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Everything posted by SueMo

  1. The tour they took was the Rib-boat Whale Safari from West Tours: https://westtours.is/boat-tours/ . My son said it was the highlight of his trip. As for the Husavik vs. Akureyi question, go with Husavik! It is commonly thought of as the best place in Iceland for whale watching. If the trips through the ship are pricey, do it on your own. There isn’t really a whole lot to do in Husavik while Akureyi is Iceland’s 2nd largest town and is quite nice. My husband and I did the original whale watching tour with North Sailing https://www.northsailing.is/tour/husavik-original-whale-watching/, which was great, but there are plenty of other companies you can book with. You can do a land tour from Akureyi to see Godafoss, Myvatn Nature Baths (think Blue Lagoon for locals), and/or Hverir geothermal area. Or, just stay in Akureyi and go ziplining https://www.ziplineakureyri.is/ , a short taxi ride from port, and then explore the town.
  2. My son and his family just got back from Iceland earlier this week where they did a rib boat whale watching tour in Isafjordur. Two humpbacks played alongside their boat for the entire time on the water. It was a highlight of their trip, and they brought home some amazing pictures and videos. I would definitely pick Isafjordur as one of the options, not only because of my son’s family’s experience, but for the fact that there are fewer land based tour options there as opposed to in Reykjavik and Akureyi.
  3. Agree with all of the above. In May of this year we debarked our ship at 8:00 am (self carried luggage), facial recognition at the terminal made the process a breeze, immediately got a taxi (no need to pre-book), and were at the airport in about 20 minutes. We were easily there before 9:00 am. Our flight to Paris was not until 1:00 pm, so we ended up having to wait around since the Vueling check-in desk was not open yet.
  4. I can recommend both Thistle Excursions and Wow Scotland tours. We’ve done bus tours on both and they were great! Both were interesting, organized, and fun. They also offer smaller tour groups for those interested in a more private experience.
  5. You can download the app at any time. You can check in for your cruise on the app 45 days in advance. You have immediate access to current cruises (any ship), to see their daily planners and menus. You won’t have access to your particular cruise’s daily planner until the day of your embarkation.
  6. In the past, we’ve taken the ferry to St. Georges and then bus from there to the caves (and stop at Swizzle Inn which is close by). It seems to be a shorter bus ride that way and the ferry to St Georges offers some lovely views. Also, take snorkling equipment to Somerset Long Bay. You might find some sea turtles swimming there.
  7. SueMo


    The temperature will probably be mid 80’s. Port Royal sits next to the ocean so there will be some nice sea breezes. We’ve golfed at Port Royal several times in the past (usually late August/early September) and found out that the NCL ship (we were on Celebrity) has a morning excursion which takes up a chunk of tee times, so mornings might be out. I’d take the 2:00 pm deal.
  8. We did a land tour the 2nd week of September of 2021. I looked at my pictures and most days I wore a zippered sweatshirt with a raincoat, rain-resistant pants, and gloves. I wore an extra layer and a wool hat our days when we did an airplane ride in Talkeetna that landed on a glacier and on the Kenai Fiords National Park cruise.
  9. We took one of the green Denali transit buses (cheaper, said to be non-narrated, but our driver did narrate and spotted and pointed out the animals along the way). We sat in the very front seat, which was not blocked off, so that we could better hear the driver. My husband is also 6’5” and found the seat to be no more uncomfortable than any other buses we have experienced. He always sits on the inside and tilts his knees towards the aisle.
  10. As mentioned above, Boston Whalers can be rented at https://bdawatersports.com/ and you can go snorkeling with the turtles. Also, they have very good jet boat and paddle board tours and rentals that would appeal to teens. Another good option is https://www.islandtourcentre.com/reservations . The Island Tour Centre has a variety of tours that teens would love. We’ve personally done both the Rising Son catamaran (snorkeling, paddle boarding, jumping off high rocks into the water) and the Dockyard Segway tour, both of which I believe teens would love.
  11. It is exactly posts like Korimako’s that helped me in my decision to cancel an Australia/New Zealand cruise and do a self-drive tour of New Zealand’s north and south islands earlier this year. I don’t see it as advocating against cruising to NZ at all, but rather helping somebody decide how to best see a country that, due to extensive air travel and cost, may be the only opportunity one gets to visit. I’m sure that I would have enjoyed visiting NZ by cruise ship, and I found Auckland and Christchurch to be nice cities (but not worth traveling halfway-around-the-world nice), but they didn’t hold a candle to the breathtaking views in Mt. Cook and Queenstown.
