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ccpm

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Posts posted by ccpm

  1. No sorry me neither I have done either 2 or 4 weeks starting and ending in Bridgetown. Hopefully someone else will pop along to answer re St Lucia. Obviously no Caribbean transatlantic for me this year. I haven't booked for 2021 yet just seeing how it goes but I do usually do the sail back if I can every year on Azura or Britannia. You will, I suspect, like it its a great winter break

  2. it is very good. You can use the ship until fairly late in the day, dependent on the time of your flight. They have screens around the ship that keeps you informed about the flight. Some go into Barbados on that day others relax on the ship. I do salon appointments to get me tidy for going home and fill my time. Then a last lunch in the Glass House. The hand luggage can be left in a secure place if you don't want it with you until you leave the ship. There is also an alternative to take a scenic trip that then drops you off at the airport. From the ship the bus takes you to the airport your bags are dealt with by the P O chartered flight. I usually book one of the airport lounges at Bridgetown airport free drinks and snacks and comfy chairs. You then get called and board the plane. 

  3. Have been reading but not posting. Today I received a refund for my aft suite booking on the Azura transatlantic. I have already been credited for my flight (booked separately I choose to fly BA because of credits) but not my select dining which as I eat in Epicurean every night is a large amount. Hopefully that will come soon. I make my own arrangements off ship and they have been refunded many weeks since.

     

  4. The most vulnerable people have already "self isolated" without any government advice, decisions on their part or any choice. They are the elderly (or not) who have issues health or otherwise that keep them isolated, have no family or friends or the means or desire to get out and about. They I admit will be most unlikely to be considering a cruise but who has been tasked with caring for them?  

  5. 8 hours ago, ronrick1943 said:

    Plus it's a cost center that brings income to the line.

     

    For sure but I hate it. How many more hate it? How long can a cost centre validate being there? I for one have expressed my dislike to Crystal in polite but uncertain terms. I am by no means a major Crystal customer with only 10 cruses 112 days on board to my name. So very unsure how many more feel the same. As yet I am very open with where I spend my dollar.I weigh up a lot of things overt photography is a minor issue. I doubt Crystal will concern itself with me. 

  6. 10 hours ago, ClefsDor said:

    + 1 about the photographers. Far too many of them around the ship and on your way to excursions trying to snap photos. I wish they would either eliminate them altogether or make their services and their sales area a little more unobtrusive.

    I hate it. On mainstream lines I tried to avoid it here I never thought it would be part of a "luxury" experience you live and learn. Done 10 Crystal cruises in 3 years and love the product but this is one aspect I hate. 

  7. I have now moved to Norfolk and have just about solved transfers to fly out to the Caribbean, taxi door to airport, which seem fine. My problem is that return I usually do both trans atlantics. I previously have used Eavesway but I suspect Cruise Connect may be the same. As yet I have never had a coach transfer that was not delayed up to and beyond an hour by passengers not meeting the bus departure times. It is not the end of the world and I and most passengers want to get home asap. Is there anyway round this that others have found? There are no direct rail links to Norfolk so my leave on departure option seems to be a car service. Is this what others have found? I don't want to do rail as there are so many changes involved. Or should i suck it up and book a hotel in Southampton and then travel on. I will be glad to hear suggestions but even writing this it seems to me I need to give up trans atlantics but I really love them. First world problems can you suggest ways I can solve them?

  8. It is impossible to predict just based on my experience. For the last 10 years I have done a single booking of a balcony cabin 3 times per season primarily on Azura but latterly 3 times on Britannia. I have done 3 sail backs and 2 sail outs but mostly I have done the last 2 week cruise where you return in time for Xmas then 4 weeks ending in the sail back to Southampton. I did one Xmas cruise where I flew back on Boxing day that did not work for me. My best price was when P&O sold per cabin not per person which was in late Nov/Dec. 2 weeks was £999 and I booked a month on board Azura  returning 21st December but it has not been on offer when I have been booking since and I can go as soon as next day. Best value for late booking has always been the last cruise before Xmas for me.

  9. Another vote for BHX. Gatwick itself is a nightmare so very busy. I booked the lounge at extra cost and both times no seats available at 6.30am and almost nowhere to sit in the waiting area. Birmingham is much more civilised and if you use it the extra pay lounge is lovely and always room. Flight is usually 9.30am so you will need to check in from 6.30 to 7 so unless you like to drive you may need a hotel. There are a few available very close. I have used the one on the airport itself and did a stay and park booking.

