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    Horses, gardens, reading, travel (of course)
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Off the beaten path

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  1. id recommend waterPROOF rain pants as well @BRC6C - REI has a couple that are rain & wind proof that can go on over your regular pants and one of the pairs I have unsnap along the side seams so they’re easy on/off as needed and pack down small (and for PLAY weight restrictions are light). Iceland can be very windy ! I have a pretty good packing list for polar/near polar travel. I’m very casual on vacation and get a couple wears for most things (except the obvious). It doesn’t hurt that we’re both platinum so get a couple free laundry bags per cruise, so reduces packing. A lightweight merino wool, long sleeve T-shirt is good (I like Smartwool’s 100 series cuz I don’t want to bulk up) and I also bring 1 or 2 of Costco’s 32 Degree undershirts and tights - thin for layering, lightweight, pack small but add warmth. Plus the 32 Deg hand wash and dry overnight and merino doesn’t hold body odors, so if they need to be worn more than once as a layer, it’s all good. I have put on some weight this past year (trying…unsuccessfully..to loose) so thin layers are essential as I don’t want to buy a bunch of larger clothes. I WILL loose that extra poundage some day! as @rritter25 said, a hat & gloves might be handy. Didn’t need them in that 21-day I mentioned earlier but ya never know. I needed them on other trips. They’re in my packing pile. I also have a pair of Merrel hiking shoes (most boots rub my boney ankles) that are waterproof- I’ll wear those on the plane and bring sneakers and recovery sandals, maybe a pair of flats. A polar fleece, scarf or buff, a puffer jacket, a raincoat. Of course bathing suit for the pools -probably doing Myvatn and there’s an outdoor hot tub/sauna at our pre cruise hotel And the bug netting @300dtc mentioned! We did need that at Myvatn one trip and didn’t have it in Qaqortoq and desperately needed it. I think our ship bought out the towns entire supply …but not everyone got to the market in time 😜
  2. @rritter25 Hi & thanks for sharing that info and for popping in on my trip report (to be). Yes, I was following reports of your cruise. Did you do a review or trip report? If so, would you mind linking? So sorry your itinerary got changed and you missed out on 3 good ports. After hearing about the changes, I went and found some ice pack maps - both Qaqortoq & Nanortalik had a lot of ice but several other ships were able to make port during those days. I think it depended on the ship, the company and the captain 😜 There’s quite a bit of comments, links, maps and photos from our roll call on your situation… as well as conjecture about what we will get, found buried here in our roll call: We did a 21 day Faroes, Iceland & Greenland cruise 11Jul - 1Aug in 2017 (wow, didn’t realize it was so long ago!) and had fantastic weather every port day (1 medium rough sea day). Really surprised how good it was … and it was our 1st cruise to boot (well other than a 4 day weekend NCL “booze cruise” to see if we got sea sick or not before booking the 21-days). Fingers crossed 🤞 we get just as lucky this time … and that I won’t need the gloves, hat and warm layers on this trip either! recent reports are the ice in Qaqortoq harbor is breaking up, again 🤞
  3. La Romana while the Dar has built a nice pool complex at the port, it’s basically just the pool. The pool is large, lots of loungers, some shade but it on a built up area that overlooks the ocean. There are a handful of places to buy a drink or get a bite but not a lot of choice. A few shops, a lot of larimar. That’s it. there is not a lot to do in La Romana itself and most excursions go to Punta Cana (45-60min drive) or to a nearby resort. There’s a couple snorkeling sites, Catalina Island right offshore from La Romana and the rest 1 hr+ away. I’d look at the shore options, but if I wasn’t really motivated by any or the price was more than I think they’re worth. I’d go ashore use the pool, meander around (little shade) and reboard for lunch and stay aboard. In February we had a cruise that left from La Romana, originally planned to fly in a day early and stay downtown near the beach. But didn’t see a lot to do without having to arrange transport. So we flew in a couple days ahead and stayed in Punta Cana till getting a van to La Romana for embarkation. Also that cruise changed our 1st port from a new area closer to Haiti to the island I mentioned above, Catalina. That is a short small boat ride offshore, and our port day there was tendering to an isolated beach. Kind of like going to a stripped down GSC. We did go ashore and did about an hour snorkeling to check out our gear before snorkeling in ABCs. Best thing that day was watching a whale off the starboard side.
