Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About tring

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Wirral, England
  • Interests
    Gardening, Travel to unusual places
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Swan Hellenic, Voyages of Discovery, Fred Olsen
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    The Amazon

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. Thanks for the reply and links - will put them on favorites. That was and incredibly quick response.
  2. Can I ask what TI portals are - I have googled the term and not found anything? We will be in Helsinki and Skagan in August so could be of interest to us. Just realised it probably means tourist information, so will see if I can get my post deleted - bad day today 🙂
  3. I know a lot was said on this board a year ago about a new disembarkation system if a high port load and also about a lot of delay getting off the ships, but have not been looking at this forum since then, so can I ask how things have been working since then? We are on a Baltic cruise in August and the two days we are there are the highest port loads for the month (which is why I ask). We have been on a river cruise to Moscow along with an extra land stay last year so have done all the major tourist things and just want a relaxing time doing 'not a lot', and would be happy to stay on the ship at least one day if much hassle is to be experienced at the port. We plan to do a one day trip which involves free time at different locations and probably a half day to Peterhof gardens and refreshments in a hotel near there on the afternoon of the first day. We will book through the cruise company due to lower cost (£40 and £55 per person). Part of my decision is because I seem to remember that the first day had a lot more delay, so afternoon start sounds good. Are my thoughts correct about that?
  4. I call it "Micky Mouse Night". It was still on the cruise we returned from yesterday. We also do not see the point in it and as the ship's senior staff pointed out there were people on board from a number of other countries, not just Brits anyway.
  5. You actually have a third option if you do not want to go to a restaurant as you could ask for room service. Not sure if it has changed in the last year, but you could get a cold platter and perhaps a soup before and small desert delivered to your room. We have been known to order room service early and then return to it when it was a good time to eat, having ordered cold platters and small desert each and made sure we have asked our room maid not to take it away. There is always the late buffet at about 11pm if you are still hungry - you will not starve on a boat. Captains will generally announce approx times of specific scenic cruising, but if there is any advance notice the exact times could change obviously. There is usually an announcement as the ship leaves a port and at midday if at sea then, but I do not think they will announce anything a day early. I would have thought the difference between MDR and buffet is pretty obvious. You would be able to spend less time in the buffet if you wish to do so, but MDR will take about 1.5 hours if you have all courses.
  6. It is Trip Advisor where we were told that tulips not likely to be out, even if the daffodils are early, but will keep an eye on it. Thanks for all the comments made folks.
  7. Now thinking of just staying in the town in Leixoes as we only have a half day and there are not many ports on this cruise so do not want to waste time on a bus/tram, especially if the weather is good.. Has anyone just stayed in the town and could you give me an idea of what there is to do/see. We need a relaxing time as we have had a very stressful few months, so would not be rushing round to see lots of 'sites' anyway. According to the port site, we will be docked in the new (south) cruise terminal. Any comments about Leixoes itself would be very much appreciated.
  8. Thanks for the suggestion Ine, though sadly we have already discounted that. We were more interested in the mass tulip time, but I have been asking questions on Trip Advisor and it seems we will be a bit early for that. It is something we would like to see sometime though, so again perhaps we should make plans for that long thought about land trip to Holland 🙂
  9. Thank you very much for both your posts, they are much appreciated as I could not find a timetable on line. At least we will be in no rush to return to the ship as we are in port overnight.
  10. Can I ask how to get to Oporto from the dock in Leixoes by public transport? I am sure I have seen info on this before, but am not having any joy with the search facility.
  11. Thank you very much for the reply and useful links. Volendam looks interesting as well, though more as an alternative, allowing time to do the cheese museum etc. We keep thinking we would like a land holiday to Holland and have never got around to it perhaps we should think a bit harder and actually get there 🙂 Barbara
  12. We are due overnight in Amsterdam on 5th and 6th April (I know a lot of boats are not calling there, but we will be on a small ship). We love Amsterdam and have been a number of times, but are interested in taking a trip out the first day to somewhere more peaceful as we will be on a 'city heavy' cruise. I have looked at Zaanse Schans https://www.dezaanseschans.nl/en/ I can click through from this website to info regards bus 391, but I cannot find up to date time tables or even how often they run - can anyone help? We are thinking of going into Zaandam for an evening meal on the way back and would like to return to the ship late night if buses are still running then. It also mentions a day ticket for 11.5 Euros - is that worth while? Any other suggestions are welcome.
