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John Bull

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About John Bull

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Lee-on-the-Solent, England
  • Interests
    vintage & classic vehicles
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Voyages of Discovery
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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918 profile views
  1. Hey, I'm a pensioner - I can't afford to splash a load of money on a third pair . But no worry with socks - I nearly always get a pair at Christmas. But I don't wear them with sandals - they don't look too healthy by August JB
  2. Hi, CB. You're so wrong - and it's always worth checking the facts before contradicting someone. Here are just a few professional websites which confirm that holds are placed on credit cards as well as on debit cards. They include US websites, and I haven't bothered to link the hundreds of posts by Joe Public's on T/A, CC, etc which say the same. https://www.cruzely.com/everything-to-know-about-using-credit-cards-on-a-cruise/ https://www.rentalcars.com/en/guides/fees-charges/why-do-i-have-to-leave-a-deposit-when-i-rent-a-car/ https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/cracking-the-case-of-the-mysterious-credit-card-hold/2014/12/04/da24f3f6-5f94-11e4-9f3a-7e28799e0549_story.html https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/can-medical-facility-put-hold-on-card.php https://help.solesociety.com/hc/en-us/articles/201707323-What-is-an-authorization-hold- https://www.growingfamilybenefits.com/car-rental-payment-options/ I got bored after that, but there are many many more. JB
  3. Hi, & welcome to Cruise Critic, Direct to embarkation port & direct back from disembarkation port is clearly the way to do it, provided that multi-city (aka open-jaw) air tickets are available. If you book a one-way to HK and a one-way from Singapore the cost is horrendous compared to simple return tickets to one or the other. But multi-city tickets allow you to fly back from a different airport on a return ticket - the fare is broadly halfway between the two return ticket prices. You must start & end at the same airport (eg Madrid) and the two flights must be with the same airline or partner-airlines. We use Skyscanner to research - very user-friendly website https://www.skyscanner.net/ Above the flight details you'll see you can choose return, one way, or multi-city. Click on multi-city & away you go. JB BTW, on Cruise Critic if you don't enter a thread title, the title defaults to you screen-name. So if you entered a title"Flights to/from Hong Kong / Singapore" or similar you might get more responses.
  4. Yes, you may be right. I see plenty of reviews from folk who didn't take a particular tour or eat at a the relevant restaurant or stay at the quoted hotel - usually due to some booking screw-up or such. They can be useful, especially if a number of reviewers say the same thing, so it's a moot point whether they should be excluded. The stable's owner did respond before the review was wiped, so I suspect that like CC and other sites they're moderated re-actively rather than pro-actively and the stable operator lodged an objection JB
  5. Yikes.I wouldn't pay those prices - If ever I take a 42 day cruise with C&MV I'll pack a second pair of underpants. JB
  6. But for cars & shoes & other stuff mentioned in various posts left & right are pretty unambiguous, except to nerds, trolls & jokers, - the presumption is that they're all L or R when looking toward the front, and the same applies to ships. If I ask an officer whether the tenders will be leaving from the left or right side of the ship, he knows exactly what I mean. If the coastguard asks which side of the ship has got a damned big hole in it & is told it's the right-hand side, again he knows which side that is. No, I don't want to look at the keel - if I can see it I reckon the ship is in pretty big trouble (that's the joker in me ) Which creates another problem - if the ship has capsized, are port & starboard reversed? (that's the troll in me ) JB Yes, you guessed - I've been having a pretty slow & boring day
  7. So leading on from that, check the port shop prices (and ship's alcohol & smokes prices) before you head into town JB
  8. But not if the helmsman is facing the stern and has his back to the wheel . On a more serious note, cap'n cheng - didn't "Port" & "Starboard" become irrelevant 2000 years ago, so aren't they a bit of an anachronism ? Shouldn't all seafarers now use "Left" and "Right"? Are there any disadvantages other than there being one less topic in Cruise Critic ? JB
