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Everything posted by Mr&MrsCookie

  1. Please don't tip in Australia and New Zealand - people will start to expect it. It's not customary to tip here as most workers get paid a reasonable amount - and don't rely on tips for income like America does.
  2. It wasn't intentional to look like that but hubby thought it was funny - Can't remember what it was called
  3. All the desserts seem to look better than they taste (although I did get one dessert in the main restaurant that was in the shape of male genitals! 😮) Really loved the key lime pie in the restaurant though - pity I only saw it once.
  4. Got a certificate from Celebrity in March for crossing international date line.
  5. I didn't mean Solstice when I said old. She is quite young (and 5 star) compared to our permanent ships (the P&O fleet are in their twenties - the newest addition is the old Dawn Princess being 23 years old) The base fares for Aust/NZ went up a bit a year or more ago when the gratuity started being included. Still probably not much of a price difference to the old prices - just paying gratuity before the cruise rather than at the end. The crew would be better off this way as they will be getting their tips from everybody and not just from those who didn't take off the auto gratuity.
  6. Australians don't have high expectations at all when it comes to cruising. In fact just the opposite. We have to settle for old ships for one (that stay here year round) and always get the hand me downs. I personally couldn't fault the crew on my March cruise - and the crew work so hard keeping the drinkers happy and get less money for it than in Alaska. I would guess and say that most of the good Alaskan reviews were before the Aust/NZ ones which indicates to me that things are going a bit downhill with time. One thing I noticed with the reviews is that everyone mentions the ship is looking tired and due for the drydock (including me)
  7. Loud music wasn't a problem on my March cruise on Solstice. The only time I did notice it was when I was having brekky early one morning out on the deck behind Oceanview. The really loud rock music spoilt it -it is normally so peaceful there at that time.
  8. Only you can decide which cruise to do - they are all for totally different countries so you need to do your research to see which appeals to you more. If you are coming from a long way away and only do one cruise, the 2nd one seems a little bit of a waste as you don't get to see Australia or NZ at all. All 3 cruises are very common itineraries and very popular.
  9. SHIP: Solstice CABIN #:7211 DECK #:7 CLASS: 2A AREA: Port BED NEAR: Bath QUIET?: Very - no noise from elevators BALCONY VIEW: View to aft is blocked by cabins on the hump, can see all the way to the bridge BALCONY SIZE: First angled cabin on the hump so only slightly bigger WIND A PROBLEM?: No SOOT A PROBLEM?:No PROBLEMS/COMMENTS: When standing at railing, can see straight into the balcony next door (7209) so not private. The slightly bigger bit of balcony always had water pooled there. Not worth paying any extra for.
  10. Don't believe everything you read. If there was a chance of it not being finished on time, then I'm sure we all would have got wind of it in Brisbane at least by now. If the grain terminal had to be used, then everything you would assume would probably happen there. The only times I've heard about people getting processed at Portside and bused to grain terminal was when there was a last minute change eg recently was too windy to get to Portside so docked at grain terminal and people were bused there.
  11. I think that it's a bit rude that the company who charges the most in the world for a drink package - and are also known to make weak drinks - has a daily limit.
  12. Captain Tasos doing his favourite donuts He is well known for them. Pity he wasn't on our cruise - the other captain is a little bit boring.
  13. There was a bit of coughing and stuff on board but didn't seem too bad but was only once we got back that we found out lots were sick - including me. I ended up with a chest infection or something once we got home and still taking antibiotics and can't shake it. There were about 100 people on our facebook group that answered a poll and over half of those were sick - flu or something else. At least 1 in hospital with pneumonia. If half of facebook got sick, can only imagine what percentage of the whole ship got sick. Some of the crew were off sick while we were onboard too.
  14. Looks like we got off as you got on. I wasn't looking forward to getting on and off at Princess Wharf but it was organised chaos. We were on in less then 15 minutes when we got there about 1. I can also recommend the discount taxis we found at the wharf ($40NZ for cash to the airport) and not recommend super shuttle. Hope you and the rest on board are healthy - a lot on our cruise got sick either on the ship or as we got off. Over half our facebook group came home sick. I'm on my second lot of antibiotics and still not 100% - and I never get sick so it must be something bad.
  15. I haven't mixed anything up. I was talking about the mast bar which is on the starboard side - which is smoking as per the above smoking policy. Noone has mentioned mast grill at all.
  16. All of the mast bar is the starboard side so the whole thing is smoking. There were ashtrays on all the tables and people sitting at the bar smoking constantly on the last cruise.
  17. This was on the last cruise. Our nonsmoking bartender had told us the mast bar had been changed to a smoking bar but couldn’t remember when.
  18. I found the local tours that were quoting me in USD were the ones that were trying to rip us off. They were (wrongly) assuming that most on board were Americans and so would be ok paying USD. Most were New Zealanders and Aussies though and US is expensive for us - and an awful lot of money for the local countries. The preferred currency is always their local currency. These aren't luxury ports so them trying to change other currencies into their own is difficult. Anything set up for cruisers like the markets would take US, AUD and NZD as well although the exchange rate wouldn't be good. No, tipping isn't customary and they don't expect to get a tip - but they may get very hopeful if they hear an American accent 😉
  19. We've just got back from this cruise and had a good time. Have just done a review so will be up in a few days. We were lucky and had pretty good weather and good seas. Not overly hot but more humid. This cruise seemed to attract the older crowd (more in their 60's and 70's but they look like they know how to party! LOL) I don't really like doing the cruise tours because they are so overpriced - but can see the benefits of doing them at these ports. We had to deal with rude -and some downright scarey people trying to find some good local tours especially Fiji. Did a local Suva tour from a mob that were set up on the wharf and wanted extra money midway through the tour - don't know the name but wouldn't recommend them. I wanted to do a local tour of Apia samoa but too many people were in our faces wanting to charge $100US for a taxi - rip off. Would suggest going to the Information Centre there - they put on a free cultural tour there for the cruise people. Lovely people there. We loved American Samoa and did a tour with Alofa tours $35US each - would recommend them. Tonga was a bit of a miss especially Vavau. Very unorganised there but they are trying. They were getting people to complete surveys at the end of the trip so they should improve for next years cruise. Would recommend ship tour here. We were watching some people get into some of the local boats there and they didn't look seaworthy. The town itself is tiny with little to see. In Nukualofa we were a little scared again of the local tours and taxis but after a look around town we hailed a local taxi who took us to the blowholes and saw the countryside for about 50 tongan. There were 2 tender ports - Bay of Islands and Vavau. Pretty sure it was American Samoa where some people we knew got eaten by the mossies. But they did some rainforest tour. I didn't see a mossie the whole trip. If you haven't booked a cabin yet, I would suggest one on starboard side. We were on port side and seemed to be on the wrong side every port.
  20. Just saw Sea Princess go past work near the Gateway Bridge, so nearly at Portside. I think everyone will be happy to be on solid ground again.
  21. P&O have just announced the 3 day cruise from Brisbane on Dawn on Saturday has been cancelled altogether.
  22. Not the best time to be on the water. My manager is on a 3 day cruise to nowhere leaving Brisbane on Saturday - I think she will be lucky to get out of the Brisbane River.
  23. That's what I say to my kids - both of them have tattoos. I still don't think there would be many twenty somethings with tattoos with lots of money who want to go on cruises. Very select market.
  24. Anyone planning on trying Virgin? The bookings have just opened and they are unsurprisingly a little expensive. And only 4-5 day cruises at this stage. Trying to work out the cabins - it looks like the bed gets folded up each day to make a couch? Bit annoying if you like a nanna nap during the day.
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