P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

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Mervyn and Trish
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 12 May 2019, 08:56

Midlandslass wrote:
12 May 2019, 08:51
Hope you enjoy your grills experience.
Go up to the restaurant when you embark and check out where your table is.
If you don't like the position have a word with the Maitre D' and he may be able to move you.
If there's a particular favourite meal you enjoy it's worth asking if the chef will make it for you. They can only say no, just give a days notice.
Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to it. :thumbup:

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Dancing Queen » 12 May 2019, 17:02

Midlandslass wrote:
12 May 2019, 08:51
Hope you enjoy your grills experience.
Go up to the restaurant when you embark and check out where your table is.
If you don't like the position have a word with the Maitre D' and he may be able to move you.
If there's a particular favourite meal you enjoy it's worth asking if the chef will make it for you. They can only say no, just give a days notice.
It is no longer an option to order 'off menu' in Princess Grill and hasn't been for the last 12/18 months although I'm sure there will still be the odd exceptions, however there is still an excellent A La Carte menu available so I'm sure Merv won't be disappointed.
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 12 May 2019, 18:33

Only been on board 6 hours and already spotted sunbed hogging on the Grills Terrace. No tatty paperbacks here though. They use iPhones to save the beds!

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Stephen » 13 May 2019, 08:05

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
12 May 2019, 18:33
Only been on board 6 hours and already spotted sunbed hogging on the Grills Terrace. No tatty paperbacks here though. They use iPhones to save the beds!

Could be lucrative :)

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 14 May 2019, 08:15

I'm starting a collection

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Manoverboard » 14 May 2019, 08:52

If you get caught just say that your Doctor told you to keep taking the tablets :thumbup:

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 14 May 2019, 09:12

Update. So far we're enjoying the Princess Grills experience. The cabin is nice. As said above it is very like the D deck cabins on Azura though the balcony is smaller and not overlooked. The highlight is definitely the food and the service in the restaurant. The downside is of course the cost! Just hope I can get a good price for those phones.
Last edited by Mervyn and Trish on 14 May 2019, 09:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 14 May 2019, 09:47

Are you enjoying the Grill’s Lounge? We find it a lovely place for a pre-dinner cocktail, and an anytime (included) coffee. You can also request a free coffee from your sun-bed on the deck. My favourite is an iced coffee on a warm day. Plus of course all the treats...
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 14 May 2019, 11:17

Not tried it yet Gill. Last night was freebie drinks with the Captain, whom we've seen previously on P&O and looks like he should have his Mum's permission to be here! I must say the canapés were a class above those served on P&O.

An officer we were talking to confirmed my feeling that since Carnival took over there was no point having two lines directly competing as Cunard and P&O once did and they were now deliberately aiming at different markets and different price brackets. Even outside the Grills there are very few loud.,obese, tattooed, lycra clad lads and ladettes on here. My inner snob is definitely coming out!

We will try the coffee later. Not warm enough yet for too much Terrace lounging!

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 14 May 2019, 12:17

I’m glad you seem to be enjoying it.
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 14 May 2019, 12:50

My bank manager may be less pleased!

But we most certainly are.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 14 May 2019, 14:06

Great to hear.
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Dancing Queen » 14 May 2019, 17:59

GillD46 wrote:
14 May 2019, 14:06
Great to hear.
Sounds like we might have a new recruit Gill :clap: :clap:
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by david63 » 14 May 2019, 18:50

Out of interest Merv when you were embarking Azura were you part of the online check-in trial and if so how does it work?
Last edited by david63 on 14 May 2019, 21:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 14 May 2019, 19:40

Dancing Queen wrote:
14 May 2019, 17:59
GillD46 wrote:
14 May 2019, 14:06
Great to hear.
Sounds like we might have a new recruit Gill :clap: :clap:
I’m not surprised Jo, and bet you aren’t either :clap:
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 15 May 2019, 07:37

david63 wrote:
14 May 2019, 18:50
Out of interest Merv when you were embarking Azura were you part of the online check-in trial and if so how does it work?
No we weren't. But we had priority check in because of both Caribou status and suite residence so we were aboard faster than you can say Lewis Hamilton. The same applied second week with Cunard.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 15 May 2019, 07:40

GillD46 wrote:
14 May 2019, 19:40
Dancing Queen wrote:
14 May 2019, 17:59
GillD46 wrote:
14 May 2019, 14:06
Great to hear.
Sounds like we might have a new recruit Gill :clap: :clap:
I’m not surprised Jo, and bet you aren’t either :clap:
Full conclusions yet to be published but if cost is ignored there's likely to be a clear winner. In fact jumping ahead slightly the Queen's cabin next to us is pretty similar to the Azura suite but of course is even more money. Be some tough thinking to do.


