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Voyages to Antiquity

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Cruisemom42,

 

Thanks for the update. How full is your cruise? Tender can be a long wait when the ship is full. As a Sapphire or Emerald Odyssey Club member, do you get priority for tender?

 

Did AO give any explanation why the ship was late? I just check the Marine tracker site, and it recorded the AO as sailing at 11.6 knots between Salerno and Sorrento. The AO is capable of doing 18 knots. One would expect the captain to speed up in order to arrive on time.

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Well, I did it. I booked The Norwegian Fjords for July 2019. I got the cabin that I was looking for; I decided to splurge on the EE cabin on Belvedere deck. It is right next to the cabin I had last time (HH) but it is a little bigger with a tiny bit of balcony. I have 7 days to confirm the booking, and it is fully refundable until 120 days before. (I also checked the flight situation, and Air Canada flies non-stop Toronto-Copenhagen on the comparable day in 2018 (i.e. the Monday) and of course there are 4 AC flights and 2 BA flights from London-Toronto daily.)

Edited by gnome12

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Good for you. The balcony cabins will be nice on sea days and cruising the fjords.

 

 

Shar

 

Thanks. It is a really small balcony, but it does let you get some fresh air in the cabin.

 

On a totally different subject, do you know how I can get a different picture on my count-down timer in my signature? I couldn't find how to set up a new one in my signature, so I copied my previous one, but I would really like a different picture for it.

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I found the countdown timer.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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Cruisemom42,

 

Thanks for the update. How full is your cruise? Tender can be a long wait when the ship is full. As a Sapphire or Emerald Odyssey Club member, do you get priority for tender?

 

Did AO give any explanation why the ship was late? I just check the Marine tracker site, and it recorded the AO as sailing at 11.6 knots between Salerno and Sorrento. The AO is capable of doing 18 knots. One would expect the captain to speed up in order to arrive on time.

 

No explanation was offered. We were not having rough seas. The evening before we were sailing quite slowly past Mt. Etna, which was announced, but I've no idea why the ship wasn't making a bit more speed enroute to Sorrento.

 

The tendering has been done based on shore excursions first, then it is first-come first-served. I really couldn't fault the tendering process, but the late arrival should have been adjusted for.

 

At any rate, it's now my last evening aboard, I'm done packing and am ready to head off tomorrow to Rome for four days post-cruise. I still think that for my interests and tastes, VTA is about the best match on the seas.

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There is an all passenger Captain's Reception at the beginning of the cruise in the Ambassador Lounge and a different pool deck cocktail party for returning passengers, Odyssey Club,Captain's Cocktail Party. Both are very very crowded and I think we will skip them on our next cruise.

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great thread - thanks

 

I am on this 10 day trip Oct 22-30 2018 Athens to Alexandria sailaway 10 days

 

 

Lido deck cabin 822

looking forward to it very much!

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Got our VTA confirmation Capetown to Malaga this morning plus air. Pretty incredible itinerary and we already know one of the featured speakers from a priior Voyages of Discovery cruise (VOD) - he was outstanding.

 

This will be totally new territory for me and will push me over the top to be Travel Century Club Silver member - 150 countries. VOD delivered my 100th country -Mauritius - a few years ago on an equally incredible cruise from Singapore to Capetown poking around the Indian Ocean and the eastern side of Africa.

 

Half the fun of a trip is studying up ahead of time. Half the misery is packing down ....this time ...for sure. Do they have "formal" nights on VTA and do people dress up a bit for dinner - just because.

 

Regarding our prior HAL cruising, nearly 500 day Gold Medallion, we had a TransPac to Japan/Shanghai already booked on the Westerdam, but learning what they did to their libraries made spending that much time on the new "curated" HAL ships suddenly unappealing. Hoping VTA continues in the same vein as our prior beloved experiences with Voyages of Discovery - good times, good itineraries ...... with very good travellers.

I started complaining in 2015 about the changes on HAL cruises, entertainment or lack there of, activities reduced to Trivia once a day (sea days) Libraries as we knew them gone. No Piano Bar. Cookouts gone. Enrichment programs on TA done by Shorex staff I appeared to me that anywhere they could cut staff, they were doing it. I was roundly criticized on HAL website that I needed to "get with the new HAL" You will love Oprah ! etc.,etc. In 2016, I did my last HAL cruise (TA) and have had 3 happy cruises on NCL along with 2 B2B 14 day cruises on Celebrity, a total of 77 cruise days. The only thing I miss is my free Laundry. and I have two more NCL cruises booked and just signed on the Capetown to Malaga March 13th voyage. Hope to see you on board !

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I am on board AE at this moment. It seems that there are very few first timers. Everyone we met is a multi-time repeater. Haven't not been on the ship for a few years, we do notice some changes, mostly improvements. We are glad to be back. So far, we enjoyed ourselves more than our HAL cruises.

