E304 - a Shiney perspective

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Silver_Shiney
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E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 22 Mar 2013, 06:39

Looks like I should have been posting here rather than in my blog.

We've just tied up in Civvitevechia and the weather is glorious. Feel sorry for everyone back home.

Difficulties in getting signal and data connection.

Ship lovely, food great will have to update properly when back home
Alan

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JenniC
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by JenniC » 22 Mar 2013, 07:07

I LOVE Rome :thumbup:
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Manoverboard » 22 Mar 2013, 07:37

I'm not mad keen on Civitevecchia though .... even if it is a little bit warm :wave:

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Kendhni » 22 Mar 2013, 08:05

I wish they would dock the ships in places I can pronounce


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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Quizzical Bob » 22 Mar 2013, 08:52

Ken, try:

Chi
vit
a
veck
eea

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 22 Mar 2013, 15:03

So far so good. The weather's been fine since entering the Med. Stayed on board while Claire and Welshie did the Gaudi tour in Barcelona. We all did "Easy Nice" yesterday which I didn't enjoy - after a coach drive into the town we were dropped off for a short time in a market that was closing. The "Taste of Tuscania" this morning was good with a visit to a market and a farm where we sampled various produce.
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Dancing Queen » 22 Mar 2013, 15:22

Glad you are enjoying SS, any weather has got to be better than we have, snowing heavily again here :(
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Romig1 » 22 Mar 2013, 16:40

Glad to hear that things are going well. Enjoy the rest of your cruise.

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by oldbluefox » 22 Mar 2013, 16:45

Pleased to hear from you Shiney. Continue having a good time as it's perishing here.

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 23 Mar 2013, 06:31

Thanks guys.

We had some unwelcome excitement last night - my mum fell down the last few steps in the atrium and fell heavily on her hip. The doc spent a long time checking her over and is fairly sure there's nothing broken. She seems ok this morning and is adamant she's going to Sorrento, where my dad fought in the war.
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Not so ancient mariner » 23 Mar 2013, 06:58

Enjoy the rest of your trip - and the weather. Don't worry about the reports of snow back here. There's not much coming down ..................most of it is going horizontally!!!

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Manoverboard » 23 Mar 2013, 07:42

Silver_Shiney wrote: ... She seems ok this morning and is adamant she's going to Sorrento, where my dad fought in the war.
Best keep an eye on her there as it's very steep in places, tis a nice walk down to the fishing harbour though.

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Jan Rosser » 23 Mar 2013, 09:12

Sorry to hear about your mum's fall - it is quite hilly in Sorrento so take it easy - take care :)
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 25 Mar 2013, 17:20

Bliss and joy...

Zone 3 has lost all power. Guess which zone our cabin is in. Lightsticks have been issued,although someone made off with a load so many are trying to get ready for Smart Dress in the dark. We can't leave Palma until it's sorted so no bar drinks unless you want to pay Spanish duty....
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by oldbluefox » 25 Mar 2013, 17:25

Sounds like an eventful holiday Shiney. It could be interesting getting dressed in the dark. There could be one or two interesting outfits on display.

Hope your mum is fine now after her fall. :thumbup:

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Manoverboard » 25 Mar 2013, 17:27

It's probably a new take on the ' Black n White ' night :lol:

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Not so ancient mariner » 25 Mar 2013, 19:46

One thing I always do is take my little maglite torch with me. Even if not needed because of power failures, it's useful for checking under the beds etc before disembarking to make sure nothing gets left behind.
I hope normal service is resumed soon. (We were in L344 on E303, so I assume we would have been affected too)

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Not so ancient mariner » 26 Mar 2013, 07:25

I see from the webcam that Oceana has arrived at Cartagena, so hopefully the electrical problems have been resolved. Fingers crossed for the rest of your trip. Enjoy it while you can. It's brass monkeys back here! :-(

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Dancing Queen » 26 Mar 2013, 09:42

Sorry to hear about your mum SS, hopefully she is ok now :)
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 26 Mar 2013, 11:06

Thank you all for your good wishes. Mum is fine - badly bruised, but able to walk. We're fighting a losing battle to make her use lifts rather than stairs though!
Alan

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by oldbluefox » 26 Mar 2013, 11:07

Meet her at the top Alan!! :lol:

So pleased to hear she is fine.

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 30 Mar 2013, 15:13

Would I be being unduly judgmental to call the person who smeared excrement on the loo seat in the gents outside Footlights a disgusting little git?
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Not so ancient mariner » 30 Mar 2013, 15:15

only in the use of the word 'little' !!

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 30 Mar 2013, 15:23

Well, back it is that we are, Yoda.

That must be one of the longest two weeks of my life - absolute bliss. Mind you, for some reason, neither of us slept at all well the whole fortnight. I was up to the loo 2-3 times a night, so hope that gets fixed once I'm back in my own bed at home.