  9. The busy shopping area is on Main Street, a 20=-25 minute walk from the ship. I've never heard of any cruise ship offering a shuttle. Taxi drivers at the port will be reticent about such a short fare when they can be doing tours, but a taxi back to the ship shouldn't be a problem. Taxi ranks just off Main Street, which is mainly pedstrianised. Be a bit careful when shopping. Prices are in £ and €, so check up-to-date exchange rates & be prepared to do some quick mental arithmetic cos the two prices don't always make sense.. Also be careful that you're charged the advertised price - sometimes the price tickets refer to the goods on the shelf above, sometimes the shelf below. Obvious if you buy one item, not so obvious when you buy several. Prices of booze and smokes are low, but vary a lot, so do shop around for these things - and be aware of what you are allowed to take home. On electronics like tablets & cameras & watches, Gib is a dumping ground for last-year's models. If you go intending to buy, take with you exact model numbers and features and home prices. If using a card, make sure that it's charged in the advertised currency (£ or €), don't let them charge in CAD or USD etc cos they use lousy exchange rates. I've made it sound like they're all rogues . They're not all rogues but some are. JB
  10. You can book now. But if you book at least a week out I'm sure you'll have no problem. BTW Nat Express now offer assigned seating for a few seats - it only costs a few pounds extra. I don't know what the take-up is, but to take advantage you might want to book a couple of months out. BTW, don't be too quick to book Nat Express - choose & book your hotel first, then depending on the location of your hotel the train (from London Waterloo station) may be more convenient & the total cost competetive. JB
  11. Bath is well worth a couple of days. I don't know Bristol well, it's quite a large city founded on the River Avon where ocean-going sailing ships used to port. It has a decent section of riverfront & a good shopping centre. Brunel's SS Great Britain is worth a visit, it's a little way from the city centre (bus or taxi, or walk depending on the location of your hotel). On the city outskirts Brunel's Clifton suspension bridge by bus or taxi (yes, I.K.Brunel was a very busy little guy ). Bristol is probably worth no more than a day, and dare I say not worth visiting if you lodge in Bath. Accommodation in Bristol is a great deal cheaper than in Bath, but you'll want to spend a couple of days in Bath. Bristol Temple Meads station to Bath Spa station is only 20 minutes by train, return fare only £9.10 or less, 4 to 5 direct trains per hour. Check distance from the hotel to Temple Meads station, Bath Spa station is right in the centre of this small city. So Bath would be the better base, but Bristol will probably be easier on your pockets. JB
  12. I agreed with you that it was no problem to give a heads-up about there being no refund policy if a ship fails to port. But yes, it really was incumbent on you to check the cancellation policy before booking because that same policy applies to one helluvalot of tour operators and other shore suppliers. If folk gave bottom marks to operators simply because there are no refunds for failure to show (rather than a refund policy not being honoured), TripAdvisor would be stuffed full of such comments. We agree that the ship's captain, plus all the advice he can be given by pilots, harbour-masters etc, is best-placed to decide if porting is safe. But by the same token the operator of the stable is far better-placed to decide whether the horse ride is safe than a prospective client who's not even set foot on shore. You stand by your review and I stand by my view, so it's best we simply agree to disagree. JB
  13. You may find that a bag of laundry is free on a long voyage. Mebbe two on a 42-day cruise. JB
  14. Can only reply much the same as others. Demand for tours to the Canadian sights (and Brit sights on a US ship) is low, so there's probably no suitable ship's tour. Yes, Overlord and other D-Day tour operators can tailor a tour to suit you, but I think for that you'll find that you have to book the van, & try to find sharers, for instance via your RollCall. By public transport isn't possible in your time-scale Two other alternatives - book a car with a driver who speaks English. Pot-luck how much the driver will know, but there are guides and plenty of literature & signage at Juno museum. - rent a car. Directions & driving are pretty easy - no city driving other than in & out of Le Havre. With both of those options you'll have time to also visit the Abbaye d’Ardenne, (poignant for Canadians) and/or US & Brit sights. The remains of the Mulberry Harbour, and an excellent seafront museum at Arromances are only 20 minutes further along the coast. With both of those options you'll also have more chance of finding sharers since you only need one couple to share the costs. And with a car rental the costs will be low anyway (€100 or a little more for vehicle & fuel) JB
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