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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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221 profile views
  1. John Bull

    things stolen - what would you do?

    Hi champagne, I just did the same for yours. Yep, direct to the full McCoy, same as mine. But not the OP's. Strange indeed, one of the wonders of technology . JB
  2. John Bull

    things stolen - what would you do?

    Errrr, nope. 60 posts, as on the avatar. But in this awful CC re-vamp I can understand your thinking it's only four. Click on the OP's screen name. On that page, click on "see their activity". On that page, click on "posts". If that doesn't work (on my PC I just get the dreaded endless spiral ), click on "topics" instead. That brings up all the topics in which the the OP posted, going back to Dec 2007. (Navigating that was so much easier on the old CC format ) OK, not Cruise Critic's most prolific poster. But enough posts, and over a more than long-enough period, for it to be obvious that they're neither a troll nor a hoaxer. I'd been hoping that the OP would come back with a little more detail & a little more clarity. But I guess the first few responses have put them off. Possibly for life. JB
  3. John Bull

    things stolen - what would you do?

    No, they didn't shoot & ask questions after - they didn't ask questions at all. You don't believe "when you say that security can NOT view their OWN security footage. That is #1 where this falls apart." I too can't believe that security can't view their own CCTV footage, but I can certainly believe that is what they were told Or, as Cheng's post, did they ask to see the footage themselves? Same as I wondered whether they wanted to search the neighbouring cabin? Yes, it all sounds very fishy to me too. But also rather dis-jointed, and perhaps posted in haste. But the OP isn't a one-post wonder, so not a troll & no reason to believe it's a hoax. So it's ignorant to simply accuse the OP of a bogus story rather than seeking clarification.. The OP mebbe needs to get more precise info & clear up any misunderstanding of what her mom has told her, but acting as judge & jury by jumping to conclusions ain't the way to respond. And yes, if it was simply a case of deliberately leaving their coats in a neighbouring cabin then clearly that's truly dumb. Hellfire, I wouldn't do that even if I didn't care about the coats, cos leaving them in the care of a stranger is rude & presumptuous. But did the OP get a confused message from mom? Is that actually what happened? JB
  4. John Bull

    things stolen - what would you do?

    Hmmm - are the previous posters guilty of shooting first & asking questions after? Yes it all sounds very strange, but perhaps that's in part down to the second-hand telling. There are certainly times on embarkation day when folk don't have access to their cabin. And cabins most certainly aren't always locked, especially but not solely on embarkation day. I've walked past dozens of cabins with the doors wide open as stewards are going about their duties. Hellfire, how many times have you been as nosey as me to glance in to see what other cabins look like? And on the matter of "we're not permitted to view our CCTV", altho that argument sounds ridiculous - especially on the high seas - we need a professional like Cheng or Heidi to give their informed opinion. But in all walks of life I've come across misguided and officious jobsworths who don't employ common sense in their replies. Classic case in point - just last week when I phoned to arrange delivery of goods from a store I was asked for my phone number - I gave it and asked for it to be read back to me, as I always do to ensure that it wasn't mis-heard. "I'm sorry, I can't do that, by law I'm not permitted to give out information". Not permitted to confirm the phone number I'd just given??? Or mebbe it's as simple as the crew-member not wanting to admit that their CCTV wasn't in working order. Yes, there are few things that don't make sense. For instance.... Leaving coats in the adjoining cabin. Did they do that to avoid the bother of carrying them back to the public areas? Or did the OP misunderstand, & in fact they'd put the coats in the adjoining cabin mistaking it for their own? And did the OP's mum ask that security check that cabin? Or did she ask that she be allowed to do it? The OP has enough posts under their belt to be taken seriously, without accusations of "bogus". So how about asking, rather than accusing? JB
  5. John Bull

