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norn iron

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Posts posted by norn iron

  1. About eighteen months ago I had a long chat with Johannes about Viking Cruises. He shared an interesting perspective. Johannes knows Torstein Hagen well, and has been approached to join Viking many times. Each approach was turned down, primarily I believe because of loyalty to Larry Pimentel.

    What may turn out to be a myth was that Johannes had real concerns about Viking's funding and debts, stating that Chinese investors were bank rolling the company in a major way.

    He was also critical about the build quality of the ships. He felt they were built to tight budget with a lot corners cut, glossy on the outside but with little substance behind the scenes.

    This led to a conversation about ship building, were I asked if Johannes was commissioning new builds where would he place his orders and in order of preference he choose Meyer Werft, Chantiers de l'Atlanique, Turku in Finland and finally Fincantieri.

    It was an interesting conversation, and all I does watch this space 




  2. 1 hour ago, upwarduk said:

    I was browsing the Celebrity web site today, as I had notification that the ‘Dream Sale’ finishes tomorrow.

    The first page to load didn’t have cruises for Sale until November sailings  and all were short 4/5 days Caribbean ones. 

    I have read that short cruises would ensure that passengers don’t develop Covid -19 on board, as they will have been tested prior to embarkation.

    Surely that means they can be on board for 4-5 days, show no symptoms whilst being infected/carriers and spread the virus during their time on the cruise and then get off, go home and develop symptoms having infected numerous people during the cruise.

  3. Denise, you have done a sterling job for the last three years. As a community we have been so lucky to have you as our host.

    Enjoy you retirement from Cruise Critic, you'll be a hard act to follow.

    Hopefully we can cruise with you and Nick again in the not too distant future. 

  4. Surely the question should be, When will passengers resume cruising? 

    I had a Zoom meeting this evening with some friends two of whom are Doctors and their advice to all on the Zoom meeting re foreign travel is wait for a vaccine.  

    Ships may be sailing, however I think there may be surplus capacity.

  5. 8 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

    We’re fine & our son-in-law seems to be on the mend after 10 days of being pretty ill, including 24 hours in hospital. Hope you and Sandra are well and keeping safe.

    Great to hear he is on the mend. Sandra's sister is laid low with it, although in a lesser way than some.

    We are keeping contact with the outside world to an absolute minimum, to see if we can avoid it.

  6. 15 hours ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

    You’re right - my son-in-law is just starting to recover after 11 days of feeling very Ill indeed, including a night in hospital with oxygen support. He says he’s never felt so ill in his life - and he is (or was) a very fit chap in his 40s.

    Sorry to hear about your son-in-law Denise. Hopefully a speedy recovery ensues. I trust you and Nick are safe and well.

  7. 15 hours ago, Pavovsky said:

    Bottom line is that Azamara’s key priority is their current and prospective passengers - they need to communicate in a clear and timely fashion -

    no ifs or buts. They are a hotel on the sea - nothing more and nothing less.

    And certainly not in the same league as having to manage the crisis Governments, health agencies and emergency services more generally are now facing. 

    One thing Azamara have not done, is communicate effectively. The same applies to the whole RCCL group.

    Take a look at the communication from Levi Strauss.


  8. 1 hour ago, midwestchick said:

    I don’t think I did.  My point is this virus is extremely worrisome.  So worrisome we probably will not be able to cruise in August and quite possibly in October.  I don’t believe for a minute Russia has this under control.  I tried to search to see how many cases were in the Baltic countries but couldn’t find any data.  Spain is almost as bad as Italy. Perhaps worrisome was the wrong term...I’m just trying not to be in a panic mode.  I worked in healthcare and I am not naive how these viruses spread.  This is far more serious than we were initially lead to believe by the leaders of the country of origin.  
    Not only that, under the new guidelines we wouldn’t be able to cruise since we both have underlying conditions.  It makes me wonder what Azamara would do with our free nights. 

    Midwestchick,  https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ is a good source of global data. 

