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About tring

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Wirral, England
  • Interests
    Gardening, Travel to unusual places
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Fred Olsen + other smaller ships from any cruise line.
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Unusual places to cruise, + pre and post land holidays.

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  1. Fred has a cinema on Black Watch so agree it will be used as such, so could get noise until mid night or so. There is also white space by the restaurant on the same deck which I have been told is a kitchen and creates noise on lower prom deck. Those cabins are also quite small and expensive for what they are, so would not be our choice tbh though we did like the terrace balcony cabins.
  2. Good to hear that Dinglebert. We are still waiting for our CC company to deal with our claim. They said six weeks, but that came and went, so DH rang a few days later and basically told they are very busy with claims so not looked at yet. Seems a long time, but not a lot of cash in our case, so not worth getting uptight about it and may as well just wait.
  3. Madeira has a good firework display at New Year and that is a more reliable bit of Europe for New Year weather. They run four displays (from different companies on the short list for the New Year contract that year) in June for the final selection. We saw one of them when staying on the Island about three years ago, they are done on four consecutive Saturdays at about 10pm.
  4. That is true. People in the lockdown areas of Wales can travel and even stay in a hotel in their own county, but cannot cross to another Welsh area without good reason. Probally a good place to go as will be quite quiet and peaceful.
  5. After my initial GP appointment, I was in fact sent for a pelvic ultra sound, hip X ray and numerous blood tests (to assess the cause of my symptoms). They could all be requested by my GP, all of which were done within a fortnight. It is the hospital referral that was needed as a result of the pelvic scan that was to be the big wait and it was looking like that could be something like a year's time under the circumstances.
  6. I have only had a quick look at your link, and more to the point the relevant links from there, but it seems to largely refer to the system I mentioned. I do think it may cause some problems for people without on line access and lack of house visits is mentioned in the link, though I still think is should depend on need rather than someone's wish to walk into the door of a surgery and be 'happy' about how they are dealt with, which seems to be what is being quoted. The main fall down I would see is older people who do not report their full symptoms and state of well being, so could fall through the net as not needing attention. I would certainly have considered by late parents as belonging to that sort of group.
  7. Any health care matter should be dealt with though and If you have been waiting so long you should be seen. There can be a case made for contributions made during your life, but even personally I have benefited at other times and will in the future. I would prefer to be taxed more and have better funded services, but in other ways we are quite happy I am not adding to the list that needs attention at this time and do intend to go through with any futher treatment privately, rather than hope to be transferred back to the NHS on a quicker basis, hence jumping the queue as is often done.
  8. This is something I do not recognise. I have attended my GP surgery twice in the last 3 weeks for slightly different purposes. Yes I had to fill in an on line form (which is not best designed admittedly), then a telephone apt was made which was fine and also meant a lot of the stuff that could be sorted over the phone was done. Each time though an examination was needed and I was given a time by the GP at that stage for an appointment when I could be seen. In each case the time span was not IMO any longer than I would normally have needed to wait for a surgery appointment and when, because of time restraint, the condition may not have got full attention that was needed. The initial telephone apt seems a very good system as far as I can see. Others may have had a different experience, so would be happy to be corrected if that is not happening elsewhere.
  9. I forgot to mention my thoughts about the NHS staff, who in the main are not well paid either, which is a great mistake IMO.
  10. I totally agree and also think we are becoming a two class society because of it. We are in a vulnerable group and realise we just need to be very careful over the winter, whilst letting others get on with life and do not need to be told to do so now. I had a referral about 3 weeks ago - not on a very urgent cancer list, but investigations are needed. Under the NHS it did not seem likely I would even get a first apt for many months, yet it is early stage illness that could benefit more from treatment, if needed. We have decided to spend our holiday money from this year, (and possibly more), on private health care for the matter. Those of us who cruise a couple of times a year can likely afford cash for that, even if we are not what we think of as that well off - a very good spend of our savings in our view though. Many could not consider it at all and there will be a lot of suffering/deaths because of it. My husband had a retinal tear during the lockdown and had very prompt treatment, both from a local opticians and the local eye department, with a number of regular follow up checks. So at least really urgent matters like that are being dealt with, but even things like delays of replacement joints are a big problem and will produce a lot of people who loose mobility longer term as they become less active so that other parts of the body cease up as well, along with mental health effects on many people of course.
