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Bruin Steve

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About Bruin Steve

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    Calabasas, CA, USA

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  1. Uber...or Lyft... A minor extra hassle now that, upon arriving (not on departure from LAX...they still drop you at the curb for that) you need to shuttle to the LAX-IT lot (frequent shuttles, not a big deal), but that goes for all ride shares and taxis... We just flew in and out of LAX last week...For our return trip—for us, home from LAX, there was a high demand. Uber was showing fares of $112-118 for what is normally a less than $50 trip...Our trip TO LAX had been $45 plus a tip bringing it to around $54. We tried the new Opoli app people have suggested here and ke
  2. As I expected...and I am likewise sure they will soon remove any restrictions requiring shore excursions only. I do feel bad for anyone who lacked the patience to hang in and canceled cruises due to this temporary restriction. For those who had back-to-back cruises and lifted-and shifted one to 2022, I wonder if they'll let you shift it back now? They should...
  3. Here's the problem: LA is a REALLY big place...with a whole lot of cars. Traffic is legendary for a reason. Those of us who live here know how to get around a lot of it--alternate routes, times to leave to avoid the brunt of the traffic, etc...and, even with that, a lot of it is unavoidable. Long Beach is at the extreme southern edge of the metropolitan area (obvious, I guess, because everything south of there is the Pacific Ocean). Hollywood is at the northern edge of the "basin"--the flat coastal area before you get into the Santa Monica Mountains. The two are approximately 35 miles ap
  4. With a group of 8 and just the basic tourist stuff.... the next questions are: What time of year... and... how are you counting those "two full days"? Is it, say, arriving Wednesday evening, spending Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights in a hotel and cruising on Saturday... hence a true "two full days" of sightseeing? Or is it arriving Thursday, spending Thursday and Friday nights, the embarking Saturday (so, approx. 48 hours but only one real full day)? For the time being, let's assume it's the former... If you're planning on the HOHO bus, it's best to stay in either S
  5. I think you hit the nail right on the head. This policy was developed when they first allowed cruises...and that was at a time when there was not a widely-distributed vaccine. Cruisers were allowed entry based on only a negative Covid test--which meant they could still contract Covid or pass it on at any time. So, they were taking their chances that they could limit the spread by keeping those people isolated from others who could infect them or those they could pass it on to. But, with these cruises, things have changed--Passengers and crew are supposed to be fully vaccinat
  6. larry, you edited out what is, perhaps, the most important word--"INITIALLY"... The big question for those of us who won't be there until August is one of how this requirement is likely to change over time. I am thinking that, even right now, even the Celebrity representatives are confused on the issue and have no clear direction. May of the shorex descriptions on the website say "Then explore Fira on your own and return to the tender port via Cable Car". You've got most of the shorexes ending around lunch time and a ship leaving at 7:00 pm. And you've got pass
  7. Okay, so deep in the Celebrity Website, it says "initially...everyone must take Celebrity shorexes only" in order to leave the ship... Okay...So, aside from all the other concerns people have, what about the length and timing? For example, Santorini. The Apex is scheduled to be in port from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm... As of now, they are offering nine shorexes. BUT, one of them is only 2 hours, 45 minutes...two more are 3 and a half...one is four hours, another four and a half... ALL leave in the morning... The LONGEST shorex is over at 3:00 pm... SO, if yo
  8. Here's where it is: When you go to the top of their main page, there are some lines in the upper left hand corner...click there and you'll find a link to "New 2021-2022 Cruises"...Click and there's a list with a link that says "2021 Cruises from Athens"...Click on that and scroll to the very bottom...and there's a link that says "Learn more about Healthy at Sea". Click there and scroll about halfway down and on the right side of the page, you'll find this: "While Ashore Initially, guests will only be allowed off the ship on one of our curated shore excursions. Most expe
  9. One recent cruise where we went one-way TO San Pedro, we drove to LAX and left out car at a long-term off-airport lot...then flew out of LAX...at the end of the cruise, we took an Uber from San Pedro back to LAX--where the lot is open 24/7--and drove home. This could be done in reverse as well: Drive to LAX and leave your car in a long term lot there (some can be found cheap on the internet), then catch an Uber to the ship in San Pedro. At the end of the cruise, catch a flight back to LAX, get the lot's shuttle back to the lot, pick up your car and drive home. I don't like the P
  10. Are you sure you got on the right tour? Seriously, though, last time we cruised to Israel, we had many friends onboard our ship who took those Christian shorexes. We didn't hear any complaining at all about the guides...Everyone seemed to love their guides. To work as a tour guide in Israel, one must be licensed and there are educational requirement--so those licensed guides are VERY WELL versed. As to the toured Christian sites being "mythical", there is actually some reasonable amount of truth to that in respect to many of them. For example, they take tourists to a site on the Jorda
  11. I am not sure where Larry was coming from (and, maybe more importantly, why?), but I don't think I'd recommend this to anyone. First of all, the "Silver Line" runs from El Monte to San Pedro via Downtown LA...or, at least half of its buses do...the other half end their run at the "Harbor Gateway Transit Center"--which is in Gardena on the border of Compton--really nowhere near the Harbor. And only half the buses are of the "Express designation" --which skip the stops at 37th St, Slauson, Manchester and Rosecrans--as it passes through some of the worst areas of the city...so, assuming one had
  12. Counting all the "what ifs" is fun... I am Elite Plus with little hope of reaching Zenith before I'm too old to cruise anywhere...or where statistics and probabilities say I won't be around at all. I'm currently 1,968 points short. And missing about a year and a half of prime cruising time...and having 6 cruises canceled.... really pushes that timeline back. But the double points helps a bit...after all of my currently booked cruises, I'll pick up 250 points...and only be 1,718 points short... But, if those canceled cruises actually went and were counted, I would have add
  13. We live about an hour from the port but prefer to spend the night prior in a local hotel to lessen stress in the morning...and also to take advantage of some park and cruise deals at times. Last Princess cruise prior to the pandemic, we stayed at the Doubletree--very nice, beautiful marina view from our room. But not walking distance to the pier or to most area restaurants. Of course, we had our car, so we drove to lunch and dinner...but the hotel will shuttle you to area restaurants. The Best Western is also outside of walking distance but will shuttle to the pier...but I find,
  14. Basically, Carnival sails out of Long Beach...everyone else sails out of San Pedro. The two are on opposite edges of the very large harbor. Staying in a Long Beach hotel will, generally, put you about 6-8 miles from the cruise center in San Pedro...and, no, nobody in Long Beach will shuttle you to the pier in San Pedro. The San Pedro hotels--at least the Doubletree, Crowne Plaza and Best Western will. That said, it is not unreasonable to stay in Long Beach for a cruise out of San Pedro...just be prepared to grab an Uber to the pier for your cruise. I'd recommend the following L
  15. The official word on the website says it's capped at 24...But I am not sure what they will do--whether they might cut it down from that--for current Covid protocols... We've actually had Celebrity shore excursions in Europe in the past with 11 and with 19 passengers...The 11 almost seemed like a private tour.
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