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About cclarke12

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  1. Yes very unfortunate that it took numerous announcements by the captain before a small number of selfish passengers would go back into cabins and close their balconies as requested. It required him to put an announcement out early this morning across the whole ship to get compliance. In an emergency situation this selfishness could delay the rescue unnecessarily. Well the selfish passengers are well known faces now as the captain did a debrief on the evacuation and shared their photos - demonstrating they can take CCTV pictures of balconies. Well done to the captain for shaming them. He explained that in such an emergency the balcony cabins near the point of the airlift are evacuated due the risks involved if the helicopter hit the ship, and other balcony passengers on that side are asked to stay inside their cabins for safety reasons too. A good assertive captain that didn’t mince his words. As he says he’s the captain, the buck stops with him and he expects passengers to obey him.
  2. Each to their own. It makes no difference to me. I’m happy with the price I’ve paid and I’m happy to take the gamble of where I end up being located. I obviously live life on the wild side. I even stay in hotels without knowing which room I’ll be allocated.
  3. That's incorrect. I have pre registered and my booking is 100% guaranteed. What's not guaranteed is my cabin location. I have booked the cheapest grade inside for Xmas/New Year cruise. I can see they have already stopped taking pre registrations on that grade for direct bookings. Last time I did this I was firstly allocated the highest grade inside, before getting a free balcony upgrade 6 months before departure. I have no expectations of a balcony upgrade this time though - just got lucky. In fact I suspect it's better not be in upper tiers. They get their choice of cabins and first ones to sell are usually least and most expensive, so those of us willing to go pot luck at pre registration probably end up with something higher then we paid for.
  4. We always ask for a table for two with chairs (to avoid the banquette seating where tables seem very close). We would have liked to try Glass House for dinner but there were always long waits. It's in completely the wrong location on this ship. I think it will be moved when the next refurb happens. It's popular and they'd be making a lot more money from a better/larger venue.
  5. We were on the Christmas cruise on Britannia and unless you wanted to be right next to the pool there was no issue finding a lounger. A couple of days it was full by the pool so I sat at a table instead and both times loungers became free with 15 mins so I was able to grab one. If you wanted more than a couple of together it might be an issue, but finding 1 or 2 was fine.
  6. We love NCL and prefer to P&O. The dress code is relaxed and their freedom dining works better than any other cruise line we've been on. The traveller demographic tends to be quite different to P&O, younger overall with more international passenger mix. The all inclusive drinks package is excellent and water is available in the buffet. If you pay gratuities in advance in sterling then it's cheaper. The Jade is a smallish ship but still feels like it has lots of facilities.
  7. We loved the Britannia Christmas cruise. We've had a break from P&O for a few years and they're still not our favourite, but for value and ease of travel they were excellent, Sorry to hear OP was poorly. This was the second cruise I have done at Christmas and both times they've been full of people with coughs and colds. I think this is norm at this time of year, and for all the wiping and hand washing in the world, if people are coughing its airborne and hard to avoid, I went down with a nasty cold on an Oceana cruise at Christmas a few years ago and I suspect this partly clouded my view of that ship as it was a miserable holiday. I never been back in her since, P&O offer plenty of variety, Britannia won't be for everyone, but we found her the best offering from them to date. I do agree about hygiene though and can't see why they weren't enforcing it. Others that joined the following cruise are reporting they are being more active on this now, with staff outside the buffer.
  8. "Freedom" (as it is referred to on another line) or "Anytime" dining, I'm sure no one would be in any doubt about what I'm referring to. I stand corrected if it's important to you that I refer to the dining arrangement by it's correct name and you wish to make a point of being pedantic. We've only got the soda package so there's no additional incentive for good service once pre-purchased - yet service has remained constantly efficient and friendly.
  9. Currently on the Crown and have nothing significant to complain about. Food and service is as good as - if not better - than Emerald ex Southampton last year. Bar service is excellent and plenty of staff going round the pool deck taking orders. Only niggle is freedom dining with long queues the first couple of nights. It transpires that even though it is called freedom dining, you can make reservations - so you end up with reserved tables being sat first and having to queue for a buzzer. The kids are having a lovely time and despite mixed weather have made plenty of friends around the pool.
  10. I'm on Crown Princess now. There are no kettles in the cabins.
  11. Not my experience at all. With free drinks package promotion on NCL we spend very little onboard. It is the least hard sell of the all the cruise lines we've been on. If you want to buy extras you can, but there's no pressure or indeed any need to. We're booked on the Crown next week as it was a very cheap cruise, but based on our Emerald Princess cruise last year, we've found service and food (particularly in the buffet) far superior on NCL. NCL are also the masters of freedom dining compared with Princess who just couldn't cope on Emerald. We really loved the food on Celebrity but they are the worse cruise line I have ever sailed on for being harassed to buy drinks packages - it was unrelenting and just put us off. They were definitely nickel and dime
  12. Hi Does anyone know the approx dining times for first and second sitting on ex Southampton? I know in the Med it's 7ish and 9.30ish, so I'd opt for the earlier one. I wondered if it might be earlier for Northern European cruises? I definitely prefer after 7.30 if possible. Thanks
  13. UK pricing has rocketed under the new premium all inclusive deal. We're booked on the Spirit in August 2018 with the free all inclusive drinks package. The price with the new promotion is well over £1,000 more for our family - and essentially the only extras it includes are the gratuities and bottles water. I'm glad I booked when I did. Other cruise lines are starting to look better value for next year. That said, US pricing for NCL now looks pretty attractive and you can still get deals including the drinks package, so we'll probably book through a US TA in the future. My prediction is they're testing the waters with the new UK pricing structures, and prices will adjust downwards in the next few months.
  14. The wine prices at the port shop are over inflated and there is little choice. You pay say €10 for a bottle which is €2-3 in the supermarket. I'd buy your wine before arriving at the port. There's no issue taking it through security as Princess allow you to take a couple of bottles onboard anyway.
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