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Gaybo

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About Gaybo

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Sydney, NSW
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America Line
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Anywhere!

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  1. Hi Nang, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you but we were also originally told Aust Dollars, then British pounds and it ended up being Euros... Hopefully they will have got this straightened out by the time you board... the prices really were pretty good compared to other ships we have been on... I hope you have a great time as we sure did... despite a few on board that said they didn't... you can't please everyone I guess is true... Enjoy!... Cheers Gaybo
  2. Hi Nang, As promised here is the scanned Bar List & Prices (Euros) that we were charged on the VDG Maiden Voyage - Singapore to Tilbury... Hope this assists you making a decision... Cheers Gaybo CMV VDG Bar Menu001.pdf
  3. Hi Nang, No there were no beer deals available on our cruise... except for the 50% off Bitburger towards the end... Some lunchtimes, they had buckets of 5 beers for the price of 4... but you couldn't mix the brands... even when they were all priced the same... so we didn't buy them as I was drinking Grolsh & my husband Coronas... best of a bad bunch I'm afraid... But... I think you might be luckier as you may have the German brands leftover... fingers crossed... When I get home in July... I am still in the UK... I will scan the drink menu that also has the prices we were charged... in Euros... Cheers Gaybo
  4. No problems at Beejay4016. Another point that may be of interest... The Laundry was operating on AUD$1 coins... (3 for the washer and 1 for the dryer) this was a leftover from the P&O days... This wasn't immediately obvious and there were many days with limited coins being used. Eventually CMV had some tokens made up (not enough) to replicate the AUD$1 coins and CMV were then charging the onboard accounts with €1 for the tokens... this in turn gave the many whingers, another thing to whine about... But they were fortunate to have access to a self service laundry as there are very few ships offering this service these days... Laundry detergent was supplied by pressing a button when starting the machine. So if I were you, I woud take a roll of Australia $1 coins with me... even if they do manage to change the machines over to Euros when the VDG goes into dry dock in September, you can a spend them on your return home.
  5. The Cruise Critics that were going to Jerusalem & Bethlehem on a GTI private tour (CMV only offered these sites separately despite them being only a 20 minute drive apart) met at 7.30am and we left the ship (The Vasco da Gama) and went effortlessly through immigration and our guide, ‘Dikel’ was waiting for us with our driver and a very nice 16 seater BMW Bus… I just love it when things go to plan. Dikel explained our day to us on the way to ‘The Mount of Olives’ up on ‘Mount Zion’, where it is said the Messiah will resurrect the dead on judgement day. It is Jerusalem’s holiest cemetery and the view from the top is amazing, taking in the whole city, of both Old and New Jerusalem. This is where it is alleged that the Virgin Mary ‘fell asleep forever’. The fortress-like building, with a conical roof and four corner towers, stands south of the ‘Old City’s Zion Gate’, where most of us where singing or at least humming, the old ‘Boney M – Rivers of Babylon’ song. We walked to the ‘Dormition Abbey’, which is situated in the ‘Garden of Gethsemane’, the olive grove where Jesus prayed after the ‘Last Supper’ and was betrayed by his disciple Judas the same night. The garden was ablaze with roses in full bloom and they even had a ‘Jasmine’ vine climbing up a stone wall. It was a shame that there were so many people pushing and shoving to get through, as it would have been a lovely spot to spend some time in. We also visited the nearby ‘Church of All Nations’, also known as the ‘Basilica of the Agony’. The altar enshrines a section of bedrock, known as the ‘Rock of Agony’, where Jesus is said to have prayed before his arrest… the lines to kneel and kiss this stone were so long but I managed to get behind an old priest and get a nice photo of it anyhow… oh the power of the zoom lens! ‘King David's Citadel’ is a medieval fortress that is located near the ‘Jaffa Gate’, the historical entrance to the city and the point where the East meets the West, near here we also visited the ‘Room of the Last Supper’ and the ‘Chamber of the Holocaust’ in the Protestant Cemetery and ‘King David’s Tomb’. The sun was getting very hot now and we walked to ‘Via Dolorosa’, the path that supposedly Jesus walked on