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canadjineh

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Everything posted by canadjineh

  1. I do enjoy the convenience of having both a USD account and a EUR account at my Canadian bank, since I can buy when the rates are more favourable to stock my accounts for use on our next trips. Only thing I wish is that I could get the money from my EUR account at any of my bank's branches worldwide, instead of only having it available at my home branch. Maybe that will come in time...
  2. Hi, we were in for a short port call on an early Sept Alaska cruise. Google 'live music in Victoria' for a schedule of a little private club downtown that has great blues bands in a small venue. They started early and were done by 9 or 10. Not sure about Sunday tho, but def. worth the google search. We were in quite late and only caught the last song, but they suggested a 'dive bar' immediately next door - it was lots of fun, everyone very friendly, and we had a wild couple of hours of karaoke. I'd return to both places when in Victoria. Sorry so vague, but I'm at work in a firecamp security detail in my province right now and don't have access to my info at home.
  3. Wait til you hit the Maritimes and go for an Alexander Keith's instead. Labatt's is kinda the Budweiser of Canadian beer, lol.
  4. Yes, indeedy! Very common in Washington state where some communities are extremely dependent on cross border shoppers, especially for gas, groceries, and start-of-school kids' clothing promos.
  5. I doubt it, lol. I've found that unless you are in a border town (and even then, not so much), US guides/stores/etc wince when you offer even equiv. $USD value in CAD and won't accept any CAD. On the Eastern Seaboard you may find that they don't even know where your province is. Okay, lol, maybe an overstatement.
  6. All the large banks, and a couple of the smaller ones (less known) have USD accounts available to their account holders so it's almost never a problem if you tip in USD, especially if the recipient is an employee of a tourist oriented business. Cheaper for you if you tip Canadian tho, especially for general purchases. 😉 We have both a Euro account and a USD account at our bank that we use to top up for our different travels when the rates are favourable; I'm sure a lot of other Canadians who work in the tourism/travel industries also have these type of accounts. We are also on a C/NE cruise from end of Sept - early Oct but will be workin' it the other exchange way... withdrawing from our USD account for the US portion of the trip. 😊
  7. Oops, just noticed the comments further along and read the info in the link. Looks like we won't have enough time before our afternoon tour. Next time we're there, I hope.
  8. Can you give us a few details? We've got a bit of extra time in Sydney before our Louisbourg Nat Historic Site tour we'd like to fill. We'll be there Wed, Oct 4. thx 😸
  9. We just took the buses everywhere for 13 pesos each. Same cost all the way from one end of town to the other ie we were by the Marina in the North end just past the Golden Zone, closer to the airport and we went all the way to El Faro and Observatorio in the south end by the cruise port on one fare. No transfers though, as all the buses are privately owned and run by their drivers who pay the union to get their routes. Sabalo-Centro bus route will take you from the Port area thru the center of town to the Cathedral and bandshell and historical centre then join the Malecon frontage road all the way thru the golden zone and on up to the northern marina. This route has all new, modern, air con, long distance style buses. Easy to use - flag the bus down anywhere along the road or sit at a bus stop, your choice. It's easy to take a lovely ride to the historical center of town, walk around there a bit or sit in the park with an ice cream, walk oceanward a couple blocks and you get to the Malecon for a lovely walk along the shore until you get tired, then hop on a bus back to the cruise port area.
  10. Hiya, folks. Our first cruise on a Princess ship and we will be in 'Bahston' 😉 for the day in early Oct. The Museum of Fine Arts looks great as does the Isabelle Gardner Museum. Any other suggestions that aren't food (I have celiac disease) or American Political History? I haven't been thru Boston for about 30 years.
  11. We've used johann & sandra tours in Mazatlan to go see the oceanside petroglyph park and a home cooked meal with a local family. Google Las Labradas tour. We went with them March 2020 just before Covid shut everyone down. We had a great time with a professor guide and student assistant.
