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31st July 2021

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Author Topic: Cruises!!  (Read 622 times)

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Offline IanH

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« on: March 07, 2019, 11:45:06 PM »
Nothing to do with Radar Spotting except for what I hope to be doing while on a cruise. Some personal views on sonthing I have just discovered.

In a separate personal message topic, Mike (Anmer) wondered if he was interrupting the cruise I had mentioned in another topic. No, not yet started that one.

So why post about cruises at all? I've always been put off cruises by the apparent formality and organisation: "Butlins on sea" for those who understand the concept of holiday camps. Or an alternative perception of class distinction with who can go where/do what on the ship. Both options exist! Cunard for the latter.

An informal chat with a couple at Alicante airport while waiting for a Jet2 flight changed my preconceived opinons.

At the same time my wife had been wondering what our holidays would look like once I no longer wanted to drive from the airport to a villa in Europe.

The cruise line for "beginners" is TUI. So we booked an Adriatic cruise for September 2018. I'm now sold on this holiday approach  ;D  You book, choose the cabin type and flight and with TUI that is the price - flight, accomodation, drinks (ok, no premium whisky or brandy), food, entertainment, tips included. Despite the"package tour" reputation, very good.

TUI have clearly upset the cruise market with their all inclusive approach. We spoke to other people on board who mentioned bar bills and gratuity bills in the hundreds of pounds on other cruise lines at the end of a cruise  -pain!

So other cruise lines seem to be following TUI's approach -perhaps not in the brochures but "special offers" at intervals.

Anyway back to the cruise Anmer thought I might be on at the moment. In fact that is in two weeks time to the Caribbean (Jamaica, Cuba, Caymans) and Central America (Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Mexico). Maps for PlanePlotter already organised on laptop and a GPS receiver added to provide location. Looking at FR24 it should (fingers crossed) be an interesting spotting tour while also checking out the sights and keeping my wife happy with interesting excursions.

Next is Alaska in August (not with TUI). Considering India to Bangkok via Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia late 2019. Hopefully Hawaiian islands in 2020.

Doing it while we can still get travel insurance. Some might say it is just touching each country - yes we get a flavour but do I have time to go back and explore further? Hopefully yes if I want to. But trying to visit all these countries one at a time is going to take too much time/money before I am too old.

Anyway as my wife points out, when we usually go on holiday, we walk to a restaurant, walk home and have a quiet drink in the rented villa. Now we stroll from the resturant to the bar, then go to watch a band in the "night club", back to the bar and off to bed. No worries about the weather, how far it is to walk in the high heels (not me). Even better it is all in the price.

Given that I am not the most social person on the planet, I'm surprised that this all works for me.