    Transportation from Civitavecchia to Positano

    Not really my province, but unless / until a destination expert like Eurocruiser replies here's my thoughts........ Not an option that you've mentioned, but if you're happy to drive then renting a car is by far the simplest. But in Positano you would need accommodation with parking. By train it would be port shuttle to port gate, then since you'll have luggage probably a short taxi hop to Civi station, train to Rome Termini station, train from Termini (but a long walk between platforms) to Naples centrale, Circumvesuviana train from there to Sorrento, taxi 16km approx 45 minutes to Positano (bus from Sorrento would be cheap but the service is hourly & over-subscribed so no fun with luggage, plus a possibility that until late in the day a long line for the bus might mean an extra hour's wait, plus the bus stop for Positano is on the coast road high above the village so a long walk down). Trains will cost about €30, I have no idea what the Positano taxi would cost. Total 340 km 4 hrs by road, or somewhere toward 7 hrs total using the trains. Ferry isn't a sensible option. You could ask an organisation like Rome in Limo t quote for a private transfer, but best to be sitting down when you read the cost. I don't suppose your last port-of-call is Naples or Salerno or thereabouts? Disembarking there would make life a very great deal easier. JB
  6. Part of the learning curve I'm afraid, Tony. As Ray's post, it's no different with any cruise line - not just P&O, not just UK lines, but all cruises if you book from the UK. But then nor is it any different with packaged holidays, flights, theatre tickets, and a multitude of other contracts. By the same token, if the price of a cruise, package, holiday, flight, etc goes up they can't increase the price to you. I can't comment on your views of P&O staff, but clearly you ween't a happy bunny to be told that you were locked-in so perhaps your views were clouded by that JB
  7. John Bull

    Non-smoking cruise?

    As others have posted, it's been tried & failed. So don't expect any mainstream cruise line to try again for a while. Your figures are also flawed because couples or families or groups will not book if just one member is a smoker. I'd guess the potential drop in market-share at around 25 to 30%. That's unsustainable - and will be for a decade or two to come - and since the overwhelming number of non-smokers are satisfied with current arrangements that drop would be balanced by only a fraction of a percentage of anti-smokers who'd be encouraged to cruise. The only main bone of contention now is smoking in some casinos. It's a fact that smokers tend to be gamblers so cruise lines are overly-reluctant to make casinos 100% non-smoking. though I could never understand the point of designating half a room And because of restrictions elsewhere on ships, the level of obnoxious fumes in the casino has risen quite dramatically as smokers nip in there just for a quick puff. Not helped by the design of some ships that make the casino a main thoroughfare - a deliberate design to encourage folk to gamble, same as putting impulse items by the check-outs in stores. I suspect there'll be changes to rules in casinos, mebbe in ship design too.. But although non-smokers greatly out-number smokers, those smokers greatly out-number the vehement anti-smokers. The vast majority of non-smokers are happy with the current arrangement so I don't expect cruise lines to come up with non-smoking ships in the foreseeable future. JB
  8. John Bull

    Staying overnight excursion

    ........... so presuming you are a US citizen there are no Japanese govt restrictions for an overnite stay and it shouldn't be a problem. But it's still worth e-mailing Celebrity with your intentions JB
  9. John Bull

    Has anyone ever missed their ship at a port?

    Doubtless it's happened a time or two somewhere somewhen, but I do keep my eyes and ears open for reports from folk on independent organised tours who have missed the ship, and I have yet to learn of even one JB Any time I make a comment like that, I duck, because I know what’s going to happen.
  10. John Bull

    Cruise departs at 9pm?

    If a 9pm departure is normal for this itinerary you can probably get the answer on the Carnival board at https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/forum/133-carnival-cruise-lines/ If it appears to be a one-off you need the answer from the cruise line. It may be because the ship is scheduled to port late in the day, in which case disembarkation of the returning passengers, preparation of the ship, and boarding will all be later than usual. So if you get to the port at 11.30 and the ship is still on its way you're going to have a long and boring and frustrating wait JB
  11. John Bull

    Staying overnight excursion

    We need to know your ports. In the main it's not a problem, but it's not possible in some ports - for instance in St Petersburg if relying on a visa-free arrangement, or Vietnamese ports if relying on ship-issued visas. I'm sure there are others too. It would make sense to check with the cruise line (by e-mail, not by phone) Again depending on the port, you may be obliged to show your passports at the hotel Where there's no constraint it's common courtesy to tell your cabin attendant, and your table-mates if your dining-plan is fixed dining on a shared table. Do check the reliability of the port, and try to avoid commitment on things such as hotels and rental cars especially if the port is unreliable or you'll lose money if for any reason such as high winds the ship misses the port We've overnited ashore on several occasions without difficulty. It avoids doubling any long transfers and gives you an evening ashore JB
  12. John Bull

