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Arcadia at Vigo

Arcadia at Vigo

We’ve been getting ready for the Christmas cruise on Arcadia. I think i mentioned a few weeks ago that I’d bought the train tickets to get us to Southampton and back – it being December, we don’t fancy driving. But this week we’ve taken another couple of steps.

First, we’ve booked our luggage transfer with The Baggage Handling Company. This has cost us £72 for one bag, both there and back. Apparently it will be collected from home at some point in the week before the cruise which means we’ll have to have it packed before then – no more running round in circles the night before the cruise. After that, and all being well, the next time we’ll see it will be outside our cabin door on Arcadia. Then on the way home we have to collect it ourselves from the baggage hall – or do self-disembark, at some unearthly hour on the 27th – and then hand it over to them. They will then convey it home to us, and it will arrive sometime in the following week. We’re not too worried about when it gets back to us, of course.

Second, we’ve had to book a couple of excursion. Neil Ringan, a regular commenter on this blog, pointed out that a number of excursions were already sold-out. We therefore made bookings for two of the days: we’ll be going to Ghent (from Zeebrugge) on the first day, and doing an excursion to the ‘Copenhagen Winter Castles’ on day 3. For day 4, Oslo, all the excursions we fancied are indeed already fully booked.

What’s most annoying about this is that we had intended to book the Copenhagen excursion while on-board, plus one for Oslo. We have quite a lot of OBC for this cruise – over £300 for a week – and getting through it is going to be tough. Certainly on our livers, now that we can’t spend it on excursions, because, of course, excursions booked in advance have to be paid for in advance…. At least we got our Atlantic-tier 7.5% discount. For the rest of the OBC, we will have to drink well, if not too abundantly; and if all else fails, Val has offered to hit the shops. She had a successful time doing so on our last Arcadia cruise and I think she’s looking forward to trying again.

(The image is of Arcadia in Vigo in 2012.)

3 Responses to “Getting ready for the Christmas cruise”

  1. The countdown is on! You must be looking forward to this?

    I’d love to hear about your experience with the Baggage Handling Company when you return. £72 sounds like a lot for one suitcase but it might be worthwhile if it saves on the hassle of lugging it on and off the train.

    • Tom says:

      Thanks for the comment, David

      I think several people are interested in finding out how the Baggage Handling Company works out for us. Yes, £72 is a chunk of change – it’s advertised as £30 per bag each way, plus VAT, hence £72 for the round trip.

      We wouldn’t bother normally – we drive to Southampton – but this time we’re going by train, across London, and lugging the bag will be a hassle. I remember being on Southampton station one morning after a ‘ship pictures’ trip. The west-bound platform was very full with happy cruisers just back from a cruise, all going to Bristol and South Wales, and all with the luggage from their 14-night cruise. Then their train pulled in – a two-car Sprinter, with zero luggage space. I can still hear the shouts of disbelief….

      So given that it will December, we’ll be on a train, the weather might be awful – it might be worth it for the ease it brings.

  2. Neil R says:

    I may be able to say hello in person on the way to Ghent as Mum and I are on the same trip ! You could always book a week long pass for the hydro pool and thermal suite to warm up from what I am suspecting will be rather parky weather !!

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