Sail away

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Kendhni
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Sail away

Post by Kendhni »

Just reading this story https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/travel ... annia-ban/ and thought I know who the snowflakes are and it isn't P&O.

I know some people like them but on our last couple of cruises I noticed they did away with the Great British sailaway (thank goodness) and had a decent inclusive deck party instead - it was actually more fun with better music, even though it did include some of the traditional British sailaway jingles. If people really wanted to patriotic then there were non plastic flags for sale in the shop (or maybe their patriotism only extended to something that was free).

I rate the most embarrassing incident on a cruise was in St Maarten on Oceana (I think) when we were parked up alongside a Royal Caribbean ship (can't remember which one). There had been a bit of friendly good natured banter between the two cruise directors and the Brits and Americans at several points during the day. As we were about to leave the P&O cruise director was trying to whip the P&O passengers into a frenzy of excitement by saying that we would show the Americans the Brits 'knew how to party'. More banter; tiny little plastic union jacks got handed out and were being waved furiously at the yanks; the Americans draped several stars and stripes over their balconies and up on deck there were several full size stars and stripes being waved (have to assume they were onboard and not packed by the passengers - but who knows). The P&O cruise director was really getting the Brits waving hard and the band started up with ...... Copacabana ...... I think the Americans near wet themselves laughing. This was followed by Rule Brittania ... being half drowned out by 'The Star Spangled Banner' coming from the RCI ship and we followed up with various Vera Lynn songs from 450BC ... the Americans went on to blasting contemporary and pop music.

It was funny, but the one thing was it showed that the Americans knew how to party.

Personally I am glad to see the old stereotyping British sailaway being turned into a modern deck party fit for the 21st century.

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Re: Sail away

Post by GillD46 »

I have to say that the Great British Sailaway always made me cringe, and we stopped attending anything even vaguely similar many years ago. Having said that, I know many others loved them.

A deck party I love, but preferably after sailing, and not as an embarrassing display of oneupmanship.
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Re: Sail away

Post by towny44 »

There is quite a busy thread on Cruise Critic about the changes to the Great British Sailaway, and it seems to me there is a correlation between leavers wanting the GBS to stay, and remainers happy to see it go. Which probably fits the strong remain view that brexiteers were poorly educated xenophobic little Englanders.
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Re: Sail away

Post by Stephen »

I prefer to have a civilised glass of bubbly or whatever with Mrs S on our balcony, weather permitting.

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Re: Sail away

Post by Onelife »

l always enjoyed the Quayside band at the sail away, sadly now not entertained. :(

As for the top deck sail away parties they don't do a lot for me, indeed l didn't go to any on my last two cruises (several years ago now) so they'll be no great loss to me. As for "we are sailing" deck parties l would do away with them also. I'm happy to mingle with a glass of bubbly in hand, with perhaps some less intrusive music playing in the background, but only if the hyper entertainment team ain't nowhere to be seen....They seem to think that if you aint stretching your vocal cords, then you ain't having fun.

Well there you have it.....l bet you'll all be queueing up to share a table with me :lol:

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Re: Sail away

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Packing is more interesting as far as we are concerned … cannot see the point other than to sell cheap champers :thumbdown:
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Re: Sail away

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Onelife wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 11:34 l always enjoyed the Quayside band at the sail away, sadly now not entertained. :(

As for the top deck sail away parties they don't do a lot for me, indeed l didn't go to any on my last two cruises (several years ago now) so they'll be no great loss to me. As for "we are sailing" deck parties l would do away with them also. I'm happy to mingle with a glass of bubbly in hand, with perhaps some less intrusive music playing in the background, but only if the hyper entertainment team ain't nowhere to be seen....They seem to think that if you aint stretching your vocal cords, then you ain't having fun.

Well there you have it.....l bet you'll all be queueing up to share a table with me :lol:

We would happily share a table with you and your good lady Keith. :sarcasm:

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Re: Sail away

Post by Onelife »

Manoverboard wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 11:35 Packing is more interesting as far as we are concerned … cannot see the point other than to sell cheap champers :thumbdown:
It's cheaper if you bring it up from your cabin...just saying :lol:

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Re: Sail away

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We would also happily share a cruise table with his good Lady … not quite so sure about the sheep s*****r though :lol: :wave:
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Re: Sail away

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Stephen wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 11:37
Onelife wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 11:34 l always enjoyed the Quayside band at the sail away, sadly now not entertained. :(

As for the top deck sail away parties they don't do a lot for me, indeed l didn't go to any on my last two cruises (several years ago now) so they'll be no great loss to me. As for "we are sailing" deck parties l would do away with them also. I'm happy to mingle with a glass of bubbly in hand, with perhaps some less intrusive music playing in the background, but only if the hyper entertainment team ain't nowhere to be seen....They seem to think that if you aint stretching your vocal cords, then you ain't having fun.

