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Old December 29th, 2007, 12:04 PM
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Default Round the worl on the Aurora

Is anyone going round the world in the Aurora in January? Has anyone don e a long trip and can advise us what to pack?
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Old January 5th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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you are off in a day or so, hope you haven't left it too late??


Umm 3 tubes of toothpaste, 2 bars of soap, and six cases per person???


Sue
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Old January 6th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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World Cruise


Round the World on Aurora… Wonderful. You will enjoy every moment of it and in answer to the question you will be asked time and time again ‘Three months, won’t you get bored?’ NO, NO, NO! Believe us, it all goes too fast and there is too much to do. We came home relaxed, but exhausted if that makes sense.

Tips and advice.

Cases. You have plenty of room and as you are Southampton to Southampton, you are not restricted. Your only restriction is getting to Southampton. We are on the Isle of Wight and loading/unloading the Ferry was a bit of a job going to the Ship, coming home was easier as we had the taxi pick us up from the Ship and take us all the way home, so we loaded the taxi once and unloaded it at home. It was the Didgeridoo which made us decide that!!!

FORMAL NIGHTS are to you at the moment the biggest nightmare I expect. Don’t let it be. The cruise is divided into 5 sections so there is no need to have something for each day, just treat each section as a cruise and remember, people are joining and leaving so for the ladies it doesn’t matter if it has been worn before, none of the ‘But I have already been seen in that!.’ With regards to the ladies wardrobe, think ‘Mix and Match’. I actually enjoyed myself when we went shopping for Joan’s wardrobe when we adopted the M&M theme, yes there were some ‘Posh Frocks’, but some didn’t get worn!!!
And for the men, Dinner Suit, Blazer and Flannels, mainly Black Bow ties, but one white and I had a Red one as well! Dress Shirts, I took 3 or 4 white and I know one still has the labels on! And a couple of Black Dress Shirts, My choice but not strictly essential.

BUT, in all, too much taken because of the Laundry facilities. We used one of the launderettes and got to know a whole lot more people. It’s a great place for chatting!!!

And so to the laundry. We find many useful things in the KleeneZe catalogue and as we have one here at present ready to be picked up on Monday, I have scanned through it and found the following which we used and took with us.

Cyclone Pegs 028878 useful for pegging your smalls up on the retractable line in the bathroom. Either Folding Laundry Bag 072346 or the 3 Section Laundry Hamper 080047 for taking your laundry to the laundrette. The machines are massive and you can get a weeks washing into a couple of machines, one whites, one coloured or as required. We took with us Fairy Non Bio Liquitabs x 2 boxes of 10 and found that was more than sufficient. Don’t touch the tabs with wet hands or they dissolve. Chuck one in the washer, with your clothes on top and away you go. Going to the laundry. Sea days are busy. Formal Night day is busy. Driers take twice as long as the washers, so there is always a queue for a drier. People get in there as soon as possible in the morning. 10.00am and it’s heaving. 2/3 hours later or later in the afternoon and you have it to yourself .

Wardrobe and storage. Hanging garments. Real spacesavers and allowing many articles to be hung in ‘the same space’ Trouser & Skirt Hanger 013145 and Space Saving Hangers 038040 and because you keep going into the wardrobe and pushing clothes to one side to reach something ‘behind those in front’ (there is a space behind the fixed part of the wardrobe to the left/right of the door) then protect your clothes with Clothes Cover Pack 025933 and there are more Space Saver Hooks which thread over the wire bit of the hanger which we found very good, but are not in the current catalogue.

‘The Shop in the Cabin.’ This is a case under one of the beds which took the consumables which we knew we would run out of and need during the three months. Deodorants, Toilet Soap, Tooth Paste, Talcum Powder, Insect Sprays and Wipes, Sun Creams of different powers, (Don’t forget you are going where the sun SHINES in January February and March), Tissues, Birthday and Anniversary Cards whilst you are away. Forgot that didn’t you?? And Insurance renewals?

Sod’s Law stated that in the middle of the Pacific my false teeth would break, so I took a Denture Repair kit I obtained from the Chemist, I also got a spare pair of glasses. Don’t forget your medicines for three months. You might have to get your Doctor to give you a larger than normal prescription to cover the period. I did, and forgot to pack some of them. They were a sleeping tablet I had been on for years. When you don’t have them, you can’t take them. I weaned myself off them as I had no option, and have been off them since, but some tablets ARE important, don’t forget them. In fact start making a list now or print this epistle off as a reminder. Spare batteries for the electronic gadgets and don’t forget the battery chargers for this that and the other, even the electric toothbrush and mobile phones! And whilst talking battery chargers, you might need, so you might as well take it, an adapter consisting of a short length of cable with 4 sockets on it. This is because some of the 13 amp sockets as so low to the desk that you cannot get the plug in if it is a bulky one.

