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    Theatre, music, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Caribbean
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  1. I did my first solo cruise in August 2019 - 7 nights in the Greek Isles, Montenegro and Croatia with NCL. I have cruised with my daughter before but never on my own - and I absolutely loved it. I didn’t have an NCL solo studio because the NCL Star is comparatively small and doesn’t have them but they gave me 20% off for being solo, as well as all the other offers which were applicable at the time of booking eg WiFi, free drinks, gratuities included etc. I had an outside stateroom which was lovely, and enjoyed lots of great conversations with other travellers - people seemed keen to talk when they discovered I was on my own. So many people offered to take photos of me for my holiday album! I had a lovely time exploring new places on shore on my own and in the evenings I went to the entertainment or found a couple of people I’d met earlier, for drinks in the bar. I think a cruise is probably one of the easier holidays to have on your own because there’s so much entertainment on board and you can be busy all the time if you want. I would definitely do it again - if in doubt, do!
  2. I wouldn't recommend the steps … several people (including the local guide) warned us off them as they are slippery, very steep and covered in donkey poo. Before going, I read a comment from a lady who had walked down the steps and she said - more or less - never again. I gather it's pretty treacherous, particularly when the donkeys pass you and there isn't much space. I agree about flying - all but one of my previous trips to Greece have been for full holidays on particular islands - Spetses, Kefalonia, Zante, Crete (several times) and I've flown, stayed on the island and taken the hydrofoil etc to other islands. (Crete, of course, has a good airport of its own.) I've never had any problems with crowds - that's definitely the cruise ship phenomenon. The weather would be lovely in June or September.
  3. We didn’t go up that way when we arrived - there were a few (five?) Cruise ships in port so to avoid the queues the tenders took us along the coast to the commercial port (which is tiny) and the coach took us from there to Oia. Later returned us to Fira so we could make our own way down vis the cable car. The guide said she thought it would be better on the way back as two of the ships had left or were about to, so their guests would be on board already, but it was still a huge queue snaking along the lane. I was a solo traveller so had to stand there the whole time but if I’d had my family with me, we would have taken it in turns to hold the place in the queue while the others went to find a cold drink or shade. NCL staff at the tender station were superb.
  4. No, not everything does. But it's not "something for nothing" is it. It's a lot of money, already paid.
  5. No, we came back a couple of hours early if anything. Apart from Kotor, everything else ran to time.
  6. I was on the same cruise as you - and completely agree. The sailaway from Venice was magical. I was on port side, pool deck, forward, and got some great shots of the canals, lights etc. And Santorini was - in my opinion - pretty awful. Far, far too crowded, and the line for the cable car was 90 minutes, mainly due to a huge numbers of people ignoring the queue and pushing in ahead. Interesting to hear that it's officials of Santorini who control the numbers - or don't. I thought NCL were super-efficient and superb on this cruise - the freezing face cloths and cold drinks at the tender station were a lovely touch.
  7. That was similar for us on the 18-25 August cruise. The sailaway from Venice was beautiful at night, though.
  8. We did get the port fees refunded … $13 in cash on the ship.
  9. Well, thank you everyone for all your comments but in the end the ship didn't go to Kotor … 24 hrs before we were due to sail, we had an email saying that we would be leaving Venice later (at the Harbour Master's request) and wouldn't have time for Montenegro at all. So that day became an at sea day instead, and we just moored in a bay off Bar, to use up 2 hours of time I suppose, but couldn't get off the ship. I'll have to go and have a look at Kotor some other time …!
  10. Thank you, yes, I’m sure you’re right about the logistics. I’m just suspicious though that NCL know about these changes for a long time in advance - the Stockholm one has apparently been in place for years, but they continue to publicise and sell a cruise whose itinerary includes the archipelago. In any other walk of life, you expect to get what you pay for. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited for the cruise - now only a few hours away!
  11. Thank you - yes the rest of the ports look great. For me, though, I’ve been to Greece for longer stays in the past and the A’s looking forward to Montenegro and Croatia as I haven’t been to either. It’ll be great though - the weather in all the POC looks wonderful too!
  12. Thank you for these. It doesn’t sound very exciting! I’ll get the camera out but Kotor it definitely is not!
  13. Thank you. I spoke to NCL today and they might not even refund the port fees - they see the omission of one POC as a minor change ... I would say that whether it is minor or not depends on how long the cruise is and how many other POC there are. On a 7 night cruise, losing one POC is significant. Anyway, nothing to be done - the rest of the itinerary looks great.
  14. I have just had an email about a change of itinerary for the cruise I'm taking on Sunday morning. The Star departs from Venice and the first POC was meant to be Kotor, Montenegro, which I was really looking forward to seeing. I had heard the sail in to port is amazing. Now, less than 48 hours before we depart, there's been a change (apparently it's because of an order issued by the Venice Harbour Master) and we won't be going to Kotor at all - we will be making a "technical stop" at Bar, Montenegro - and won't be able to get off the ship at all. So the first POC will be Corfu on Tuesday. Does anyone have experience of claiming any sort of compensation for this kind of change? Last time I cruised with NCL, they changed the itinerary so we didn't sail into Stockholm but went to Nynashamn instead, but at least they put on free coaches to Stockholm so we still got to go there. This time we will miss out on a whole country.
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