the way to his crucifixion. Here we entered the ‘Jewish Quarter’. Being a Sunday, it was just another day here and we saw many Jewish school children and adults, in various forms of dress going about their daily business. This pathway lead us to the ‘Church of Holy Sepulchre’, the stairway climbing to Calvary (Golgotha), traditionally regarded as the site of Jesus's crucifixion and the most lavishly decorated part of the church. This is the place where Jesus was crucified and later buried. Here again, was another stone, said to be where Jesus was laid and anointed in oil when he was taken down from the cross before he was buried. So many people here also praying and crying and putting gifts on the slab for blessings and then taking them off again… My husband and I managed to push our way in and do a little hand rubbing ourselves but yes I had a pack of ‘Wet-Ones’ to cleanse ourselves with afterwards. We stopped for lunch at one of Dikel’s fav cafes, the ‘Everest Cafe’ and we shared an Olive and Tomato Pizza, which we washed down with an ice cold Diet Coke. Very welcome. Next it was onto the ‘Western Cardo’ which is where we were told the word “Cardiac’ comes from and after walking this path our hearts and breaths sure knew why. We walked quickly through the ‘Arab Market’ that sprawled across the Christian and Moslem Quarters in Jerusalem's Old City but didn’t buy anything as Dikel said that a lot of it was ‘Made in China”. Ho hum! Our next stop was at the ‘Wailing Wall’ or the ‘Western Wall’ where we entered through the ‘Dung Gate’ to see the "Wall" because of the centuries of endless tears, shed by Jews. My husband and I had pre-written a prayer each to leave here and I had to give him strict instructions that it was not to include any, Lottery, Lotto or Soccer Pool words. He ensured me it didn’t… but I do have my doubts. The wall is divided into Male and Female sections with the Male section being 2/3 and the Female 1/3… go figure! We did a drive past of ‘Temple Mount’, a holy site within the Old City for Jewish, Christian and Muslim people. All visitors are able to tour the compound and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, with the exception of the Dome of the Rock but we didn’t, as we were keen to get to Bethlehem. Back onto the bus for a 20 minute rest while we drove to the West Bank into Palestine. Here we stopped at the obligatory ‘Tourist Gift Shop’ where we could shop while we picked up our Palestinian Guide. My husband and I did a quick walk through of the shop and then went next door to ‘The Bakery’ to watch the young baker knead, roll and flip his dough. Much more interesting to us than shopping! Back in the bus and with our new guide we set off to explore ‘Manager Square’, where the majority of religious activity in Bethlehem takes place… nothing very exciting here just another large limestone paved park. We then walked across the road to the ‘Church of the Nativity’, where the birth of ‘Jesus of Nazareth’ is said to have occurred. Unfortunately there was a funeral being conducted here, a 72 year old man, who died peacefully in his sleep… or so our guide told us.(???) Anyhow we waited outside with our guide as he said they would be out soon. This they were, the males carrying the coffin, came out through one door and the females all wiping their eyes through another. Our guide spoke to one of the woman, whom we assume was the wife, patted her hand and led us through another door inside. Talk about not wasting time, flowers (sadly silk ones) were being stuffed back into boxes and roles of white tuille were being unwound to wrap around the pews for the next event, a wedding… life sure does go on here in these churches in Bethlehem! There is an underground cave that they believe marks the spot of the ‘birthplace’ with a 14-point star set into the marble floor. But our guide said that the waiting time to enter the cave would take up to two hours, and while I was keen, unfortunately the other ‘’scaredy cats’ were not as it would have brought us back to the ship close to ‘All aboard Time’. Our guide must have seen the look on my face (pretty hard to miss I’ve been told) so he took us across to another Church, St Catherine’s for a look in there (Everyone, EXCEPT me groaned) and then he sang us a version of ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ in ??? mmm… it was the 3rd language in the Bible… Hebrew, and some other one and then this one that sounded like Armenian but probably is spelt wrong… anyhow it was a nice gesture and I appreciated it. There was a large painting of ‘St George’ as we were leaving this church and I must look up why it is there? Our bus driver took us the scenic drive back to the port but everyone except two others and myself slept... so serves them right as it was lovely diving through the Jerusalem Mountains.
