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Everything posted by nuneham

  1. Sorry, Terry, I mean the mental back-burner. We begin our China & Hong Kong trip in about 5 weeks, but the Singapore, Australia & New Zealand trip is booked for January/February 2020. Both require research & planning to make the most of the opportunity. Thank you for your advice.
  2. It may not have been you, Terry, but I remember thinking that someone looked cold. I have made a mental note to pack layers. We have been to Australia before, prior to a South Pacific cruise, & were keen to return. A trip to the island is pencilled in & we have another full-day tour booked. This one must now go onto the back burner as we have a land trip to China in the very near future. Amazing possibilities!
  3. Just what I feared. A professional critic, perhaps on CC, said a disco would be better after 11pm. We don't party beyond midnight - usually! But we are on holiday. We'll enjoy the cruise whatever & make our choices from then on. Many thanks for your input. It really does help to settle expectations.
  4. We very recently booked Sydney to Auckland for next January. We're staying in Singapore (Mandarin Oriental) pre-cruise & then have 3 nights in the Four Seasons in Sydney. Post-cruise we're having 4 nights in Auckland. Any insights welcome. I found your blog very interesting, Terry. Particularly that you looked so cold! We have 2 stops in Tasmania - it seems I will need them to adjust to the rough seas & the temperature.
  5. I share these reservations about our first Viking cruise later this year. We are not really party people, don't like the casino & have usually retired before midnight, but I do like to dance after dinner - & to something more recent than the Beatles. Liked the Beatles back in the day, but my mother still likes them & she's in her 90s. Will try the whole experience with an open mind. If this is not our niche, we'll move along. Have sailed previously on Azamara, last 10 on Regent & Silversea.
  6. French 75 - lemon juice, gin, sugar & champagne. I like it without the lemon juice, gin & sugar!
  7. Thank you for the information. I won't cancel the cruise! This will be our first Viking cruise & I don't really understand why they exclude champagne. There are reasonable champagnes available for that price per pour. Just asking. It is, after all, the drink associated with celebration & good times.
  8. Yes, we are! Very reassuring to know. It's a birthday cruise & decent bubbles are non-negotiable. Thank you.
  9. Thank you for the information. I thought there may be a decent cava, but I shall certainly look out for the Romer & probably try to buy Veuve ashore. An indirect flight from the UK limits our options.
  10. Is there no dry sparkling available on the package? For me, that's a serious omission. I knew that Champagne was excluded but was hoping for a reasonable (dry) substitute.
  11. On our first Viking cruise in November & have bought the Spirits package. Most recently we have cruised on Regent & Silversea & we know we would have missed their alcohol policy. We both care about what we drink. Just one question, are there no champagnes available unless you pay more than 15 (dollars or pounds) per glass?
  12. That's the one! And also considering 3 days pre-cruise in Tokyo. I appreciate your insight.
  13. Considering the 2021 itineraries & would appreciate input from anyone with previous experience. Thank you!
  14. Also doing this itinerary on Explorer next month but staying overnight in Nice. We like the drive along the coast from Nice to MC. Enjoy your cruise.
  15. I have been following this thread with interest as we are doing a land tour in India in February '18 then picking up a cruise (Silversea!) ending in Dubai. Our daughter lived in Abu Dhabi for several years & we visited in Feb, March, April & July. July was far too hot but I have considered if we would have been happier in March or April next year. We could walk about comfortably in February, even had small amounts of rain at times. March was warmer but also fine, from mid-April on it seems to warm up very quickly.It wasn't a problem for us, partly an issue of tolerance perhaps, but we also had greater flexibility in our schedule as we were there for longer than a cruise ship. In May it will be hot, you will need loose, covering layers, a hat & good sun protection. The advice on protecting your camera is sound, in July we also ruined a watch - the seal had not been perfect. Hope this helps.
  16. We have our third Silversea cruise booked (& our fifth on Regent). Recently returned from our first river cruise - with Scenic. We enjoyed it, the Danube was wonderful, the excursions really well organised & the crew friendly & efficient. The cabins were very small. The food in the evening was disappointing & we didn't like having a set dinner time. Food is important to us so, primarily for that reason, we would probably not choose Scenic again. Others we met onboard thought Uniworld & Tauck superior so if we should ever be tempted again, we would look at those two.
  17. We're flying in from the UK & this one is just a holiday, not an adventure, as I'm sure yours will be. We are hoping for 2 weeks of winter sunshine in the Caribbean. We have been only once before, on Silver Whisper, so a good opportunity to compare & contrast. If we had several days in Miami the hotel would matter more. This time it's just a place to hang my hat & rest my head. I confess that I do like to be met at the airport & taken to the hotel in an unfamiliar city, which this is for us. Enjoy your cruise.
  18. We have been given this hotel, too. For just one night we'll cope. We're Miami to Miami on Navigator.
  19. We recently returned from our first river cruise, with Scenic on the Danube. In November we have our fifth cruise with Regent booked. It is a very different experience. The positives for us - an excellent itinerary on the Danube, a friendly & efficient crew, really well organised excursions. We would rate the excursions as superior to Regent's. That's not a complaint about the latter, we just thought the Scenic attention to detail & care was better. We thought the breakfasts as good as Regent's, the lunches perhaps slightly better (for us). On the downside, the cabin was very cramped & the veranda added little. And, of course, there were those days when the curtains were closed all day because of another boat being alongside. We really didn't like having a set time for dinner each evening - it varied, but it was emphasized that everyone should be present at the appointed hour. Dinner was a major disappointment for us, both in choice and quality. We won't be rushing to return to river cruising, & if we ever do will probably look at Uniworld or Tauck.
  20. GOARMY, that was exactly our experience last year, when we didn't leave the ship until 0945, but with a flight at 1700 we still had a time to fill. We anticipate something similar in November and plan to experience something on foot rather than from the top of an open-top bus. We have now looked again at the maps and think the central point for the bus tours, which is where there was a restroom & where we picked up our luggage & the Regent airport transfer, was Bayfront Park/Bayside Market Place? Perhaps someone could confirm this.
  21. Our flight last year, and this, was at 5PM. We can't remember going to more than one terminal, but do recall that the others on the Regent coach to the airport seemed to be on the same flight. We went initially to Frankfurt & then on to various destinations in Europe. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
  22. Thank you for that suggestion. The location seems perfect.
  23. Last November Regent held our luggage while we were on the tours. The first took us around the city & we saw the beach & the Art Deco buildings. After a restroom stop the second took us to a more residential area & returned through the area which is home to many people from Cuba. There were several stops at which you could leave the bus. Back at the restroom area there was a truck & 2 porters to hand over our luggage. We were then transferred to the airport. You may gather from these very vague descriptions that it was our first visit to the city. It worked well to be without luggage & the traffic was daunting. We were considering leaving our luggage with Regent again, taking the bus but getting off somewhere to explore on foot rather than completing the whole circuit. I'll try to identify the area with the restroom to which the buses returned, and where our luggage was delivered. If you are considering the bus tour, don't forget sunscreen & cover for your head & arms as it was an open-topped bus & very hot.
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