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white_bear

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About white_bear

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  1. The new system is ghastly. The old CP was a bit clunky, but it worked! Difficult to find/compare shore excursions - for our cruise, these are not listed by port, but by "theme" - eg adventure, culture and so on. Our next cruise (Northern Lights) only has 4 ports, so it was manageable (just), but I don't know how we will get on with a longer cruise.
  2. We're on the Christmas cruise and are also waiting to see some proper reports from the Antarctic voyages. It would be good to believe the two 5 star reviews but I am viewing them with some scepticism (and indeed the recent one in the Sunday Times travel section) as that particular trip was the "christening" one, with journos on board who were "guests" of Hurtigruten. We had a great trip to the Antarctic, some time ago, on Midnatsol, which coped fine with a similar number of people on board. Just hoping that the experience of those expedition team has been transferred across to Roald Amundsen,
  3. B243 is not a good cabin. Opposite the room service galley and gets noise from there (via the ducts in the ceiling) from about 4am.
  4. Thanks so much for this info. I had originally emailed Carnival UK (who I apply to when cruising with P&O) and they gave me the standard info about fax/snail mail to Seattle. So I phoned as you suggest and they confirmed that email with copy of share cert would be fine. Shareholder credit was applied very quickly.
  5. Best to bring your own detergent. When we have seen the capsules on sale, they have been expensive.
  6. Bonne Maman marmalade in the MDR, but it often seems as if it is being rationed. Interestingly, we discovered on a recent cruise on Arcadia that room service breakfast now had the "proper" preserves rather than the ghastly plastic stuff that used to appear on the tray.
  7. The key thing here is that we (passengers) need to be able to choose whether or not to have these announcements in the cabin. Some other cruise lines give you the choice of having the TV on a specified channel which picks up all the public announcements. Perhaps this is one of the teething issues which still need to be sorted out with the TV system (along with things like being able to view your account).
  8. We noticed this as well (but also forgot to mention it). Saga are not the only line to do this, though - Hurtigruten cruise cards not only show cabin number, but also DOB and passport number (!) - at least, they did this time last year.
  9. We're on the 10 October Arcadia as well and haven't had a booklet, which we are pretty fed up about, as we like browsing the excursion info etc and its also interesting to look back at. (We booked Select fare and hadn't ticked the opt-out box on the cruise personaliser.) Had a moan to ourTA and they contacted P&O on our behalf (getting the same answer - ie no booklet). This will definitely go on our post-cruise questionnaire as a big minus.
  10. No problems with credit card reader when we were on board. The only thing that was a bit strange was that you had to go to Reception to register the card; unclear what happened if you didn't do this!
  11. We esperienced the escort-to-cabin on the mini-cruise 1-5 September. Very good introduction to the ship.
  12. Re smoking - we were on the 4-night cruise 1-5 September and the issue of the smoking location came up at the Captain's Corner on the enforced sea day (when we missed Heligoland). The person raising the matter was a smoker and very unhappy with the Sun Deck location. He was arguing for a sheltered space and suggesting, I think, the covered area at the back of the ship on Deck 10 or 11. The Captain was in full agreement that the arrangement had to change and very supportive of this passenger's suggestion. Before they implement anything like this, though, Saga should give due consideration as to whether or not the effects of smoke would be felt by passengers in the aft cabins on that deck - I know that has been a problem on other ships.
  13. We take all sorts of things as well - including magnetic clips (Ikea) - good for securing paperwork etc to the cabin wall and a champagne stopper. We have now given up with the P&O biscuits and take our own.
  14. We've done two world cruises with P&O (when they did them on Aurora) and thoroughly enjoyed them. A few observations, though. While the world cruise clientele is likely to be as described in other posts, it is worth bearing in mind that probably well under half of the passengers will be doing the full world (the proportion seems to drop each year). A significant number will be doing a half world, getting off or on in Australia (or NZ if the cruise goes there), and there will also be a high proportion of "leggers" doing a relatively short cruise. What we found is that this does create a bit of a disruption to the feel of the cruise every 3 weeks or so - not necessarily a bad thing, just something to be aware of. We noticed that some people had focused only on the ports and seemed to have not really appreciated the very large number of sea days. P&O do put on plenty of things to do (watercolour painting, bridge, dance classes, knit and knatter and, if you are lucky, craft classes) and there are also guest speakers (usually better than on the short cruises) as well as a reasonable library but please do go prepared for the sea days. Being away from family for an extended period can also be difficult for some people. A popular topic of conversation on a world cruise is the cost and availability of insurance. Travel insurance for a world cruise can be difficult and expensive to source, particularly in these days of "standard" products that are designed around people taking 2-3 week holidays. And don't forget house insurance where there may be restrictions on the period when the house can be left unoccupied. Finally, and I mention this only as no-one else seems to have, P&O, unlike a lot of other cruise lines, provide self-service launderette facilities. These are free to use but you do need to provide your own detergent. It is worth taking detergent onboard with you as it tends to be expensive if purchased in the onboard shop. (You can send washing to the laundry, but it is not particularly cheap as they don't offer a "stuff-everything-you-can-in-the-laundry-bag" price)
  15. On Oriana, there were big sauce dispensers in the buffet. In the MDR, the waiter will bring sauce and serve it to you.
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