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Everything posted by SteveH2508

  1. Probably more important for a 'newbie' to know is what not to put down the sucking thunderbox. Only human waste and the supplied toilet paper go down that noisy hole - nothing else. Chengkp75 has many dits about the odd things found clogging up the plumbing (and that would be a whole bunch of rooms affected).
  2. I was on the same cruise as you. I can agree with the generally good service (with the exception of the International Cafe). I also agree with the comments about the app - it has some potentially good features - but - the lag for updating things and the regular dropouts tell me that there is insufficient bandwidth or capacity to service it. There were apparently 1900 pax on board - with a full ship it would be totally unworkable. The locate shipmate feature is inaccurate and about 15 minutes behind - I walked miles with a coffee for DW because of that f**king feature! I have a brand new Android phone so the problem was not there. They should concentrate on the important stuff and forget the games/casino crap and twiddly bits for the moment. The listings for activities was unusable. Virtually all of the staff were using pencil and paper to take orders and cabin numbers. We did not appreciate being beta testers for a poorly designed app.
  3. Moscow Mule was an included drink last week on the Regal Princess.
  4. We watched a TV programme a couple of weeks ago about the Raffles hotel and this was exactly what they said about the Singapore Sling. At one time, Raffles was a seafront hotel BTW.
  5. First one was on Singapore Airlines flying out to Singapore. Nice (and free). Next few were at Raffles Bar (where it was invented), not as good as SA and bl**dy expensive (about 30 Singapore dollars a drink).
  6. Coronation chicken is one of our regular summer 'go-to' dishes for cold chicken. I am the one who hoovers up those small jars of apricot jam from hotel breakfast buffets for my coronation chicken sauce mix (and I am well under 80).
  7. @John Bull Just to add to your excellent cruise line summary. Ambassador Cruise Line https://www.ambassadorcruiseline.com/ They are 'risen from the ashes' of CMV. They have not actually sailed yet but some of their offerings do look tempting. Traditional, adults only and onboard currency is GBP.
  8. JB - the £300pp is not including drinks, Wi-Fi and crew incentives (gratuities). Princess Plus price for a balcony is £499pp for that 5 day cruise. We were thinking of doing a few days of hiring a car and driving around England. After seeing the gouging that some hotels are doing, and factoring in car hire, food, drinks etc., we are many quids in on the cruise. @swansea_lad Re Travel agents - take a look at Trustpilot to get an idea of the good ones (and not so good). Some of us have had real problems with getting refunds during the pandemic from some well-known on-line TAs.
  9. I think the average French person can see through the political BS as well as any other race. They've seen that the Brits saw through it and voted to get rid of one oppressive layer of it, and we are doing OK despite what the establishment said would happen. I suspect those two sentences could apply equally well to our cousins across the pond. It needs somebody with a skin thick enough (and probably pockets deep enough - (therein lies the problem)), to stand up and cut through the crap. I hesitate to mention this, but one did try that in the US and certainly caused some ripples. He could perhaps have had more effect with a bit more sense and a bit less Tweeting, but that is now history. It is worrying on a global level to see the general incompetence of our current leaders - I cannot think of anyone who is currently a first world leader who inspires me with any confidence in their ability.
  10. You are 'preaching to the converted' here. Probably our best value cruise was a Regent Seven Seas cruise round the Middle East. We snagged the opening price on Day 1 - it just went up and up from there. The other best value cruise we did (CMV) was 42 days round trip from London to the Amazon and back for £2.5K per head. Two totally different experiences but both value for money in their own way. The OP needs to give us a bit more detail as to their preferences before we can give them a focused recommendation. Celebrity is probably not a good place to start as they have now included lots of stuff at a premium price - they do not represent value IMHO. I would also suggest Azamara to OP - if they are destination focused rather than ship focused - we do not know enough about OP's priorities though.
  11. I totally get what you say about value for money (and agree with you), but, in the OP's case, I think that they should be limiting their financial exposure in what is, essentially an experiment. For a first-timer, Princess, Celebrity et al will provide a suitable experience to make an informed decision going forward. Also, if they start up-market then they are perhaps limiting their options (or setting themselves up for a disappointment) further down the line.
  12. Quality is down to the consumer's perception and circumstances. Quality has been defined as 'conformance with requirements'. A car which gets you from A to B without breaking down meets a certain quality standard. It may be a Lada, it may be a Rolls Royce, but it meets the quality requirement of transport from A to B. If that quality requirement also included luxury, ride quality. external perception etc. then the two are not comparable. There is obviously a price trade off between the two. OP has not defined their baseline 'quality' threshold. I would suggest that, for a first 'tryout' cruise, a mainstream line should tick most people's boxes regarding comfort, environment, food, service etc.. If someone discovers that cruising is not for them (for whatever reason), then dumping £1K is less pain than dumping £3-4K. They can look at the more nuanced aspects of cruising/lines/itineraries once they decide it really is the holiday for them.
  13. OP is a 'virgin' cruiser so the debate about mainstream/premium/luxury price per day versus service levels is probably a bit moot. OP's budget of £1000 limits things to a short, taster type cruise. We started on NCL (in the Kevin Sheehan days) and felt we got value for money. We tried other mainstream lines as well and the differences were generally minor (except RCL who just f**ked up everything they touched). We have now done Azamara, Regent and Silversea amongst others, and we can see the value there (we both like a drink which is a big factor in our costings). Individual circumstances and preferences are fundamental to this whole debate.
  14. We have just booked this today. Quite good value and should be a 'non-controversial' introduction to cruising for you. Bear in mind that things are not normal at the moment (masks, covid tests etc..) £100 pppd for a balcony including drinks and gratuities is a good price. https://www.princess.com/cruise-search/details?voyageCode=G128R
  15. I think the French politicians are not pleased with us (well one particular one actually). They were royally (republicanally?) taking the p*ss out of the Aussies with that submarine contract. They doubled the price and delayed delivery of outdated technology. Australia made a sensible decision to refer the French to 'Arkell v Pressdam' in relation to that contract. (Google AvP for our US cousins - I've had one CC smacked wrist for language already!) The French politicos have had 'le hump' with perfidious Albion since June 2016 and have been bad-mouthing us ever since. Your average French person is probably thoroughly embarrassed by their government's performance and histrionics. Many of us Brits are experiencing a lovely schadenfreude moment over all of this. C'est la vie - c'est la guerre.
  16. I've just added to my spreadsheet today - booked a 5 day RT out of Southampton - we were going (had gone?) stir crazy. Makes a nice change from deleting trips over the last two years.
  17. Some AV software (and Windows) will flag up a generic warning about downloading files from the internet. My file is an xlsx file, which cannot contain macro code so it is safe.
  18. I have an earworm at the moment from watching that video.
  19. Marmalade and Marmite for the toast. Also, bin the hash brown and add fried bread. Coffee not tea for me as well.
  20. <pedant on> Beethoven not Bach <pedant off>
  21. "Virgin Long Island Iced Tea" - posh name for cola with sweet and sour mix.
  22. MS and browsers has never been a match made in heaven - they seem to have a blind spot with that particular type of software.
  23. @zqtchas This youTube video might be relevant. There are a few Google hits on it being a Windows 10 problem and/or a Chrome problem. It seems to need a simple registry fix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDm1DUwP8ao
  24. I think the subway and buses is a step too far. How would these people get to their daily work? Given the fuss about 'rights, civil liberties' etc. in respect of the wearing of face masks, banning someone from all forms of transport could be controversial to say the least! As you point out, enforcement would be challenging as well.
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