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About Janet&Carl

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Howden, Tasmania
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  1. We also have the highest level annual travel insurance with the cruise option top up. If they go broke your travel insurance doesnt cover it - in most cases anyway. We have lost money on airfares - we have a future cruise credit but unsure whether we will go or not. Being in Australia we have been relatively safe from the virus but that puts us at more risk as there is no immunity without a vaccine. I will wait for a vaccine before booking anything. We were told by our travel insurance - firstly in an email that pandemics are not covered - secondly another email when Virgin collapsed - that we were again not covered. AND that was before anyone made a claim.
  2. I have never been able to book one 😞 tried several times - from Australia the flights to China are plentiful and cheap
  3. Just tried a dummy booking for tomorrow and it says it needs 24 hours notice - but they have 3 buses listed one at 7.30, 8.00 and 8.30. So you might get a transfer at the port once you depart the ship.
  4. I thought there is an airport shuttle service that runs back and forth to White bay.. ?? https://www.gosydneyshuttle.com.au/services $18 one way
  5. We joined in Venice and left in Male. The disembarkation was really smooth considering it was a tender port. They took our cases during the night - we all gathered in the lounge and they took us off all at once. We met our cases at the airport. Thanks for the tip - I will make sure that is done next time. However, throughout the cruise we were told that Costa had been informed of the complaints and they were "well noted". I just had to contact Costa on my return. Needless to say, on my return they had not heard of the complaint and treated my letter as "feedback".
  6. I am taking my elderly mother for her (probably) last cruise. She is a cruising fan but is nearly 90. We wanted something closer to home because long haul flights would be too much. I'm glad you found your feet already and you sound like you are starting to enjoy yourself. We join her on 1 December for a similar itinerary to you with our first stop being Newcastle.
  7. Our second cruise with Costa had some good points but some unbelievably bad points too. We chose a suite because my husband had worked interstate for the past year and we wanted some quality time together. Embarkation was a nightmare - over two hours standing outside in a queue outside in the sun to drop cases. The delay was the people checking for visa's who struggled to read English. There were two people checking passports and a queue that stretched way to the back of the car park. There were over 1000 English speaking passengers on this voyage. So much for priority embarkation. There was no priority until you were inside the port building. Once inside we were given the no 1 card and proceeded straight to a desk for check in. We had late lunch in the Club dining room - we asked if this was possible and were told that we had to go to the buffet and we couldnt access Club dining. We went anyway and found that we could. The meals in the Club dining room were quite nice. The menu is much the same as the rest of the ship with a few changes. However, the atmosphere is supposed to be "refined, exclusive and a private environment for suite guests". They forgot to tell you that the basketball court is overhead. Lots of thumping and banging from the courts use totally put us off our dinner and we ended up in the buffet regularly. The buffet - although very busy and noisy provided and excellent choice and all food that we had there was of a good quality. When we complained later in the cruise about the banging overhead at reception we were met with folded arms, a no care attitude and a response where we were told that the "teenagers have to have something to do". Around 2pm our cabins were ready and ours was old but nicely appointed and comfortable. Until that night!! We were tired after travelling and had an early night, the music from the Concorde Plaza was loud. At 10.45 it was deafening. I was wearing noise cancelling headphones and could still hear every word of every song. We thought ok this is the welcome party. However, 21 night cruise and the band played every night - deafening, tiring, outrageous that this could not be fixed by moving the band elsewhere. It kept all the suite guests awake for the sake of a few (6 when I went to investigate) late night partygoers. They played the same songs over and over every night. When we tried to rest in the afternoon they practiced most afternoons. When we complained about the afternoon practice at reception we were told we were wrong that there were no bands playing. !!!! Our cabin was also inundated with smells - paint, varnish and turpentine smells from the maintenance room and the replacement of the outdoor carpet. The maintenance room surprisingly had an airconditioning system linked to the deck below -our deck. Once it was discovered where the smells were coming from maintenance was stopped on sea days (the day before we left). The suites