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Ergates The Ant

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  1. Worth looking carefully at the timings of port calls on a Norway fjord cruise. Sadly, most lines are more interested in spending a day in a port where they can sell expensive excursions. This often means that the most breathtaking scenery is passed before many passengers are awake to enjoy it, or are seated in dining rooms with no view after the ship leaves its dock. We have taken to setting our alarms to coincide with entering a fjord, and enjoying the fantastic views while wrapped up on our balcony. Might need an afternoon nap! Followed by afternoon tea to stave off any hunger pangs, so we can enjoy the dramatic views of the towering sides of the fjord. Supper in the buffet once it starts to get dark. Works for us, as we primarily cruise to Norway to see the fjords. Downside of Norway is the almost complete lack of wildlife. Alaska was amazing, we saw so many whales and dolphins, seals, bald eagles, I’d love to go back.
  2. Nearly always eat in the buffet. We don’t usually eat more than a main course and dessert, and prefer a relaxed meal. I do like to see what’s on offer, rather than have to rely on a description, and maybe try a small portion of two or three items rather than commit to a single choice. We also eat a lot more accompanying vegetables than are usually served in the MDR, and it’s easier to serve myself than having to ask for extra portions. I enjoy being able to decide when I’d like to eat, choose my own portion size and pick my preferred table and eating companions.
  3. Yes, I am using the All Activity list, gives a wide variety of content. If I don’t log in, the All Activity gives the latest posts from all the forum headings, but not any roll call entries. If I log in, All Activity gives everything posted, including roll calls. Because these are so specific, I’m only interested if I’m booked on a particular cruise. Looks like I’ll have to view when logged out. thanks
  4. I do enjoy reading the latest activity on the forums, but if I have logged in, I have to wade through long lists of roll calls. Is there a way of only seeing posts not relating to roll calls, apart from logging out? Thanks
  5. Made this mistake once, and never again! Yes, the smoke rises, and smokers do tend to lean on the railing to flick their ash over the side! We have favoured Celebrity because of its strict smoking policy, but they do rather spoil it by rendering half the already short promenade deck unusable, and in my opinion, a good number of the balcony cabins on the smoking side. I would certainly complain about your allocation and give your reasons, if we don’t tell them, they won’t know. I have in the past not booked more than one Celebrity cruise because the only cabins in the category I wanted were on the designated smoking side.
  6. Haven’t tried Hal yet, but considering them since they banned smoking on balconies. However some Hal ships allow smoking in the casino, and this would be a deciding factor against that ship. One of the reasons we have been regular Celebrity cruisers is the smoke free interior of their ships. Something to be aware of if this is important to you.
  7. We regularly visit Florida in Jan/Feb, and I wear there, what I wear here in the UK in the summer! You may find it colder and wetter than you’d like, so make sure you have a lightweight waterproof jacket, which you can layer over a fleece or knitwear if you need it, plus a lightweight foldable bag to pop them in if it dries and warms up! Capris are very popular, especially with older ladies, but bring some long trousers or jeans for cooler days. You’ll see more women in skirts than you’re probably used to, and fewer in shorts unless you get some very hot days. Your tropical colour tops will look great. You won’t see much plaid at that time of year, and, south of Scotland, only in the autumn/winter if the fashion pundits have decreed it as this year’s look! You’ll need comfortable footwear for all the sightseeing. White trainers ( sneakers?) aren’t as common as in the USA, and will look and feel pretty awful if it’s wet or muddy. I have several pairs of waterproof lace up trainer type shoes ( look up Hotter brand for examples) that I wear year round with trousers, so I can walk for miles in any conditions. Dont worry about the ‘ugly American ‘ label, that’s nothing to do with how you look or what you wear! More to do with the behaviour of some of your compatriots, like being so loud they can be heard across a room, or acting as if we are living in shacks because there is no air conditioning ( rarely need it, it’s noisy and environmentally unfriendly, we just open the windows!) You’ll have a great time whatever you wear. And save some room in your case, you are bound to see some clothes to take home.
