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Our passage to India, Maldives and Sri Lanka on the Costa NeoClassica Febr/March 2017


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Goa was next. The driving here was the worst of all the places we went to and we were happy to be alive when we got back to the ship.

 

The two churces on church square were really impressive. We did not have enough time to enter the museum.

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The woman in the blue was calling for silence over a loud speaker. Non-stop.

 

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These were all from Bom Jesus. Built by the Portugese.

 

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Se Cathedral

 

We were going to a spice plantation. We asked the driver to skip it in the end. He was horrified. I think they get a kick back. He went down a road that clearly said no entry and had to turn back because there was a massive hole in it.

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Shantadurga Hindu temple next. We felt we intruded because people were worshipping and really just stood in the back looking in.

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I loved this little calf at the entrance.

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In the grounds

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This was tied around our wrists at the entrance. There was a small fee.

 

So that was Goa.

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The last two days:

 

We booked an excursion to Elephanta Island but felt unwell the previous day. We knew we would be unable to cancell at the late stage but decided we would give it a miss. We thought we probably got dehydrated. We tried to drink lots of water but it was very hot. I would suggest drinking as much as you can on this trip because of the heat and humidity.

 

We took another taxi on the last day. We decided this time to go from attraction to attraction and pay as you go. It was a lot cheaper that a "tour". Be prepared to have smallish Rupee notes.

 

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Gateway of India

 

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Taj Palace hotel. The tall tower on the right is part of it. We went to the desk to get small notes and it looked fantastic. I was keen to have lunch there but was deprived of this pleasure.

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Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Shangrahalaja-Prince of Wales Museum. Buddha from front.

 

 

 

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and back.

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I love the lioness's red nose.

 

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These are apparently human bones.

 

We spent a few hours at the museum. The fee was much higher for "foreigners" than locals

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Favourite breakfast. The right photo this time:

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Sunrise taken across the water from our cabin:

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I am going to post one more photo with a little tale attached. As it is not in my Photobucket it will take a little while.

 

I hope you enjoyed reading about this amazing cruise.

 

Alicat

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The last tale:

 

We needed to be off the ship very early because of port authority rules. Apparently you need to leave the port 5 hours before your flight. This meant a long wait at the air port.

 

We assumed, incorrectly, that there will be bigger (pre-pay) taxis at the Cruise terminal on disembarcation day.

 

When we left the building there were a few of the teeny black and yellow cabs and one of the blue and silver ones. These are marginally bigger but have no boot(trunk) for luggage.

 

So here is a picture of our cases on the taxi roof rack:

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Please note how they are tied on! One of our driver's friends advised him to rather use a rope to tie across the cases. He used a flimsy and frayed bit of plastic cord. We sort of agreed a price and off we went. He stopped at some traffic lights on the way and checked the cases. He did not really stop at all the red lights and got annoyed at people who did.

 

Along the way he bought a string of lemons and chilli which was hung on the front bumper of the car. Hubby asked why he did it and was told "So we don't have an accident on the way to the airport". That really inspired us with confidence. It worked and we got there in one piece and the luggage did too.

 

In the end we paid him 3000 rupees which was more than the agreed price and a lot more than the pre-paid taxis.

 

Moral of the story: Book a pre-paid taxi to collect you.

 

Now I have really told my whole tale.

 

Happy cruising.

 

Alicat

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Thanks for a lovely write up of this cruise. We were also on this trip. I'm not going to repeat all that you have already covered, but I am going to beg everyone reading this to take note of a very important issue. We sadly didn't realise that we needed a multi-entry visa. Oh boy, did that cause us some grief! Too long a story to go into, but please please double check you have the correct one before travelling. If you are English and have to purchase another visa in Male in order to get back into India, please be aware you have to pay three times more than other people. Sooooo stressfull. I'm also pleased to see that Alicat posted photos of the buddahs etc without people in them. It's rude to take photos of a Buddah with yourself stood in front and many tourists are not aware of this but the locals are too polite to tell you off when doing so.

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We researched the Visa situation prior to the cruise and knew we needed the multi entry one. We completed all the forms on line and submitted with Photos. We still had to go for a face to face interview as well.

 

We live in Colchester in Essex and had to go to Houndslow which is close to Heathrow. We had a booked slot for the interview. On the day we went there was an underground strike so we drove there. It took 2 hours and we parked illegally in the neighbourhood as there is no parking and were there for only a few minutes.

 

It was worth doing this as we had no hassles in India. They do make you go through multiple security people every time you leave or enter the cruise terminal. I was also searched every single time in Mumbai. It was not quite that stringent in some of the other ports.

 

Don't bother getting a visa for Sri Lanka. We did and nobody even asked for it. Same goes for Maldives.

 

Ighten I am glad you enjoyed my story. I presume it is the taxi that caused all the laughter. We are laughing about it now but at the time it was pretty nerve wracking.

 

Alicat

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Thank you for taking the time to so such a lovely and informative review. Will keep checking the itinerary and dates and hopefully one day I will be able to do it.

I am going on my first Costa cruise April 1st and looking forward to it. I do like MSC so would imagine it is similar.

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Hi Maryann2

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

I have only ever cruised with Costa. This was our 12th cruise.

 

I am sure there will be similarities. Costa ships have only a few up charge restaurants. Usually Samsara, Pizza, Burgers and Club. I am not sure that is worth paying for club unless you want better service. I understand the food is the same as the MDR. Having said that, we had an upgrade last year and it was great eating there. Not hurried(we don't mind slow meals but we hate slow service) and the wait staff were very good. It can be a bit hit and miss in the MDR.

