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Glitterati

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Everything posted by Glitterati

  1. It’s also a good place to park if you are early for your embarkation slot! Lots of eateries in West Quay! We live local and have not thought of doing this- will look into it next time as CPS was a bit of a faff and we had scratches on our car when we left!
  2. Really insightful information- thank you!! Looking forward to sailing on her over Christmas and New Year. Never sailed on her or Ventura before, but have done the 3 Princess equivalents (Crown, Emerald and Ruby) and it is one of my favourite ship types. I was the second cruise on the Navigator of the Seas in 2019 after what I thought was dry dock, but now appears was a full blown refit as she was out for over a month! New pools, restaurants, cabins, water slides- the works!
  3. For Caribbean: A 14 night B2B on the Sky is £2259pp in a standard unobstructed balcony cabin. Includes drinks wifi and tips. A 14 night Arvia cruise is £3139 for a standard balcony cabin. Includes flight (select price as you get the same benefits included on Princess) When you can get a flight for under £400 to Miami, it really comes in a lot cheaper if you drink a lot on holiday. I also wouldn’t book the Arvia as I didn’t like Iona, but it’s a similar story for Britannia prices.
  4. The Princes Plus deal is fantastic, and the cocktail selection is immense. And even before the PP, the base fares are cheaper than P&O. For a 14 night B2B in the Caribbean on the Sky in 2023 with PP, it is £4000 cheaper for a family of 4 in 2 cabins than it is on Arvia without drinks. Flights and hotels come in way under that £4000 before you even take drinks into consideration. I’m not P&O bashing as I have 2 more booked, but for me Princess provide a better product. P&O need to start changing a few things if they keep charging those prices.
  5. It would be helpful if they provided a list of preferred test centres. There are so many fake ones out there!
  6. Fantastic news. We are on her 2nd sailing in December! Do you happen to know what kind of dry dock she is having? She was planned to have quite extensive work before Covid, o assume it has been cut back to just essentials?
  7. When I was on the sky dome was kept quite cold. There are no sun loungers, just upright chairs so no one was lying around. Just people sat around reading with hardly anyone in the pool! I do think it’s a very odd set up during the day.
  8. I think the way they have gone about this is all wrong. There are many families out there who have children under 17 who are fully vaccinated. Surely asking them first would have been better customer service?
  9. I do find it interesting that Britannia was not let in, when the Harmony is allowed to dock this week with independent excursions. The pax have to do a PCR 2 days before they reach port. I’m sure there is good reason behind it, but it’s not a blanket ban for all cruise lines If this happens on my Caribbean cruise I will be fine with it. They are all gorgeous islands!
  10. My issue is with the payment date. Just paid 90 days out for my Azura cruise leaving Christmas Day. We were considering moving it until they announced independent shore exploration was allowed. However reading this thread makes me think that it is not as clean cut as that? I know it is dependent on the port, but a bit more correspondence from P&O would have been useful. I emailed the CS team last month about whether they were adding more reasonable excursions, as they had mentioned they would do, and I was told they were not doing this. So now we are stuck, we have paid our balance and may be forced in certain scenarios to fork out £50pp for a trip in x amount of ports. I understand P&O are just working on the information that is provided to them, but keeping us in the dark has not been the best customer experience. Hoping for some more information soon! I know a lot can change in 3 months!
  11. We found issues with the Formal evening as well. P&O used to be one of the best for formal night, but this time it was terrible. They had an illusionist on in the atrium which made for a weird atmosphere. And the food was rushed and the usual posh tableware and amuse bouche were missing. I also thought the daytime activities were lacking. Other cruise lines certainly do a lot better than P&O in this department. Ice sculpture carvings, officers vs passenger activities, deck parties were missing (probably due to Covid). It’s ok if the weather is good, but not so great when the weather is bad!
  12. We are having the same issue. We fly out on the 25th December to catch the Azura. When we rang up to enquire about flights, they said the seat maps would be up when the airlines had confirmed the aircraft so the seat map was correct. I imagine (as with the flights), there will be no notice and you will just be able to book. Which is annoying when you want to book certain seats!!
