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annieuk

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About annieuk

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    Cool Cruiser

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    hampshire england
  • Interests
    cooking, travelling, reading

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  1. Yes it's like quite large canapes - but the wine flows and we think it's a really relaxed way to begin the cruise rather than going up to the buffet. Usually on Oceana it's held in the Starlights lounge, at least it was the last time we were on Oceana.
  2. We have arrived several times at Barbados for the check in, a plane load of tired passengers all queuing up in the check in shed and we have had either a mini suite or a suite and have never considered saying we have priority check in. I don't think we'd have been popular going to the front of the queue.
  3. You don't even get to sit down when you are invigilating exams. You have to keep your eyes open all the time and walk round and round and...... It's certainly not a time to sit down and read! We live very near Southampton but allow a good amount of time to get to the port. It only takes one accident on the M27 to hold traffic up for ages and then all the roads around get blocked up too! I'd rather be at the port early and have to wait than sit in a traffic jam seething.
  4. Priority boarding only really applies if you are sailing from Southampton. If it's a fly cruise then planes all arrive at different times and it's not possible. To answer your question yes you do get priority boarding at Southampton. Tell the person at the Terminal that you have a mini suite and you'll be directed to one of the desks if they are open. You'll then, once you've been checked in be directed to a roped off area where tea/coffee is available. When you get on board sometimes the crew will try to direct you to the Horizon buffet but just tell them you're in a mini suite and are entitled to the complimentary lunch and drinks and you'll be directed to where that's being held. When you get your cruise card at check in you'll find there is a little black diamond on it which signifies you are in a suite or mini suite. Also at check in you'll probably given a card telling you about the complimentary lunch and you'll be asked to give that in when you get to the lunch venue. Hope that helps.
  5. I know it's not advisable to change money on board and we will certainly be taking currency before we travel but does anyone know if we did need to change some on board can you do this with Sterling or does it have to come off your account? I assume you would need to use cash, which if necessary we would prefer to do. I don't anticipate needing to do this but just in case it's good to know.
  6. I phoned my usual agent in Derbyshire at 9am this morning and had to hang on for about 30 minutes but eventually got through and was able to book a specific cabin for the February 14 night Canaries cruise. P&O on their website state that booking doesn't open until 11am maybe they are waiting to see how the agents sell as to what prices they are going to advertise at 11. I hadn't pre-registered which I would normally do so I was surprised that I was able to get through and book a specific cabin and with a hefty OBC. We booked a full suite for less than £3000pp and with £300pp OBC.
  7. I read this post too. Unfortunately the cruise was only a short one with stops in Guernsey and Zeebrugge. As it happened the ship couldn't anchor in Guernsey so that port was missed and they went on to Zeebrugge. The passengers thought that by the time they got to Zeebrugge they would only have the journey overnight back to Southampton. They did find out I think, at the port, that the forecast for Guernsey wasn't good and it was very possible the ship wouldn't anchor there so they didn't want to travel to Guernsey and then find that the ship wasn't there. We only live about 20 minutes from the port and we set out very early, particularly with the M27 and all it's roadworks affecting all traffic in the area. In fact we can get to Southampton without going on the M27 but these works for the wonderful Smart Motorway we're apparently going to have affects a lot of roads in the area.
  8. We are on Aurora in a couple of weeks. We haven't really thought about tipping, just assumed that it was now included there was no need to tip. On our last cruise where tips were automatically deducted unless you opted to remove them we left them on. It became clear during the cruise that on our table for 8 the other six had removed their tips. So on the last night the other three couples came with envelopes and we didn't. Yes we felt uncomfortable, although we shouldn't have done. My husband when shaking hands with our main waiter - 2nd sitting - said to him that we had left the auto tips on just so they didn't think we were the stingy ones on the table. I know we shouldn't have felt like that. Now, well my inclination is to tip if we get exceptional service, both with the waiters and our cabin steward. By exceptional service I don't mean just doing their job. For example I don't eat cheese and I have been on cruises where the waiter, once he knew about that, took great pains to bring me separate dishes if cheese was included - for example when cauliflower was part of a roast meal he brought me a separate dish of cauliflower without the cheese sauce. Now that I call exceptional service.