  6. Hi Nang, Having just disembarked from the Singapore to Tilbury, VDG, cruise... Here are the 'Drinks Deals' that were offered onboard... All purchases were charged in Euros... Cheers Gayle Special Drink Packages… but NOT inclusive of any other discounts or Columbus Club discounts Cocktails = 15 for €60- Coffee = 15 for €36- Specialty Coffee = 15 for €46 Most nights there was a feature of drinks being discounted in a few bars… from 5pm – 7.30pm… 50% off Sours & Fizzes 50% off Aperitif Cocktails 50% off Martinis 50% off Sherry & Port 50% off International and Favourite Cocktails (Old fashioned, Alexander, Oasis & Black Rus30% off Gins & Vodkas 50% off International and Favourite Cocktails (Bloody Maria, Singapore Sling & Summer Dreams) 30% off Ceraon & Septimo Wines (White, Red & Rose) by the glass 50% off Draught Bitburger Beer (0.4CL) Beer choices were very limited with the only Draught Beer being 'Bitburger'... horrible... Corona, Smaller bottles of Grolsh, Guinness Stout (not beer) and Becks. We assumed this was because the ship was heading to Germany and no self respecting German would drink any of these brews, so they wanted to run their supplies down. There were many, many whingers on board and they were often rude to the inexperienced staff who had their hands full, what with being on a cruise ship for the first time or being on a new to them cruise ship. Staff also had to have German lessons as an extra burden and to a lot of them English was not their first language. I think they did very well under the circumstances. We had no problems with our cabin at all, our room staff were excellent, as was the entertainment and the activities offered were varied and the guest lectures were great! My husband and I both thought the cruise was very good... despite what you read on other posts... the price was excellent and remember you get what you pay for and while it wasn't 5 star it would in my opinion be a good 4 star. We would certainly sail with CMV again! Cheers Gaybo
  7. Hi Nang, We still have another 2 weeks to go... Currently in Naples at present... When I get to a steady/regular WiFi source I will answer all your questions... after 6th June... We are all quite miffed as we are being charged in Euros... and the beers they listed and also the wines are not what we were told... Lots of surprises on board and not all of them pleasant but saying that the cruise is going well and we all keep telling ourselves that 'you get what you pay for' and the cruise was a bargain... So all good really! Cheers Gaybo
  8. Hi Pauline & Mac, You sure are busy bees... We have a 7 day Sth Pacific Cruise booked but not until March. Have you got your paperwork yet? Best to work on your Visas quickly for Sri Lanka and India... Cheers Gayle
  9. Hi Pauline & Mac, How are you going with your excursions... I am up to Salalah and finding it hard work. We have decided not to do the Taj Mahal tour as we will miss 3 days of cruising... another time... Cheers Gayle & Jim
  10. Thanks very much marylizcat... we just weren't sure if it was going to be a tuxedo affair as it was on the Cunard ships we have sailed on a few years ago... They are very bulky items to carry around when you are a long way from home and doing more than just the cruise... Cheers...
  11. Thank you so much for your helpful reply marylizcat... I will try to estimate our daily drinks :-))
  12. Thank you so much for your reply... We are FF with Princess and HAL and are used to their Happy Hours... Buy one drink and get the 2nd one for $1- extra... which always works well for us... I will look at the pros and cons now... thanks for your advise!
  13. Thank you so much for your reply... I think it will be worth our while to take up the package... We will sign up now with our credit card... Can I also ask you if there are any formal nights on board or is there a need for my husband to bring along a dress suit for dinner or will a sports jacket and nice trousers suffice?
  14. My husband and I are booked on the new Vasco da Gama ship, Singapore to Tilbury.... 23rd April - 6 June, 2019 This will be our first cruise on CM&V. Reading through the paperwork, we are looking at the 'Additions Packages'... Can anyone who has cruised with CM&S tell me if they are worth the money? We are looking at the 'CMV Premium' package... $41 pppd Does anyone know what types of beer CM &V carry onboard and roughly their prices? Does CM&V have Happy Hours? Cheers Gaybo
  15. Hi Pauline & Mac, Jim and I are also looking forward to this cruise and we also are interested in perhaps joining any excursions that fellow CC arrange, particularly the ones in the more unusual ports of call. Cheers Gayle & Jim
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