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HAL always had much to admire on sea days - lots of alternatives to lectures including very cheap crafts, lots of trivia and of course a lovely library (Prisendam.) I know of several quiet ( no muzak ) places to hide on the AO. The real issue for me has always been that if the bridge players are in session upstairs no one else can go in a sit quietly & nothing else is available so the bridge players don't miss out. ( Thereby endeth my rant.)

 

 

Shar

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During the welcome introduction, Richard anounced that there is no organized bridge onboard, to a round of clapping hands. They must have earned a bad reputation. I, however, had good experience with them. I am only an occasional player, and not a very good one. But, they welcomed all players. So, on sea days, I joined them for their morning video instruction, and their games in the afternoon. The group I played with were UK based, and quite competitive.

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I wonder what this means for those of us who are emerald level + without ever using Road Scholar?

 

I would still like to be able to go through my local agent so we shall see.

 

Shar

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On 12/13/2018 at 5:07 PM, Ontariotrekker said:

I wonder what this means for those of us who are emerald level + without ever using Road Scholar?

 

I would still like to be able to go through my local agent so we shall see.

 

Shar

 

Hi Shar -- did you get the letter from VTA also?  It raised more questions than answers. It says that "another company" (doesn't even name Road Scholars) will pick up the charter for a year (not 3 years as reported in the story link above).  

 

Also, if the RS charter begins in April 2020,  why are there no cruises announced after October 2019? 

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I did not get a letter but someone posted about it here.  I have no idea what's going on..   By the way things are going anyway, RS folks are getting a little preferential treatment already.  We shall see.  I'm back on Feb 11 - April 15. 

 

Wishing you all things merry & bright for the holiday - Shar

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13 hours ago, Ontariotrekker said:

I did not get a letter but someone posted about it here.  I have no idea what's going on..   By the way things are going anyway, RS folks are getting a little preferential treatment already.  We shall see.  I'm back on Feb 11 - April 15. 

 

Wishing you all things merry & bright for the holiday - Shar

 

Thanks Shar -- same to you. 😀  If you find out anything on your upcoming trip, let us know!

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So, I am now slightly more than a month away from joining the ship in Colombo and am again running into communications problems.

 

I opted for a different flight to there since the flight that they had booked for all of North America arrives about 11 p.m on Feb. 11 and then the one and only day for Sri Lanka starts at 8 a.m. on the 12th.  I will arrive on the 10th and I've booked a transfer and a hotel for the night.  My ta has tried several times to get a few questions answered for me - when can I board?  will my cabin be ready? is there a cost to enter the port?  and so far, in what is becoming a habit with Voyages, no answers back yet.  I as yet have no paperwork either.

 

I've actually emailed the ship's reception and chief purser for some answers and still nothing.   I do appreciate them changing my flights for me though but if I had the paperwork, I could check to see how much to upgrade.  It's a long flight from Toronto.

 

Shar

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Well, the ship's purser connected me with he ship's agent and I now have some answers to some of my concerns.  I will have to give him a call once I've cleared the port gate and he is arranging transportation to the ship for me.  Still some lingering issues but things are getting better.

 

Keep your fingers crossed for me as my countdown clock keeps ticking - Shar

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why not just call the office in the UK? 

UK code 44- 1865 567 120 

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Most of my issues have been solved by jumping over them and going directly to the port authorities.  If they hadn't been, I could have gotten my daughter who lives in the UK to give them a call.  Most of this stems from the fact that I wanted a flight deviation and while they accommodated that, I no longer get transfers.   I will have to book my hotel to airport transfer with them onboard.

 

Shar

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In a CC review of a 2016 VTA cruise, the reviewer embarked on Colombo:

https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=528268

 

The reviewer wrote: "Embarkation at the port was the easiest ever. The taxi took us right up to the ship, we checked and within 5 minutes were in our room."

I hope your embarkation is just as easy, and enjoy the cruise.

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This is interesting because I've been told by the  port agent that no vehicles can enter.  What did the cab cost and did they take $US?

 

This is an example of the ongoing issues I've had with this trip - either no replies or radically different info.  Of course, security may have changed a lot since then and there is political turmoil as well.

 

 

Shar

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Well things are sorted re the transfers thanks to the local port agent who was forwarded my first email to the ship.   He's been a huge help and I'm very grateful..

 

shar

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On 12/13/2018 at 5:07 PM, Ontariotrekker said:

I wonder what this means for those of us who are emerald level + without ever using Road Scholar?

 

I would still like to be able to go through my local agent so we shall see.

 

Shar

RS is already advertising their 2020 VTA offerings. But their website seems to be tailored only for US clients. Shar, I hope you can find out more information during your upcoming cruise. For example, does the Odyssey Club benefits still apply during the RS charter?

 

Enjoy your cruise, which is coming up really soon.

 

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