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FionaMG

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Everything posted by FionaMG

  1. Yes, she's still here. She started back on the 15th of August doing the standard 7-night western Med itinerary from Barcelona and Rome. I was on the 26 September sailing. She is due to finish up at the end of this month and return to the States. The transatlantic crossing is due to depart from Barcelona on the 31st of October.
  2. They were doing it on Harmony in the Med in August and September; a number of people posted about it.
  3. If it's letting you make the reservations, I'd just hang on to them for the time being until more is known about what the CDC has up its sleeve for November after their current restrictions expire. It's anyone's guess as to how that will impact cruising in the US. We ate one dinner in the Solarium Bistro on our cruise and enjoyed it. The food was very good. I wanted to try all the desserts but managed to restrain myself . I hope it works out for you.
  4. There were no vaxxed/unvaxxed distinctions on board when I cruised last month so unless something has changed in the meantime the answer would be yes. That may change, of course, when the ship relocates to the US at the end of the month. As far as I am aware, absolutely everyone sailing on the TA must be vaxxed, so the issue would not arise on that sailing.
  5. Just to add to Brillo's answer: Remind each member of your family that they can only have ONE device logged on at a time. The second someone tries to connect a fifth device, someone else will get kicked off. Also, regarding dining, you should be able to book for everyone simultaneously if your bookings are linked. Somewhere in the planner, when you go to book, there is an option to add guests from another booking. Once you find that, it's pretty intuitive. If your bookings aren't linked you'll need to do that first (I think). I can't help with the credits as we don't do specialty dining either.
  6. @John Bull, food for thought. Thanks very much for taking the time to help out like this. Appreciate it.
  7. @John Bull, thanks for this. It's very helpful. I'd already spotted that terrible bus journey from the airport, which is what prompted me to ask about the price of a transfer. I suppose, though, it would be possible to get a taxi to the station and a train or coach from there. Do you know roughly how much that shorter taxi ride might cost? It's going to be a delicate balancing act between how much extra cash my thrifty Scottish upbringing will let me pay out to counterbalance my increasingly low tolerance to hassle. Flying into a small airport like BOH and simply jumping in a waiting car sounds so much more appealing than going into one of the big London airports and dealing with immigration queues, walking miles to get to the coach stop or train station and then waiting around until it's time for the coach or train to leave. Of course, the cost of the flights will have a part to play too. I haven't really looked at that aspect yet since we're still so far out. I'll probably hold off till around Black Friday and then maybe see if there are any half-way sensible prices. That BA Southampton-Faro route is indeed a seasonal one. It used to be served twice-weekly by FlyBe until their demise and it looks like BA is only interested in doing it once a week instead of twice. Unfortunately, the fact that it operates on a Saturday means it doesn't align even one-way for this particular cruise. Pity. 😞
  8. It will be interesting for you to see if things are still the same as when you did the first sailing of if they are different now. Probably there will be some differences.
  9. I'm doing some very early reconnaissance for a cruise out of Southampton next September. We'll be flying in from Faro and although BA has a non-stop flight from FAO to SOU, it's weekly on Saturdays, which doesn't work for our cruise, which starts on a Friday and ends on a Wednesday. We can get non-stop flights to Bournemouth with the dreaded Ryanair but it would still mean spending two pre-cruise nights in Southampton rather than one and it looks like it's a bit of a pain to use public transport to get from BOH to Southampton. So could someone who knows the area please give me a rough idea of the price we might expect to pay for a private transfer (cheapest vehicle type, we don't need a fancy limo)? I'm trying to work out whether the cost/hassle ratio justifies flying into BOH and spending the extra night as against flying into LGW or LHR the day before the cruise and travelling down to Southampton by National Express, which would potentially be cheaper but more than double our travelling time since it'll take longer on the coach from London to Southampton than it will on the flight from Faro to London! Thanks for any insight.
