CRUISING.

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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:20 pm

Remember we berthed next to each other in some Caribbean Island , Joyce? You were late departing and we just arrived on Azura. I waived to lots of folks on your ship including the Bridge Team as we were only the quay width away.
Anything planned, it looks like the Caribbean might be iffy this year? Regards Ken
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Matt » Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:22 pm

Have to agree with you concerning tips Ernie.We have always thought that good service deserves a good tip
and we both think Oceania has gone a little wild with what they expect a passenger to pay.I don't understand this tax on the boutiques
on board though.The shops on board cannot open while you are in port same as the casino and we have never paid taxes on anything
we have ever bought and are at duty free prices.I bought Sheila a diamond,gold and ruby bracelet for our 48th anniversary
last April and I have seen the same carat weight in diamonds ,rubies etc for more than $1000 in excess of what I paid on the Regatta.
I think Sheila and I are quite lucky as we do not pay tips anymore because we have sailed with Oceania over 10 times(next one will be our 14th cruise)
and also our shipoard credit goes up quite substantially this trip(Hong Kong,Vietnam,Singapore fly home from Bangkok) which will pay for my couple of Tiger beers
and a bottle or two of Merlot for the boss.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Elaine Goulding » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:10 am

Ken, you say the pictures are a selection of smaller plates........I would need a wheelbarrow to get me off the ship as I know I would want to try EVERYTHING!!!!
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:42 am

I won't mention the Afternoon Teas then Elaine ( which we've never been to )
Actually you get into a discipline which otherwise you could get in to trouble weight wise but gym and sauna and lots of deck walking help, allegedly :D K
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:18 am

All ships have 24/7 meals available but, as Ken says, discipline is the word.

When we first started I usually gained 1lb per day so a stone on a normal cruise duration.

I now seldom gain weight and our motto is to eat what you need ..... not what you SEE.

You can always recognise folk new to cruising doing balancing acts with their massively overladen plates at the buffets.

Just eat from the massive top quality selection not available at home but only small amounts. Just a little but more often.

We reckon food is not wasted by leaving it but more likely overeating and being uncomfortable and gaining unwanted bulk.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby lynne99 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:20 am

Joy, I'm going from Salford because my cousins live in Marple and I'm going with them. Stopping over night and going from there.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby bjones » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:28 am

Lynne, sorry I should have read your original post more carefully :( we did the opposite direction. You can do your Outlet shopping before your cruise and maybe, before the bus back, you could nip over the road to 30 James St to take in the fab view whilst you have a drink on the 7th floor terrace bar.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby lynne99 » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:33 am

WHAT! big waves and heights all in the same day :oops:
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby bjones » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:49 am

Lynne :lol: , you may not experience any big waves but there are a few drops from the locks on the way and a couple of hairy moments when you don't believe that big boat will get through the narrow bits of the canal..... a stiff G&T would set you up for the bus nicely and you can almost look a Liver Bird in the eye at the same time.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:03 am

I feel sick reading this :oops: :lol: K
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby bjones » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:11 am

Oh dear Ken,,,... I expect the Qwells help :lol: On which subject did anyone else have to take them even for a short "charra" trip?
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:13 am

Haven't got me "Canal legs" :wink: K
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:24 am

On our big trip the Cruise Director was a Scouser called John Bartram, he did the Southampton to Sydney half.
For a man who spends most of his life at sea I've never seen anyone suffering so badly from sea sickness as him. He had his favourite place on deck trying to recover, some days he was ashen, some days green but however bad he was he was always on form opening the show in the theatre each night. We'd pass him each day doing our morning laps all cheerful and jolly and this poor lad was suffering, even in modest seas. All the passengers would greet him , "Hi John, alright? " the poor lad would respond " fine thanks, how are you, lovely day" but we all knew he was dying. :wink: Ken :D
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:19 pm

As the European Winter approaches, late October, P&O reposition 3 ships in the Caribbean for fly cruises operating out of Barbados & St Lucia. Main ports of calls are Antigua, St Marten, Tortola (BVI) and many others. These will be seriously impacted by Hurricane Irma damage and whatever follows. Many Brits with Caribbean cruises booked will be following developments closely. :wink: Ken
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Matt » Thu Sep 07, 2017 4:09 pm