  12. Hi momofknt: I have Celiac disease and we travel a lot. We haven't been to PV since just before Covid, but wherever we travel I take a Celiac travel translation card with me. You can get them here: https://www.celiactravel.com/cards/ They've saved me in Cuba, Mexico (in restaurants & grocery stores), and China. Don't forget that sometimes corn tortillas may have a tiny bit of wheat flour in the dough to make them a bit lighter and easier to handle. Definitely ask the cook/server about their tortillas. When in doubt plain rice with the beautiful meats and veg is the safest bet. Watch out for the mole's - some have bread crumbs to thicken - definitely ask first. Our favorite thing to eat is a meal in a molcajete (oven heated stone bowl filled with veggie pieces including nopal, strips of chicken or beef, and a hot melted cheese in the bottom.) Have fun!
  13. We've done Mex Riv with Holland America on the Oosterdam (just under 2000 passengers) and had no sea waves/chop issues in early March. But it leaves from San Diego, so that could be a factor as it's much further down the coast.
  14. Friends of ours use the DiDi app in Mazatlan - like Uber but takes MX cash only. Cheaper. I had it downloaded but didn't use it as we just took the buses everywhere for 13 pesos each. Same cost all the way from one end of town to the other ie we were by the Marina in the North end just past the Golden Zone, closer to the airport and we went all the way to El Faro and Observatorio in the south end by the port on one fare. No transfers though as all the buses are privately owned and run by their drivers who pay the union to get their routes. Sabalo-Centro bus route will take you from the Port area thru the center of town to the Cathedral and bandshell and historical centre then join the Malecon frontage road all the way thru the golden zone and on up to the northern marina. This route has all new, modern, air con, long distance style buses. Easy to use - flag the bus down anywhere along the road or sit at a bus stop, your choice.
  15. If you get the chance to go with your son AND the grandkids in Mazatlan go to the Observatorio directly across from the El Faro lighthouse climb, at the cruise port and commercial port end of town. It is an original military observatory with amazing views in all directions - wonderful history, and also a tropical bird (toucan, parakeet, macaw, flamingo) aviary you can go inside and interact with the birds who are rehabilitated although they cannot be released back to the wild. It's not a bird trick show, although there are a couple tame enough to get close and can be fed a treat or will sit on your head or shoulder. Also lots of iguanas that you go above on skybridge walkways. You can find out about tequila traditionally made, and more info about the site with a good grassy park area to run around in and a small bar for a drink as you overlook the port and town side. Lots of things young grandkids would like with the military history 10 minute film about the place for the adults. You ride up/down in a funicular (price included in entrance) or if you are strong of lung & leg you can walk up through the tropical gardens. We really enjoyed it. Just got back home yesterday.
  16. We totally agree with the above two posters, Ashland gives you two easy and popular spots to get to. We are in Mazatlan right now for a couple weeks, a visit on a HAL ship just before covid-19 (March 2019) convinced us to come for a proper visit asap. It's a beautiful historical city and well worth a bit of a wander in the Centro and Mercado districts if you get the chance.
  17. Hi OP. We are staying in Mazatlan right now for 2 weeks and we feel completely safe coming here. I wouldn't necessarily rent a vehicle on my own and go out to the countryside or to Culiacan right now, but we walk all over town on our own, grocery shop, and take the busses regularly without issue. It's as safe as any other city of 1/2 million. You'll have a nice time on your tours. Just fyi, Canada gov't website says "Sinoloa as a state should be a no go for non-essential travel EXCEPT Mazatlan." There's a ton of older folks from all over who are staying for the winter and doing fine.
