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Heartgrove

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  1. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! To those who are father's, Happy Father's Day! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  2. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! Thank you @Denise T for the pictures of Coast Guard Base Ketchikan and and of the Fast Response Cutter USCGC Douglas Denman. This class of cutters are notable for being named after Enlisted Men and Women Heroes of the United States Coast Guard. The Douglas Denman is the 49th built of the Sentinel Class. Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  3. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! Happy Friday! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  4. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  5. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! Thank you for remembering the USS Liberty incident anniversary. Have a Great Weekend! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  6. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! I had yesterday's Cocktail of the Day for the first time on our first trip to Italy. We stayed at a hotel with a roof top lounge in Verona overlooking the Arena. The bartender concocted his own in batches. It was then served in a flask along with a glass of ice. One of my top five cocktails! Have a Great Weekend! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  7. The 3rd Armored Division was quite active post-war. Did your father attend any of the annual conventions? I think I was brought along to about three or four. Other families brought their children so it was a good vacation.
  8. More of my family's military history. My maternal Grandmother's brother fought in the British Army during WWI. Ireland was under British Rule then and he was one of 200,000 Irish men that served and one of 35,000 Irish men killed in the war. My Grand Aunt immigrated to Canada from Ireland while my Grandmother continued on to the USA. So my First Cousin on my mother's side, son of my Grand Aunt, was Canadian and served in WWII in the Royal Air Corp.
  9. When we ended our Nieuw Statendam cruise in Civitavecchia in 2019, we rode the transportation excursion that took us to Rome proper. Along with some panoramic bus touring, we stopped at San Paulo Fuori le Mure Basilica. Our bus finally dropped us at the Giardini di Piazza Mazzini in the Della Vitoria quarter. It is NW of Villa Borghese and west of the river. There is a taxi rank there so very easy to continue on. That cruise our hotel was down by Roma Termini so a quick taxi ride to the hotel. - Jack
  10. I think it was the Army not being very thorough with records post-war. I know my father was very, very reluctant to talk about his War experiences (PTSD before it was recognized?) and may have let it go until then to keep from remembering. I was working in '70-'71 with a man whose hobby was Award and Service Decorations of the Armed Forces. He had provided me with information for my father on who to contact. My father did not want my brother and I to join the Army which is why we both enlisted in the Coast Guard. I remember one time talking with my brother about CG Basic Training. I mentioned that he didn't warn me how hard it had been. He said that if he had told me - I wouldn't have gone!
  11. I had served in the Coast Guard so was accustomed to 30+ days at sea. My wife was reluctant at first so we initially sailed on an 18-day RT cruise to Hawaii. After that she cruise she now loves sea days as much as I do. We have an EB and two WB Transatlantics booked over the next 1-1/2 years.
  12. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! I have attached my memorabilia of my father's participation on D-Day. He was not in the first wave (Thank God!) but went in after the beach had been secured. He fought across Europe until being wounded during the Battle of the Bulge. That ended his frontline participation and finished the War in support roles. The doctor actually saved for him the piece of shrapnel that he was wounded with from a German artillery round. It entered the middle of his back and lodged in his left shoulder. I remember that he received a disability check from the Government monthly because of it. Back in the early Seventies I had a plaque made for him to display his medals that he had received. He also had the "clicker" that was issued for identification purposes on the battlefield. Many a time I paged through the book that was compiled to show the history of his 3rd Armored Division. I still miss him 32 years later! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  13. @Quartzsite Cruiser Thanks for asking, Lenda. Sam really doesn't care for it so I have not been using it. We just increased our awareness of how he could slip and fall to prevent it. I decided against trying to return the harness but will keep it for the end. I envision that when it happens, we may need to wait a few days for the vet and it will help moving him. I noticed last night that he was reluctant to put his rear down in order to lay down after that circling that cats and dogs sometimes do. After he's gone, I will donate it to his Rescue organization or a local shelter.
  14. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  15. Definitely following along with interest! We just booked this itinerary yesterday on the MSC Virtuosa for next April after a Transatlantic crossing on HAL's Nieuw Statendam. Ironically when we disembark it is heading for the Canary Islands as well. During the three days between our cruises, we are considering visiting the Isle of Wight. I need to check to see if we have "Good Ship Murder" available on cable.
