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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Utica NY
  • Interests
    skiing , golf
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Carn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    W Car
  1. HERKIMER417

    Luggage valet service from cape liberty

    I was on Anthem last week, returned (10/27) from a Canadian round trip cruise. The loading was smooth but the disembarking was a disaster. Because of a delay in allowing us to leave the ship, many were having fits about missing flights and transportation connections. When we finally got off - I, and about 50 others, waited over 40 minutes for a porter. I learned that they do not allow you to use the carriers yourself - it must be a porter. While waiting I only saw 6 different porters. The Royal Caribbean staff was frustrated and have no oversight because the porters are employed by a third party company - not RCCI. Our delay in getting off delayed the folks wanting to board and they were stuck outside in the rain. When I finally got loaded and was departing, I could see there was a backup - of at least 2 miles - with folks waiting to park or unload passengers. Because of the poor traffic controls, roads under constructions, no porters, and no shelter from the elements - Port Liberty is not a port I want to leave from until they get their act straightened out.
  2. HERKIMER417

    Royal Carribean Drink Packages Sale

    Hi I just got the e-mail ad from RCCI about a buy one and get one 50% off. They effectively reduced both charges by 25%. This brought the drink package to $42 per plus the 18% making my total bill for two at over $800 for the cruise. The total sticker shock makes me think I need counseling. I'm weighting the benefits of the deal. We will be in post 5 times ( going on a Oct cruise to Canada 8 nights). The port excursions I would expect to cut into the on board drinking. In addition my wife may have 3 cokes and fruity drink during the show each day, so I have to carry the burden of making it worth while . Of course we are planning on bring 2 bottles of wine each. ( reading this maybe I do need counseling) I'm just looking logic or feed back to make a good decision. The deal is up Sunday evening - tomorrow. We have 3 cabins going and I figured I pass on to them your collective wisdom. Thanks, Jack
  3. Hi It's been several years since I cruised and several more since I used a computer on board. I'm currently teaching an online college class and will need to access several web :)sites for class purposes on any given day. In past years, I cruised when there was no conflict with classes. This year a great cruising opportunity came up and I would like to jump on it, but its in the middle of the semester. I'm not an IT person, more Neanderthal, so I need things simple. Any and all suggestions on how to solve my needed coverage would be appreciated.
  4. HERKIMER417

    Help for Albany, NY hotels

    I looked at taking the train ( even the bus) and concluded that they were not the way to go. Lugging the bags, taxis and the schedule was not very good. I heard about Yankee Trails on this board. I checked them out have have since used them on my past three cruises. I live about 70 miles west of Albany. I drive to the bus company main operation site, park in their own parking lot, and they take me right to dock side. When the ship comes back to port - the bus is there waiting. As I recall my cost was $80 per person round trip. Have a nice trip J
  5. HERKIMER417

    the worst food I've had in my life on NCL

    [COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]DW and I have been on four cruise lines, so I have something to compare to. In March of this year we were on the GEM. [/FONT][/COLOR] [COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT][/COLOR] [COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]The area that we had a problem was the food. DW and I are not picky eaters but what we encountered was poor selection, quality and service. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] DW[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] ordered tea – when pouring in the milk – it turned and curdled sour like yogurt. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]I had coffee several time and consistently found a film of grounds on the bottom. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]The two main restaurants had the same menus. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]They ran out of tortellini one evening - it was about 6pm[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]DW ordered the German Chocolate cake - what she got was coconut cake with a chocolate drizzle on it. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]The waiter brought my soup and DW’s salad – then brought her soup and my salad [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]We found the Chef’s selections to be very uninteresting or a mixture of unappetizing items. We selected the “Other Available” all but two dinners. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]One of the two dinners, DW had the Beef Stroganoff – and I had more fat piled on the plate than meat. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]We ate in the Tex-Mex on one occasion - I ordered the skewered shrimp and salmon. I found I could not use the fork to cut one of the pieces of salmon and needed my knife. When I tasted it I found out why my fork wouldn’t work - it was chicken and not very well cooked. I gave it to the waiter and he brought it to the kitchen but I never heard anything back. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]One evening in the Italian restaurant – I ordered lobster ravioli with a pepper and vegetables on the side. What I got looked, smelled and tasted like Chow Mien. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]At the same restaurant, I reached for my drink and my forearm stuck to the wood not covered by placemats. Except for the edges of the table, the center of the table was very sticky. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]-[/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman] [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]We went to the Chocolate night buffet - we both found the offers limited but I selected a piece of chocolate strawberry cake. As I cut thru it I hit something hard. What I pulled out was 3 inches by 1/16 round. It looked like a clear nail. I gave it to the manger and he was telling me that it was “icing that had hardened and was OK”. Ok to do what, choke on it? [/FONT][/COLOR] [COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT][/COLOR] [COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]I believe some of the problem is because of the mega ships coming on line. NCL (and other lines) are staffing them by taking from other ships, so we had a lot of second stringers and new crew members. [/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR] [COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR] [COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman]Regardless, in relation to other lines the food on the GEM was the worst. [/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Verdana] [/FONT][/COLOR][/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT][/COLOR] [COLOR=#0033cc][FONT=Times New Roman][/FONT][/COLOR]
  6. HERKIMER417

    What Books Are You Bringing On Your Next Cruise?

