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Port Power

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Everything posted by Port Power

  1. Actually, a refundable booking would not have helped as 24 hours cancellation notice is still required. OP would have had to email booking.com from the departure airport to avoid that. "Unforeseen circumstances" are the risks of booking non refundable rooms. As an aside, there was a post very recently from an American who was considering flying into Sydney on the day of boarding. Everyone urged him to arrive 2-3 days early, not even jyst one day. This post shows exactly why.
  2. If the cruise is over 12 days long, even in January there is less likelihood of lots of children. Particularly with Celebrity, Holland America and Norwegian. Royal Caribbean has more appeal for families. Schools go back around February 1st, so even less chance then.
  3. Cruise ships have never docked at Christchurch, it is an inland city. Since Lyttleton was destroyed by the earthquakes, ships have been going into Akaroa. It is a 90 minute bus drive each way to Christchurch from Akaroa. In December (last month) we were updated on the rebuilding of Lyttleton, but I wasn't aware any passenger vessels are able to use it yet. Very strong winds might have kept your ship out of Akaroa because it might not have been safe to lower the tenders. We missed Bay of Islands because winds were too strong to safely lower the tenders. I thought Akaroa was more protected, but it could have been a reason. It is nice when the Captain explains why a port is missed though. As Captain Heidi said, there can be weather issues later on that the Captain has to consider. I have crossed from Hobart to NZ a few times, always with calm seas. What are the odds! These crossings were in November though, which makes a difference. In late January we headed up the Tasman Sea from Dunedin back to Sydney, so missed the open ocean.
  4. RCI and Celebrity don't combine their points. Each line earns separately, but the loyalty level is reciprocated. So Diamond level on RCI is recognised as Elite on Celebrity. Points aren't added together to make some sort of Diamond Plus level.
  5. We were there recently. Of course you can walk to the port gate if you want to, or take a taxi (almost impossible if not pre-booked) or a hotel shuttle. But you must take the port shuttle from there. There is no pedestrian access allowed.
  6. As you really would prefer the UK cruise, book that one. Especially as there is a chance that DD might not be able to go. Book just for the two of you, but make sure you select a cabin that will hold 3. Cruise lines generally do not change pre selected cabins. There is no problem ADDING a third passenger, even after final payment.
  7. The MDR and specialty restaurant menus already have GF marked against relevant items. I am a coeliac, so still stress gluten free. However the special diets waiter comes every night so I can pre-order for whichever restaurant. Also I can order, for example, Croquettes, and they will be made using polenta instead of breadcrumbs. The buffet is the problem. One executive chef wouldn't even let me eat steamed vegetables unless they were cooked to order. I never eat at NCL buffets. Every choice has to be queried with a senior chef. Just too hard. As for "leadership", Celebrity for years have had a policy that all soups, sauces and curries ARE gluten free (unless obvious such as minestrone), and other buffet items are clearly marked as GF. There is even a large section of gluten free desserts. So I can really enjoy the buffet on Celebrity ship's as well as pre-ordering for the dining rooms.
  8. Clothes go in the wardrobes, numerous drawers and on shelves. Luggage under the bed. Tip: leave the suitcase open and use as a "drawer" for shoes. Toiletries loose on bathroom shelves or keep in your wet pack on the shelves under the vanity. There is more than ample storage. I usually take some extra hangers but don't always use them. Many tops are wash and drip dry, so it's not like we need to take 14 shirts/tops each. Do a bag of wash and fold halfway through the cruise as well.
  9. We were right by it on our October cruise. No noise at all. Loved the location - just up one flight of stairs to the buffet and rear outside deck, or enjoy the walk forward then up to the library, lounge and pool.
  10. You definitely need to read the terms and conditions of your particular card. For mine (no pre-existing), it covers medical expenses anywhere in the world, hospitalisation, repatriation, funeral expenses up to $25,000 and accommodation, etc, as well as lost luggage and flight delays. There is an age limit of 80.
  11. I was on brand new Quantum during that relocation cruise to China. It definitely had Johnny Rockets. The restaurant was remodelled during our cruise because the ship was heading to the Chinese market. All the signage in Mandarin was put up during that time as well.
  12. How the tide has turned! On Quantum of the Seas, Johnny Rocket was removed during the cruise and replaced by King Fu Panda for the Chinese home-base market.
  13. I definitely agree it is better to know about unavailable facilities. The Australian passengers possibly included the 3-night cruise as part of an overall holiday and certainly should have expected a party cruise, but having the pool deck overtaken by 1300 men was too much. There were probably many other Singaporean and Asian passengers on board, but from my experience they tend to stay inside the ship. Outdoor-loving Aussies understandably were affected and I don't blame them for wanting a refund. Most people want an easy meal from the buffet at least once during a cruise.
  14. I also take it that the group was specially catered for rather than taking food aboard themselves. Cruise lines should have to disclose if there is a large conference or special interest group aboard instead of passengers asking every time they book. When we were on Voyager some years back there was a large county music group aboard. No unruly behaviour, but the ship had rented them the cabaret lounge for the whole cruise, which really did have a knock-on effect reducing space for games and relaxation during the day and lost entertainment venue at night.
  15. Quantum and Ovation of the Seas include kettles because they are based on China and kettles were demanded there. When we sailed Quantum on her original repositioning cruise when brand new, there as no kettle set out. However I found it wrapped in a plastic bag under the bed when stowing the suitcase, so out it came! I am amazed the cruise lines still try to tell us no kettles for "safety reasons"! Yes, you might scald yourself, but you might also trip and fall down stairs. I think people can be sensible enough not to boil a kettle if the ship is rocking and rolling through a storm (I hope).
  16. Chalk and cheese. River cruising is intimate, relaxed and yet walking tours every day. Ocean cruising is quite different. A transatlantic or Mediterranean cruise on Azamara is as enjoyable as a river cruise. At 640-680 passengers, it might be the right fit. I really enjoy Azamara. Larger cruise ships have more diverse entertainment but less feeling of community. Start off with an Australian/New Zealand Cruise on Celebrity Solstice to get a feel. You will still meet people to enjoy time with, just different focus.
  17. Beware of cornflour though, Greg. It is often made from wheat! In Australia "cornflour" only refers to the fine milled state. In Asian restaurants you will need to ask if they use maize flour because bulk suppliers use the cheaper wheaten cornflour. Corn starch means corn however. Indian restaurants are usually safer as they use gram flour (chickpeas). Unlike many ships I've been on which use wheat flour in curries. You can always be very good when traveling and eat salad and carry fruit. But how boring!
  18. Are you on a Getaway now (quite literally) and not NCL Spirit next month? I wondered when you asked to be removed from the Meet and Mingle. Carol
  19. I was on Norwegian Sun last year when one man came back aboard without his passport. It had been stolen from the buttoned leg pocket of his cargo pants. He could stay on the ship until passports were required for the next country. His wife updated us the morning of disembarkation that he was currently in Mexico City with an appointment at the USA Embassy/Consulate. Yes, stolen passports DO still happen.
  20. Prepaid Service Charge is for your cabin steward, waiters, etc. Prepaid gratuities is the 20% gratuity related to the bonus beverage or dining packages.
  21. Unfortunately this is not the Roll Call thread you need to list on. See the blue shaded banner above where it says "Find your roll call"? Click on that, choose cruise line, ship and sailing date. Good luck, and enjoy your first Meet and Mingle. Carol P.S. DO NOT use surnames.
  22. I bet this is something the powers that be didn't think of when they decided to include adding credit card details prior to checking in. It's a learning curve. It's unfortunate you cannot print out luggage tags and will have to wait around for them.
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