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Everything posted by Kalynan

  1. Lynn....agreed, we really expected to be checked for everything when entering Iceland as UK infection rates were really (and still are) quite high at the time, but we walked off the gangway, through a small portacabin-type office and into the car park for tour buses. Presumably those travelling ashore independently did the same. The only official we saw was a uniformed police, customs or immigration officer standing near the portacabin watching the passengers walk off. We didn't have such expectations when returning to the UK at Newcastle, as our expectations are always low when it comes to officialdom in the UK !!! The only place where there was apparently any official local or governmental interest was when the ship berthed at Kirkwall in the Orkneys (probably due to the fact that there was COVID on board our ship and another, the Celebrity Silhouette which were visiting that day). We had about an hours delay before the ship was cleared by the port authorities, but ultimately people were allowed to go ashore independently and on pre-arranged ship tours. Having said all of the above, COVID issues & the small amount of infected people on board the ship, were handled really well and Marella procedures left us feeling safe and keen to make another booking soon.
  2. On our recent Icelandic Adventure from Newcastle (10th - 22nd Sept), the internet connection onboard Explorer 2 was abysmal (and yes, they are still selling internet packages which I would never, ever purchase). They gave us vouchers to get free access to upload test results to Chronomics and to complete PLF documents for both entry to Iceland and return to UK. En route to Iceland, we were eventually able to get the necessary connection and certificates, however on way back to UK we were never able to get the Chronomics certificate downloaded. NONETHELESS, both in Iceland and the UK, no person from any government organisation ever asked to check any of these documents. We simply walked off the ship into the 3 ports in Iceland without having passport checked, COVID vaccine passport examined or any mention of PLF, in fact no-one at all looked at anything. Same for the return to UK at Newcastle.
  3. Just back home after the Icelandic Adventure from Newcastle and had a brilliant time !! Have to say that all covid procedures seemed to be working well from our perspective and we were aware that there were cases on board, HOWEVER the isolation procedures, face masks, sanitiser etc appears to have kept the numbers very, very low (I believe only 4 cases in total, according to a local paper after our visit to Orkney) and in our group of 4, we felt very safe in terms of our health. There were about 780 passengers on board and about 680 crew. In our opinion, Marella are doing a good job sticking to procedures and keeping on top of things. Totally agree with the previous comments about the onboard Internet provision, it is shockingly bad and caused a lot of upset when passengers were attempting to comply with testing procedures and form filling to visit Iceland & then return to the UK. This could definitely be improved upon. Overall, we would definitely cruise again with Marella soon (really good prices at the moment) and the next sailing from Newcastle today only has about 400 passengers onboard.
  4. Had similar issue and received following emails when I queried with local TUI store..... I am aware that there is an issue in adding this passport information for UK sailings at the moment, you should be able to do this 48hrs before you travel and if still unsuccessful, it can be added when you check in at the port. and also..... I have had an update, and you are going to have to do the API at the port I'm afraid, this is the information we have been given due to a fault on the website. The issue is for all passengers and not just yourselves. Kind regards Retail Travel advisor
  5. We are in similar situation regarding our ICELANDIC ADVENTURE cruise from Newcastle on 10 Sept. The info from TUI / Marella has been very very confusing - simply advising to check FCDO guidance on requirements to secure entry to Iceland and then requirements for return to UK. As far as we have been able to understand, Iceland will require evidence (certificate) of neg test done 72hrs prior to boarding the ship and completion of an online form & possibly another free test at the port on arrival. And for return to UK, evidence (certificate) of neg test 48hrs prior to arrival in UK, as well as completion of an online and then PCR test on Day 2. The online form has a section that will require the reference number of the PCR test that is to be done on return. All of the above means that the free NHS tests are insufficient to meet the requirements when travelling abroad to any country. We are still waiting on some clarity from TUI / Marella (been waiting since emailing & calling our local store on 13/8/21 where we booked), especially since all the above does not take into account the particular requirements in Scotland (and Wales) to use a company called CTM. We appreciate that all travel agents have been struggling with extremely demanding and changing international needs related to travel abroad, but a dedicated department able to provide clear information on each of the forthcoming cruises where there is a visit to a foreign country should be pretty simple to set up rather than the confused messaging which comes from TUI !!!
  6. We've also stayed at the Premier Inn before and left our car there for small donation to there charity for a Norwegian Fjords cruise couple of years ago. Although it might save a few quid, think we would probably get Marella parking during covid just for ease of everything. Wee helpful Youtube video attached of someone's recent experience.......
  7. Horses for courses, etc etc..... And always a personal choice, however........ We have done both NCL and Marella - each have their positive and not-so-positive aspects from our perspective. NCL All Inclusive (even the Premium upgrade version) does not include specialty coffees. On the last NCL one we did, cost us over 10 dollars each for a Latte/Capuccino. For the rest of the drinks package there is not much difference between them, however again we found Marella was easier to obtain drinks with proper mixers, such as cans of coke/diet coke or bottles of tonic and on NCL was less easy, but still do-able. Marella entertainment (as well as most other aspects of the cruise) is geared for the UK market, whereas NCL is primarily geared up for the USA market. Just an observation and depends on your individual tastes.... We like both NCL and Marella & we know that there is not much difference in the prices, however we pick our cruises for the destinations AND value for money, so in the future we would probably still go with both. Lastly, if we were forced to pick a 'winner' between them, we would probably choose Marella.
  8. Fife1..... We're doing the Cosmopolitan Classics on Explorer on 9th Oct as well. Hope it goes ahead !!
  9. Try calling your nearest TUI high street store that is remaining open. We called our local store and the line was answered by member of shop staff within 20 seconds.
  10. And also September from Newcastle to Iceland
  11. Our Baltic's cruise from Newcastle in May was cancelled. I eventually got through on the phone on 14th May to request a full refund of over £4100. The young lady (who was very pleasant) processing the refund request said it would take up to 28 days for the refund to be credited back to our bank account. We received the full refund back into our account on 25th June, 2 weeks after the 28 day period had expired. We are not planning any new cruises with any of the cruise lines any time soon and are grateful we managed to complete our Hong Kong, Vietnam and Singapore cruise on NCL Jade in February before lockdown started !!! 🛳️
  12. All family out clapping, apart from son who is in the 12 week 'shielding' category, but he was still watching, listening and clapping inside. Thank you people of the NHS !!! 👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏
  13. A different cruise line I know, however they've announced a Temporary change to their cancellation policy.......... https://www.vikingcruises.co.uk/oceans/my-trip/current-sailings/index.html
  14. Another cruise line Viking have announced a Temporary change in their cancellation policy ..................... https://www.vikingcruises.co.uk/oceans/my-trip/current-sailings/index.html
  15. Different line I know, however they've announced a Temporary change in their cancellation policy.................... https://www.vikingcruises.co.uk/oceans/my-trip/current-sailings/index.html
  16. Hi Danish Viking, thanks for all your helpful info on this thread. We are cruising into Kalundborg in May and were thinking of hiring a car for sight-seeing, including possibly visiting Copenhagen. We would have about 7 hours from 0900 - 1600 hrs, do you have any advice on a potential route, places to visit, things to see or travelling tips? Cherers !!
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