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Boltonian

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Everything posted by Boltonian

  1. Although my cabin, as I indicated before, was on deck 10 so far as I know they are all to the same standard and layout. Unlike when I travelled, of course, there are now kettles in the cabin. Hope you have a great trip and the weather is favourable..
  2. Last year I stayed at the Ibis London Thurrock which was comfortable, had decent food and was a reasonably quick taxi trip to the London Cruise Terminal at Tilbury. Although the hotel is alongside the M25 the double glazing is excellent and I heard no noise - even though my window was opposite the motorway - during my stay. Very pleasant reception staff. A number of other cruise passengers stayed there and I shared a taxi with a couple which halved the £20 taxi fare.
  3. My alter ego Beltonian (I used to live in Belton Norfolk but now I have moved back up north i am reverting to my home town roots) already posted on the Roll Call page as below. I am very happy that my remarks about the 2018 trip proved of some use.
  4. I would be very happy to supply more of my meanderings if you could be a little more specific. I have now booked the 2021 trip which will include new places for me as well as some familiar ones. I am very pleased to be going back to Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and French Polynesia (and hoping for better weather in Tahiti and Bora Bora where it was rather cloudy most of the time unfortunately - still loved the places though!) as well as seeing new spots such as Brazil, Indian Ocean Islands and Tonga. A return to East and South Africa which I last saw in December 1971 will be interesting as there have been many changes there since then of course. Let me know what you would like to hear that hasn't been covered by previous posts.
  5. Dear Denis and Pat, Only too glad to have made a very small contribution. If there is anything else I can help you with please let me know. I look forward to reading a review of your trip on your return if you feel inclined to do one. It may help me - and others - with the 2021 cruise. Best wishes Stephen
  6. I would say that the Shore Excursions Department was probably one of the two the weakest areas on the ship on my trip. Some of the oral presentations were a little patchy. However, it always a pleasure when Miran from Croatia was presenting. He was also the most courteous. I found some of the others in that department to be less than helpful. The organisational abilities on the mornings of a few of the tours also left something to be desired. This department should be one of the primary areas of the ship to be totally on top of things and present a pleasant and helpful face to passengers who are looking to spend money which ultimately benefits the company who employs them.
  7. So pleased you enjoyed it and ignored the discontents. Like you, I had nothing to do with them on the 2018 trip. They only let themselves down but if they enjoy their own misery so be it. I always take small dollar denominations, probably about $100 in ones as well as currencies on my preloaded cards. It's amazing what you can buy, particularly in Asia, for a few dollars. T shirts, bracelets, fridge magnets, knick knacks etc. One lesson I learned in the hard way in Asia with regard to T shirts is always buy a size above what you would wear in the West. I bought some in Vietnam in my usual size and ended up giving them to my Steward as they turned out to be rather tight! I have booked on 2021 trip (if I am fortunate to live that long) and am looking forward to some different islands and countries this time as well as familiar ones. Yes, the prices have risen since my first trip but the cost still represents a pretty good bargain. When you look at comparative costs CMV are still very much in the frontline of value for money.
  8. Sincerely hope that which line you choose or wherever you go you both have a great holiday.
  9. Not sure how it could be described as "torture". Many couples I met were very happy to eat in the buffet especially as the service in the MDR was often slow. Still, as they say, each to his own. Shame, though, as you would miss a great experience if you decided not to go with CMV.
  10. Well, you can do this at every meal if you choose to eat in the buffet - same food as the MDR.
  11. All I can say is that there were a couple of tables of only 2 people on my trip. Have a word with the maitre d' before dinner and see what he can do for you. I am sure he will be accommodating if he can. It may depend on what sitting you want, how busy the ship is and what other passengers' requirements are. Good luck!
  12. Hi, First of all I hope you enjoy the 2020 cruise as much as I enjoyed mine in 2018. As it was my first ever cruise I was lucky enough from the night before embarkation to meet up with a Canadian couple from Toronto who were old cruise hands and showed me the way when I needed it - which was quite often! As for the tours I did the full day shore excursion to Petra - there was only one as I recall - and for Papeete it was entitled "Tahiti West Coast" which took place in the morning (we were back for lunch onboard). A friend of mine went on the "Tahiti East Coast" trip but wasn't that impressed. However, that's only one opinion, of course. Whatever, I'm sure you'll have a great time wherever you go. Petra was simply fantastic and even at 71 I managed the long walk down and back without event. I would love to go again. If I can assist with anything else about the cruise or the ship please don't hesitate to ask. Best wishes
  13. Certainly the TV in my single cabin on Columbus in Jan 2018 had no accessible ports so, unless other cabins had different TVs (and I don't believe they would have had) the answer to your question is I believe no. Sorry.