Well there you have it.....l bet you'll all be queueing up to share a table with me :lol:

We would happily share a table with you and your good lady Keith. :sarcasm:
l wish l could return the complement Stephen :oops: :moresarcasm: :lol:

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Re: Sail away

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Manoverboard wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 11:40 We would also happily share a cruise table with his good Lady … not quite so sure about the sheep s*****r though :lol: :wave:
You should be baaaaa..d for that comment Moby :wave:

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Re: Sail away

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

I can take or leave the sailaway parties these days but that has more to do with age than patriotism or not. I do, however, feel this issue has been painted with inaccurate political motives. I think it is entirely to do with reducing single use plastic pollution and evolving tastes in entertainment rather than anything more sinister.

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Re: Sail away

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Mervyn and Trish wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 13:49 I think it is entirely to do with reducing single use plastic
That is just a good "get out" clause these days to make companies look good. There is nothing to stop companies replacing anything plastic with a product made from a non plastic material other than it would cost more and dent their profits.
Mervyn and Trish wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 13:49 evolving tastes in entertainment
That is probably more the case coupled in P&O's case by the constant drive to make P&O more aligned with other Carnival brands.

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Re: Sail away

Post by towny44 »

david63 wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 14:16
Mervyn and Trish wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 13:49 I think it is entirely to do with reducing single use plastic
That is just a good "get out" clause these days to make companies look good. There is nothing to stop companies replacing anything plastic with a product made from a non plastic material other than it would cost more and dent their profits.
Mervyn and Trish wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 13:49 evolving tastes in entertainment
That is probably more the case coupled in P&O's case by the constant drive to make P&O more aligned with other Carnival brands.
From what I hear from a friend who recently sailed on Costa, P&O are much more aligned with Princess than with them, and I imagine HAL is a higher standard along with AIDA, whilst Carnival itself is probably closer to the basement Costa standard.
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Re: Sail away

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

david63 wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 14:16
Mervyn and Trish wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 13:49 evolving tastes in entertainment
That is probably more the case coupled in P&O's case by the constant drive to make P&O more aligned with other Carnival brands.
I'm not sure about the alignment of Carnival brands. When we were on Queen Vic last year chatting with the former P&O Captain I made the observation, having been on Azura the previous week, that Carnival were trying to differentiate their brands operating out of the UK both in style and price, with Cunard being top price, then Princess, then P&O. He said yes very much so and more to come. So I'm expecting drunken karaoke, fighting clowns and a vest and shorts dress code to become compulsory on P&O. :sarcasm:


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Re: Sail away

Post by Finker »

You are not far out Mervyn re P&O as it was anti social behaviour that turned us away from them.

Having said that Aurora was not in the same category. Perhaps is the big ships that have the problem and maybe destinations have something to contribute.

As for sail away we keep away!


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Re: Sail away

Post by oldtimer »

It will be formal evenings going next.

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Re: Sail away

Post by towny44 »

oldtimer wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 17:35 It will be formal evenings going next.
Unlikely, but if the Iona trial is successful we could see a reduction to one per week across the family friendly flèet
at least.
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Re: Sail away

Post by Onelife »

Sadly, trying to squeeze every penny out of cruisers by way of cutting corners always ends up lowering the status of the brand.....P&O embarked on this strategy a few years back and have imo moved from a stylish cruise experience to one where passengers are accepting of lower standards. ....well that's the opinion l get when reading cruise reviews.

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Re: Sail away

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Finker wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 17:03 You are not far out Mervyn re P&O as it was anti social behaviour that turned us away from them.

Having said that Aurora was not in the same category. Perhaps is the big ships that have the problem and maybe destinations have something to contribute.