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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Midlandslass » 15 May 2019, 08:36

Maybe your inner snob calling to you :lol:
Seriously, friends of ours who regularly travel Cunard have taken a couple of Caribbean fly cruises on P&O and first thing they commented on was the “tattoo and vest brigade”.
We will be in 5191 (QV) in July and looking forward to the wonderful wake view with an iced drink from the mini bar. Maybe that’s my inner snob ;)

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Manoverboard » 15 May 2019, 09:08

I remember getting slacked off for suggesting that Cunard attracted snobs … just saying ;)

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 15 May 2019, 09:19

Midlandslass wrote:
15 May 2019, 08:36
Maybe your inner snob calling to you :lol:
Seriously, friends of ours who regularly travel Cunard have taken a couple of Caribbean fly cruises on P&O and first thing they commented on was the “tattoo and vest brigade”.
We will be in 5191 (QV) in July and looking forward to the wonderful wake view with an iced drink from the mini bar. Maybe that’s my inner snob ;)
5191 is our favourite: we’ve had that one several times. 4191 too.
Gill

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 15 May 2019, 09:35

Just met someone from the BBC 20 years ago in the lift!

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 15 May 2019, 15:21

We did lunch in the courtyard today. Lovely. Great tip thank you.

And dozed in the sun on the terrace.

The Cunard Grills system of off limits areas has never bothered me when travelling in steerage because the exclusive areas are a small proportion of the ship. Now I'm inside the fence I'm rather enjoying them!

I have the impression from studying the deck plans and my memories of QM2 that they're not so private on there. I seem to recall being able to peer into the restaurants from the promenade deck.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 15 May 2019, 18:52

Yes, although I prefer the Grills experience on QM2. I particularly like the Lounge. There is also a stairway right through one side of the Grill’s terrace on QM2, but it doesn’t actually bother me. The cabins are better too. I do seem to be in a minority though, as most “Grillers” prefer the smaller sisters. However, we travel on any and all of them!
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 May 2019, 09:18

In Olden this morning. I'm remembering a previous visit when a woman in the shop opposite the berth was moaning about the cruise ships while making her living selling tourist tat to their passengers. Norwegian irony.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Stephen » 16 May 2019, 10:36

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
15 May 2019, 09:35
Just met someone from the BBC 20 years ago in the lift!

Did you owe him money and he's come to collect ;)

Sounds like you're both having a great time Merv. Regards to Trish from us both.
Last edited by Stephen on 16 May 2019, 10:39, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by CaroleF » 16 May 2019, 10:52

Fascinating! Maybe I can convince John to try Cunard again.


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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Midlandslass » 16 May 2019, 12:43

GillD46 wrote:
15 May 2019, 09:19
Midlandslass wrote:
15 May 2019, 08:36
Maybe your inner snob calling to you :lol:
Seriously, friends of ours who regularly travel Cunard have taken a couple of Caribbean fly cruises on P&O and first thing they commented on was the “tattoo and vest brigade”.
We will be in 5191 (QV) in July and looking forward to the wonderful wake view with an iced drink from the mini bar. Maybe that’s my inner snob ;)
5191 is our favourite: we’ve had that one several times. 4191 too.
Yes, it was very kind of Cunard to downgrade these wonderful aft cabins :)

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 16 May 2019, 15:42

Okay so this afternoon the steward turned up on the upper terrace offering ice cream. I'm hooked.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Stephen » 16 May 2019, 16:32

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
16 May 2019, 15:42
Okay so this afternoon the steward turned up on the upper terrace offering ice cream. I'm hooked.
I've heard you'll do anything for a 99 :D

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 16 May 2019, 17:29

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
16 May 2019, 15:42
Okay so this afternoon the steward turned up on the upper terrace offering ice cream. I'm hooked.
We have been known to go to the Grill’s deck just before 3pm for just that :lol:
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Gill W » 17 May 2019, 16:09

Happydays wrote:
11 May 2019, 15:23
We used to like Azura but after our last one in the Caribbean last year I wouldn't be in a hurry to go on her again :(
When on FO in January lots of people had the drinks package and we never noticed the type of behaviour you have mentioned.
I was on FO Balmoral last year, and people wandering round with a glass wasn't a 'thing'. Also, we've just come back from CMV Columbus, and there weren't people wandering round with glasses all the time. I think it's probably because the FO and CMV drinks packages are at a reasonable cost and people don'tfeel the need to drink 24/7 to get their money's worth!

