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    Having travelled the world - Panama Canal has got to be up there

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  1. In my years at sea I never saw anyone who had a problem bringing their own personal multi-band radio receiver on board. Good commercial receivers such as Grundig and Eddystone were your only form of entertainment on long passages. The company had rules and regulations as to where they could be used ... all of which fell into the ‘common sense’ category 😀
  2. Far FAR too easy to go contactless /cashless. It’s when you look at your bank statement several days later that you realise just how easy it really was 😀
  3. With some of the officers I sailed with it was a pleasure NOT to have to dine with them 🙄
  4. On the lighter side of things, not that long ago I used a well known ‘cruise specialist’ and asked them to book me an overnight stay at a hotel near to MIA, preferably one with a free shuttle. They suggested the Riu Miami Beach!!!! My inquiries showed this was over thirty miles away with a minimum two night stay. Doh! The same agent then informed me that there were no direct flights from MIA to SJU and that I would have to fly via PHL??? in fact the agent shouted me down that she was correct and I was wrong ... until she checked. As slack as a bag of spanners was one thought that sprang to mind 😀
  5. It may well prove hypothetical in the long term .... the way things are going, after their recent Federal court skirmish regarding their breaches of environmental law, Carnival may not be allowed to dock in the USA. I can’t see it happening but the judge isn’t a happy bunny.
  6. The Norwegian Maritime Authorities and new environmental regulations which were mentioned some time ago ..... they have started enforcement already! May 17 - Magellan, Environmental fineMaritime Executive reports the Norwegian Maritime Authority has fined Greek cruise ship operator Global Cruise Lines Ltd. a total of $80,000 for using 0.17 percent sulfur fuel in a 0.10 percent sulfur ECA zone. In March, new Norwegian environmental requirements for emissions in several protected fjords - the Nærøyfjord, Aurlandsfjord, Geirangerfjord, Sunnylvsfjord and Tafjord - entered into force. The fine for Global Cruise Lines is the first issued in connection with the new, stricter rules. On April 16, the NMA received reports about smoke emissions from the cruise shipMagellan, which was berthed in Flåm. NMA surveyors boarded the ship when she arrived at Geiranger the next day, and they measured the sulfur content of the ship’s fuel to be 0.17 percent, or 0.07 percentage points above the regional limit. Tracking of the vessel's AIS signal showed that the vessel made ports of call at Eidfjord and Flåm in the days preceding the port of call at Geiranger. Both of these ports are located within the North Sea ECA, where the maximum allowable fuel sulfur content is 0.10 percent. NMA said that the extent of the violation is significant because the ship sailed a long distance within the emission control area using a fuel with an excessive sulfur content. As an aggravating factor, Norway's new rules concerning the world heritage fjords were violated.
  7. Jan I believe the pricing structure on Marella is err er .. worth looking at! Some months ago I fancied a short, inexpensive, short break for April 2019 and was looking for something departing Newcastle around that time. I saw one Marella that caught my eye and looked into it … a trip to Norway.. midnight sun time etc 😀 I tried to price it to my requirements. It was advertised as an adults only, all inclusive cruise, 13 nights, with a price from £1301 pp … £2602 for 2 x pax. 1 The ‘all inclusive’ was a basic drinks package, basic coffee etc. To ‘upgrade’ it to the next level “with the further benefits of a wide choice of premium spirits, upgraded cocktails, fresh juices, premium Lavazza coffees from The Coffee Port and a 1.5 litre bottle of water per cabin per day.” was £186. 2 The price quoted was for an inside cabin. To upgrade to a balcony of 17 sq m was a further £828. That is a pretty small cabin! If we upgrade to a junior suite – which is still small it is a total cost of £1514. 3 If I was to select my specific cabin it is a further £48. With ‘early booking discounts’ we are now up to £4302 … without it is £4622. They might be ‘All Inclusive’ but when you look at the buried ‘extra’s’ to get what you prefer it isn’t all that cheap. Having said that it seems to me that most of the ‘mainstream’ companies use similar ‘disingenuous’marketing techniques.
  8. Have a look at https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowForum-g1-i10703-Cruises.html There are several threads on the Marella ships. They are ‘interesting’ ... as is the rest of the forum 🙄
  9. I would be surprised if they weren’t already pencilling in dates for the next one! I suppose it will be fitted in when mandatory surveys are due etc. Les I agree with your comments but I have an ‘ology’ in cynicism 😀
  10. I will watch this thread with interest as I am interested in the reference to Oceania. I have been looking at both companies and have reservations about Viking but more about Oceania. Nothing derogatory in either case, I am not sure they are quite what I am after. Personally speaking I found Venice too hot and oppressive (weather wise) and far too crowded. The architecture / history and such was great but I can’t see me going again. We are in Athens, for a cruise, in October and am looking forward to that.
  11. We booked a Shadow cruise some time ago .... then they started cancelling the cruises to facilitate the dry-docking. We are now on the last one before the DD so we are hoping that these plans do not impact on our cruise. I am sure I read somewhere about an SS ship that was due to dry-dock and on the cruise immediately before it they planted a container on deck and started on the cosmetic works putting some areas out of bounds and upsetting several people. Fingers crossed.
  12. Some of the most ‘uncomfortable’ seas I have experienced have been in the North Sea. I now live on the North Sea coast and even in summer it can be wild. Very unpredictable. As my old meteorology lecturer once said .... everywhere in the world has climate ... Britain has weather 😀
  13. Rules have changed recently ... as far as UK citizens are concerned. The Government website says .. Visas British nationals normally need a visa to enter mainland China, including Hainan Island, but not Hong Kong or Macao. With effect from 1 November 2018, all visa applicants aged between 14 and 70 inclusive will need to make their visa application in person at a Visa Application Centre. As part of the application process, biometric data (scanned fingerprints) will now have to be provided. Biometric data may be checked/collected by the Immigration Authorities when entering China to register your entry to the country. If you’re transiting China, visa waivers are available in certain places. Visitors transiting through Shanghai can apply online for a 144 hour visa exemption via the Shanghai General Station of Immigration Inspection. In other visa waiver transit locations, applications must be made in person on arrival. Contact the Chinese Embassy or the China Visa Application Service Centrebefore your proposed trip for further information. You can also consult your airline/tour operator about visa requirements.
  14. This could answer your concerns, at least in part. https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/2661544-is-it-really-this-bad-or-exaggeration/
  15. I was P&O from 75 to 80 ... same time as you. Arghhh! The dreaded tractor run! We did one that was part of a full circumnavigation. Cool trip. It was quite amazing some of stuff we carried. Did you experience the fiasco of 'Port Registration' in the Arabian Gulf? This delay was known to be up to six months in some places. There were some good yarns about ships at anchor at the Shatt Al Arab! One concerned a ship that had been at anchor for several months and when the call came to 'up anchor' and berth - she could not heave in the anchor as it had settled too deep in the mud. Someone had been lazy! The second story - and I can believe this - was set on board a ship that again had been at anchor for several months. Someone had managed to obtain a full size, replica, human skeleton. One day when the Port Authority boat was doing its 'rounds' of the anchorage, , all personnel on the ship were moved out of sight and the skeleton was draped over the bridge wing wearing nothing but a uniform cap - and that was the only sign of occupancy that were seen by the port staff on their boat. Rumour was they were not amused! Enough! I am getting nostalgic. :-)
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