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Harters

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    Northwest England
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    Oceania

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  1. Harters

    Insurance

    Thanks for that. Certainly worth looking in to. I was in the public sector for most of my working life - local council and, later, in admin with the probation service.
  2. As far as I know, they never have been in the UK. Formal shirts are sold by collar size, but I've no recollection that there is a link to a particular sleeve length. That said, it is over 30 years since I last looked at buying a long sleeved formal shirt, so my memory may be faulty. Either way, short sleeve shirts have served me well for those 30+ years.
  3. I have issues with long sleeved. Shirt makers assume that, if a customer has my chest size, then they must be getting on for 2M tall. No account is made for the short, fat men like me. A long sleeved on me has sleeves flapping about in the wind, they're so long. So, short sleeved for me - it did for work, it does for Michelin 3 star restaurants, it does for Oceania.
  4. This might now get tricky for many Britons, depending on how the interpretation develops. Like most adults in the UK, I have now had both vaccinations. As generally the case here, these have been Astra Zeneca. No problems, so far. However, the government has just announced that booster jabs for the higher risk groups of the population are to be given in the autumn. Again, good news generally. But it's going to be Pfizer, which is showing to be slightly more effective as a booster. So, depending on how O interprets the "no mixing" time frames (we're booked on a UK to UK cruise, so it is not dependent on US government decisions), we may have a problem. I had the second jab in April, the booster will be around October, with the cruise in June 2022.
  5. Harters

    Insurance

    It is an issue. We used to get our basic annual travel insurance "free" with our NatWest account, paying extra for pre-existing medical conditions (of which we have several). This year, when we came to renew, they declined to insure me at all. The insurance was actually the major benefit of that account, so we're now looking to change accounts with them. We checked out the money saving expert website (link in Harry's post) and came up with Staysure (which we'd also seen recommended on another forum). Got an annual policy for just over £900 for the two of us. They had a deal on at the time which has given us 15 months cover. It's only a few weeks ago so the deal may still be on.
  6. I'm actually considering their hotel in the New Forest for a night's stay pre-cruise. If the "Wall" is as good as that, then you should be on a winner
  7. You could easily spend 2 - 3 days in the city. We were last there in 2019. Stayed near Museumplein for 3 days (4 nights) majoring on one museum each day. It's a city we know quite well so have seen most of the other major sites before. My life companion used to visit the city regualrly for work - but they tended to be trips that were there and back in the same day and only occasionally staying overnight. I can thoroughly recommend a couple of restaurants in the same area - Floreyn for "Modern Dutch" food and Pantry for traditional Dutch dishes. My planning for a rijstaffel meal proved to be a disaster. Instead of trekking across town to the well known Indonesian places, like Tempo Doeloe (where we'd eaten before and would recommend), I decided to be clever. I found mention of one near to the hotel and made the classic mistake of relying on Tripadvisor reviews. Srikandi proved to be awful on all levels - poor service and poor food. FWIW, my review of the place is here, so you know why to avoid it - https://www.hungryonion.org/t/amsterdam-srikandi-a-review-for-onions-who-love-negative-reviews/18678
  8. The situation in Spain may not last too long. A number of provinces are tightening restrictions, including curfews. But, also, I believe it is now the most vaccinated country in Europe. The problem lies with young Spaniards who are not getting vaccinated and are meeting in groups to drink and party in public spaces (with the cops seemingly not dealing effectively with the latter).
  9. Based on a quick Google about previous years, I'd suggest you're looking at tickets going on sale in mid-autumn (October). I'm guessing that the Tattoo will actually go ahead next year but first call on places look like going to those who had tickets for this year and are rolling them over. Probably worth you signing up to their newsletter to keep up to speed on ticket sales.
  10. I confess to trying this many years back on our last P & O cruise. At the time (and maybe still), it operated on two dinner sittings. We had asked for second but were allocated first which felt much too early for us. So, we went striaght off to see the restaurant manager to explain our case - mentioning that we would be, ahem, "very grateful, if you know what I mean" if he could move us. Didnt work. The early sitting was one of the key factors why we stopped cruising with P & O. The other was that we had become disenchanted with the formality. It took many years before we discovered O
  11. Certainly not offended by your choices and/or comments. As I said, I didnt feel out of place wearing a polo nor, I presume, did the not inconsiderable number of others wearing similar. I have no problems with a business, whether restaurant or cruise ship, setting an understandable dress code. The customer can then decide whether that place is for them or not. For example, I choose not to visit restaurants or holiday on cruise chips that require me to wear a jacket. It's no big deal not to eat/travel in that way. FWIW, my favourite Michelin starred restaurant, near home, has this as its dress code "Please be advised that our dress code is smart and informal. Sports wear, ripped denim or shorts are not accepted".
  12. Chester's nice. Traditionally, it's the administrative centre of our county. It's history goes back to Roman times and the city walls can be linked back to those times (although they are now generally much later). It's a very pleasant 2 mile walk round them. The cathedral is well worth a visit - it dates back to 1093. The Roman amphitheatre still exists and is well preserved. The castle is home to the Cheshire Military Museum which houses exhibits about the county's two main regiments. On a personal note, I used their archives extensively when I was writing a history of one of the battalions during the Great War. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the city is home to a couple of museums which deal with its Roman history. Assuming that, as cruisers, you're not yet fed up with water, there are boat trips along the River Dee and the canal which runs through the city, The central shopping area, in the Rows, is a unique area in the UK. Some of the covered walkways are in buildings dating to the 13th century. Speaking of shopping, foreigners might be interested in visiting Chester Market. Nothing touristy about this - market halls are common in Norhern towns and it's where many people will do their day-to-day shopping for food and household essentials. It's almost opposite the Cathedral. If you're going on your own, you'll probably need lunch. Obviously there's lots of restaurants around the city but I'm going to suggest a picnic. Visit the Cheese Shop on Northgate Street. I don't know a better place for the wide range of quality British & Irish cheeses. Make sure that, whatever else you try, that you buy a farmhouse Cheshire. Look out for Bourne's Cheshire. Mr & Mrs Bourne farm at nearby Malpas and, as well as here, sell at various farmers markets (including my local one). You'll be able to get other things you need for lunch from other shops along Northgate (although it does make for a reason to visit the Msrket). Then take yourself off to find a bench near the River and watch it and the world go by.
  13. Unless they've changed it since 2017 (when we last cruised), O's dress code was "country club casual". That was absolutely meaningless to me - we do not have country clubs in the UK. I asked about it on a food forum I use, which had many American contributors, but never really got a good definition. The best that I could translate into British English was "smart casual" (as though I was going to a mid-range neighbourhood restaurant). Now, for me, that involves chinos and a polo (or smarter short-sleeved shirt). No flip-flops. I was fine with that and certainly did not look out of place. I never saw anyone "underdressed" but I've no idea if that just meant everybody was conforming or some folk had been refused entry to the dining room.
  14. No excursion for us in St Malo. We plan to spend the day wandering about the town with a nice lunch somewhere along the way.
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