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About Aesop081

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Victoria, BC Canada
  • Interests
    Travel, photography, Goldwing
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Panama Canal Transit

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  1. We were able to get 3 in the shade but they were very close together as you can see here with my father drying off after a swim. But 2 comfortably, and that day there was a good breeze of the ocean so even in the sun it wasn't hot. Sunburn danger sure, but not hot. The loungers at the pool all have movable tops that you can use to keep the sun off your head and body depending on which way you orient the chair to the sun. The only picture I have of them is this one. Well I have others but the wife forbids posting her in the bathing suite. 🙄 They would show her totally in the shade from the overhead sun shade on the chair.
  2. I would love to be definitive about this but I don't know for 100% certain. I do know they have an early morning (1 hour prior) breakfast in the cafe for some tour groups but they're not allowed into the garden until the soft opening 15 min prior to official time. This stops a rush of people at the beginning of the day. So maybe at night. Never heard of it though.
  3. The Butchart Gardens don't open up for evening hours until June. So if you're arriving in May you are out of luck as they close at 5PM. Fireworks happen on Saturdays from First weekend in July until 10 weeks later End Aug/Beg Sept depending on the calendar. The weather in May can be nice and warm in the evening but with a brisk breeze. It won't be dark until 9 ish and the late evenings on a warm night are magical downtown. In June it is light until 930 PM and duskish until 10. Whenever you visit stop and have a beer at one of the pubs downtown. And you don't have to go far to get a micro brew almost every bar carry the locally made stuff. When you consider the exchange rate you get a good price on it also. The museum is on winter hours until the 16 of May. Which means they close at five. After that when they go onto summer hours (read...do it for the cruise ship pax) they stay open late on Fridays and Saturdays, usually to 10 PM. I know it sounds like it would be a dry place to visit but it isn't at all. To be honest, the cruise lines do their passengers no favours by having those weird visiting hours, they only stop because they have to for US cartage laws. Also, we can only get 3 ships at a time in the harbour so sometimes they have no choice but to come in after the other lines have spent a day here. They are trying to expand in the next couple of years and even trying to make Victoria a start/end point, to get more of the lucrative pre and post visit benefits.
  4. As to what I'm going to do...lol. I thought of going to work for the day and saving a vacation day. It's only a 20 minute walk from the ship...but no. Son and I will probably go into town to a pub for lunch and a few beers. We're both into photography, well he is more video since he's taking Motion Picture Arts in University, but we will have our cameras out and try to be a tourist in the downtown area. Maybe mix it up with Wife and daughter for supper. We'll still travel with the ship to Vancouver as that's where he resides. That way I get one more buffet lunch on the ferry coming back to the island on Friday. And it's so much cheaper a trip when you only have to buy airfare one way.
  5. Sure the meet and mingle at Adagio and then a place to sit and chat. Look forward to it. Have entered it into the phone. I always need reminding. Great memory, just short.
  6. I was going to suggest Hatley Castle as an option since the Japanese gardens can be exquisite if weather has been good. But there were a couple of reasons I didn't mention it. Firstly, Hatley Castle is part of Royal Roads University (alma mater) and may not be open to tours at the time you show up (although the gardens are, and the grounds are lovely) or quite a possibility of filming going on there at this time of year. It is used in lots of movies. Secondly, the trip back from Brentwood (Butchart/Buttefly) will require you to head back into town and then out to the area called the Westshore, specifically Colwood. The McKenzie interchange has been under construction for 18 months and is already a year behind schedule, traffic can be an iron clad #(*^%! at that time of day I would hate for you to waste so much time on a limited schedule just to get out to the area. @Martincath I was one of those students on SS Uganda in '78 Did the churches of the Mediterranean trip. Wonderful.