  8. Disembarkation does sound like one of my worst nightmares! The thought of leaving the cabin and having to kill time for maybe 3 to 4 hours, before several hours journey in a shared taxi, is really putting me off. Sounds as if the Saga transfer system would have too many negatives for us after all. My preferred option is to leave the ship at City Terminal, Southampton, walk across the road with my keys and climb into the car. However, for some reason ABT at Southampton use a valet parking system for Saga, and I’m not comfortable having someone else driving my car around. i do hope you don’t have to wait too long. Looks like your Wi-fi is still available, is there anywhere to have coffee or a snack? As can happen, departing passengers are often treated as personae non grata, and an inconvenience while staff are having to prep for the next set of punters. Does it feel like that? It seems that Saga are fairly confident about the accuracy of their final on board accounts, if they are only operating the desk for half an hour?
  9. Thanks for that. The pictures are useful to get a feel for the layout. Certainly seems quite restricted compared to the multiple serving areas on the bigger ships. Did big queues build up for the self service area? I have bad memories of the buffets on a couple of P and O ships, where a single line got very congested, with vegetables getting cold on plates before you got to the meat section! Plus some passengers ducking back to get something they’d forgotten. Probably one of the reasons many guests prefer the MDR, but I do enjoy the relative informality of a buffet. Plus the relative ease of putting together a single main course, as I’m not one for starters, soups or appetisers. Thanks for all the helpful information and feedback. Hope tomorrow’s journey home goes very smoothly.
  10. Not aware that anyone tips them, or that they would be expecting a tip. They are paid employees of the airport or cruise terminal, carrying out their job. They are not unpaid freelancers. It would seem as odd as tipping the clerk at check in, or the cabin crew on the plane. There are strict employment laws in the UK to prevent people being exploited at work, and having to rely on unofficial handouts.
  11. Has anyone taken any pictures of the Grill on Spirit of Discovery? I’m still trying to get my head round how it differs from the buffets I am used to on Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, P and O and Princess. I’m getting an impression of limited choice in the evenings, if I don’t fancy what is on the MDR menu, I won’t fare much better in The Grill? Is this an accurate picture, or have I got it wrong?
  12. Thanks for posting the formal night menu, Kentchris. It sounds as if the Grill partly operates as self service, but you also mentioned a full waiter service area. How does this work? There was very little on the menu I would eat, so I’d be opting for the simple favourites and /or the vegetarian option, hopefully embellished with some of the salads. Can you serve yourself to get the selection and quantities to your own preference?
  13. Apologies from me, was just responding to a previous comment on the dining options. The lack of proper alternatives in the Grill was my biggest concern. Haven’t sailed on Oceania or Azamara, as not keen on older ships with less than up to date bathrooms. Sorry to have gone off topic.
  14. Agree with comments on the SoD food offerings. Haven’t sailed on her as yet, but it does sound as if the dining may be geared towards a much older clientele - I’m 68, and very surprised not to find vegetarian food as a bigger main stream choice, rather than something ‘weird’ requiring a special menu and advance notification! I’m not completely vegetarian, I do eat chicken, bacon and the occasional steak, but often choose a vegetarian option purely on the grounds that it sounds tasty and inventive, compared to meat and two veg. So the ‘choice’ of one vegetarian entree seems terribly old fashioned, and could be a deterrent to the ‘younger’ entrants to the Saga age range.
  15. Very pleased to hear this! I had only just read that Celebrity had started charging for movies, cross and disappointed, and lo and behold, they have reversed that decision. thanks to all who complained. The effect of this sort of penny pinching reflects very badly on the company. Im sure that most passengers will continue to socialise around the ship, and spend money, but it seemed particularly callous and conniving to deprive those of us who enjoy the occasional quiet couple of hours in the cabin. the availability of very recent movies, and the excellent system where one can start and stop the movie at will, was certainly a big plus on Celebrity. Some other lines had a useless system, where it was virtually impossible to find out what was on, when, and if you wanted to see a particular movie, you had to watch from start to finish. Did Celebrity actually check with customers and potential customers what impact this cost generating scheme would have, in terms of perceived value to guests? my opinion of Celebrity plummeted when I read of the introduction of the charges. I am very pleased it has been reversed, but the damage has been done.
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