Cruise

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Cruise

Postby Matt » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:20 am

36 hours to get here to S.Africa but it was worth it BUT we will never fly B.A. or even want to go via Heathrow again.Not saying more except that they were terrible flights and customer sevice is non existant on either the airline or the airport.
We went to a private game preserve yesterday and had a wonderful time and we must say our guide was very good as well as being a fantastic driver.No way would I ever want to take a huge truck along and up the trails and along side of ravines that he went on.Saw lots of different animal more than i could list except the lions were hiding! We never saw one .At sea today but next port is Richards Bay then Mozambique.Wine is very good Ernie and the ship stocked up on mussels,shrimp and oysters will we where in Mossel Bay.
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Re: Cruise

Postby Sheelagh Tequila » Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:59 am

Enjoy your holiday Matt and Sheila, agree about Heathrow, dreadful place, we always fly from Manchester via Frankfurt or Amsterdam when we go to Cairo.

Sheelagh :D
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Re: Cruise

Postby Invicta » Mon Jan 07, 2019 2:09 pm

Sorry about that Matt. Did you have a choice of airlines/routing ?
Heathrow was always a dog for connecting flights.
Enjoy your cruising and keep the updates coming.
Ken
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:25 pm

Hi Ken, very sad but our flights and airports were all arranged by Oceania. Coming back though we are with Lufthansa to Frankfurt then Vancouver so should be a lot better.No cabin crew throwing a hissy fit when my seat back could not be put in a complete upright position when we were landing a point I had already told the same person about when we took off.Zulu village tomorrow morning.It is a real one not the TV type built for the program Shaka Zulu.This one is sponsored by the Zulu King and is a living museum.
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Re: Cruise

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:03 pm

Matt.
We will fly Emirates from Manchester to Cape Town. Although via Heathrow this is tempered by the fact that it will be First Class....not that we can afford that without my Air Miles. Air Miles reduces the cost from about £14000 down to £1000.00 for the two of us. No brainer. With all the flights you do I am sure you would soon accumulate enough miles.

A week of Michelin food and wine in Franschhoek before a cruise back to Europe enjoying 26 days of utter bliss with Crystal. Can hardly wait.
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:02 pm

Ernie because our flights are part of the Oceania package we cannot claim air miles.Enjoy your cruise and of course the wine.After quite a few complaints The Nautica finally brought some good S.African wines on board and took some of the Californian plonk off the wine list 2 days ago.I suppose because Oceania is based in Florida they would have U.S wines but honestly some of them could have been used to fill a cigarette lighter!.
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Re: Cruise

Postby Invicta » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:47 pm

Any English wines on the list Matt?
Our Whites and Fizz winning loads of awards, worth trying if you get a chance. Chapel Down is top notch.
Not much Red yet but if we continue to get Summers like last year it won’t be long.
Cheers Ken
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Re: Cruise

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:55 pm

Hi Matt

I am very interested in your Oceania flights arrangement.

With minimal effort you can arrange your own flights...timed to your comfort and convenience with any airline of your choice, invariably cheaper and also benefits from Air Miles. Transfers are also easy on the net and much, much cheaper than those arranged by the cruise line.

It is not compulsory to pay for the fly/cruise but they wont tell you that. You usually should have a rebate on the fly cruise price for arranging your own travel and invariably find quite a saving to boot, You will get a surprisingly generous rebate.

I always do my own on the Internet. A good example is when I received a three thousand dollar rebate on a cruise price by arranging my own flights and transfers. I paid for cruise by credit card so earned enough air miles to cover the flight and so got it for nothing.

Of course, if you are comfortable with paying the full fly/cruise price then that is the way to go.
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:25 pm

Ernie Oceania always has 2 and sometimes 3 prices for their cruises....with airfare or make your own arrangements plus some are even in Canadian dollars but this happened to very good friends of ours but not on the Oceania line.They booked a flight to Lima to pick up their cruise through the Panama Canal but their flight was delayed and they missed the ship so they had to scramble to book a flight to Panama to try getting on the cruise,no luck .In the end they had to fly to Honduras and wait for the ship to get there,all of this out of their pocket including a hotel in Honduras for 2 or 3 days..If they had booked the cruise with flight included the cruise line would have picked up and organised their flights and hotels through their shipping line Rep in Lima at no cost to them so I think we will cruise with flights included and just continue to complain :D
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Re: Cruise

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:33 pm

If the schedule is that tight then you have no choice and are doing the right thing.
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:33 am

Hi Ken.No English wines on the list or excellent Vancouver Island wines,mostly from Chile,Argentinia,France and Italy.
Maputo in Mozambique was not too exciting.80% unemployment.Everyone trying to make a
living literally thousands of street vendors and beggars.Some beautiful buildings from British Colonial times.Temperature was in the low 30,s with 97% humidity.We would have gladly stayed another day in Richards Bay and given Maputo a miss.On our way to Durban now.I was here in 1943,wonder if it has changed much :D Tomorrow off to another private game preserve called Tala.Still looking for lions!
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Re: Cruise

Postby Invicta » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:27 am

Just be happy the Lions arn’t looking for you Matt!
You see a lot of ships registered in Maputo, it must be cheap with limited labour laws
I never enjoyed my time working in West Africa but hope one day to do the Cape area area and sail back to Blighty.
Happy Sailings.
Ken
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:46 pm