Hi Ken,I think this year a Caribbean cruise is "no go".Three more hurricanes are developing so
it looks like this is going to be the worst season ever.St.Maarten airport has been just about destroyed and even though it just skirted Puerto Rico
over 1 million without power because of Irma.Cruise ships are scattered all over the Caribbean :( and even the cruises to see the "Colours of Fall")
on the Atlantic seaboard starting in Halifax Canada are in danger of cancellation.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby bjones » Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:47 pm

Invicta wrote:Haven't got me "Canal legs" :wink: K


Too long since you took your raft under Cookson's Bridge hey Ken :lol:
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:35 pm

bjones wrote:
Invicta wrote:Haven't got me "Canal legs" :wink: K


Too long since you took your raft under Cookson's Bridge hey Ken :lol:


Really Bee, she was a very nice girl, became a Nun , I believe :oops: :wink: K
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Eddy Lloyd » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:20 am

We've not long booked a carribean cruise for the end of January, going from Montego Bay to Honduras, Belize etc then staying a week in Jamaica, if it's still there :(
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:25 am

Which Line is that Eddy? Jamaica or Belize not mentioned in damage so far but lots of Islands between have. Good luck with that. We are booked but not until March 2018. Ken
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Matt » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:57 pm

Hi Eddy this is from the news paper "Jamaica Gleaner"
However, the question is whether Jamaica will see the worst of it, and the answer is "probably not." But, of course, storm paths are very hard to predict.
Up to now the hurricanes have hit the Eastern Caribbean and left the Western part(Roatan Honduras,Belize,Grand Cayman and the rest )alone.
There was a little damage in Honduras but that was from the 8.1 earthquake last night in Mexico.
Happy cruising Eddy
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:06 pm

Hi Matt, That Earthquake hit Huatulco where we stopped last January. Tiny port , beach 200m from the berth, one of our best days.
Image
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Matt » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:22 pm

Love Santa Maria Huatulco Ken.Been there for a two week lay on the beach vacation.Hard to get to from Vancouver Island but
well worth it once you are there.I have a scouse friend in Duncan(from Scotty Road) devout Everton supporter :D
and that is the only place in Mexico he will go to.His family has been going there for years so much so he is now
one of the family at a small mom and pop hotel.The hotel hangs an Everton shield above the reception desk :lol: :lol:
They got a small tsunami (just over 1 metre) so the beautiful beach is still there .So sad for that area though.In a poor country
those surrounding Mexican States are among the poorest.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:48 pm

Our friends there are Snowbirds who vacate Winnipeg for the Winter and drive down Matt :D
No problem for Jack, he's a long distance trucker often running frozen chips to South Texas.
Ken
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:57 pm

Hi Eddie. Wish you had called me.

I was a snow bird and spent about ten English winters living in Florida. Thousands of North Americans and Canadians do it every year but everyone avoids June 1st to 30th Nov. which is the 'official' hurricane season. The name 'snowbird' comes from folk flying home from Florida before the windy season starts. That's why you will always get cheap hols. for that time of the year in that part of the world.

Your cruise will be fine in January but expect to see the vast majority of the islands badly storm damaged. They take years to recover from the usual hurricanes but this time will be the worst on record and it is so vast that none of the islands will have escaped at least some damage. .

I can't see any reason for you to cancel but If you paid in US Dollars then you will get a full refund but if you paid in sterling then it will be more difficult unless you got a good contract (usually through one of the very few good agents).

You already know from this thread that the best cruise is that for the couple concerned and although the carib. and Alaska are the most popular cruise destinations. Our favourite is the Greek Islands where the people are most welcoming, weather is usually fantastic, the seas are smooth and every island provides a different and individual memorable experience.

You wouldn't know you were on a different Caribbean Island from the last if it wasn't for the sign with its name on it.

