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Everything posted by GOQ

  1. I do have thoughts about trying to squeeze another cruise in this autumn. One of the two cruises on my sort list are this repositioning cruise on Britannia in October. I have just done a search on the P&O web site and it seems as a solo traveller the potential choice is: (The base line is two sharing a double inside cabin per person is £999) And the variances are: Inside = £1599 Single Balcony = £2000 Standard Balcony = £1999 Fully obstructed = £1917 Arrgh so confusing. Still a very good bargain and I am very tempted.
  2. I am fairly sure in the outbound direction the Rail "Cross Country service" goes from "up North - possibly Birmingham " directly to Southampton and if instead of Birmingham you were flying into Gatwick, take a train from Gatwick then change at Reading back in the Birmingham direction. I just membered the route is Southampton to Manchester via Birmingham.
  3. I am guessing this is done over the internet and being an "electronic visa" does it go on your mobile phone and you just have to show it at immigration to the US ? I have seen a number of offers on Royal Caribbean cruises sailing from US ports which look interesting and P&O used to offer east coat US cruises which are also on my interest list.
  4. For me the simplest solution while flying out of Gatwick and sailing back to Southampton on a transatlantic cruise I have booked is to take the train to Gatwick and the train back from Southampton.
  5. Could you elaborate on the need for a ESTA please Graham. It's 13 years since I last visited the US and 16 years since I sailed out of a US port and I can't remember exactly what I did then. My late wife used to organise all that sort of stuff.
  6. I never thought of that, I could have had a nice cup of tea and a sausage sandwich at the same time. The booze was cheaper in town but it was in heavier glass bottles. The Brexit duty free allowances being 4 litres of spirits per person a non flying Southampton to Southampton cruise does have a slight advantage, don't have to worry about suitcase weight.
  7. And Gibraltar duty free sells whisky, and other booze, in lightweight plastic bottles for about £8.00 a litre.
  8. Wifi is not free, but the navigate.tui app has buttons which specifically link you to the Chronomics and government PLF websites, and those websites are free. But the catch is you cannot download any certificates, you need to wait until you get a phone signal so you can access your email via your phone mobile data. But when I disembarked at Southampton nobody ever asked to see my downloaded PLF or Chronomics test certificate. That bit may be just chance.
  9. Hi, I have just arrived back after the Iberian Explorer cruise 10th to 22nd September. My check in time was 13:00 but the train was late so I arrived at 13:45, no bother, I was allowed to join the queue after confirming I had a vaccination certificate and cruise insurance. After these details and my passport were checked I was given a boarding pass (didn't need my self printed out passes) and 2 part coloured number sticker, then lead to the testing area. Tests were done in colour groups, we waited 15 minutes for the result and were were all waved through security as a group. On board were were required to take a temperature test every day using one of their automated machines. We all needed to take a LFT 72 hours before Gibraltar and were given access to the Chronomics web site via the navigate.tui app to upload a photo of our negative test strip result, Chronomics then confirmed our result. However the app would not let us download the test result so I took a screen copy. While trying to do this the Explorer Wifi was heavily overloaded and I had to repeatedly reconnect to enter my data. There was help to sort things out Latitude 53, but the queue was about an hour long, with lots of confused people. They ended up just giving us all a self declaration to sign declaring we had received a negative test result, which we then had to show back to the staff to be allowed off the ship. A joke really. We had to repeat this procedure with the return to home covid LFT and the PLF (again the app gave us access to the Chronomics and government PLF websites), with more queues to sort it all out. There were no problems with Vigo, Malaga, Gibraltar and Cadiz where we were allowed to go ashore independently, Lisbon only allowed Marella organised trips, and La Coruna stopped everybody (coach trips included) from going ashore in the morning but changed their minds in the afternoon. The ship appeared to be about one third capacity so the service was very good but the food not so good. It was very nice just to be on a cruise for the first time in 20 months.
  10. Sorry, as you say, the onboard test has to be done three days before return, not 2 days. Marella say they will provide onboard help filling in the required forms and free Wi-Fi to access to the relevant websites. You might think P&O could organise something similar.
  11. In their cruise advice Marella provide a link to their suggested testing partner who will sell you a package of a pre cruise test, a test to be done on the cruise ship 2 days before you return home (which you take with you on the cruise), and the Day 2 test to be done at home. In Wales the government does not accept commercial tests so we have to order an additional Day 2 test from their Official supplier. I assume this package is subsidised and specific to Marella as it is only £30 for the package of 3 tests while the Welsh CTM test is £68 for the single Day 2 test. I don't know if they produce a test package for P&O.
