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About Tuffydog

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Melbourne Victoria Australia
  • Interests
    Cruising, adventure and sport
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard, Celebrity, APT, Norwegian, Costa
  1. Tuffydog

    CMV’s New Ship: Vasco da Gama

    Thanks Keith and Kerry. We are heading from Singapore to London so will check it out before you sail back. Kevin
  2. Tuffydog

    CMV’s New Ship: Vasco da Gama

    Hi Mark, This ship had a legacy of some problems under HAL as the Statendam. The recent comments on fit out of public areas applied also to her sister ship the Pacific Aria, (Sailed Feb 2016) but the cabins remained unchanged from HAL times apart from linen and TV's. Unless there is a "warranty" for repairs I think we will be sailing in a leased ship with just a name change. My experience on CMV Magellan for 19 nights two years ago was being rocked to sleep each night with a noticeable propeller shudder. Everyone acknowledged it but I wouldn't be surprised if it still has the same problem. Otherwise it was a great small cruise ship in every sense. Kevin
  3. Have just finished the cruise on MS3. What a great concept the all inclusive package is. Port process was smooth. No major issues at all Cabin on 10 internal by choice was quiet and roomy with plenty of storage. Dining we had mostly in the Atlantic. Staff including MD and Terrence and Saida were very accommodating explaining the menu to my wife. Entertainment was OK and musicians in Meerleben were great accompanied by cocktails. We did all excursions by ourselves based on suggestions from contributors to the website. We used the pool and spa area regularly. The pool decks were quite busy on sea days. Would I recommend Tui Cruises for non German speaking cruisers. My Deutsch is very basic and we survived - most staff are multilingual. As a group I am sure one would enjoy. We loved all the ports. Kevin
  4. Hi BlueBear4Travel . Good to hear that you enjoyed Lisbon. We are planning to do the Sandemans New Europe Walking Tour there. I have researched Le Havre to Hornfleur, and noted the train station location. I am having trouble with the timetable 3 Sep onwards but it looks like a 20 or 50 will get us there. On the way back if the legs are willing we will explore your suggestions in Le Havre (mall and bridge). Thanks for the heads up on the demand for the bus. Tuffydog
  5. Ronbe65 has posted on a Tui Cruises Mein Schiff forum specifically on MS 3 and 4. It is an excellent blog and has great links to photos and video of the ship. Copy of commentary with thanks to Ronbe 65 follows: The ship is a slightly smaller and wow-improved version of Celebrity Solstice. Some issues were inherited (narrow balcony cabins, however the inside cabins are way better), but the result is amazingly refreshing. This one of a few best cruise ships available at the moment. The food quality overall (main dining rooms, specialty restaurants, buffet, alternative buffet) is above HAL and Celebrity, and only compares to Oceania. MS 3 and 4 are the best ships built since 2010. These two ship are standing along in the TUI fleet (the product started rolling down since MS 5 - growing suite privileges ). Entertainment (shows) is similar to the large HAL & Celebrity ships. The poolside sailaway parties are much more interesting. The MS3 is close to 5*-. The MS4 is just a nod below (added verandah of Surf & Turf specialty restaurant slightly compromises the open full-circle promenade deck experience). The spa (included in the price) is huge. The only important miss: no thalassotherapy pool in the spa that is a must for a top class ship. Thus no 5*... The review of the MS 3 is here. The ship appears at 33:08 Happy cruising! Tuffydog
  6. Tuffydog

    Mein Schiff 4 - TUI?

    Hi Ronbe65 This is an excellent blog, and I hope that you wont mind if I post it in my "roll call" forum (incorrectly titled!!) Tui Cruises Mein Schiff 3 Bremerhaven to Majorca 11 Sep 2018 with the link:https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2534165 Kevin
  7. 29 Days to departure of this cruise. Through the German website a meet and greet has been organised on the first sea day. 12 September 16.00 hours. Sailing Party if the weather is nice Outer Alster Bar Deck 14. If the weather is bad to be held in the TUI bar (Deck 4). Looking forward to meeting fellow travelers. I will have a toy kangaroo on my lanyard, to help locate us. Tuffydog
  8. Tuffydog

    Mein Schiff 4 - TUI?