Pretty well all cruise queries are answered in the Berlitz Cruise Book. No cruiser should ever be without it.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Matt » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:30 pm

Sorry but you are a little incorrect about "snowbirds"Ernie.They stay right through Hurricane season.
A snowbird is a person who moves from the higher latitudes and colder climates of the northern United States and Canada and migrates southward in winter to warmer locales such as Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, or elsewhere along the Sun Belt of the southern United States, Mexico, and areas of the Caribbean.
A seasonal infestation of Yankees (as well as Midwesterners and Canadians) in sunny warm states in the South such as Florida (and also out West in Arizona). A snowbird is an elderly Yankee that migrates down to the South to winter when their natural habitat of New York, Ohio, or Michigan is too cold for them. Their migration begins in early September and lasts until April.
You can spot a snowbird by it’s white or graying hair color (or sometimes light blue or orange from a dye job gone bad), it’s pastel coloured clothes, use of sweaters, socks in sandals or white tennis shoes, dark coloured over sized sun glasses, and of course it’s irritating Yankee accent. They tend to drive over sized gas guzzling cars such as Lincolns and Cadillac’s because they are retired and have the money to spend.
Typically known to drive well under the normal speed in traffic, (about 35 MPH below and in the passing lane) and prone to rubbernecking therefore making places such as Florida the traffic accident capital of the US. Other than making driving conditions terrible for Native Floridians and other Southerners, snowbirds also infest restaurants, post offices, stores, doctor’s office’s by the droves making it next to impossible to get it during the winter months. They in turn complain about how crowded it is and how they have to wait in line.
Even though tourist traps love snowbirds because of the revenue they bring, most people who are native to the states the snowbirds visit hate them with a passion and wish they’d go home. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Have to add though Ernie lots of snowbirds from BC but they go to Palm Springs or Arizona(close to the Mexican Border for cheap groceries :D :D ) and golf or lawn bowl
BUT how can you say all the Islands of the Caribbean are the same? How can you compare St Barts to Dominica or Puerto Rico to Hispaniola, Jamaica to Cuba.They are all completely different it all depends
on what sea power settled them first. French, Dutch, Spanish or British.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:20 am

No problem Matt. We will just agree to disagree on most of your points. You see the Caribbean your way and I see it mine. It is totally touristy, money grabbing in the season and an area we avoid.

I would be interested to hear your opinion of the Greek Islands as a comparison.

We were, however, English snowbirds, known as such in the neighbourhood, and travelled to Bradenton for the same comfort reasons as many of our American and Canadian friends. Initially we rented but once you rent for more than a few months it becomes cheaper to own.

Our complex at Tara and the general Sarasota area was always almost completely deserted after 1st June. Just check how the house/condo rental prices drop so drastically after that time.

Nobody wants to stay in the low season and when a hurricane is arriving all those left want to leave, and very quickly.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:30 am

Hello again Matt.

You will not have read my reply yet as you will still be in bed over there.

I have just googled the snowbird definition and it seems there are many, many versions. So we are both right.

The Canadian/North American/Floridian and somewhat flippant definition of snowbird is almost identical to that you have posted. I saw those people but none of them lived at Tara?.

However, the English version of a snowbird is a lot more brief and simply states ""ONE WHO TRAVELS TO WARM CLIMES IN THE WINTER" (That would be me at that time of my life)

Similarly, perhaps our varying ideas on the Caribbean appear contradictory as definitions, or opinions, of anything might well come from the country you live in. So geographically there are many varying definitions of almost anything.

So, the good news is that we are both right. :D :D :D

Seems this thread has been quite popular and well supported. That might fuel my opinion that we don't all have interest in the same things. Such is the variation of opinions on this great site.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:58 am

For 15 years we had land based Beach holidays in the Caribbean, visiting Barbados, Antigua, St Lucia, Tobago, Grenada and loved them all. We have explored them and know them well.
Since 2010 we have cruised there round trip from Southampton or picked up a ship in Barbados for a cruise around the Islands and sailed back.
In addition to the above by cruise ship we have visited, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Guadaloupe , BVI , Tortola, Anguilla, Martinique,St Kitt & Nevis, St Martin, St Vincent & Grenadines. Grand Turk in Turks and Caicos.