    It probably underestimates the global picture hugely, however if you like statistics it does show trends. 




  9. 1 hour ago, dkjretired said:

    Michel Roux, Celebrity Chef has passed away.   For those who  are somewhat new to Celebrity, Roux was in charge of restaurants on the Celebrity Ships when there was only one restaurant, the MDR.   At that time, food and service on Celebrity ships was acclaimed in the industry and IMHO better than any restaurant currently in the fleet and this was every night.




    Thanks for posting djkretired. I saw the news earlier on The BBC website. A sad day indeed. A culinary legend.

    His Waterside Inn restaurant (in Bray Berkshire) is to this day a fabulous experience in the hands of his son Alain. The food is fabulous, the location sensational.


    The food on Celebrity when he oversaw it, was the best at sea bar none.

    I had the misfortune of being on Infinity on the first cruise after Michel's food was dropped in favour of J Van Staden.

    There was near mutiny onboard. 

  10. 3 hours ago, Desert Cruisers said:

    We will be visiting several Irish ports in August on the Quest.  I'm trying to find out the following:

    1. I don't think that the ship docks in Londonderry city centre so where is the port?  How far is it from the city centre?  Is there public transportation into the city centre?
    2. How can we get from Killybegs to Donegal City by public transportation?
    3. Does the Quest dock in Waterford City or an outlying area such as Dunmore East? If so, is there public transportation into Waterford?

    Any info would be most appreciated.

    Desert Cruisers, There is good guidance on the link I've copied https://www.cruisemapper.com/ports/londonderry-port-9043

    The port in Londonderry does appear to be about six miles from the city centre by coach.

    Azamara normally has shuttles, and in Belfast every cruise ship gets a free shuttle courtesy of Visit Belfast, so I would expect something will be available.


    You can get to Donegal town from Killybegs by public bus, however they are infrequent. Ive added a link to the bus timetable, however this may change by the time your cruise comes around. https://www.buseireann.ie/inner.php?id=406&form-view-timetables-from=Donegal+(Abbey+Hotel)&form-view-timetables-to=Glencolumbcille&form-view-timetables-route=&form-view-timetables-submit=1


    Sorry, I can't help you with Waterford

  11. 16 minutes ago, Pvbgirl said:

    Can Quest actually dock upriver in Seville or does it dock in Cadiz?

    Azamara ships can navigate the Guadalquivir river to berth in Seville.

  12. 59 minutes ago, Host Grandma Cruising said:

    I’m starting this topic for all of us on the roll call to post our experiences of this transatlantic cruise.

    This will be our first transatlantic cruise and we’re approaching it with a mixture of excitement and trepidation - we hope the weather and swell will be kind to us! We set off today by train to Manchester, staying overnight then flying to Lisbon tomorrow with TAP. We’re all packed and just last minute chores to complete today.


    Have a safe journey, see you on Wednesday.

  13. There are numerous threads on CC about swollen feet whilst on a cruise.

    On the evidence I have read there is no proof or medical evidence as to what causes it. 


    I don't subscribe to the salt theory. I add salt to virtually everything I cook (at the pre cooking stage), I would then add a limited amount of salt to taste. In my opinion Azamara's seasoning is well balanced, bordering on under seasoned.


    I have never suffered swollen feet in the Baltic, Norway or Iceland, yet anywhere in the heat I have balloons for feet, which makes me rationalise heat is the cause.


    I have tried the hydration theory and drunk bottles of water every day with no success.

    Last year whilst cruising from Sydney to Singapore in considerable heat, I drank 5ml for Organic Cider Vinegar every day and had the most comfortable feet in years. 




  14. Fantastic story. I'm so glad it had a happy ending.


    It's a good rational to convince passengers to carry photocopies of their passports when ashore.


    This thread would not be out of place on the Azamara v Oceania thread.

    Whilst I do not know how Oceania crew would react, it is a great story to show the extra mile the Azamara crew go, and what sets them apart.

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