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About comcox

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
  • Interests
    Genealogy, travel and reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Fred Olsen, Holland America

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  1. comcox

    Update on Koningsdam Library

    When HAL first announced the removal of libraries of many of it's ships, I wrote directly to the new CEO to complain and got the usual run-around response. However, the complaints piled up and I believe they've decided to leave libraries on the smaller, older ships such as the Maasdam and Zaandam. Right now I've been looking for a transatlantic cruise and I will only consider those ships that still have libraries. If that means eliminating HAL from my choice, so be it.
  2. comcox

    Mariner and charges onboard ?

    If you let HAL book your flights to and from the cruise does the cost of that count toward additional Mariner credit?
  3. comcox

    Does Rotterdam still have a library?

    Great to hear thanks. It would be an 18-day cruise so I'd need lots to read.
  4. I'm trying to decide between 3 different transatlantic sailing for this fall--Rotterdam, Konigsdam and Nieuw Statendam. Having a library with books is very important to me as I am a voracious reader and do not like reading on a tablet. From the online deck plans it looks like two newer ships have no library but does the Rotterdam still have theirs within the Explorations Cafe area?
  5. In mid-May we will be sailing to the following ports in the Azores: Praia da Vitoria, Horta, and Ponta Delgada. I am looking for recommendations as to what to do in each port. Are any of the ports ideal for renting a car and driving around on our own? Are their any local guides you can recommend? We are interested in both history and nature (although nothing too "athletic"). Thanks.
  6. comcox

    Disembarkation in Southampton

    Sounds like a great idea. Thanks John.
  7. comcox

    Disembarkation in Southampton

    Thanks John. I will be going to the Southampton Airport as I'm flying to Jersey from there to join a Saga tour.
  8. comcox

    Disembarkation in Southampton

    Any trouble finding taxis on disembarkation day? I will be disembarking the Britannia in April, berth 46 Ocean Cruise Terminal, and will need to head to the airport. Not a huge rush, fortunately, as I decided to go with the 2 pm flight instead of the earlier one.
  9. comcox

    Non UK Residents... Can't buy online..

    Yes, I ran into this problem when booking my April cruise. I had researched available cabins on P & O's website but could not complete my booking there so I called P & O directly. Fortunately I have family in the UK and the P & O agent let me use their address for booking; otherwise, my only option was to use Vacations-to-Go for bookings from the U.S. Fred Olsen used to have this same requirement of working through a designated U.S. agent. For a while they had a great agent in Florida but then they switched to this terrible agency in New York. Now, however, they will take direct U.S. bookings via phone. I find it so much easier to book direct. Saga also allows direct booking for U.S. passengers.
  10. I came across this announcement on another website: he EU Commission has confirmed that UK citizens will need to pay a fee to visit Europe after Brexit. From 2021, when British citizens travel to Europe they will need to complete the online ETIAS application formbefore setting off.
  11. I am an American and on my last two 2018 European sailings (Fred Olsen and CMV), the front desk staff told me they had to retain my passport for the whole sailing because I did not have an EU passport. When I wanted to go ashore, in each port I had to wait until immigration boarded and cleared my passport, which I could then retrieve from the front desk in order to leave the ship. What does this policy mean for UK passport holders sailing to the EU after March?
  12. I think it may depend on the ship as to where each category is located. In general the E's would be better (A is the top category and then on down to other letters). For example on Maasdam and Volendam, I often book E outside cabins on lowest deck which are on the edge of mid-ship but cheaper than the D cabin right next door.
  13. comcox

    Tipping with Beverage Package

    How does this work if you have a beverage card (not a package)? I have a $50 beverage card included for my upcoming January cruise.
  14. comcox

    British Night on Fred

    I've sailed on three FO cruises now and the only thing I've encountered is many folks going in for dinner wearing a few bits and pieces of British wear as they go into dinner. For my first cruise, I bought a union jack scarf for myself to fit in; however, it wasn't really needed. And I simply don't bother with the evening show that night. No one says anything to anyone not wearing anything British. FO has a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere so I would not worry if you don't want to partake.
  15. comcox

    Cruising after Brexit.

    But it's not true that non UK-folk can just use their cruise cards or at least it was not on Fred Olsen. On both my and my husband's fall cruises we had to wait at the guest services desk every port until immigration had boarded and cleared our passports. We then had to take our passports with us on shore and then return them to the desk when we re-boarded. Between our two cruises we had ports in Germany, France, and Belgium. And at one port in France my husband even had to show his passport when coming back through the port gate.