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alicat58

Costa Victoria 13/1/18

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Bangkok part3:

The temple of the reclining buddha where I took my shoes off.

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He is HUGE and long. His toes were covered.

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His face.

 

Now, you walk along fight to get a photos with lots of people hogging the places were you can do so. All of them posing with selfie sticks. So rude and annoying.

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I think this was a shutter panel at one of the windows.

 

Now this is where I nearly got into trouble. You exit after you have gone beyond the covered tootsies and go outside. I thought , OK get the shoes back on and was pounced upon by two people(guards). You go in and then walk behind the buddha. OK , so I did not expect that. Just a warning for the unexpecting visitors.

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So after all that faff I had to take a photo of the back of his head.

 

There is actually loads to see at this temple and many areas were you did not have to take your shoes off. We also got a small bottle of cold water as part of our ticket. Lasted seconds.

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Stupa and a bonsai.

 

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And I saved the best photo for last. Is that not just adorable? TJ I always actively seek out kittens and I am not always a cat free zone at the time. I am sure I must have triggered the need for a kitten in the TJ and Luke house hold.

 

Alicat

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Bangkok part 4:

By now we were all ready to go to the hotel to have a shower and get ready for the evening programme. No such luck. We had another boat ride and the found out bus. We had a choice, go to supper (very early) and wait for the show (Siam Niramit) and go to the night market after, or go to the night market first. Night market first please.

 

As it was late afternoon the night market was not really going but to be honest by now nobody cared. We managed to find a spot to have a beer to share. There were massive bottles.

 

We wandered around the market looking at the food. Lots looked amazing.

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What looked less amazing were the amount of fat flies on the food.

 

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Anyone peckish? Nice bugs and chillies.

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I do hope we don't run out of alternative protein in my life time.

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We used the underground to cross the road. There is no other way to get across. Our bus collected us here and took us to the Siam show.

 

We had another buffet supper. Served in what can only be described as a school hall. The food was not great and the show was really not our cup of tea. We had to stand for the national anthem before and sit through a film about the king.

 

We finally got to the hotel at 23h00. We were so tired, we showered and dropped into bed because we had to be in the hotel lobby at 6.15! We stayed in a Hyatt and it was actually really nice. We were a little worried that Costa will put us in some crummy old place. They supplied a breakfast box in the morning and some coffee if you wanted.

 

More Bangkok later. I'll try on the weekend but daughter and boy friend are visiting.

 

Bye for now.

 

Alicat

 

Ps. Ron I saw a programme with Passau in this morning. It is beautiful. Lucky you.

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Ps. Ron I saw a programme with Passau in this morning. It is beautiful. Lucky you.

 

Rianna, your excellant review is really getting me in the holiday mood, four days to go.

 

Passau is a beautiful place, does that make me a beautiful person.:o

 

Ron

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Of course it makes you a beautiful person Ron. Have the most amazing cruise and tell us all about it when you come back. Diadema booked for 10 /3. Fortunately I get lots of leave.

 

Riana

 

Sent from my SM-G925F using Forums mobile app

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Ahhh Bangkok, one of my favourite cities. Been there many times both with Luke and before he was born. I think Im up to about 16 or 17 visits and I still have not seen it all.

 

Riana, looks like you had a great 2 days- busy but tiring!

 

It seems you have seen the main tourist areas- the Grand Palace is something else isn't it? There is a whole lot of Japanese tourists somewhere that have photos of me being violently ill in what I thought was a quiet corner- turns out it was quiet one side but open the other side! I have never been so embarrassed in my whole life. I actually got food poisoning from the plane not dodgy Thai street food. There was not a bathroom in sight- anywhere and I was so sick!

 

No kitten as yet.... but it won't take long....

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And I saved the best photo for last. Is that not just adorable? TJ I always actively seek out kittens and I am not always a cat free zone at the time. I am sure I must have triggered the need for a kitten in the TJ and Luke house hold.