  4. Ten days till we fly to KEF. We booked our flight with PLAY Airline. They are a relatively new airline based in Iceland. This is our first time flying with them - I can't wait to see their operations. Flight is just over 5 hours so if it sucks, it’s only 5 hours … but I hope to get a few hours of shut-eye. We didn’t book this cruise and, therefore, our flights until Memorial Day, so barely 60 days in advance. I was worried flights would be exorbitant but our one way flights were just $614 (307pp) for 2 tix with extra leg room seating, including 20kg checked bag, carry-on & personal item. Other airlines were charging double or more. I’ll be sure to post a debrief on PLAY once we are in Iceland. I hope they work out well because they have some very good promotions to Europe. Their flights are organized pretty much like IcelandAir (and my much missed WOW) - everything transits their hub at KEF, with the option for an Iceland stop-over. A lot of their European flights may fly in/out of secondary airports and in the winter they have a lot of warmer-climate destinations. 🤞 and at least they are competition for IcelandAir.
  5. Thank you @LauraS - I hope it’s at least a bit informative if not entertaining to at least a few readers 😛
  6. I don’t know about fellow shipmates wanting to hear my take on the cruise … they’ll be living it large themselves. But I’m flattered @julie3fan - hope to meet you on the 27th!
  7. NCL Star out of Reykjavik is $99 for paid tour, available to book in app.
  8. I’ve done the climb up or down those plane stairs out on the back 40 several times and never noticed a lift! very observant, I’ll have to see if I can remember to look for them now I know they exist!!
  9. I can only wish. Hate the iPhone keyboard and my large fingers
  10. This is such a sad situation with mist NCL port stops in Victoria - vast majority arrive after 6pm just long enough to satisfy the Jones Act foreign port requirement. my big “want to” here is a daytime visit to Butchart Gardens. I’d love to do an Alaskan cruise with a full day in Victoria but guess i need to use a different cruise line or make it a pre/post cruise extension.
  11. Good luck organizing this! bar crawls are great fun on a sea say, even if nit a bug drinker. You get several hours yo talk to like minded cruisers, much mire than at an hour-long M&G. best one we attended was on Prima - it started about 10 in the Belvedere and worked its way upwards. Prima has a lot of good bars for this. I think we ended up not hitting every bar … too much of a (good?) thing 🤣 I've not been on Jade but I’ve sailed on Gem a couple timed. I think the bars are nicely spaced out for a crawl. @The Traveling Man had a good suggestion about the roll calls, also check out some trip reports for posted FSDs. enjoy your cruise 🚢
  12. @jacketwatch we did a transatlantic on Viva in November 2023 ((Lisbon to Miami), the Viva was fully outfitted with Starlink and was quite good. I even did a Skype job interview from the middle of the Atlantic and doubt the other side even noticed anything off. (I was the job seeker) I think if the 300 minutes are enough time for you, you probably won’t need to upgrade. If you do upgrade, I think there’s a slight advantage in doing it onboard before night 2, if you haven’t used your minutes till that point. However I forget the nuances but think they’re covered by others here.
  13. Hi @Seas2mountains I must have been scrolling through your recent opus and posting while you were here. Prima/Viva are lovely ships and you were blessed with great weather for you fantastic cruise. it sounds like the new veterans programs keep getting better, we haven’t had the neat spoon apps yet, they looked fun 🫡
  14. I probably share some of your concerns @catbro, but we were on Sky (about same age, without nit-picking) in March and although it was showing its age in some spots and was a huge change from our previous November cruise on Viva, we got along well enough for a port intensive cruise. This is another (IMO) port-intensive cruise with only 3 sea days, so I don’t think the lack of the latest amenities will be too much bother. Although the loss of a great observation lounge like a Spinnaker might be missed, it just depends on how close the captain will sail along the various coastlines. My biggest concern is based on the trouble Star had making her itineraries this past winter in South America & Antarctica. And the current run off Greenland isn’t instilling confidence. However if she can pull off this itinerary as scheduled it will be a fantastic cruise (weather permitting)! We did a 21-day round trip from the UK to Faroes, Iceland and Greenland a few years back 9-28 July on another line and it was fantastic (if a little long) - great weather most of the way, only missed 1 port due to, reportedly, sea ice and the ship found a good substitute. Hoping our luck continues!
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