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About buchhalm

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Muscat/Oman, Abu Dhabi/UAE, Bangkok and Sydney/Australia
  • Interests
    food, travelling, music, navel gazing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Something new every time

Recent Profile Visitors

901 profile views
  1. This conversation has now moved well out of Muscat and Oman. Time to start a new thread? 🙂
  2. Not surprised. This company has always be stingy with refunds. Don't even think of discounts. The only major tourist attraction in Australia that doesn't grant benefits to airline or other Industry staff. Name and shame them on their social media platforms. They may be "within their rights", in line with their T&C, but there are times to be lenient or compassionate.
  3. Effective henceforth, anybody starting a discussion about TIPPING / GRATUITIES, must run 5 loops around the promenade deck or swimming pool naked.
  4. The subject people love to hate....
  5. A colleague of mine who runs a large airline catering company is currently conducting test where dishes and cutlery (porcelaine, glass, metal, plastic, melamine etc) are sterilized by a "bath" in UV light after the washing process. Far less water and chemicals are used, and the results are very satisfying.
  6. Well, my 92-year-old Irish neighbour always says "Don't drink water, fish make love in it". (He doesn't say "make love", but you get the idea)
  7. Dont you just love it? They (ANY company, not just SB) take you money instantly, but it takes weeks to get anything back. @#$#@&^%!!!
  8. Judging by your profile photo, you are a fit couple. :-) Barcelona has one of Europe's best HoHo bus system, with frequent buses, severals interlinked routes and good commentary. Unless you think that a private guide is really necessary, the HoHo shows you really all the major sights. If you are planning to see the new cathedral, La Sagrada Famiglia, DO PRE_BOOK ON LINE! The day-ticket lines can be murderous! You still will wait for a bit with the pre-booked tickets, but minutes, rather than hours. Another must-see (at least if you are a foodie) is the Mercat de Sant J
  9. Hmmmm. Reading all this I can't help thinking that I am probably not the first guy to sit naked on that sofa in my cabin.
  10. That's what you get when 20-something (probably Estonian) computer wiz-kids design websites that old gezzers like me are supposed to use. What is crystal clear to the programmer is not always intuitive for the targeted user group.
  11. This is not directly responding to your post, but you should be in for a treat. Oman had an unusual amount of rain lately, so you will see a LOT more greenery than usual. If your tour includes a beach stop, be extremely cautious of going in the water. There are very dangerous rips and currents in the area and you might find yourself in India or Yemen, if you are not careful. An 8-hour tour should give you time to see real desert in Rub al Kahli (The empty quarter) or even the Lost City of Ubar. If you are lucky you may find some desert geodes around the Rub al Kahli area.
  12. Excellent website! Thanks for this. It goes into my little red book! 🙂
  13. Re room service breakfast. We never had a better room service breakfast on a ship (and even land based, only the Mandarin Oriental was better). We had RS breakfast three times on our last cruise (Quest) and they were always on time. I believe they even called us 15 minutes before to see if we were ready (and probably if we were dressed). Once we ordered Eggs Benedict and the waiter brought along caviar! He knew that my wife LOVES caviar and he said something along the lines of "I know that you like our caviar and so I took the liberty to bring you some. It goes beautifully
  14. I would second the Xara Palace. A stunning property with unique charm. A friend of mine stays there at least a week every year to "read and paint" and last year we visited her at the hotel and got to see her room. Absolutely gorgeous. We had a phenomenal dinner at one of the hotel's restaurants and we are hoping to find the time to spend a few nights there one day. If you want something out of the cookie-cutter variety of hotels and dont need a beach, please consider this gem!
  15. These are nice and picturesque stops. Plus some ports will be very happy to see tourists after those horrible fires in Australia. That said, I can imagine that it would be a pain in the butt to organise reasonably priced flights from LAX to Perth and then home from HOBART!!! What the (insert your favourite swear word here). I business class, this would cost an insane amount of money. Eco could be done for under 3K. And don't forget that you would arrive in PER Los Angeles time +2!! So to make a departure from Fremantle/PER on March 22nd, you would need to take a flight pu
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