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TouchstoneFeste

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Everything posted by TouchstoneFeste

  1. I recall one day when all the game tables were full, but generally you are correct. I prefer the games corridor because the chairs are straight-backed, not "loungy". I've certainly moved on when the other tables start to fill up. Also makes it easy for me to wander over from time to time and place a few pieces on the jigsaw puzzle that is currently in play.
  2. I did a quick search and see at least one tour that would take you there (and to other neolithic sites and the Italian Chapel) from Kirkwall. There are also a few taxi companies and I'm fairly sure you could contract with one for a trip to Skara Brae. Kirkwall is a charming city with a few worthy sightseeing items and a bunch of shops that are much lest touristy than most of the places we visited. But I agree with @gnome12 that the ancient sites are far more interesting. Strange that a city tour would be offered but not the other. We selected our northern Scotland tour because it spent a day and a half in the Orkneys, so we saw both. Maybe you should ditch the city tour for a full day exploring the ancient sites?
  3. While I certainly wouldn't take that bet, I'd encourage the original poster to check again later. The site is already operational for some countries, and now it's just a matter of rolling it out to new ones - in theory that could happen quickly.
  4. Reception during our crossing last December was fine throughout, even mid-Atlantic. We're rather light users, however: email and some browsing.
  5. I think it is also self-paced? You get a device with the recorded tour, I think, so you could speed up toward the end or skip a station if you feel you're running out of time. So I'm told.
  6. When we visited Dubrovnik, we asked the cruise director what he thought of the included tour of the city. He suggested we looked fit enough (mid 60s but mobile) to walk the circuit of the city walls and thought we might enjoy that more. Boy, did we! It's a longish walk, great views of the city and surrounding areas. Game of Thrones was also current at the time and it was fun to turn a corner and realize we were approaching the House of the Undying or the place Varys and Tyrion chatted.
  7. He won a few Oliviers and Tony awards (and nominated for more). Mostly for Cabaret, but also a couple other West End and Broadway shows.
  8. Did anyone ever answer the original question? I don't know the answer, but I imagine you can order up a cab from your hotel at any hour of the day or night. (Obviously no one on this forum suggests this is the right way to go ...)
  9. It's called "London England Syndrome". According to TVTropes.com: "The name was coined by Bill Bryson. He discussed it in an essay in which he suggested that the stereotypically lower intelligence of Americans compared to people of other nationalities is not down to some sort of racial defect, but a result of Americans being regularly freed from any need to think, ever. This trope, he argued, is one way in which American newspaper-readers are not required to cognitively exert themselves in the same way that British newspaper-readers are." As others have pointed out, there are a lot of US cities named after foreign ones. In my home state of Ohio, you can do an extensive tour of world capitals in one day: London, Berlin (and Bonn), Paris, Lima, Canton, Cairo, Athens, Dublin, Amsterdam, Lisbon (twice), Moscow. Plus many provincial capitals (Medina, Calcutta, etc.) Most are ferociously mispronounced, of course. My favorite is Mantua (pronounced "man tuh way")
  10. I now have a picture of Osman in shorts and a tee in my head, and I'll never un-see it.
  11. I think after a day or so people get their "sea legs" and don't notice the moderate movement over small- to medium-sized swells. On Day One I notice many passengers (including me) wobbling down the long passages; by Day Two most are navigating as well as the crew. Again, talking about moderate seas, of course. Hence some of the "no movement" comments.
  12. Try cunardonboardservices@cunard.com
  13. As @esrs says, Luggage Forward has easy-to-use luggage tracking. However, putting an air tag in a shipped bag (which we've done a couple times) is no different from putting one in a checked bag at the airport - which is what they're for, after all. The FAA rules (and I assume these are equivalent to other international rules) are a little complicated https://www.faa.gov/newsroom/lithium-batteries-baggage but you can ship or check devices with lithium batteries in them as long as they are secured from accidentally activating. Loose lithium batteries, no. The FAA seems to be trying to make a reasonable accommodation ...
