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john watson

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  1. Diamond Princess was being built and progress and schedule meant she was ahead of Sapphire Princess. Cruises were sold for Diamond but an unfortunate fire broke out during construction pushing her launch date back. Sapphire Princess was being built alongside unaffected by the fire suddenly it meant her completion would be ahead of Diamond Princess. Pragmatically it was decided to switch the names such that passengers who had booked cruises on Diamond would still sail oblivious to the switch. When we were on board a few people who had booked back to back cruises were a bit miffed as the ship had a couple of days in Yokohama where press and news media boarded. The two days were not obvious to anyone who booked. All the passengers had to disembark which obviously affected the b2b people greatly. In fact we met a couple who told us this and had coincidentally booked the Intercontinental Grand Hotel Yokohama on an emergency basis. This was an excellent hotel as they speak English and you can see the hotel from the quayside as it is shaped like a giant orange fruit segment and within walking distance through a park. This press business was due to Japan being identified as a new market. We went on Sapphire more recently on a British Isles cruise and did not notice any Japanese modifications. What I did notice however was quite a few Japanese passengers going round the British Isles with us. Reception had also acquired Japanese speaking staff behind the counter. I shared a MDR breakfast table with four Japanese people of which only one spoke English spoken slowly. The waiter provided them with Japanese Breakfast Menus, same items but written in their characters! I concluded the round Japan cruisers had liked the experience and were branching out around the world. Regards John
  2. I was on Diamond Princess on the final cruise before the modifications were completed. It was a fantastic experience. The ship was built in Japan and had not returned for around a decade as far as I understand. The return to Japan itinerary was Hong Kong to Yokohama but stopped at a few non-Japanese ports as well as Japanese ports. Every time we arrived a Japanese port there would be 3000/4000 ship spotters there to greet the ship. The sailaways include civic ceremony and Japanese war drummers. The Japanese Baths were still being constructed as we sailed and we were not allowed to see them. However on the final day the girl who was in there agreed to show me and my daughter around. The first rule is that males went to the left and females went to the right of the duplicate facilities. The next day each sex would go to the opposite side, something to do with Ying and Yang. The girl explained the first thing you do is go to the changing rooms and take off all your clothes. Then you walk out naked with a towel and proceed to the bath. When you reach the bath you climb in with the group of other naked people. Opportunities existed for getting out and plunging into a hot pool, where the water was unbearable and then the cold pol where the water was freezing. There was also a steam room. My initial thinking was the Americans would not go for this. They had created a large circular platform at the rear where people could bask in the sun a bit like clock hands with feet in the middle. This was $20 I think but you wore swimwear because it was visible from higher decks. Probably not suitable facilities for Alaska. Regards John
  3. In my original post when I said crowded I really meant that all the seats were seemingly occupied and a few other people were standing, my idea of Manhattan being crowded. This being at the time in the pre-covid era. It seems that on here and a lot of social networking type forums that a lot of controversy seems to erupt out of simple posts. Regards John
  4. Sapphire Princess and Diamond Princess were specifically designed for Alaska cruises. It is not entirely obvious but Grand Class ships are 118 feet wide however the aforementioned ships are 123 feet wide. The reason for this is allegedly to have wider promenade decks such that full length loungers can be used on the promenade decks which are good under cover viewing areas. Coral Princess and Island Princess I believe were specifically built as Panamax ships having said that we are now in the Post-Panamax era. Regards John
  5. I was very impressed with the strategy which a couple of well dressed ladies had on a formal night on Ventura. Manhattan was packed and I was sitting in a big group when I spotted the ladies accosting a drinks waiter. He went across to another big group of people with two of the small tables and an unoccupied chair. He said something to the group and started pointing at the two tables using his finger like a windscreen wiper. Next thing I observe, he whips a table sets it up in a new position goes back for the chair nabs that. Sits a lady down then disappears into the packed crowd. Only to be spotted forcing back through the crowd with a second chair. Then he takes the drinks orders and acquires his commission. It made me laugh. Regards John
  6. Seems a bit outdated, what we need is some sort of app and a cost involvement to people not on time expired beds. Can't think of exact details as I do not have a smart phone. Realistically the best way of repossessing a sunbed that has been taken out of circulation by chairhogs is to take over the chair but to move it to a slightly different location. They are not serially numbered and all look the same. People remember "Their Chair" by where it is located. Regards John
  7. Whilst this is a pain in the ears my view on suitcases is do not go for anything very expensive. Look for sturdy value for money cases and the four wheelers on castors to me are not as robust as the two wheeler. My latest has taken a few knocks over five years and next trip will probably be the last before a change. Having damaged cases as you disembark is nowhere near as bad as embarking to find your case is awol and never returns or the wet embarkation cases that fell in the sea. My attitude is take on the problem stay calm, buy new cases and think about all the other aspects of your cruise. More often than not it is shoreside staff that handle the loading anyway not the cruise line crew. Regards John
  8. Not cheap, I priced up a one night stay at this hotel for two people and the rooms varied between £257 and £1035 for the night. You could save a bit though if you went down Wetherspoons for your meals. Regards John
