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About Fa-Li

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  1. Hi, again, back from our cruise and wanted to give an updated report about the Bungalows. One thing that took me by surprise was they wanted our whole party present to check into the bungalows I had envisioned myself getting off ship early and setting up, then others joining through the morning. Luckily, this was made clear the day before when the ticket was delivered. Secondly, another ship was in port a couple hours ahead of us, so there was no chance to be "first come first serve" but it turned out to not be an issue. My group was only the second one to arrive at the beach bungalow area. The way we arrived was so convenient. I stopped at the information desk on Labadee to ask directions, thinking we had to get ourselves over there. The guy checked my ticket, confirmed entire party was present, and loaded us on a private golf cart to run us over the the Bungalows. Perfect! Finally, something to consider: I had envisioned us lounging on the beach, retreating to bungalow for shade, wandering over to the buffet, bringing food back. In reality, most of our time on Labadee it rained. Occasionally light showers, but for an hour or so at a time, it was truly a torrential downpour. I live at the beach in NC, and have seen lighter rain during hurricanes. Rivers of water running through the sand streets. Entire plates swamped with water in the dash between the shelter of the buffet and the shelter of the picnic tables. Labadee is not set up for rain. BUT, the bungalow has a plastic liner above its bamboo roof. Not completely water tight, but it saved the day. We were able to huddle on the parts of the sofas where the roof did not leak and still have a fairly relaxing day. Good napping weather! We still had a great day, and for us the outlay was not a big deal. But if one is on the fence about the expense, being aware that not every day is perfect and sunny could influence you one way or the other. For example, those who paid for the clam shells just basically lost that money, as the rain was lashing sideways. (the wonderful bungalow attendant spent a good deal of time adjusting the curtains to keep the rain out) On the other hand, those who had spent nothing were perfectly happy to go back to the ship with no money wasted. We felt the bungalow saved the day from being a complete wash out, no pun intended, because we were still comfortable, and during the brief periods of sunshine (the clouds did clear every hour or so between storms) we were able to be right there at the beach - again the attendant dragged the chair pads back and forth all day, stowing them dryly every time it started to sprinkle, then putting them back out if it stopped. Bless his hard working heart. And, if it had been a perfectly sunny day, with two ships there I imagine the beach would have been super packed and we would have been even more grateful for the privacy and dedicated space. So just more data for those looking into this. @shoppgirl I'm so glad you first posted the review I found that convinced me to reserve a Bungalow, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat!
  2. just off 9 nights on Explorer yesterday. It was full and next cruise office was hopping the whole time. I did notice much more focused handwashing when I was in the public bathrooms. And crew was constantly sanitizing hand rails. Washy washy folks were in front of WJ and dining rooms every single time the doors opened. In the airport on the way home, noticed a lot of masks, and lots of hand sanitizing. This might actually be a pretty good time to travel, if people are being more careful than during a normal flu season.
  3. Awesome. Very helpful, thanks all! and @Wine-O , not sure if the glass of wine is your regular sign off or your suggestion for keeping warm, but to be safe I shall have a glass or two before I watch the show!
  4. Last minute packing review, and it occurred to me: am I going to freeze while watching the ice skating show? Like pack jeans and a jacket? Or will a light sweater over a cotton dress be ok? I know everyone has different levels of cold tolerance, so somewhat subjective. I rarely feel the need to wear a sweater on the ship in general though so didn’t think about it while I packed. thanks!
  5. My church has been doing the "no handshake" thing this flu season. Even so, after the greeting, the smell of purell wafts up from every pew, lol. Folks are serious about not spreading germs! OP, it's hard when someone is already anxious to get through to them with reason. Can you offer a back up plan in case there is an unforeseen delay, like someone on call to check on your grandmother? (obviously, there won't be quarantine, but sometimes it helps to address the fear, no matter how unrealistic)
  6. if you don’t want to pack these, a pants hanger works great we bring mini shower puffs to lather up the provided gel soap
  7. Thank you! Headed on ABC cruise next week and going to the bank Monday for my travel denominations. Perfect timing.
  8. good to know! but wait, I was promised cruise food contains no calories???
  9. Down to fewer than 10 days before we cruise, so of course I'm thinking about the FOOD! I heard a podcaster mention the yummy smoothies available at the Vitality Spa on the bigger ships. Does anyone know if something like this can be found on Explorer? We have the Deluxe Drink Package, so I'm looking to get the most out of it, including beyond alcohol. Also, on less healthy note - are there donuts anywhere? Thanks! Fa
  10. We had a fantastic experience with Tailored Tours of St. Petersburg. Timofey is the owner and was our guide and he could not have been more accommodating. He had a driver and a very comfortable van - easy to get in and out of. We did not have any walking issues on this trip, but DD has RA, so we are always paying attention to if an excursion would have been doable if she was having a flare. There was walking on the tour we did, but it was brief and over even ground. A lot of the sights we pulled right up to, got out of the van, and then were picked back up as soon as we had seen it. The only area I think would be a little tricky would be at the fortress, because there are a lot of cobblestones. However, as the name suggests, Timofey tailored our tour to exactly what we wanted to do, so it would be easy to ask him for a focus smooth walking. When I say tailored, as an example, DH had a work connection whom he had talked to on the phone for 10 years but never met (as this man lives in St. Petersburg!) Timofey handled communications and arranged a lunch meet up. It was amazing! He also handled all our visas and communicated by text on the day of. Couldn't have been easier. I hope this helps!
  11. Thanks! Putting it on my backwards planner!
  12. Yes, it's confusing. I paid right around $260 for ours, during a "sale"
  13. I don't eat burgers in "real life" so I do like to get one on vacation. Having said that, I don't think I've had one on a cruise ship (only sailed Royal or Princess) that made me miss it when I was back home. First time on a ship with Johnny Rockets in couple of weeks, so I'll be trying that burger. Ya know, for research.
  14. Thank you, Jim! This is exactly what I was looking for. We will be sure to get up and off the ship . Getting so excited!
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