  12. If you prefer an independent organized tour, I can recommend https://welovemalaga.com. We did the Ultimate Malaga History and Food Tour for 90 euros per person, and had a really nice experience. We toured Alcazaba, inside the cathedral, saw where Picasso was born & where Antonio Banderas lives, looked in some shops, and had delicious tapas and wine in several locations. All were included in the price.
  13. Correct. Personally, Cinque Terre for me is a bucket list destination. No way would I stay on the ship for the day, but that’s just me. I would try to be among the first debarking and deal with the crowds.
  14. I agree that it is safe on Horseshoe Bay. But if you want something to put your money, credit cards, phone, etc. in when you go to the beach, I recommend the Vaultz Money Bag with Lock (about $16 through Amazon). We use it when we take our grandkids to waterparks and beaches, and it works really well.
  15. In order to avoid standing in line to buy the train pass, buy it ahead of time at https://card.parconazionale5terre.it/en
  16. For those interested in entertainment offerings, use the Celebrity app to check out the current week’s activities and menus on the Eclipse to get an idea of what to expect on your upcoming cruise. No tickets for shows are necessary. I haven’t had a problem finding a seat, even at the last minute, on most shows in the theater.
  17. Ditto this. Fun with Falcons was an excursion offered through HAL when we did it, although I believe it is possible to do independently. It was one of the best excursions we’ve ever done!
  18. From the tendering area, walk up Main St. to the Village Green. Check in at the visitors booth on the Village Green (get bus map and pay entrance fee for Acadia National Park or show Senior National Park Pass here). Take the free Island Explorer Bus #4 Loop Road to Otter Cliff. Hike the Ocean Path (easy, 4.4 miles) back to Sand Beach. Ocean Path is mostly flat and parallels the loop road, offering scenic views and numerous access points to outcroppings above the rocky shore, including major attractions like Thunder Hole and Otter Cliff. Then take Bus # 4 to Jordan Pond. Have lunch here by the lake. Very good chowder and popovers. https://www.exploreacadia.com/index.html shows timetables for the free Island Explorer Bus. Return to town on bus #4 or 5 and look at the shops.
  19. I think it’s the best solution. It’s difficult making your way back to the ship after dark and stand in line to tender back to the ship, only to wake up in the morning and make your way back into the city. We did the Nieuw Statendam last summer and we stayed in a hotel in the Haymarket area (behind the castle). The cost of spending the night at a hotel plus tattoo tickets was about the same as the ship’s tattoo excursion. We took the train from Dalmeny to Haymarket, checked in, and did some touring before the tattoo. Afterwards, it was a quick 10-15 minute walk to our hotel. The next morning we had a leisurely breakfast, did some more touring, and took the train from Waverly back to Dalmeny.
  20. I recommend booking a hotel room for the night. In the morning, do some extra touring of Edinburgh before heading back to South Queensferry.
  21. We docked at Funchal just last month on a Virgin Voyages cruise. Madeira is not part of the Canary Islands as was mentioned above, but an independent Portugal island off the west coast of Africa. Funchal is a beautiful town, and easy to do on your own, as Edinburgher mentioned above. When you debark, you will pass through a rather long terminal building. Taxis and buses wait at the other end. We had the option of taking a shuttle bus into town, but chose to just walk. It took us about a half hour to walk to the funicular (18 euros round trip) up to Monte. After visiting the palace gardens, we descended to town and walked Rua de Santa Maria to the old town and the Mercado dos Lavrodores farmer’s market. Probably one of our best days in port.
  22. On May 5th of this year we walked off a Virgin Voyages cruise with our luggage at Barcelona cruise port about 8:15 am, quickly went through facial recognition, immediately got a taxi, and were at the airport in about 20 minutes. We had to wait to check in for our 12:30 pm flight to Paris. There was no significant wait to go through security. Quick and easy.
  23. I honestly don’t recall pay toilets in Iceland. We usually stopped at gas stations where they were free. There might have been one at Thingvellir, but I remember everybody holding the doors open for the next “customer”.
  24. We spent 10 days driving the ring road in Iceland and never needed ISK. Even hot dog stands took credit cards! The only tip money we needed was for a “free” walking tour in Reykyavik, and the guide made it clear they welcomed euros, USD, etc.
  25. Google busybus Holyhead. They have an excursion that leaves from the port and is fitted to your particular cruise schedule.
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