  7. Not a problem at all. As for getting together, it's a big ship. I'm usually up early...ish on vacations but I don't move that fast. To much programming from the work a day life to sleep much in the A.M. So if that works for you sometime before lunch but after 1st breakfast on the first sea day after San Diego around 10 plus or minus. Ship schedules can be rather busy and that's fine, I'd hate to take someone away from an event. But if the time works then we just need a place. Not all that familiar with the Ruby so if you have a favourite spot just let me know.
  8. Speeding tickets will not give you any issues entering Canada, you'll be fine. DUI, different story, although it's flexible with some paperwork Quoting.... Under Canada’s immigration law, if you have committed or been convicted of a crime, you may not be allowed into Canada. In other words, you may be “criminally inadmissible.” This includes both minor and serious crimes, such as: theft, assault, manslaughter, dangerous driving, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and possession of or trafficking in drugs or controlled substances. You can find a list of criminal offences in the Criminal Code of Canada and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. If you were convicted of a crime when you were under the age of 18, you may still be able to enter Canada. https://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/inadmissibility-interdiction-eng.html
  9. Yes, it's possible, wouldn't be enjoyable though. You will need a GPS to do all this. Oh, and I'm on the same trip as you so if you want we can talk on the boat. First...Butchart and Butterfly Gardens are within a couple of kilometres from each other. I would suggest if you're going to rent cars that you head to Butchart first. Once off the boat and into a car you're looking at a 30-40 minute drive to the Gardens. They really are the must see of the area. If the weather looks like it might be damp they do have complimentary umbrella's at the garden so don't let that stop you. You're going to want to do that in the A.M because A - the gardens get really busy by lunchtime (I used to work there) B- Rush hour starts early on Fridays and getting out of town after 1 ish is a pain, super annoying by 3. The gardens costs about 33 CA for entry per person, includes parking. Relax and enjoy your time there, visitors average about 2 to 2.5 hours seeing the place. There's 55 acres of gardens so that takes time. It's bulb season and it is AMAZING. They plant over 330 000 bulbs each year. With your ticket from Butchart you will get a discount getting into Butterfly gardens. Butterfly gardens will only take about 30 min to see unless you want to sit down and watch them. May I suggest, while you're in the area, visiting a few of the wineries around Butterfly Garden, there are even a couple of distilleries (craft sized) within a kilometre or two. By now it's about 1330 or 1400 ish. Head into town to Craigdarroch Castle. An interesting piece of architecture, but more of a mansion than Castle. From there I would suggest skipping Oak Bay and Marina, in the interests of time by time you get from Butterfly Gardens to Craigdarroch another 30 minutes have elapsed and touring the castle takes another 30. All of the rest of your desired locations are all centered in the downtown core except Cook street village. Therefore you could park the car or turn it in and walk around the rest of Victoria. By the way, except for the night clubs and pubs, they pretty much roll up the sidewalks by 9 PM (at which time it will be mostly dark by then) so I would expect you'd want to be back on board by then. Unless it's a gorgeous sunny day then the Inner harbour at night is brilliant to look at. Again, I am on that trip, I am from Victoria, and I am proud of my little city. I'll spend as much time as you want telling you about Victoria on the ship
  10. H4 Rm 14012 was a great experience. The suites were divided evenly between the port and starboard side with each side having service from a dedicate butler. The concierge spends most of his/her time at the computers in front of Cagney’s in the A.M and lunch hour, although not always there. And as mentioned, the courtyard attendant takes care of the courtyard and Haven Sundeck. The rooms are a great place. The second bedroom that the daughter used has its own bathroom and is a bit better than the standard bathroom that comes with a regular balcony room. The master bathroom is a joy. So much light and room. Initially I was a bit concerned with the light content of the master bathroom with regards to the sleeping arrangement, but they have black out drapes that will hide almost every drop of light from anyone sleeping. The bed itself was bigger than a queen size, but smaller than a king. I’m not sure what it was but was very very comfortable