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Bookish Angel

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Everything posted by Bookish Angel

  1. Thanks for posting this article. The financial incentive for doctors is disturbing.
  2. Maybe try expedition ships. While pricey, they have very low kid counts and well-traveled, well-behaved passengers. Celebrity Xpedition to the Galapagos is among our favorite expedition cruise experiences. We would rather do one expensive but far more enjoyable/better-suited to our personalities exhibition trips than 4 or 5 mainstream cruises. We have been to wonderful, remote places (our favorite kind) where the only little “kids” are baby seals, turtles and penguins.
  3. That is a wonderful memory, Ocean Boy. I neighborhood is next to a huge Catholic Church and have walked in their equally large parking lot for years. All of the employees, parishioners, etc. have always been so nice to me, their agnostic/Buddhist-leaning neighbor.
  4. I also enjoy Nassau. I was there a year ago March for a women-only cruise with one of my best friends. We did a lot of walking, stopping at the chocolate factory and store and other places near it such as the lovely Catholic church where we met the friendly female sextant who gave us a free tour, cold bottled water and encouraged us to use the church’s super-clean restrooms. We hit the food truck near the beach at Fish Fry and had freshly made french fries and real lemonade while sitting under a large shady tree right on the beach. We talked to many locals and had a great time by getting off of the beaten path here and there. I don’t need sanitized stops - a sense of adventure and reasonable expectations provide a more enjoyable experience for me.
  5. Those look delicious! Did they come out chewy or crisp?
  6. Completing one of my life goals - to set foot on all 7 continents by age 50, in Vung Tau, Vietnam. This was done while on a monthlong Australia and Southeast Asia cruise.
  7. https://www.npr.org/2020/05/22/859624421/grocery-workers-union-estimates-3-257-members-infected-with-coronavirus I think the most significant portion of this piece is the 200% increase in 5 weeks.
  8. RCI’s Empress of the Seas to Cuba in 2019. Worst ship experience for us. Cuba was fantastic but the ship had a strong sewer smell in the aft stairwells the entire cruise. Part of that might have been due to the Norovirus on board but wow, the smell was eye-watering. Our cabin had alternating freezing or broiling temperature control and a jagged metal bathroom sink lever - both of which took a few days to fix despite repeated requests at guest services. My Time Dining was very poorly run. Our requests for tables for 2 was a nightmare and we once ended up at a table for 10 - dinner took 2.5 hours. Saw an officer sneeze right into a food tray at the Windjammer.
  9. We went on Celebrity Xpedition and I agree with everything you say. We especially liked the lack of cheesy shows, upselling, noisy pools, etc. Upscale and peaceful is hard to beat. We love remote places where animals and the land are the attraction as we don’t care to shop, gamble, etc.
  10. No cruising with masks for me! It is hard enough wearing an N95 for just an hour of brisk walking. The mask makes my glasses fog up and my face damp and hot. However, I personally think it is unconscionable to be outside without a mask so I deal with the unpleasantness to protect others and myself. I could maybe do without the mask as I walk in a HUGE church parking lot with the ability to easily steer away from the few others I encounter. However, there are others on the sidewalk on the couple of blocks I walk to and from home to the church and back. I will do all I can to protect others while maintaining my physical and mental health via exercise.
  11. The art! Most of it is fabulous and a must-see. I took a free art tour with one of the curators and it was one of the best things I have ever done on a ship. Also, Central Park is lovely and peaceful, particularly after dinner when all the subtle lighting is on. I also did a free horticulture talk/tour that was so interesting.
  12. We won’t be cruising again until a proven vaccine is widely available. Our last 12 night cruise with bad weather reminded us that there are resorts, spas, beaches, etc., that are well within our driving tolerance. Canyon Ranch Spa has everything a cruise has except the ocean. However, the food, ambiance, facilities is higher end so that is good enough for us.
