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Everything posted by Catchum

  1. We have done stop overs in Singapore an Dubai. We always booked directly with the air line. Singapore Airlines have a package which includes a couple of nights at a hotel in Singapore plus transfers and from memory a HOHO bus pass. Emirates does a similar thing in Dubai. Both times we flew in to Sydney but I can't see why Melbourne should not work too. Make sure your second leg into Australia is with an acceptable partner airline - on one occasion ours was with the antipodean equivalent of Ryan Air and it is not a quick flight.
  2. We had an inside on the refurbished spirit with no issues at all. Beautiful ship and great service. Double check that you are looking at the new deck plans as some passengers we spoke to had booked cabins which were under the gym after refurbishment (not when they booked) and had a real problem with noise from above. Oh and don't forget that you can ask for a coffee maker in your inside cabin from your steward.
  3. Kennystwin Thank you for your reply I really appreciate that you took the time to come up with so many brilliant thoughts. I had not thought of avoiding bus trips (though we usually don't do them any way) you are correct that he would hate to be told about life in Alaska by some one who hadn't spent winter there. I have been to North Pole Alaska at Christmas but it only got down to -30 and I was told I needed to come back to experience proper winter weather.
  4. I looked before I booked - the deposit is a few hundred and we paid by a credit card that has an excellent record of refunds, I would certainly not put down the many thousands that some people appear to have lost reading trip advisor. The trip is not until July 2022 so we have plenty of time before final payment is due.
  5. Will check out the capitol building and brewing tours they sound great.
  6. Thank you for your advice I will look at the mine tour for sure. Tourist stuff is fine as are crowds of people, when you live some where you never do the tourist stuff (the last time he was in Juneau was 30 years ago for business). The cruise is a part of a longer trip so I get to see part of Alaska I haven't been to DH is happy so long as he is being fed and watered I just want to find stuff he will enjoy too.
  7. OK here is my situation. My wonderful DH has agreed to an Alaskan cruise BUT he lived for most of his life in Alaska. Dog sledding - he owned a team, wildlife - spawning salmon, moose and beaver hung out on his property, flying over a glacier - he did it as his job ........ So any suggestions for things to do off the tourist trail? We like people, food, wine, quirky things, wine, mechanical things and wine. I thought the Mount Roberts Tramway in Juneau would fit the bill and Dolly's House in Ketchikan but other ideas most welcome. I know it seems strange but I have only seen inter
  8. We did a 14 Day Amsterdam to Budapest in September / October 2017 and I would thoroughly recommend it. (We have just booked Bucharest to Budapest for 2022). You will see a lot of small German towns and some major European highlights, plus amazing autumn colours. If you have time spend extra days at both ends of the trip as both cities deserve as much time as you can give them. The Szechenyi Baths were a total highlight for us at the end of our cruise. As others have said research (ooh I do love a spreadsheet) to find out which company is the best fit for your party and budget
  9. If you have booked in the UK and paid in £ then there is nothing left to pay on board - if you look at your account you will see the breakdown of the price listed like this Cruise fare, Fuel Suppl (usually NA) Gov't taxes, fees and port Expenses Guest total ( the sum of the above) then a new line saying Prepaid Service Charges then the total price to pay The Ts&Cs for the US customers are totally different and have a daily charge added to your account on board plus tips added to the drinks package at the time you pay for the cruise.
  10. On our trip Spice H2O was pretty quite after about 5pm when the sun loungers were no longer in the sun and the staff take all the cushions in. It is not a party area just a nice chill out space with quite ambient sort of music. We were on deck 9 and cut through deck 10 to get to the stairs but it was not a busy thoroughfare by any means. I would recommend the location. The only cabins to avoid at all cost are the ones under the gym, double check you have an up to date deck plan as the gym was extended in the refurbishment, and the soundproofing left a lot to be desired.
  11. Yes we have our refund - actually several days ago but have just seen it on our credit card statement. This was a 50% refund for a disrupted cruise which finished on the 22nd March so a little less than 2 months.
  12. One final picture I meant to post, taken in Cape Town - this is the kind of fill up I approve of! OK so I know it was water but a girl can dream
  13. Sorry I can't answer about the spa we never got close to it. I loved the old Spirit and the renovations make it even better, Spice H2O is a wonderful space, on the "arms" at the aft on deck 11 there are comfortable chairs, The Local is a vast improvement on the cramped 24 hour place before and the casino is smoke free. There is a upstairs area for smokers which is glassed in. Not everyone liked the huge screen in the atrium, but it seemed to mostly have videos of flowers, beaches and waterfalls and I didn't have a problem with it.
