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Everything posted by lynncarol

  1. In January of 2018, a southern Caribbean cruise on Celebrity leaving out of San Juan Puerto Rico ended up departing 4 hours late but still without almost 200 passengers who had missed the embarkation. What was the problem? A big cyclone bomb had hit the USA east coast 1 day earlier and over 6000 flights were affected. Fortunately, my husband and I had booked a flight to San Juan from Orlando, where we had been staying with family for almost a week. Our southwest flight left on time, but it was completely packed, leaving behind 33 standby folks who never made it on the plane. Folks were catching up in Barbados and St. Lucia but I understand that over 100 cruisers just gave up, as it was only a 7 day cruise.
  2. This has also happened to my husband and me, twice, when we were seated at a table for 8 where nobody else ever showed up. Luckily, both times had happy endings. During that first experience, we subsequently met 3 other folks on an excursion traveling together who had been seated at the end of a table for 10 where everyone else was a different ethnic background and totally ignoring them. We asked the 3 to join us at our empty table and thoroughly enjoyed their company for the remainder of the cruise. The second time, again at a table for 8 where nobody else ever appeared, by the 3rd night (of a 17 day transatlantic cruise) we asked another couple in a similar situation several tables away to join us. We liked them so much we remain in touch to this day.
  3. Our favorite port that we cruised to was Odessa Ukraine. We were on a Vantage Black sea cruise right after Russia annexed the Crimea. Since Yalta was then cancelled, Vantage gave us three nights in Odessa- an absolutely gorgeous city overlooking the Black Sea. Plus, the locals were thrilled to see us. Second favorite is probably St. Petersburg. I can't really count all the other port cities that we love as we had traveled there independently (spending much more time than the one day that cruises usually allow in any particular city). This, of course, amps up our appreciation of the place.
  4. Bonvayagie- Our cruise was in Sept. 2014, so I started making arrangements in Jan. of 2014. After our one week Princess cruise ended in Whittier, we took the ship bus shuttle to Anchorage where we hopped out at the convention center and walked 3 blocks to pick up our rental car at the downtown Avis office (much cheaper than renting at the airport). During initial planning, the four of us had discussed our priorities for the land portion and number one goal was to see Denali. To that end, we allotted 3 nights there to maximize our chance of good weather (and it worked: 2 of the 3 days there wasn't a cloud in sight). We stayed in Healy at Alaskan Spruce Cabins, only a 15 min. drive from the park itself. From there we originally planned to drive the Old Denali Highway to Copper River, but that was thwarted by the flat tire. Instead we diverted to the paved Glen Highway but ended up running out of daylight. Fortunately we got the last two cabins at Sheep Mountain Lodge and liked this place so much (nice accommodations, good on-site restaurant, great hiking and Matanuska Glacier) that we spent another night. Then back to Girdwood where we had reservations at Bud and Carol's BnB. (Since there were four of us I had rented their entire two bedroom apartment). In Girdwood we accessed the Alyeska Sky Resort's lift for great views and trails. Later that day we dropped off the other couple at the Anchorage airport, returned our rental car downtown, and walked to our overnight accommodations at Comfort Inn at Ship Creek. The next morning my husband and I caught the Alaskan RR train to Seward. The train station was very close to the Comfort Inn and they provided free shuttle service. Loved the train...we were a few cars back from the front and it worked out perfectly. Train got to Seward around noon where I had previously signed up for a Kenai Fjord boat tour, the highlight of which was an encounter with a huge pod of orcas. Spent the night in Seward at Windsong Lodge, explored Seward the next day (aquarium and Exit Glacier) and caught the 6:00 evening train back to Anchorage and the same Comfort Inn. The final day, the Inn kept our luggage while we explored Anchorage's attractions and that night we took the Inn's free shuttle back to the airport for an 8:00 pm flight. I can recommend all of our accommodations, which I had chosen thanks to TripAdvisor and guidebooks. Oh yes, I almost forgot our big splurge during the cruise stop in Ketchikan. Probably 10 months earlier I had booked reservations with Island Wings (which fills up quickly) where we were flown to Traitors Cove, and saw a number of bears fishing for salmon. Only 12 visitors at a time are allowed at that particular vantage point so we had the place almost to ourselves.
  5. My husband and I, along with his cousin and her spouse, all of us in our seventies, rented a car in Anchorage and spent a week post cruise on our own. It was a wonderful experience and we saw Denali in its full glory with nary a cloud in sight. The only problem we encountered was a flat tire on the old Denali highway. Fortunately, we were able to use the doughnut to get back to civilization and repair the car's tire. When we reported this to our car rental agency, they were completely unfazed, and told us 'this happens all the time'. Just something to think about though.
  6. CruisemoM42....I am not disputing your statement that folks over 70 are twice as likely to die from covid 19 than the next younger age group. But I believe that is because so many older people also have other medical conditions. Death data was examined in China and found that the majority of the population who died were older men, not women. A suggested explanation was that in China most men, but rarely women, smoked. So once again, mortality rates and comorbid conditions seem to correlate. Unless you are willing to require everyone to certify they are in good health, I feel discrimination based on age alone is unfair.
  7. I have to take issue with Chipmaster's comments about age. My husband and I are both in our midseventies, still very active (hiking an hour each day over hilly terrain) and on no medications. Are you saying that we are more likely to present a health risk than an overweight, diabetic, inactive 40 year old who is a heavy drinker? Your argument that age alone should determine the cost of cruising is absurd.