So I agree with both Matt & Ernie, the British origin ones are very similar but the variation comes with Dutch influence in the A B C Islands and Sint Martin while you get the French influence in Guadaloupe , Martinique and the other half of St Maarten, the Spanish influence is still evident further North , Puerto Rico, Cuba etc. All this mixed with local ethnic people from all parts make everywhere different and very interesting culture and cuisine.
We love it and it's so sad to see such devastation in familiar areas. :D Ken
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Matt » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:14 pm

Ernie,I copied and pasted those comments about snowbirds from a Blogger in Florida.
Ken we have been to most of the places you mention but the only French Island we did not really enjoy was
St Barts. Just too expensive.45 euros for a hamburger and 18 euros for a Stella beer :evil: BUT I did get to use my French
after going to a chemist/drug store. en francais pharmacie :D :D
Sheila had a very painful sweat rash on her chest and under her arms so I was able to explain what I
wanted in French.After struggling with some French words I could not remember the pharmacist
gave me some diaper/nappy cream and said to me en francais "why didn't you speak to me in English
it would have been a lot easier" :D :D but he did compliment me for my pronunciation so I told him that French was my first language
when I was a little fella and I was in fact my mothers translator.Alls well that ends well.
Just wondering what is left of those beautiful beaches,islands, tiny homes and small businesses that catered to the tourists.Poor people Dominica
was just getting back on it's feet from a hurricane a couple of years ago and Haiti still has not recovered from that
devastating earthquake 7 years ago.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:24 pm

I was once with a group of English guys in a French restaurant in Reims and as I was the only one who had a smattering of French was nominated to order the food. To make it easier, I ordered a pork meal for all. I I never lived it down after everyone was served pigs.feet.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Invicta » Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:34 pm

A Finnish restaurant offered in English
Cock in red wine translated from
Coq au vin. I couldn't persuade any guests to try it. K
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Elaine Goulding » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:36 pm

Hi Matt,
I guess I would be considered a "Snowbird" as I spend the winter every year in Florida along with a crowd of friends from Canada. NONE of us are dressed as you describe. We usually meet up with American folk we have met over the years and once again NONE of them look anything like you describe. Our average age is 68-72 years of age and once again there is not a grey hair in sight or heaven forbid a purple or orange rinse!! One lady in our group has beautiful white (natural} hair and looks a knockout at 72 years of age. We all rent at a place called Bermuda Bay in St.Pete's usually from mid January until mid April. These people are full of life and game for anything. They have more spirit than some of the younger ones!! Three times a week the girls get together for a game of early morning golf, while the men tee off around 11.00am. Now, am I Tiger Woods most definitely not, however I show up each day with my BLONDE hair and try my best while having a bloody good time!!!!!! When we leave in April the place is deserted and the cost of rentals is reduced as spring is just around the corner. Unfortunately due to my husbands ill health we will not be able to go next year. I will truly miss it and my lovely Snowbird friends.
Elaine
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:54 pm

I fully agree Elaine. It is great out there (I called it Fantasy Land) and one of the best phases of our life. One of the reasons we left was that it was too far for our family and their holidays were limited to schools.

As Matt stated. The description he quoted was from a Florida blogger and simply the bloggers opinion, probably when he was having a bad time. .

I still maintain contact with the many friends I had there and exchange visits. I described that time of my life as an Englishman's American dream.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Matt » Sat Sep 09, 2017 11:44 pm

Thank you Ernie.As pointed out Elaine that was a native Floridians opinion not mine.
No more from me on that subject .Happy cruising.
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Re: CRUISING.

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:07 am

Thanks Matt. Understood, done and dusted.

We returned home on Friday after a very successful back to back aboard Riviera. I used a different agent this time who has good connections with Regent, Oriania and NCL (who are now all under the same roof). I got a very good deal and none of my other agents could touch it.

She arranged everything, precise cabin we wanted (low down and mid ships), transfers, Barcelona Hotel and flight times to suit and there were no extra charges for anything, including Credit Cards. We even got $1400 spends on board.

I now have four different travel agents, two internet, one UK and one USA and each one is independent and known by, and can deal directly with, a different cruise line company. They are all independent and work for themselves. We have a great relationship and they all know that I will deal with the one who gets the best offer, like for like.

My agents are all very good and act for us on any matter, before, during or following a cruise.

Most basic agents, usually in a high street shop, are seldom interested once they have the booking and they take excessive commission. People should be aware of this as it is excessive and you never see it recorded.

We can't do early or late flights to Europe anymore and it is amazing how easy it is to get good flight times and at no extra charge. As in all shopping one should get what they are paying for and at the price they want to pay.

I can guarantee that most customers simply book a headline holiday and the 'nice' girl behind the counter fixes it all, usually at least inconvenience to their company. Just a job.

There is a lot more to any cruise, or holiday, than simply booking it.
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