  9. We did the 65 nights cruise round South America 18 months ago. We took two sets of three suitcases - one large, one medium, one small in each set. We also took an old fashioned suitcase - not deep but fairly wide, good for formal gear, plus a wheel on cabin case each as hand luggage. I also had a laptop bag. The suitcases were easy to store as they fitted inside each other but the steward did take the other case away to store for us. There were people with more cases than we had!
  10. I have very thick hair and the hairdryers provided are no good for me, I always take my own. I would think if you have fairly fine hair it would be fine.
  11. We were on Aurora for her 65 night cruise round South American in January 2018 and we ate quite a few times in the Glasshouse. You can book once you're on board. You can have either lunch or dinner there. We enjoyed the meals we had there and also ate a couple of times at the Beach House, although I'm not that keen on their menu apart from the Lava Rock Steak. We don't tend to eat in Sindhu as neither of us is fond of Indian or Fusion food. We have eatern there just to see what it's like and some friends took me there when my husband was off on a trip to Machu Picchu. So we have sampled it and the food is certainly very well presented - it's just not really the type of food we like, lots of people love it so worth trying once if you think it's likely to be to your taste. Unfortunately there is no Epicurean which we have eaten at on other ships. I've always been surprised that they didn't choose to put one in as I would have thought it would be popular with Aurora cruisers. Steve, I think you mean you have chosen Freedom Dining - not Select Dining. Freedom is when you are able to decide what time you want to eat in the Main Dining Room. Club Dining is when you dine either 1st Sitting at 6.30 or 2nd Sitting at 8.30 with the same people at the same table. We have always done this and met some lovely people. We are on your Aurora cruise too and have kept to 2nd Sitting.
  12. You can't always tell even if you find the page on the P&O website that tells you the number of formal and themed evenings- assuming it's still on the new website. One cruise we were on stated just a 60s/70s evening, no Black and White evening. So what happened, there was a Black and White evening which no-one knew about in advance apart from the crew, so the number of women wearing black and white was minimal. I'd taken my black and white jacket that I've worn for quite a number of years just in case. This isn't a problem if travelling from Southampton but if flying wouldn't want to take things that I might not need.
  13. My husband has had his ESTA application approved and I've printed copies of both so hopefully we are all set. Before I applied I did have a concern - something odd happened a couple of years ago - long after our first ESTA was approved - I had a letter, which I initially ignored from the US IRS office asking that I confirm that I was not a US citizen. I assumed this was a scam. A few weeks later I had a second letter more or less saying that unless I confirmed that I was not a US citizen proceedings could be taken to recover tax. At this point I began to be a little concerned and went on to Martin Lewis' site where I found a thread all about this issue. Quite a few people had received a similar letter. As far as I can remember the letter had a reference of a Lloyds bank on it, and it referred to an Act which entitled the US to make enquiries if they believed the US might be owed back tax. To cut a long story short it seemed to link back to where a person was born. I was born in Windsor - Berkshire - not Windsor Massachusetts. Some of the people who had contacted Martin Lewis' site had similar backgrounds - they were born in a British place which had the same name as places in the US. Not only did I have to write a letter confirming that I was born in the UK, I also had to send a copy of my passport - all this was done only when I had taken professional advice, in fact our solicitor sorted this out for me. Apparently all this is because the UK agreed to a certain law that entitles the US to do exactly what they had done in my case. The act concerned has a name but I can't remember what it's called. How they got information about me in the first place I don't know. I enquired if the same applied to someone in the US who was born in say Windsor Massachusetts - did the UK want proof they were not born in Windsor UK - answer - of course not! So as you can imagine I did wonder if this issue would raise it's head when I applied for an ESTA - it didn't.
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