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kochleffel

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About kochleffel

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    Cool Cruiser

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  1. Your link for NCL pulls up a cruise on the Norwegian Sun. The Epic is not scheduled for Alaska.
  2. Pictures taken between Monday, August 3 and Sunday, August 9. Rules: See above That's it. This isn't a contest. All photos taken this week are welcome (not just cruising). Prizes will not be awarded. Discovering the joy of photography is the prize. The idea is to get folks out using their cameras for more than vacations and toddler birthdays. Post one. Post many. Up to you. Have fun with your camera and share your fun with others! (Pierces hasn't posted since Sunday.)
  3. Hanging around my car when I left work this afternoon.
  4. Serenade of the Seas in 2019. Not just our muster station, but every one that I could see on that side of the deck.
  5. For NCL passengers who haven't cruised on RC: one difference, IME, is that on NCL ships passengers check in for the muster drill and then mill around somewhat aimlessly, not necessarily in line of sight or hearing distance. On RC passengers were made to form straight rows like a drill dream and not allowed to move from assigned places until the drill was over. Passengers with earbuds were confronted individually and ordered to remove them.
  6. Many of us have only limited capacity to advise about excursions, because we really only know about the ones that we've taken. A person can tell you what was good or not good about one, whether it was worth the cost in money and time, etc., but can't compare it with all other possibilities because we haven't experienced them. The Budget Queen has much more experience of Alaska excursions than most, and to the extent that your priorities are the same I think that you can rely on her advice. Any itinerary has built-in constraints. You can't book the longer WP&Y rail excursions because of the time that your ship leaves Skagway. I'm in even less of a position to recommend anything because my [would have been first] Alaska cruise, booked for this season, was cancelled, but it called at all the same ports. I think that I was booked on a different ship, as it would have stayed one more hour at Skagway. I had planned for a flightseeing tour at Ketchikan, with Island Wings, but that's nowhere near Glacier Bay.
  7. For my 2022 booking, the flash sale price is $600 more than what I booked not very long ago. I didn't compare perks, because too few of them are of real value to me.
  8. I'd expect there also to be some domino effect, particularly with the Zaandam, now assigned to the Voyage of the Vikings in 2020 and the world cruise in 2022 - whatever itineraries the Zaandam was to have sailed in those periods will have to be cancelled or changed.
  9. IIRC, Panasonic cameras rely on image stabilization in the lens, while Olympus cameras have it in the body. If that's the case, Olympus lenses, while they would fit on Panasonic cameras, wouldn't have stabilization. I have gone the other way - using Panasonic lenses in my Olympus camera - but I will watch for bargains on another Olympus camera body as well as on Zuiko lenses. As it happens, I've recently purchased a Panasonic camera, but it's a pocket superzoom, a DC-S Z80. It's certainly compact, but surprisingly heavy for its size.
  10. Except for the newest ships, almost every cruise ship is actually or potentially for sale all the time, but that doesn't mean that anyone is going to buy a cruise ship. Holland America had the Prinsendam for sale for about seven years before eventually selling it, and the market is much worse now. In addition to Tampa, large ships can't conveniently use the Port of Vancouver. A ship like the Ovation can make it under the bridge there, but only at the very lowest tide. If a ship misses the 20- or 30-minute window it means waiting until the next low tide, so cruise lines only bring large ships into Vancouver for the start or end of a relocation cruise. In next year's schedule the Radiance is down for one-way cruises between Vancouver and Seward, and a significantly bigger ship would encounter too many scheduling problems at the Vancouver end. That affects all cruise lines that have one-way Alaska itineraries. Don't bother to argue that there is no valid reason for a ship to miss that 20- or 30-minute window. Other traffic in the port or a another ship askew in the harbor can delay docking or sailing even if the captain and harbor pilot are ready. A couple of years ago on another cruise line I experienced a multi-hour delay in docking at the Manhattan cruise terminal because there was too much traffic in the Hudson River. I do think that all the major cruise lines will cut back on the numbers of ships and itineraries. I don't think that RC will choose to abandon every port that can't accommodate Oasis-class ships.
  11. This was just to try out a new camera - an ordinary P&S except that it's waterproof, purchased for travel that isn't taking place this year.
  12. What has been happening recently is that U.S.-based airlines have cancelled flights to some destinations in Europe but are maintaining some to partner hubs. So, if a UA flight to Italy is cancelled, UA can route passengers through Frankfurt (Lufthansa hub), Zurich (Swiss), etc. However, that's for passengers eligible to enter the destination country, and for travelers from the U.S. and other countries not on an approved list only for specific purposes, such as returning home if there is no more direct way. United is currently allowing changes or cancellations through July 31 for all bookings through the end of 2020, no questions asked, but mostly giving future flight credit or an electronic travel voucher. Refunds are more likely to be available if there is a substantial schedule change or no potential rerouting.
  13. Serenade of the Seas cruised on the Baltic last year, not to Alaska, and is scheduled to sail primarily from New Zealand this fall.
  14. One thing to consider, not ship-specific, is that at night you're usually not allowed to open curtains in forward-facing cabins, because the light would interfere with navigation. There are blackout curtains that the cabin stewards draw in the evening.
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