  9. If anyone watches Channel 5 and has a My5 account they can look for the episode of Rich House - Poor House where wowzz and DaiB appear. Very entertaining swap scenario. The best bit is when DaiB fronts up to his air BnB landlady with a fag hanging out her mouth "So you're not the concierge" he asks. Whereas wowzz looks at a bidet in the ***** King Hotel and is heard saying "They even have sinks specially for dwarfs". Regards John
  10. Leonardo Grand Harbour Hotel Southampton and Holiday Inn Herbert Walker Avenue are two close to the terminal with swimming pools and gym facilities. Stayed at both and they decent places to stay at with good connections to cruising. Holiday In also does cruise parking deals and you use their car park. If you use Leonardo Grand Harbour they use a different parking system. Both do quayside transfers Holiday Inn will book you taxis and Leonardo do concierge transfers. Regards John
  11. I have never seen washing lines in the terminal, certainly not with any laundry on them drying. Lol John
  12. Presumably then Dai, if the cruise line was on a 75% capacity scenario they should only allow 75% of cabins to be filled. Therefore 25% of accessible cabins will be empty allowing for positive disabled people to relocate if they were next to such a passenger. The same proportion of cabins being occupied/unoccupied across the board. Regards John
  13. I should imagine day 1 is also not a busy day insofar as people do not embark with lots of laundry which needs doing. Regards John
  14. Precisely, hence my suggestion of leaving the cabins adjacent to accessible cabins empty so whichever disabled person becomes tested as positive that person is void of immediate neighbours under a 75% capacity scenario even though it is an unlikely event. Regards John
  15. Surely, based on the rarity of accessible cabins in comparison to others it is unlikely a passenger in an accessible cabin suddenly needs to be quarantined. If they did they are already in one anyway. If adjacent cabins were occupied, their occupants could be relocated. On the other hand if you are only filling 75% of cabins just leave cabins near the accessible ones unoccupied. Regards John
  16. Hi Rick & Jennie, I had a look at the UK Princess website for the Regal Transatlantic, 3 November. It is Southampton UK, Cherbourg France, Vigo Spain, Azores, Bermuda, Ft. Lauderdale. Unfortunately the current requirement listed by Princess is full (double?) vaccinations by at least 14 days prior to embarkation for all passengers of any age. I think you need to get all passengers fully vaccinated. In the UK the government has just suggested UK 12 years plus children can get a jab. Be careful the line just does not automatically cancel due to youngster booked in. When we had our four previous cruises cancelled they offered cash refunds 100% of money paid or 125% refund on a re-booking then 110% refund on re-booking on a cruises cancelled later. I think you need to take a serious look at your options pronto. Hope all goes well. John Watson
  17. If it were me I should be thinking about the ages of the girls, thirteen and fourteen are a lot different from eighteen and nineteen. The problem in my experience is getting into the bathroom as and when you need to. The cruise line have moved you from an ME to an MB grade, so they think you have been upgraded. I should be looking to phone in and try and get moved to a mini-suite nearer a public restroom even a lower grade as they are essentially identical or seek a balcony and inside combination dependant on the teenagers ages. Regards John
  18. I heard a story from a nurse who was speaking with a gentleman who had been told if you eat fried chicken take the skin off it. Apparently he did this but instead of discarding the skin he simply ate that first. He thought that was the procedure. Regards John
  19. The twelve day limit is what was specified together with considering a seven day cruise. Anything shorter, in particular these three night weekender taster cruises are not a very typical guide to what a genuine cruise will be like and take up a chunk of your cruising budget. People from the UK have generally got a good idea of whether they will be sick as a dog with sea sickness as they have generally done at least a couple of visits to Europe on cross channel ferry with bad weather and rolling far more than on a cruise. Regards John
  20. Twelve days maximum is not really a long cruise. That is his first cruise limit. Regards John
  21. A guy on Cunard was sharing a big table which included myself told the breakfast waiter that he didn't want a full breakfast because he only liked bacon. The waiter said he could have just bacon if he wanted, so he had that. When it arrived it seemed a lot and he decided to tally up the rashers, twenty seven. He ate the lot. Lol John
  22. I got caught out one year in the gym. My daughter was getting old enough to do gym machines but not old enough to be in the gym unsupervised. It was a formal night and yours truly was in his tuxedo and my daughter said she wanted to go to the gym. We had just finished first sitting and went back to the cabin so she could get trainers and gym kit on. Up we go to the gym and there were not that many in. Within minutes a significant number of younger muscle bound crew members who looked like the Devonport Field Gun Race Team started arriving and doing their calisthenics. "What must they think of me in here in a tuxedo" I mused and attempted closer supervision of my daughter. This is the point I realised she was trying to dissociate herself with dad and I was stuck in this predicament. Lol John
  23. Some of the classes are somewhat energetic. I think they try and get you to book up for the duration which is fairly expensive. Some people, that is the average person finds the going far beyond their fitness capabilities. Spinning on the static cycles is usually a bit over the top. I personally would not sign on for a course that sounded more energetic than "Leaning with Louise" even something like "Stretching with Steve" might be more for ballet dancer type passengers. Regards John
  24. True, and of course bacon is not technically a dairy product even though the milkman delivers it. Regards John
  25. Royal Caribbean International have a bit more select cruise line called Celebrity Cruises and Silhouette is doing a seven day round trip four Norwegian ports cruise. Prices per person will be £1000 to £5000 per person. Norwegian Cruise Line is doing four days longer but the itinerary looks a lot more interesting. It looks a more up to the minute radical new design ship and per person should be £1500 to £3000. You obviously need to fly home and price that in but also factor in that if you drive to Southampton and park the plane probably does not fly to Southampton airport. Overall the longer cruise could work out cheaper. Regards John
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