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Lottie A

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About Lottie A

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

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  • Interests
    Cruising, Playing my Violin, learning Italian and Cooking
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Azamara, Celebrity, Cunard Oceania and P&O
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Yes, that cruise is sold out I think. Well done on getting such a good price. If your Azamazing Evening is in the Goldoni Theatre in Livorno it will be wonderful. I have done it at least five times. It’s not heavy Opera at all and I think you will love it. Have a wonderful cruise and I will be thinking of you on Quest when I’m sailing up The Seine to Rouen and Honfleur on Balmoral...also on Oct 19th!
  2. Not at all Tring. That seems like amazing value for Azamara! What’s the itinerary if you don’t mind me asking? Is it a repo cruise as they do sometimes have very good discounts. My next Azamara 9 night cruise as a solo is costing me over £4000 and that’s without the flights or transfers in an OV cabin. I do have high loyalty with Azamara and so I had 7% off with substantial OBC but it was still over £4000 to pay. By the time I have booked flights, transfers, transport to Heathrow and a pre cruise hotel I expect the cost to approach £5000. I am going with friends and I know we will have a wonderful time but it’s still a lot of money for 9 nights on an OV cabin. They used to have solo supplements of 25%-50% but those days have long gone. Anyway isn’t it great to have all these options? Now I have taken early retirement I intend to cruise or holiday at least every 6 weeks or so. Life is short!
  3. Here is a photo of the little port of Swinoujscie in Poland, taken from a balcony on Balmoral this morning, The weather looks glorious and it seems like an unusual and attractive little port. I understand it was a late substitution as the port they intended to go to on the Kiel canal had some damage.
  4. Tring, you will love Azamara. Compared to Fred the prices are much higher of course, but the Azamara onboard experience is truly the best. I just wish I could also say that about the AZ pre cruise info and admin but I can't as it's dismal. Fred Olsen beats them every time with their very usable app, cruise documentation and even printed luggage tags. With Azamara it's a "Blue Peter" type job with a printer, double sided tape and staples. 🙁 I have only recently started cruising solo and Azamara solo prices are just extortionate now, so I'm happy to have found Fred who do very good solo prices (especially when I book through my local specialist solo travel agent) but of course, I will still do my essential Azamara fix at least twice a year. It just won't be four or five times a year anymore.
  5. I also think they only had a short few hours in Ijmuiden so there was not enough time to get to Amsterdam anyway. That would be disappointing to me. Looking at the Fred Olsen Facebook page it seems that many passengers onboard are happy with the itinerary but of course, being a primarily British passenger mix ...there are a few moaners! 😂 Balmoral is in a little Polish port called Swinoujscie today. Apparently it has parks, museums and a lighthouse with views over the harbour and the Baltic Sea. I would never book a Mystery Cruise as I like to know where I am going and enjoy researching the ports but they do seem popular with Fred passengers and generally good value.
  6. Well, I would never book a Mystery cruise as I like to know where I’m going! However this one does seem to be a bit of a disaster for Fred and according to The Daily Wail some passengers have staged a “sit in” onboard Balmoral. Needless to say, the reporting from this rag was over sensationalised. The ports were Great Yarmouth, Dunkirk and the industrial port of Ijmuiden which is 20 miles from Amsterdam. Some passengers were not happy with these ports at all. I believe Balmoral is now in The Kiel Canal so next Port is possibly Warnemunde? The recent Mystery cruise on Braemar seems to have been a success though. They visited Aviles in Spain, Bordeaux overnight and Falmouth ...all very nice ports. I’m on Balmoral in less than a month for a little jaunt up The Seine to Rouen and Honfleur and I can’t wait.
  7. Yes, thanks Ann for a very informative and detailed blog, as well as your excellent photo's. I have looked forward to reading it every day during a very difficult family time for me, so thanks again. Hope your Hotel stay is great too.
  8. I’m on the Balmoral Rouen/Honfleur cruise next month too. I have been to both ports before and they are lovely. Really looking forward to the cruise along the river Seine as well.
  9. I am surprised you think Fred Olsen fares are high Britboys. I think they are very reasonable indeed, especially for solo passengers. I can do three cruises on Fred for the price of one solo cruise on Azamara, especially when I book through my solo cruiser specialist. I am not allowed to recommend a travel agent on here but if you google specialist solo cruise travel agents you will find some marvellous bargains on Fred. Never book directly with Fred Olsen themselves as much better prices for solo’s can be found in travel agents who are solo cruise specialists. That goes for all cruise lines of course, not just Fred. I am really quite “passionate” about that! 😄
  10. I certainly could smell it on my island tour of Corsica in July. It smells like eucalyptus, rosemary and lavender mixed together to me.
  11. I love Sanary sur Mer so much, it’s probably my favourite Med Port. Thanks for the pix Ann. Can’t wait to go back next June on JR. I was on the shambolic Cassis tour with Mrs Miggins last year and in the end we just abandoned the whole tour (we did let the guide know!) and stayed in Cassis for lunch and a few hours wandering in this charming place. We all got a taxi back to the ship berthed in Marseille which in hindsight we should have done in the first place instead of paying for the overpriced ship’s tour. After we all complained about not only the shambolic nature of the tour, but also the completely misleading description in the first place, we did all receive a refund. Come on Azamara, someone needs to sort out your poor Shorex experiences. No wonder they are so frequently cancelled because of lack of interest when you are charging such high prices for such a poor product. Even if people do only pay for them using OBC!
  12. Yes it does look fantastic. Let’s hope so.
  13. I’m not sure why this has become such a hot topic! I never mind being asked if I would like to share a table...I quite enjoy meeting new people but not at breakfast. That’s my quiet time. All it takes is a polite “No thank you, I would prefer to dine on my own today”. Job done. If I was told there were no tables for two available at that moment then I would say with a smile “that’s fine. I am happy to wait.” A table for two would then magically become available within the next five minutes! Happens on every cruise line sometimes, including my beloved Azamara. 😄
  14. Corinne, I have done a little review of my Fred Olsen cruise on the Fred forum. Nothing like the detail and brilliance of your Saga cruise report or Ann’s excellent blogs of course, but it may help you a bit in deciding whether to try Fred Olsen or not. To answer your specific questions I was on Braemar out of Southampton and with the sole exception of the first sitting show in The Neptune Lounge, the ship never felt crowded at all. I believe there were about 700 pax onboard. I absolutely loved my first Fred Olsen cruise and have booked another one for a month away from now. They do quite a few 5 day cruises from Southampton and Dover at very reasonable prices, so perhaps you could consider trying one of those to see if Fred is your cup of tea?
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