 

Alicat

I love this photo too.

 

Reminds me of the book City Cat which I love reading to my grandchildren.

Copied below from a review.

 

( City Cat is about this black cat who travels in a car with this family. He jumps out and makes his own journey through different cities and countries. On each page the flag of the country the cat is in is hidden somewhere. The cat prances through different places like Italy, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. The book is written to rhyme every other line, which makes it sound fun and exciting. At then end of the book the cat is "home" and sleeps on a statue dreaming of city lights and city travelers.)

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I just love your trip reports! I am all caught up and awaiting the next installment!! I truly appreciate the effort yu have put into this!!

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Morning All

 

It is weekend, hallelujah! The last two days at work wore me out. Thursday 13hours, home for 11hours and back on Friday. At least it was a slightly shorter day but still hectic.

 

Thanks MishelleMcc and Maryanne2 for your comments. Maryanne I am surrounded by daughters books from birth to recent. I have not come across The cat that travelled. I will look out for it. It reminded me of a cute book on the shelf called Toto in Rome. It's about a little boy who rescues a cat from a fountain in Rome. It has Italian words for younger kids to learn and the drawings are fab. I just looked through it. I have no grandchildren yet, daughter is only 24. She needs to wait a while and hopefully in a few years I will be in your position.

 

Looking forward to hearing when you get a kitten TJ.

 

OK, Bangkok day2:

 

We had to get up at 5.30 am to be in the lobby at 6.15. Initially they said 5.45. Yikes that is early when you are on holiday.

 

The first place we were going to visit was the "train market". Now what the hype is about this place I have no idea. So the train goes through a market and they move their stalls and then it leaves and the put them up again. Big deal. I have to add my dad was a train driver and trains hold no romance for me. He used to be on steam trains and then electic till he retired.

 

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Fish and crabs. I have no idea what the red things are.

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I love this photo. I unintentionally got the pensive stall holder in it. I actually took a pic of those massive fruits. I think they are pomelo. Like a massive grape fruit.

 

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So here is the train with lots of people on the track.

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And the train driver who high Five's people as he goes by. I suppose he is a bit of a celebrity.

 

Now what was much more interesting that it was some or other national day for school children and there was a massive parade through the main street. Our guide did not know it was going to happen but then realised and told us later. As I said before, he really was not great. Did not deserve the tip we gave him.

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Part of the parade. I could not quite get my head around the themes. Some were planets and the girls were dressed up to the nines. Others were not dressed up and minimum effort made.

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Some more.

 

We left here in a bit of a hurry. Our next stop was the floating market that is now totally for tourists. We were going on a Bum boat. Hmmm. Really?

 

Next episode to follow.

 

Alicat

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Bangkok day2:Part2

 

I had my doubts whether I would be able to get on/into one of the boats but decided to go and have a look.

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Hahahaha, you have got to be joking! Not only would I not be able to get on it, once I got on I would not be able to get off those low seats. Plan B. Hubby decided he would rather come with me on the bus(coach) and miss whatever photo opportunities there were. So off we went with a driver and "bus boy"(I kid you not that is what the poor man was called by the guide) who could only speak Thai.

 

They took us to the floating market and we had a little free time to do some shopping before the rest of the group arrived. Have to say we did not see anything afloat and was hassled non-stop. They give you an outrageous price and when you say no, they give you a calculator to enter how much you will pay. Weird.

 

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Thought people might like this too.

 

Then we got back on the bus and travelled to the opposite side of Bangkok and the port for lunch. The name of the place has changed. It used to be called The Rose garden. They still have "shows" there. It is absolutely gorgeous in the grounds and we actually had a very good lunch if a little hurried.

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The dining room area.

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The beautiful grounds.

 

We then hit the traffic again to get back to the ship. It took us over two hours and we got back with 15 minutes to spare to the ship leaving. As it turned out we left very late because many of the other excursions did not arrive back till two hours later.

