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old nutter

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  1. Are you sure we are talking about the same space. The two forward facing Owners Villa villas on Jewel and Pearl look as if they were created from splitting the big one that overlooked the pool area, not the sundeck that you get to from the steps out of the Haven courtyard that has cabanas on the Jade and looks over the port side and back over the stern past the side of the funnels. Losing that area would be a major bummer for the 2-bed suites round the main courtyard.
  2. It looks like she might be struggling a bit again because the AIS is showing a night run only going as far as Zelinika which is about half as far as they would travel if they were to go to Bar. Current speed is only a bit over 8 knots. Something may have gone wrong and another engine is not working properly, or they are doing some localised switch-gear work or they are doing some work to recover completely and need a bit of downtime to sort the whole recovery plan out. Let's hope it's the latter. It looks a though they might be running on just one good one at the moment?
  3. It is - two in and two out now. That's what is causing some of the issues with depature times. Mainly affects NCL with the Star on Sundays because of the ship numbers at the weekend. Harbour Master sets the timings based on tugs and keeping locals a bit quiet - nothing to do with ship serviceability.
  4. If you do fancy network stuff that needs to link to your data sources in your home network you would need some sort of secure tunnel direct from your laptop. As Moby0125 said, any risk on board ship is virtually identical to any access using your laptop anywhere else inside or outside your home network. Assuming we are talking off-site web broswing such as personal banking, the risk transfers to how dangerous is it to you if you don't get the information. As again, the good example given by Moby0125 about not tracking your your bank account, shows that you are more in danger by not getting the information than the infintessimal chance of someone hacking your htpps connection. You are also more vulnerable using the ship computers because of the volume of cookies and other tracking stuff you leave behind in almost every connection. The real problem is that computer links are almost the only way to do mobile business these days. Arranging meetings for private tours and airport taxis, for example, while on board often involves virtual money, so it is probably worthwhile having a "Third-Party" payment account like PayPal where your credit card numbers are not given to the traders. Protecting your data from the dangers needs a balanced set of measures and always involves looking to reduce exposure where it is most vulnerable. For example, having a very safe secure tunnel to anyone is no good if the loss of data happens when the link hits the remote network and the data is extracted by hostiles from there. A basic example is from a friend of my dad who had expensive racing pigeons kept in a shed put three massive locks on the door. He came to the shed one day and the door was open and all his birds had gone - The two leather hinges had been cut off!
  5. The other thing most people forget about the Jewel ship Haven is the huge sun deck above the port side suites. That area has a side rail that gives great views outside down to the water and stretches along the whole length of the Haven. Some of the Jewel ships have also got cabanas up on that deck with great big cushions. You can see along the port side and out across the stern as well. And the Courtyard Valet will serve drinks and treats up there if he knows you are there as well.
  6. Most of the queue issues at Santorini occur on the downward leg. That is because the tender operation throttles the up queues quite a bit more than the free-for-all down by delivering lumps of people who have queued on the ship to get on a tender. It is worth doing a bit of planning when you visit to check what times the other ships that are there on your day are the are leaving. It is safe to assume that the period from two hours before the last tender for each one (normally half an hour before departure) to the last tender time will have the most people wanting to go down and onto each ship. Most people do not want to leave it too late, so the queue will probably peak at around 60-90 minutes before departure time. The trick to plan for the best time to down is to draw a timeline showing each ship's departure and track back about 2 hours from when it is due to leave. If any blocks of time in the 2 hours before departure overlap there will be potential for serious congestion at the top that will peak about 60-90 minutes before departure of the first one that overlaps. Assuming there is no overlap in any of the 2 hour time blocks on the timeline, just avoid the period about 60-90 minutes before each ship departs because the queue will be at it's longest then. The best time to plan to go down is probably around 30 minutes before each ship departs because everyone for that ship should have got to the bottom and away by then. By way of an example, when we next go, there will be three other ships there on the day. The first to leave goes at 1500, the second at 1800, the third at 2030 and we leave at 2200. The timeline doesn't have any major 2 hour blocks overlapping apart from a little between the last two, so the queue down will probably be at it worst at 1330, 1630, 1900 and 2030. We will do our best to avoid around 30 minutes either side of those times those times, avoiding the periods between 1300 and 1400, 1600 and 1700, and 1800 and 1900. It sounds complicated, but doing a bit of planning to avoid those afternoon down queues if you can is pretty fundamental to enjoying Santorini, especially when it it very hot.
  7. If the booking says 3.00 we have found that timekeeping is normally pretty good and you are likely to be on the tender before half past 3. Having said that, things happen on cruises, so I would not organise anything time dependent in Oia. And there is always the weather. Last year, in September we ended up in that area in a hurricane and there were no ships or ferries going to or from any of the islands. Have a great time but hang loose is our motto and I hope you enjoy Santorini as much as we do!