We are on Azura in September, so I'll be curious to see what happens.
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Stephen » 17 May 2019, 18:14

We like Azura and am on her again next year.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 18 May 2019, 07:08

Yes we still love her. Hope it's a one off. We'll be interested to hear from others sbout different cruises. It may be a short cruise thing.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Kenmo1 » 18 May 2019, 08:30

We are on the one immediately following the April refit, 14 nights, so hope it is ok. I think the Easter holiday one was cancelled to bring forward the refit so hopefully not too many children/teenagers on there then.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Manoverboard » 18 May 2019, 08:41

Stephen wrote:
16 May 2019, 16:32
Mervyn and Trish wrote:
16 May 2019, 15:42
Okay so this afternoon the steward turned up on the upper terrace offering ice cream. I'm hooked.
I've heard you'll do anything for a 99 :D
Naah …. it was a 69 :roll:

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 19 May 2019, 18:24

Back home. Comparison coming soon. Along with the diet.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 19 May 2019, 19:18

Looking forward to reading your thoughts. Welcome back.
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Dancing Queen » 19 May 2019, 20:39

GillD46 wrote:
19 May 2019, 19:18
Looking forward to reading your thoughts. Welcome back.
And me !!

Whilst I would never 'knock' P&O because we have had some wonderful cruises with them I know we made the right decision to ditch them and return to Cunard.
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 20 May 2019, 14:39

So here goes. The results of our survey. This will come in bite sized chunks. Unlike the Princess Grills Duck A L'Orange, which was massive! More on that later.

As a reminder neither of these trips was our norm. Our greatest aspiration before was a Superior Deluxe Balcony Cabin on P&O or a mini-suite on Princess Cruises, which are both pretty much the same thing.

For this trip we wished to revisit Azura, our current favourite P&O ship, and we found a seven-nighter taking in Cherborg, La Coruna, Santander and Guernsey. Two brand new ports for us and two where we planned to do things we'd not done before. Our original plan was to book our normal cabin, but we booked early and found we could get a mid-ships suite for £1329 each. So we did.

Then we fancied trying either Queen Victoria or Elizabeth, having only been on QE2 and QM2 before. We spotted QV was doing 7 nights in the Fjords departing just one day after our Azura return, so we booked that too, also booking early, and getting it for £1994 each in the Princess Grills. Now that is less than £100 each below what we paid for two weeks in a SDB on the Britannia Maiden. But we decided to do it anyway.

The plans was to do some excursions from Azura, but just wander in the QV ports, all but one of whiuch were familiar to us, and to spend the time enjoying the Grills facilities.

We got a healthy chunk of OBC on both ships so we grabbed that and booked the Southampton Hilton for an overnight stay before, another one between the two trips and car parking.

So to begin with boarding. We got priority on both ships courtesy of our cabin choice (and also our loyalty level on P&O). Our boarding times were listed as 12.30 in both cases. Both times we were there by 12.00 and on board straight away.

The experience differed becasue we were directed to the priority lunch on P&O while we awaited cabins. In fact they were ready by around 1.15, pretty much the time we'd finished eating. There was no evidence of the expected Butler to escort us but we know our way round and found the cabin ourselves. The butler arrived to introduce himself a little later, along with the Steward.

On Cunard the cabin was ready as we boarded so it was straight there and settle in. We hadn't twigged that the Grills Restaurant was open for lunch (lesson learned!) so we grabbed a very small snack in the buffet. Our first impression of that (and to be fair we didn't see much of it later in the week) was that it was much less frenetic than on Azura. I think that may be a feature of having far fewer passengers than anything else. Then we headed to the Grills area to have our first nosy around and check out our table. We got the requested table for 2, right by the window, set at 45 degrees so we both had a view straight out. Lovely. In fact we had the impression that any struggle in the Grills is to get a larger table, rather than the tables for 2, which are the gold dust in the MDRs.

We had copious quantities of fizz in the cabins on both ships. We never quite worked out why we got so much but, with an anniversary gift on Azura, we totalled 4 and a half bottles across the fortnight.