do not have opening windows so for 9 of the 10 sea days it was impossible to breathe in the cabin and it caused headaches and vomiting. Entertainment was provided and was reasonably good. We attended quizzes and dance lessons. The people who did craft reported that they enjoyed those sessions. Although there was a majority of English speaking people there was no English speaking entertainment organiser. So you got weird translations that didnt make sense. Such as "which is the river with the most affluence" !! so we felt that the Italians and French had an advantage at quiz and it got to the stage where everyone was groaning when the same people won nearly every quiz. Priority seating for suite guests was a joke - filled with people who were not in a suite. Mistaken for disabled seating by some. For the first week it was at the first show which was at 7.15. Our dinner was open between 6.30 - 8.30 !!! We took two Costa excursions and these worked well for us although we usually do our own as we do not like travelling with crowds of people where you cannot hear the guide. We also do not like waiting for people who can't make it back to the meeting place on time so the only Costa excursions we took were to places that we found difficult to get to on our own. We went to Matera from Bari and Masada and the Dead Sea from Eliat. These were excellent places to visit and we would go again. We went Petra from Aquaba with a private tour company and the rest we did with taxi's and public transport. We had two tender ports and both of these were well organised and we had no difficulty getting ashore. We felt the service from the crew that we dealt with on a daily basis was excellent, service in the bars, the room steward, the dining staff but the administration and management were either unwilling or unable to resolve any issues. They just did not care. We were told that they understood our cruise had been a disappointment and we had not received what we had paid for. We were told we had to complain when we arrived home and we would be compensated. We were given an email address to write to. However, the complaint and request for compensation was viewed as "feedback" and an apology was given. So we felt we were brushed aside during the cruise and there has been no resolution from Costa. All in all our romantic holiday together for my 60th birthday turned out to be anything but.
  8. Hi Greg We don't have the social media plan listed in mycosta. Can you tell me how much it is ? Is it available onboard ?
  9. It usually takes over and hour for disembarkation to start after docking. I think you are cutting it too fine. Lets say you get off at 9 sharp !! maybe...... then walk to the taxi rank (Barcelona port is huge could take 10 - 15 minutes to get there). You then have to queue to catch a taxi to get to the airport - the ride to the airport (if you are terminal 2 is only 15 minutes). This can take up to half an hour again depending on how many ships in port. You can check how many by going to a web site (Whats in port . com). You are an international flight, you have to check in and bag drop ( usually two hours before flight) you have to go through passport check and customs. That all takes time.
  10. I have a couple of questions. On some lines it is cheaper (and you get bonus download limits) if you buy before you go. 1. Is it cheaper to buy a costa package before we leave ? 2. If you have a social media package can you still post photo's to facebook ? Thanks - hubby will want the top package but I don't need it - I only use facebook.
  11. Only on docking - it can shudder as it parks up. This will only disturb you if you want a sleep in on port days. The best balconies on any ship in my view 🙂 I am an early riser anyway and love to be up to watch the ship sail into a new port.
  12. This was similar to Neo Romantica, suite guests had a separate area on the way into the MDR. We still have anytime dining, and no set table, but felt like we were in the corridor on the way in to the main dining room. The Club restaurant was a pay for specialty restaurant and everyone paid.
  13. ... if you were booked for November and travelling from somewhere like Australia you would already have flights booked - usually flights are more expensive than the cruise.
  14. I am having trouble finding the route of the corfu Hop on Hop off bus. I got to the ticket part and it gave me the option of route 1 Route 2 or both. But no info at all on the route. My concern is that there are 5 ships in port on the same day as us. So I'm thinking that it will be really busy. My experience of HOHO in Malta was woeful and I ended up extremely angry that they were just shuttling backward and forwards to the first stop and not going any further due to the volume of people they were trying to accommodate. Is this likely to happen again. My husband and I like history and would like to see the Fortress and Spilia. Is the HOHO the best way to do this ?
  15. HI, Its been mentioned on our roll call that some would like to spend an overnight stop that we have in a hotel onshore. Has anyone done this ? Do you have any information that might help?
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