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Everything posted by jollyjones

  1. Hi Lois, Yes, thanks for the info, interested that it's cheaper than SS - Uniworld is on my radar should I ever decide to try a river cruise - they seem to have the best open seating dining, I like the option to dine alone most nights if I want. I'm just not sure about river cruising - I'm a total sea day fan, I love sitting on deck doing nothing as the waves go by. Not sure I'd want to be in a place every day, I usually avoid port intensive cruises. But never say never ...
  2. Hi pf778c, I'm a truly committed SS sailor but here's my experience. I was booked solo on the Shadow TA 21st Nov at a very good price but SS cancelled it on me for the extended dry dock - I was annoyed but also a little relieved as I knew the cruise was supposed to be the first one after the original planned dry dock. I had already bought a plane ticket across the pond and wanted to be in London for a while anyway (SS would have compensated me in some way if I'd had to cancel that ticket but I didn't ask by how much), but I wanted a cruise, dammit!, so I looked all around for something with a low solo supplement, found nothing I liked on the right dates on SS, and settled on a 7 day Crystal Symphony RT out of Miami - there really wasn't anything else acceptable. (I'm returning London to Miami on a mileage award plane ticket). I'm not wild about a 7 day - I normally wouldn't do such a short cruise - but I'd been wanting to check out Crystal for a long time as they appear to be the only line vaguely comparable to SS that offers a low solo supplement (I know of Ponant but don't fancy them, can't remember why), so it seemed a good way to start. Over the years I've looked at Seabourn, Regent, Windstar, etc. etc. but their prices for solos are heart stopping. I've also looked at river cruises although they don't really appeal to me, but they sure ain't cheap either for a solo. Unfortunately, you may be a bit late now to find a good deal until the 'last minute' deals come out (I booked Crystal back in Feb), but it's always worth looking. There just aren't many places where you're likely to find what you want - sorry! PS Don't waste your time on Viking, they don't even know what the words 'solo supplement' mean, it's a straight 100% supplement for everything.
  3. No, not ‘gentlemen’. Boys with their prurient little habits. So sad we still have to put up with such childish nonsense. The hot pants wearers only do it because so called grown men will go foolish at the implied offering.
  4. IMO you can wear what you want, who cares if it 'has' to be short dress with a suit. If you like the dress, you're happy wearing it and it fits you (how I wish more women paid attention to their rear view in too-small dresses!) - go ahead and wear it and feel happy. Ignore the what-goes-with-what police.
  5. Hi Spins, The weather gods are having fun teasing us with little patches of blue sky to get our hopes up, then dashing them again. I haven't taken many photos because it's so often dark and drear that they don't come out well. But I have enjoyed learning about life in the far north of Norway in Tromso, Honningsvag and Hammerfest - I was really quite ignorant about this area. We actually got nighttime sunshine cruising west past Nordkapp so I've seen the 11.24pm sun (fell asleep). Last night I had dinner at Hot Rocks to enjoy the evening sunshine but It was raining so hard that even tho' the tables were undercover, I had to keep my feet up on the table pedestal as there was so much rainwater swilling across the deck. Managed to stay awake to see the midnight low-cloud-and-pouring-rain tho'. Even my ever-optimistic Aussie trivia team mates are feeling the gloom - good job we're winning sufficiently often to cope. However, I think I may come back in a couple of years in the hopes of seeing Norway in a better light - literally - and maybe getting to actually ride on the train at Flam. After all, I'm doing our next cruise in Sept on the Whisper as a return visit after doing the same itinerary last year in the hopes of seeing the ports we missed because of bad weather. That's my usual response to an unsatisfying cruise!
  6. Just reviewed yesterday's post - I feel it's overly harsh, sorry! After all, "seriously bad luck" has some pretty worrisome implications when afloat on a ship in rough waters - it's not that bad. Although when the Captain came on the intercom this morning in Honningsvag (rather than the CD) after a very laborious (and unfinished) docking maneuver in high winds my heart sank, but he was only apologizing that it was taking a long time. It's still very cloudy and raining ... brrrrr ..... PS - Interestingly, some of the local dock crew pulling in our lines are women - good to see fair shares on the jobs, stevedoring has been a very 'men only' profession in the past. PPS - pretty impressed at how well the internet is performing waaaay up here on top of the world.
