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07-07-2019, 06:39 PM
21

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

Looks good OGF

I've seen Maurice do his act. Very very good. Funny, entertaining mix of jokes, annecdotes and songs and all pitched at the right level for a cruise audience. I would definitely go and see him again.

As for Oriana. Yes the initial idea was that the Chinese would use her as a floating hotel/casino, but I learned on Aurora a few weeks back that they are now going to keep her as a cruise ship. I don't yet know which cruise line, but it will be a popular decision for the hardened and long time loyal Oriana supporters.

Unfortunately for me, Oriana leaving the fleet is an absolute catastrophe. Not because I want to sail on her, I don't generally, but because when she goes, her sister ship Aurora is where all those Oriana lovers will flock over to.

Oriana prices were always massively more expensive than other ships because she only had one row of balconies.

Aurora was always far more reasonable because she has 3 or 4 decks of balconies.

Now that Oriana is going, the bean counters at Carnival have spotted a lucrative situation to exploit. So they have now massively increased the cost of a balcony cabin on Aurora simply because they know Oriana lovers will pay the money. That ruins Aurora for the rest of us, many who have sailed with Aurora a great many times. It's a disaster.
The situation is also making it hard to get a cabin on Aurora regardless of price. You basically now have 2 individual sets of passengers for Oriana and Aurora all now fighting and jostling to get on Aurora.

It might now be time for us to leave P&O and use a different cruise line.
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08-07-2019, 12:23 PM
22

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

Glad to hear that Oriana will continue on as a cruise ship Realist, having not being on the Aurora I'm not familiar with her but can see the attraction over the Oriana with the extra balconies. It would have been nice to have been in a cabin with a balcony but alas, they were all sold out when I booked this cruise.

For Carnival, it's always going to be about the money but apart from the new ship Iona, I don't mind sailing on any of the P&O ships providing they are going where I want to go, but I prefer to sail from and return to Southampton.

I also would certainly go and see Maurice again, you can't beat a funny Yorkshireman... but he is leaving the ship at Reykjavik, I hope there will be another comedian to replace him, they all seem to be a very high standard on P&O ships.....
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08-07-2019, 12:47 PM
23

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

We seem to have run into a patch of bad weather overnight, I didn't realise it was raining until I stepped out on deck at 6:30am this morning. The deck was awash but I thought I would attempt to do a few miles before breakfast, so dressed in just shorts and tee shirt I set off in earnest.

They don't like you running around the promenade deck first thing in the morning because it upsets the passengers with cabins underneath, so you are directed to deck 13 (It's the first P&O ship we've been on that had a deck 13) and what a perfect place it is to run. Both sides of the ship have a space allocated for walkers and runners with astro turf lining the course.

Unfortunately puddles had formed in various places and it wasn't long before my feet and socks were soaked, but you can only get wet once so on I splashed. The puddles ebbed and flowed with the motion of the ship and it was possible to avoid the worst with some careful timing.

Another runner appeared on the course, and we spoke briefly each time we passed. He was out for half an hour, but I was determined to complete an hour around the two minute course, which would produce a distance of just over five miles at my snails pace.
After he did his fifteen laps he disappeared into the warm and dry interior of the ship but I stuck it out and managed to complete all thirty laps in the hour.

I later accompanied Mrs Fox on a stretching and posture class while my running kit tumbled around in one of the ships dryers. So a late breakfast this morning.....It's still raining with poor visibility and the ship seems to have slowed down a bit, but Mrs Fox has just returned from her foray around the shops telling me there are all sorts of indoor games taking place in the Atrium, so I'd better go and have a look before lunch....
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08-07-2019, 02:53 PM
24

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

Shame about the rain Bob - psst ..... it's sunny here

Glad you were able to get a run, in spite of the bad weather.

Looking forward to your next review!
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08-07-2019, 05:23 PM
25

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

Originally Posted by OldGreyFox ->
having not being on the Aurora I'm not familiar with her but can see the attraction over the Oriana with the extra balconies.
It went far beyond the number of balconies TBH. Aurora is almost identical to Oriana except for some additional benefits which makes Aurora better. Predominently this used to be in the form of an additional alternative restaurant called Cafe Bordeaux, which was a fabulous abd very well loved french bistro affair. You could go in there in the morning for FREE breakfast which was a range of continental dishes including cooked breakfasts like eggs benedict and kedgeree and so on. Then you could also visit for lunch which was again FREE and have delightful dishes like Black Marlin. In the evening you could have a sumptuous dinner for which you then paid a small supplement which was well worth it.

It was a unique restaurant amongst the fleet and Aurorians absolutely loved it.

Then Carnival came along . . . . . !

Clearly decided it was a space not maximising revenue, so they took away Cafe Bordeaux and in its place put in The Glass House, the standard wine bar/alternative evening restaurant you see on a number of the ships in the fleet.

Glass House is ok, but nothing like the old Cafe 'B'.

Nevertheless, Aurora is the better of these 2 sister ships.

A traditional ship with wide promeade deck in teak, fabulous crow's nest on 3 levels, sleek tiered back end making her sexier than the "block of flats" ships, great terrace bar at the back of the ship, great central swimming pool with retractable rook for those hot days.

