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About BrianI

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    Warwickshire, UK

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  1. There is a hold or reservation put on your credit card on a daily basis based on your spend to date. Similar to what most hotels do. If your spend is below your credit limit you will not see anything. The only time anything is actually charged is on the final day when you leave the ship. A printout of your spend will be delivered to your cabin overnight on the final day. You can get a printout at any time from reception. Some ships enable you to check your balance on your cabin TV. The purpose of the reservation is to ensure that you have sufficient funds on your credit card to take payment when the time comes. Nothing to worry about. You will be asked to register a credit card at checkin. This can either be one card to cover all members of your party or individual cards if you are a group of friends travelling together Brian
  2. I think the Rocky Mountaineer is a bit overrated. I would suggest that hiring a car gives you better options in that you can stop anytime you like. You can also drive on the Icefields Parkway which you cannot do by rail. https://icefieldsparkway.com Driving in Canada is very easy once you are out of the main cities. If you just want to do the Rockies and have two weeks to spare I would suggest the following. Fly to Calgary and spend a day or two there to get over the jet lag. Drive to Banff in the Rockies which is only about 70 miles.Then Lake Louise and onto Jasper via the Parkway. It is worth coming back down the Parkway to Lake Louise to see it from the other direction. Don’t forget to see the Chateau which is up the mountain from the township. https://www.fairmont.com/lake-louise/ From there you can travel to Vancouver mainly following the Fraser river and the railway. It’s worth spending a few days in Vancouver. You can take the ferry to Vancouver Island where you may see whales on the crossing. Coming back to Calgary you can meander along near the US border. The Okanagan valley is a big fruit and wine growing area which you don’t expect in Canada. http://www.okanagan.com On the subject of car hire, be aware that they charge a supplement for pick up at the airport so take a taxi to your hotel and pick a car up from a downtown location. It also gives you time to get over your jet lag. As an alternative, you can do the same itinerary from Vancouver and back which would enable you to add on a cruise, either before or after. Brian
  3. The autumn equinox is not one specific day but it is the time when the sun is directly over the equator. This year it is at 1430hrs on 22nd September. It moves forward by approx 6hrs each year but then is corrected by 24hrs on a leap year. Thus it can be either 22nd or 23rd. See this https://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/seasons.html Brian
  4. This is what it says on the FCO site. Cruise ship travel means staying overnight for at least 1 night on a sea-going cruise ship with people from multiple households Although it does not mention river cruises the words “sea going” to me would exclude river cruise boats. Brian
  5. EHIC card. There are some countries outside the EU which accept the card so there is no reason why the UK can’t negotiate to still use the card. Negotiations are still ongoing. Below is copied from the EHIC website which shows which countries accept, or don’t accept, the card. Although it is essentially an EU health card, it can also be used in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway. In total it can be used in 28 different countries across Europe. There are some countries within Europe which do not accept the EU card, including: 1) The Isle of Man 2) The Channel Islands 3) Guernsey, Alderney and Sark 4) Monaco 5) San Marino 6) The Vatican Brian
  6. You can’t expect to be refunded more than what you have actually paid. If you have just paid the deposit then you are entitled to have this refunded as cash Brian
  7. Monaco is not always a tender port. We have been twice, once on Ventura when we tendered and once on Azura when we docked. On the latter, we arrived at 6pm the evening before we were due as we had not been able to dock in Livorno due to high winds. It was brilliant having an overnight in Monaco right in the harbour overlooking the gin palaces and watching the exotic sports cars running round. Brian
  8. A few things to bear in mind. 1. If you book excursions in advance you cannot use any On Board Credit (OBC) that you may have but you do get your Peninsular discount. 2. If you book on board you will find that the excursion will usually be more expensive but you can use your OBC and Peninsular discount. Brian
  9. Not only lunch in the restaurant but also afternoon tea at 4pm. Incidentally, there is always a curry on the lunch menu. Brian
  10. I assume you have been given a guarantee DE cabin. This means you will have a DE grade as a minimum but you may end up with a higher grade. The DE grades are at the front of deck 9 or rear of deck 8 as can be seen on the deck plan here. https://www.pocruises.com/content/dam/po/pdfs/ships/2020-Azura-deck-plans.pdf The higher grade cabins are exactly the same as the lower grade, the only difference is location. Thus the higher grade, and more expensive cabins are mid ships. As midship cabins are more desirable, they can charge more for them. I would not worry about sea sickness. I have always found the Caribbean to be flat calm and no movement whatsoever. However, if it gives you peace of mind, take some suitable medication with you. When you arrive in Barbados, you come off the plane and go straight onto a bus to take you to the ship. You do not go into the terminal. Your main luggage is offloaded onto a truck and will be delivered to your cabin but it may take 2-3 hours after you to arrive. If you fancy going for a swim pack some gear in your hand luggage. Pool/beach (blue) towels are available in your cabin as well as cabin towels. Brian
  11. As you are travelling almost due south going, you will have sun on the port side in the morning and on the starboard side in the afternoon. Coming back it will be the other way round. So in reality it does not matter which side you are on. Brian
  12. HSBC has a limit of £500 per cheque with a daily limit of £750. Brian
  13. If you look at the ITV report, the ships name can clearly be seen in the photo and it is the Seven Seas Explorer. Assuming that ITV have the actual photo and not taken a stock image of a cruiseship Brian edit.. The Explorer has 750 guests and 552 crew so is not the ship referred to in the report. Brian
  14. This website lists all hotels offering a stay and park option with prices. https://www.destinationsouthampton.com/cruise-stay-accommodation/ Brian
  15. Remember that if you apply on line it costs £75.50. Applying by paper form costs £85. https://www.gov.uk/passport-fees Brian
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