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kentchris

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About kentchris

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Overlooking the Straights of Dover
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Cunard, Saga

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  1. kentchris

    Upgrades

    Do you have a source for that? I first learned about the three-way auto upgrade option (no upgrade, any upgrade, or upgrade only to the next cabin type) on CC over a year ago, I think on the P&O forum. P&O's FAQ actually spells it out, unlike Cunard's which helpfully talks about hair dryers. AFAIK from comments on CC you're correct about not being able to back-track if you don't like the automatic upgrade you're given. However, unless you're talking about something other than automatic/complementary upgrades I think you're confused re the selection aspect: I changed my preference last year to 'auto upgrade only to the next cabin type', having originally opted for 'no upgrade', as I realised I could cope with even the worst Club Balcony cabin as an alternative to my 'good' Balcony cabin. The Cunard call centre person knew exactly what I was talking about and confirmed she'd changed my booking accordingly.
  2. Fresh fruit is available on request in all cabin grades so there's little point in taking on board oneself.
  3. kentchris

    Upgrades

    Don't get hung up on the terminology, just look at cabin categories and the grades therein, ideally with the assistance of deck plans (not that the plans that now shown on Cunard's web site are terribly helpful since they no longer show the cabin categories and grades). You appear to be getting it with your second post: 'Stateroom Type' is from e.g. Balcony to Club (or higher), whereas 'Any upgrade' could be from forward to midships within Balcony, or (on QM2) from sheltered balcony to glass fronted balcony, something which many people might not consider to be an upgrade at all.
  4. kentchris

    Upgrades

    I can't imagine why it should be a UK only thing, and MCC retired confirms it's available in the US so you should have been able to do it. My experience is necessarily restricted to the UK on a booking I'd made directly with Cunard: I had a change of mind so called them and changed from 'no upgrades' to 'only upgrade to the next stateroom type' with no fuss on their part. Carnival's POLAR booking engine offers the option to restrict upgrades to stateroom type (the screen shot is from an old-ish promotional document aimed at TAs, it's not a system only available in-house to Carnival Corp sales) so you may have been misinformed by someone who possibly should have known better.
  5. kentchris

    Upgrades

    You can't specify which sort of upgrade you're willing to accept if you book via Cunard's web site, but if you book by phone you can.
  6. If you search the River Cruising forum (not the River Cruise Ports forum where you’ve asked the question) for threads about hair curlers on Viking you’ll get lots of results. Whether they’ll do anything to resolve your ‘problem’ is another matter...
  7. "Can I bring alcohol on board to consume in my cabin or in restaurants?" (from the UK FAQ): "You may bring wine or champagne on board (over the age of 21) to celebrate special occasions. However if it is consumed in any of the dining rooms, alternative restaurants or bars then each bottle will be subject to a corkage fee of $25 (fee subject to change). There is no corkage fee if it is consumed in your cabin." Note the absence of any mention of quantity. One can draw one's own conclusions from Cunard's inconsistent messages, but judging from reports in this forum and elsewhere, in practice they don't appear to be in the least bit bothered.
  8. Why give the money to Cunard before you need to, unless final balance is due very soon anyway? If I was going to be organised about it (I never am) I'd make regular payments into a savings account to remove the temptation to spend it on day-to-day stuff, and then pay the balance from that. Even if NZ savings accounts pay the same paltry interest as in the UK it'd be better use of your money.
  9. I doubt there's a significant pool of untapped demand from people of working age otherwise Saga would have already discovered a way of attracting it even with their quirky older ships. Saga will still appeal mainly to retired people with the money and time for longer cruises ex UK ports. If people want Saga's bells and whistles but on more casual cruise lines they can always book them through Saga. I also think that one of the factors which make 'British' cruise lines distinctive is the dressing up for dinner a couple of nights a week, so for the time being I don't see the feedback loop which reinforces that on Saga being broken. Anyway, I've heard that dressing up is a bit of a Thing with under 60s, but perhaps I mix with the wrong people (and I'm not talking about young fogeys BTW).
  10. You can ask for alternatives to the beverages (beers, mixers, soft drinks) provided in your minibar and these will be replenished daily. You are provided with an order form with various brands of spirits for the two free bottles but you can write in whatever you want and you'll probably get it, e.g. alternate spirits brands, sherry, Pimms, wine. You can ask your butler for an order form when you need replenishment, or if you're not drinking quickly enough you might find a hint to speed up in the form of an order form. We ended up with an unopened bottle of gin to take home because our butler didn't want us to run dry.
  11. Kindles have had a USB socket for the power lead since the first generation, so any USB power supply can charge your device. If you're going to be in Europe for any length of time before or after your cruise, or expect to visit Europe more than once, you may find it easier to take a two pin Euro USB power supply so that you can charge your Kindle or other USB powered device anywhere without worrying about voltage ratings and the faff of carrying a plug converter. No-name Euro USB power supplies are dirt cheap to buy from eBay or Amazon, and branded ones such as Apple aren't exactly expensive to buy online.
  12. Are you perhaps thinking of the drinks packages on other lines which may be included when you book through Saga? I confess I don't read every single page of the deluge of stuff which arrives through the post from Saga, but I've never seen any mention of drinks packages on their own cruises.
  13. Perhaps Saga are simply delivering the product their customers want. There are still a lot of people for whom 'formal' means actually dressing up rather than changing from jeans into chinos.
  14. Carnival seem to be avoiding Amsterdam at the moment, probably due to the new €8 per head tourist tax on cruise ship transit calls. E.g. there are recent grumbles in the P&O forum that they've suddenly discovered 'operational' reasons for calling at IJmuiden rather than Amsterdam. At least one other line is reported to be doing the same.
  15. The replies in the thread you started on Thursday last week are helpful.
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