  14. Seems a strange reason to cancel a port visit. Still, I suppose they know best.
  15. Hi, where is the ship stopping now before going through the Panama Canal? I thought Cristobal was always a preferred berth being so close to the canal to take on fuel and stores.
  16. Re shuttle buses. As far as I can recall, and using only those ports where both the 2018 went and where those in 2019 are due to visit, we had shuttles at Sydney (we berthed in Balmain not Circular Quay) and Hong Kong (we berthed at the International Cruise Terminal or what used to be the old Kai Tak Airport and a bus took us to Diamond Hill Station where we had to catch the efficient Metro for onward travel into Kowloon and the Star Ferries to HK Island. The Terminal is about 10kms from Kowloon City centre). There is nothing at Laem Chabang itself other than a few tourist-type stalls in the terminal. Passengers that got off there were going on organised trips to Bangkok. Many ports, of course, you can just disembark and either walk or take a taxi into the relevant town/city. There could - others may know - have been shuttles at Yorkey's Knob and Port Klang but I went on shore excursions there so cannot remember. Sorry. As for Cristobal, which must be the dreariest, and arguably the most unsafe, port of call on the voyage, I would avoid the shuttle. It takes you through some very dodgy areas to a single street where, having gone through a security barrier, there are a few shops, some of which offer free wifi. However, I wouldn't even bother disembarking there if I went again.
  17. I also did a tour in Penang ("City and Heritage") through the ship. It was a 3 hour morning trip and covered a couple of temples (both well worth a visit if you're not "templed out" by then!), a restored house and the Chinese Jetties - basically shops on a pier! Actually, the prices there are very reasonable. I thought they would be a bit of a tourist trap but I bought a couple of decent T shirts for less than £4 each which have washed well and have not shrunk or lost their colour. It's a good city to walk around too as I did in the afternoon. Fort Cornwallis is worth a stroll to as is the world famous Eastern and Oriental Hotel if you fancy a cool refreshment. Both not far from the berth. In general a lovely, and in my experience safe, place.
  18. I did the Petra trip in April. The coach journey there takes approx 2 hours (with a short 20 minute "comfort" stop at a shop en route) but the views are spectacular if the weather is clear. Tip: sit on the left hand side of the coach going. Pace yourself at Petra. Easy to do too much, especially if the weather is very hot (it was mid 30Cs when we were there). However besides the Treasury the amphi-theatre is well worth the shortish walk. Slow and sure on the way back up the hill to Petra Town. We had a couple of elderly ladies' slip as the path surface varies quite a lot and some of the shale can be a bit slippery. Probably, though, one of the greatest experiences I have ever had in my life. That and going underneath Sydney Harbour Bridge in early morning brilliant sunshine to our berth in Balmain. Do hope you enjoy.
  19. I did 20 ship organised trips on this year's RTW so if anyone wants a critique of any they may be thinking of going on I would be happy to give you my opinion of them. I do realise that a number of 2019 ports are different from ones we did this year but places like Petra are always on the agenda.
  20. I did the world cruise this year on Columbus and never had a minute's doubt that my passport and money locked in the safe was under any kind of threat throughout the whole 4 months. Easy to use.
  21. Hi, Travelled on the Columbus earlier this year. There were certainly no DVD players to my knowledge in the cabins but I can see no reason why you couldn't take your own. Most people I knew played DVDs on their laptops rather than on the cabin TV.
  22. Re Halong Bay. We didn't berth there but a year before my son and daughter-in-law went there and went on a private cruise which they had arranged through their Vienamese travel agent prior to going. I imagine that somewhere on this website someone with experience will be able to assist you.
  23. In addition I took my credit card (wanted by the cruise line in any case for onboard expenditure) but never used it in anger.
  24. When I went I took a currency card loaded with around $500 as well as $250, AUS$ 300, NZ$150, Euros 200 in cash. I found dollars were very much accepted virtually everywhere (including China) plus Euros in Europe and French Polynesia. In Hong Kong I changed some US$ into HK$. I thought it best not to change too much there as it is difficult to change those back to £ on return to the UK. Overall that the amounts I took were more than sufficient for my needs as a solo traveller. Obviously much depends on what sort of things you want to spend your money on. Some people spent quite a lot more then me especially those that bought pearls in Tahiti.
  25. This is certainly the position as I understood it during my 2018 trip. China is a fascinating place and I wished we stayed longer than we did. The tours we did in Shanghai city and in the watertown (about an hour away) were well organised and the guides extremely informative and friendly.
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