Back to your cases. We had seven, a suit hanger, a lap top and a wheely trolly (this held the boxes of wine and apart from being very good in that aspect, was a pain in the neck). We stuck labels all over everything. I printed 2.5 x.1.5 inch labels with ‘CABIN B213’ on the top line and “B DECK? on the bottom line in the colour of the deck, in this case RED so that they could be seen once the cases were on board. I stuck them on the top, sides, lid, base, back, I even stuck one on Joan in case she got lost! AND, I had large coloured tapes stuck to the cases AND brightly Coloured silky ribbons about 12 inches long tied to the handles. Everything was at the cabin when we got there except one case. The steward found that in about 3 minutes. TAKE A SPARE SET OF TAPES, LABELS AND RIBBONS WITH YOU for the case you will have to buy in Sydney or later. (Deck Colours. When we went away again in November/December we were on A Deck which was a Brown label, so I printed in Brown. On this occasion ALL the cases were in the cabin when we got there). The steward will take your empty cases away for you.

Take with you your lap top and make sure it is Wifi fitted and a CD writer fitted to download your digi camera pictures. Make sure that all your family are aware of where you are by printing out the timetable from the brochure and making sure that they have your email address. My children had the Aurora web cam on their desktops as the wallpaper so followed us. When we came out of The Azores, Aurora came out stern first, had to turn to port, then starboard, then went ahead. We received a text from one of our daughters as we got under way, “That was a nifty bit of reversing?, she had watched, as did the others, as we actually did it!!

Life on board. This is your home for three months. Do things together, but lead a life of your own. Joan went to Art Classes, I went to a Computer Course. On a long cruise like this, ‘Special Interest Lectures’ are arranged so read the Aurora Today and see what is on, when and where. You might have a surprise and have me doing a series, I have just presented a set of Special Interest Lectures to P&O for their consideration so I might be there!!!!!!!

Excursions. BEWARE. When we booked our World it was as a newbie with P & O, so we were a nothing on the Portunus ladder. We saw lots of excursions we wanted to do and didn’t want to miss out, so booked nearly all of them. Only to discover that, even though some of the excursions actually came in the Sapphire section of the cruise once we got there, we still didn’t get the discount. So unless it is a ‘must do’ excursion, wait till you get to the step on the Portunus Ladder. And don’t panic, if an excursion is that popular, they will put extra places on and you can go on the wait list. A few more silly little things. Take a travelling alarm clock with you, there are mornings you want to get up early, like ……….. no, I won’t tell you or you will be ‘looking forward to it’!!
Take a small diary with you and make notes on each day. A small pocket one with a week to a page will do AND a larger one, a day to a page and then at your leisure you can expand on your notes in the small diary into the page for a day diary. A year later and Joan is still referring to and making that one up! By the way, don’t feel awkward and writing a journal as you go along, lots of people do, sitting out in the sun.

The ‘ultimate’ is a complete record of what you do if this is a ‘Special’ as it was for us and for this, it is 5 either lever arch files or the 4 ring binders with a 2 inch wide spine and hundreds of transparent pockets. 5, one for each leg. Then on a day by day basis, you can file all the Aurora Today’s, Port Pamphlets which are delivered to your cabin and many many other things which when you look back, you can say …………WOW!

A question was asked about being away for three months and what about the house?

Don't be worried about being away for three months. In this case their daughter and husband are behind them so that is a great weight off their mind. Their concern was their dog settling down with their daughter’s dogs. They will settle down, honest, I am a dog lover and I know that they will be OK.

The House. We have WONDERFUL neighbours who kept an eye on the place. I left them with a complete set of keys and they cleared the post every day and stacked it on the kitchen table in date order and kept bedroom windows open on suitable days. The place looked lived in! Another thing we did, was study which lights we had on on a regular basis and fitted a time to a socket in that room and timed a Table or Standard Lamp to come on and off as required. Some curtains are always open in any case, others were left open a little way.

Neighbours across the road and in the road behind us, our land goes through to the road at the back, also knew we were away and kept an eye open as well. We came home to a perfect house complete with a bottle of milk in the fridge and a big bouquet of flowers in a bowl of water in the sink.

Cover for Insurance? We arranged for members of the family to come and stay. ""The property must not be left unoccupied for over a month"" It wasn't, the children came to stay and had a party ......... or two. We do live on the Isle of Wight so those in Berkshire and Gloucestershire took advantage!!

The car. To leave it locked and alarmed in the garage for three months "might" have run the battery down and with no battery, I wouldn't get in. So one of my daughters took it, parked it with their FOUR cars and used it from time to time.

Fridge and Freezer. Fridge run down of perishable stuff but left running. Freezer stocked for the children's benefit with the advice/offer/warning, "Help yourself but there is no fresh mike or bread" (There was frozen bread in the freezer) Cupboards stocked with dry and tinned goods.

By the way we did the same thing in November and December when we were away again on Aurora. (Did 4 months on her last year!!!!)