  13. We were on the same cruise as the OP. We like to sunbathe, and got up very early to get the beds we wanted. At no point during the day were all of our beds left unattended. We went for lunch separately etc. Had the same beds every day, but we didn’t go back to bed once getting them at 6:30am! The problem was it being a week of sea days. Usually you get 1/2 on a weeks cruise. And the fact the ship is obviously catered for colder weather, so there are no outdoor sun beds in the middle pool area/around the forward pool. I know Arvia will have the retractable roof, but Iona will not always be a cold weather ship. The beds around the promenade are not practical as you can’t turn them around if the ship/sun moves. I do wonder what it will be like at full capacity
  14. These have been cancelled for a while. They can’t get the aircraft to fly to St Lucia. A few people on here have said they have had to move to Barbados sailings
  15. I fully understand that. Our first cruise was from Puerto Rico; and the flight we got was Gatwick, but we lived in Hull! Manchester was still 2 hours away from us but it was better than Gatwick. I fully understand the jet lag issue. Trains are also a good option. I did that in 2019 when I flew out of LHR. Had a sleep and set an alarm for when we were due to stop. Of course Covid may change that but it’s always an option.
  16. Ah, I replied to your comment on another thread! Great news that you have flight details, even if it is Manchester. As I mentioned before, it’s a good airport with lots of hotels with parking options! Hoping our flight details come through soon!
  17. Oh fab. We are flying 25th and we’re getting worried! What airport are you flying out of and which airline is it? There were rumours of it being Virgin as they had more aircraft available
  18. I had 2 countdown emails with both of my Caribbean cruises- 1 Azura and 1 Britannia in 2021/2022. I got worried as one of mine wasn’t showing, but gmail has just grouped all the emails together
  19. There is something weird going on. I tried to go book excursions for my December 2021 Azura cruise and they have all disappeared! They were certainly there before.
  20. Ive done RCI 3 times. Once out of Southampton (Adventure), once out of Barcelona (Symphony) and once out of Miami (Navigator). All cruises had a completely different pax ratio. Out of Southampton it was 95% Brits, out of Barcelona it was probably 25% brits, 25% Chinese, 40% American and 10% European. And out of US it was 80% Americans, 20% ROW. It makes the cruises very different. The British are certainly better at partying (and complaining- the guest services queue was always busy!) I'm yet to try Celebrity or Princess out of the UK. All the times i've cruised with them has been part of a fly cruise, and predominantly American passengers. Would be interesting to see if it changes the feel onboard!
  21. Great review of your cruise! We are booked on Iona in September. Nice to hear positives from someone who has sailed on lines other than P&O! We are big RCI/Celebrity fans, but also like the product P&O deliver. Ive always found the food to be lacking on P&O- especially in the buffet, so I don’t think it’s a Covid thing. Good to hear the other restaurants are serving good food!
  22. I don’t know which RCI ships you have been on; but the Symphony of the Seas was outstanding. On par with any Celebrity cruise I’ve taken in terms of food, service and ship design/features. I tried P&O after sailing RCI/Princess/Celebrity, and although it was a different product due to the British being the target audience, we felt it was not that bad. Free drinks on formal night with everyone dressed very smartly, very good entertainment. However since my first P&O cruise in 2017 I have seen little things slipping. Only one free drink on formal night (fizz, no choice of anything else), no more miniature White Company toiletries, sweets in cabin. I know they are little things, but they are appreciated! Whereas Celebrity have only got better. I guess P&O are trying to attract a wider audience, whereas Celebrity are trying to keep their loyal customers.
  23. I work in software development and it pains me to see badly rolled out software. I’m a Business Analyst so I can’t stop thinking about ways it could be made so much more user friendly!!!! It seems like they had a deadline and I’m *hoping* this is just phase 1 of a long list of iterative features.
  24. After seeing multiple videos/pictures, I can’t make my mind up about Iona! The atrium (as grand as it is) looks like an airport waiting lounge, and all the bars/seating areas around it seem to look the same. It seems they have built a massive ship and not known what to fill it with, so they’ve just added lots of seating areas. The muted colour tones are nice, but it’s missing some artwork on the walls, warm lighting and variations in theming around the ship. Britannia’s atrium felt like a shopping centre to me, I hope they haven’t made the same mistake with Iona! The only ship I’ve been on of a similar size is the Symphony of the Seas. Now that is a stunning ship. So much attention to detail went into that design. I mean, having a set of piano stairs that play a tune when you walk on them? Amazing. Artwork on the wall that when you look through your phone shows you a live stream of things behind the scenes- like the bridge and the kitchen? Incredible. Central Park! It will be hard to go on Iona with an open mind and no prejudice as the SotS is my favourite ship🙈 I am sailing on her next month so I hope I’m proven wrong!!!!
  25. I still can’t believe I got on the Symphony of the Seas in 15 minutes! Standard balcony, low loyalty tier. Most the time was spent walking through the terminal 😂 They honestly have it down to a ‘T’.
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