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About ollienbertsmum

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Finding myself lost in new places. Writing my PhD thesis on a balcony at sea.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Any cruise line that will take me on a trip.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Can a mother choose between her children?? I love them all equally.

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  1. I am joining you watching the thread. I am going mid-September so any tips throughout the summer will be welcome. I prefer DIY days. We are not good at hanging around with 50+ people.
  2. The review was interesting, so thanks to the OP for posting, however I tend to agree with Nita. I think the comparisons can be ship-specific and even passenger-specific. I have met staff who are helpful and some who I have found frustratingly difficult to work with. I don't think that is the fault of the cruise-line. We started out on RCL and I was nervous about moving to NCL. They have all been great. There was a different flavour to the Adventure cruising out of Malaga a few years back. This was because there were a larger number of Spanish passengers which made things different (9 pm dining was packed). I have gained confidence that I do not need to be so loyal. Last summer we went on a Princess to ALaska. The ship was deserted by 10 pm. People were just so exhausted from the long days. You can't blame the cruise line for that. I am now booked on a P and O next year - and would happily consider MSC or even Marella if the itinerary suited and the price was right.
  3. Thanks Keith. I hoped you would answer. I suspect that the option won't be available anyway. I tried a mock booking and all suites except family suites are shown 'sold out' on my booking date. Looking at the prices made me have a serious think. For DH and I love cruising and trips in general but would not pay double for a better room/service. I would rather go on two trips. That is just the way I work. Happy cruising
  4. Hmmm I know that learning how much more spoiled I could be might be the risk. I am so happy with cruising anyway. I am just 3 years off retirement. I should be starting to look for ways to enjoy insides so that I can be ready to maximise the number of cruises I go on!!!
  5. So you said that you would be saving on kennel costs. Mark that against any potential extra cost for you being solo. However I think I would just try a no-show. As to why they charge more, I understand it to be that passengers generate income. If numerous people sailed solo in a double or even triple/quad room, there would be so much less income from the passengers themselves, drinks, shops, casino, excursions, speciality restaurants, photos (do people still buy them) etc. The ship would be much less profitable for the line. Even the staff would be upset because they would get less of the DSC.
  6. Love, love, love the Epic. I have been 3 times and loved each cruise. I like the bathroom set up. It suits us fine. We were on the last Med cruise of the year last year. The weather was bad and as a result it was more crowded inside. Still did not put me off. I don't use the lifts so cannot say about crowding. The only negative for me having done three cruises is that they have not changed the shows. I really thought the storyline in Priscilla was a bit silly. I would prefer to read a book than go to see it a second time. I am only not going again because I need a new itinerary. I have done the Western Med 7 times !!!
  7. I have an Eastern Med cruise booked 😁😁😁😁😁😁😁 in September. It is booked from UK so service charges are included. On the invoice it specifically says "prepaid service charges for all Cat except for Haven and Suites". I am reasonably happy with my assigned cabin and do not want to pay very much more, but I could be tempted to put in a bid to upgrade. Does anyone know if the conditions on the prepaid service charges only apply to the original booking. It seems as if were I to snag a Haven, I would have to pay the upgrade bid plus the service charges? That would put me over budget. I don't want to make a commitment that I am not happy with. Does anyone have any experience of this?
  8. To be honest, if you catch the shuttle and start to walk, you will find you are walking along with other folk all headed in the same direction as you. I get lost easily, but would find it hard to get lost following that route. Google map it and you will see. You keep the sea to the right of you, if you go wrong you will probably need to swim. If you do it on your own, make sure that you get back to the train station in plenty of time. If you get the express train you have your seat anyway. We usually buy the local train tickets and aim to get back to Termini just before 4 pm. That gives us plenty of time to get hot and tired in Rome. Even if you go with RCL you have to get back to the station in time. Someone still needs to be the watch monitor!! I am sure that you will find it less difficult than you anticipate.
  9. Hootss: it only takes about 20 minutes from where the shuttle leaves you. It may only take about 20 minutes from the ship (the shuttle actually takes you away from the station) however you cannot be sure where you are going to dock. I suppose that once you dock you could use Google Maps to see the distance. It is so hard to tell how long it takes to get off the ship, find the next shuttle bus and wait for it to fill up. It doesn’t take long to walk from the shuttle bus into the station and locate the platform, but that is another couple of minutes. Those people who have not got tickets have to queue up or locate a machine to purchase the tickets and then validate them. You may have to go down the steps under the line to get the train to Rome. It all adds up. Since missing your express train would really spoil your day, I would allow at least an hour (I have done it 5 times and it has always been OK). You can always have a coffee when you get to the station. I would be interested to know how long others allow. We usually walk back from the station and have a gelato on the way. By this time you are not so stressed - unless you have timed things badly and you only have 30 minutes to sail-away time. 😱
  10. What lines have you looked at? The American companies I have travelled with have all sold cabins for 2,3 and 4 persons.
  11. Sometimes there are a number of taxis that do a “ship shuttle” run and charge a few pounds per passenger. If that option is not available, taxis will be available. However the walk is very short, straight and flat. I am always surprised how many people queue up. I have seen people pushing wheelchairs into town I once tried encouraging some folk at the back of the queue to walk. They would have been standing in the queue for a lot longer than the time it takes to stroll back. I got some funny looks, I think they thought I was doing a scam 🤷🏻‍♀️!
  12. That is so true. Our last trip to Civitavecchia found us docked at the industrial part. This had been a last minute arrival as Naples was closed due to bad weather. We usually walk off the ship to the train station but this time we couldn’t. It was disappointing for those who had not done the trip before, but it is the downside of cruising in the autumn. I was interested to see the bus to Orvieto. I would consider that another time! I don’t often dismiss places, but Civi is really not a port stop to visit. Tarquinia is well worth half a day.
  13. I am interested by your experiences with car hire between countries. I will get a quote rather than dismissing it next time I need that sort of travel. The Swiss Rail passes can be a bargain. They are also so convenient. You do have to do your sums and work out what is best for your trip. Do know that the Swiss trains are very well organised and reliable. You also get those boat and mountain train tickets at a reduced fare. I don't think that a single night in Lucerne is enough. Lucerne is so pretty - and you need to visit Mount Rigi and the lake. I’ve added a picture from Lugano. It was gorgeous. Such a difference to the German and French areas of Switzerland. I have been to Cinque Terre and Lugano which I believe is similar to the Lakes of Italy. I loved both. Whichever choice you make will give you a great trip.
  14. I have scrolled down and cannot see if anyone else has addressed this - but surely the cost of hiring a car in Switzerland and leaving it in Italy would be really high. Have you considered doing the pre-cruise road trip to Croatia/Slovenia/Albania and then doing a short flight to Rome??
  15. This makes sense. Lucca is a wonderful day trip, especially for people who can’t quite cope with the idea of the crowds in Florence (I went to Florence too soon after foot surgery, it was quite hard). On the way back from Lucca our train made one stop before Pisa Centrale and this was right beside the Field of Miracles. It would have been easy to get off the train, see the Tower and then make the shortish walk back to Pisa Centrale and on to Livorno. We have done this on NCL Epic which does provide the shuttle directly to the station. More time is required if you have to find a taxi back.
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