  7. The weather is foul and getting fouler. All I can say is I might pencil a repeat in for summer 2021, but I might not, I’m so angry about it all. This is the most expensive cruise I’ve ever booked and it’s turning to sand in my hands. Weather is not anyone’s fault, it’s bad luck, but this is a seriously bad luck cruise.
  8. It was a ship tour and I outline the pathetic compensation in my post above, #32. The weather is going from bad to worse, the Captain has just announced that it’s going to be rough, windy and wet tonight and tomorrow. Oh joy.
  9. I have taken to avoiding the MDR as it's become so bad, I'm glad to hear it should only be temporary. The CD is disembarking today having been made to stay a week over his contract to allow Allan to fill in on the Shadow after Kirk left SS. I don't think Colin's heart was in it. Maybe things'll be different if Allan makes it onboard today - he's coming from Venice yesterday, he should make it but the weather here in Tromso is awful - cold, low cloud and torrential rain. The compensation from SS for the Flam fiasco was a refund plus any other excursion of our choice (up to the value of the train one) for free, plus a sort of make-up coach trip in the afternoon after missing the train (which I wasn't interested in). I don't do many excursions, preferring to wander around on my own, and I have more SBC than I need on this cruise so the compensation was meaningless to me - just made using my SBC more difficult. I have asked if I can transfer it to my next cruise but I'm very doubtful they'll do it. The only other thing I was really hoping for from this cruise was to see the sun shining at midnight but the current weather and the forecast weather means that we are unlikely to have any clear skies. Last night it wasn't even very light all night because the clouds were so dense and so low. Guess this just ain't my lucky cruise.
  10. Not been in the mood to post as the cruise isn't going well, for me at least. Food in MDR not up to usual standard - different Exec Chef from prev sailings (Joseph??) - some dishes OK but some terrible. This is my third cruise on the Wind this year and it's a very noticeable deterioration. Weather not helping - cold, cloudy and grey, and lots of rain, altho' I can see a few blue bits today so maybe it'll improve. Ports rather dull. Hoping that will improve at Tromso tomorrow. No thought given to those of us crossing the Arctic Circle for the first time, it wasn't even mentioned from the Bridge, I had to ask to find out when we were doing it. (Midnight last night) And, the huge elephant in the room, at Flam SS started tendering too late and WE MISSED THE TRAIN. They have given us all sorts of explanations but it doesn't alter the facts. I hate tendering, I hate coach rides, I just love trains, particularly scenic routes, the Flam train was to be the highlight of this cruise. AND SS MADE ME MISS IT. So, although just one thing won't completely ruin my cruise, the train fiasco coming at the first port has severely dented my enjoyment. Generally if a cruise doesn't go well I look on it as an excuse to do the cruise again some day, but I doubt I'll be back this way in a hurry.
  11. Sorry Les, the video was fine, I was just tired! Started out yesterday in only second place - there's one red hot team, they may be unbeatable. Our team is chrism23 (USA), clarky (4 Aussies), two others from USA, and myself (mid-Atlantic). A bit short on Europeans but there we are. All might change after next Sat when Colin gets off and Allan returns so the questions will be a little different. Allan is on the Shadow unexpectedly because of Kirk's departure from SS; Colin is staying on here a week longer than scheduled, now he has to fly home to Paris from Tromso rather than London - he's not thrilled about that. And Jimmy K is moving up to HD, so SS must be running a little short of CDs ...
  12. Yes, Les, we slipped our lines at 0540 rather than 0530. And yes it was a cold and misty morning. And yes I was up and watching it all from deck 8 aft as we backed out - only stayed on deck till the barrier, then went into the warm for a lifesaving coffee. Looked up at the Dartford Crossing from my balcony, couldn’t be bothered to get coated up again to go out on deck. Internet speeds perfectly OK, can stream from YouTube, watched some of your video but the music was not my thing.
