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About simonpjd

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Anyone going where we want to go
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Northern Europe, Antarctica

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  1. simonpjd

    Arcadia EE balconies

    Our booking is for 2020.
  2. simonpjd

    Arcadia EE balconies

    Good Morning. We are looking at the grade EE balconies on Arcadia. They are different to the others in that they have a steel front. The rest have glass. Also they are on E deck immediately above the theatre. now straight away there are possible problems here. So has anyone been in one of these and can say if they are fine. We have been quoted a price of £500 per person to upgrade to a ED grade cabin. This seems ridiculous but the cruise is part of a larger package, so not much we can do.
  3. simonpjd

    What Gratuity to Leave at Specialty Restaurant?

    This thread makes me wonder what Americans would do sailing with P&O. There is no daily gratuity charge. There is no service charge added to every drink. And this is very very popular with us Brits.
  4. simonpjd

    Atmosphere on board

    We have now sailed with most companies. And all have good points, and bad. Of course our bad may be your good! Fred, let’s be honest. The ships are tatty and old. And to get a good cabin costs a fortune. Yes I know the food and staff are on a par or better than most but I don’t think we will be back. Cunard, for me too formal. Ridiculous drinks prices. Huge service charge plus the 15% on everything. Ships are lovely. QM2 so stable even in quite lumpy seas. Snobby staff and passengers. P&O, lots of faults but overall fits us best, but only on the smaller ships. When the 3 smaller ones go we shall be off. RCI, Princess, Celebrity, HAL, well if the itinerary is exactly what we want then ok. In fact we are doing Alaska with Princess next year. Oceania. This is where we are likely to end up. Lovely ships. Best food at sea. Interesting itineraries. Yes cost is around double all the above but you can’t take it with you. All the 7 star jobs. Maybe one day. small expedition cruises. Fantastic but we have done the Arctic and Antarctic both twice. If they came up with a great trip and a good deal then maybe. If you haven’t tried one of these then save up and give it a go. Nothing beats cruising in a zodiac through the ice then wading ashore through the seals and penguins. Now that’s living.
  5. simonpjd

    Atmosphere on board

    Aurora to USA and Canada September October 2018. Quite a long cruise. 25 nights. Cruisers mainly young retirees. Very few kids young families. well it was a very comfortable cruise. Everyone seemed very content. The crew were not as hectic as we sometimes see. The cabin stewards and waiting staff seemed happy in their work. It was just a very pleasant atmosphere on board. And on a longer cruise you get to know people. The quizzers all knew each other and there was a lot of mutual respect. There were some excellent quizzers on board. The bridge and whist were well attended as were most activities. I have to say this was not the case on QM2 earlier this year. Cunard have some regular passengers who look down their nose at others. They have some obviously very wealthy people on board who liked to make sure you knew they had more money than us. The staff seemed much busier and it just wasn’t as relaxing as it should be. I think this is one reason why P&O suits us very well. I do hope P&O keep these smaller adult only ships going. If they ever end up with only huge family friendly ships we will be off. And I can safely say will not be the only ones judging by the conversation on board.
  6. simonpjd

    Irritating ast minute cruise changes

    QM2 was due to call at Naples on its world cruise this year, so obviously all agreed with the Port years ago. 2 days before arrival we are informed that our berth needed dredging , they had known that for 3 years, but had not bothered. So no Naples. Blimmin’ Italians couldn’t organise a thingie in a brewery! At least you have found out early and can plan accordingly.
  7. simonpjd

    Balcony vs Deluxe Balcony on Aurora

    We were on the transatlantic voyage too. In an outside cabin on D deck. For some reason we prefer Oriana but I am struggling to find a good reason for this. We just do. But nothing wrong with Aurora. The Headliners were the best we have seen for years. Entertainment staff did their best, Wes was outstanding and we hear he has been promoted to deputy cruise director on Brittania from February. impressed with Glass House. And the wife loved all 3 gin flights and the champagne flight. Not all on the same day. after 35 nights on QM2 in April it was lovely to see drinks prices where you would expect them. Cunard are just bonkers expensive. Looking forward to the Baltic on her next June, in a de luxe balcony hurrah.
  8. simonpjd


    Just nipping out to top up on motion sickness pills. Double trans Atlantic crossing coming up , sailing on Sunday on Aurora, and it looks like it will be a bit lumpy with Hurricane Florence then two more already following behind. They might have to take soup off the menu.
  9. simonpjd

    Weather in the Fjords late April

    The Flam railway stops at a waterfall. When we went in May it was still mainly frozen. But sun was shining and it was a pleasant temperature. Obviously if you head up north, like Tromso, it would be a bit nippy.
  10. simonpjd

    A DECK of number

    Just a note re the Port Out Starboard Home , POSH. That was actually to avoid the sun and was for voyages to the east. Follow the rule and you get a shaded cooler cabin, a very desirable thing in ships built before 1960 or so which had no AC. I was 4 years at sea before I sailed on a ship with AC. Blimey it was hot.
  11. simonpjd

    Azura to Fjords - DIY!

    Pulpit rock v easy good choice Flam railway is the one. See if you can check how many ships are in. If only you then leg it to the station and you will be ok. If Port is busy prebook it . Olden glacier has retreated so far it is not so great. Don’t expect lovely blue glacie, more a dirty blob a long way away. But it is a nice walk. Bergen stroll around do the funicular. Buy some fish at the market. Lovely place.
  12. simonpjd

    Dress Code on Britannia

    Before I bought a dj I had grey ‘office’ trousers with white shirt, tie and blazer. In fact what I wore to the office most days. Then swapped tie for bow tie. Even better. Now I take 5 bow ties and swap them around as appropriate. On Cunard I bought a striped blazer which a young pretty waitress in local restaurant told me was gorgeous. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  13. simonpjd

    Service charge ending!

    Of course Carnival own many cruise lines. Any movement there I wonder. Cunard currently 13USD daily. We were on QM2 for 35 days. Doesn’t half add up. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  14. simonpjd

    November in Antarctica

    In November there is more ice around. Fantastic you are thinking. Well check your ship carefully. We didn’t get to PortLockroy because of too much ice. But the ship, while being ice strengthened, was not really built for the job. If it has a bulbous bow then crunching through quite thick ice will be a no. Go for a proper expedition ship. Examples, Hapag Lloyd have the Bremen and Hanseatic. I believe the Hurtigruten ships and National Geographic ships will get through. I am sure people on here can clarify. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  15. simonpjd

    Lots of P & O rumours answered

    We have sailed with Fred, Cunard, RCI, Noble Caledonia, Hapag Lloyd, Holland America , Oceania and more. But we keep coming back to P&O as just suiting us very well. But we may move on soon as P&O are selling off, IMO, all the best ships. Current new choice likely to be Oceania. Ships with max 1200 pax. All soft drinks free, I am TT. Most pax are from USA , super friendly but easier to win the quizzes ha ha. Sent from my iPad using Forums