  12. I have not been able to access "My Account/My Booking" since April. Since the Cruise Control webpage redirects the entry of Passport data to the "My Booking" page I can't enter my passport details either. I reported the inability to access "My Booking" to Marella back in April but it has never been fixed. I can get access to luggage labels and boarding passes, that's the main thing. You have to show your passport when doing an airline check in, so hopefully the port will just be the same.
  13. Probability Cruises These are still uncertain days and reading many posts lots of you are concerned about committing to future cruises which may be cancelled because of destinations on your itinerary potentially turning red. There seems to be two incentives to desiring a cruise: a. The ship/cruise experience whereby you don’t care where your destination is, you primarily enjoy the Wine and dine, Entertainment and being at sea experience. b. The primary enjoyment are the destinations. It appears that the recent stay-cations around the UK have been very popular satisfying the desires of the “ship/cruise experience” type of people. Cruise lines are taking a gamble with the destination group in that they can never absolutely predict which destinations/islands/ports will be open at the time of the cruise. I suppose I am in the first group, I don’t care exactly where I am going, as long as I am going somewhere. I have two transatlantic cruises booked over the next two years. A bit in the Caribbean, a lot in the Atlantic and a bit in the Mediterranean. P&O have Southampton-Caribbean -Southampton cruises established (usually 4 weeks or more), which seems ideal for me, but perhaps a bit too long. Could they perhaps modify this type of cruise. What about the concept of a Probability cruise (sort of like FO Mystery Cruises) where the cruise line might almost guarantee to get you to the Caribbean, but then offer five islands out of a pool of ten. So if, say, Jamaica suddenly turned red half way across the Atlantic, they might change the destination to Barbados. Hence you agree to a “Probability Cruise” where the cruise line can’t promise exactly your destination, but just give you a probably of 5 out of 10. I might assume this could be a bit of a challenge for cruise lines in that they would have to establish some sort of fast monitoring and decision department who would have to responsible for making some FAST planning decisions. And being a double transatlantic cruises there are no planes/destination airports to worry about/cause problems.
  14. Again, thanks for this information. My cruise first visits Spain. When I try and order the test pack from Chronomics and enter Spain as the destination it automatically defaults to Canary Islands, so I enter Portugal instead, and the cost ends up as £30 not £20. So for my £30 from the Chronomics pack I get: Delivered before the cruise Pre-Cruise LFT, but I believe Marella provide a test at the Port for free anyway or do we take this Chronomics one before leaving home. Test to return LFT, which needs to be done 72 hours before returning home. ----- So definitely need this test -----, and Marella will provide Internet access to register the result of this test. Delivered after the cruise on our arrival home Day 2 (back at home) PCR. Which the Scottish and Welsh governments do not accept, so for Wales and Scotland we need to order a separate/additional Day 2 test from CTM for £68. And Marella provide 2 additional Covid tests on day 3 and day 6 for free. Right I hope I have got it now.
  15. Thanks LLOM for that information. I was assuming that I would need an onboard ship test before coming back to the UK and was guessing that was somehow part of the TUI pack. Thanks for the info on the 2 free tests as I was thinking it might be £60 (£20 x 3) for the onboard tests. Is the onboard test the "Healgen Rapid Covid-19 self-test" and the "Covid-19 day 2 test" the test you do yourself on the second day after you arrive back home? How does the onboard test work, do you do it yourself and text the results back to somebody? In Wales I am required to order the second day after arriving back at home test via NHS Wales, as they don't accept private testing companies. So that's £20 for the one TUI test and £68 for the NHS Wales test.
  16. Like yourself I had no problems entering my travel information/Insurance details, however the "Passport Information" section of cruise control requires me to enter these details via a link to " Manage My Booking", which I haven't been able to access for the past 3 months despite phone calls to Marella. So it's not just me having these problems then. In what way does it not allow you to enter your Passport details ?, as I said for me it just gives me a link to " Manage My Booking". The "Boarding Passes" section for me is currently locked until I enter my Travel Information and Covid-19 survey. But the Covid-19 survey isn't open until 3 days before departure. So I won't know if I can print my Boarding Passes until 3 days before departure. I am hoping that not being able to enter my Passport Details won't be a problem as long as I can print the luggage labels and boarding passes so hopefully just turn up with my passport. I did request an email from Marella confirming that I can just turn up at the port and they will print all this stuff out for me. But I don't have a lot of confidence.
