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kruzseeka

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  1. Yes, dresses will be fine but in some areas of the ship early evening e.g. the theatre can be chilly until it fills up with people. I have a pashmina (one black, one cream which go with most things) and take that to the theatre - the air con can be a little chilly too sometimes. I understand why it's not good to over-heat the ship but it does lead to the odd cooler location at times.
  2. I agree with Slugsta - Norway is a country where you need to think in terms of layers. We have been in June and had lovely warm weather but we always have a light fleece - in case. And, yes, a waterproof is always a good idea - you must have heard about the statistics for rain in Bergen!! 😁 We;re going to the Baltics again next year too Slugsta - on Arcadia! 😊
  3. When were your passports issued? Ours expired Mar 2020 but were issued June 2009 and they are now taking the six months validity from the issue date, not expiry date. We nearly got caught out and have had to renew ours. I hope you are ok but might be worth checking here. https://www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport
  4. Glad to help. 're the Baltics, we're going next year too! Another A* itinerary. We've done that several times so can help with the destinations nearer the time. We find with the exception of St P all ports are good for DiY so no need to book excursions unless you really want to. Enjoy!
  5. Jennizor & mary We're doing a similar itinerary on Aurora in July. We've done it before and loved it. We haven't done Skjolden but the others are good DiY ports. It's a shuttle into Haugesund. We picked up a town map which had a circular walk up to the monument and back. There are some nice cafes along the watergront. We enjoyed it. Alesund - if you're happy to climb, there are steps 400+(?) from the park to the top of Mr Aksla with lovely views on top. There is also a tourist bus if you prefer. It's an attractive town with a Harbour and you walk straight off the ship into town. Trondheim is another shuttle to the centre - think they dropped us near the Cathedral. It has a fortress and some places of interest - a wharf- style waterfront, an old town bridge and a very unusual bicycle lift (you have to see it to appreciate how it works!). We once went on a Sunday and it was very quiet but it's quite a busy town with a shopping centre. If your itinerary is like ours, you arrive early evening in Hellesylt. We had our evening meal and strolled off. There is a picturesque waterfall and a few bars/cafes plus tourist shop which stay open on account of the ship being there. It's another walk-off. It's a very small place but we enjoyed being able to get off the ship for a couple of hours in the evening. (If this is an evening arrival, you will have spent the day sailing down the fjords - not to be missed!!) Next day you will arrive in Geiranger. It might be a tender port or you might use the Sea Walk depending on how many ship's are in. But the village is right there. There's a good HoHo service to a view point and then you can drop off at the visitor centre which we thought was good. Rather than get the HoHo back into the village from there, we like to walk down the walkway down the side of the tumbling river back to sea level. It's quite spectacular. Buy the tickets on shore though. They offer them for sale on the ship but they're more expensive. Again, the sail in and out is like an excursion in its own right so don't miss it. So yes, I'd say they're all ports where you can DiY. Hope you enjoy the Fjords. I'm sure you will.
  6. If you get the funicular up Mt Floyen in Bergen, there are some fabulous views and lovely walking trails in the parkland on top. https://www.globeguide.ca/mount-floyen-bergen-norway/ This link describes different walking routes of varying length https://www.floyen.no/en/activities/walks-hikes-floyen/ And there are activity areas for children too https://www.floyen.no/en/activities/activities-for-kids-and-families/ We have taken the funicular up, walked to the lake in the parkland then walked down, zig-zagging through a residential area to get back to the Bryggen. But if this is your first visit to Bergen I would suggest you ride both up and down to save time as it's a nice walk from the top - but nothing of great interest and you'd be better spending your time on top of Mt Floyen, then come down to look around Bergen itself imo. Also, I'd suggest you head off fairly early for the funicular as queues do develop. You can buy tickets online and jump the queue but if the weather is bad, you don't get the views and you may decide on something else. Anyway, I hope you enjoy your first cruise - it's a spectacular part of the world.
  7. I would agree with the points made. We're happy with P&O - good service, pleasant, relaxing ambience - we just feel at home. Of course it's a package and whilst some aspects may be better on other lines - and some things worse (at least from our perspective) on balance we feel it's good value for money and we always enjoy our cruises with them. On the whole, its a 'best fit' for us and whilst ever it remains so, it's our current first port of call (😶!) when searching for cruises.
  8. And after a very long break, when we travelled with them last Autumn - we found the shows are infinitely better. We'd always said they licked P&O into a cocked hat for entertainment but we'd forgotten how good they were. 11 different production shows from the showteam in 14 days - OK they're not of the Cirque Du Soleil or Ice Show variety, but for those who enjoy musicals they are very good - and varied so appeal to a wider audience. I agree - food was of a similar standard.
  9. I raised the issue of Holland America being the only Carnival brand still docking in Amsterdam some time ago, and someone replied pointing out that Amsterdam is a turn around port for Holland America during the season so that's probably why they have been spared the change to Ijmuden.
  10. I haven't seen much (any?) criticism of the crew. From what I read on hear it's P&O people have an issue with - and you've hit the nail on the head in respect of the crew and 'the hand they they were dealt' - by P&O! I wouldn't be surprised if privately the crew are also feeling disgruntled. As an employee who would want to start work each day knowing they are going to be facing unhappy customers and trying to manage a very unsatisfactory situation re shuttle transfers? And each Amsterdam cruise will no doubt bring the same problems with a new crop of passengers. Unhappy passengers and stressed employees. Not good. But all down to P&O/Carnival. They may be sending a message to Amsterdam, but the City Council I guess will be laughing up their sleeves at the PR disaster for P&O. There are no winners here. My guess is that Amsterdam will be replaced by other destinations in the fullness of time - the real trump card for Carnival .......at least until other ports try the same trick!
  11. Agree - i think last time I looked it equated to around 1.5% per month so not a great deal - cheaper than say, one-off withdrawal charges which come with many cards.
  12. Good advice kalos, but if a Halifax Clarity card is used for ATM withdrawals, it's good to remember that interest accrues from the withdrawal date so best pay it off as soon as you get home. Other transactions are interest free subject to full payment when that's due and at a very good exchange rate.
  13. Jean- almost identical - slightly different feel mainly down to decor but I feel sure you'll feel at home on Aurora. Enjoy! Thanks Denarius for that explanation on the poor public area space on Azura. As Andy says, that does make sense. I always feel that if the passengers distribute themselves evenly throughout all the venues/bars/deck etc there would be enough space - but of course that's never the case because there are pressure points at different times of the day so that it often seems very crowded with little chance of finding somewhere to sit - especially in the evenings.
  14. Understandable in a way, given that there would be a limited number of shuttle buses - if you missed out on the first wave of coaches leaving, then there would be an even longer wait whilst they made the return trip.
  15. The strange thing is that despite the fact that Aurora is smaller, I actually feel as though she is bigger than say, Azura, based on the fact that there seems to me to be more lounge/bar areas and outside deck space in relation to passenger numbers that it's always possible to find somewhere to sit and relax. The lovely Crow's Nest, Anderson's bar and Raffles(?) (coffee bar area) are really lovely imo and we find the cinema a real plus too (not outside on deck). The beautiful tiered stern is a real winner too. For the reasons I mentioned, it is our favourite - although I understand we all have differing requirements and preferences. I hope you find you like this size of ship and Aurora in particular. We're very much looking forward to a return visit later this year.
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