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About groovechick

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  1. Why should it not be fresh? It's kept refrigerated in the galley/hold. We buy 3-4 large bottles of milk per week from our supermarket (ensuring they are long dated) and it is very unusual for us to have to throw any away after a week or more. Usually the last bottle is a fresh as the first.
  2. Usually, on a shelf above the buffet breakfast cereals counter, or maybe at one end of the counter, there is a shelf with small jugs, and then big jugs of milk on the counter for use in cereals or if you want a glass of milk. We fill a small jug with milk, take it back to the room and keep it in the fridge. During our last cruise on Aurora it kept plenty cool enough and a jug was sufficient for 3/4 cups of tea/coffee. The steward removed the used jug when he gave us fresh mugs, repeat process for the next day.
  3. The ship restocks with some items during the cruise, including fresh milk. I've seen them loading it from the quayside.
  4. Vicariously cruising through your beautifully written blog, Damian, and loving it. Thank you! Hope your wife remains well for the rest of the cruise.
  5. I think time will be a problem just as much as money. I was talking to a group of friends the other day and we all agreed that we work longer hours, for less money and have less leisure time than when we embarked on our careers, and that's leaving aside the demands of families, running a home, etc. We all hoped we would be retired by now, or nearing early retirement; we are all still working and expect to do so until retirement age and beyond. If you are not retired you don't have the time for extended holidays; it's virtually impossible now to get two weeks' consecutive holiday and the restrictions on when and how you can take holiday increase all the time.
  6. Aurora definitely as a Glasshouse. If you get the chance, do the 5/6 course taster menu at @ £30/head, with paired wines. It was fantastic and worth every penny. I'd advise not eating beforehand though. On the day we did it I skipped lunch (usually only have a very light lunch anyway) and still struggled. Superb service and knowledgeable commentary about the wines accompanying the meal. Early booking advised as they don't run them frequently and they sell out fast. You can view the menu in advance so you can decide whether it's to your taste.
  7. The only deals I can recall have been a free bottle of house wine if you dine in Sindhu on the first night on board. I'm not aware of them reducing the cover charge, offering two-for-one deals or anything like that.
  8. I'm not saying this is the cause of these particular incidents, but it could be down to cost cutting if they have reduced the frequency of the services/maintenance inspections, or have cut the numbers of engineers available to do the work, in the same way that the stewards and waiters have to cover more rooms/tables. Of course none of the cruise lines can foresee events like props being fouled by fishing nets.
  9. I'm sure we checked when we took our EHICs on our last cruise whether they would actually cover cruise passengers and they definitely do. If whatever befalls you occurs in the territory of an EHIC country, then you are covered.
  10. La Palma - Bajamar beach is a walk (about 30 mins total) from the ship's berth, through the dock and round the port on a broad, flat pavement. You can see it from where the ship docks. It doesn't look very attractive because of the black volcanic sand and industrial buildings nearby, but it's clean and safe. Despite being near the port the water is crystal clear. The beach shelves very gently so is safe for little ones. There are toilets, showers and a snack bar. The locals use it and they are really friendly. You can also get a taxi or local bus to Los Cancajos, a bigger beach a little further down the coast. Madeira - you can do the cable car more cheaply on your own than through a ship's excursion. Just depends if you want to add on other things. The Monte Tropical gardens (entrance just a couple of minutes from the cable car) are beautiful and cool when it's baking hot because lots of shade and water features, but perhaps not very interesting for your girls, although lots of paths to run round, stepping stones on shallow ponds, etc.
  11. Can only endorse what Berlingo has said. Both my children, son and daughter, used the kids' club as teens and loved it. Both are still in touch with friends they made. They are both now too old for the club and wish they weren't. The friendship groups that form tend to use the club as a meeting up point, then they go off and do their own thing during the day when at sea. Organised activities also included treasure hunts, talent competitions, white disco, etc. They do an ice-breaker session on the first evening. As Berlingo says, register as soon as you get on board and don't miss the first get-together. I am sure your daughter will have a wonderful time.
  12. We did a "dumbed down" version of this a couple of years ago on Aurora - I can't remember what it was called, about £30/head. It was in the Glasshouse, we were supposed to be in the private room, but the numbers are limited as Selbourne says, so we were in the main area, but reserved exclusively for the people who had booked that dining experience. Five courses with accompanying wines, coffee and petit fours. The maitre d' - Albert and head waiter - Jack - were wonderful. Nothing was too much trouble and the food superb. I had deliberately missed lunch in readiness and was still absolutely stuffed at the end. The only disappointment was the petit fours, which bore no resemblance to the description on the menu and everyone felt the same and left them, as they were frankly unpleasant. I particularly liked the pistachio sponge cake that formed part of the dessert and Albert went to the trouble of getting the recipe for me from chef. Cannot recommend this highly enough - a lovely memory.
  13. If you're on a cruise where you are more likely to be wearing jeans and trainers during the day (Fjords), wear flight socks instead of normal socks. They cause the circulation to work harder, which also eliminates the fluid. It's roughly the same principle as putting your feet up - it's forcing the blood back to the heart If you're in warmer climes, even wearing them for a couple of hours (afternoon nap, say) in the privacy of your cabin can help a lot too.
  14. If you haven't been to Vigo before, it's a very pleasant place to just wander round. The walk up to the castle is quite steep. There are Segway tours that go from the quayside, are very popular and the company gets very good reviews. Can't remember the name, just Google Segway tours Vigo. There is also a company called Vigo Tours/Tours for Cruisers who do a very good and reasonably priced bus tour and have now added wine-tasting tours (hurray!). The guides all speak excellent English and are very knowledgeable. The tours start at a point just a short (5-10 mins) walk from the dock. http://tours4cruisers.com/en/vigo-tour/
  15. Just to add a different perspective: one of the worst examples of bad behaviour I have seen on my handful of cruises came from a fairly senior member of staff (Chief Engineer IIRC). He had family on board and had clearly a drink or two taken, but his language in particular, general staggering around, loudness and rumbustiousness stood out. Didn't set a good example for passengers or other crew.
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