  17. Do you know if they received a future cruise credit from Marella or they were just left to fend for themselves with their travel insurance company ? In a posting on the P&O forum there is a case of someone (P&O cruise obviously) who failed the lateral flow test then were then given the more accurate PCR test.
  18. The whole thing has me confused. The Marella document states that "For Gibraltar authorities a PCR test within the 72 hours before your arrival time in Port" I've just downloaded the Gibraltar advise document which states "Passengers and crew must have a valid PCR OR lateral flow test taken up to 72 hours before arrival" I am in Wales, so I must have proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken in the 3 days before returning to Wales. "You will need to present the proof of a negative test before you board to travel to Wales", "You will need to find a test provider. You must make sure that the test provider can meet standards for pre-departure testing". Marella provide links to a testing company they recommend, will someone from this company be onboard to perform the tests. So it appears I would need to take a Marella rapid flow test on day 3, a PCR test on day 4 of the cruise for Gibraltar, then another Marella rapid flow test on day 6, then another PCR test on day 11 to return home to the UK. Surely this can't be correct. Oh really confused. Each country requires online forms to be filled in before arrival, so that's the ship internet wifi at our expense is it ?
  19. You are bang on topic and if you do get any clarifications, how you manage to sort out your tests and any reports of your experiences would be most welcome.
  20. I have just had an email outlining my September cruise, this link might be of interest:- https://www.tui.co.uk/holidays/where-can-i-go-on-holiday/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Marella-Cruises-entry-requirements-for-our-holiday-destinations-120821-1.pdf Under the section: DO YOU NEED TO TAKE A TEST ON ARRIVAL? Yes – you will need to take a free-of-charge antigen (rapid flow) test at port prior to embarkation. DO YOU NEED TO COMPLETE TESTS OR FORMS ON BOARD THE SHIP? You will need to take an antigen (rapid flow) test on day 3 and day 6 of your cruise. For Spanish authorities · You must complete an online entry form for Spain. · You may need to complete this form multiple times For Gibraltar authorities · PCR test within the 72 hours before your arrival time in port · Online Gibraltar form completed within the 48 hours prior to arrival time in port For Portuguese authorities: · Online Portugal form completed before you depart the ship For UK authorities Please see the entry requirements for the UK. A bit confused, I will have to work out what this means. In a prior email they referred to the possibility of having to take a (have to pay for) PCR test before returning to the UK and would provide links to their suggested PCR testing company. Now they refer to 2 rapid flow tests, then a PCR test for Gibraltar. Are the 2 rapid flow tests also free and do I now need to pay for 2 PCR tests? Do I have to take the tests/fill in the forms if I am not going ashore ?
  21. I have tried logging into both "My Account" using email address/password and "My Booking" using the booking reference number. For my upcoming September cruise they both fail with "Technical difficulties", so I can't enter my passport details for this cruise. However for my January cruise, although "My Account" fails I can login to "My Booking" for the January cruise.
  22. GOQ

    Pcr testing

    I have a Marella cruise to Spain/Portugal from Southampton in September. I obviously have to take a lateral flow test before being allowed to board, but I have had an email from Marella suggesting that if the situation needs " You may also need to take a test before you return to the UK" they will arrange a PCR test "and will have easy and affordable testing packages available to help you with this" (presumably onboard) before returning to the UK. I might assume that P&O might do the same.
  23. Thanks for clearing that up. Also I am not quite sure what the entire benefits of the loyalty tiers are apart from a 5% discount on selected cruises. A 7.5% discount on drinks have been mentioned on this thread, are there any others ?? TIA Paul
  24. Sorry for the slight deviation in the thread (but it is about loyalty). I am a little puzzled by the P&O loyalty scheme. The web site seems to say you earn 10 points for each night on board. When I check my account I had 70 points for a 7 night cruise in 2009, which have expired under the previous Portunus scheme. OK I understand. My predicted points and loyalty level for my currently booked cruises are: First cruise, 12 nights, 70 points, Not a member of Peninsular club. (12 x 10 =120) ??? Second cruise, 14 nights, 190 points, Pacific tier. (14 x 10=140) ??? Please what am I missing here.
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