  18. Hi TravelMamaBear23: Here's the reviews site for UnCruise Adventures on the CruiseCritic boards. https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/un-cruise-adventures-cruises/cl/
  19. WOW! I just looked at their site. Gorgeous work and amazing craftsmanship.
  20. You might have to sacrifice a bit at either focus....you won't have as much room or as many menu/restaurant choices on a smaller expedition sized ship, or you won't have as exciting or in-depth 'shore' excursions on a larger, cushier ship. You may just have to decide which is a bit more important to you. A couple of small expedition type ships you could look at on these boards are American Queen Voyages: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2841780-all-ocean-victory-alaska-2022-cruises/ For a very small expedition ship you could try UnCruise Adventures (75-85 passengers.) Something you might want to look at before booking is the CruiseMapper website to check which ships are in each port on which days....you probably don't want to be in port at the same time as 4 x 4000 passenger ships. The site also links with info on each ship in port and their cruise costs etc. https://www.cruisemapper.com/ports-in-alaska-22 When Hubby & I were on our Alaska Cruise with HAL Westerdam in early Sept/22 the only 'shore' excursion we did with the ship was the Hubbard Glacier Small Boat adventure as we figured we'd likely never get out there at the face on a regular self-booked trip to Alaska. We did a bit of research first on each port and looked at hiking trails, special community events, etc. and ended up going on an epic day hike in Tongass National Forest on our own - we took the local buses (cheap especially for seniors, lol) and just asked some of the friendlier locals where they'd go on a day off for an 'adventure.' We were prepared though, with sturdy hiking boots and heavy duty rain gear. We like HAL Vista Class ships as they only have 1700-2000 on board - 'big' ship amenities and smaller-ship port availabilities. They also have great music with BB King's Blues Club, and Lincoln Center Stage. They also have great chefs who I give free reign to design meals for me since I have Celiac Disease. I've never been disappointed by their meals and in fact have had several in the MDR that are actually off the Pinnacle Dining Room Menu (with no upcharge.)
  21. Hi beachys: We were on a cruise to West Coast Mexico in early March 2020 (just before COVID closed everything down) and really enjoyed a tour (private for the two of us, but cheaper per person if you have a small group or a family) of Las Labradas Petroglyphs. Here's more info from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Las_Labradas_(Sinaloa) We went with Mazatlan Tours by Johann & Sandra - not cheap but our guides were a scientist and a student researcher and they were very informative. The little museum was very interesting and the homemade lunch with a local family was enjoyable too. The tour site is: https://www.mazatlantours.org/las-labradas-petroglyphs.htm They picked us up right at the cruise port. I'm not certain it would be safe right now as you are travelling quite a ways out of town on fairly deserted highway to get to the park and Sinaloa is in an uproar due to cartel violence as of Thu Jan 5/2023. Please check with them for further info on whether they are even running this tour at the moment.
  22. If your bank is a member of the Global ATM Alliance (44,000 cash machines in over 40 countries) you can use your debit card to withdraw in pesos with no surcharge or access fees. I deal with Scotiabank in Canada and there are a ton of Scotiabanks in Latin America and the Caribbean which makes it cheap, safe, and easy to get local currencies plus I can also use the other Global Alliance banks for free ATM access. BTW: Bank of America in the U.S. is affiliated with Scotiabank in Mexico. HSBC in the U.S. is affiliated with HSBC Mexico. Santander, in the U.S., is affiliated with Santander Mexico.
  23. Hubby and I enjoyed a tour to San Sebastian del Oeste and the traditional tequila farm & distillery with a pleasant wander around the town, although it was very quiet and nothing exceptional - we took some interesting photos of buildings and the miners' statue. We had a pleasant little lunch at the cantina in town, decent traditional Mexican food. We weren't on a cruise on that trip, but got several 'free' tours etc. plus a great buffet breakfast (Mex & American) for going to a timeshare presentation in PV (which is an easy way for us to get a bunch of tours as we are not even tempted by timeshares and always warn the presenters ahead of time, lol.) I would go to San Sebastian again, as it was a pleasant diversion from the beach and the tequila was quite good. Not sure what sort of price the cruise may be charging for the shore excursion so you will have to weigh out what it's worth to you.
  24. Too bad the Prinsendam's final voyage wasn't a 'proper' Orange Party. Lots of crew members and officers and cruise director all had orange on and were dancing with other staff and cruisers and we did have Dutch snacks although no apple pie. Even the band members all had something orange on, ties, hair do-dads, scarves, etc. It was a good time on the Westerdam.
  25. Our Orange Party was on Wed night, night 4 of our 1 week cruise.
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