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About Scougs

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    Edinburgh, Scotland

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  1. Hi again, some of you might remember I posted a few weeks ago about finding my upcoming Midnight Sun cruise (Crown Princess, June 2020) advertised are a lower price with an agency. That thread was removed because I named the agency, which I didn't realise was a breach of forum etiquette. Some of you gave me some helpful information before the thread was zapped, so I thought I'd say "thanks" and let you know what happened. After much consideration, I phoned Princess and basically said "what would you do?". They repeated the advice given here that Princess do not do price matching. So I asked her what I would lose by booking with a third party - Princess status, ability to book excursions and extras on the Princess web site and so on. She explained everything would remain the same. So, I cancelled my cruise, losing the £50 deposit I had paid. I then went on to the agency website and booked not just the same cruise, but the exact same cabin, for over £500 cheaper, and with $400 onboard spend. Logging on to the Princess website I can see my new booking and can still manage it in exactly the same way. All strikes me as very strange, as I'm so used to always, always booking direct with airlines and hotels, for all sorts of reasons. Now I know that's not the case for cruises! So I'm $1000 up on the deal. Thanks for your help.
  2. I'm booked on the Crown Princess Midnight Sun cruise, departing 13th June 2020. So far, I have only paid a £50 deposit. Browsing the internet, I have just come across the same cruise, same cabin cateogry with Iglu Cruises for £200 less, plus a free bottle of wine and one speciality meal. So I could cancel my booking, lose the deposit, and still save. Is there any reason not to do this? Or should I contact Princess and see if they match it? I know with airlines it's always preferable to book direct so that extras like seat booking, baggage etc are simpler to deal direct with the airline rather than going via an agency. Is it the same for cruises? Is it a bad idea to go via a third party? It's only my second cruise. I would appreciate advice from you seasoned cruisers.
  3. Looking for recommendations from someone who has done a Norway/Midnight Sun cruise. I'm booked on the Crown Princess next June (yes, I know, nothing like planning in advance). I fancy splashing out on a helicopter tour in one of the ports. Which one would be the best option - both in terms of the helicopter tour itself, and in terms of missing out on a land tour? Options are: Stavanger - Lysefjord & Pulpit Rock by Helicopter Honningsvag - North Cape by Helicopter Tromso - Tromso Helicopter Adventure Anyone any experience and/or thoughts?
  4. I'm just back from my first ever cruise on Coral Princess, travelling on my own. I opted for Anytime dining, as the times for traditional were just way too early for me - I would regard 7.30pm as the earliest I would like to eat on vacation. I also wanted the flexibility. On the first night, I said I was happy to share or dine alone, and ended up dining alone, which I enjoyed and stuck with for the rest of the cruise. You can always chat to the people at adjacent tables. A couple of times there was a bit of a wait - I was just given a pager, and headed up to Crooners bar for a Gin and Tonic until the pager went off. Worked really well for me, and just goes to show that cruise ships really do cater for all sorts of preferences.
  5. Can't speak for Ldyandrea, but my rehearsals were all on sea days. Even then, at each of them one contestant had something else on - an Elite status lunch - and they rejigged the running order for that rehearsal to let them be late. I would reckon for the middle rehearsal, if it was a port day, and if you had a private excursion, it would be your choice to do the excursion and miss the rehearsal. The final run through a couple of hours before the show must be mandatory, as it had a safety briefing and a form to sign to say you'd been briefed before heading backstage.