  10.  I love P&O. I am a retired NHS professional, I have purchased the drinks package from its introduction and have posted how fed up I am that people think it is just a reason to over imbibe and become abusive. I have never seen a fight on P&O maybe has been one but never seen. 2am in the buffet is not my gig and I suspect few others.

     

    I agree with a way back poster in the 21st century if others were there why were there not pictures to support. Every man and his dog seem to snap away at everything and post on line. Just a thought.

     

    Will it put me off P&O? No way. Would it have done if I had been there at the incident? No not really I worked in the NHS for 35 years, seen much worse as people every day abuse those trying to help them and no not all by any means were fuelled by alcohol. There is a certain strain of person that just defies belief and believe me they are not all from one strata of society. 

     

    It was a shame it occurred and no of course people on their holidays do not want to see this. BUT as usual most of this is conjecture, the journalist report was inaccurate, the exact circumstances have not been proven. It is not just an event happening only on P&O as has been supported by reports by previous posters. P&O isn't perfect, there are some challenging folks on board as there are on other ships. If you feel its not for you then do not sail on them. It suits me and I think many others. I have stated previously I have to spend a lot more than basic fare to tailor it to my needs but I am happy to do so. What if I came across a fight like this? As per my working days my instinct would be to move myself and others away from the brawl to allow the crew to do their job. Get up from my cabin to see what was happening as the journalist allegedly did? Well of course no but it fits with his job description I suppose. If only he had done a better more well researched  and validated job it may not have become the red herring it has.

  11. 30% discount on my last 2 cruises for the first 3 nights. Also a free bottle of wine for 2 if booking before 7pm for the first nights which seemed to become a lot of nights as Epicurean was never overbooked  or even 1/4 full on that cruise. 

     

    Just as an aside I always eat in Epicurean and pay before I go via cruise personaliser. The Maitre D cancelled my pre cruise booking and refunded my card and then charged me on my cruise card at 30% off to ensure I benefited from the offer. He also made sure I had some free wine on other nights when that offer was on - I had bought the drinks package but he "gifted" me some Peller Ice which is not included in the package - but you do get 20% off if buying it. That isn't the free wine but he knew I love it and he seems to have control of a number of "treats". That was lovely of him and I very much appreciated it.   

  12. On 7/15/2019 at 3:47 PM, grapau27 said:

    Most regular posters are well known to give helpful advice while some posters don't.

    I don't think the drinks package is worth it and I'm sure some people will drink more because of it to get their money's worth on the package.

    I rarely drink at home but might have a few pints a night on the ship.

    On RCCL as a Diamond+ loyalty member I have the option of 3.5 hours of free drinks a night in the Diamond loyalty lounge and might have 4-5 glasses of wine a night.

     

    Enough said

  13. 16 hours ago, Selbourne said:

     

    I have already apologised for using the two words, albeit in jest, that seem to have caused you so much consternation, but I feel that your reaction is extreme and unwarranted. I agree that differing views can sometimes result in unnecessary arguments on these forums, but there are also some who seem to wait to be offended. 

    OK and yes you have but did that make your initial comments right? Taking all that as you state - just how would anyone know your post "was in jest?" Did you say so? Did you use any form of emoji? No you did not and instead I have challenged those remarks or in your description "2 words". Further I went on to say I valued your input to the forum but no that was not recognised - instead incoming folks defending you based on you giving great advice etc etc - did I say you didn't?

     

    Instead now you sum up my response as "extreme and unwarranted" . Yes fine. All I will say in conclusion is let all those who see fit to tag "alcoholism" or "borderline alcoholism" to anything let them have to live or work with people that have and then see fit to toss "tongue in cheek" comments around about it.  I buy the drinks package yes guilty but not as charged I have said a zillion times what I buy but yes incoming everyone is fastened on the 15 alcoholic drinks a day. 

     

    But of course you say there are some who wait to be offended, my reaction must be classed as extreme and unwarranted?  No further comment required you are damned if you do etc etc..

  14. 21 hours ago, Selbourne said:

     

    Sincere apologies if what was meant to be a tongue in cheek comment has offended you. As others have kindly said, that would never have been my intention. I do however maintain that the drinks package would be poor value for the vast majority of people, especially given the restrictions (which alone would be a show stopper for us). I can see however that drinking that amount of coffee per day would put you in the small percentage who may find it of value. My concern for the OP was that they didn’t fall for the ploy of committing within the first 24 hours and then regretting it. I know a family that drink a lot more than us who were adamant that they were going to buy the package on their first P&O cruise. It took me quite a bit of persuasion to convince them that it might be an expensive mistake. Returning from their cruise they told me that they didn’t go for the package and had been very grateful to me for the advice. They felt that they had drank more than enough during the fortnight but had worked out that they would have been several hundred pounds worse off had they bought the package. My point about the drinks package was a small part of a long post with lots of info that I hope has been of benefit to the OP. 