  10. Our experience can't really be used as a yardstick because we flew from a Schengen airport - so no immigration/customs to deal with - on a different day of the week and at a different time of day. That said, the airport was absolutely dead when we arrived (late afternoon on a Saturday). However, I can tell you that they do check the vaccination/test certificates and the locator forms so if you have all of those ready in hand to show you can save yourself a little bit of time. We got separated from the other members of our party just before that step and were delayed a bit as a result because they didn't know what they were being asked to show (I actually had to go back to help them out).
  11. Thanks everyone for your very helpful input. You've definitely given me some (Turkish) food for thought. I think I had better go away and do some serious research into all of these sites to help with the decision. I would do both if I could! @MeHeartCruising, what a stroke of luck to be able to do both excursions on b2b cruises. The cruise the week after ours is also calling there for a second time but it's just too many days for me to be away from work. One day, when we're both retired... (sigh). A wander around Kusadasi does sound appealing if we decide to go with the shorter option. @cruisemom42, thanks so much for all the detail. You are so knowledgeable about this area, it's a pleasure to read all your posts. You really bring history to life. @iancal, thanks for sharing your experience. I wouldn't mind trying some genuine Turkish food but I wonder just how "authentic" it's going to be if it's being served up to a bunch of western tourists in a 5* hotel. I don't think we'll be able to escape the carpet pitch though. There doesn't seem to be a single excursion on offer that doesn't include it... @bennybear, thank you for sharing your fabulous photos. I'm even more excited for this stop now and it wasn't even a priority when we booked the cruise, it was more a kind of bonus to add to getting to visit two Greek Isles we've not been to yet!
  12. Thanks everyone for your input. Much appreciated. Our previous "visit" to Rome was actually a shore excursion from Civi that did a drive-by of some sites (can't remember which) and then dropped us off for 4-5 hours of free time at the Vatican. We used all of that time to explore the basilica and then have some lunch and a poke around the souvenir stalls so we have not seen anything at all of central Rome. I'm sure I could read up on everything and just DIY it but that would mean having to explain everything we see to DH and it's just so much easier to have someone who knows what they're talking about tell us everything. We will only have the one full day this time round as our flight the day before doesn't arrive till around 5 pm and our cruise sails the day after. I'm counting down the days to retirement to be able to do a proper visit!
  13. Very nice. 😆 We're booked for May, on the first sailing after she comes across the Pond. I'm really excited about it; so much so I've already watched three different hour-long full-ship tours!
  14. I'm just starting to get my duck in a row for a cruise that calls at Ephesus (Kusadasi, to be precise) next May. We have never been to Turkey so we would like to do something worthwhile in the port. I would prefer to do a ship-sponsored excursion in this port; I can be quite adventurous in places I've visited before but not so much in those I'm completely unfamiliar with. We are not at all religious so Mary's House, which seems to feature in the vast majority of the excursions offered by the cruise line, is something which holds no real interest for us. However, based on all the great information here on the boards I've narrowed it down to two options that I think would work for us and I would be interested to hear opinions from those of you who are familiar with the area. I'm not asking specifically about the excursions but more about the places they visit and, based on that, which of the two options you might think out-trumps the other. One of our options is a 4-hour excursion that visits Ephesus and includes the Terraced Houses. The other is a 7-and-a-half hour trip that goes to Ephesus, Didyma, and Miletus but does not include the Terraced Houses during the stop in Ephesus. The longer trip includes an "authentic" (raised eyebrow) Turkish lunch at a 5* hotel and costs roughly $20 more per person than the shorter one. I am very active and DH is reasonably so, meaning mobility isn't an issue, but his interest in ancient history is mild so it needs to be something that will really capture his attention and hold it for the length of the tour or he'll be bored and get grumpy. For example, he was really impressed by Pompeii to the extent that he was even keen to do a return visit. He also enjoyed, a good few years ago now, a visit to a place in Cyprus that I am reminded of by the description of the terraced houses but can't remember the name of. I'm betting someone on here will know the place I mean! Any opinions and suggestions will be very gratefully received. Thanks for your insight.
