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Posts posted by aussiebossyboots

  1. Thanks everyone for your comments. We will book at the minimum a walking tour.


    Waiting for Cunard to clarify one excursion that does not specify that it takes us back to the port!!


    This is in Kotor where we visit Perest and that is where the tour description ends at a local museum.


    Apparently they have to check with the tour operator to confirm return to port. Don’t want to be stranded.

  2. We are embarking on our second cruise with Cunard around the Med (Rome return) this October. We have tender ports in Split, Kota & Dubrovnik.


    From a logistics point of view, we were thinking of booking a simple walking tour in each of these ports which will give us access to an earlier tender - plus the benefit of the actual walking tour.


    Do you think it is worth spending the extra money booking these walking tours with Cunard - for the benefit of getting an earlier tender?


    Thanks in advance for your responses.

  3. There is no way I would stay at The Palm. It is way out in the middle of nowhere! It will take an extra 20 minutes extra just to get out of The Palm area. This hotel will be OK if you are looking for down time with a beach and don't want to travel all over the place.


    The Park Regis is closer to the Dubai Creek area, and the Western is in the middle of the 'long strip'. Neither of these two hotels are near a beach.


    The thing to bear in mind is the time of the year you are visiting. We went their in early October and it was Hot!! and Sticky!!


    The interesting thing we discovered, the layout of Dubai along a very long strip, like really long, means that you would have to travel up and down to get to most places. Also, a walk on the beach was great, but if you are happy with a pool, just about any hotel would do.


    Which ever 5* hotel you choose, it will be first class. The service levels are extremely high. So choose depending on what you want to do over the two days.



  4. Our first cruise ever was on the QE to the Canary Islands last Christmas/New Year. I selected this particular cruise to fit in with our overall winter holiday to Europe, but most importantly because of the Cunard name and the type of service and fellow passengers we expected to join us on the cruise.


    Can I say, both my husband and I were amazed with the cruise, the level of service from our cabin attendant, the stewards who served us every meal and every staff member we just happened to bump into during the 15 days. Honestly, I cannot understand how someone can complain.


    All the food was really great, I certainly don't cook like this at home! Our cabin was spotlessly clean, always. All requests, from firmer pillows, to more ice was happily provided by our cabin attendant. We lashed out for the degustation menu at the Veranda Restaurant - an experience.


    Loved the afternoon tea, the opera sessions, the 10 shows we attended, the sail away parties (even though it was cold) and the amazing Christmas and New Year dinners in the MDR. Although we don't dance, we made it a practice to watch the first 45 minutes of the dancing each night before our late dinner sitting. There was so much we could have participated in, but just couldn't fit it all in.


    We took only one Cunard shore excursion, but I must say it was very well organized and we really enjoyed the trip. Most of all I loved being up on deck watching the QE maneuver a 360!


    We did come across a few, and I say a few passengers who complained - we just avoided them. They can really bring you down when you are having a great time.


    We had a wonderful time, and will be joining Cunard again in October this year for a Med cruise on Queen Victoria this time.


    I am sure you will love the QE.

  5. We spent 5 days in Dubai last year. It is such an easy destination to DYI. Choose your own hotel based on costs and location. Dubai is one very long strip, so just stay anywhere. Taxis are very affordable, clean and honest. Hire cars are also easily available from the hotel. Get a club room, it's worth it.


    So much to do, including a trip to Abu Dhabi to see the mosque which I would say is a must do, just over 1 hour by car depending where your hotel is located, and of course the Emirates Palace Hotel. You can also do an evening safari night or dune buggy. We elected to go to Oman for a night in the desert, just a short flight away. Amazing experience.


    Not to mention the gold shopping!!!

  6. We are booked on a Rome return cruise this October. The itinerary says overnight in Venice. We want to go to a concert which ends at 10pm - way over the other side of Venice and it will take us at least an hour or more to return.


    I ask this question because last Christmas/New Year we were on a Canary Islands cruise which showed an overnight in Maderia. We actually sailed at 1am after the fireworks.


    Don't want to book concert tickets and then find out that we are actually having a late departure rather than a true overnight.


    Your comments are appreciated, and many thanks in advance.

  7. Assuming you are correct in relation to a 7pm departure, you will be able to board as late as 5pm no matter your official embarkation time. My advice would be to leave Rome no later than 2pm, scheduling Civitavecchia arrival no later than 4pm. My experience is it can take 2 hours by road, dependent upon volume of traffic.


