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About TrapperZimmy

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Chicago area
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    SeaDream Yacht Club

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  1. And he misses you, too, Jim.
  2. It is specifically because it has been a boon to the Cuban economy that Trump is ending visits. Food is rationed, and we saw some serious poverty throughout the country. The US goal is to starve the people to the point that they revolt against the government. It is not going to happen. Yes, Cuba is still a dictatorship and the people are denied many freedoms, but the current regime is loosening things. Cubans are now free to have businesses and travel out of the country. My opinion is that change may come if we have greater engagement with the country. What I read this morning is that cruises originating in the US cannot stop in Cuba. Our trip, the first SD cruise, started in San Juan. There is no reason why San Juan has to be the jumping off point. SD could depart from a lot of places. Interestingly, we are banning private planes from going to Cuba, but there has been no mention of commercial flights. American Airlines has regular service to Havana, and I doubt they will take this sitting down. I'm glad we jumped at the opportunity to take SD's first sailing there. May never have that opportunity again.
  3. I know we've been there, but nothing stands out. Check the shore activities page for the cruise to see what SD is offering. I think Norman is a snorkeling site while Soper's is a bar and dining site, but I may be wrong.
  4. What do you like to do on the islands, Doug? Beaches, snorkeling/diving, shopping, sightseeing, restaurants and bars, golf? Jost is likely to be the beach party, near the Soggy Dollar, especially if it is at the end of the cruise, although they have also done the party on Nevis. Charlestown is the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton (maybe you've heard of him). Anguilla can be an iffy port, depending upon the seas. We had one trip that was supposed to stop there, and a gentleman and his golf clubs were supposed to be met by a car and driver where the tender would dock. He had to call the driver to let him know that we would be anchoring on the other side of the island because of rough water. He then had to call to say we weren't stopping at all, but continuing on to St. Bart's. He was royally disappointed, and I hope he didn't lose any deposit money. Saba is very interesting. One giant rock, with a village at the bottom (called The Bottom) and one at the top, reachable by the single road (called The Road). Some nice artisan shops. Incredible airport with a runway that has the mountain on one end and a cliff at the other. Supposed to be the shortest commercial runway in the world. Don't know which is scarier, landing or taking off, and have no interest in doing either. We haven't done it there, but Saba is supposed to have outstanding snorkeling and diving because the island is surrounded by a national marine reserve. Although Saba is Dutch, English and the US dollar prevail.
  5. The advantage to the vibration is that Jim can get his martinis shaken, not stirred.
  6. Both Cabosal and Knothead are correct. We sailed exclusively on SDI for a number of years, and felt part of the family. Finally, because of itinerary, we chose to sail on SDII. It was like being in your own house, but someone else was living there. But we quickly got used to the new crew members, and they us. We have since done quite a few trips on SDII, but looking forward to being back on SDI this summer. At this point, we make our choices based solely upon timing and itinerary. Not true that the two yachts are carbon copies. It is a game with me to find the little differences between them. Most obvious is the location of the tender. But some are very subtle, like shower doors and bathroom cups.
  7. And here is the latest on how the US government is handling Cuba travel. We have heard from someone who was unable to renew her Global Entry because she had traveled to Cuba. As I understand it, and I will tell you that this is hearsay, she told Customs and Border Protection that she was there under a People-to-People program. However, when asked to prove it, she had not kept any of the documentation. I'm hanging on to our itinerary as well as all of the papers regarding the excursions. The first test will come when I renew my passport next year and have to transfer over the Global Entry.
  8. That's why I love SeaDreamers on Cruise Critic. Great to learn something new, Princeton. Thanks.
  9. Don't know if it is the same with the Danieli, but the first time we stayed in Venice we were at the Europa. We had a fantastic room facing the canal on the 1st (what we would call the 2nd) floor. Our traveling companions were right above us and had a room the same size (for the same price). Big difference, though. We had really high ceilings and two little balconies. They had a room. Like many old European buildings, each floor up gets less impressive, until you get to what was the servants' quarters on the top floor.
  10. Good morning, Jack. Not only should you be sitting down to hear about the prices for gondolas, you should also have a large glass of vino in your hand. Prices vary depending upon time of day. Evenings, which are more romantic, can run you about 90 euros for 45 minutes. Maybe 75 earlier in the day. If you want to have the gondolier serenade Mrs. Dawson, expect to pay extra for that. Depending upon supply and demand, you may be able to negotiate a better price. But establish the price beforehand. And tipping is expected, too. I think the Alilguana is fairly new. Go to their website alilguana.it to get the details. They will take you from the airport to very close to the Danieli, but I think you might still have to go up and down a small bridge. I'd probably compare it taking the Airporter from O'Hare as opposed to taking the Blue Line. (Actually, the Alilguana that goes to the Danieli is the Blue Line). btw, are you the guy I met on a plane who had the same SeaDream luggage tags that I had?
  11. Even you and I played nice, Jim. Wish I could be joining you at the piano bar, Vandrefalk. We made beautiful music together. 😎
  12. Yes, Vandrefalk, it was the Hilton. A nice hotel away from the hustle and bustle, but easily accessible. And, like knothead said, it was free. Have a wonderful and safe crossing. Zimmy and I wish you and the Colonel a Happy Easter.
  13. There are more than two prices, Jim. There is the sitting price and the walking price. Say you want to get a bottle of orange juice at a little place on St. Mark's Square. They will ask you if you want to sit down. If you do, expect that 2 euro bottle of juice to cost several times more. Jim is right about using the water taxi (not the bus) if you are carrying luggage. It is much more expensive, but worth generally worth it. Hopefully, your hotel has a dock where you can get on and off the taxi. People staying at hotels without docks can be seen wheeling their luggage up and down the bridges all over the city. Our hotel had a dock and its own shuttle boat, and was directly across the canal from where our ship (SilverSea) was docked. We could see the ship from our window. But the only way to get across the canal, without having to schlep our luggage over the bridges, was to take the taxi. Several years ago, that two minute trip cost 50 euros. They have a monopoly, and the hotel was not permitted to shuttle us across the canal to the cruise dock. I wanted to fling the bags across the canal from our balcony, but Zimmy didn't think it was a good idea.
  14. If you have any interest in glass artwork, take a vaporetto (water bus) to Murano. You can spend a couple of hours walking through the studios, and the ride there and back is interesting. The vaporetto is an easy, inexpensive way to get around. Maybe the best (or only) bargain in Venice. Also, visit the Peggy Guggenheim museum if that is not on your tour itinerary.
  15. Maybe I'm overly paranoid, but these days I'd choose to follow the rules, especially when it comes to US relations with Cuba (or with just about any other country, for that matter). In February there was a lot of excitement about the Cuban ballplayers being able to play for American teams. Well, that's over with. It may be just a matter of time before Americans can't go to Cuba at all. Will the Cuba stamps in my passport be held against me? And Skysurfr is right. The excursions were generally good, and they were free. Last summer we had pre-booked an entire week of excursions in Italy. Every single one was cancelled due to lack of participation. At least in Cuba we knew that we would be doing these excursions.
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