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About kochleffel

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  1. Personally, I would avoid them. The issue isn't so much the use of the lounge, as that they are between two doors and across from the elevators. Keep in mind that the lounge itself is a passageway to and from the midship studio cabins.
  2. Just in case this needs explaining: this camera uses the Micro Four Thirds format, so 40-150 mm is equivalent to 80-300 mm on a full-frame camera.
  3. I've done this when I thought I might make significant purchases. If I do, the gym bag will hold clothing (usually laundry) or something else that's not breakable.
  4. Radiance and Serenade are siblings and I would choose between them solely on the basis of itinerary. Ovation is significantly larger. In general a one-way cruise has better port times, but the air-travel costs will be higher because of higher fares to/from Vancouver and Anchorage.
  5. It will help if everyone simply brings less stuff, BUT that increases the likelihood that some or all will want to do hand laundry in the bathroom sink, and there is just not enough room to hang very much up. So I recommend not planning on any hand laundry even though it means that everyone needs somewhat more luggage and drawer space. Discuss in advance whether you will plan on using the ship's laundry, or just bring more clothing. You might all consider using packing cubes, but pack them this way: everything for two or three days in one packing cube, rather than all items of one kind each in separate packing cubes. Leave the second and third packing cubes in your suitcases (under the beds) and swap the packing cubes as needed. This way each person uses only half as much drawer space. Will you all have devices that require charging? I don't know your ship, but a typical cruise cabin has just two North American-style receptacles and one Euro-style. The latter is 220 volts and requires a plug adapter, but most chargers are dual-voltage so only the adapter, not a converter, is needed. As noted above, power strips with surge protectors are not allowed (they are incompatible with the ship's wiring), but a triple tap is OK. On most cruise lines you're not allowed to leave anything plugged in while no one is in the cabin, and cabin stewards are supposed to unplug anything that they notice, so charging time is limited to overnight and any other time that someone is in the cabin.
  6. There are lots of posts about other excursions - just keep reading, including scrolling down a few pages. Also, many people have mentioned non-cruise-line excursions in their trip reports, so it is worth browsing those, even some by those who were on other cruise lines since all cruise lines call at these ports. There are also threads about things to do in the ports without an excursion. Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier are a little different, because they aren't ports. A cruise line may offer an excursion where you transfer to a smaller boat to get closer, but there is probably not any competition to choose from, because the operator has to work directly with the cruise line for that.
  7. This summer on the Baltic Sea: Breakfast 8:00-9:30 a.m. (sea day); started and ended earlier on port days Lunch Noon-1:30 p.m. (sea day only) Dinner 5:30-9:30 p.m. (My Time Dining) 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (fixed seating)
  8. I believe it's immunization for typhoid, not typhus, that the CDC suggests, depending on individual risk. They're not the same disease. Typhoid is spread through contaminated food or water. Typhus is spread by insects (fleas, lice, chiggers, mites).
  9. There is a risk of Hepatitis A everywhere, including wherever you happen to live. The risk is higher where sanitation standards are low, but that can even be in your favorite restaurant near home. Hep A immunizations are routinely given to children now, the first dose between ages 1 and 2 and the second dose six months later. Where I live, it is difficult to find Hep A immunization for adults -- because of low demand, doctors other than pediatricians tend not to keep it on hand, and the same is true for pharmacists who can administer it. I had been to the Caribbean twice without the vaccination, but when I noticed how my travel plans were developing, including more travel to the Caribbean and to eastern Europe, and read the health inspection reports of some local restaurants, I decided to get it. In my area, it is available to adults only at the county health department, where it's $65/dose (you need two), or $80 if you choose the combination Hep A/Hep B vaccine (Twinrix). I chose Twinrix even though my personal risk for Hepatitis B is fairly low. On the subject of hepatitis: if you are in, more or less, the baby-boomer age cohort, you should be tested once for Hepatitis C. It's a devastating disease that is now curable.
  10. For a group of four, a rental car will be the most economical. Picking up a rental at SFB is easy and it's an easy drive, but returning the car, or getting one at Port Canaveral, is not so easy.The drawback I found in renting is that there can be a crowd and long line at the rental agency in Port Canaveral, especially if it's turnaround day for more than one cruise ship, because of the number of people waiting to rent cars that the agency is still waiting for other renters to return. The rental agencies have shuttles to the terminals. Again, there can be a wait if several ships are embarking on the same day. For one or two people, Uber is about the same price as a rental car. For four, you'd probably need Uber XL, which might cost a bit more. In my experience, Uber is more convenient than a rental car if you are only going between the airport and the cruise port, and I imagine that Lyft would be comparable. When I have rented a car, it was because I was arriving early and wanted the car prior to embarkation day. The major airport shuttles, Cortrans and Cocoa Beach Shuttle, pick up from SFB by appointment but you would need to call them to check the price. It could work out well for four. It doesn't for one.
  11. Earlier this year I met someone who was on his fourth Epic cruise in, I think, five weeks. He went to the shows every time, some of them twice in the same week.
  12. My next NCL cruise will be my third on the Epic.* Will Priscilla, Queen of the Desert still be playing in 2021? I liked the show well enough but not so much that I wanted to see it a second time, never mind a third. *This isn't intentional on my part. I think that someone at NCL reads my mind and assigns the Epic to whatever itinerary I want next.
  13. There are 10 kinds of people who can speak binary....
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