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About jocap

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    UK and N. Spain

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  1. I tried answering gently... no, it wasn't a cruise, but an unexpected trip to Orlando in the '90s, our first excursion on a package tour to the USA. We had researched much about where we were going, but obviously tipping never entered our heads- and the tour rep knew this, which was why she drew us together and told us the customs.
  2. Of course it does; the reason, though is- how do you know what is expected? We had to be told by our tour representative when we first visited the USA, or we would never have known to tip, nor how much. The amount is rarely placed in tourist brochures or cruise line adverts. Most countries we've visited don't use the tips as a significant amount of one's income... we need telling the rules- or is it the law? I still don't know the rules/ law in North America.
  3. I'm not sure it was ever deliberately "stiffing the crew", but a lack of understanding about tipping. P&O used to supply a leaflet about the tradition of tipping on cruise liners, which was helpful for people who wouldn't normally tip very much, or at all, in their shore bound lives. The notion of a certain sum a day wasn't understood nor appreciated- and I've heard endless discussions on board ships sailing out of the UK, mainly from people puzzled as to why they have to give extra for people just doing their job.
  4. jocap

    Pub Grub

    That's sad- I honestly haven't seen it around my area, except where Wetherspoons have bought an old building in Whitehaven. I think every pub around us is privately owned or rented. Getting staff can be a problem, though, because some pubs are very remote.
  5. P&O's Oceana is based in Malta in summer, and does a one week cruise touching 4 Greek islands. The cruise can be extended to 14 days, with Adriatic ports in the 2nd week. Again, a fly/cruise using chartered aeroplanes- no hassle being tipped off the ship until your plane from the UK has landed, and shuttle buses included (like Marella)
  6. Check Marella (used to be called Thomson) They do fly cruises from many local airports, using their own aeroplanes, so the travel is seamless. I think it's Celebration which is home ported in Cyprus- another old ship, I'm afraid..
  7. Navigator was in the UK in 2018- not sure about after that...
  8. A good idea. Small ships have docked there, but so many large ones go straight past to Belfast. We need more ports which cater for cruise ships; our local port, Whitehaven, isn't large enough, but Saga and "The World" have anchored and tendered cruisers so that they could visit the Lake District. The IOM would add much to a British Isles cruise.
  9. jocap

    Pub Grub

    Do you go for the food as much as the drink at your local? We have three pubs we use. and all cater for tourists- usually walkers and climbers- so the food is hearty stuff, with a few imaginative meals as well. Luckily, they all serve "light bites" during the day time, because the portions are huge. OH's favourite pub has its own brewery, and he goes for some of their dark ales, but I just have a glass of red wine. Do you drink and eat, or just the chat?
  10. If you're going Dublin, Belfast, Greenock, and want to see the coast as you sail, I'd say starboard. Most of the ports you'll reach in the morning, but the sail away from Greenock is lovely from starboard, as you see the northern side of the Firth of Clyde, and go round the Isle of Arran, quite closely. If you're then heading north, you may see some of the inner Hebrides islands on starboard, then the rugged coast of west, then north Scotland. If you're mooring in Edinburgh, then the sailaway will take you past the Royal Yacht at Leith, followed by the great volcanic Bass Rock, home to 100,000 gannets who will be diving like arrows near the ship. You could see some of this from the port side as you arrive, but it might be very early in the morning. ๐Ÿ™‚
  11. Look in the Ports of call on this site for information- lots to see and do; La Coruna is on a walkable peninsula with the Tower of Hercules at one point; in Portugal you must try their custard tarts; Gibraltar is more British than Britain; try the tapas in Malagaโ€ฆ and Barcelona is just wonderful! So much to see and do in all of them... enjoy planning! โ˜บ๏ธ
  12. Not cruised, but used to go to somewhere in the Med during half-term holiday, 3rd week in October... for me, it was pleasantly warm wherever we went, but always a chance of rain. I remember that the sea was cooling down in more northerly places, and even in southern Spain the water was getting chilly if you stayed in long; Tunisia was the warmest. It's autumn; nights are lengthening, the weather's changing; - but I'm sure you'll find some sunbathing time on board. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy!
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