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Everything posted by HikingPete

  1. Maybe its because its all hands on deck (sorry... I disappoint even myself) for manning customer queries etc., now that cruises are underway again, and probably with reduced staffing numbers. My uneducated guess would be that at least part of adding the points is a manual process - one would imagine that they have a fairly definitive database that handles the bulk of the work, but I can also imagine that at the very least someone/some team would need to check that the right points are applied to the right travellers (to check if someone is exempt for some reason, to ensure that the right points go to the right people etc.) I once travelled in a group where two people had the same name and that caused no end of confusion. Scale little checks like that up to several thousand people for each cruise, and it quickly becomes a very big job. Throw into the mix all the travellers who have had their cruises delayed, cancelled, or transferred throughout Covid, along with the standard questions it could get messy and fast. The response, which I agree isn't especially helpful, reads a lot to me like "we'll get to it when we can".
  2. Their phone system has been a bit naff for a while now. If/when you get through to one of their agents, they are usually excellent.
  3. Are they doing PCR tests at the terminal? I was under the impression that they were lateral flow tests (and that you needed to have completed the full vaccine course at least a week beforehand), If its Lateral Flow shouldn't you know within fifteen minutes and be able to update the app yourself? Forgive me if I'm wrong, it all changes so fast.
  4. Don't forget there are still places in the UK which don't have a reliable internet connection, if they have one at all, and often no data signal either. I often stay at an inn in the Lake District which has only recently managed to get a cable run to their premises. It wasn't cheap... Think remortgage your house, and you're probably about right. They needed a grant in order to be able to pay for it at all. If they weren't running a business I doubt that they would have been able to get it at all. They definitely don't have any mobile phone reception, so a smartphone is no use either, unless they drove/walked a few miles out of the pass to the nearest mast everytime they wanted to use it. Before that they had a very unstable satellite connection, which was only really used to check the mountain weather each morning and email bookings for their customers. It was sloooooow. I had tried to use it for work once or twice whilst I was there - more often than not what I was trying to access would time out. And thats before we get to those people who aren't as tech savvy as us, or those who find a smartphone an unnecessary expense for their purposes but still have the collateral to go on holiday.
  5. To some extent I agree, but credit and debit cards are effectively free or have free options (ss long as you manage your spending). Smartphones are not, and unless you have a library nearby if you don't have the internet at home you're pretty stuck.
  6. That sounds better than hanging around waiting for someone to hold up your card number to be honest
  7. I'm planning on doing something very similar in December. I don't live far from Southampton, but a brekkie and gentle stroll around town before boarding seems like an ideal plan
  8. Sorry, I (eventually) got through, and I KNEW there was something else I was supposed to ask, but clean forgot until after I hung up. Sorry.
  9. I agree with this. I (currently) work from home, and called P&O during my lunch break (my third attempt of the day). It was nearing an hour and a half when I eventually got through. Luckily I was able to leave the on hold shenanigans running whilst I worked, but if somebody at work wanted to get hold of me, or if I needed to go into a Teams meeting, I would have had to cancel the call. That length of wait for something that can't be done over the website is pretty poor. That said, whenever I've spoken to the reps they've been exceptionally patient and helpful. If they are frustrated by their workload they didn't show it - a massive credit to them. Now, there's just the agonising wait for the actual cruise... and the dreaded check to see if the suit still fits after lockdown...😟
  10. This morning I tried to call P&O, first at 8:29, and was rightly told they were closed. Hung up, and immediately tried again, and received the "we are very busy" message and sat on hold for half an hour before giving up (I do have a life to live, and work to do). When I've spoken to phone reps they are always very helpful... but the company needs more of them. Will I raise a complaint? Yes, I probably will. I've got the names of the people I've spoken to and will mention them as being a credit to their role. The issue is with the decision makers who are happy to leave paying customers waiting for lengthy times, rather than them pay for more staff. Covid/Popularity etc. is not an excuse.
  11. I've not heard otherwise, and they still mention it on their "on hold" messages when waiting to get through to the call centre. I need to speak to them again, so when I eventually get through I'll ask if no one else updates beforehand. I must admit I'll be disappointed if they don't - I quite like having breakfast on the cabin balcony, even in winter!
  12. @amajaa it does make life a little less stressful. I live a few miles down the road from Southampton, and for my cruise in December I'm seriously considering heading over the night before and staying in the nearby Holiday Inn or Premier Inn, then get an Uber home afterwards.
  13. Not a direct answer to your question, more of a curve ball... What about driving down the day before and staying in Southampton for a night? Then when you disembark, you can pretty much just hop in your car and go.
  14. I had been trying to get through to them for several days before the announcement, each time having to give up because I would have run over my break period, or receiving the "we're busy right now so please don't wait on the line, bye!" message before being hung up on. I don't think this has anything to do with Covid. However I should say that when I did get through, the reps have been incredibly helpful.. it just takes a bit of stubbornness to get there. As is often the case, I don't blame the staff taking the calls. I would be interested to see their stats on average wait times and numbers of calls dropped however. (edited for clarity)
  15. Yep. I've done the same for my trip in December. Won't get my cabin number until closer to the holiday, but I've booked a wine package, a shore excursion, and a welcome on board package... they just link it to your booking reference.
  16. I've only been on both Azura and Ventura once each. Given the choice, I would probably go with Azura. We sailed on Azura for my MIL's 70th and had a lovely trip. Even my wife, who isn't really a fan of cruises, had a nice time. We sailed on Ventura a few years later where it had issues with its propulsion, and Porto was omitted from the itinerary. Not an issue for me - I quite like sea days, but my wife had been looking forward to it. Looking back, I do wonder if the engine issues were related to the problem Ventura had a little later when they had to be helped limp back to shore by tugboats. Obviously neither trips guarantee the same experience, but it does kind of shape your personal judgement. I tend to try a new ship each time if I can anyway... I like to find the little nooks and crannies that most people overlook, like the "secret" promenade on the bow of Azura.
  17. Earlier this week I got my December cruise cancelled and rebooked at the Saver fare which was much cheaper than I was paying previously - glad I did. I reckon its going up again very soon.
  18. I was thinking biomechanical but I'm leaning back towards some kind of phoenix motif.
  19. Let me know when you do! I'll need to carry on ruminating on the design I'll going for - I'm thinking something like this, but I haven't quite decided as yet... https://www.tattoodo.com/tattoos/212919
  20. For me, its because I have a scar on my arm I would like to both pay homage to how it was caused, and a permanent reminder to myself. A few years ago I had a cycling accident and an injury which prevented me from working and doing many of the things I loved for a long time. The NHS did an exceptional job, but the accident cut short a long term goal of mine, and led me to a dark place. It took a long time for me to climb out, and I would like to make it less of a war wound, and more of a peace wound.
  21. I got thrown out for requesting Apparente Libertà...
  22. I actually would love one. Curry Club used to be a staple before lockdown.
  23. I'm hitting middle age, and I don't think its a crisis as such, but I'm seriously considering a tattoo - a full length sleeve. If I find the right design and go ahead with it, and people want to judge me for it, so be it. I'm comfortable with who I am.
  24. At my place most of the IT service desk, 2nd level and 3rd level are working from home. We've made cuts, where we can, but no redundancies. I have a niggling feeling with P&O they've reduced the numbers taking calls as a chance to cut costs when they weren't getting as much money in during the pandemic. Once passengers start to rise again, I suspect the numbers on the service desk won't increase.
  25. Yeah, I'm happy with that. It'll pay for some wine at least. I just need to make sure I definitely get the extras that I booked refunded... 😟
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