 

My thoughts on this excursion:

It was crammed full of amazing places BUT we could have skipped a lot of the tourist rubbish like the show the night before. It could have been planned much better. We were crisscrossing Bangkok and the traffic is diabolical. Why on earth do they not plan for things closer together to be done and then only travel to the next place where other close together things are. Why on earth would you arrange lunch on the last day the furthest side of Bangkok , miles from the port.

 

This excursion was cheaper than the ones I looked at on line and we were not a very large group which was good. I think it is the only way you could cram so much in and get safely back to the ship even if you are hours late.

 

So Shianoukville next episode.

 

Alicat.

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Shianoukville:

 

For those of you who are planning the similar cruise next year, the evisa will be done on board even if you don't get off. We were charged on our ship bill, so in Euro. I think it was €30/40. Part there of was a handling charge by the company who came aboard to do them. For the pleasure of paying the money we got a whole page visa stuck in our passports.

 

You are unable to walk in this port but there were free shuttles into the outskirts of town outside a casino. At the casino it was teaming with taxis and tuk-tuks to take you about. We did not have much planned. A few temples and whatever they offered. We agreed a price with a chap and then he palmed us off on his friend who spoke minimal English.

 

Be prepared for squallor. The people are very poor and there is fly tipping everywhere. Building rubble in beauty spots, no problem. The Chinese are building loads of Casinos here. The driver told us when they visit they spend all their money in the casinos and not outside , so little goes to the country. Very sad I thought.

 

So temple number one. There were beggars everywhere. Lots of kids. If you take your shoes of get someone to look after them otherwise they will go walkies and you will have to pay a ransom to get them back. You gathered by now that hubby is not keen on taking his shoes off and I left him in charge of mine. He had to do a near rescue. He is a big guy so a finger wag was all that was needed.

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Main hall. The priests were fed here. There was a bit of an assault on the olfactory senses here.

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Beautiful buddha outside.

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Reclining Buddha.

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Priests

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Sometimes I can do with so many arms.

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No , not two faced but four faced!

 

I am going to leave you for today. I will be back with more tomorrow. Daughter is coming to visit and the trains on weekends are rubbish in our part of the UK so were are picking them up midway.

 

Byeeeee

 

Alicat

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Riana,

 

Lovong your review, makes me seriously think about a Fortuna cruise early next year.

 

So last message for the next three weeks. Makes me sad about people getting kittens, we lost both of ours last year (brother and sister, 16 y.o.). First time in 16 years they won't be there we greet us when we get home.:(

 

Take care.

 

Ron

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I am back. So sad about Ron's kitties. I also lost one last year.

 

Sihanoukville part2: I spelt it wrong 1st time round.

 

We stopped off near a beach and walked along this pier to the end. There was a Russian couple right at the end and she was posing for him to take pics. It was a bit odd.

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Walking towards the end there was a private beach on the right and public on the left. Public one was totally deserted and only few people swimming and sunbathing on the opposite side.

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The private beach.

 

We left there and drove past an area with a few monkeys to a temple that was not visited by Costa. It was also nearly deserted and there were a few houses at the complex. The driver had to open a gate to the driveway to the temple. I am not able to find it on Google so once again I have no idea what it was called. It was one of the most fun ones we visited because there so many hidden bits to it.

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Don't you just love this rat? It was a boy. Not sure whether you can see the wire whiskers.

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I cannot quite get my head around the gods at the temples. This looks like Ganesh to me but he is Hindu.

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The houses I mentioned.

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I told you it was a fun place.

 

More to follow.

 

Alicat

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Sihanoukville part3:

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Lots of amazing statues everywhere.

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Look at the offering bottom left. Cups of tea and a teapot. I am guessing they were someones prized possessions.

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I wish I knew what this place was called to find out about the statues. As you can see rather odd combinations of things.

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Lots of shrines scatter all over the area.

