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About kremerlorraine

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  1. There is an MSC shuttle from the main train station for 5 euros per person each way (charged to the cabin) to the Steinwerder terminal. Although we didn't want to take the shuttle that early, we saw them there from 10 am. It costs 3.30 euro per person for the S bahn from the airport to the train station (Hamburg Hauptbahnhof).
  2. We have spent two Christmases on board, one at the end of a transatlantic crossing and the other in the Caribbean. As in most of continental Europe, the main emphasis is on Christmas Eve, which is usually a gala night with special menus and some free fizz from the Captain. We really enjoyed the run-up to Xmas with the ship being decorated - there seemed to be something new appearing every day. On Xmas eve there was a Xmas themed.show in the theatre, the tenor sang some carols in the atrium, and we had a sweet song from the Squok Club children as well. There was also a midnight mass in the theatre. And everyone gets a present of a small panettone in their cabin. I can't remember anything special on the day itself.
  3. Thanks, all. We've been through the Indian visa process several times and we have a multiple entry paper visa still valid for our Victoria trip in October/November. My query related to another cruise next March which has a stop in New Mangalore. You're so right about the confusing and contradictory advice, including from the cruise lines. As I said, last year on MSC many people didn't bother with a visa and they were allowed on without a problem. I'm not so sure what Costa's approach would be, so I guess we are resigned to getting the marginally cheaper e-visas. The official Indian government website says they are accepted at New Mangalore.
  4. Does anyone have recent experience with Costa of not requiring a visa if you do not plan to exit the ship at Indian ports of call? On a recent MSC cruise that included a stop in Cochin, we did get off the ship and had our visas, but we came across many passengers without visas because they had no intention of getting off the ship, and all they had to do was sign a waiver form at check-in. I have phoned Costa and got the "company" line about needing a visa whether one exits the ship or not. It isn't a problem to get an e-visa, but it is an expense one could do without!
  5. There is no acknowledgment of the initial request. I followed up with an e-mail and it took about two weeks in total. As a Costa Perla Oro I got matched to Gold, which was a bit disappointing, but perhaps what Emma’s Gran heard is right.
  6. No self-service laundries on Costa.
  7. Hi TNCruzer56 As Jeanette said, you can take advantage of the Magic Bag at any time. We have never had a problem with the service. You give the bag (25 items max) to your cabin steward one day and it is returned the following evening. Lorraine
  8. We joined in Marseille and will stay on board until the 26th. I understand that most of the passengers will be disembarking at our first call into Port Everglades next Wednesday - presumably to be replaced by American families on their Xmas break. We enjoyed a very smooth crossing and today visited the British Virgin Islands - a first for us. The ship is not at all full - maybe 1800 or so instead of the maximum 2800. There is no rush for the sun beds in the mornings! And because the second sitting for dinner isn’t popular, we have a table for eight all to ourselves. unfortunately we aren’t diamanté yet - got another four cruises to go before we reach that, and hoping that Costa don’t move the goalposts in the mean time! Max the cruise director has gone to the Pacifica. The new guy is called Alejandro and is fine. The evening entertainment has been good, in our opinion.
  9. We are on Deliziosa en route to Port Everglades. Somewhat disappointed in the food offerings having been spoiled with great choices and menus on the Victoria in the Indian Ocean. The big cost-cutting change is that the evening cabin service has been removed except for suite and diamante guests. Now the stewards have additional cabins to clean during the morning. Our steward said this new policy had begun on Diadema and Deliziosa was the second ship to roll it out.
  10. Hi Spambo. We didn't take any Costa excursions because we thought they didn't represent good value. In the Seychelles you can get a minibus or taxi, or even the public bus (22 or 21) to beautiful Beau Vallon beach for a fraction of the Costa price. In Reunion we rented a car from Avis which is about 10 minutes walk from the port exit. You can also get a shuttle from the port exit to the bus station in the nearest town, Le Port, from where you can get another bus to St Denis, St Paul or St Gilles (where there is a good beach). In Diego Suarez we used a local agency called Madabest (they have a website) for a whole day tour to Amber Mountain national park and Three Bays around the city. They provided a good 4x4 with driver and knowledgeable and friendly guide - again for a fraction of the Costa price. In Nosy Be we used another local agency to do a tour to Nosy Komba where there is a park with lemurs and then on to another island for swimming and lunch. There are lots of operators waiting on the quayside when the tenders arrive. Don't worry about the ship. Yes, it's old and the classic inside cabins are tiny, but the crew are wonderful and the food is good.
  11. Just been on her for six weeks. Very few people went as far as black tie on gala nights. There is also always a white night. We had a great time and especially enjoyed the food in the Fantasia main dining room. All the crew with whom we interacted were friendly and dedicated.
  12. Hi We bought the 3GB package on a 22-day crossing on the Pacifica earlier this year, and it was enough for our needs, but we do tend to surf a lot (looking for cruises to book!) I would buy the 250 MB and see how you go. You can always buy more if you need it. You have your own account, so can use their computers as well as your iPad or phone. Just remember to clear all background programmes every time you log off.
  13. Hi Jonad and everyone. Nice to hear from you, and to hear the reassurances about the Victoria. We're bringing her down for you from Savona and then staying on for two weeks from 28 October. We're not seasoned cruisers by any means, but have been on the Pacifica a couple of times this year and really enjoyed the food and entertainment (although some of the shows were becoming, shall we say, a little familiar by the end of the second cruise)! The Victoria did get a bit of a refit when it came back from Asia in April, so perhaps it isn't looking too bad. As Caryl said, as long as it's clean...
  14. Thank you all - I am planning to travel with hand luggage only, so not having to pack a dinner suit will help. But fear not -- we won't let the side down by being under-dressed!
  15. I hadn’t spotted that - thank you. It does say Smart Attire for the three nights, so that will inform my packing!
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