Given up with seeing lions :D but we did see 3 or 4 hippos ,2 huge elands and about 10 warthogs plus herds of different antelope and some of the most beautiful fish eagles.On our way to Port Elizabeth in a few hours then Namibia..
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:04 am

Well we knew the good weather would not last the whole cruise.Huge ocean swell when we went from the Indian to the Atlantic oceans.All decks closed off lots of empty tables at the buffet reataurant.Namibia and Walvis Bay in another 30 hours time and a trip bird watching then back to Cape Town and Stellenbosch for wine tasting then 34 hour flights and home.
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Re: Cruise

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:01 pm

Although it seldom rains in Namibia and the terrain is predominantly desert I hope you are not as unfortunate as we were last time we were in Walvis Bay. We had eight inches of rain in one day.

Also, you might see a unique tree that grows in in Namibia. I found this description via Google. .

The Baobab tree is a strange looking tree that grows in low-lying areas in Africa and Australia. The Baobab is also called the upside-down tree because when bare of leaves, the spreading branches of the Baobab look like roots sticking up into the air, as if it had been planted upside-down. Legend holds that god Thora took a dislike to the Baobab growing in his garden, so he threw it out over the wall of Paradise on to Earth below, and although the tree landed upside-down it continued to grow. Another story goes that when the Baobab was planted by God, it kept walking, so God pulled it up and replanted it upside down to stop it moving.

But a wine tasting in Stellenbosch, about an hour from your ship, will linger in your memory forever. You are indeed a lucky pair but as the saying goes "The harder you work the luckier you get".
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Wed Jan 16, 2019 9:57 am

Hi Ernie,when where you in Walvis Bay?The port area is HUGE now.Four cruise ships in and we are tied up next to the Queen Elizabeth,makes the Oceania Nautica look like a lifeboat.After what you said about rain here in Namibia I got a little worried when it started to pour down last night but it only lasted about1 hour.We had our evening meal with the Chief Engineer last night.Sheila got along great with him after she told him her brother was chief engineer on Shell tankers and when he found out I was engine room on diesel submarines we have got a standing invitation to tour the engine room on any Oceania ship he is on at the time.
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Re: Cruise

Postby Invicta » Wed Jan 16, 2019 11:23 am

I was thinking of you yesterday Matt.
I had a run around Ford and drove Simons Croft, who’d have thought that same lad would be cruising on 5 star ships and jetting around the World.
Safe home, I hope your return journey is better than your outbound one.
Cheers Ken
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Wed Jan 16, 2019 2:18 pm

Thanks Ken.I have realised that I am getting too old and too sore for this long distance travelling lark so our next cruise(for our 50th anniversary) in April is going from Miami with just one small connection in Atlanta, and to the few islands we have not visited in the Caribbean on the Oceania Regatta then after that I become a lawn bowling widower again until the end of September but I am sure She who must be obeyed has other ideas :D
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:18 pm

Goodbye S.Africa and Namibia.The long and unhappy flights were well worth the wonderful time Sheila and I spent exploring and experiencing such a diverse culture.The cobra slithering into the reception area of the game reserve was quite a heart pounding moment especially when its hood expanded but the game rangers were pretty fast at cornering and catching it.Sad to see a female rhino butchered for its horn by poachers but happy to know the rangers where on their trail and their orders are shoot to kill any poachers.
Next stop Frankfurt then Vancouver then the ferry home to the beautiful Cowichan Valley and our daughters and grandchildren.
Sheila and Matt
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Re: Cruise

Postby Ernie Jackson. (Bunty) » Sat Jan 19, 2019 7:25 pm

Congratulations on a real vacation which I am sure you will remember forever. Thanks for sharing on the site.

The best times spent are those with the person you love. :D
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Re: Cruise

Postby Invicta » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:19 am

Safe home Matt. Enjoyed your travel tales. :D Ken
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Re: Cruise

Postby Sheelagh Tequila » Sun Jan 20, 2019 12:27 pm

Welcome home Matt and Sheila, I enjoyed reading your adventures :D

My brother in law flew out to Namibia yesterday, he's a marine engineer semi retired, he does enjoy getting back to work now and again though.

Sheelagh :D
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Re: Cruise

Postby Matt » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:39 pm

Namibia is great Sheelagh.The sand dunes are a wonder to see.
Sitting in the Vancouver Ferry Terminal waiting for our LAST leg of our exhausting journey home to our beautiful Island.
Both of us would go back to S.Africa in a heartbeat if it did not require an over 34 hour trip to get there.
Some of the wine we tasted Ernie was very good but the cheaper ones could have been used on fish and chips in place of vinegar :D
Back to normal tomorrow and it will be great to have some good old tatties and mince with our own pickled beetroot.
All over until 17th April then back at sea on the Regatta our favourite Oceania ship for Sheilas birthday and our 50th anniversary and not being soppy
I love that lady just as much as I did on the day we got married :oops:
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Re: Cruise

Postby henry » Tue Jan 22, 2019 3:06 pm

HENRY BORN FLORIDA STREET OFF STRAND ROAD
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Re: Cruise

Postby Invicta » Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:14 pm

He’s an idiot wimp Henry , he could have gone off deck 22 :wink: K
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