    Selbourne - I am not not sure how one would determine this as a tongue in cheek comment. It was equally very telling that after my response others posted in your defence that you post helpful comments that were much respected and useful. I never questioned that, I have a great deal of respect for your input to the forum. I also had a response that pointed out the WHO  guidance on caffeine intake and questioned my comment re buying 4-6 coffees on the package given my statement that I am a retired healthcare professional. It really is no good at all trying to engage on this board. As I responded to the poster of that remark I drink decaff only but equally could have said get over it the NHS is made up of a wide church of health care professionals, many of whom would know nothing of WHO guidelines. However this has been the hair that broke the camels back. I will continue to spend my money with P&O as their product can be tailored to fit my needs. What I will not do is try to engage in this forum because honestly why would you. 

  15. 13 hours ago, Eglesbrech said:

    The choice of buying or not buying a beverage package is entirely personal, depending on what people prefer to drink.

     

    Personally I would find 5-6 large coffees way above my personal tolerance for drinking caffeine  (and above the safe level for caffeine for adults of 400mg a day which as a health professional you will be aware of). I would make use of the juices etc but not enough to buy a package.

     

    I think Selbourne was just trying to give helpful advice, not trying to offend anyone.

    Fully aware and they are decaff coffee

  16. 12 hours ago, Selbourne said:

     

    Although all meals in the main dining rooms (MDR) and buffet are free, it is well worth trying all the Select Dining Restaurants at least once. They are all very different but are worth the supplements for the overall experience (better food, service and ambiance than the MDR’s). That being said, we find it is best to always eat in the MDR on all formal (black tie) nights as the menus are far better then (often Marco Pierre White). In summary;

     

    Epicurean - true fine dining. You would pay £100 per couple for a comparable experience ashore, so it’s excellent value for money. Our firm favourite. 

     

    Sindhu - Although Indian food is my favourite, I’m not a great fan of the food here as it’s ‘fusion’ and therefore quite subtle flavours compared to what you would get at home. That being said, I am in the minority as most people (including my wife and daughters) love it. Service is excellent. Used to be run by Michelin star chef Atul Kocher but he is no longer associated with it. Hasn’t changed much though. 

     

    Beach House - Informal American style dining. Many dismiss it as being an extension of the buffet. It isn’t. Yes, it uses a cordoned off area (properly screened) from the buffet, but the food is excellent. We like it as it is a completely different experience to the MDR’s and on longer cruises you sometimes want a break from them. The fillet steaks on lava stone are the best steaks you will ever have!

     

    Glasshouse - An Olly Smith wine bar that also serves excellent food. We tend to use it at lunchtimes, particularly if we have been ashore in the morning and have missed lunch in the MDR, as it’s always quiet then. We also use it as we board on embarkation day to avoid the scrum in the buffet. 

     

    Some other tips;

     

    Unless you are borderline alcoholics (or have 2 or more children travelling in the same cabin as you), don’t be tempted by the drinks package. P&O panics people into buying it as they say you have to buy it within the first 24 hours, but it is very expensive and has far too many restrictions. It is my firm belief that over 90% of passengers would be out of pocket by taking it, which is why P&O won’t let you opt out of it when once you have started it and begin to regret it. P&O drink prices are very reasonable and you won’t drink as much as you think, especially on port days when you are ashore. 

     

    If you are going somewhere for the first and only time and there is a must-see attraction some way from the port, an organised tour can be a good call. However, they are expensive and you can often do the same thing independently for less. Most places are nice enough to explore independently. 

     

    Back to dining, I would always recommend Freedom Dining over Club (Fixed) Dining, especially to first timers. It gives you ultimate flexibility on dining times and whether you wish to dine alone or with others, all of which you can change on a meal by meal basis at will. Departures from ports are always very interesting and you don’t want to be rushing. You are on holiday, so the more freedom the better. Also, use the buffet as a last resort only. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are always far more civilised affairs in the MDR’s. You have paid for full service restaurant meals so why use a canteen? Also, in any restaurant the tap water is fine. No need to waste money on bottled water. 

     

    If you can stretch to it, go for a balcony. We don’t sunbathe but would never cruise without one, even in winter, as we love watching the ever changing views from the comfort of our cabin (including when in bed!) and the ability to pop out at will when there is something of interest (which there often is). 

     

    I could go on, but I’m even boring myself now, so I hope that helps!

