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cft8

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  1. If you have a lot of devices, a USB tower (I have one like this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NCMRRW7). The cabins do not have many outlets, and we have phones, watches, a camera, a tablet, and portable battery packs that all charge with USB. We bring reusable straws and water bottles and a small bottle of dish detergent. Another idea for a nightlight is the LED tea light candles. You can often find them at the dollar store.
  2. We are in a jr suite on our upcoming cruise. My mom was just in Serenade in a regular balcony and she said the chairs on the balcony didn’t have footrests. Do the Jr suites have full loungers or footrests?
  3. Gorgeous pictures as always. Looking forward to following you on this great itinerary!
  4. You’re welcome. You’ll also get a discount (I think it was 10%) in the shops and cafes. The day we went to Kensington Palace, we got there right before they opened and with the pass we did not have to wait in the ticket purchase line, so we were about the 10th people in the entry line. At the time, they had the exhibition of Diana’s dresses, and we had that practically to ourselves. For the Tower of London, we got there mid-morning. It wasn’t clear where we needed to go, so we did go in to the building where you purchase the tickets, but there was no line. There’s no expedited entry line, so we did have to wait 20 minutes or so. I think someone previously mentioned to go straight to the Crown Jewels part, and I agree. I wish I’d known that. By the time we got over there it was like a 30-minute wait. It’s worth it of course! They said the wait was closer to 45 minutes or an hour, though, so it moved faster than estimated. At Hampton Court, I was taking a class at the Royal School of Needlework, which is located in the Palace, so we got in to the grounds for that and then just showed our pass at the Palace entrance so I don’t actually know how the entry process works normally! I ordered the pass in advance and they mailed it to my US address.
  5. Totally agree about Miniatur Wunderland. I wanted to explore the area around it and see the opera house but we spent all our available time there. We went in the afternoon and people kept telling me that was good because it was less crowded. I’d hate to see it in the morning, because it was still pretty crowded! If you are patient, though, you can get up to see everything. We also went to the St Nikolai Memorial which was fascinating.
  6. A fun alternative to the HOHO bus (if you don’t want to “hop” is Brigit’s Bakery’s Afternoon Tea Bus Tour https://b-bakery.com - you ride around London in a vintage double-decker bus, while being served a delicious afternoon tea. I admit the commentary is a little hard to hear at times, but it’s still a lot of fun. We looked at the London Pass and decided it wasn’t worth it for what we wanted to do. We did not want to rush from place to place and we did not want to do more than 2 “major” things per day. We added up the cost of admission to things we thought we’d realistically see and it came out cheaper to just do them individually. We did purchase a Historic Royal Palaces membership, because we were going to the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, and Hampton Court Palace. It did work out cheaper to get the membership than to pay individually for those places.
  7. We went on both Anthem and Ovation last year. They are definitely a different feel, but I really enjoyed them. I had read a lot about how crowded they feel, but other than right after muster (when *any* ship feels crowded IMO), and a few times when the sales were going on in the shops and I happened to be in that area, I didn’t feel that way.
  8. All things being equal, I’d rather order dessert after I finish my meal, but I understand why they do it, and I’d rather not have to wait a long time between courses, so I don’t mind that they do it that way.
  9. They might ask her where he is - when my DH and I boarded separately in Southampton, they asked me where he was. I said he was coming and they thought that was a little odd but they let me board. But, in Seattle no one batted an eye.
  10. For the two of us, we give about $8 per night to the waiter and about $4 per night to the assistant waiter. (We round this up so for a 7-night Cruise we give $60 to the head waiter and $30 to the assistant.) On our last cruise, we ate a couple of nights in speciality dining and we left $10 for those. We adjusted the amount we gave in the MDR to account for the fact we only ate there 4 nights out of 7.
  11. The appetizers are all just small bites. My DH strongly dislikes avocado, but he ate the one thing that had it since it was just a bite. They will also adapt them to your taste, so if you tell them you don’t eat seafood, they will make substitutions or not bring you those appetizers. I do not eat red meat or pork and so they adapted one thing that had a beef-broth-based sauce and did a different sauce. The server will probably ask if they can be your guide and choose the appetizers for you, but if there is anything you particularly want to try, or don’t want, I’m sure they will accommodate you! Since it’s already included in what you are paying, why not take the opportunity to try something new?
  12. We went to the St Nikolai memorial, and to Miniature Wunderland. I wanted to go to the Opera House, but we spent so much time at Miniature Wunderland that we did not have time to walk over there.
  13. Halifax, Portland, and Bar Harbor all had plenty to do that was walkable from the port. In Bar Harbor if you want to see Acadia National Park you will need transportation.
  14. We just got back from Alaska. We were on Ovation of the Seas and we went to Endicott Arm, but Royal did not offer a small boat excursion. We are fortunate that we got the closest to it of any Ovation sailing. I thought it was amazing! I’m sure being closer in a small vessel would have been even cooler, but I’m glad I got to see what I did. We had a lot of reasons for choosing the itinerary we did. I think whatever you choose you will see something spectacular. Maybe others will have seen something different, but Alaska is so beautiful you really can’t go wrong. Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau was also amazing. Unfortunately we did not get much time there because we prioritized whale watching. It we have the opportunity to go again, I would try to do one of the excursions where you canoe or kayak right up to it.
  15. Great review! I will have to remember it for our Europe trip next year. We are not sure where we are going yet (other than Amsterdam to catch our cruise), but I will definitely use some of your Paris tips if we go there! You also did some great things in London I didn’t know about! I will say for others that might be reading this that not all Tube stations in London have escalators. Many of them do not have elevators either. Anyone with mobility concerns should do plenty of research to become familiar with the system.
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