  8. When my husband and I were there a number of years ago, our ship provided a shuttle (for a price, of course). I don't know if they still do it, but Tallinn's Visitor Center used to provide a bus tour that visited their festival site then dropped everyone (plus the guide) at the Upper Town. As there were only 5 other tourists besides the two of us, it felt like a private tour. Our guide was great and gave us lots of insights into Tallinn, and eventually we ended our tour in the lower part of the Old Town where it was an easy walk to return to the ship.
  9. Best food onboard we have experienced is on the Vantage River cruises. Worst coffee was on a Princess.
  10. Oh no! Now the elevators aren't working. Guess there is no need to find the gym. Thanks to the dramatically reduced menu choices, cleaning my own cabin and now all the stair climbing, this is the first cruise where I have actually lost weight.
  11. Yes. My first (and almost my last) when my husband surprised me with a New York to Bermuda cruise on one of the Cunard ships for our 25th anniversary. (We have now been married for 54 years so that was quite a while ago). Anyway, we had barely gotten out into the Atlantic when a big storm came up and I, along with many of the other passengers, got really seasick. Crew were handing out barf-bags and I recall stepping over a pile of vomit in the hallway. My husband felt fine and off he went to the dining room without me, although he later reported very few other passengers were present. Well, we finally made it to Bermuda and I have never been so happy to get off anything in my life. I enjoyed our few days in Bermuda, but dreaded the return sail. Fortunately, it wasn't as bad, but I was a nervous wreck and it took ten years for my husband to talk me into another cruise. Now I love cruising and with the bigger ships, any wave action I notice is no problem with dramamine.
  12. Actually, my response was not to you as you were very clear in your original post. It was to address another poster's question (which I quoted) about how disability is determined. I also wanted to remind Vietnam veterans that a number of current medical issues can be attributed to agent orange exposure, and as such, can qualify as a service connected disability.
  13. Mark-UK,Thanks for the info. But I see you are from the UK. So is this a Level 4 as determined by the UK government? Does it also apply to citizens of other countries?
  14. My husband and I are senior citizens, and it was incredibly easy to visit the museums by ferry. Also, since our ship berthed near the castle, we bought our Oslo pass in the first big souvenir shop you encounter on the dock. The Senior Citizen rate for the Oslo pass is half that of an adult, so not sure how much money it would save you if you weren't eligible. However, for the OP whose husband has issues walking, I must say that it was a rather long walk uphill once the ferry dropped us off at the Bygdoy pier. We saw both museums and still had time to visit the Vigeland sculptures in the afternoon by tram. Really enjoyed that as the lilacs were all in bloom during our visit.
  15. Probably a stupid questions, but does a Level 4 mean no travel is allowed to the area or just a big warning to avoid the area.
  16. With Vietnam War veterans (of which my husband is one), the use of agent orange has resulted in a number of subsequent medical issues which then results in a service connected disability. For example, some soft tissue sarcomas (cancers) that develop in later life have been directly linked to agent orange exposure. My husband almost 20 years post Vietnam developed a liposarcoma that required two resections so he is on 10% disability. And no, there is no discount for being a disabled veteran.
  17. I think everyone will agree that travel preferences can also be impacted by age or disability. My husband and I have always loved independent travel with a few cruises thrown in. However, now in our mid seventies, it is no longer easy to lug even light suitcases around train stations, travel by rent-a-car when your vision is not as good nor are your reflexes, sleep well in unfamiliar/inexpensive places when you have back issues, etc. As we age, we are starting to lean more towards guided tours and cruises. If you love to travel, anyway you can keep doing it makes you happy.
  18. If the virus continues spreading as quickly as it has, by May you will probably be just as much as risk of contracting it back in the states. It sounds like a fun cruise...I would certainly go.
  19. Funny but true story. Years ago in Idaho my husband and I, desperate to see a moose, followed a ranger's advice, and hiked for miles off an unpaved logging road to a small lake where we finally saw 3 of them. Meanwhile, my elderly parents who had chosen instead to go golfing, encountered 17 moose on the golf course.
  20. Maybe I am being super cautious, but when I check current prices on an already booked cruise, I use my phone rather than the computer where I initially spotted the rates and booked. On two cabins booked out of Venice this fall, I just saved a total of $1000.
  21. I would like to report a very positive experience when I booked through Royal Caribbean with a man called Ralph. I had not made final payment yet when I noticed online last week that fares had dropped $200.00 per person. I immediately called him, but my message went to his voice mail. I explained my reason for calling and 2 hours later I received a new invoice from Royal Caribbean where I noticed not only had the now lower price been reflected, but an addition $50 per person reduction had also been included. Since we had booked two cabins (4 people total) this was a $1000 savings!
  22. lynncarol

    Glory Tours

    Ask Glory Tours if you can have the guide, Charles Marshall. He was wonderful! If so, ask him to show you where he would build his dream house...off the beaten track with a fabulous ocean view.
  23. This corona virus issue must be scaring a lot of folks. We just enjoyed a huge price drop on an upcoming cruise (nowhere near Asia). Chances are you are quite safe in the Caribbean.
  24. lynncarol

    Glory Tours

    Have you checked your spam box? Sometimes my computer goes awry when it falsely perceives a security issue.
  25. Been on a Vantage river cruise 2 times now and took another Vantage mega-yacht tour of the Black Sea. (They were the only line that didn't cancel immediately following Russia's annexation of the Crimea in Ukraine). Vantage only serves the free wine and beer at dinner, but we aren't big drinkers anyway. My husband and I have found their food to be very tasty, even better than that on some of our favorite ocean cruise ships. In our experience, they fall in the middle price-wise, but will offer great deals (including free air) if you wait to book until close to departure time.
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