  15. I'm just starting to get our ducks in a row for a cruise that sails from Civi next May. We will have one full day in Rome before the cruise so I'm trying to work out a plan that will let us see quite a lot without being overly tiring. I'm very active and am unlikely to run out of steam but DH is less fond of walking and is not really a culture buff so I don't want to push his tolerance to breaking point. We visited the Vatican on an earlier visit to Rome and I really want to see the Colosseum this time round but would like to see a little bit of central Rome as well. Those of you know Rome, can you tell me what you think of my plan? Do you think its sensible or am I trying to cram too much in? I have found a free guided walking tour that starts at 10.30 am in the Piazza Venezia and goes by way of the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza della Rotunda where the Pantheon is located before finishing up in Piazza Navona. The tour is slated to last two hours, so finishing at 12.30 pm. We would then have a 3-hour break for lunch and a rest before heading to the Colosseum to do the Gladiator's Gate tour with access to the arena floor. This tour includes not only the Colosseum but also a guided tour of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. It lasts 3 hours and is currently priced at €60.30 ($72.24) which seems like a reasonable price to me. The Colosseum is the main attraction for this visit to Rome, so if it's going to be too much for a single day, we'd forego the free walking tour in the morning. As Europeans, we're very likely to have other opportunities to visit the city so it's not a case of see it all now or never. What do you all think? Thanks for your insight.
  16. I was the one who reported the same "symptoms" on Harmony - exactly as you described. On a couple of occasions when trying to log in I got an error message saying something beginning with "f" (had never heard of it before and can't remember what it was called) was not properly installed on the device. I don't know what it meant or how significant it might have been.
  17. The shop is open. I don't know about getting back off the ship, since we didn't do that, but I would think it's possible, given that Barcelona is also a port of call for those who start their cruise in Civi and vaccinated guests are able to go ashore freely in the Spanish ports on this itinerary.
  18. On our cruise on Harmony out of Barcelona all unvaccinated kids had to do a compulsory rapid test mid-cruise. I'm not sure whose requirement that was, whether Royal's or the Spanish or Italian government's, and everyone disembarking in Barcelona had to have one on the last day of the cruise (Spanish govt requirement). I suspect someone tested positive on that final day test as there was a security officer stationed outside a door in our corridor all day. It's interesting how the testing requirements vary from country to country; a mid-cruise test for kids, like we had on Harmony, would very possibly have caught the case on Anthem allowing appropriate measures to be taken to prevent spread.
  19. Those only showed up on the day of departure and could only be booked by connecting to the ship's wifi, which could only be done when you were on board. There was a free Royal-provided wifi service in the terminal but it was a different one to the one onboard. If you want to see them, make booking your shows a priority once you get on board. There were only 3 performances of Grease on our sailing so we didn't get to see it as we could not secure bookings for the only one that suited us.
  20. Nope. You're stuck with it and they will charge your credit card when they inform you that your bid has been successful.
  21. I guess it depends on where you're staying. There's a good map here: https://www.barcelona-tourist-guide.com/en/maps/barcelona-metro-map.html but it doesn't look to me like there's a station close to the port. And even from the bottom of the Rambla it's a very long walk, especially if you have luggage. I would definitely just get a taxi and save yourself the hassle.
  22. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm mistaken but I think that if you booked through a travel agent it also depends on whether or not that travel agent participates in the Royal Up programme. Not all do and if yours doesn't then you won't get an email and the link won't work for you. There's no way that ship is sailing full so I suppose you could always try asking at Guest Services on board if any upgrades are available, if you're not able to use Royal Up.
  23. @stp_mmh5, I'm so sorry you weren't able to make it work. What a huge disappointment. 😞 But I'm glad you have a plan B that hopefully will let you make the best of a bad job. Fingers, legs and eyes crossed for you.
  24. @stp_mmh5, further to my previous post, this is from the Spanish government: https://www.vacunacovid.gob.es/preguntas-y-respuestas/debo-vacunarme-si-ya-he-pasado-el-covid-19 So, it is definitely official Spanish policy to vaccinate U65s who have had Covid with just one dose of the vaccine. Find out if your Spanish student is in this situation. If he is, he should be able to obtain a European covid certificate attesting to recovery in addition to the one showing the vaccination. Perhaps if you explain this policy to Royal they will allow him to sail. I hope it works out for you.
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