 

I guess bars etc will be similar. The Piu Gusto drinks package is much cheaper that other lines as far as I can see and it is really good. Not only for alcohol but also for coffee, tea , juices etc.

 

Ask away if I can help. I have done it enough times on Costa.:D

 

Alicat

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I have already signed up for the Piu Gusto Package. On MSC had the Allegrissimo which was also a good deal.

 

I see that you live in Colchester. My brother lived there for many years, sadly died in January this year. I spent several days and nights with him at St Helena's Hospice.

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In the Costa catalog 2016-2018 it does state that a Multi Entry Visa is required for India.

 

We didn't get the Costa brochure - we booked vis Cruise nation. They did say we needed a visa but no mention of mutiple. :(

 

Moving on - we had the Pia Gusto drinks package - plenty of choice - enjoy :)

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Hi Maryann2

 

Sorry to hear about your brother. I hoped they looked after him very well at St.Helena. They have a good team I think.

 

Hope you enjoy your cruise, it is very soon now. The Piu Gusto is good value for money. If you like drinks like a dry(dirty) Martini or G+T, ask the bar server to use either Gordons or Beefeater. They are included in the package and better than the stuff they use as standard.

 

Hi Chikky

 

We always book directly with Costa. I researched Cruise Critic prior too booking and got most of my advice from other CC'ers. We then went to the Indian Embassy/Government site and did the rest. It also involved quite a few e-mails before we got the right info.

 

When we went to the centre to take our forms the person at the desk suggested that we took the 12 mnth visa rather than 6 months because it made no difference to the price. I am ever hopeful that we'll go back before the end of the year to go to the Goden Triangle and see the Taj. There is a possibility that it will be covered in a mud (face) pack and scaffolding which will just be our luck.

 

Alicat

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  • 4 weeks later...
Hi All

 

 

Well folks, that is all for today. Hopefully I will make friends with either Flikr or Photobucket soon and get some photos to wet your appetites.

 

Happy cruising

 

Alicat

 

Looking forward to the photos.

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Hi Sailor Jack

 

I managed to conquer Photobucket and there are many photos of the trip. It's a bit irritating that CC only allows 6 photos per message but I managed. I hope you can see them.

 

Regards

 

Alicat

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Hi Mishelle

 

I enjoyed sharing. I just use my phone for the pics but I think they came out OK. Nothing like hubby's with his fancy cannon but it was bad enough(for me anyway) to master Photobucket. I could not be bothered by resizing or whatever one does with those large picture files.

 

We are going on the Diadema soon as you would have noticed from previous entries and I might do another but Ighten has done such a good one recently that I will have to see whether we see different things that might be of interest to the CC people.

 

Bye for now

 

Alicat

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  • 2 months later...
Hi Sailor Jack

 

I managed to conquer Photobucket and there are many photos of the trip. It's a bit irritating that CC only allows 6 photos per message but I managed. I hope you can see them.

 

Regards

 

Alicat

 

I missed this post earlier. A very informative review, but I cannot access your pictures. I had the same problem with photobucket and switched to flickr. Hope everything else is well with you.

 

Jack

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Hi Jack

 

I think Photobucket has peeved a lot of people with the latest thing. I hardly ever post photos and did not use them for saving mine either. Whilst I understand that the bandwidth is costing them , I thought it was really bad how they just suddenly sprung the surprise that your photos will no longer be seen on the forums. My reviews are not very long but some people put a lot of effort in.

 

I have not really looked at the alternative but it looks as if Flikr or Tapatalk will be options. Till they do the same thing!

 

Sorry you can't see my photos now. There were some goodies!

 

Regards

Alicat

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Hi Jack

 

I think Photobucket has peeved a lot of people with the latest thing. I hardly ever post photos and did not use them for saving mine either. Whilst I understand that the bandwidth is costing them , I thought it was really bad how they just suddenly sprung the surprise that your photos will no longer be seen on the forums. My reviews are not very long but some people put a lot of effort in.

 

I have not really looked at the alternative but it looks as if Flikr or Tapatalk will be options. Till they do the same thing!

 

Sorry you can't see my photos now. There were some goodies!

 

 

Regards

Alicat

 

 

Well...Now I am really sorry I missed them! I have found flickr to be much better than photobucket - a lot more alternatives. I used them for my last review on Celebrity's Millennium. If you want, you can check them out at:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2460016

 

You know, you could always repost your photos using flickr - just an idea.

 

Jack

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Hi Jack

 

I have read your review and noticed lots more. Goody! I'll read them on non-work days. I enjoy your writing style and humour.

 

I think I need to try a pedicure. Not sure Ii could con hubby into joining me though. SailorJill must be a wily lady.

 

I noted you were also Photobucketed in the beginning of the review. I think I might look at what I posted and add to mine as there are not so many India reviews available. 2018 brings a birthday with a "0" in it. I would like to do a far East cruise. Hubby is grumbling about it. I have a persuasive streak though.

 

Bye

 

Alicat

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  • 1 month later...

Woohoo, Thanks to a bunch of techies who were unhappy with Photobucket my photos are now back and visible.

 

So, anybody who wants to have a look, there are some photos of the NeoClassica showing that she was not in bad shape earlier this year.

 

Alicat

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