A Travellerspoint blog

Just a Week to Go

Friday, 26 May 2017


Time has passed slowly but I know the next seven days will most likely pass in a rush. There are still a few things to be finalised but there is no reason we won't be ready on Saturday 3 Jun when we start the journey to the UK.

Things we are aware of but can't influence in any way are the weather and the aftermath of the atrocity in Manchester.

The weather in the form of heavy fog here in Canberra could disrupt our departure. A check of the Departures board for today indicates that flights have been departing on time. Fogs have been a feature of late and many don't lift until the afternoon. With temperatures barely above freezing and moisture at close to 100% it is no surprise.

The horrific event in Manchester has heightened the tensions throughout the country. I expect that there will be an increased awareness aboard the Caribbean Princess and there may be a need to change the itinerary. We have had our destinations altered only once due to security risks. I feel comfortable that any threat to our safety will be taken very seriously.

On the domestic front we have managed to almost completely empty the refrigerator and freezer allowing us to switch it off while we are away. There are two benefits as I see it. One we save an amount of electricity and the other is that some of the almost forgotten packets have been consumed or used.

We have one or two health related appointments next week but hey are not likely to raise any issues that will impact on the trip.

On the technology front, I have stopped using my email client - 'Thunderbird' after many years. I'm just about comfortable with 'Outlook' but the transition has not been flawless. Of particular concern is the loss of the various mailing lists which grouped my Contacts. I'm hoping to sort the out over the next few days, otherwise it will have to wait until we return.

We continue in good health and trust you are all similarly blessed.

Until next time.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.

Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 17:19 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

All Booked and Ticketed

Monday, 1 May 2017

Today I went into the city to pick up our travel tickets from the travel agent. It is all a bit complicated with some arrangements made by me and some by them.

I haven't counted the complete set but would guess there are over 20 separate documents. The list includes E-tickets for the flights, bus tickets for the coaches between cities in the UK. Then there's the ship's boarding passes and luggage tags and hotel confirmations.

Will need to set these up in a folder and double-check I've got them all covered. With just four weeks or so before we take off there are still lots of other bits to take care of. Taking a look at the diary there are a few blank days ahead so it should all come together with time to spare.

Days are getting colder here in Canberra and providing us with an opportunity to test various mixtures of clothing to prepare for the late-spring weather of the UK and Norway. I hope we've got it right.

Until next time.

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 00:10 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Caught Out By Technology

Thursday, 16 February 2017

sunny 34 °C

A bit of time on my hands and want to take the opportunity to record some recent frustrations with the march of technology. I recall the early days of Web Page design when we needed to be cognisant of the variations in how different versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer could mangle your carefully designed page.

Well the world has moved on and there is now a bewildering array of platforms, browsers and operating systems. In addition to web page behaviour when opened with different browsers there is the variation of the platform. What got me was when I tried to renew our National Express Coach Cards. Working from the lap-top I followed the simple links to the page that presented the form to be filled in. All went well until it asked for the address to which the cards should be sent. The form defaulted to addresses in the UK and there was no field to select 'Australia' and consequently my post code was not accepted.

Contacted National Express Customer Care people by email explaining that I couldn't fill out the form to complete the purchase. Some time later they respond and provide me with a link to the same Web form. Opened it from the lap-top and same result.

Decided to try their 'Twitter' contact option. First I had to sign up for a Twitter account, not difficult to do but a lot harder to use and understand. In relatively quick order I received a reply containing another link to their Web form. I happened to access the Tweet on my Samsung Android and amazingly this Web form included the Country selection field and it was all rosy from there on. SUCCESS !! Different hardware platform and different versions of the browser.

I then spent some hours selecting and purchasing seven separate Coach tickets for the local transport in the UK. The booking service is a little tedious as each trip has to be totally finalised through to payment. Next trip, start from scratch and enter all those common fields again. There is also the need to have some knowledge of the geography, something I'm a bit short on. It marked the completion a significant step in the preparation.

To round out this saga, I was contacted by phone to offer additional advice or assistance at 03:15 in the morning. The lovely lady kept on apologising and I struggled to catch up with events and actions that had taken place.

The other Technology related event occurred with an application on the Samsung Android. I have had the Singapore Airline app installed and when I tried to open it, I was told that I had to upgrade my version to the latest. Applied the update and received a message that "Your device is not compatible with this release. ". Bit of a surprise, perhaps they could check before they download. Contacted their help desk and was asked to send them some screen captures showing these messages.