  6. Just in case anyone is searching for this, I thought I would report back with more info/advice. On my cruise, only ten people entered the Karaoke tryout, so there was just the one - I got the impression they would have added another if more people had signed up on the first night. They also only selected six for the final, but clearly sometimes there are eight from what I saw later. When picking a song for the Karaoke tryout, be aware that you only get to sing the first two minutes and then they cut you off. I stupidly picked a song with a long instrumental introduction, and an instrumental break in the first two minutes, so didn't get to sing as much as I could have. Luckily I was still successful. You have to pick your choice of two songs immediately after the Karaoke try out. The songs are listed on two sheets of paper. One of them has songs printed on both sides - which I didn't notice! I was just so hyper after my name was read out. For the final, you must wear closed toe shoes. The only footwear I had with me (I travel very light) was two pairs of plain black sandals, and a pair of hiking shoes. So yes, I did the final in an evening dress and hiking shoes! So pack appropriate footwear if this is something you want to do. The time commitment was minimal, and all on sea days. One sing through (and finalise song selection), plus two rehearsals with full band. This was great - I got such a buzz when the horns kicked in. There were two "mentors" from the ship's professional singers. They were really nice and helpful, gave guidance with the best song choice as well as the delivery. The format of the final is there are three "coaches" in the chairs. If more than one turn round you choose your "coach". The three coaches then pick one singer from their team for the audience vote - we were told to make sure they ended up with two each. Short video clips were shown of the final three - you only sing your song the once - and then the audience uses hand held devices (one per couple) to vote. The winner gets a trophy. It's about ten inches high. I had to buy a tote bag from the ship's shop to get mine home 🙂 If anyone is interested, here's a wee clip:
  7. Ship: Coral Princess Class: Sun Class Deck: 9 (Dolphin) Cabin #: D626 Category: BD Port/Starboard/Bow/Stern: Port Aft Connects With Cabin #: None Accessible: No Quiet: Yes - despite proximity to stairs and lifts the cabin was very quiet Balcony Size: Normal - two chairs/loungers and two foot rests, small table. Plenty of space. View: Normal - unobstructed Privacy Issues: None - balcony completely covered from above Wind: OK Soot: None Problems: None Comments: As a first time cruiser, I don't really have anything to compare this to, but I loved this cabin. It was very convenient for the aft stairs and lifts - really easy to pop down two flights of stairs to the Promenade deck for all amenities. I had been worried about seasickness, so spent a long time selecting the cabin, aiming for something as low and central as my budget would allow. There are three normal balcony cabins by the lifts on either side surrounded by mini-suites, and this turned out to be a great choice - I never felt queasy once. There was excellent storage space both for clothes, and for bits and pieces in the bathroom. I would recommend this cabin to anyone - it was extremely comfortable for a single traveller.
  8. Well everyone, I can report I have made it to the live final 🙂 I also can't walk the length of the ship without someone saying hello to "The Scottish Singer", as I now appear to be known. Karaoke is a great way to meet people.
  9. For a female “crooner song”, is “The man that got away” on the list? I’m loving this knowledge.....!
  10. What kind of material do they do - or, what kind of material goes down well? My thing is normally to do rock songs normally sung by male singers - Led Zeppelin "Whole Lotta Love", Queen "Don't Stop Me Now", Rainbow "Since You've Been Gone", that sort of thing. But the rest of my repertoire ranges from "It's Raining Men" to "Maybe This Time". I normally avoid ballads at a Karaoke because folk want to have a good time - singing along to "Livin' on a Prayer", for example - but this is a whole different thing! My favourite ballad to sing is probably Stevie Wonder's "Lately" - how would that go down?
  11. Spending time on sea days doing something I love sounds great to me!
  12. Sounds like it would be an amazing buzz. I have sung with a live band, but I do get quite nervous! I'm travelling solo so this would be a great way to mingle and meet people. Wish me luck........
  13. Get there early? I'm really, really hoping to be in it.......!
  14. How one little phrase can put a smile on my face! Thanks for the info.
  15. I'm going on my first ever ocean-going cruise in January - Panama Canal full transit on the Coral Princess. I've started reading up about what's on offer on the ship, and The Voice of The Ocean caught my eye. I'm an amateur singer and love a Karaoke, and really want to enter. Can anyone tell me about how it all works? How many people enter the Karaoke tryouts? How many get through to the show? What's the standard like? Any info from personal experience greatly appreciated.
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