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About jocap

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    UK and N. Spain

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  1. Darren, have a look at Marella's package holidays out of Newcastle airport- they fly you to various ports in the Med, such as Dubrovnik, Palma, Naples and you can choose 7 or 14 nights. There's also cruise/stay, so you can have a week in a hotel, or just a few days before or after, depending on their flights. Older ships, but all inclusive. We've only done one with them, when they were still Thomson, but the shuttles, including to/from the hotel before the cruise, and all other arrangements, were seamless.
  2. The harbour authorities would be involved in this; the tenders had to be tied up in the port, and marine rules forbid a ship to sail without them. If this happened in any port, the local knowledge would be vital; harbour master would be involved, and similar groups to our coastguards would be called out. I hear there were sudden rip tides, which are probably un-forecastable. The harbour master would be especially involved because a crew member had fallen from a boat into his harbour. Believing that the rip tides would drop, it's again probable that the local emergency rules offered shelter until the boats were accessible; passengers have been pictured watching the basketball match. Medication and food were sourced, and it wouldn't be until late in the evening that emergency rules decided to bring in the beds. If you've had to fill in a form offering assistance for an emergency in your area, first comes the basic shelter, food and medical aid. There are further steps after that, but it seems that the local rules were carried out.
  3. When I have my photo taken under the sign which says: "To The Ship"
  4. Main sightings of whales, porpoise and dolphins have been off Iceland, Bay of Biscay and Gibraltar. But on our very first cruise, when we were still docked in Fort Lauderdale, there was a harbour porpoise immediately below our balcony, whilst bald eagles were flying overhead. That was unforgettable.
  5. Yes, we're fond of the Novotel if we're coming by train, but if we're on a late train, arriving about 21.20 and just want a bed, we go next door to the main Ibis, which we've always found so clean and welcoming- and that bit cheaper than Novotel. Both cater for drivers, offering 15 day's parking, for an extra sum. If we're driving and going from City terminal, we use Holiday Inn next door- parking included... drop off cases when the gates open, then go back for coffee.
  6. We have used the train from the airport to Piraeus, which was quite cheap, but you do have to manage your luggage, and it takes over an hour, I seem to remember. Taxis have a set rate- I've seen these rates on boards, but we've been overcharged before, by the driver counting all the bits of luggage, and shrugging off the set rates... If you do take the train, you'll probably need a taxi to the port... we've had trouble with the language there, and because of the different alphabet we had to go into the tourist board for a translation of our hotel. The port is walkable from the station, but not with much luggage.
  7. I did this once some years ago, and took a small packet of local ginger bread and local recipe book with the ginger bread in it.
  8. Surname and post code (zip code). Full details are inside the suitcase.
  9. There's an article on CC's News page about Jane MacDonald's latest series being filmed for Channel 5, to be shown towards the end of the year.
  10. John Bull- just for your memory bank- yes, it was Sea Princess... they ran this for a few years after the P&O Princess line was bought by Carnival, and was our first cruise in 2006. Jo.
  11. Fred Olsen's Braemar is in the Caribbean over winter, and the prices include flights and transfers An older, small ship. Your flight will be on a chartered plane. Two other UK managed lines, P&O and Marella, also overwinter in the Caribbean, and use chartered aircraft, including transfers, but their ships may be to large for you.
  12. In the UK, I look for Fred Olsen and Cruise and Maritime- small, old ships but often with unusual ports, and reasonable prices. Fred Olsen's Balmoral is in the middle of their annual Mystery Cruise... and it's eleven countries in eleven days. Some passengers were a bit disgruntled when the first port was a run down fishing port in the UK- I'd have enjoyed it, as there's amazing country, castles and the Norfolk Broads nearby.
  13. There has been some positive feed back too- there's eleven countries being visited during the cruise, and there will be plenty of excursions to take. I'd be happy with Gt Yarmouth, because it's a part of the country we don't visit, so a day on the Norfolk broads, or a trip to Norwich would be lovely. Not every cruising Brit will have been through the Kiel Canal... and today they've been in Malmo, Sweden. I've been to ports which are pretty bad, but there's always been advice where to go away from the docks...
  14. We were just so tired of driving everywhere on holiday- even at a beach resort we'd hire a car to see more of the area- and our first cruise was amazing when we glided into the first port and could either go on an excursion or just wander around.
  15. I see you're from Arizona, and are probably used to heat. I cannot take heat, and so avoid the first three ports in June; Cadiz, Lisbon and Porto are on the Atlantic coast and can have winds from the west to cool you. Once you're into the English Channel and then the North Sea, it's likely to be warm but changeable. Even if it rains, it should be mild enough to get about. It sounds like a good cruise- I love Cartagena and Cadiz. 🙂
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