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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Travel Insurance

As you know, I'm soon to be off to the Arctic Circle to hopeful see the Northern Lights. Now I had to call my insurance company to let them know that I had been poorly lately, which thankfully they did not increase the premium ( only the excess ).

I also spoke to them about the Husky dog sledge shore ex we had booked. This was not covered by the existing policy, and I had to add on the Winter Sports bundle ( only another £13 )

So the moral of the story us to always speak to your insurance company if you are going to do anything different. You maybe surprised as it may  not cost a lot more. 
And, you don't want to trip over, and then find your insurance company will not cover you all for the sake of £13.

Picture below is off the Catnerdral in Tromso when we visited a few years ago ( can you spot the bear ? ) now that's another story ;-)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014


So this week our "Your Holiday Information" booklet arrives from P&O Cruises for our upcoming cruise up to the Arctic Circle to hopefully see the Northern Lights.

Now we had booked our shore excursions some time ago on line, but we still like to browse.

Now one of the shore excursions we have already booked is "in search of the northern lights" I guess you can tell by the title what it's all about.
Now this is obviously a popular excursion, therefore quite a few are listed, for differing start times in the evening and thier respective return times. 
However, the last three are listed start at 20:00, 21:30 and 22.30 but all with the same return time of 23:45.

Now I'm sure it's probably just a typo, but such an obvious one that you would think someone would proof read these before they are sent out.

Or is it just me ?

Answers on a post card to ........

Friday, 24 January 2014

A slight change to my blogs

I have renamed this ( My cruise ramblings) blog to Ray's Ramblings, and will not longer update my Non Cruise Ramblings (still with me ? ) that way there is only have one blog to look at. Not sure its will improve the content of the blog though :-)

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Am I a Stalker ?

Well, I was not going to write another blog, but today, was "eventful" so here I am.

Today was the last day of "my" weekend (the joys of shift work), and unusually Sue was also on annual leave, so what to do ?

Well Sue decided she wanted a new coat, so off we went this morning to Colchester. Well after a morning around the shops, Sue still had not found anything she liked.

Now I'm not saying Sue is picky, but she does know what she likes, and will not settle for second best, which is probably why she married me :-).

So, after that failure, we decided to drive another 30 minutes to Freeport Braintree, to look for the forsaid coat.

As we left Colchester, I said to Sue " I really do need to spend a penny when we get to Freeport"

As it was lunch time when we arrived, so we decided to eat in a well known Pizza restaurant on site. We were shown to our table, and I said to Sue " I must spend that penny now" so off I went in search of the toilet.

Now here is a WARNING to all men out there, if you are in a hurry, not all signs that have two legs are the Mens toilet.
 I wont go into to details, other than to say I'm very glad the toilet was empty.

So we are sitting eating when in walks Michael J Fitch and his wife. Now I know Michael, as I booked him for Sue's 60th birthday bash a few years ago.

 And excellent he was too, and I would highly recommend him.

I'm sure by now, that you know that I am a big fan of most social media, with Twitter being one of them, and as such, "follow" of Michael on Twitter.

So, I sent him a tweet saying "The Pizza in here is very good".

Well the look on his face as he read the tweet on his phone, and scanned the restaurant for who had sent it, was as the advert says, "Priceless", but I did own up in the end.

So then after lunch our quest began again to find Sue a new coat, which I am pleased to report was a success, along with few new tops just for good measure.

And so my weekend is complete and its back to work tomorrow, and on full shifts (I have been a bit poorly of late).

Could I have crammed any more into my weekend ? NO !!!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Our weekend way

Now I was going to post this in my non cruising blog, but you will see why I changed my mind later.

It was as I finished work on Friday, that Sue said to me "do you fancy going away for the weekend" ( I had to work until 2pm of the Saturday), so a quick trawl of the internet, and we had managed to book 2 nights at Hintlesham Hall a Grade 1 listed building that was a former Manor House of many years ago, with a golf course and Spa.It was also just a short drive across the border into Suffolk near Ipswich.

 So after finishing work on Saturday, it was back home, throw a few things in a bag and we were off.

