3 full flights, we were all British so couldn’t use the E gates anymore and they were taking longer to ask about booked accommodation (but not checking funds etc).
  20. For younger folks who are struggling to even pay for a holiday that’s a lot, particularly if they have paid in advance for example for all inclusive.
  21. Good question. In terms of legislation it probably does but whether they would apply it or not is an unknown.
  22. It seems they are now being applied more proactively.
  23. My friend is just back from Spain and she was stopped on the way in at passport control and asked to prove she had a minimum amount of (113) euros for each day of her stay (or demonstrable access to this money eg debit card). They were selecting random people and checking that they had a return or onward ticket, a place to stay and enough money for the duration of their stay. Apparently this law came into force in January 2022 but is now being actively applied n Spain. It applies to all European countries. I knew it always used to apply in Belgium in the past. Just so you are aware of it if you are travelling this summer. I don’t use online banking so couldn’t prove that my card holds sufficient funds, something I’ll have to change that just in case.
  24. As discussed on the Fred board there have been a number of subtle changes since the new CEO came into post. As many lines look to cut lots of extras, the only way Fred can perhaps differentiate themselves from the newer, better furbished ships with extra restaurants / activities/ balcony cabins etc is food, service and those little extra touches. Fred has always seemed to attract an older demographic and perhaps they need to embrace that, they just can’t compete for young families. They can’t compete with P&O on the style of the ships or indeed on price but they can by retaining some of the more traditional elements of cruising.. P&O have made it clear they are looking for the younger demographic on their new ships and have tailored what they offer to this demographic. Fred seem to be going after older special interest cruisers and offering more unusual itinerary’s to attract them.
  25. @jeanlyon how is the holiday going? Hope you are enjoying it.
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