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I don't know whether these are bird feeder temples or not. Cute though.

 

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We spent quite some time there because there were so many things to see.

 

Next stop was the market in town.

 

Alicat

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Sihanoukville part4:

 

The market is packed and there are many entrances. I suggest you make sure you have a landmark to return to. The power went off a few times basically leaving us in pitch darkness.

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This area had wider aisles. It was also brighter and close to an entrance. So you can see they sell the usual tat.

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This is actually more like it. Narrow and packed to the rafters with stuff. There were tiny hair salons but I don't have a photo of that.

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Lots of shops selling cold jewelry and some with the gold smiths sitting and making their wares. I wish I knew about this. I would have taken my ring to fix! A few of these shops also acted as money exchangers and we were able to get rid of some Baht we had left.

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A shrine inside one of the shops.

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Lunch. I think they eat a lot of offal because the smell was similar to the one I experienced in the first temple and it was not pleasant. On the shelf above the packet of cola is a tray of the stuff. We had to go outside because it made us feel queasy. Each to his own though.

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The lady behind the counter does not look too happy.

 

I need to give credit to hubby for these photos.

 

Alicat

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Sihanoukville part 5:

 

One last temple to visit. This was up a hill. It was Wat Leu. We just went to the top bit and missed out on some good stuff lower down. Once again lots of beggars. All women and kids.

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Part of the temple. Few more people here but not crowded at all.

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Not as quirky as th eprevious temple but lots of statues dotted about in the gardens.

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I thought this was amusing. Detail on top of building and the washing is on the porch.

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A Bambi and an old man.

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At the entrance.

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And I leave you with a photo of a monkey.

 

We went back to the ship after this and has a quiet afternoon.

 

So that was Sihanoukville. Very different and such a pity that another culture is exploiting the place with all those Casinos they are building.

 

I might be back later but I have to do a bit of work now.

 

Alicat

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Hi People from a very snowy UK. I don't work on Wednesdays but I am pretty much stuck.

So the last bit. of the cruise.

 

Singapore disembarkation day:

Our flight was very late in the evening 23h15 Singapore time to be exact. So the problem was what does one do whole day when you have suitcases. We decided to opt for a Costa excursion that ended at the airport. It was quite expensive at €55 each for a morning. It worked out quite well and we were at the airport early afternoon. So I would say an option to consider if you are stuck. If we knew we were going to Marina Bay International Cruise terminal we could have booked storage or delivery to the airport but Costa being Costa we did not.

 

We had to gather in the Grandbar and then left to go through Emigration again. It took a very long time yet again! Hubby's thumb prints did not work and he had to go to a little room with an officer. I had no idea why they took him off because we were split at the desks.

 

We then collected all our suitcases and were directed to our coach. Though we were told that we were in the French group , the guide spoke English. We visited the Botanical gardens(we did out own things as we already saw the orchid gardens), went to China town and then walked around the area where the Raffles statues are. We were supposed to go to the Merlion but it was covered for renovation. We also went up that hill that is supposed to be the highest in Singapore. Our bus driver was not great with gears!

 

The coach dropped up off at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and had to leave because of the preparations for Chinese New Year. This suited me because I still had not bought anything much to bring home.

 

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The year of the dog. There were loads of these orange dogs. Various shapes and sizes.

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Loads of shops selling a variety of decorations. I bought one of those little porcelain cats. I will use it on the Christmas tree.

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More decorations. Lots of "golden" colours. The guide told us that everybody try and get an "orange tree" to keep at home as part of the celebrations. They are very expensive as a result. Lots were actually Kumquat. My dad used to have one in his garden.

 

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Sir Raffles on his plinth and a guy who would not move.

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At Changi airport.

 

Having wandered around in the humidity we were desperate for a shower. We used the Plaza Premium Lounge in Terminal 1. It cost $16 pp for a shower and a welcome drink (coffee or soft drink). If we knew how expensive drinks were in the terminal we would have booked 5 hrs for $58 pp. We pre-planned this though we had no idea where to go. Something else useful is that there is an early bag drop off so we were able to drop our large bag really early.

