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About jocap

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    UK and N. Spain

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  1. 6+ hours to Southampton, not including rest stops, so we go by train- 3 changes, so it takes even longer but it less stressful. Always stay over. Our TA offers some cruises from the nearer port of Newcastle, including door to ship transport, so we've started going from there, but we're limited to Northern Europe on those ships. The ship's coaches leave from a city 2 hours away, so we rarely use them, but they are our favourite way to Southampton- as Babs says, the ship waits for them.
  2. It's much cheaper to go on a fly/cruise from the UK to the Caribbean with P&O or Marella (was Thomson), because they fly from various airports on chartered aeroplanes, which include all your transport and keep you on board until it's time for the airport. The 2 P&O ships have single cabins- not sure which Marella is out there at the moment. BUT- they are all family friendly ships, so there will be many of the activities you don't want…. Congratulations on your birthday! You're now eligible to go on a Saga cruise... but I see that Spirit of Discovery- which has over 100 single cabins- will be sailing Italy, then the Canaries in Feb... and their older ship is also Canaries followed by the Northern Lights! 😗
  3. jocap

    British Isles

    Oh dear, Stan, I can't say anything for certain... I live quite close to the Irish Sea, and we often have storms through the summer months, due to the tail-ends of hurricanes in the Caribbean... but it can also be very calm. I honestly wouldn't prefer any month to another, except it will be warmer in spring and summer. Even right now, in January, we're having a furious storm across the northern part of the UK- but it's really warm at around 9C, which is a bit of a surprise! All I can suggest is a visit to your doctor, for his recommendation for severe sea sickness. I do hope you'll manage to make the journey. Jo.
  4. It was on P&O Ventura, UK to Caribbean to UK. Our only port on the way out was La Coruna, which isn't very far from the UK- and then we had 10 sea days to Barbados. It was wonderful!
  5. We've crossed four times one way or the other, in Jan and Feb, and no one journey has been the same- sometimes rough, sometimes smooth... but we were on a more southerly route. Once, we left from the Azores and sailed right round to the north of the islands, to miss a storm threatening Spain and Portugal, but it was still pretty gusty. You'll be warm enough out on deck for the Canaries and Madeira, but it will be chillier as you head north. Cunard and P&O do several TA cruises from November through to March, or as part of world cruises, and they seem to be popular with my cruising friends.
  6. There are other hotels which do parking and transfers- we've stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, Eastleigh which provided shuttle buses... sometimes the port is very busy and hotels can charge what they want- everywhere in the city was full when we went to the HIE... If you're sailing on a popular day, then parking outside and shuttles might be cheaper. Mind you, it added an hour onto our journey back to Cumbria, instead of hopping off the ship and driving away in a few minutes.
  7. P&O's brand new ship Iona, which is very family friendly (and very large!) is doing a 7 night Christmas Market cruise to Hamburg, Rotterdam for Amsterdam, and Zeebrugge on December 11th to 18th, 2020. Sailing out of Southampton, UK
  8. I've just found some cruises out of the UK for LAST Christmas in an article- There was a Cunard cruise to Bruges out of Southampton- children are welcome on all their ships. I found a cruise on P&O's Ventura, one of their larger ships which allows children, to Amsterdam. One of their smaller ships, Oceana, is also child friendly, but the other small ones are adult only. Fred Olsen allows children, although passengers are often older. I have met happy children on board their ships, and there is a small kid's club. Cruise and Maritime- adult only... usually sail out of Tilbury, near London. Those are for last year, but they're fairly common, and there will be other ones not mentioned in the article I found.
  9. Some UK based cruise ships have Christmas Market sea cruises out of the UK, but I think they are often the smaller ships, so the P&O ones will all be adult only; Cruise and Maritime also, but Fred Olsen usually allow children on board. I don't know if Cunard do these cruises.
  10. We often sail out of the UK, so I have the cruise ship schedules of Southampton and Newcastle ports on my website- these are run by the ports, so each ship and its line is on there. The port you wish to use will probably have the same facility.
  11. If we drive, we usually take the package with the Holiday Inn, Herbert Walker Drive, next to City Terminal where Celebrity will most probably be moored; the package is for B&B plus 15 nights car parking. The next day we can wheel our luggage along the footpath outside the hotel into the terminal, or reception will get you a taxi. You should be able to see the ship out of your window, and if you want to get up in the early morning, you can see her sail in.
  12. Sailing from the Caribbean to the UK, one restaurant manager was worried that he might run out of marmalade - and bananas which are apparently difficult to keep for many days… 😁 But you're sailing from Miami, so the ship will have re-stocked with enough food for longer than your cruise... and if you're stopping at Madeira, then there will be plenty of bananas waiting on the quay side. That apart, we've always found plenty of things to do on board, and had time to talk to many interesting people.
  13. And just because it says that the ship will dock at 6am may not mean that you can disembark soon after that time- we've docked in the early morning many times, but the people on land may take an hour or so with arrangements- one pier we dock at only puts the "bridge" out to the ship at 7.30am whenever we've docked there, and the queue to self-disembark is pretty long by then
  14. A few J-cloths, or any similar disposable cloths, which can clean shoes, sandy feet, silly spills, make-up mistakes etc...
  15. Itinerary, so these days we mainly use old, small ships which are doing something different. But for a January cruise across the Atlantic and back, it's all about the ship.
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