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About jocap

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    UK and N. Spain

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  1. We've holidayed every way- cheap packages; expensive ones; local transport in Arabic countries; hostels in The Netherlands; hire cars in Hawaii. Usually it was taking the car across by ferry for long drives through Europe. And one night, sailing on the overnight ferry home from Hamburg, we realised how tired we were, and how much we needed a rest- and age was a big reason in this. And we enjoyed that sail down the Elbe out of Germany so much that we tried cruising... and don't want to return to our other holidays, whatever the price ( and TAs are throwing cheap breaks at us for this summer- but no...).
  2. jocap

    British Isles

    We did such a cruise a few years ago, and became friendly with a family taking their mother on her final cruise, as she was in remission from cancer, but with a limited time ahead. They chose the cruise because it was mainly close to land- so close that ships have to make a special figure of 8 between Belfast and the IOM, to release water and to keep the casino open- the rest of the time they were within the 12 mile limit. ( I always worried that that was where the Caribbean Princess released some of their oiled water over the 5 years- for which they received a hefty fine). The family was prepared to remove their parent if things became worse, to an NHS or ROI hospital, but in fact she only had a couple of not well days, and just stayed in bed. As far as the itinerary- we loved it! There's a great difference between driving along the motorway to Glasgow and sailing slowly up the Clyde, returning past the Isle of Arran; or seeing the Royal yacht from the Forth and not the busy streets. Loved it. x
  3. I always wear a lanyard, and it's been the best thing ever for my OH who used to lose his ship card at least once a day.. in the evening I put the whole lanyard into an evening bag, because it's simpler to find than a tiny card.
  4. I agree with this, and we've tried various cruise lines, but mainly P&O because of various facts. The mainstream lines are very similar, and criticisms you often read seem to be about the food provided in the "free" restaurants. It's usually palatable, but not always of the highest restaurant standard- you'll get that in the "paid" restaurants. The other ports in the UK use older, smaller ships- we've only tried Fred Olsen and Marella, but like P&O, we couldn't fault them. There's also Cruise and Maritime sailing from around the UK. For your first cruise, it's probably a good idea to take a British managed one, because it's simpler using sterling and not having to work out the tipping system. Also the drink prices are pub prices- something which amazes us on USA ships is the price of drinks and most add an automatic tip on top. Princess and P&O use the same style of ship- mainly large, with plenty of entertainment and activities, especially on sea days. P&O's smaller ships, and C&M are adult only- nothing wrong with that, but it often means older passengers than a family ship. We can return from a month at sea and read 20 or 30 "Fabulous!" messages on social media, and then read a really poor one on here and wonder what we missed seeing or doing...
  5. Aplmac's post about the coins- that's something to do on sea days- hunt the coin! We searched everywhere on P&O's Ventura, and in the end had to ask- and were taken to the box on a wall containing a special euro for Italy, where the ship was built, and a sovereign for the UK.
  6. I notice a floral scent when I step inside a ship, and presume it's some kind of air freshener I used to take the 36 hour ferry crossing from the UK to Sweden, where dill pickle seemed to be on many menus; as soon as I stepped off the gangway on to a Tor ferry, I could smell dill. The smell of Spain to me is a particular chlorine one, which is probably in the water. I've always smelled it arriving at any airport in Spain, and I can smell it in one of their famous beers.
  7. I must have left my unperfumed, supermarket's own brand deodorant behind in the pre-cruise hotel, so had to buy from the shop... can't remember now how much, but it must have been high for me to still remember that I was taken aback. I put it down to there being no choice, so had to cope with a highly scented well-known brand for that cruise.
  8. If you're sailing from Southampton, UK, you'll probably be given a time, on some lines, and sometimes depending on the number of ships in port. Embarkation begins at 11.30am, with a gap around 1pm to 2,30pm, due to the cruise line's organised coaches. Usually this is organised by which deck you're on... eg on Royal Caribbean, deck 8 was 12.15pm; on P&O deck 14 was 3.30pm.
  9. It's also about stocking up- our surgery will only release 2 month's supply for people going on holiday, so those we know who've been on a world cruise have either asked for a special amount, or have stocked up 2 months, then another 2 etc in the preceding months.
  10. Marco Polo is the subject of one of Quest's TV programmes... she has dedicated followers who love her. We've done similar cruises, but out of Newcastle, and on Fred Olsen- I hear they are similar to Cruise and M. Smaller, older ships, but very friendly. Once you're on board, everything will be explained, and fellow cruisers will know any quirks, or which cocktail is the best ! ☺️ Have a wonderful time. 🙂
  11. Hi, Wendy- we usually do a long cruise in winter, so we travel in warm clothes, and need them for the first few days at sea. Then, everything is washed and packed away under the bed, for us to repeat on the way home. Actually, the line we use for longer cruises does have formal nights which really are formal, so I have several evening trousers and various tops. I find that black velvet trousers don't crease, and they're a staple for formals. If you're on a line with launderettes, take some tablets/washing sheets, and dedicate a couple of hours of a sea day to going through your things. I always send OH's evening shirts to the laundry. Have a great cruise- where are you going?
  12. Ships based in the UK have been doing world cruises for years, because the weather is too cold for the usual itineraries; P&O's Aurora was specifically built for world cruising, and I think I heard the same for Oriana. Cunard are noted for this, and have added NY and Hamburg as starter ports over the past few years. Even little Fred Olsen has always had tiny Black Watch doing a world cruise for years, but appears to have stopped now- does long trips instead. Perhaps C&M have filled that gap, for a small, old ship. They must be doing well, as I've read that they're adding yet another ship to their fleet shortly. We're very interested in some of their itineraries, although not a worldie!
  13. It was P&O, on their larger ships.
  14. I googled Kids sail free, but now I realise that the offerings were with a cruise TA... we can't mention names on this site, but it's just come up again when I googled...Sorry I can't help more than that. 🙂
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