So, what happened?

We had good table companions, so that was a blessing.

Normally, we have either a good table steward and a mediocre cabin steward, or the other way round. This time, however, we couldn't sing the praises of any of our stewards too highly.

Jeffery and Francis, our table stewards, were great fun, especially Jeffery, who has the same sense of humour as me. Jenny, our wine waitress, was lovely. Jolly, our cabin steward, was great and when she heard about my mum's fall, went off and got her own hot-water bottle for mum to borrow - she wasn't even mum's steward! Of special note must be Denis, the head waiter in CJ. After the fourth night of going up there at 2230 for two decaf coffees, a hot chocolate and a Horlicks, he would welcome us personally, show us to the same table and get the drinks organised without us saying a word. When mum had her fall, he looked over the balcony to see what the commotion was and, on recognising her, he rushed down from Deck 8 to Deck 5 to see if she was alright. A truly lovely man.

The captain, Simon Terry, was the most personable we've had, and was out on the prowl every day talking to all and sundry.

The weather was quite good considering the abnormalities the world in general seems to be experiencing. We had a Force 10 last night in the BoB, and several times it was too blowy for all but the most hardened cruisers (and those who simply had to go outside for a fag) to go out on the open deck, but the pool area on Deck 12 was quite sheltered.
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 30 Mar 2013, 15:45

Claire and Zoe went off, as I think I said earlier, in Barcelona to do the Gaudi tour, which they thoroughly enjoyed..

We all went on the Easy Nice excursion, which I was not struck on. We were taken straight to a market, which was in the throes of closing for the day, given little information in regards to the town and left to kick our heels along the promenade until the bus came to take us back.

On arrival at Civvetevecchia (sic?), we all went on the Taste of Tuscania tour. This was very good, and the highlight for me, at least, was the visit to a farm where they produce their own olive oil, cheese and wine. These were all generously available for sampling and then purchase.

The Lady C and Welshie went to Pompei when we docked at Naples (trying to work out how to tell our vicar that they spent the morning in a brothel.... ;-) ), while I took mum off to Sorrento to see where my dad fought during the war. She managed to walk round quite well given the severity of her fall the previous night. Sorrento, for those who haven't been, is a lovely little town and I would recommend a visit.

Palma is another very nice town with lots to look at. We bought a ticket for the hop-on, hop-off bus (I'll say something about that on the Tips thread) and, as the tickets last 24 hours, had no qualms about passing them to others leaving the ship as we were going back on.

Cartagena looks very interesting, but on closer examination, very many buildings are mere facades or just derelict. There is an interesting Roman section though.

Gibraltar was, for us, just a shopping trip. Claire and mum wanted table linen, I settled for a bottle of Asbach Uralt brandy. The first duty-free shop we went to was selling it for pennies under £20. A few doors up, it was more reasonably priced at £13.45 a litre.

The food on board was, to our minds, great. You'd be hard-pressed to say there was absolutely nothing on the menu that didn't appeal.

We took the advice given on the forum not to have a Select meal in Cafe Jardin - not only are you contending with music from Tiffany's and Explorers, as mentioned by others, but also from the lap-dancing clu - sorry, Winners. Actually, in fairness, they've toned down the "decor" in Winners since our last cruise, so it doesn't look quite as tacky as I would imagine a lap-dancing club to look like!

Instead, Zoe treated us to dinner in the Horizon Grill - a superb steak in very nice surroundings inside the Plaza (you forget that it's also the self-service buffet!)

Headliners were great - one of the best troupes we've seen.

If ever you get the chance, go and see Manual Martinez, the Cuban magician. He is hilarious. He says he is Cuban but his accent kept slipping and his knowledge of all things British was a bit too detailed for a foreigner.

I'll try to post some pix in my gallery later of the changes to the ship.
Alan

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 30 Mar 2013, 15:50

It was good, too, to meet up with Melsea. She said that her cabin was dirty, and I've read other reports from fellow forumeers complaining of the same.

Our cabin was spotless. It turned out that our steward was the supervisor, so that may have had something to do with it. Regardless, as some cabins are clearly not up to scratch, perhaps P&O need to look at training again?

One other thing I should mention - for a "mere" £75, you could go on a three-hour trip around the ship, taking in the bridge, the engine room and many other "back-stage" areas normally out of bounds. I would love to have done this but feel that £75 is way too expensive. I'd happily pay £30 to do it but not £75. I don't know if it actually happened, as it was "limited numbers" and subject to demand.
Alan

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Cruiselover » 30 Mar 2013, 16:37

Hi , just a quick confirmation re Cafe Jardin we did treat ourselves to an evening meal there ,did enjoy but thought the menu was very disappointing , the service is first class , but to pay extra for pizza that use to be on lunch menu is a bit much . Also breakfast & lunch menu does now not change . All in all great cruise , fantastic staff , and lots of lovely people . Jenny :wave:

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by melsea » 30 Mar 2013, 16:45

Alan & Claire

Having been back home since 11.30 & have now my own wifi connection and I am reading your experiences.
So sorry to hear what happened to your mum, that's a hard staircase & floor to fall on. Hope she is healing well.
Yes as we were in the cabin below you, we also had the power cut, fortunately we had a small torch but really it was not bright enough but I was very pleased that it came back on as I didn't fancy showering in the dark or have wet hair for the evening meal.
I shall be writing up my own report about our experiences in due course. I have put a report in about the rating of our cabin though. You were lucky with your steward ours was useless.