If you are enjoying Oriana then it's quids in that you will love Aurora, but as I say the prices are rapidly increasing because of Oriana leaving, and cabin availablilty is becoming an issue.

She's still our No 1 choice but we will be increasingly moving over to Azura and Ventua which are great ships in their own right but very different from Oriana and Aurora.

I have no interest whatsoever in Iona. 5000 passengers is frankly ridiculous. Any tender ports will be a complete nightmare and I don't want to be part of a cruise line that swamps beautiful remote towns and cities with so many 1000s of people at a time. I think as passengers we share a responsibility to ensure our tourism doesn't adversely impact our destinations. 5000 pax on one ship is a bad thing, and what then if there is more than one ship in the same port?!!

Nope, not for me.

Pecking order is:

Aurora, Azura, Ventura, Arcadia


Now on a side, I have noticed that in every photo of yourself you are always wearing the same thing. Shorts, white socks and trainers. Do you ever wear a pair of trousers ?!!!

I think you need to put our minds at rest and put up a photo of formal night. I have this awful vision of a black tuxedo, formal shirt, snazzy bow tie . . . . and shorts and trainers !!! Say it isn't so !
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09-07-2019, 09:11 AM
26

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

Hahaha....Great post Realist and photos of tux without shorts on it's way...
And as usual, thanks ever so Mags.....

Not much to report after a full day at sea yesterday. It rained all day and fog restricted the view to one hundred yards at times. Attended an intense stretching class in the gym by this 'Brute' of a man with rippling muscles and a sense of humour, Mrs Fox was all glassy eyed......Doing my best to attempt all the positions I was unable to walk properly for the rest of the day......

The tannoy crackled in the cabin during the afternoon while I was absorbed in a 'Who Done it?' It was asking for passengers to donate blood to a sick colleague (P&O have practically made me a poor man, and now they want blood as well!..) Seriously though, there was a collapsed passenger who required a blood transfusion and urgent medical assistance, so to this end, the ship has speeded up from 12 knots to 20 to arrive in Reykjavik 12 hours earlier.

There is good news and bad news......The good news is that the rain and fog have cleared and we can once again see the horizon.....
The bad news is:- It's blowing a force ten gale and the ship is being tossed about like a cork on a very angry sea!...

Okay! I might have overdone it with the severity of the gale, but it has made it very difficult to shower, always having to have one hand gripping the rail to prevent gravity and the North Atlantic turning me into a statistic and joining the bloke on the gurney......
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10-07-2019, 12:22 PM
27

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

With the ship speeding towards Reykjavic with its poorly passenger, the wind subsided and rough angry seas turned to placid seas as we approached our destination where we arrived sometime around 4:00pm. Some last minute tours of Reykjavic had been arranged and some passengers took advantage of this extra excursion, but being on early sitting for dinner (6:30pm) I decided that a good meal was worth staying aboard for, and being a Yorkshireman, it was also free.....

A black tie night, so Mrs Fox did the honours and provided a bit of a dark photo of the Fox in his best stuff.......Just for you Realist....



After dinner we made our way to the theatre where a 'not half bad' Beatles Tribute Band were running us through some famous Beatles hits, although they looked like four desperados in wigs more suited to robbing the ships bank, they produced a very enjoyable show.

While sitting in the 'Crows Nest' (A very relaxed drinking establishment) listening to a Jazz Quartet.......I sipped on my Coca Cola and realised that despite trying to enjoy a pint of Guiness as we left Ireland, and a brew from the Black Sheep brewery in Yorkshire, I don't like most alcoholic beverages barring the odd glass of red, so in future I will just drink pop.....

Ten past eleven last night and the sun was still streaming through the cabin window as we settled down to bed. Three visits to the toilet during the night were also done in broad daylight....
It doesn't bother me and I slept peacefully until 5:30am when I pulled on my shorts and tee shirt and completed 30 laps (just over five miles) around a very dry and mild deck.....Outstanding!....

It's the 'Ring of Fire' today, a trip around the island by bus, should be a good day out, and it goes in.........Whoa!......Half an hour.....
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10-07-2019, 02:07 PM
28

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

Cor! You scrub up well, Bob!

Glad the weather has improved for you and you enjoyed a quieter day. I can’t imagine sun streaming through the windows at turned 11 at night!

Looking forward to the “Ring of Fire” report
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10-07-2019, 02:17 PM
29

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

Bob from TV programmes I have seen about Iceland it looks a lovely place with friendly people . Just don't eat any of the national dish Hákarl which contains rotting fish

Have a lovely time and don't forget to moisturise those knees, we can't have them getting chapped
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10-07-2019, 02:45 PM
30

Re: Taking OFF To Iceland

Originally Posted by Meg ->
Bob from TV programmes I have seen about Iceland it looks a lovely place with friendly people . Just don't eat any of the national dish Hákarl which contains rotting fish

Have a lovely time and don't forget to moisturise those knees, we can't have them getting chapped
Ooh Meg, you're hooked on the famous knees as well, I see!
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