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About jocap

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    UK and N. Spain

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  1. We catch the earliest possible train northwards by self disembarking, the 8.15am, but you'd have to change from that to get to Manchester, possibly at Wolverhampton or Birmingham, where we change trains around 11am. If there's a through train around that time, then the railways say it takes 4 hours 9 minutes from Southampton to Manchester. You can check the flights from Southampton to Manchester.
  2. We cruised with FredO in the summer holidays, and there were around 40-ish children on board, and a younger set of adults- parents, presumably. The staff were marvellous with them. We've also been on the large P&O ships in term time, and the law is so strict now about taking children out of school that seeing a child on board was rare- mainly babies and pre-school. We, too, have been on Thomson/Marella when a plane has been delayed until midnight, and were told by a crew member that this did happen and the itinerary was flexible enough for it to happen.
  3. We have the same feeling, especially when Princess returned Caribbean Princess, which had been doing this for 5 years around our coasts, the summer after the court case. Our beach is not far as the seagull flies, from the route she sailed. We decided to ignore the line until we discovered that the $1 million awarded to the UK's coast had been delivered, but so far we have not found that out.
  4. We've repeated Flam and still haven't been on the railway... yes, it's a tiny village- with a brewery, and a Noddy wooden train along the fjord, and not much else. but there's plenty of walking from the village, not all of it strenuous- leaflets from the tourist office; part of the pleasure of Flam is the spectacular journey to and from the village along the fjord on the ship. Like anywhere else in Norway, it depends on the weather...
  5. I don't know if Ventura has a drink package- I know they were trialling one on Azura, but the drinks are only pub prices, so it's not something we'd use. I think they still have a soft drinks one? There's also a Costa coffee card for 12 drinks , pay for 10. The cakes etc at the Costa coffee bar are free... not everyone knows that. Baggagehandling used to be around £33+ VAT for one case one way...we were on board early once and our cases were the only ones on the corridor. They returned 2 days after we were home, and, oh, the joy of changing trains in places like Wolverhampton and again at Lancaster was enormous- plus not having to keep your eye on cases at the other end of the carriage.🤥
  6. I didn't see this particular survey, but I have answered them on a UK forum, where they were supposed to be from the travel department at Southampton University, At times the student has returned with her results.
  7. A long winter cruise on Ventura is our favourite cruise of all. What we do about clothes is this: You will need warm clothing both to reach Southampton, and return, but also for at least a couple of days after A Coruna ( and it's usually quite windy there) Take some washing powder tablets or sheets - I get those on Amazon- and use the launderette around day 6, washing everything you won't need until the Azores. It's free and the machines only take about 40 minutes- there's a launderette on each cabin deck. Back to the cabin and make a coffee! Get back in time to empty your machine into a dryer, or someone might have emptied it for you. Dry, iron if necessary. Stow everything away in a suitcase under the bed, ready for your return. The cabins are lovely, with a separate walk-in wardrobe, and the beds are superb. I've never noticed the menus being for only 7 days - but Ventura doesn't do many 7 day cruises, and that doesn't happen on the fortnightly ones.. Do try the buffet on the Indian night- the Indian chefs are very proud of it, and you'll usually find officers enjoying the evening. There's a huge amount of activities on sea days, and you might enjoy the choir, art classes- we've had I-pad, poetry and Speaker's Corner (yes, I did speak for 15 minutes!) along with all the quizzes and lectures. There's also a film in the theatre each afternoon, often a new release. We use the baggagehandling company for our cases- P&O suggest them- expensive, but we have several changes of trains, so it makes life easier. Anything you need to know, just ask.
  8. Thanks, yes- and starts with a river cruise. I can only film on this TV a week in advance, but my finger is poised to press the button this Friday!😎
  9. Search the cruise travel agent sites- there are lots- and look for their last minute offers...you'll have to do the booking through them, but that means that your details can be checked for the manifest, which has to be filled before you embark. If we lived closer to Southampton, we would have taken up several of these; there was a last minute one in the summer which was going the next afternoon and we were sorely tempted, but we'd too much to sort out at home...
  10. How true- some crew were telling us that they knew all the "cheap" shops in each port, and sent others off with lists of what to buy- and chocolate was always at the top. The message had got round one ship we were on that £2 Toblerone was selling for £1 in the Pound Shop in Newcastle, as one crew member had bought 6 at the last turn-around... I reckon that shop would be selling out on our return. 😄
  11. It used to be that P&O and Princess matched points- indeed, my first P&O points came from a Princess cruise- as they were the same company at one time. P&O stopped accepting them a few years ago, whilst Princess continued, but they too have now stopped. I've only heard of MSC doing this now.
  12. The steward will leave a form in the cabin in case you want to buy some bottled water...it won't quite be Asda price, but it will be reasonable... sometimes we buy a 2 litre bottle of sparkling water... to wash the wine down....😄
  13. It may be a bit chlorine-y for you at first, so fill an empty bottle and leave it in the fridge, and the taste seems to disappear.. As Swaddy says, there's usually 2 free bottles of water in the cabin. There will be a tea tray as well, and you can fill the kettle from the shower room tap.
  14. jocap


    Unfortunately the cruise ship schedule for Southampton doesn't show after December, but just looking at the last Aurora in Dec, she leaves from Mayflower, so will probably return there; Ventura on the 29th is scheduled to go from Ocean terminal, so again will probably return there. I'd think of booking one of the nearby hotels, such as the Holiday Inn, or the one across the road (can't remember its name now- John Bull?), unless you have other plans for the night. Of course, terminals can be switched, but they do try to get a ship back to the terminal she left.
  15. I stay on board for all the 8 islands, apart from shopping for a few necessities. We go because my husband loves to snorkel, and the Red Sea cruises were cut back a few years ago. The islands are too hot for me, and too crowded. It takes us 10 days to get there, and 10 days back, with stops at Madeira/Azores, which are much more my scene, and I enjoy all the activities on the sea days.
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