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About ottahand7

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Gardening, Wine, Cooking, Fishing

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  1. I am so grateful for all of the cruises that I have taken. We have a cruise booked with many friends from Canada in September. I called my friend and said I wouldn't be going and she was confused and wondering why I was so negative. Until there is a vaccine I can't cruise (or fly on a plane, or hang out in a restaurant or go shopping, or go use my Raven's tickets). It is a hard decision we will all have to make going forward how much we are comfortable being amongst others based on our health and degree of risk we want to take for ourselves and those around us. I hope cruising can adapt and a vaccine comes soon. Many of our problems are miniscule compared to the crews and the Bahamians on HMC.
  2. Oosterdam coming into and docked in the Port of San Diego. We boarded for a wonderful trip through the Panama Canal.
  3. Some of the duty free shops right off the ship in Spain and Portugal have very good selections to bring aboard. In Leixos if you go to the Stock Exchange building there is a wonderful shop of Portuguese wines but they only take cash.
  4. Curious about what will be happening with Hong Kong and Shanghai going forward. The president of the American Airlines Pilot Union said that HK should be avoided this morning on CNBC.
  5. We celebrated my birthday on the Zuiderdam last month. I don't remember us mentioning it but Ann Margaret our Neptune lounge concierge said that I see you are celebrating your birthday during the trip. Somehow the PG staff knew it too.
  6. Having had one on the Zuiderdam Southern Caribbean which we booked on ship in December it was basically unusable. If you are worried about wind and a bit of a gambler look at the wind forecast on the ship's TV itinerary after you board and book accordingly. It may be better if it is predicting windy conditions to book by the day than by the entire cruise. We never really got to enjoy lunch or any of the amenities other than the water due to the wind. Picture is of a not so windy day when all of the furniture was not lashed together with zip ties.
  7. We had one on the 12/10-20 sailing last month. All was in order and in excellent shape. Our issue was the wind which had nothing to do with the condition of the Retreats. Our stewards were always around to take care of our needs.
  8. I love the relaxation and being on the sea but on reflection it is the wonderful places that I have been able to visit without having to fly or drive to them. I doubt I would ever have made it to Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Gibraltar, Malaga and Lisbon without cruising.
  9. Enjoy your cruise. We got off the Zuiderdam on 12/20 and had a great time!
  10. The glass would be nice too. I am glad they are trying to make an effort. The paper straws are still a learning curve.
  11. We had the aft Neptunes a couple of times - I wouldn't have any other Neptune in Alaska or the Panama Canal but a lot of the Neptune amenities didn't make it to our cabin - or arrived later in the trip. The MDR menu to order room service on that wonderful balcony never made it and a lot of the older ships didn't have the on-screen menu hard copies never came. On the Zuiderdam we had to go ask for it in the lounge but I guess it was on the TV.
  12. Someone mentioned before to see Alaska you have to go at least twice and I can't wait to go back to see some more. If you are using Holland's lodging in Denali it will be underwhelming but the lodge where the meals are served and the central area is beautiful. I don't know where you live but if you are returning to the east coast and do not like red eye flights I would recommend that you start in the Northern ports and end up in Vancouver or Seattle to be able to get a mostly daylight flight. Since you are traveling in May you will have hungry animals looking for spring's food. They probably will be more prominent than mid-summer than when they have the ability to avoid tourists. We had the opposite in Denali in mid-September when they were loading up for hibernation and the hard winter. They say mosquitoes are bad in Alaska. I have never heard complaints about them on CC but that may be a negative for May they are infernal at our cabin in the UP of MI in May.
  13. I had them on the Zuiderdam this month but we were in a Neptune Suite and the card was from our concierges Ann Margaret and Ruth and our stewards. Pictured are the new water bottles available in the Retreat.
  14. We flew out of Miami on the 23rd and we used an Uber from the Renaissance FL Cruise port to the Miami airport Marriott and it was $35 if I recall properly. It was an easy drive down to the airport but it was a Sunday.
  15. I do that in my own home. I am on a cruise and paying dearly for some luxury. We just tucked them out of sight. Never had to do that on Holland before...... Poor management on this cruise from room service attire being filthy, poor MDR food and lack of attention to detail from housekeeping. Filmy flower vases are slimy and smelly.
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