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About movc

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  1. movc

    SPB Evening Options

    On your first night, I wouldn't be planning for a night out. If you leave from Southampton, you have 3 hour forwards and typically an early start and long first day. A good percentage of people that book the ballet as an evening tour don't show up.
  2. movc

    Bangkok DIY excursion

    Asia Hotel is right beside Ratchatewi Skytrain station. Transfer south transferring lines at the next stop Siam to head to Saphan Taksin and you can take a Chao Praya Express boat to the Grand Palace. This will avoid traffic but not the scammers hanging out at the Grand Palace. Alternatively, you can walk a block to the canal and take a canal boat heading west to the last stop (by Wat/Saket Golden Mount). This will get you closer where you can continue your journey by taxi. There is a lot of stair climbing when riding the skytrain and you also need to have good balance boarding and exiting canal boats. Also you should confirm the tour still drops off at Asia Hotel since Central Word is also used.
  3. movc

    Docking Location for Ho Chi Minh City

    I was on the Pacific Princess (R Class) and we docked in Phu My. Maybe the port fees were less or the timing was better.
  4. movc

    new to Europe cruising

    Tips for Europe 1. Public washrooms are usually pay for use. Always use free washrooms when available - museums, restaurants, cafes. McDonalds may require a code to access. 2. Don't walk in bike lanes unless you want to get run over. 3. Always be aware of pickpockets in crowded areas and on public transit. Also be familiar with scams such as the found gold ring, clip joints and bracelets. 4. Pre-book tickets online for popular museums and sights. 5. Always ask first if using a magnetic stripe credit card. Most automatic kiosks will only accept chip and pin. Always decline being charged in your local currency since you will always pay more for that convenience (google dynamic currency exchange)
  5. movc

    Crew dining and drinking in uniform

    There are three main ranks each with their own messes and rules for access to passenger dining areas. Officers (anyone with stripes, dept managers, pursers, cruise staff) can eat at specialty restaurants. Staff (youth staff, spa, dancers, musicians, photographers, casino) and officers are allowed in the buffet at non-peak times. Crew (waiters, stewards, cooks, everyone else) are not allowed to eat in any passenger area. Staff and officers eating in passenger areas need to be in uniform and not take away seats from passengers. European officers tend to have wine with their meals which is their culture. The blood alcohol limit rule is in place because every crew member is assigned an emergency duty though enforcement will depend on the situation.
  6. movc

    Baltic Cruise

    Trains in Europe are more like public transport buses vs planes. Reservations are only needed if you want a guaranteed seat which you will need to pay a small surcharge for. There are usually digital signs above each seat to indicate what portion of the route they are reserved for. If the seats are all taken, you will have to stand. Exception would be high-speed trains where all seats are reserved and no standees are allowed or higher class tickets. You can search fares and schedules on the DB Bahn website.
  7. movc

    Shared Transfer from Tianjin Port to Beijing?

    I have taken the bullet train from Beijing South to Tianjin and there were automated kiosks with English option and counters where some staff spoke English. Bullet train seats are all reserved so you don't have to get there super early, just in time for boarding.
  8. movc

    Ports with animal excursions

    Australian ports are great for animal lovers. Kangaroos, koalas, tazmanian devils, kiwis and wombats are the usual suspects. Most zoos have petting/feeding areas for kangaroos. Smaller wildlife parks may let you pet or get close to koalas that zoos in larger cities may charge you extra for. Only certain states allow koala cuddling. Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary and Australia Zoo near Brisbane both have cuddling sessions.
  9. movc

    China visa

    There was a 24 hr visa exemption enacted in 2013 but the recent change extends the time period. http://www.sh-immigration.gov.cn/listPageEn.aspx?lx=37&id=2943
  10. movc

    Love the new on board app!

    For those wanting to see future days activities in advance, they usually don't finalize the patter for the next day until late afternoon. Then it's a scramble to get the various departments to give their ok, print and distribute. Though repeating 7 day cruises would see little change except for the date, weather and new guest entertainers.
  11. movc

    Xingang Port to Beijing on your own

    Tanggu is no longer the terminus of the high speed line with the recent opening of Yujiapu Railway Station. You should be able to take bus 513 out of the cruise terminal to avoid the taxi mafia there. Looks like cruiseportwiki has been updated with new info and lots of links.
  12. movc

    Brief stop in Hong Kong???

    The bus ride to Stanley is very scenic with a hilly, winding road and the best view will be from the upper front seats of the double decker buses. The express bus shortcuts through the tunnel but you will still pass Aberdeen fishing village and the beaches at Deep Water Bay and Repulse Bay. If you exit Stanley market, there is a nice seaside promenade lined with restaurants. There is a beach on the opposite side as well.
  13. movc

    How to get from cruise terminal to hotel

    Best way will be by taxi since public transport options are limited. You can find an estimated fare at taxifarefinder dot com and you will also have to pay the driver back for the tunnel toll.
  14. movc

    Hong Kong Airport Arrival Help Needed

    There probably isn't a need to prepay for an airport express voucher since it looks like you need to go through the hassle to exchange it for a ticket. There are two counters to buy MTR tickets or Octopus cards. The first one you see may have a bit of a lineup but there is a second counter closer to the platform which usually doesn't have a lineup. From Kowloon station, you would need to complete your trip by taxi, which are relatively inexpensive. Alternatively, you cross the harbour on the airport express to Hong Kong Station, change lines to cross the harbour back to TST station and then take the underground walkways to your hotel. What may be easier is to take airport bus A21 which has a stop on Middle Rd about a block away from your hotel. It will take a bit longer but is considerably cheaper. 33 HKD cash or buy an Octopus card. Google "A21 bus airport bus hong kong" for route and schedule info.
  15. movc

    Hong Kong port to airport

    One more thing - flights to the US usually have additional hand searches of carry ons at the gate of all passengers. They will confiscate liquids more than 100ml even if obtained post-security. Exception are sealed duty free items. Large planes typically start boarding an hour before departure time due to these delays and the number of passengers.