It was good to meet up with you all and hope see you again on another cruise.

Mel :-)

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by oldbluefox » 30 Mar 2013, 16:58

Pleased to see you all back safe, sound and suntanned. I look forward to more news of your adventures.

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Not so ancient mariner » 30 Mar 2013, 23:37

You are right about Manuel Martinez on both counts. Take a look at his website: http://www.manuelmartinez.co.uk/index.html. We saw him last year on E204 and we laughed until we ached!
Your weather sounds as mixed as we had on E303, but glad you had a great time. I hope the UK temperatures were not too much of a shock to the system on your return!

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by kaymar » 31 Mar 2013, 10:11

Welcome home, Shiney, glad you had a good trip. I expect that you're enjoying the warm sunshine :lol: We're just back from a week in Tenerife where it was a pretty constant 25 deg. Landing back in Blackpool in 4 deg was a bit of a shock. Still, we've put the clocks forward, so only another month until Spring :)

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 31 Mar 2013, 10:23

Hi Kaymar, thank you for your kind words.

The sunshine here in Sadly Broke is warm - provided you're sitting behind a closed window!! I couldn't cope with 25c - I struggle with anything over 22c these days :( .

Tenerife is a place the Lady C wants to visit at some point - would you recommend it?
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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by kaymar » 31 Mar 2013, 19:14

As ever, it depends on what you and Mrs SS like. We have been going for a week in Feb/March for the last seven years, since we finished work. The thing about Tenerife is that the climate is very predictable. At this time of year it is unlikely to rain (never say never, though!) and the temperature will be 22/25 degs. This will increase to the higher 20s from June to August and down to the high teens mid Nov to early Feb. I'm afraid to say that we do very little other than sit in the sun (or sometimes the shade), read a book, sip a nice chilled Albarino, go for a stroll along the lovely promenade, have a coffee etc.

We have always gone to the South of the Island, to Costa Fanabe where there are some lovely hotels but for the last four years we have rented a villa with a couple of friends and just eaten out at the many good restaurants. It is always good to look forward to a bit of sunshine after a long winter of cold and snow. As it happened this year, we escaped just as the worst of the snow was falling and read about it as we sat round the pool. :)

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Not so ancient mariner » 03 Apr 2013, 22:09

Alan, were there any Spurs/Arsenal fans on board getting (or claiming to be) fed up with the announcements "This is Captain Terry speaking from the bridge"? Actually although his name is Simon, his father is John.

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 04 Apr 2013, 12:49

Not that I am aware of, sir
Alan

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Boris+ » 05 Apr 2013, 18:32

Hi Alan,

Thanks for an interesting report. I am so sorry that one of your party had a fall, that is seriously not nice - but at least you knew you were on a P&O ship with a good med team. It's also great that your steward etc were great.

We had a meal in a small restaurant when we were last in Sorrento, but didn't much like the shops with their curiously 'hiped' prices for tourists. We were lucky and were told where to find shops with things at more sensible prices.

You mention Teneriffe - it's a lovely place, there is some quite interesting architecture to look at. When we were there all the school children were marching in organised groups for an xmas celebration, and they were all very orderly in their little uniforms but each group had it's own festive additions (some groups all wore wings or reinder headresses or santa hats etc).

We had a jolly good walk and ended up in a place called the Market of the Lady of Africa (or saint or madonna of Africa). It was very very clean, and full of market stalls of all descriptions - very colourful and perfumes of a myriad of spices. The tiles on some of the walls and pillars depicted people in local peasant costume in days gone by - and in our ramble around we saw both modern and old architecture.

Anyway, we certainly found it a place worth another visit.

Glad you are now back home safely.

Em :D

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 05 Apr 2013, 19:31

Thank you for your kind words, Em!
Alan

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Re: E304 - a Shiney perspective

Post by Silver_Shiney » 21 Aug 2013, 22:06

Not so ancient mariner wrote:You are right about Manuel Martinez on both counts. Take a look at his website: http://www.manuelmartinez.co.uk/index.html. We saw him last year on E204 and we laughed until we ached!
Your weather sounds as mixed as we had on E303, but glad you had a great time. I hope the UK temperatures were not too much of a shock to the system on your return!
I was in communication with a colleague of his the other day - apparently his real name is Gary!
Alan

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