  13. I am no great advocate for Fred and see the disadvantages as well as what we consider to be advantages (mainly certain itineraries) of Fred. However I am a little perplexed to see where Redjag got the info re smoking on Fred. I have just put 'smoking' into the search box on Fred's website and it immediately came up with this:- https://www.fredolsencruises.com/faqs/on-board/where-are-the-smoking-areas-on-board I then looked at a Fred brochure, which states in the T&C's "Smoking is only permitted on designated open deck locations and room balconies, except the Terrace Balconies (grades TS, TC and TK)". The ship concerned does have smoke free balconies and I doubt they would all be booked at this stage (though I could be wrong), so I do not see why a change of cabin could not be considered, or if preferred a change to another cruise entirely. Even with full conditions applied and no concession, I think the admin charge for a change would be pretty insignificant (possibly about £100) as I have asked recently about changing a booking we have. I do not know of any other cruise, or even holiday company, that allows a 'cooling off period' after a firm booking is made in the UK, (though I think people from the US tend to have this facility). Hence I see no reason why a cancellation should be granted. Anchor fare bookings cannot be changed, but for a cruise so far in the future, anchor fares would not be available. If booked through an agent, I am also surprised that the agent did not make it clear to the purchaser that the booking could not be cancelled without loosing the deposit, before the deposit was taken. I would think that the "enjoyment promise" could be invoked if the current booking is continued with and problems were encountered when on the ship. In that case Fred would do their best to find other suitable accommodation which is not a problem. We have moved cabins a couple of times because of other problems on Fred ships and, as I mentioned above, the people which we met on the UK to Mauritius cruise, were moved to another cabin where they did not have problems - in fact they got an upgrade out of it. Fred's customer services on board are pretty good compared to attitudes we have encountered on other ships. Not everyone in a balcony cabin smokes and we had no hint of a problem at any stage re our terrace cabin, yet we had seen someone smoking on the balcony of the cabin above from the prom deck. Also we have never smelt any smoke at any part of prom deck from cabins on any Fred cruise.
  14. You will find the vast majority of Fred passengers are British, with just a few other nationalities on board. Fred though do have a high percentage of older passengers on the ship (and are well known for that). Of course smoking was more common in the older generations, though the vast majority of passengers will not be smokers. As I mentioned and explained above, the Terrace Balcony cabins and Terrace Balcony suites on the prom deck of Black Watch and Boudicca do not allow smoking on the balcony as that would be very near to the public area of the prom deck. There is not much space allowed for smokers in the pubic areas and I find that really is a non issue, as all cruise ships have that as far as I know. We had no problems on our terrace balcony cabin, even though smoking was allowed on the deck above - nor have we ever smelt smoke on the prom deck from the cabins above. I do agree with you though and we would not book a balcony cabin, if that and cabins around allow balcony smoking. In fact we would not pay the normal cost of Fred's balcony cabins for what is basically the same cruise experience . It does give a sales niche for Fred though, as I do not know of any other line that allows smoking on Balconies. I am asthmatic and also hate the smell of smoke.
  15. They do not allow much smoking 'around the ship', just a small area to the back of the ships (I think something like one side of the back 'wing' of the ship on one deck only). I have not heard of that causing problems to others as there is a lot of deck space on Fred's small ships, so it sounds a lot less of a problem to me than an area of pool deck on other ships. The difference is Fred's balconies - the cynical part of me suggests that he may get hardened smokers prepared to spend the large sums of cash he charges for his balconies, so they can smoke on them. I have not seen/heard of problems caused to other people if not in adjacent balcony cabins themselves.
  • Create New...