  13. Montserrat is an absolute must see!! What a change from the same old same old usual Caribbean itineraries.
  14. I'm equipped for everything from weather above the Arctic circle to a heatwave in London (could happen) and all, as usual, in just carryon. Setting out this afternoon, looking forward to a few days in London again. The odd hours onboard are going to be a challenge to my aging bod - starting with the 5.30 AM sailaway which I don't want to miss, it'll be my last time under Tower Bridge as I'll not be back on the little girls - I don't do expedition cruising and I've found the little girls to be just too little. Then all the early morning fjord sailins after the late night midnight sun on deck champagnes, and afternoon naps forshortened for Trivia ... Our CD should be Allan but I read here that he's recently been on the Shadow - odd, he usually only does the Wind, we'll see. Jimmy is Jimmy Kovel - agree, a very good CD but he has aspirations to be a HD, he'll be good at that too but he'll be a loss on the Trivia circuit. Moss was good too, but they've moved him to the Cloud. I should be easy to locate - a solo (very solo, I like to be on my own a fair bit of the time) with shortish grey hair and a suntan. At the bar in Panorama surveying, but not joining, the solos cocktail gathering. Fingers crossed for smooth travels to all, I am so so glad XR cancelled their drone threat to Heathrow!!
  15. I am on this cruise too but I can only answer some of your questions as I haven't done Norway before altho' I am at 310 days with SS . We will be waaaay too far north to be worth trying to suntan IMO, we are starting at 51 degrees latitude and are going up to 70+ degrees, I only sunbathe at 32 degrees or more southerly. For reference, you live at approx. 42 degrees. The pool? Who knows, I never go in it. I'm bringing shorts (well, zip off pants) but that's mostly for before and after in London and Copenhagen. I have fleece lined pants for within the Arctic circle, it'll probably be in the 40s by day there, lower overnight. But we might be lucky and have a heat wave, they did last summer. I've booked Hot Rocks for three nights within the Arctic Circle for the amusement of eating dinner outside in full daylight. But it won't be warm. I'm much too impatient to bother with trailing around on excursions but I have booked the Flam railway since I'm also too lazy to sort out how to book it myself. I've done a lot of research on the other ports and have pretty much figured out what I'm likely to do in each but that's a very individual thing. Up the fjords the sea will be calm; along the coast it could be anything. This'll be my third cruise on the Wind this year and she's looking just fine but then I don't care as much as some people seem to about superficial 'looks'. The engines run and food and drinks are served. And while it's not actually true to say I cruise to Trivia, it's not far off. I'll be there on the first afternoon looking for a team - I'm Brit (sort of), useless on pop music, great on other areas tho'. Fortunately, Colin (CD) is disembarking on 22nd and Allan King is back on board - I prefer his questions to Colin's. And ignorant people who criticize a Captain for missing ports clearly don't understand that he has a great deal more information upon which to base his decision than the pax, and a huge responsibility if he makes the wrong decision.
  16. All you need is a simple plastic chair. SS probably has a few plastic chairs somewhere maybe? Also, as has been stated somewhere here, the walk in shower stalls have a wide ledge for sitting down. Simply walking in, sitting down and using the hand held spray is a perfectly efficient way to shower, and much, much safer than scrambling over the side of a tub and making the transition from standing to sitting in the tub, then sitting to standing and scrambling back over the side of the tub.
  17. Against the Orange Toddler? You're joking.
  18. I'm glad SS has made the sensible decision not to waste money on such a pointless exercise.
  19. Caveat emptor. Read the terms and conditions in the contract before you pay for a cruise.
  20. Why do you feel the need to say that? Kinda insulting. Cash ... card ... many people are capable of managing their spending mindfully.
  21. NINE pairs?!! I'm looking at four pairs for my upcoming four week trip which includes the Wind cruise to northern Norway as well as time in the UK, and if it wasn't for the cold weather in the Arctic circle I'd only be bringing three pairs. And I'd be OK with two pairs. Traveling with only hand luggage, as I do - I gave up checking bags as a mugs game - careful packing is essential! But so relaxing - after the very careful planning, actual packing and unpacking takes so little time I never have to worry about when to do it.
  22. I am on the same cruise and wondered about getting krone too so I posed the question over on the 'ask a cruise question' forum and was reminded that Scandinavia is going almost totally cashless, and tipping is not expected (altho' not refused, in any major currency!) so I intend to use my debit and credit cards only, although I will probably get a small amount of krone from an ATM for my own interest and comfort. Being a dinosaur I used to laugh at 'cashless' as being unrealistic in practice until a recent trip to London when I did the whole ten days (including tipping) on my debit card - never touched any actual notes or coins at all. So convenient.
  23. So if I get this correctly, the tour guide wouldn't particularly be expecting a cash tip but is unlikely to refuse one, in any major currency. So that makes my personal choice of what to do much easier - no stress, love it! Thanks all for the info.
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