Central Heating. LEAVE ON AND ON A LOW SETTING. If anyone is coming to stay, show/tell them how to turn it up and gently remind them to turn it down before they leave. On your return and after the first Gas or Electric Bill, be ready for questioning by the suppliers as the readings are low. Yes it has just happened to us.

A question about the Dining Room and table arrangements.

We kept the same table of 8. 2 were with us all the way but the others changed from time to time. The advantage of a table of 8 is that if there are a couple who are a real pain, and we had a couple for a short while, then the rest can ignore them!!

A question about age range. A complete age range across the spectrum from babes in arms to those in their 90’s. We would estimate that about 50% were UNDER retirement age and either emigrating, quite a few young couples there with their children, to those taking a breather before starting a family or getting further involved with their work careers. I have to admit I was surprised not to see a sea of wrinkly heads. But those who were over retirement age were very young at heart and one couple who looked and acted in their early 50’s, I happen to know they both had bus passes. Don’t expect to see rows and rows of nodding heads on deck chairs with rugs round them and a book fallen to the deck, cos you won’t see them. By the way, we are 68 and 70 if that is of any help to you.

Question about settling the On Board Credit Account

With regards to the settling of the account, yes at the end of each sector. Usual thing, intrim statement a few days before the end of the sector for you to check out.

Now a bit of a nasty I am afraid. Besides your normal medicines and Sea Sick tablets… just in case…. Take with you cough and cold remedies. Coughs and Colds? I hear you ask. The first leg was Southampton to San Francisco. At SF, quite a few left and more had flown out from the UK to join us. Unfortunately, the UK was going through a severe Cough and Cold bout and these people very kindly brought it on board. Joan went down with a very severe cough and a trip to the Medical Centre cost £52.00 for Cough stuff and 20 x 500mg Paracetamol Tablets. We had a similar problem at Mumbia with people joining with the Norvirus bug. That was bad and knocked quite a few people down, but P & O are superb with their treatments, sanitization and isolation.

Sea Sick? We saw no rough seas after leaving the Azores. There was a nasty swell as we left the Channel, after that smooth seas all the way. However on R619 and R620 on the way down to the West Coast of Africa and by the West Coast of Spain, Portugal and the Bay of Biscay we saw seas 10 – 13 metres high. Captain Walter’s estimate to a question at a CC Meeting.

CC Meeting? Go to Reception and book the Uganda Room, print off a list of who your fellow passengers are before you leave, write to each one inviting them to a CC Meet, put it in an envelope with the persons name on and take it to reception. They will put the cabin number on and deliver them.

Your Own Special Interest Meeting. You can book the Uganda Room for your own thing. I did one and was very pleased with the response, hence my offer to do ‘Special Interest Lectures’ on future cruises. Have words with the Cruise Director about it.

Final tip? Don’t look at the timetable and ‘look forward to getting to …….’, live every day as it comes.


Mike
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Old January 6th, 2008, 11:56 AM
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Mike
You are back then from Queen Victoria? !! We heard you had a norovirus outbreak on there, we you and your large party all ok and avoided it?

Tell us about QV!

Sue 8)
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Old January 9th, 2008, 04:32 AM
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Hi Sue

Nice to hear from you.

Norvirus was more in the papers than on board! Yes we did have an outbreak and Cunard tried to keep it quiet by 'advising our passengers to use the Sanitizers when going for food'. The trouble was that they were fixed in not very obvious places! It was only when it hit the newspapers that the staff were posted at entrances with their little squirty bottles.

Yes all of our party were clear, as were the vast majority of the passengers and yes we had a wow of a time :-)

What is Queen Victoria like? Beautiful to look at but rolls on wet blotting paper. Workmanship 'looks' good but on close inspection is shoddy. Staff 'untrained in their posts' and this is down to poor Middle Management.

Very very poor on storage and drawer space in the cabins.
Food superb and service in the Britannia Restuarant superb, as was the service we had for our Golden Wedding Anniversary in Todd English.

We had a questionaire to fill in and I marked down many things, I think P&O could give Cunard a very big lesson. One of the questions was 'Would you recommend Cunard to your friends?' That received a NO as did 'Would you cruise with Cunard again?' As they ask what cruises you have done before and what you wish to do and I listed all my past and future cruises and 'Wish Cruises', I feel it would be very remiss of Cunard NOT to get in touch with me and listen to not only mine but other passengers comments as well.

My advice? If Queen Victoria is a 'must do', take a small cruise on her and not in rough weather. Look at the good bits, enjoy the food and take ear plugs with you. Music is played LOUD LOUD LOUD and if that doesn't get you, the slamming down and the banging when she does hit a wave will.

No I have no real desire to go on her again, it certainly isn't on my 'must do again' list, but yes we did have a wondeful time and the crew were fantastic over our Golden on board. The photographers certainly got to know the family!!

Go and enjoy, but remember the old saying 'All that glitters is not Gold'

Mike
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Old January 9th, 2008, 04:39 AM
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Thanks Mike, very interesting

Sue
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