    I take anything from Clive Cussler - he always got a water theme Robert Parker - simple and entertaining John Chrisham - The short stories book is wonderful Dan Brown - with his new Washington setting Herkimer417
  7. HERKIMER417

    Island Marketing & Taste Of Nassau Historical Island Tour?

    DW and I are looking at the same tour and wondering the same thing for our arrival in March. I was also looking at the Island Marketing - British Colonial Hilton Day Pass. The Island Tour is suppose to be 3 hours. A day pass is not a time restricted event - so we were wondering about doing both. Take the Island Tour in the morning and then the day pass in the afternnon. Our ship doesn''t leave until 6pm. If anyone has experience with either or both - I appreciate the information. Herkimer417
  8. HERKIMER417

    Belize and SANTO TOMAS DE CASTILLA Excursions

    When DW and & visited Santo Tomas, our ship was only the 2nd one to do a port stop. The locals went all out to make us feel very wanted. I had worries about communications but that proved not to be the case. Gus had been a cab driver in NYC for over 25 years and many of his workers are from the states. The tour leader we had was a nice young man from Houston. Visited the area - fell in love and stayed. We did the Rio Dulce and Mayan school tour - really an eye opener. The kids in that school travel by dug out canoe and live in a wall-less home in the middle of a jungle and yet are dressed in clean jeans and bright white shirts. It makes the students in the states look really bad. ____________________________ In Belize, we did the cay snorkeling tour. The water was OK - not many fish to see. The bigger problem was the boat was in need of repairs. If you were not very athletic you would not have been able to climb back in. The burgers on the island were so-so, as well as the other snacks. The manatee part of the trip was nothing- only bubbles and mud slicks when they moved. The prior year we did the cave tubing - that was great. Head lamps to see inside the cave and good safety procedures were monitored. Stopped on the way back for some chicken and rice - again very good. herkimer417
  9. HERKIMER417

    soda pass or by the drink?

    DW likes her Coke/Pepsi. We are wondering if buying the weekly pass is a better deal than just purchasing the soda when ever she wanted. I can't seen to find the per-can/fountain price for a drink. Herkimer417
  10. I'll be sailing on the GEM out of NYC in March. We have been discussing having a meet and greet in the Spinnaker Lounge on the Roll Call. I sent an e-mail to NCL but have not gotten a reply. I would like to contact someone on board to find out if the proposed meeting place is acceptable and let them know we are going to be there. Any suggestions? Herkimer417
  11. HERKIMER417

    Blackbeard's Cay Tour

    I'll be in Nassau in March and asked that and other questions. I sent the e-mail directly to them and got a quick reply. The tour last 3.5 hours. The departure point is determined upon how many ships are in dock and which docks. They "expect" to load up at the base of the pier that the crusie ships are at. The morning group goes at 9 and returns at 12:30. hope this helps
  12. HERKIMER417

    Cab from Bus Terminal

    Thanks GTJ for your assistance. I did a check to the Amtrac web site when I got off CC last time and got the same information, but with out the detail you provided - I appreciate it. The train will be a must better way to go, more leg room, with wider seats and the view will be much nicer. I found that the round trip is $108 - per person, I believe the bus was $118. If I drove the parking would be $30 a day, and I'd be tired coming and going, plus I don't think I'd get to my destinations much faster then the train or bus. The information from these sites is proving very valuable and helping me to make a safe and cost effective decision. Thanks for all the help and Happy Holidays Herkimer417:)
  13. HERKIMER417

    Cab from Bus Terminal

    While DW and I are originally from Maspeth, and both worked in the City, we have forgotten many places and distances in the 30 years since we left. Thanks for helping with the distances. I had spoken to the Trailsway person about 3 weeks back and it was her information that I was referring to. I'll have to reassess that information. She had also given me different route times - another research project to do. With a $30 rate for parking, I know that is not one solution. Maybe I'll look at the train - they have a bar car! Thanks for all Merry Holidays:rolleyes: Herkimer417
  14. HERKIMER417

    Cab from Bus Terminal

    We are taking a bus down from Utica NY to the terminal. ( Gem 3/13 departure) I was told to get round trip tickets on the way down so we can by-pass the upstairs ticket lines and go directly to the departure gates. We were also told that the departure gates would be within a space or 2 of where we arrive at. This would give a few extra minutes of leeway time - our bus is scheduled to depart at noon. Several have mentioned taking a cab from the terminal to the pier. I was told that it was only 2 blocks and an easy walk with bags on wheels. Any knowledge out there on that ? thanks Herkimer417
  15. HERKIMER417

    SANTO TOMAS Guatamala

    I did a tour with him a while back. I was nervous as well - language and such. There is no need to be. The tour up to Rio Dulce was terrific and still is one of the best I've ever taken. Gus was NYC cab driver for 20 years and still comes north to visit his grown kids. So his English is fine. Many of his helpers have also lived in the US . He is very considerate of the cruise ships - he is ( or was ) the mayor of Livingston and he realizes that the ships are the way to economic prosperity. Hope this helps J