  14. And (my usual cross-referencing to other forums) see this thread in the British Isles/Western Europe forum: Any advice from a fellow named John Bull can be trusted.
  15. However, customer service has provided me with lists of expected speakers for upcoming voyages when I asked. (With the proviso that things change.) (And most recently they did have one prominent speaker who was not listed in advance.)
  16. I imagine they would berth at the new port/terminal, Galataport. You'll find multiple discussions in the "Other Mediterranean Ports" forum: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/149-other-mediterranean-ports/
  17. Skean dhus - or sgian dubhs :) - are explicitly disallowed. Even a plastic would probably be unwelcome. Even without it, it's a great look.
  18. And that TSA lock might be acceptable, since in your case the authorities with the most skin in the game would be in the U.S. Contact LF directly; they've always been very responsive to my queries. They've also always handled our luggage respsonsibly, so I didn't hesitate too much over allowing it to be opened, but I get your concern. For what it's worth, they have insurance as part of their booking price ($400 per bag I think?) and additional insurance is inexpensive. As I recall it cost us $20 per bag to insure each for $1,500; and higher levels of coverage are available. Which reminds me.... While you are completing the booking for international shipment (not domestic) they'll ask for a packing list. They don't require a detailed item-by-item list, just clicking on general categories like "Clothing", "Accessories", etc.
  19. We used them last December (and previously) and we're planning to use them again for two future cruises. They don't serve all port/cruise line combinations but you should have no problem with disembarking from a Cunard ship at Civitavecchia. I've never been through Civitavecchia, but I assume the procedure will be the same as at other ports: Cunard will unload all your luggage (including anything you plan to ship) to a holding zone; you'll need to get all of it through any customs/immigration yourself. The LF agent will be waiting with a "Luggage Forward" sign. The luggage has always arrived at the destination ahead of schedule; as a result, it has always arrived in our stateroom at a different time from our self-managed luggage. As you're shipping home, that wouldn't matter, but it will be delivered to your house on their schedule, not yours. We've arranged to have a neighbor receive it for us if it would arrive before we did. They don't have designated staff at each destination - they use agents and the actual shipping is done by a major service like UPS. Note that when shipping internationally, they'll want your luggage to be unlocked. Also, some items which you can easily check at an airport may be disallowed for international air shipping. This is clearly stated in their terms of service, but I missed it the first time. I tried to ship a disallowed item in a thoughtlessly locked bag outbound to our cruise. They called to request the lock combination, and they kindly FedEx'd the item back to our house at their own expense. (Not sure this would be as easy on return shipping from overseas.) We recommend it.
  20. There were department heads (Chief Engineer, head chef, etc.) involved in each segment of our tour last December, along with a lengthy visit to the bridge, so it's not hard to imagine "operational reasons" being legitimate. While that could also be a euphemism for "insufficient sales", ours was sold out.
  21. The insertion of a slight "y" at the beginning of the "oo" sound in many words is simply a characteristic of the Received Pronunciation (and others) in British English. Think of the word "Duke". In America (and some other non-RP accents) this is normally "Dook"; in RP there's a tiny little "y" in there: "Dyook". It may sound overly posh to some, but it's just the way they pronounce it. I think we can safely choose whichever pronunciation we prefer - "Coonard" or "Cyoonard". And personally I place the stress equally on both syllables, perhaps a slightly stronger stress on the second syllable.
  22. Not silly at all. Luggage Forward provides oversized tags but the cabin number is not very prominent so we also use the Cunard tags (on a different handle; the LF tags are seriously huge!) so the onboard luggage handlers have something familiar to use. The first time we used LF I thought I saw something about not having other tags. I haven't seen this notice since, so probably they meant to get rid of airline routing tags/stickers; or I'm just an idiot. We shipped without the Cunard tags and one of our bags got misrouted to a neighboring cabin.
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