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Velvetwater

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About Velvetwater

  • Rank
    Blue Ribbon Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Warwickshire UK
  1. Velvetwater

    Best way to book a cruise?

    There does seem to be savings on your side of the Atlantic but I think your example is an extreme one. I have only found one company here that offered me good savings and I booked. It was ok but I prefer to sort my own things out as I am sure many do.The OP asked the best way and I simply answered. Simple as that. I didn't say everyone moaned about their TA etc but there are quite a lot of posts on this forum that do make bookign with a TA or similar a less tempting choice. No need to call me sir as I have matching chromosomes.
  2. Velvetwater

    Best way to book a cruise?

    Direct with the cruise line and preferably on the website. Cut out the middle man. Some outside agencies and folk do offer cheaper prices but this seems to get less and less and the amount of posts on here with people moaning about TAs and companies and whatnot.
  3. Velvetwater

    Transportation in London

    As a Brit who uses national express all the time I can also wholly recommend them as a budget option with little fuss. They will be times cheaper than many shuttle options and private car companies. They do a direct Heathrow to Southampton bus and are used to cruise passengers. Once you arrive at the Southampton Coach station its a very quick taxi journey to the port and to the centre hotels.
  4. Velvetwater

    India Pale Ale (IPA) beer

    Hi We also prefer the flavourful brews. Our NCL cruise had Las Igunitas IPA although as wheat beer fans we drank more Blue Moons which they also have. I like BM and I am not ashamed to admit it.
  5. Velvetwater

    Sold Out Cruise Help

    Also, try and see if any agencies in other countries have blocks. Our NCL cruise was showing as sold out on the website and some popular US online agencies when doing a google search. The UK website we had booked with still had OVs available at this time. This was 2 months out.
  6. Choose a ship smaller than 2000 and you will have less lines as a matter of logistics. We have seen lines to board HAL in port and all the lines we have sailed we have only experienced lines on the 3000+ passenger ships and I include Celebrity in this.
  7. We had this on the newly refurbed Aria... We were not impressed at all. Not only that...the food was often named incorrectly and subpar on a few occasions. They need to know what Halva is (not mushed up carrot) for example.
  8. Velvetwater

    My "Cruise Rash"...

    I don't know if it is the same in the US but in the UK we have Biological and Non-Biological washing laundry products over here. Due to my skin I can generally only have the Non-Biological and some hotels and resorts (not all) give me a rash from their bed sheets. Oddly, I have never had it on the 5 cruise lines I have been on. I guess some places just use varying types of laundry products.
  9. Velvetwater

    Toiletries

    If we fly to the cruise we buy big bottles of conditioner etc in port and pop them in our big suitcases. Saves on weight.
  10. I am going to disagree with Suite Traveller's advice. St Petersburg is a place you can purchase a Visa and go it alone. I have met cruisers and general travellers that have done this. However, they were all European and we are known for being more adventurous in our wanderlust for the most part. We looked at going it alone too and priced up a 2 day tour vs 2 days on our own (Visa, Visa admin costs, hotel stay, money for food and transport to the sights,hydrofoil, transport to and from the port which is a way out) We found it was much cheaper to do a 2 day tour (TJ travel) and a night tour with vodka and entertainment than going alone so opted for the latter and there was a lot of paper work involved too. If you do decide to go down this route I still have the research on my email somewhere I can send. If we were go to back we would probably go alone as we have done the things all the 2 day tours do.
  11. Velvetwater

    Walk me through this lost luggage scenario

    Always 1) fly in the day before. Longer if it is long haul. 2) Pack a few clothes and bits (swimwear) in your carry on (I can even fit my formal outfit and 3 days worth of things) 3) Buy a bright suitcase/one that stands out in case of mistaken identity 4) On an a4 sheet of paper write your entire itinerary with times and arrivals at port and numbers of the cruise ship, line and port authorities. Also include your own details and cabin number. Make sure it is visable inside the case. 5) Research your port/port area shopping in case you need a dash run. 6) cross pack cases for all in your family. Most importantly....buy travel insurance of course :)
  12. Velvetwater

    Itinerary lies !

    This. One should know that many famous cities and areas are inland...that is a logistical certainty. This is especially true in Europe. Cruise companies do not lie they simple put something like Athens (Piraeus) which is simple. A promise to provide transport to inland means cruise companies will jack up the cruise price and some passengers may want to stay in port or even on the ship. It also goes without saying companies like you close to the ship or touring with them. I don't know of many people expecting to sail into Rome/Berlin etc. :D
  13. Velvetwater

    What would make you cruise...

    Yup...and already done it. Saw very mixed things for all of the P&O Oz fleet. Booked anyway and had a great time (only complaints were the MDR food and the odd shore excursion booking system).
  14. Velvetwater

    Book direct with Cruise line or 3rd party?

    Pretty much always direct as TA means there is extra stuff to deal with and you have less control over your booking. Some TAs offer perks but this is less common in some areas (especially outside of the US) and for me, the smaller perks such asa fruit basket isn't worth the loss of control over my booking tbh. We once booked with an online agency to save £800 and it worked well but we only did it when we saw the saving for that sailing.
  15. Slightly off topic but I have come to the conclusion that TSA locks should not be the only way to secure your luggage. They are easily breakable for someone to go in or put something in your bag. I have been using them for years with no problems but intend to buy some serialised number zip ties to prove whether it is has been tampered with or not. Wrap also does this. The main reason we wrapped our luggage in Asia/Oz was how that route is known for certain behaviour and my husband's slightly broken bag. We live in rainy UK and are not worried about rain getting to our bags but if that is a worry then the wrap would certainly protect it...although if you are one of the very unlucky cruisers to have your luggage go into the ocean at port it would do diddly squat.
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