As for sail away we keep away!
Sadly that was our experience on the larger ships. We saw the type of behaviour and aggression we had not witnessed before so we now take our chances with those on Aurora and Arcadia.
Over the years we have seen the P&O experience devalued to the extent where we are now looking at other cruise lines as an alternative. We always enjoyed being played away at Southampton. It was a lovely start to the holiday but now we don't bother with the sailaway at all. As for the Great British sailaways, not for us. I find them cringeworthy but there are those who enjoy them so fair dues if that is what they enjoy. We prefer to find a nice quiet spot to relax. I must say the assertion that the Brexiteers are more likely to enjoy the GB Sailaway put a wry smile on my face as an ardent Brexiteer. :lol: Nobody is more patriotic than I but this overt jingoism is too much even for me.


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Re: Sail away

Post by Whynd1 »

When they had the band at sailaway at Southampton I would and watch the sailaway. Dont do the great British sail away with all the singing etc. Just not for me. Prefer to sit on the prom deck where it's much quieter or if I'm lucky on the balcony.

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Re: Sail away

Post by david63 »

The band at sailaway became a victim of its own success and I would guess that it was discontinued due to a lack of resources more than a "cost cutting" exercise.

In the "good old days" (pre 2000) P&O only had three ships and the majority of sailings were at a weekend, meaning that one band could probably do all the sailaways. As the size of the fleet grew and sailings became a daily occurrence then the bands were just not available due to work/school commitments, and added to that was the decline in the number of bands/band members.

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Re: Sail away

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towny44 wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 10:47 There is quite a busy thread on Cruise Critic about the changes to the Great British Sailaway,
Just read it and am horrified to read posts mentioning a P&O cruise director and staff were encouraging the passengers to do nazi salutes, playing dambusters music and singing we won the war towards a German ship alongside. If true I hope that P&O got/get rid of that cruise director and team.

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Re: Sail away

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Kendhni wrote: 05 Jan 2020, 10:26
towny44 wrote: 04 Jan 2020, 10:47 There is quite a busy thread on Cruise Critic about the changes to the Great British Sailaway,
Just read it and am horrified to read posts mentioning a P&O cruise director and staff were encouraging the passengers to do nazi salutes, playing dambusters music and singing we won the war towards a German ship alongside. If true I hope that P&O got/get rid of that cruise director and team.
Had the Cruise Director ordered a broadside and sunk the German ship then I would agree with you however I suspect that the average German citizen would much prefer slapstick banter from us Brits to a feeling of hatred towards their nation …. just saying.
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Re: Sail away

Post by Stephen »

Whatever way you look at it Moby it's still not right.

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And like the fighting clown may not have existed!

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Re: Sail away

Post by Onelife »

If it is as reported then the clowns who encouraged this behaviour shold be sacked...A salute to far me thinks.

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Re: Sail away

Post by oldbluefox »

It's not even remotely funny and nothing I would want to be associated with. Is this the way P&O are going?

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Re: Sail away

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Hi Foxy.....Because we don't cruise that often (5 cruises over 20 years) any future cruises we take will be treated as a special occasion, just like the previous ones. This l think is where P&O seem to be losing the plot. They sell their cruises under the flag of being special occasions but in reality it's becoming much more difficult to define what theses special occasions amount to. They have cut corners in many areas of what were the norm a few years back and have by relaxing dress codes allowed for a more informal "do as you please" attatude to dining. This of course suits some people but it will imo be the straw that breaks P&O's back if they allow the special occasions to be something you only read about in one of their glossy sales brochures, only then to find you don't get the feeling of experiencing them once on board.

Too many scruffy buggers on board for my liking......Oh sh*t!.... l forgot Ken dosen't like wearing a tie :sarcasm: :lol:

:wave:
Last edited by Onelife on 05 Jan 2020, 13:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sail away

Post by Gill W »

Firstly, this is The Sun we are talking about, so the content needs to be taken with pinch of salt.

On my P&O cruise in September, flags were no longer handed out. The explanation given was that it was to lower the use of single use plastics. I had no reason to disbelieve this, as the use of plastics had been reduced throughout the cruise. Instead of having a Great British Sailaway, we had a Great British Sail By, on a sea day afternoon. The last couple of ports had a late sailing time, so it was more convenient to do it on a sea day. And very pleasant it was too, to sit in the sunshine and watch the proceedings. All the usual songs were played, there was no suggestion that the 'patriotic' element had been curtailed.

