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DEL67

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About DEL67

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Bedminster, NJ USA
  • Interests
    Travel, reading, baking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity and HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Asia

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  1. If yo need a hotel, the IBIS Budget Central Auckland is reasonable and about 10 minutes from the pier. One downside is that it is in the middle of a steep hill. I took the Supershuttle to get there since it left me at the hotel door unlike the Skybus which has specific stops along major streets.
  2. e were there in Dec. Many people from the ship went into Christchurch from Akaroa. We wanted to take a Black Cat Harbor cruise so we stayed in Akaroa to see the Hector dolphins. Since the Harbor cruise was only 2 hours, we also booked a local tour which was just okay. The one part of the tour that we really enjoyed was the Giants House, the home of a local artist. She has created an interesting garden of large, colorful mosaics that were somewhat reminiscent of Gaudi. In addition, because we were on the tour, we got to meet the artist and go into her home. You can reach the Giants house yourself by walking around the harbor and then going up a side street (the tourist information at the pier will tell you which street.) It is about a 20 minute walk, Note: The driveway up to the house and garden is very steep. If you do not want to make a decision prior to your arrival, there will be anumber of vendors at the pier selling both local tours and ones into Christchurch.
  3. Yes, we have an email from HAL giving her permission to disembark in Hobart
  4. That leads to an interesting question. My daughter will be disembarking that evening as she has to get back to the US for work. We assumed she would have to leave the ship about 2 hours before her flight. Do you have any idea how much extra time she should allot for immigration. Note: It will be New Years Eve which may complicate things.
  5. Hobart will be the first Australian port on our HAL Noordam itinerary so I assume we will need to go through some sort of immigration. Does anyone know approximately how long it will take? We are planning a private tour so I would like to know when to tell them to pick us up. Thank you
  6. We are taking our first P&O cruise in April. The Britannia is due to dock at 6 AM in Southampton. I need to make a bus reservation so I would appreciate knowing approximately what time can we expect to be off the ship? Thank you
  7. Thank you all for the information. Bob" Our flight is scheduled to arrive at LHR about 5 PM the night before the cruise so I had planned to stay at an airport hotel and go to Southampton early in the morning, leave our luggage and walk around South Hampton until our designated check-in tome. However, now that I know that the luggage handlers do not start until 11:30, I need to look at other options.
  8. There were several "themed night." One was a white night, but I do not remember the other. The Mediterranean night was only in the dining room where they had an Italian night also. You do not register your credit card at check in like most other cruise lines. Instead, they have a machine next to customer service desk. One of their reps will assist you if you have difficulty. Tips were automatically charged to our account daily. We did not try to remove them so I cannot answer your question. However, we did give extra tips to our headwaiter and cabin steward, both of whom provided outstanding service. as well as a smaller one to our waiter.
  9. Our etickets in late Dec stated stated that guests booking through MSC USA get get bottled water (still or with gas) in the dining room at lunch and dinner.
  10. We will be taking the Britannia from Southampton in April and I have several questions. - What is the best way to get from LHR to Southampton and return. We will be staying overnight near LHR the night before the cruise and leaving from LHR in the late afternoon after the cruise ends. - What is there to do in Southampton if we have time after checking in? = The ports are all new to us. We would appreciate suggestions of what we should do in Cherbourg (on Easter day,) La Coruna, Bilboa and St Peterport. Thank you
  11. My adult daughter and I spent Christmas Week on the Poesia sailing from Santos Brazil to Punta Del Este Uraguay, Buenos Aires (over night) and Montevideo. Over all we enjoyed the cruise, but there were positives and negatives. Getting to Santos: We took a bus from the GRU airport in Sao Paulo to Santos. It was a little confusing to find the right bus company ticket office, but with the help of a kind stranger, we did so and after redeeming the voucher for the reservation I made on-line, the man in the office actually escorted us to the bus stop. After a 2 hour drive in a comfortable, air conditioned bus, we arrived in Santos and took a taxi to the pier. Embarkation: Embarkation was generally a mess for most passengers. There were long lines in the heat to drop your luggage and then longer lines to check in. However, it was quick for us because MSC matched my RCCL Diamond status making me a Black member so we could use the suite line to drop our bags and had a special check-in line., Itinerary: Our first port was supposed to be Punta del Este on Christmas day, but they switched the ports so we were in Montevideo instead. Not much was open, but we were able to get a city tour at the pier which was interesting. We enjoyed our 2 days in Buenos Aires. We took an historical walking tour in Buenos Aires and visited the Boca district on the first day and went to a Gaucho party the 2nd. If we did it again, we would have gone to Tigre. Punta del Este, was our last port. It is a beach destination for the wealthy and has little of interest other than expensive shopping. Note: All the Poesia's tours were only in Portuguese so we cancelled the one tour we had purchased prior to sailing. Ship : The ship was clean and in good condition. Our cabin was adequate; but storage was limited. The staff were very friendly and helpful. Food: As always the dining room was much better than the buffet. Portions in the dining room were small, but there was a lot to eat if you ordered all 6 courses.. The pasta and risotto were generally excellent. The other dishes ranged from poor to excellent. The dining room staff worked hard to accommodate my daughter's picky eating habits. The buffet was okay for breakfast,and had excellent fruit at each meal, good salad and pizza, but was pretty bad otherwise. Misc: Our fellow passengers (primarily Brazilian) were friendly. The perks for being a Black member were very nice. They included a fruit bowl, champagne, chocolate covered strawberries, a free dinner in the speciality restaurant, robes and a chocolate ship. Issues: The primary issue was communication. Over 95% of the passengers were Brazilian and little effort was made to accommodate passengers who did not speak Portuguese. All announcements other than the safety drill were only in Portuguese until I said something on the 5th day because I was told to wait for a tender announcement which I knew I would not be able to understand. All activities were in Portuguese although they did Do the Mater Chef quiz in both Portuguese and English when we asked to join. Some notices sent to our cabin were in Portuguese even though our cabin was identified as English speaking. In addition we ere not told of the itinerary change until we arrived at the ship. Another issues was that the shows all started 15 to 30 minutes after the scheduled time. They did have a "pre-show" which consisted of one or 2 men repeatedly doing an activity such as dropping things to try to get audience members to pick them up, but I felt they should indicate that on the schedule. Disembarkation: The ship was about an hour late getting into port so disembarkation was delayed. Our flight from Sao Paulo was not until the evening so we stayed aboard until about noon (another Black perk.) After leaving the ship, we were able to find an English speaking taxi driver who took us on a tour of Santos for a couple of hours and then dropped us back at the bus station for our return to Sao Paulo. Bottom line: We would do a similar cruise if the itinerary and price were right, but it would not be our first choice.. However, the other English speaking passengers we spoke to on the last day indicated that they would not take another MSC cruise.
  12. We plan to spend the day in Santos after our cruise, but are unsure about what to do about our luggage. Does anyone one know if there is a place to store luggage at the port? Thanks
  13. When are you going in October? My sister and I will be on the Monarch Princess Oct 8th sailing.
  14. After I uploaded my photo and first page of my passport I received an email stating that they could not read the passport page. The email; also provided an email address to which I could send the scan instead of trying to upload it again.. I sent it to the email and had my visa a couple of days later.
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