  13. I think it depends on the person and perhaps the ship. I have never eaten anything on a cruise ship that could come close to my husband’s basic, not-haute-cuisine home cooking. I like to travel but can never get back to healthful home-cooked food soon enough.
  14. Celebrity Xpedition. Small, all drinks included, 98 well-behaved, well-traveled, quiet passengers with just a couple of older kids. Destination was the Galapagos so it was a a nearly perfect trip.
  15. Seeing that picture of Bella has been the highlight of a frustrating work from home day. Plus, no weekends plans besides sanitizing the house ad nauseum. 😩 Thank Buddha for Netflix and books. Pets rule!
  16. We don’ travel in the summer so it is not an issue. Will probably do a week or two in the Outer Banks for Thanksgiving if the virus has waned.
  17. Oh, Mike, that is a hard thing. Please know you are both in my thoughts. Sorry, I thought your wife was speaking in my first post.
  18. Sara Wheeler’s Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica Caroline Alexander’s The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft’s No Horizon is so Far: Two Women and Their Historic Journey Across Antarctica
  19. So sorry you lost your job! I was just moaning a bit about having to work from home as our station is closed to all but essential personnel though we are all getting paid our same salary. I need to remember how fortunate I am. Good luck to you and your husband.
  20. To me, Bill Bryson is the King of Cranky. I just cannot abide his writing.
  21. I so enjoy the travel writing of Doug Lansky as he is hilarious, self-deprecating and doesn’t engage in flowery writing. He is a good TEDx speaker as well. Paul Theroux is good but can be cranky and too much of that gets old. I prefer remote adventure travel so the following are among my faves. Sara Wheeler’s Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica Caroline Alexander’s The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft’s No Horizon is so Far: Two Women and Their Historic Journey Across Antarctica Douglas Preston’s The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story J. Maarten Troost’s The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific and his other books. NPR is a very good source for adventure travel reporting and writing.
  22. I would take the money. I can afford to lose the 20% and I have no idea when travel will return to anything remotely normal so that FCC would be useless to me at this point.
  23. Thanks, sippican and 87hoya. I hope you both make it there soon. Antarctica was spectacular and far surpassed our expectations - as adventure travel tends to do. Safe travels and blue skies.
  24. Random thoughts: I can’t imagine spending the time and money to go to Antarctica just for a drive-by but if one has mobility issues then a drive-by is way better than not going. My husband and I went to thrift stores to gear up prior to our February 2008 trip to Antarctica and spent less than $20. We each got 2 pairs of waterproof pants that would fit snugly over our boots for water landings. I am short and thin so I got mine in the kids section, $2.00 each. Hubby is tall and thin so he had no issues finding bargain pants at around $3.00 each. I had good knee-high boots and my husband got a decent pair at little cost. I bought a light pair of new Under Armour gloves that were discounted to $10. They were perfect as they are not bulky, fit snugly but don’t make my hands sweat and were water resistant enough for me. We did not buy special socks but just took multiple pairs of what we had. Wool for my husband, cotton for me and we were fine. Same for hats and scarves which I never wore but my husband did. We were rarely cold (low or mid 30’s F) except for a wild Zodiac ride back to ship when water was pouring in at a slightly alarming but thrilling rate. I wore Under Armour long underwear and left it off after the first landing as I was far too warm with layers. I switched to my 100% cotton leggings and sweat shirts that were much more comfortable and far cooler than synthetics which I never wear. Hubby wore his old ski underwear and was fine as well. Our cruise line included expedition jackets that were more than efficient as in too warm for me, lol! My adult small was too big and looked like a short red dress. I’d requested a child’s large but none were available. We wore our sunglasses much of the time and were glad we had them as well as small bottles of hand sanitizer and our small digital camera in our backpacks. We had great lecturers on our ship but blessedly lacking (for us) in cheesy shows, games, and kids. Fellow passengers were well-traveled, knowledgeable, quiet and understated. Antarctica was wonderful and in our top 3 places visited. We hope to go again.
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