Generally, I think these sailaways are mostly harmless events for entertainment. I say 'mostly', as I saw, on one occasion, a couple of idiots doing Nazi salutes at an Aida ship. However, I can't believe for the life of me, that any cruise director would encourage this.

The problem is, anything to do with 'patriotism' has been demonised, and shoddy articles like the one in the Sun, stokes the fires.
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Re: Sail away

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Onelife wrote: 05 Jan 2020, 13:41 Hi Foxy.....Because we don't cruise that often (5 cruises over 20 years) any future cruises we take will be treated as a special occasion, just like the previous ones. This l think is where P&O seem to be losing the plot. They sell their cruises under the flag of being special occasions but in reality it's becoming much more difficult to define what theses special occasions amount to. They have cut corners in many areas of what were the norm a few years back and have by relaxing dress codes allowed for a more informal "do as you please" attatude to dining. This of course suits some people but it will imo be the straw that breaks P&O's back if they allow the special occasions to be something you only read about in one of their glossy sales brochures, only then to find you don't get the feeling of experiencing them once on board.

Too many scruffy buggers on board for my liking......Oh sh*t!.... l forgot Ken dosen't like wearing a tie :sarcasm: :lol:

:wave:
I cannot agree with your comment about too many scruffy bu99ers, on 14 night cruises from Southampton, even in school holidays, we find that the vast majority of passengers are smartly dressed in the evening.
But back to the GBS, on our first P&O cruise in the Caribbean in 2004 while leaving St Kitts, we went astern around the pier and the CD managed to time our positioning almost alongside Aidableu just as the Music Man reached the dam busters and MOTD. It seemed to go down well with most passengers, so either times have changed or the snowflakes have now taken over.
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Re: Sail away

Post by Mervyn and Trish »

Funnily enough when we cruised to Hamburg on the QM2 as we sailed away we passed a river side hotel where the Germans were having a party and playing very loudly our patriotic songs!

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Re: Sail away

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towny44 wrote: 05 Jan 2020, 15:24
Onelife wrote: 05 Jan 2020, 13:41 Hi Foxy.....Because we don't cruise that often (5 cruises over 20 years) any future cruises we take will be treated as a special occasion, just like the previous ones. This l think is where P&O seem to be losing the plot. They sell their cruises under the flag of being special occasions but in reality it's becoming much more difficult to define what theses special occasions amount to. They have cut corners in many areas of what were the norm a few years back and have by relaxing dress codes allowed for a more informal "do as you please" attatude to dining. This of course suits some people but it will imo be the straw that breaks P&O's back if they allow the special occasions to be something you only read about in one of their glossy sales brochures, only then to find you don't get the feeling of experiencing them once on board.

Too many scruffy buggers on board for my liking......Oh sh*t!.... l forgot Ken dosen't like wearing a tie :sarcasm: :lol:

:wave:
I cannot agree with your comment about too many scruffy bu99ers, on 14 night cruises from Southampton, even in school holidays, we find that the vast majority of passengers are smartly dressed in the evening.
But back to the GBS, on our first P&O cruise in the Caribbean in 2004 while leaving St Kitts, we went astern around the pier and the CD managed to time our positioning almost alongside Aidableu just as the Music Man reached the dam busters and MOTD. It seemed to go down well with most passengers, so either times have changed or the snowflakes have now taken over.
Hi John,

My "scruffy buggers" comment was a little tic, however l have witnessed tracksuits, shorts and vests being worn on formal evenings. If the relaxation of dress codes continues l'm sure there will come a time when even those who enjoy informal wear will be thinking this has gone to far?

Regarding patriotic songs at sail aways..... l bet they wouldn't go down too well sailing out of Buenos Aires?

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Re: Sail away

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Mervyn and Trish wrote: 05 Jan 2020, 16:26 Funnily enough when we cruised to Hamburg on the QM2 as we sailed away we passed a river side hotel where the Germans were having a party and playing very loudly our patriotic songs!

