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Train lover

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  1. On 9/28/2020 at 9:56 AM, dockman said:

    I sure never saw a free shuttle at Laem chabang port for bangkok....It is almost a two hour drive and the taxi mafia wants ten times the normal fare.  From where the ships dock to the highway is also over a mile walk to escape the industrial port and be able to catch a baht bus or taxi at normal Thai rates to bangkok or pattaya.  Shame on thailand for allowing the taxi mafia to RULE this port.


    Cunard put on a free shuttle to Pattya, you could pay for a "Bangkok on your own" bus which was transport only to/from Bangkok or also of course do a Cunard tour.

  2. In Civitavecchia there was a shuttle from beside the ship into the town itself. If you wanted to g into Rome you could take a ships tour or pay for a "Rome on your Own" tour which was bus into the Rome railway station. A lot of people actually took the train from Civitavecchia station at a fraction of the cost. There was the same arrangement in Bangkok, Kuala Lumper and Safaga as I recall. There would always be a free transfer to a local town or beach (usually with an arrangement to use the facilities of a resort hotel).

  3. 44 minutes ago, pcur said:

    I think the OP is asking about shuttles while on the cruise, which ports require them, and the cost.

    Thank you for your replies. I was enquiring about on the cruise. We have cruised several times with Cunard & shuttles have always been free. A surprise on Princess to be charged. Have just booked a 2022 cruise. If we go on an excursion if the shuttle is free then we can go into town later for a short time eg Aqaba & Colombo. Can't find a list anywhere to refer to to help with planning. 

  4. On 1/23/2019 at 4:46 AM, Scougs said:

    Ship: Coral Princess

    Class: Sun Class

    Deck: 9 (Dolphin)

    Cabin #: D626

    Category: BD

    Port/Starboard/Bow/Stern: Port Aft

    Connects With Cabin #: None

    Accessible: No

    Quiet: Yes - despite proximity to stairs and lifts the cabin was very quiet

    Balcony Size: Normal - two chairs/loungers and two foot rests, small table. Plenty of space.

    View: Normal - unobstructed

    Privacy Issues: None - balcony completely covered from above

    Wind: OK

    Soot: None

    Problems: None

    Comments: As a first time cruiser, I don't really have anything to compare this to, but I loved this cabin. It was very convenient for the aft stairs and lifts - really easy to pop down two flights of stairs to the Promenade deck for all amenities. I had been worried about seasickness, so spent a long time selecting the cabin, aiming for something as low and central as my budget would allow. There are three normal balcony cabins by the lifts on either side surrounded by mini-suites, and this turned out to be a great choice - I never felt queasy once. There was excellent storage space both for clothes, and for bits and pieces in the bathroom. I would recommend this cabin to anyone - it was extremely comfortable for a single traveller.

    Thanks Scouges. We have just booked D625 for 107 night World Cruise 2022 and was worried it may be noisy, last Balcony cabin available. you have put my mind at rest.

  5. Hi if people remove grats when do they tend to do it ? At the beginning and then just envelope specific people or wait until the end ?

    Coming from a country where tipping is not usual it is quite foreign to us. We remove the auto gratuities at the beginning of the cruise, and tip the stateroom attendant at the end of each segment. if you are doing more than 1 segment make sure to do it for each. mary

  6. Yes that is the issue with the QM2. Until recently she has been unable to dock at Circular Quay in Sydney, they have now installed a special ?bollard to attach the bow ropes to. Auckland have said they will do the same but not until 2019. The port of Auckland expansion has been an local issue for some time now. In the recent election one party campaigned over shifting the commercial port to Northland. This is why I wonder if it is also political as the Port Authority have warned Auckland Council that if they are not allowed to cater for larger ships the ships will go elsewhere!

  7. The QM2 has always previously berthed at Jellicoe Wharf which is a commercial dock and bused passengers to the terminal on Queens Wharf. Yes a larger ship had to anchor last year, we watched the tendering process and saw the long wait passengers had to return to the ship. The QM has previously loaded stores in Auckland, maybe they hoped to do the same this trip and now need to go to Tauranga to do so? Ports of Auckland are quiet on the issue as is Cunard. Maybe it is political?

  8. Added afterwards. And your server doesn't keep the entire gratuity. It's divided among a team of people who are responsible for stocking and serving the adult beverages.


    The same applies to any service such as at the spa or beauty salon. Their rationale is that these people do not share in the general pool as not all guests use these services.

