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lynncarol

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  1. Another vote for Island Wings out of Ketchikan for bear watching. We did that in early September around 4 years ago and saw a number of of bears fishing right below our observation platform in the creek with their cubs hanging around the perimeters. We even observed a big male bear chased away by several protective mama bears.
  2. I think we may be getting off topic here. Back to obtaining a Read ID, at least in Pennsylvania, be sure you read carefully all the documents that you must bring when applying. For example, if you don't have a passport but only a driver's license which does not reflect your birth certificate name, you must also bring a copy of your marriage license. After sitting at the DMV for over two hours to get a Real ID, the poor woman ahead of me in line was sent home because she failed to bring a marriage license which justified her last name on her old driver's license.
  3. I must confess, I have not read all 10 pages of this discussion, but has anyone mentioned the Shustov Cognac Winery Museum in Odessa? We were not on a Viking cruise but spent a delightful few hours enjoying their tour and tastings (accompanied by yummy nibbles). I never even thought I liked cognac before and there is a nice gift shop where you can buy the products.
  4. Have you considered a one-way northbound trip from Vancouver to Whittier? Then take a self-drive on your own? We did that, took the ship shuttle from Whittier to Anchorage, picked up a rental car (at a great rate), spent 3 nights in Healy (Denali NP is close by and when we were there, the mountain was out in its full glory with nary a cloud in sight). Followed by one night at a b&b near Alyeska resort, one night at Sheep Mountain Lodge near Matanuska Glacier, then returned the car in Anchorage, and spent the night there before taking the train to Seward for an overnight where we had a Kenai Fjords cruise. The next day, back by train to Anchorage, another overnight there then flew home the following day. All for little more expense than the cruise-line's 3 day experience at their lodge near Denali. (Especially as we split the cost with another couple).
  5. We are senior citizens and still pretty active, thank goodness. However, we did a Southern Caribbean cruise 2 years ago that might meet your activity level. This one, on Celebrity Summit started in San Juan and visited Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Antigua and St. Thomas. In Barbados we took a 4- hr. private Glory tour of the island with another couple. (cost $75 per couple). We made a number of stops at very scenic spots and little walking was involved. In St Lucia, we took a Spencer Ambrose boat tour to the Pitons (I think $85 pp.) We were dropped off at a beach where you could snorkel right off the beach and walk along the adjoining shoreline of a very upscale private resort. Lunch was included and even if you didn't snorkel it was very scenic and lounge chairs were provided. In St Kitts we had a private tour of the island by a great local guide/driver Leo Christopher, who had a vast knowledge of island flora and fauna. He will tailor your tour to meet your needs. Cost $150 for half day. In Antigua, we took one of the local vans to Valley Church Beach $8 pp each way. The beach is lovely with no admission charge although if you want an umbrella, it is $10 for the day.
  6. I should mention that a Senior Oslo pass (3 years ago) was available for $25 USD valid for an entire day. It included admission to all museums and castle plus the ferry to the museums. We purchased ours right where the ship anchored at the first big souvenir shop on the dock.
  7. My parents in the 1970s started a tradition of every 10th anniversary taking their entire clan (originally just the 3 daughters and spouses) on Caribbean cruises. As time went by, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were added. Everyone met for dinner and cocktail hour but otherwise did their own thing. We all had a blast. My folks are now gone, but my husband and I continue that tradition with our kids and grandkids (although we try to do it every 5 years).
  8. Sea otters close to the ship on an Alaskan cruise. Also a big pod of orcas on a Kenai Fjords excursion and the boat kept up with them for over fifteen minutes!
  9. From the Black Falcon Cruise terminal in Boston, take the Silver Line 2 bus (which has a stop close to the ship) into South Station, switch to the Red Line and get off at Park Station in the Boston Commons. From there, get a map at the visitor center and walk the Freedom trail. Because most of this is underground, you avoid so much of the traffic and the trip is short and the cost was very reasonable. (It has been two years, but If memory serves, cost = $2.25 pp one way). In Halifax, their Botanical Garden is gorgeous and free. It is approx. a 15 min. uphill walk from the ship. Close by is the majestic citadel, but there is an entrance fee for that. In Bar Harbor, the sea-walk is free, taking you past some huge waterfront mansions. In addition, if the tide is low, walking out to Bar Island and exploring the area is a very unique experience.
  10. My husband and I were told by another cruiser that during the land trip to the Pitons she got carsick as the road was so winding and the van was too warm. We went by boat (via Spencer Ambrose) and had a great time.
  11. Highly recommend the New Orleans Museum of Art and its sculpture gardens. They have a lovely building and one of the best collections of Asian art/pottery! Even better, you can easily get there by trolley. There used to be the Morning Cafe across the street with delicious beignets but I believe that is under new ownership now. Also, if it rains, my husband and I plus and our teenage grandkids really enjoyed Mardi Gras Museum
  12. I would suggest getting to the island early if you want to get a good spot with the free loungers. There's not that many places in the shade. It has been several years, but the last time we were at Labadee, I was ecstatic to snag a free hammock but soon so many other arriving visitors pulled their chairs up into the shade I could hardly find space to step off my hammock.
  13. There are new rules at Machu Picchu limiting entrance to either morning or afternoon entrance. From what I understand, if you are a morning entrance, once you are inside, they don't make you leave but if you need a bathroom or something to eat and leave the site, no re-entrance is permitted. I don't know whether Manuel does private arrangements but two years ago, my husband and I took a 17 day small-group (16 persons) tour of Peru with him and had a wonderful experience at an extremely reasonable price. Perhaps he would be willing to set up the arrangements for your six days on land. He is a Peruvian anthropologist and TA from Lima who now lives part-time in California. Contact info: Manuel Arboleda and website nawpaqexpeditions.com
  14. Are the roads paved? Apparently some auto rental agreements are voided if you drive on unpaved roads. When we returned our rental car to a major agency in Anchorage several years ago, I overheard the manager on the phone with a satellite company who was apparently calling him about customers with car trouble. The man on my end said, " What road did they say they were on? I have never heard of it and if it is unpaved, they are SOL." Since we never read our contract carefully, I was stunned.
  15. Years ago my then 75 year old mother and I went on a Marco Polo cruise that included safaris in Tanzania and Kenya, before boarding the ship to Zanzibar, Madagascar, Comoros and the Seychelles. Fabulous!
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