  8. Michael Yes I have been on the exact same NCL excursion you are considering. Unless it has changed recently, the ship sails into the caldera formed when the volcano blew up around 1500 BC and stops for the whole time there opposite the cable car and donkeys that go up/down to Fira. The NCL ships usually stop around 3/4 km off the little dock that the tenders use for general tendering. The tenders are ones based in Santorini and are larger that the ship's lifeboats, so can move a lot people pretty quickly. The NCL trips like this one are completely separate and use one of the other main tender mooring disembarking points on the ship. For instance on the Jewel class ships such as Star and Jade, they will assemble for the trip in the main theatre at the front end and use the forward disembarkation point to handle the dedicated tenders used for NCL trips during the first half of the stay in Santorini. On all of the NCL stays in Santorini we have been on, these dedicated tenders travel to a different dock around 2 km to the south where a dock is connected to the main north/south road where you catch coaches for the trip to Oia. The return coach trip takes you to the area near the cable car and after going down on it, walking down or using one of the donkeys you can catch one of the general tenders back to the ship in your own time. Specifically on your questions, you will go straight from the starting point, such as the theatre and will just head down and go more or less straight onto the dedicated trip tender - virtually no waiting other than the queue to get on the tender. I guess it is about 50-60 minutes from your call time in the theatre until you get to Oia. From memory, that is about 10-15 minutes to get onto the tender, another 5-10 on the tender, 5-10 more to get off and board the coaches and about 20 minutes on the coach. I hope that helps, but if you are not going until after the beginning of October, I can let you know how it worked out when we go again next month.
  9. From memory, the tenders for this trip do not take the short route to the cable car, they go to Thira which is the harbour south of Fira where the ship anchors (not Oia) to directly meet the coaches that then take about 15-20 minutes to go to Oia. These tenders are excusively for the NCL trips and are not affected by anything to do the general tenders. I am not sure how long we had in Oia, but when we did it I think we caught the coach back after about 2 hours there. The coach goes back to the inland area of Fira. You have to walk about 200 metres into the central part of Fira and then you are free to shop/sightsee and/or take the cable car back to meet the normal tenders back to the ship whenever you want.
  10. From what happened yesterday it looks as though the port are insisting that the ships have at least 3 tugs to reduce the danger of an accident, rather than only 2. The round trip for those tugs is at least an hour to get the ships to the lagoon exit, so with 5 ships exiting, the whole process will take upwards of 5 hours to clear them all. The run down to Kotor takes about 20 hours so to get hooked up and sorted by 1430 in Kotor, any ship from Venice needs to leave no later than 1830. Once that becomes impossible from the port departure plans, there is no rush to leave. The bulk of the time the ship would have been anchored in Kotor might as spent making the loading a bit less hectic, hence the Star seems to have left just before midnight to head to Bar for it's short technical stop of a couple of evening hours. Solutions are going to clash with geography. The loading time can't sensibly be changed because passengers are geared up for the port arrivals timings, so late departure could well be the order of the day from now. The only way I can see that would solve it in the medium and long term would be to possibly switch days in Dubrovnik and Kotor so that the Sunday night run could be reduced to a more manageable time by making Dubrovnik the first stop, or having the last stop in Split instead, if the Dubrovnik to Venice run comes out too long. Either way changing port bookings might be too difficult at short notice and might even not be possible if too many ships end up where the changes might even be feasible. Not good. It is ironic that the two recent incidents that crystalised the problem both involved Italian shipping lines.
  11. The trip to Kotor is pretty tight for time and has been missed before if the ship has been late leaving, and the stop at Bar has been an option NCL has used if that has occured. It is possible that something may be known that would delay the ship from leaving on time. The reason for stopping for a little while at Bar is to do with the EU rules for cruises having to charge VAT on the cruise if all port stops are at EU ports. Montenegro is not in the EU at present so as long as the ship stops at Bar it will have left the EU during that stop and so will not have to charge VAT on anything on that cruise. That would explain the stop in Bar, but not why Kotor can't be reached.
  12. Knowing your history then you would appreciate that Venice could not have been a part of Italy before the 19th Century because there was no Italy before Victor Emmanuel unified it in the 19th Century. Until that happened Venice was a separate major Mediteranean state. They were a very important maritime force since the 4th century until unification, so having them in the modern-ish Italy is very significant both to locals and wider Italian citizens. I agree that there are lots of other interesting places in this world , but Venice is unique and it is likely that it will be on most people's bucket lists simply because there are very few places on earth that can still claim to be truly unique.
  13. Just goes to show how educational these cruises can be. These particular gemstones have been around for years, so the adverts have expanded your knowledge of what exists out there. Zultanite and Csarite are trade names for Diaspore mineral gemstones that are mined from a particular mine in Turkey. My other half has had one in a ring for several years that we bought in a reputable dealer inTurkey. The stone changes colour depending on the light falling on it - quite a talking point at times. Clearly they are not diamonds, but they do have a market value along with other mid-level gemstones, so not exactly a con.
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