  11. The early ones were not in the university cities though and it is even more recently that numbers really took off. Actually Steve Rotherham (Liverpool City Region mayor) was interviewed on TV this morning and, though I forget the exact words, he did say they know that the big increase in Liverpool has a big bearing on the student population. The cities being mentioned on our news at present are, Liverpool, Manchester Leeds and Sheffield as well as Newcastle. They are certainly the big university cities in the north and a lot of them are the ones which herald from the ex Polys and colleges, so diverse campuses/residence areas, but a lot of the more recent student accommodation (+ many student houses) have been in or very near the city centres, so well placed to go out in the cities within walking distance and is why many students choose a university, for the social life. I am in no way blaming students, I think they should be there as well as schools and workplaces. As most students live together in groups of say about 6 in households or accommodation, yet are studying on different courses, it is going to be a very big risk and remain so, but at least the vast majority will not suffer badly with the virus. It is a big nuisance to us and our lives, but for all single people, especially younger ones the effects are a really big problem and I feel for them. The weather did not hold in the north as it has been doing until recently in the south, so that could well be a factor as well.
  12. Fred called there about three years back. I think it was on an around UK cruise from Liverpool and I greatly regretted we did not book it. We went on a Fred "maiden ports mystery cruise" a couple of months before that cruise and I was convinced Southwold was our first port. I got quite put off when we sailed right past and headed for the Baltic the next day. I had guessed a fair number of ports on that mystery cruise, but not the first one. Great cruise though with so many unusual ports. Would love to go to Southwold - maybe next year, or even over the winter if we are let out. Very high COVID numbers here so just waiting to be totally grounded, though Boris maybe more bothered about the economy.
  13. You make valid points and particularly interesting that you have been on all four of Fred's ships, albeit before Balmoral and Braemar were stretched to add more cabins. You must be a very experience cruiser. Yes some things can change and I have no idea what legal rights the US cruise companies have in the States, but I feel it worth adding that there are legal rights in Britain, so any change that is "not insignificant" cannot be made unilaterally by a cruise company. Some do write their T&C's to try to imply that they can do more than would be legal, but in fact T&C's can never override legal rights, so such terms mean nothing. If a customer does not agree to other changes, they would be entitled to a full refund (and in some case also compensation), though TBH I suggest most people would be happy enough to accept a compromise, (such as a change to another cruise or a sweetener of some kind), rather than get into a big tassle over it. Eventually, Fred did seem to come to personal agreements with individuals I have seen reports from over the recent change of ships and in some cases itinerary. That was a good way forward as everyone has different preferences. Some ports can change, so a company may well be able to legally change perhaps up to 25% of ports if similar ones, and there is always the chance a port or two cannot be arrived at after embarkation for various reasons e.g. weather, safety/political reasons, or mechanical failure of ship and in these days of course COVID, and those changes are often unavoidable. For a change of ship to be legally enforced it would have to be a similar ship, rather than the changes made recently. It is very true members of staff are all different, though in our experience we have found staff to be more reliably good on some cruise lines than others (and vice versa), which I think probably comes under your admirably comment about the general atmosphere encouraged by the company. We have been on what is now Azamara Pursuit in three different guises with different cruise lines and will not go into full details, but it was very different with Swan Hellenic's Minerva II which was by far our favourite, Azamara being quite acceptable, but P&O's Adonia being a definitely not to go there again experience, with fixed time/table companion dining, no self service alternative on most nights and various activities etc. taking place in many parts of the ship at different times, so there was rarely anywhere that we could sit peacefully for a length of time. Indeed our main memory of that Adonia cruise was picking up our drinks as some event was about to take place (e.g. quizz or perhaps game show type of thing) and wandering around the ship looking for somewhere else to sit and chat. The bigger P&O ships offer those sort of things in specific venues and whist Fred does do those sort of things, there are also other bars that are available with just background music etc.
  14. To echo Britboys regards singles, I am pretty sure that what Fred arranges for singles is very much the same, quite possibly identical, to that described for P&O, though I have not personally sailed as a single. Fred does do singles offers from time to time, but just on certain cruises and some, possibly all, the single offers are only for certain cabins grades. Basically I assume they are the cruises which have not sold so well, so the really interesting itineraries do not tend to have singles offers. As far as COVID is concerned it certainly seems like cruises will be very different when they start up and a lot of what I said about it being easy to find someone to speak with could be severely limited. The only Fred cruise we have booked is next July from our local port of Liverpool, so will be easy to get to the ship, but must admit if the restrictions are still as described, we will likely be looking to cancel or at least delay the cruise, as land Hols will be much more appealing next year. The main restriction that would be a concern to us is not being able to just go ashore as we please, which is the whole point of us cruising, especially if any "bubble tours" are the sort of thing when you are just trailed around various places being talked at by a guide. If a "bubble tour" allows is some degree of freedom in certain locations, then it may be acceptable to us. Mind you I can see why ports may not want to accept cruise passengers wandering around at will and then going on to somewhere else, etc., so potentially spreading germs everywhere. We are still hoping we can be vaccinated early next year and that makes a big difference to potential restrictions, but will have to wait and see.
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