     

    12 hours ago, Selbourne said:

     

    Although all meals in the main dining rooms (MDR) and buffet are free, it is well worth trying all the Select Dining Restaurants at least once. They are all very different but are worth the supplements for the overall experience (better food, service and ambiance than the MDR’s). That being said, we find it is best to always eat in the MDR on all formal (black tie) nights as the menus are far better then (often Marco Pierre White). In summary;

     

    Epicurean - true fine dining. You would pay £100 per couple for a comparable experience ashore, so it’s excellent value for money. Our firm favourite. 

     

    Sindhu - Although Indian food is my favourite, I’m not a great fan of the food here as it’s ‘fusion’ and therefore quite subtle flavours compared to what you would get at home. That being said, I am in the minority as most people (including my wife and daughters) love it. Service is excellent. Used to be run by Michelin star chef Atul Kocher but he is no longer associated with it. Hasn’t changed much though. 

     

    Beach House - Informal American style dining. Many dismiss it as being an extension of the buffet. It isn’t. Yes, it uses a cordoned off area (properly screened) from the buffet, but the food is excellent. We like it as it is a completely different experience to the MDR’s and on longer cruises you sometimes want a break from them. The fillet steaks on lava stone are the best steaks you will ever have!

     

    Glasshouse - An Olly Smith wine bar that also serves excellent food. We tend to use it at lunchtimes, particularly if we have been ashore in the morning and have missed lunch in the MDR, as it’s always quiet then. We also use it as we board on embarkation day to avoid the scrum in the buffet. 

     

    Some other tips;

     

    Unless you are borderline alcoholics (or have 2 or more children travelling in the same cabin as you), don’t be tempted by the drinks package. P&O panics people into buying it as they say you have to buy it within the first 24 hours, but it is very expensive and has far too many restrictions. It is my firm belief that over 90% of passengers would be out of pocket by taking it, which is why P&O won’t let you opt out of it when once you have started it and begin to regret it. P&O drink prices are very reasonable and you won’t drink as much as you think, especially on port days when you are ashore. 

     

    If you are going somewhere for the first and only time and there is a must-see attraction some way from the port, an organised tour can be a good call. However, they are expensive and you can often do the same thing independently for less. Most places are nice enough to explore independently. 

     

    Back to dining, I would always recommend Freedom Dining over Club (Fixed) Dining, especially to first timers. It gives you ultimate flexibility on dining times and whether you wish to dine alone or with others, all of which you can change on a meal by meal basis at will. Departures from ports are always very interesting and you don’t want to be rushing. You are on holiday, so the more freedom the better. Also, use the buffet as a last resort only. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are always far more civilised affairs in the MDR’s. You have paid for full service restaurant meals so why use a canteen? Also, in any restaurant the tap water is fine. No need to waste money on bottled water. 

     

    If you can stretch to it, go for a balcony. We don’t sunbathe but would never cruise without one, even in winter, as we love watching the ever changing views from the comfort of our cabin (including when in bed!) and the ability to pop out at will when there is something of interest (which there often is). 

     

    I could go on, but I’m even boring myself now, so I hope that helps!

    Sorry but this reply has just made me see red. How many more times do we have to read this sort of defamatory comment. The drinks package is not and I repeat not just economic for borderline alcoholics and I really resent this sort of post, especially as a retired health care professional who has bought it and found it cost saving. I drink and pay for at least 5-6 large costa coffees a day so lets start the package there. Mocktails, juices, smoothies and soft drinks through the day.. and oh yes wine and spirits but borderline alcoholic ????????????? please!!!!!!!!!!!!.  Alcoholism is a very pernicious and nasty disease let us not for goodness sake start bringing it into to discussions of availability of drinks packages on cruise ships. Alcoholism is so much more than that. 

  17. 55 minutes ago, zoe sproodle said:

    Don't worry about it being ages away, we booked this cruise 3 months ago!  As the other replies have stated the flight information isn't available yet and cruise personaliser says it will be there 180 days before.  I must admit I'm not bothered which airline it is but I was under the impression that it would be either Thomas Cook or TUI.

    99% of the time it will. The only time it ever differed in 42 flights from Barbados on a P&O cruise was when I flew home from the Caribbean on Boxing Day. Then it was BA. Suffice to say it was an experience I never wanted to repeat. 

     

     

  18. On 6/22/2019 at 9:16 PM, grapau27 said:

    Feel free to start a new thread and we will all happily discuss it with you.

    You forgot the other part of this usually posted in response..if you are not interested scroll by, don't read.

     

    BUT just why are these infernal tipping threads still continuing. Tips are included. If you wish to tip extra you can, you decide - you don't need anyone's approval or guidance as to how much. 

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