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mr walker

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Everything posted by mr walker

  1. Yes, but where are the "60-80% OFF" signs normally associated with closing down sales?? πŸ™‚
  2. I don't know but I am sure it's a lot more than people let on. I had a work colleague who often got a 'free' P&O cruise (3/4N) courtesy of casino play. They always downplayed their donations to the machines, but I know they were not putting just the odd $20 in πŸ™‚
  3. We have used CBA travel money cards for OS travel for 10 years, for purchases and taking cash from ATMs. The main use has been to pay our onboard account on RC cruises, using pre-loaded US$. We were advised that 'money-cards' can be used on cruises as long as they have a name on them. Advice at the time was that the pre-bought 'anonymous' money cards bought from retail outlets would not be accepted onboard. We have never tried so I can't comment on that. We have registered our cards on-line ahead of the cruise each time, just like we would an A$ regular credit card, and have never had a problem.
  4. Our Princess Captain's Circle & P&O Cruiseling Codes numbers are the same. We did nothing to make this happen, so it must be somehow 'automatic'. Our Carnival VIFP # is different.
  5. To clarify, my suggestion to focus on Australian animals is Featherdale, if that fits with your plans. Featherdale is located at Doonside in Sydney's west, and is best visited as part of a trip to Blue Mountains to make the best of your time. The most convenient way to do this is as a day trip with one of the Tour operators, which are not cheap, but you will see everything to see. It is possible to take the train to Blacktown to visit Featherdale, taking a bus from Blacktown.
  6. Good find Chill. I'd been looking for a good price Celebrity cruise to try it out - we had one booked for 2021 that didn’t happen. Unfortunately can’t do this one as already booked on Ovation to NZ at that time. It will get us to D+ on RC, so Elite+ on Celebrity on the new match deal
  7. For a number of years we relied on our CBA CC complimentary travel insurance. It's worth was never tested as we never made a claim. Later my employer's insurance included 'personal' travel for me & my family for travel on the same trip, so I changed my CC to a cheaper one without the included TI. As I retired in 2022, I no longer have the business travel insurance as part of my job, and have been paying for travel insurance, which seems to be getting more & more expensive. I am about to start application for a new CC with included TI. One I have seen has no monthly fees if I use the card for charges $2-4,000 per month, which should be fine, at least until we run out of money πŸ™‚
  8. What ship & what are the dates for this cruise please. Cheers Oh, I now see 11June was in the thread title 😞
  9. I'm sure I recall that a long time ago (20+ years) someone suggested to me to have an email account that was not an internet provider account eg bigpond, optus etc. "What happens if you change providers?" was the question. I chose to have a 'yahoo' one, & still have today. I have a lot of contacts who use gmail. I had a work colleague who had a bipond address & he always seemed to have issues, and at one point had to start again with a different bigpond account, losing all his history. Good luck to all.
  10. Yes I have heard of some dodging the surcharge that way - seems like hard work to me. I’ve also read of people driving to near the airport, like Tempe, parking their car in residential street & taking a taxi the short ride to airport. Works for some I guess😳
  11. I'm sure you're right & they have it back to front or 'a#se about' as my Dad would have said. Purchasing OBC can make sense if the onboard charges are not in $A. For example RC, with charges in USD, it can make sense to buy ahead, depending on Fx rate being offered. They don't seem to change the going rate offered too often, so you can come out ahead. For ones that are in $A, it doesn't make sense to me, except perhaps for those who consider that anything they pre-paid is somehow monopoly money, & they are not paying anything for their purchases, as they already paid πŸ˜‰
  12. We have always taken OS visitors to Featherdale for that very reason. Most want to see our unique fauna, up close and personal, not so much elephants, lions & tigers etc that can be just like any zoo in the world. Taronga is great, and the location makes visiting from Sydney CBD easy, but it is the location and the views that presents that makes it great more than the 'locals' that everyone wants to see.