    By far the quickest way to go is by train, and there is a stop near the Vatican which will have you in Civitavecchia 45 minutes later....then a quick 20 euro taxi will have you dockside within 5 minutes. Luggage transfer via Vatican is, of course, the problem but if your hotel is in that area you can leave it and collect post tour.


    After lots of discussion, we have decided to do the early morning Vatican Tour which commences at 7am and concludes at 11am. Thanks hamrag for your train option suggestion.


    We have booked a hotel about 200 mtrs from San Pietro Station and they are happy to hold our luggage until we complete the tour.


    We will aim to catch a train about 1pm from San Pietro (knowing that the train may be full and we may have to stand), but this will remove the possibility of a traffic issue on the way to the Port. This will also give us an extra 1.5 hours just in case we want to see a bit more of the museum. This tour also includes a guided visit to St Peters.


    Fingers crossed all goes well.

  8. I strongly encourage you to forego the Vatican on your embarkation day. Even with early entry, there will be a substantial line, and a visit to the Vatican takes several hours once you finally cross the threshold. Save it for when you have more time.


    I recommend that you spend embarkation morning in Ostia Antica, near the port. It is a very well preserved ruin of the ancient Roman port. Beautiful mosaic floors to be seen, and you can do the whole thing in three hours.


    Difficult to know what to do. We arrive at the Airport at 12 noon on the Friday 5 October and embark sometime on the Saturday afternoon. By the time we make our way to Rome it could be 3pm so most of that day is gone. Not sure when Cunard will advise our check in time!! And also, there is the in/out of Rome logistics. Doing the Vatican tour commencing at 7am was a good way to use the early morning, especially since Italy only comes to life at about 10am.


    MarkBearSF - I totally agree that there really isn't much in Civitavecchia unfortunately. We were considering a 10 minute train ride to the beach at Santa Marinella for a walk around as an option.


    A simple one way transfer to the port and some down time would be good after spending 6 days in St Petersburg - a bucket list item.


    Your suggestion of Ostia Antica is interesting but how do we get there and back? Do you have any suggestions?


    Decisions... Decisions...

  9. Assuming you are correct in relation to a 7pm departure, you will be able to board as late as 5pm no matter your official embarkation time. My advice would be to leave Rome no later than 2pm, scheduling Civitavecchia arrival no later than 4pm. My experience is it can take 2 hours by road, dependent upon volume of traffic.


    By far the quickest way to go is by train, and there is a stop near the Vatican which will have you in Civitavecchia 45 minutes later....then a quick 20 euro taxi will have you dockside within 5 minutes. Luggage transfer via Vatican is, of course, the problem but if your hotel is in that area you can leave it and collect post tour.


    Thanks for your insight. I am not 100% sure that the boat departs at 7pm - just did some research and found a schedule on line. Cunard probably won't give us the official time until a lot closer to the cruise date.


    Booking the Vatican early entry needs to be done early as the tickets are limited.....


    We have 3 full days post cruise so maybe we should just do this tour on the Monday after disembarkation.


    We are now looking at perhaps going directly to the port area and spending some time there.


    Thank you again

  10. We are joining the QV for a Rome return cruise on Saturday, 6 October.


    We will be flying into Rome on Friday 5 October and want to organize an Early Vatican Tour for Saturday morning which should conclude at about 11am-12 noon.


    Not sure what time we would embark in Rome (1.5 hours drive to the port), but would like to get there a bit later say 3.00pm.


    From my research it looks like the QV will depart at about 7pm. I know we will be given our embarkation time closer to the date, but would like to secure this tour early as it is very popular.


    Your thoughts on this schedule would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  11. Smiths for Airports should be able to assist on both travel days. Just make sure they don't try to schedule your pickup too soon. Our pickup was scheduled for 20 minutes after our ETA and the immigration queue was much longer than that (and compounding that, my phone took even longer to go into roaming mode). Our driver was about to give up on us.


    A warning regarding immigration at Heathrow. We have just returned from our cruise to the Canary Islands. Arriving in Heathrow I had organized a car to collect and transport us to Salisbury for two nights prior to embarking.


    Horror! we waited for over 2 hours to be processed, at one stage there was only 1 immigration office working and two plane loads of people waiting. By the time we collected our luggage and got through it was 2.5 hours!. Luckily the driver waited (after a confirmation call from us to the head office). It was now after 9pm and we still had 1.5 hours to drive to Salisbury.


    We had to return to Heathrow from Iceland to connect with our flight on the way back to Australia and again another 1.5 + hours wait to get through immigration.