  14. No sign of it yet and I'm not expecting if for weeks - but not looking to book another trip for a few months.
  15. OK we are on the home straight now hold on Food We had refuelled at sea and taken on six tenders of provisions whist off the coast of (probably) the Seychelles. With so many days still to go it was inevitable that some items would run out. The only real casualty as far as we were concerned was the reducing choices on the salad bar, bean and lentil based salads appeared and shredded vegetables replaced lettuce. We had 8 meals in the speciality all of which were excellent. Onda by Scarpetta is the new Italian and the menu is confusing as it looks a bit like a regular Italian
  16. We are still cruising if you are still reading Well, breaking news we made it to Reunion, well, not exactly to Reunion but we stopped near by to allow a medical evacuation which was not unexpected as there had been a passenger code alpha the previous evening. After this, it was confirmed that all of our ports were no go, so now it is full steam ahead to Cape Town and a total of 16 consecutive sea days. The new question is will the South African Government let us dock and disembark? Day 16 saw rough seas, high winds, cloudy skies and general grumpiness as deck 7 was clo
  17. The Saga continues Itinerary Well…. are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin Originally the itinerary was Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Fujairah, Muscat, Seychelles, Madagascar, Mauritius, Reunion, Richards Bay, Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay and Cape Town. Then CV hit China and the headlines and we decided if we got on the ship then every thing else would be a bonus - 20 days with the person you love, the beverage package and someone else doing the cooking, cleaning and laundry (platinum status gave us two bags each for this trip as it was so long) seriously how bad could it be? Spoiler it
  18. You have been warned! This is a four part saga so if you have a cat to cuddle or plants to mind I won't be offended, if you wander off at any point. But if you have nothing else to do please come along on our 20 day cruise on the refurbished Spirit. The Norwegian Spirit Dubai to Cape Town 2nd March - 22nd March 2020 or "All at Sea" Background This cruise was not on the calendar. We had just completed a Christmas cruise out of Singapore on the Jade, visiting all the places which were the among the first to shut down over Covid 19 we were not in the market for
  19. There is a long thread about this which though not recent is still relevant as the rules haven't basically changed. https://boards.cruisecritic.com.au/topic/2290141-drink-tax/ Each country sets its own rate of VAT. When and if it is applicable to on board sales depends on the itinerary and apparently on how clued up the cruise line/ship is. To avoid Spanish tax 21% or Italian 22% why not purchase before boarding whilst you are in the US? I got the rates from mr google at the link below. https://www.avalara.com/vatlive/en/vat-rates/european-vat-rates
  20. We use it for our platinum dinner. For me it is salad bar 2 or 3 visits, pineapple and then off to the MDR for dessert. DH has a bit of chicken and beef but mainly because he feels he will have missed out otherwise.
  21. Thank you for the pictures - 17 days till we join in Dubai - off to start packing
  22. Having just completed a NCL Asia cruise the issue may be that the ship collects and keeps your passport during the cruise to facilitate getting visas. We had UK drivers licenses but I also took a photo copy of our passports with us ashore, this worked when we were asked for id when using a credit card and exchanging money.
  23. Top tips from me 1. cruises are addictive - you have been warned 2. carry your Freestyle daily with you everwhere on and off the ship - it tells you what bars are open when and gives you the emergency phone number (port agent) to call if there is a problem when you are ashore plus the all aboard time. 3. set your tv to bow cam and you get a the captains view from the bridge - great if you are not in a forward facing balcony cabin. 4. bring a battery night light to put in the loo for nocturnal visits 5. magnetic hooks the stronger the better. 6. you are not locked
  24. On our recent 15 night SE Asia cruise on the Jade everyone had to attend 2 muster drills. The second one in the second week was at 10am on a sea day. The first we knew of it was when an announcement came through saying it would be in 20 minutes. It was a sea day so at 9.40 we were in bed drinking coffee and contemplating getting up to read the Freestyle daily to see what was happening. We made it on time, but many were very late getting there and looked flustered.
  25. This board is heavily populated by pro formal dining cruisers which is fine but I was in a similar position considering a crossing and found the review below very useful https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2667029-fyi-qm2-casual-dress-cruisers/ Basically the writer had a good cruise without either violating the dress code or ever dressing formally. I did not book the trip but part of me wants to sail on a Cunard ship and dress up properly - in corset, full hooped skirt and tiara (my usual weekend attire).
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