Finally in this instalment the cabins. A win for P&O. The Azura midships suite would be a Q3 on QV. Square, two normal cabins wide, with walk in show and separate whirl pool bath, and a door between that and the toilet and washbasin in a separate room, making it possible for one person to use the loo while the other is showering or bathing. And more space to move around.

The Princess Grills mini-suite is still lovely, but longer and thinner and the same layout as the Azura SDB's. The one fault is the dressing table is close to one side of the bed making it hard for one person to access their drawers and getr ready while the other is slapping on the makeup. Since the latter is always Trish it is a mystery to me that I have never yet succeeded in booking one of these cabins with the dressing table her side. I'm sure they alternate down the corridor but I've never cracked it.

Of course both cabins on both ships come with robes, slippers and upgraded toiletries. Both also get a fruit bowl, that on QV being replenished daily. Azura gets the usual two small bottles of water, then it's pay as you go. QV gets a big bottle, replaced free as you use it. Azura gets daily canapes. Azura gets normal room service, except the Butler lays it out for you. QV has room service from the Grills menu if required. Both have a mini-bar stuffed with drinks at daft prices - rather more daft on QV, in common with the rest of the ship. By the way on Cunard you have to be Queens Grills to get a butler, but we did have a share in a concierge.

The balcony furniture is nicer on QV, but still not over comfortable. You get a table and chairs as well as recliners on the Azura Suite balcony, which is of course wider. The Princess balcony is not overlooked, like the equivalent cabins on Azura, but is smaller. Quite adequate for us though, when you consider what awaits upstairs.

Oh another finally! Muster Drill. Same procedure and same script for the captain on both lines. Scanned in so no escape. And I can report that both lines have passengers for whom the line "please do not put on your lifejackets yet, please just watch the demonstration" apparently does not compute and the first few instructions are drowned out in the roar of ripping velcro!

To be continued.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by david63 » 20 May 2019, 15:23

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
20 May 2019, 14:39
two where we planned to do things we'd not done before
Too much information :D :D

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Stephen » 20 May 2019, 15:34

Mervyn and Trish wrote:
20 May 2019, 14:39
Oh another finally! Muster Drill. Same procedure and same script for the captain on both lines. Scanned in so no escape. And I can report that both lines have passengers for whom the line "please do not put on your lifejackets yet, please just watch the demonstration" apparently does not compute and the first few instructions are drowned out in the roar of ripping velcro!

To be continued.

You do wonder what goes through some peoples head when they can't follow simple instructions :roll:

Enjoying the review.
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by david63 » 20 May 2019, 15:45

Stephen wrote:
20 May 2019, 15:34
You do wonder what goes through some peoples head when they can't follow simple instructions
Nothing - and that is the problem!

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 20 May 2019, 16:43

The same applies to lifts. I do think compulsory lift instruction should follow muster.

1. A button with a down arrow should be pressed if you wish to go down.

2. A button with an up arrow should be pressed if you wish to go up.

3. Pressing all the buttons simply annoys other passengers in lifts which stop unnecessarily.

4. An illuminated up arrow indicates a lift is going up.

5. An illuminated down arrow indicates a lift going down.

6. There is no need to ask passengers in the lift which has just arrived which way they are going. Look at the arrows. See 4 and 5 above.. They will be very annoyed if they are going down and you are going up but have pressed all the buttons. See 3 above.

7. Half of them probably don't know anyway. They are going down to go up. Or up to go down.

8. Passengers going up to go down or down to go up, will be sent down the gangway at the next port and not allowed to go up again.

9. Passengers who breach any of these instructions will have their foreheads tattoo'd for identification and will be barred from the lifts for the rest of the cruise. They may go down the stairs to go up, or up the stairs to go down as often as they please.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Stephen » 20 May 2019, 16:48

And that includes wheel chair users :D

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Manoverboard » 20 May 2019, 17:10

Our one and only P&O Butler was appreciated but one's ( shared ) Concierge on Calamity had far more ranging powers.

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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by GillD46 » 20 May 2019, 19:47

Did you notice that the lift pings once for up and twice for down? Maybe it’s the same on P&O, it’s been some time so I can’t remember.
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Re: P&O Suite v Cunard Princess Grills

Post by Mervyn and Trish » 20 May 2019, 22:13

We didn't notice that. Presumably to.help visually impaired. Clever.

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