That's also easier said than done. Find instruction on how to take a screen capture, find various answers and work through them. Finally take the scree shots and send them off. Another day or so and there's a response, my phone is too old and this issue can only be solved by me buying a replacement phone. Will work it on Jenny's phone for now.

Will continue to add entries as various preparations are finalised or we encounter issues along the way

Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 18:23 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Start Point & Itinerary

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

We will be away for 47 days from 3 June 2017 to 19 July 2017. This outing is in multiple parts
Getting there. We fly from Canberra to Sydney then to Singapore and on to Heathrow in England where we overnight before the Coach trip to Southampton for another overnight stay.

  • SAT 03-Jun-17 Fly from CBR to SIN
  • SUN 04-Jun-17 Fly from SIN to LHR
  • MON 05-Jun-17 Transfer to Southampton

The First Cruise On Tuesday 6 June we board the Caribbean Princess for the 12 night cruise visiting Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and France returning to Southampton where we travel by coach to Canterbury.

  • TUE 06-Jun-17 Southampton board Caribbean Princess
  • WED 07-Jun-17 Guernsey (St Peter P
  • THU 08-Jun-17 Cork (Cobh)
  • FRI 09-Jun-17 Dublin
  • SAT 10-Jun-17 Liverpool
  • SUN 11-Jun-17 Belfast
  • MON 12-Jun-17 Glasgow (Greenock)
  • TUE 13-Jun-17 At Sea
  • WED 14-Jun-17 Invergordon
  • THU 15-Jun-17 Edinburgh (South Que
  • FRI 16-Jun-17 At Sea
  • SAT 17-Jun-17 Paris/Normandy (Le H
  • SUN 18-Jun-17 Southampton Coach to Canterbury

Stay in Canterbury. We have just over a week in Canterbury. We're staying there because it was difficult finding accommodation in Dover and we'll find plenty of things to look at. Having completed a port-intensive cruise we'll need a break.

  • MON 19-Jun-17 Canterbury
  • TUE 20-Jun-17 Canterbury
  • WED 21-Jun-17 Canterbury
  • THU 22-Jun-17 Canterbury
  • FRI 23-Jun-17 Canterbury
  • SAT 24-Jun-17 Canterbury
  • SUN 25-Jun-17 Canterbury
  • MON 26-Jun-17 Canterbury

The Second Cruise. On Tuesday 27 June a coach will transport us to Dover where we will join the Pacific Princess for an 18 day cruise along the coast of Norway. Being a small vessel we will be visiting the smaller ports not normally on a cruise-ship's itinerary. We hope to sail North into the Arctic Circle and witness the midnight sun.

  • TUE 27-Jun-17 Dover board Pacific Princess
  • WED 28-Jun-17 At Sea
  • THU 29-Jun-17 Bergen
  • FRI 30-Jun-17 Trondheim
  • SAT 01-Jul-17 At Sea
  • SUN 02-Jul-17 At Sea
  • MON 03-Jul-17 Longyearbyen (Spits
  • TUE 04-Jul-17 At Sea
  • WED 05-Jul-17 Tromso
  • THU 06-Jul-17 At Sea
  • FRI 07-Jul-17 Murmansk
  • SAT 08-Jul-17 Honningsvag
  • SUN 09-Jul-17 At Sea
  • MON 10-Jul-17 Lofoten Islands (Gra
  • TUE 11-Jul-17 At Sea
  • WED 12-Jul-17 Hellesylt & Geiranger
  • THU 13-Jul-17 Haugesund
  • FRI 14-Jul-17 At Sea

Return Home.
Arriving back in Dover on Saturday 15 July we board a coach to the hotel in Heathrow for a two night stay. We decided to stay an extra night to fit in with the Singapore Air direct flight from Singapore to Canberra thereby avoiding congested Sydney.

  • SAT 15-Jul-17 Dover to London)
  • SUN 16-Jul-17 London Heathrow
  • MON 17-Jul-17 Fly LHR to SIN
  • TUE 18-Jul-17 SIN to CBR
  • WED 19-Jul-17 Canberra

I'll get into the swing of this as the departure date approaches.
Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 18:59 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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