Our room (picture below) was in the Queen Anne Wing, and is the reason I have put this into my cruising blog

Do you think they know us better than we do :-)

The hotel itself, as you would imagine is like a grand old country house, with lounge next to the bar called The Drawing Room, and the restaurant, The Parlour. All the rooms had grand old fireplaces and very large oil paintings of past occupiers of the house.

So what to do on Sunday ? Well a place I have been meaning to visit for a long time was Sutton Hoo which was not too far from where we were staying.

I have to say, even for a January day (it was sunny though), it was an excellent day out, with an hour walk around the burial mounds, and then the exhibition

The helmet above is probably the most famous "Find" form the burial ground, with the original in the British Museum

Within the exhibition is a mock up of how they think the "king" was laid to rest in his boat (left picture). Now I had left my DSLR camera at home, so only had my Iphone (other makes of phone are available) to take pictures. Now the picture of the "king" on my phone would show as a thumbnail, but not a picture, only when I transferred them to the PC, could I view it, SPOOKY

And so came Monday morning, and time to go back home after a frosty start

So, all in all a great weekend away !!!!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Not me

Thought I would just make it clear that I have not gone to Southampton for the Norwegian Getaway 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

London Cruise Show

Well yesterday (11th January) my good lady and I were up early, and were soon on a train bound for London  to go to The Telegraph Cruise Show held a the London Excel.

Since I left the IT industry some 10 years ago, I do not now need to travel for work purposes, so its some time since I have been on a train, bound for London.

But we soon reached Stratford, with its imposing Westfield Shopping Centre , but no time for shopping today, and we were soon boarding the Docklands Light Railway (another first for us) to Customs House station near Docklands, to arrive a few minutes later at London Excel.

Having never been to this part of the world before, even though I was born in the eastend of London, (I had moved out long before the building started here) I thought the Excel was very impressive, and along with the cruise show, there was a wedding show and a boat show, but more of that later.

Now during my years, I have been many a trade exhibition, but never a cruise related one, so again another first for us.
The cruise show was held in hall N5, most if not all of the major players had stands there, the largest of which went to P&O and RCI.

P&O's stand was majoring on the Britannia, and yes I did get a P&O bag with Britannia on it.
On talking to a P&O representative on the stand, she said a lot more details would come out in February, which I think is fairly common knowledge, but also said you will be able to book a cruise on her in March. Assuming she meant this year, that was news to me, so we will have to wait and see, as we would not mind doing the maiden cruise.

River cruising was also covered at the show, with Viking etc, but also companies I had never hear of such as American Steamboat Company, and Tauck River Cruising.

There were two areas at the rear of the hall for talks on "Destinations" and "Cruises", and there was also and area in the middle of the hall for live bands.
I think the synchronization between the band and talks could have been a bit better, as the speaker had to try and overcome the band sometimes.

The areas for the talks where hosted by Sally Gunnell and Julie Peasgood amongst others.
We listened to a couple of talks, one on Turkey, and one given by a travel writer from the Telegraph (well it was their show) on the Baltic and Fjords, which I though was excellent.

We visited most of the stands, and even had a very pleasant chat with one of the Captains from Cunard, who did his best to convince us to try a Cunard cruise.
Well, it is on the list, but we are full up until March 2105, and if we do the Britannia maiden, it will have to be after that, plus we are hoping to get away for Christmas / New Year 2105, as we will both will have just retired, so it could have to be 2106, but I can't think that far ahead at present.

So we then decided to pop into the boat show as we also had complementary tickets for that.

Well cruise ships they are not, but some of them still had the WOW factor, and were slightly more than a cruise would cost

This was the one we finally decided to put a down payment on ;-)

And for no other reason than one of our granddaughters is called Melissa, I also include this photo.

So now we can look forward to our next cruise in March as we go up into the Arctic Circle to hopefully see the Northern Lights

Friday, 3 January 2014

London Cruise Show

Well, another first, it just so happens that I have next weekend off from work (the joys of shift work), and its also the The London Cruise Show so two tickets have been booked (well I have to take Sue), and we shall be off.

Have never been to a cruise show before, but looks interesting, so I'm sure I will at least get a "blog" out of it.

Anyone else going ?