    This is of course for non UK & non EU passport holders.

  12. What a lovely report, thanks for taking the time to write it. Sounds like we will be on a similar trip on QE boarding Saturday 23 December. We are really looking forward to Cadiz.


    This is our first cruise ever, so really looking forward to our experience with Cunard. You have confirmed that we will have a great time. Hope you enjoy your trips around the UK in style. Enjoy life.

  13. Hubby wore the black suit to daughter #3's wedding with a red, self-patterned tie. The red matched exactly the colour of her red roses thanks to the florist.


    For daughter #1's wedding, he wore the same black suit with a pale pink paisley tie as she had a cream/pink colour theme.


    Both daughters were delighted with his selection.


    Personally I adore him in the black suit, black shirt and black embossed skinny tie. Very Goth! His silver ponytail adds to the drama. Each to their own as long as we meet the dress code.

  14. Thanks Jack for a great review. All points noted, especially the laundry as we will be travelling pre and post cruise so I am sure I will be there on the first day!


    You have made me really, really look forward to our cruise (QEII) but still have to wait 7 months.


    So happy you had a great holiday to celebrate such an important milestone in your life.

  15. Shopping all done. We spent Friday night (late shopping) All day Saturday and Sunday and hubby came through for me.


    We now have:


    1 Black suit for formal nights

    1 Dark navy suit for informal nights

    1 Grey wool pants that go with the black and navy suits for informal

    6 Shirts all can be worn with either the black or navy suits, some with both

    4 Ties

    1 Caramel Chinos

    2 tactical pants black & caramel - day wear

    3 good casual shirts informal


    Plus, jeans, other tops and casual shirts etc. which he already has.


    Thanks exbiologist for all your suggestions especially the tactical pants, hubby was over the moon when we entered the shop here in Canberra. The pants are amazing and I am thinking of buying a female version for shore excursions. Their casual shirts are also excellent, especially for our Iceland part of the holiday.


    Did I say thanks enough.

  16. My formal will be a Tux and my informal will be good chinos, shirt and jacket. Wear suits Monday to Friday (even though casual is becoming the norm) so I guess I will be on the more casual side of informal but do not intend on letting the side down.



    Thanks Pavovsky and Cool Cruiser for your comments. Glad to know that chinos would also be acceptable. But I will keep this bit of information to myself, as I would prefer hubby wear proper pants for dinner.


    To be fair, after the cruise we are going to Copenhagen and then to Iceland (glacial hike & ice caving) and back home via South Korea.


    This is in December/January (very cold) so we both need to have a totally different wardrobe for the second part of the holiday (6 weeks in total).


    But, there is no way I can get him into a tux! A black suit is as far as he will go with proper dress shirts and ties. Add to this two extra of proper pants that match the black jacket, say dark grey and? With some extra prodding, I am hoping he will also carry an extra jacket.


    We have time to shop so starting this weekend to check out what is available. We are quite casual in Australia and to be honest I have never seen anyone wear a tux and I go to a lot of formal dinners/events for work. Have seen one groom in a tux though.


    Thank you again, everyone has been very helpful.

  17. Thanks John Watson for your input. May I just confirm the following:


    Formal: Tux or Black Suit with tie - hubby is opting for the black suit!


    In formal: Shirt with Jacket & proper Pants no tie - hubby is opting for no tie


    If correct for informal, does the shirt need to be a business shirt or can a very good quality casual shirt with collar be OK?


    Your input would be really appreciated.

  18. Oh dear, I just re-read my post and it sounds like my poor hubby is under the thumb. That's not the case. He used to wear suits/ties etc over his career but now has a more casual wardrobe.


    Not to worry, he will shape up, he always comes through for me and looks really fantastic. Thanks everyone for your comments.

  19. Ok, that's out. Thanks for the heads up. Hubby is under threat that he will be dining in the Buffet alone if he is not dressed appropriately because I am going to the MDR. So we are going shopping this Saturday.


    John Watson - no not a Harrington jacket, but a proper suit jacket. But now, after luckymal's comment, he won't be wearing the knit.


    For some reason I seem to have hit a brick wall with his attitude towards dressing for the cruise.

  20. Thanks exbiologist, got the image and was able to find a store here in Canberra so we are going to have a look on Saturday. The pants look great and my husband is keen to try them on. I showed him your images which has started a great conversation about his wardrobe. It is difficult to get him to go shopping so this Saturday should result in a good outcome.

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