and spacious. Maybe a European size??? The main living area was more than adequate for us and the patio was fully enclosed, so you never saw you neighbor. Also, very quiet, couldn’t hear anything from inside the room, from below, above, and besides, nada! Also 14012 and it’s opposite suite are the only ones that can look directly down from the balcony to the water, the rest of the H4’s have an awning that stops the people on the walking on the deck below from being able to look up at the rooms. Since the deck cuts in at 14012 that isn’t required. The first few days we ordered room service breakfast and Leo, our butler, was there precisely when we asked for delivery, came in set up the table with cloth and silverware and food. That man was amazing. We never felt that we could ask for too much with him. He caught me on the last day heading down to pick up some Rum bottles I purchased in Barbados and chided me for doing such a mundane task. He took the receipt and was back in 5 minutes with my bottles. He said, “I don’t do lines when it comes to my charges and neither do they” The concierge always greeted us each evening in the theatre at the reserved seating and asked if we wanted a drink waiter, which we always did, and he would dial his phone and abracadabra, a waiter/waitress was there in a minute or two. He knew everyone’s name by day 2. Was a great asset when we needed him, which wasn’t much, but came through quick and successfully when we did. Lastly, a place I enjoyed many an afternoon was the sundeck. Very comfortable, doesn't look "high class" but is oh so super quiet and rarely more than 4 or 5 people up there. Loved spending time reading and drinking a Sam Adams on the lounge bed. And here is a picture of the drink and snack counter in it's after breakfast mode. Before that it's all fresh fruits and pastries. I wish I was back there right now...sigh!
  11. Just finished a Haven H4 trip 2 weeks ago on the Jade, same layout, colours a bit different than the Pearl. The one thing that stood out is that it felt intimate and uncrowded. The courtyard attendant was wonderful, sure you don't have a dedicated bar but during the day he made sure you had what you needed from the Mojito Bar and food also, using the menus from the Suite/Haven restaurants he'd bring you those up to the courtyard tables also which unlike in the picture are set up with linen and and cutlery from early to late afternoon. Evenings you were on your own. Lunch was from Cagney's...directly below the Haven, and breakfast at Moderno's also directly below. No more than a 60 second walk. Unless you ordered food through the butler, then he would set you up with nice linen on the table in your suite or Balcony. Fixed menu but everything you ordered was made hot, and they never had issues going outside the limits of the menu for a request. And the lunch prawn cocktail comes with 4 vs the up charged (4.99) prawn cocktail with the dining package that only has 3. Never more than a dozen people in the restaurants for any meal and we had a full ship. The "lap pool" however wasn't working and the butler mentioned that once they break the chance of getting them fixed is almost none. I haven't done Haven in the big ships and probably won't as those ships are about as attractive to me as herpes. The Jewel class are at my limit for dealing with crowds.
  12. Here's a few photos of 14012 on the Jade from 2 weeks ago. Video taken with wide angle camera coming once I edit it. Will process second bedroom pics and add them later
  13. Here's a couple of pics of the place.
  14. I have no proof that the pre-mixed drinks have less booze than a custom made drink, but I was drinking Bahama Mama's all afternoon last week that were poured out of a Beer Draft tap. Hardly felt a buzz. Had a double Johnny Black with dinner, felt it. I really don't care though to be honest. They tasted good, I wasn't a wreck, and since I had the drink package I wasn't trying to "get my moneys worth". Nobody wants rubberized loud mouthed drunks running all over the place. So just enjoy the day.
  15. For those looking for transport from the ship to the Hotel you need only get off the ship, walk to the end of the pier where you'll see people trying to get you to take private tours, just tell them you need taxi to Marriott and they will direct you to the taxi organizer. We just completed our cruise 3 days ago and the visit to the hotel 10 days ago. There is a fixed rate for the taxi of 3 US dollars per person each way. Very reasonable and good taxis. We made arrangements for the taxi driver to pick us up and although he wasn't available to pick us up he did arrange for someone else to do it and he was there waiting for us at the exact time we asked. Overall a thoroughly enjoyable day. Albeit a wee bit windy.
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