  13. Like Chilli, I'm not familiar with Smartrider. We have Gold Opal cards & they give us unlimited travel within the Greater Sydney transport network (trains, buses, ferries, light rail) for a maximum of $2.50 per day, every day of the week. Great value. Of course, the special 'airport line' fee is not included. Still, less than $20 each way from Penrith to/from airport is still good value.
  14. The most important thing to remember when driving in a place which is opposite to what you are used to is that, no matter where you are driving, YOU, as the driver, should always be closer to the centre of the road than your passenger.
  15. Learnt to drive in a manual & my first car was manual - manuals were cheaper than automatics in those days. Tracey learnt in a automatic so changed to auto & been that way for almost 50 years 😳 Have driven a few manuals (rentals & borrows) over the years, but modern cities make automatic a more sensible choice. Euro cars with reversed blinkers & wiper controls are always interesting.
  16. Yes it was pretty much the same for us last year, so just went ahead & renewed. At the time there was warnings of long delays - it took 1 week 😳
  17. I was once told that the Aust Govt cannot refuse entry to a returning Australian citizen even if their passport has expired - your passport expiring does not cancel your citizenship, else anyone that doesn't renew would become stateless. This challenge of course would be getting on the flight/ship to get to Australia without a valid current passport, with the carrier likely reverting to the 6 month rule. I'm good to June 2033 πŸ™‚
  18. My experience also. Seems, they often work on the theory that giving you a more expensive vehicle should make you happier.
  19. I’ve often heard that the reason that seemingly all Sth Pacific islands cruises call to Noumea is that it is a fueling point for the ships. Is this true? Does the ships not carry enough fuel for 7/8/9 days round trip from Sydney? I actually really like Noumea. We have seem pretty much there is to see, but love the views across Lemon Bay enjoying a nice local brew at La Barca as the world passes by.
  20. That was our experience also - we could book for whatever night we wanted in any of the 3 restaurants. Upon boarding, we found in our cabin a schedule for dining, rotating thru the 3 restaurants for the full length of the cruise. After trying Dragon Lady & Angelos for one night each as per the schedule, we then dined each night at Waterfront making a booking for the same time, same table every night for the rest of the cruise. Food is of course subjective, and maybe 'Asian Fusion' is not for me, but 3 very little 'KFC type' chicken pieces with a dipping sauce & a few sprigs of vege shoots for garnish/side salad is not a main in any restaurant I would return to. 'Nuff from me on this topic.
  21. Eileen, we are not 'foodies' at all, grew up on meat & 3 veg, so more pub & club type food - steaks, parmi, fish & chips, hamburgers etc. One thing we have always enjoyed when cruising is trying all the different meals offered & the dining has always been a highlight of our 20+ cruises (RC, Princess, Carnival). Not so on P&O unfortunately - very limited menus in MDR & food not so great. We had gone with a low expectation & that was well met. The 3 rotating restaurants (asian fusion, Italian & 'general' cuisine) didn't work well for us, & we struggled to find more than 1 dish we would enjoy in the first 2, and thus went to the other one after the 3rd night. Also, the 'ambience' lighting (almost dark) was weird. We still got fed but it was not a good match for us. We went on a RC cruise about a month after the P&O cruise, and first night in MDR I looked at menu and said to Tracey - "now we are on a cruise". We didn't try any specialty restaurants. The ship was good - no problems, apart from an often stink on Deck 7 (near & in Adventure Hotel) & staff were all friendly and tried their best. There was a distinct lack of organisation onboard re tendering and disembark, but maybe we expected too much. Your experience may be different & I hope you do enjoy
  22. I am no expert, but these are my thoughts exactly, and perhaps part of the reason that previous votes for independence have voted NO. The difference is stark between New Caledonia & Vanuatu in terms of govt services etc. Enquiries a few years ago about taking donations for schools in the region led to advice to donate to Vanuatu & Fiji, rather than NC, as we were told that schools in NC were well funded and they don't need donations. I hope for all of the people there, it can all be sorted soon. We love to visit Noumea on our cruises, and enjoy our visits to some of the outer areas of NC.
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