Probably glad to see the back of you ;)

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Re: Sail away

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Stephen........The Riverside hotel to which Sir Merv is referring is called "The Merv" and it is a requirement of his employees to give him a good send off :thumbup: :lol:
Last edited by Onelife on 05 Jan 2020, 17:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sail away

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Not a fan of the sailaways any more - just think I’ve outgrown all that nonsense and teenage grandchildren get so embarrassed :lolno:. I did enjoy the bands playing as you left Southampton accompanied by a free drink - those days are long gone as David said. Some of the remarks on Facebook are quite honestly unbelievable - to say the GBS is the “highlight of their cruise” is well sad to say the least but it takes all sorts I suppose ;)

I’m not sure from the various remarks about dress codes that I am sailing on the same P&O ships as some of you - yes some people are a bit scruffy and the sight of a woman in a Union Jack bikini wasn’t a pretty sight but it was poolside. I found dress codes far more lenient on Royal Caribbean - hoodie and shorts allowed in the dining room on formal night and their idea of “formal” so different to ours :crazy:
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Re: Sail away

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Jan Rosser wrote: 05 Jan 2020, 18:14 bands playing as you left Southampton accompanied by a free drink
What "free" drink? I never had any free drinks at sailaway :( :( :(

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Re: Sail away

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david63 wrote: 05 Jan 2020, 18:59
Jan Rosser wrote: 05 Jan 2020, 18:14 bands playing as you left Southampton accompanied by a free drink
What "free" drink? I never had any free drinks at sailaway :( :( :(
I’m going back to the very first cruises I went on around 1998 - you get a voucher now once you are a “Golden Oldie” for a free drink at any sail away which I usually forget about anyway :roll:
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Re: Sail away

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We get a free drink now we are at the 7.5 discount grade and have been for some while. Can't remember what grade we are off hand, not that high though. There's always the two vouchers waiting for us in our cabin embarkation day. You don't have to use them at sailaway either.

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Re: Sail away

Post by Not so ancient mariner »

The last time we had a band on the dockside playing us away was around 2012 or 2103, when it was actually a jazz band of about 5 or 6 players.

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Re: Sail away

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Not so ancient mariner wrote: 03 Mar 2020, 21:18 The last time we had a band on the dockside playing us away was around 2012 or 2103, when it was actually a jazz band of about 5 or 6 players.

Back to the future band ;)

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Re: Sail away

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Ah yes I remember 2103 well. After all the climate change P&O had changed their home port from Southampton to Northampton.

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Re: Sail away

Post by Ray B »

Yes, I know it's a cliche, but those were the days. The anticipation of the cruise ahead started with the band playing on the dockside, the streamers being thrown and family members and friends waving the ship away.
Most times was then followed by a rush down to dinner.
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Re: Sail away

Post by towny44 »

Our first Southampton P&O cruise was in 2011, and we had 3 more over the next 2 years and never saw a band or a streamer, however all our cruises were on the then 2 big ships, so maybe bands and streamers were reserved for the little old ladies and their doddery passengers. :sarcasm:
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Re: Sail away

Post by GillD46 »

I too loved the band and streamers from way back. It was much more enjoyable than the cringeworthy - to us -
GBS.
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Re: Sail away

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The way back cruises were altogether different … especially, for us, at the Black Sea Ports :thumbup:
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Re: Sail away

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Manoverboard wrote: 04 Mar 2020, 11:33 The way back cruises were altogether different
Certainly were. No ensuite toilets for a start….

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Re: Sail away

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Mervyn and Trish wrote: 04 Mar 2020, 11:47
Manoverboard wrote: 04 Mar 2020, 11:33 The way back cruises were altogether different
Certainly were. No ensuite toilets for a start….
I don't go back that far but I'll take your word for it …. ;)
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Re: Sail away

Post by Stephen »

Everything has changed about travel.

For Mrs S and myself the anticipation started when you use to get a call from your local travel agent saying your tickets were ready to collect. And you knew once you had the nicely printed out tickets in a smart wallet in your hand that the holiday was real and very near. Now it's all cut backs and print it off yourself on sheets of A4. Yes I'm sure that is still the case on the more expensive up market holidays, but for the norm the glamour has gone.
Last edited by Stephen on 04 Mar 2020, 12:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Onelife
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Re: Sail away

Post by Onelife »

Stephen wrote: 04 Mar 2020, 12:15 Everything has changed about travel.

For Mrs S and myself the anticipation started when you use to get a call from your local travel agent saying your tickets were ready to collect. And you knew once you had the nicely printed out tickets in a smart wallet in your hand that the holiday was real and very near. Now it's all cut backs and print it off yourself on sheets of A4. Yes I'm sure that is still the case on the more expensive up market holidays, but for the norm the glamour has gone.
Cruising has certainly lost that personal touch over recent years Stephen

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