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  2. I would suggest getting your own luggage tags with pre-printed personal info and cabin/ship info putting them on prior at your hotel or airport upon arrival. This makes me feel better that IF the porter still slaps a tag on, you have back up just in case. I ordered clear ones from Amazon and add them when at the hotel prior to heading to the port.
  3. Fantastic pictures and live report Twangster. I hooked on your reviews. So far do you prefer Majesty or Empress?
  4. I actually pay for my wifi and cheers before I pay off the cruise. Sometimes cruise rates go down. Wifi and cheers can only go up.
  5. I will keep that in mind-but for this fall I have a port stop on October 10. I am trying to decide what to do.
  6. I was looking forward to the blues and greens in the staterooms, as depicted on the Sky video.
  7. Interesting about the schedule change. Our last one had one after final payment and nothing was done, even though it caused big changes for excursions. On our next cruise there have been two port changes with nothing. Only time we received anything was when everything changed except embarkation and debarkation ports. Wondering what others have Found?
  8. Hi. We just booked AmaKristina for Aug. 17, 2020 from Amsterdam to Basel with 2 days pre-cruise in Amsterdam and 2 days post-cruise in Lucerne and 2 days post-cruise in Zurich. This will be our first river cruise. We have 16+ cruises with Princess and thought it was time to try something different. We leave for Japan next month on Princess. We met an Ama tour guide in Paris last year, and our TA had an Ama presentation in his office. We are hooked! Love reading all the posts for Ama. Love to hear about shore excursions!
  9. The busy shopping area is on Main Street, a 20=-25 minute walk from the ship. I've never heard of any cruise ship offering a shuttle. Taxi drivers at the port will be reticent about such a short fare when they can be doing tours, but a taxi back to the ship shouldn't be a problem. Taxi ranks just off Main Street, which is mainly pedstrianised. Be a bit careful when shopping. Prices are in £ and €, so check up-to-date exchange rates & be prepared to do some quick mental arithmetic cos the two prices don't always make sense.. Also be careful that you're charged the advertised price - sometimes the price tickets refer to the goods on the shelf above, sometimes the shelf below. Obvious if you buy one item, not so obvious when you buy several. Prices of booze and smokes are low, but vary a lot, so do shop around for these things - and be aware of what you are allowed to take home. On electronics like tablets & cameras & watches, Gib is a dumping ground for last-year's models. If you go intending to buy, take with you exact model numbers and features and home prices. If using a card, make sure that it's charged in the advertised currency (£ or €), don't let them charge in CAD or USD etc cos they use lousy exchange rates. I've made it sound like they're all rogues . They're not all rogues but some are. JB
  10. We were in our mid sixties on our first HAL trip last December, and we were definitely not old enough. We had a fixed dining time with a table for 2 by the window. The table next to us was a table for 4. One couple was our age, and very nice. The other couple assigned to their table was a man in his mid-nineties, and his most recent wife, who was in her mid seventies. She ordered the same thing for her husband every night, and ordered nearly everthing on the menu for herself. They both loved to brag about themselves, and often commented on conversations that the 2 of us were having at our table, making us a table of 6 with a small space in between. I love open seating.
  11. When I was Commanding Officer of a USCG Cutter (100 crew) working the Puerto Rico area, an Academy classmate was the assigned to the Puerto Rico USCG air station and I was able to make 'arrangements' One evening we had an unscheduled helo arrive for landing. The pilots were wearing the required uniform .... Domino's shirts .... I'd had pizzas delivered to the ship .......
  12. Here are the cruise excursions we took: Tauranga - Archer Tours that included the Lost Village (we added as we thought it would be interesting and it was), Te Puia and Rotorua. Jim Archer was great. I'm sure I wrote a review on Tripadvisor Wellington - DIYed to include TePapa Museum, cable car ride and walk down through the Botanical Gardens Akaroa - DIYed the Giants House (fabulous but go when they open) and did a crazy hike up the mountain Dunedin - Went with Iconic Tours around Dunedin and then on to Larnach Castle, including lunch stop. Didn't love our tour guide. Tasmania - DIYed Bonorong Animal Shelter, walk around Hobart and Cascades Female Factory Tour (read "The Tin Ticket" before the trip and that figured big in it) Melbourne - did a two hour walking tour with Melbourne by Foot - Cultural Walk. Very good guide. He tailored the small group tour (just four of us by design) to our interests Sydney - DIYed Bondi to Coogee and Manly Beach. Did the one hour tour of the Opera House...well worth it. Also did The Rocks Walking Tours which was very good as well.
  13. It’s a pretty big assumption that you think I want to stiff the staff!!!!!?? I said I wanted to do cash.... why do people have to be so nasty and judgemental on these boards. Can’t you just give what you do and let folks make up their minds? Thanks so much for your kind opinion. Maybe think about a nicer way to say it rather than assume I’m an as$h0%#.
  14. In Rome, I've stayed twice at the Hotel Gregoriana, which is near the top of the Spanish Steps, just down the street from the Hassler, and I would stay there again. If you take the Metro to Spagna, don't go out immediately to the street - instead, follow a long corridor to an elevator that will take you up to the top (but there are a few steps at the very top, too).
  15. Auto tip stays as it covers those we do not see in the background working. We tip extra to our room steward at the end of the cruise just like we would tip extra at the end of a specialty dinner on the ship. <<< continue eating popcorn>>>
  16. Carnival ships with a Cloud 9 Spa like Splendor, Vista class and Dream class ships DO NOT have a steam room in the locker rooms.
  17. We'd love to see a soccer game in our two days post-cruise in Vancouver. Anyone know when those dates will be published?
  18. I called them 8 times and 3 of them I was on hold more and 2 hours with no answer. I have never done this before so did not know the "rules". I did email them. Got case numbers with no responses.
  19. Interesting. At one point in my career we studied the design of Ferries (also human cargo carriers) to try and implement changes that would make them safer. It was difficult because by far the greatest number of accidents on vessels are caused by the failure of passengers to use handrails.
  20. In your case, it is probably better to pay for specialty coffee a la carte instead of buying a Plus package for the son. If guests 1&2 take the beverage promo, guest 3 doesn't have to buy a package. If any guest buys a package or upgrades their package, all over 21 must buy or upgrade to the same if they don't already have.
  21. I hope I am not the only one going through withdrawal symptoms. I hate it when fun gets in the way.
  22. Day 8: Fun Farewell Day At Sea I started my final day on board with brunch in the dining room. My mom has this theory about the last day. She says the food and service is not so good because the crew is ready to get rid of us. I don't really believe that and try to tell her it is a case of the "self fulfilling prophecy". You believe it, so it makes it seem true. But I gotta say, brunch today was pretty pitiful. I ordered the steak and eggs again and a side of cheese grits. The steak, eggs, and the fries were all overcooked. The eggs were okay, I was not able to finish the steak or fries - they were pretty bad. This was a very different experience than the rest of the week, I'm not sure what happened but my mom would have been happily saying "I told you so".
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