    Hi Ine, Floridiana on this site is very well versed in Mein Schiff cruising. Review the posts by that name, but here is the latest with respect to Floridiana.: We are back from our Western Med cruise on Mein Schiff 6. The ship was fine, but I would never book that many tours again with them. The ports are strenuous. We enjoyed the ones we did ourselves much better. There is a limit to absorb the information from constantly talking guides. We haven't booked another cruise with TUI since we can't find an itinerary we like. The food was good, often better than on our cruise on Mein Schiff 1, especially the fish dishes. Many servers from Eastern European countries had not yet caught on to the idea of smiling. One Philippino waiter told us that they stress 'friendliness' as part of a waiter's job in the training sessions. Good luck
  9. Hi Gerard, Safe travels and we look forward to hearing of your experiences on Mein Schiff. Kevin
  10. Hi Gerard, those directions were great and saved me a lot of time trying to locate the forum. I have just added a comment, so much appreciated. It is amazing how effective Google translate is! Back to German lessons after school holidays this Thursday and Friday at U3A in Melbourne and a tutor on Tuesdays but effectively rounding off now before our trip. Agree with you on the risk of getting back late to the ship, and where complex land transport is involved I would rather pay the ship's inflated price, but manage city walks and near places of interest ourselves. In Stockholm we caught a train back to the ship and about 20 passengers hurried back to the dock from the train as the crew were pulling in some of the gangplank structure. Would they have waited for 20 PAX- I don't know! I checked out the various webcams in daylight and they provided a great perspective of Bremerhaven and Auswandererhaus, so that it will be easy to locate. I was a little surprised that the Fair Lady to Helgoland would not leave from Cuxhaven perhaps a more direct line? We are about 4.5 weeks before we fly out so not much different timeline. Cheers Kevin
  11. Hi Turbine001 The German website is back on line, but I am having difficulty finding the the thread again given the changes in the website. Probably will not bother with any updates given the short time before cruising but you are welcome to have a go. It is headed up Q3 2018 with appropriate sail dates, departure and arrival ports and ship. Good luck Kevin
  12. I must have a look at the countdown timer for my phone. Agree with you regarding photos. My Google Pixel 2 quality is remarkable. Went to check out the webcam but will need to look in their daylight hours- great find- I wasn't aware of it. Cheers Kevin
  13. Good to hear of your travels and the improvement to the quality of the food. We have struck the "unsmiling" on various travels, and have found that it does improve especially around the time of completing the final surveys. Some ships wouldn't pay the tipping over unless the staff achieved an excellent rating. The word excellent would often appear in their vocabulary around the survey time!! Kevin
  14. 2 MONTHS TO DEPARTURE Looking forward to this adventure, wondering if my limited German will be an issue, but ready to give it a go! We haven't touched base with any fellow travelers on this cruise and on this forum, and the German forum is still down. That said the cruise ports are interesting and varied. All excursions are planned and are to be self managed rather than shipboard excursions (reason- German speaking guides for a German cruise!) I will stock up on "Australian" gifts of Koalas and Kangaroos to give away. We are hoping that the warm dry weather being experienced in Northern Germany holds for the cruise, but of course think of the farmers who are experiencing a dry period at the moment. Tuffydog
  15. CMV SHIPS - USE OF GYM AND SPA AND SAUNA (INTERNAL) FACILITIES I recall one ship where you couldn't use the internal facilities (not the outside pools and hot tubs) unless you had a SPA package. On other ships (Cunard, Costa, Celebrity etc) it wasn't an issue. I'm not sure if it was just a front desk of the SPAbut was turned away. Any knowledge of what is the policy generally. Tuffydog