  16. Yes, MSC uses the term "Grand Voyage" to name cruises that are repositioning cruises.
  17. We had our Grand Voyage on the MSC Divina this November (Nov. 2 - 22, 2025) cancelled for Operational Issues as well. My guess is a short drydock as scheduled cruises end in Genoa on November 2 and resume in Miami on November 15.
  18. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  19. For those that enjoy the ship as part of the destination, try a Grand Voyage Transatlantic. The MSC Grandiosa will sail on a Grand Voyage leaving Genoa on November 15, 2025 and reach Miami on December 5, 2025. It will then sail to Port Canaveral and arrive on December 6, 2025.
  20. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! We visited Ajaccio, Corsica in 2019 while onboard the Nieuw Statendam the first time. We were supposed to call on Monaco that day but the seas were too rough for tendering. The captain made arrangements to visit Ajaccio instead. It is a very historical port in European history. Napoleane di Buonaparte was born here in 1769. His home where he grew up still stands in the Old Town area and is now a museum. We rode the HOHO bus through the area and then ate lunch at a local pizzeria and tried Pastis for the first time. Then we walked through the town square before returning to the ship. Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack Approaching Ajaccio, Corsica. Busy that day so we had to anchor. Part of the waterfront. From the HOHO. Out along the coast from the HOHO. Hop On Hop Off with Sue alongside Nieuw Statendam at anchor. Part of the marina. Back in the city. The pizzeria. "Not a butter knife!" Napolean's birth home in the center. Statue of Napolean, and friend. One of my favorite shots of the NIeuw Statendam against storm clouds while at Ajaccio, Corsica. And almost back onboard.
  21. We have not booked yet but in reading the Fred Olsen CC threads you can book directly with them, unlike P&O which uses an agent here in the USA. You must talk with one of the Fred Olsen representatives with your credit card information as our credit cards are not compatible (maybe by now they are) with their online system. 15% of the cruise fare is required as a deposit but is refundable up to 91 days before sailing. Then a series of percentages charged up until sail date. Looking at videos on YouTube, they refurbished the public spaces and appears well kept. It reminds me of our cruise on the Veendam in 2015. We love new experiences! Our choice will probably be one of the Superior Ocean View cabin on Deck 3.
  22. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! Friday I happen to check the MSC website and found that the MSC Divina was doing a 19-Night Grand Voyage (Transatlantic) Late October 2025. This is the same cruise that was cancelled on us for this October. That started the ball rolling for re-adjusting our Spring 2025 cruise! Upon arriving in Dover aboard the Nieuw Statendam in April, we had planned on a land trip around parts of England before flying home. We are now seriously considering adding an 8-Night cruise aboard Fred Olsen's Bolette to Norway and Faroe Islands that leaves RT from Liverpool. The Bolette is the former HAL Amsterdam. That way I also fulfill bucket list items of sailing on a R-class ship and visiting the Faroe Islands. Sam's harness arrived yesterday. I'm not sure if it will work as it is not intended to be left on at night. We will give it a try though. Have a great Sunday! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  23. Thank you Rich, thank you Debbie, thank you Vanessa, thank you Ann, and thank you Dixie for all your work. And thank you everyone for being here! Have a great weekend! Stay Safe, and prayers for those in need. - Jack
  24. @ger_77 I ordered a harness that fits on his back end this morning. It wraps around his rear and has a handle to grab to help him up. I was using a towel under him which takes a few tries to get right. When it first happened a few weeks ago he would keep trying to get his footing. It is always in a corner with limited access. This morning it seemed like he gave up after two attempts. Can't help but think we are getting closer to the decision day.
  25. Yes, there is a Rotterdam model available onboard. My wife purchased one for me on her cruise in April. Her and I have a cruise aboard the Rotterdam in October so saved me from carrying it home then. You can never have enough models to mark your cruises. I am only missing the Koningsdam, Nieuw Statendam, NCL Leeward, Regency Regent Rainbow, and Viking Sky. Foreground: HAL Veendam, HAL Nieuw Amsterdam, HAL Westerdam, HAL Zuiderdam, HAL Eurodam, MSC Splendida, HAL Oosterdam, CCL Carnival Legend, MSC Preziosa, CCL Carnival Venezia, HAL Rotterdam, MSC Seashore Background: USCGC McCulloch
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