 

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Gasp!!!!!!

 

Well that is finally the end of my story. I hope those who travelled along enjoyed it and found some useful bits. If there are any questions I can answer I would happily do so.

 

Alicat(Riana)

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WOW! those prices are terrible!!! I don't know if we will ever get back there again or not but you have a WEALTH of detail that I refer to if we ever do!!! Thank you for the wonderful stories and pictures... I am sad the story is finished! Ha!!!

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WOW! WOW and more WOW!

 

Riana, you have done an amazing job with this review! Thanks so much!

 

I have been out for a few days with a streaming summer cold- felt miserable!

 

Luke managed to get on to read your review as he got sick of me being sick. He does not have my password to log on so could not comment.

 

I just got to catch up on it today!

 

Im sure I will have questions but now Im just going to go back and re- read the whole thing. It is fantastic!

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Alicat,

The fruit from the picture is Pomello. It looks like a large grapefruit but inside the white bit surrounding the fruit is much much thicker. It is also much sweeter than grapefruit but not quite a sweet as oranges. The white fleshy bit is very bitter though. It is generally much more chewy than oranges.

I love them. A little old man used to walk the beach in Phuket selling them. I would buy one every morning for breakfast!

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Hi Tanya and Mishelle for your comments. I enjoyed doing this review and it makes it worthwhile if people make comments. Otherwise it would be a bit self indulgent I think. I spend far too much time on CC reading peoples reviews. I also searched high and low for information on the ports we visited and mostly find stuff on CC.

 

In a week we will be on the Diadema. I still cannot believe we are off again. Not really planned but who says no to a holiday. I am fortunate that I get lots of holidays and can at last afford them! There was a time when I was unable to take any holidays at all. Oh to be retired!

 

We had such a snowy week. It is unusual for us and the roads were awful. It is now thawing and like brown Slushies. Yuck.

 

Tanya I have never eaten one of those pomellos but they do have them in the supermarkets here. Very expensive though. I'd like to try one they sound delicious.

 

I'll try and scan and post the menu for one of the gala evenings but I need help from hubby and he is watching cricket.

 

Keep well.

 

Alicat(Riana)

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Alicat,

I do hope that the Diadema has listened to all the complaints about that ship from our Christmas cruise & our February cruise which we really disliked as the menu was the same each of the three weeks.

The club dining room was a real shambles with more guests than seats/tables. I you go into the Club Diadema please say hello to the wonderful Rhima Trespeces you can't miss her she has sparkly teeth.

 

One great thing we really enjoyed over these three cruises was the Teppanyaki Restaurant well worth 30 euros.

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Meant to say to food was okay but very much the same day after day. Certainly not enough choice.

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Hi Tenpin

 

I'l look out for Rhima.

 

I noticed you like the Teppanyaki. Whilst I quite like the food I don't like the "communal" dining and noise the chefs make. We will probably go for a pizza. We regularly do and see whether they have the burgers a little earlier. In November on the Luminosa the burgers and pizza were served a a section of the buffet. They set it up in the evenings and had table waiters. They had lots of discounts as well. I even got a present.:D It was a key ring(meh!) and a small cotton shopping bag. The latter is actually quite useful. I use to stock my room at work.

 

I am not so keen on the dining times. We enjoyed the freedom to get in a little later. We'll just have to see whether they let us in 15 minutes or so after dining time. We don't like to rush our meals but usually only have a started main and dessert. We don't have all the courses(often skip the pasta).

 

Any way, the case if packed and wrapped for collection tomorrow. Cats nearly died when they aw it. Both tried to get in and had to be shooed away. Poor things.

 

I'll report back when we return. I am not going to do a review as such. I think it will bore everybody to tears.

 

Alicat(Riana)

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