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About cruisemom42

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  1. Herculaneum was covered by molten mud; damaging but in a different way. Wood tended to be preserved in Herculaneum. Pompeii has many frescoes; however, the site is very large and most people do not devote enough time there to see it properly. A few examples from Pompeii:
  2. Same here. We were so lucky two years ago when I went with my son around this time. We spent 4 nights in Venice and had absolutely gorgeous weather.
  3. The more the merrier! Lois, it's not quite like Venice, true, but people in Rome are getting stranded in their cars in flooded tunnels on the roads.
  4. Coke products are preferred by more people than Pepsi, so it's not a "half and half" deal. I'd think a line would get considerably more complaints not having Coke products vs. not having Pepsi. That said, if HAL switches brands, they'd better carry Pepsi's Diet Mountain Dew. I am NOT drinking the swill that passes for Diet Pepsi!
  5. I'm getting ready to leave tomorrow evening for Rome. Just finished re-waterproofing my two pairs of walking shoes and my rain jacket. ☔ Actually, while it looks bad the first two days, it has slightly improved to only 20% chance of rain on Wednesday and 40% on Thursday and Friday. 🤜🤛
  6. I've found that I have more opportunities to meet and talk to others on the smaller ships I've been on. The big ones seem kind of impersonal to me. On the smaller ships you see the same people everywhere, and people seem happier to share a table or share a conversation.
  7. I do not recall the Pinnacle Grill starting as a suites-only dining room. Granted I wasn't really sailing HAL in those days (my parents were) but I thought it was always a specialty dining room available to anyone who paid the (at that time small) upcharge. I don't think it was until quite a bit later that it began to be opened to suite guests for breakfast...
  8. As clearly shown in the image below, there IS another way that cruise ships could reach Marittima port, by taking the long way around:
  9. Ship ran aground in the Galapagos on a previous cruise.
  10. Agree, I'd avoid Corfu Town unless you can get there early (but things will be closed?) or late? I've been there off-season with only a couple of ships plus my usual small ship (350 pax) and the town was crawling with people. There are other things on the island to see. Or be adventurous and hop a ferry across to Sarande, Albania and tour the Roman ruins at Butrint -- very picturesque. You'll need to take your passport though as you are leaving the EU. (Albania expects to join EU in 2020 or thereabouts...)
  11. Agreed; too often this is used to belittle anyone who complains about something experienced on a ship. It negates the unpleasant, irritating and sometimes downright terrible experiences of others. Until you've been stuck in a 90 degree cabin on an older cruise ship with no air conditioning, no balcony, no way to get air other than a 6-inch fan provided by the cruise line and nothing from the cruise line other than a 'sorry we can't do anything for you', for a week, you may find it hard to believe that a bad day at sea can exist -- but it does. (And P.S. that was my honeymoon. )
  12. Well there you go. Every good theory needs outliers. Much as I am sorry to say so, I think HAL will have to get rid of the smaller ships. Given current pricing structure, I don't think they can afford to update/overhaul them as needed to keep them in service RELIABLY and keep passengers happy. Even I, much as I love smaller ships, am hesitant to sail on the older HAL ships to minimize the euphemistic occurrence of "ship happens". I remember seeing an astronomically huge number as to how much Oceania paid to update/renovate the R-class ship they obtained from Princess in order to bring her up to standard. I can't see HAL spending that kind of money on the older ships in her line. Anyone know how much Phoenix Reissen paid to update Prinsendam?
  13. While I don't disagree with you at all that HAL needs to offer a more consistent experience, I also think HAL has two different audiences: those who cruise for the cruise experience and enjoy having more on offer that only the somewhat larger ships can provide (the "broader choice of amenities" you reference), and those who cruise for the travel experience -- the ports and off-ship experiences weigh much more in the balance with them. The latter group tend to like the longer and more varied itineraries that HAL can offer on smaller ships. Larger ships (in general, there are a few exceptions) tend to offer shorter, more "cookie cutter" itineraries. Why? The cruise line has to fill a large number of berths week after week. Not everyone is interested in or can afford long itineraries, so these are often offered on the smaller ships. So if HAL pares down to her newer, larger ships, will HAL lose these customers.....and if so, where will they go instead? I'm very interested in knowing the answer, because I also am looking for other lines that offer what I'm after.
  14. I agree the history is incredible, but I'm having a little trouble following you after that. Rome was (supposedly) founded in 753 BCE. It was a Roman emperor, Constantine, who founded Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the 330s CE. Even after the Western Roman empire fell to the various barbarians, the Eastern Empire, based in Constantinople persisted and became known as the Byzantine Empire. Still nominally Roman, although Greek became the primary language used due to the geography. The Ottoman Empire wasn't founded until 1299 CE, and didn't defeat the Byzantine forces at Constantinople until 1453, a date often considered the final hurrah of the Roman Empire. Certainly there were eastern civilizations that pre-date the Romans considerably (Greeks, Babylonians, Hittites, Egyptians spring to mind...) But not the Ottomans.
  15. The OP hasn't returned, which is unfortunate. Hopefully we did not scare them off. To me, it's one thing when someone clearly has no affinity with a place or intention of returning. However, on the flip side, sometimes travelers -- and I'd like to suggest ESPECIALLY cruise travelers -- get a sense of "one and done" with Rome when they take one of those whirlwind "all day/all sites/all singing and dancing" port tours, whether offered by the ship or a private tour. Yes, you see a lot. But even if your tour is a splendid one, you are not getting the best of Rome. You end up seeing a lot of unconnected sites, you see shoulder-to-shoulder people and long lines, and the traffic of criss-crossing Rome. It's nothing like being able to see Rome in a more leisurely way and grouping sites into meaningful chunks that relate to each other. Also, as I said in my first post, Rome has so many places to see and things to do that inexperienced travelers sometimes just don't realize what they HAVEN'T done.... If someone wants to go to Orvieto or Tarquinia or Lake Bracciano instead of Rome, it's hard to argue against that approach for a single port day. You probably can get more of a sense of Orvieto in a day than of Rome. What I'm saying is somewhat different -- Rome is worth more than a day or two or three. Make time to see more than just the "headliners". I think that holds true for any major city. Often you have to give it a chance to grow on you. (I feel this way about Naples, for example... I like it much more after spending some time there than I ever did as a quick pass through day.) I think you may be misinterpreting my comment. When I'm in Rome, I am sightseeing all day long. I walk miles each and every day. I usually want to have dinner within a fixed radius of my hotel, and that's one reason why I pick the Pantheon area -- plenty of really great options nearby, some with wonderful views or settings and a lovely but short walk there and back. Lest you think I have myopia, I've visited a good many terrific sites and towns in Lazio over the years: Orvieto, Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Tivoli, Gaeta, Tarracina, Sperlonga, Palestrina, Frascati, Alatri, Ostia -- some more than once. I just talk about Rome the most because I feel I have knowledge to share and it's what most people ask about...
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