    St Petersburg tours

    You didn't mention that the free time was on Nevsky Prospekt, the main shopping street. I have very little doubt that you will be taken by tour bus to Nevsky Prospekt, told when you must be back at that point, then left to your own devices to explore the street & shops - probably with the guide on-hand for those who would be happier stick with them. This is very much what the local tour operators do when their tours include "free time on Nevsky Prospekt. Just how much time you'll have on Nevsky Rrospekt will depend on whether the tour is on-schedule - same as most tours anywhere in the world that end with "free time". JB As to why the terms are different to last time, check the responses from myself & Dogs4fun to your question at
  13. John Bull

    hot water for tea

    I get on fine with Yorkshire tea (black tea) and water from drinks stations, but you and I and countless others all have different tastes and expectations. Neither of us is right or wrong, all a matter of personal preferences. So I suggest to the OP that they brew a cup at home, using water that's midway between boiling and straight from the hot tap. Then they can decide based on their own preferences. And yes, taking your own cup is one of a number of things that identify a person as American JB
  14. John Bull

    Has anyone ever missed their ship at a port?

    The risks of missing a sailing are grossly over-hyped and we rarely take ships' excursions - but we do consider them when the destination is distant or time is limited or there's no Plan B to get back to the ship. And this sounds like a destination where no Plan B is possible - assuming there's no alternative transport, if there's a distinct possibility that the return ferry may not run due to weather or mechanical gremlins or whatever, or there may not be sufficient space on the ferry for everyone, then we'd probably draw the line. If a large number of passengers are late back due to ferry difficulties , and especially if a large proportion are on ship-sponsored excursions (I'm thinking of Cozumel), then I'm sure the captain would do his very best to delay the sailing. But no guarantees. That's why we took the ship's over-priced excursion rather than the local ferry from Tortola to the island of Virgin Gorda. Bu if you did miss the sailing you're (almost) on your own. The crew will know that you're not back and - in theory at least - will search your cabin safe for passports and leave them with their shore agent (shore agent's details on the daily ship's newspaper). The shore agent will help to make arrangements for you to catch up with the ship at a subsequent port. But that will be entirely at your own expense. And if you have no passport you'll have extra hoops to climb through. I don't know your destination so I can't comment on that particular level of risk. You need to weigh up whether it's a quantifiable risk. And what the consequences are. For instance whether the next port is Belize City - or the Canary Islands JB
  15. John Bull

    Hong Kong after 21 day Asia Cruise?

    We had 3 days in HK after a 28-day cruise which ended there. Well worth it. In fact, worth longer. HK is unique in many ways. An eclectic mix of old and new, of rich and poor, of tiger economy and traditional skills, of colonial past and Chinese present, of humble everyday shops and international malls, of east meets west. British history is clear in some of the sights, in the street names, and in the bi-lingual language of almost-all professional people. It's Asia in the raw, like Singapore without the antiseptic tidiness. We'd be happy to spend all day on the Star ferries plying across the harbour, or on the rickety old trams running from Western Market to Suzie Wong's Wan Chai and beyond. The crafts and antiques amongst the bric-a-brac of Stanley Market (by bus, on the island), the everyday stuff amongst the bric-a-brac of Temple Street market (on the mainland, off Nathan Road). Fancy international restaurants and tourist restaurants and traditional Chinese restaurants and street restaurants. My other half still reminds me of the evening I took her to a dinner on Temple Street (and I do mean on-the-street) sat on orange boxes, a barrel for a table, and a tarpaulin roof. I really know how to treat a lady. The food was actually quite good. The rack-railway up to the top of The Peak. Lantau Island, the New Territories ferry to Macau, lots more And you can take a day-trip tour across the Chinese border to Guangzhou (Canton). No need for a complicated and expensive visa, you're included on a group visa. Beijing or Shanghai it ain't, but it's an easy and inexpensive opportunity to see "red" China if you've not been & don't expect to have another opportunity. Our favourite place in SE Asia, ahead of Bangkok. JB