  9. Because a 'guest' (read customer) chooses to tip ship's personnel based on their personal experience does not mean they are "willing to short change anybody any time they can". We've always kept the auto tips and tipped extra for butler or exceptional individual service. However, as a principle, it should be a choice according to service received - or not; OR included in the cruise fare. Different cultures have different attitudes to this issue. We would prefer crew to be paid well by their employer, with tipping reserved for exceptional service on occasions. Azamara and Seabourn do it well.

    Last year I travelled Sydney to Southampton on the QM, we removed the auto tip from our account and were told by the pursers desk that they quite understand the Australian and NZers do not like the tipping culture, and a lot had done likewise. We then individually handed tips to those members of the crew who we had most contact with.

  10. This is from Oceania's book Terms and Conditions which we get here

    Would you read it as the gratuities are built into the price already?



    All fares are listed are New Zealand dollars cruise only per person.................Cruise fares include Non commissionable Port taxes & fees and prepaid gratuities


    I also understand the gratuities are already built in when I booked through an Auckland TA. I asked her for clarification, we usually go with Cunard when they are either added automatically or removed by the guest who then pays the crew directly instead. I prefer it as part of the fare as long as I am not then expected to tip directly on top. I find tipping a stressful experience. Worrying about a tip can almost spoil a dining experience when in the USA/Canada.

  11. I agree food in Italy is wonderful, we had our lunch at a great restaurant. I also like to sightsee and there is so much to see I do not want to spend much time waiting in a restaurant to be served. We did eat lunch in a great local restaurant but mostly just walked our feet off, the best way to see most cities. I do not usually take a ships tour which includes a meal if there is an alternative because they take up so much time out of the day. An exception is places like Shanghai and Bangkok where you need to be sure of food safety, getting sick can ruin a cruise.

  12. That is a very good packing list. I am staring to think seriously about what to pack for our next cruise. We will start with 3 days on LA New Years day then join a 16day cruise through the panama canal to Miami where we transfer ships for a 43 night cruise around South America. The ship spends several days cruising the bottom of the world before heading across the pacific via Tahiti to New Zealand. A total of 62 nights in all. Fortunately the ship has a free self service laundry. Unfortunately there will be several Formal nights where dressy clothing is required. Looking at your list I shall just need to add a few warm/dressy items and I will still have enough. I find it is items such as medications, makeup etc which add extra weight for a longer time away.

  13. I think you have not understood my reasoning, Flatbush Flyer. I live in New Zealand so do understand about taking food items into some countries. I have also visited Hawaii and California many times. If you have any food in your possession on entry here without declaring it you may be fined $400 instantly. The emphasis being on not declared. If you do declare it you can either have it ,or if it is prohibited, it will be confiscated and destroyed but no fine. The Beagles will be in evidence to sniff out food and your luggage will often be X rayed. The same goes for Australia. A lot of Asian countries do not have such rules but you must always be careful of what you take ashore and be prepared to declare if asked. Some shore excursions such as to The Valley of the Kings in Egypt, and Petra in Jordan need a 2-3 hour bus trip first without stops, (a toilet equipped bus) so a small item like a biscuit which you call a cookie can be a life saver if you are hungry. On our trip to Valley of the Kings we did not get to our lunch stop until 2pm having assembled on the ship at 7.30 am. The same at Petra, no food to buy anywhere very hot and 5 miles of walking before lunch. Bottled water provided by the ship but no food.

  14. It depends where you are going. Don't even think about it in Australia or new Zealand. Everywhere else I have taken food off, usually things like biscuits. Very handy in places like Shanghai, Saigon, Bangkok, Colombo where you are not sure of the safety of eating ashore. Also did it with no problems in Rome.

  15. I have only cruised on Cunard. You will be turned away from the MDR with shorts at dinner, jackets also are required for most nights. If you don't want to dress up the buffet restaurant is for you, but do beware that no shorts rule applies on all Cunard ships after 6pm. I have noticed however that the dress rules are more relaxed on World cruise segments than other cruises such as Transatlantic.

  16. I am about to leave on my 5th Cunard cruise 4th on QM2, my kettle from Boots is my constant companion. Cunard line do not have kettles in the cabins, you go to the Kings court and use a tea bag (Twinings) and boiling water from the urn. I have never used room service but I think from seeing trays for collection outside cabins that a teapot is used.

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