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Everything posted by lynncarol

  1. I agree with Hank, the Cisterns are definitely a 'must see'. The last time we were in Istanbul was in 2014, but we had three days there on our own and took the trams everywhere. I remember each time, locals would leap up (unasked) and offer me (an older woman) their seat. I was so impressed because back when I worked in Pittsburgh, even though Pgh. folks are polite and friendly, they rarely gave up a seat on public transportation to strangers.
  2. OK folks...please forgive my ignorance but I have been reading through this thread and also the email from Celebrity and am still confused. Maybe it's because we are elderly and neither my spouse nor I gamble and thus are unfamiliar with Blue Chips. However we are, and have been for years, in Elite status. Do these changes only apply to what goes on in the casino? In other words, will we still get our three free drinks per day?
  3. Ok, this happened 15 years ago, but it was so traumatic, we have NEVER again booked with Celebrity for flights. My husband and I were scheduled for a Baltic cruise that left out of South Hampton via a flight from Pittsburgh to Philly to England. Unfortunately, our flight from Pittsburgh never got off the ground due to bad weather. I phoned Celebrity Air and was told because that was the airline's fault, we were on our own to get rescheduled. Unfortunately, the only flight available was for the next day and had an additional stop-over in Frankford, since we now had to catch the ship in Oslo, But as Celebrity had only authorized one stop-over, we had a terrible time until a ticketing agent finally took pity on us and comped us that extra leg. Also, since we were supposed to meet my elderly folks in Philly who were joining us on the cruise, we had no way of contacting them, since neither of them had a cell phone. Celebrity Air promised to contact the ship and let my folks know what happened, but never did and they so frantic looking for us that my father tripped going down an escalator in South Hampton port and got badly bruised. When we finally made it to Oslo, because we had no ship card, we were refused entrance into the port area. Thank goodness two other couples were in the same situation and between the 6 of us, we made a big enough fuss that one of the ship's officers finally came over to remedy the situation.
  4. Been to Iceland twice. This first time was in May of 2006 when we rented a car for a week. One of those days we did the Golden Circle. There were very few visitors then (it was pretty cold) and we had not seen Yellowstone before so it was magical. Fast forward to 2016 when we were on a September TA cruise that spent 3 days in Iceland. This time we took the Golden Circle by bus and were horrified at how crowded every site had become (and I have heard from recent visitors that it is even worse now). I personally would be un-nerved doing the circle by rental car with such traffic and finding a parking space must be a nightmare. Plus, if you have seen Yellowstone, Geysir pales in comparison. On this same trip, we did an all day tour out of Aukreyri and loved it! Not nearly as crowded as the Golden Circle.
  5. I second the suggestion to take locus bus to Tarquinia. Their museum was fabulous. I don't know whether it is still possible or not, but when we went, from the museum you could take another bus to some of the Estruscan tombs. Afterwards we walked back into the old town and had a nice lunch before returning to Civitavecchia.
  6. Oops. I meant we have Elite Status on Celebrity. I keep confusing that with our Diamond status on RCCl
  7. While I am a long-time fan of Celebrity (reached Diamond status years ago) for our Alaska cruise I chose Princess Cruise line as I really wanted to see Glacier Bay National Park and Celebrity can't include that. Have to say, that park was one of the highlights of our cruise.
  8. We ate at the Posat Restaurant, very near to the Pile gate. That was in 2019, but i googled the place and it is still in business with excellent reviews. They have an outdoor terrace with lovely views, the food was very tasty (we had fish, but there are other menu options) and they specialize in very attentive service. It is rather pricey, but for a special occasion, worth it.
  9. Three of us were on a private all-day tour (with a wonderful guide) in Buenos Aires. While in Recoleta Cemetery an American couple approached us and asked if they could join our tour of the cemetery. I was a bit surprised but they were so polite and hopeful that i agreed. Our guide looked a little stunned, but I assured her that it was OK with us. Were we taken advantage of with this request? Maybe, but so what...it would only be for a small portion of our day. Fortunately, as we parted at the cemetery gates. the couple left our guide with a nice tip.
  10. Have you been to Ostia Antica yet? A short train ride from Rome and sort of like a miniature Pompei, but with shade! Also we loved the Museo Nazionale Romano museum in Rome. It features amazing frescos including one whole room devoted to the famous painted gardens of Livia (related or wife of an emperor, if my memory serves). For some reason, this museum seems to be off the beaten track and when we went just before the pandemic, was blissfully uncrowde)
  11. I'm pretty sure that our friends took this excursion last year when taking Celebrity to Bonaire. (My husband and I booked independently with SeaCow for a snorkel excursion and love it). However, our friends don't snorkel and signed up for the ship's island and beach tour. We learned later that they were not very happy with this tour. Apparently, their time at the beach was significantly truncated as other attractions on the tour made for a late arrival at the beach. Once there, they discovered there was only one bathroom available for each gender and they lost over a half hour waiting in line. My friend claimed they ended up with, at best, 45 minutes actually on the beach.
  12. Anyone who is taking the blood thinner Warfarin, should check the labels of any multivitamin packet to make sure it doesn't contain the Vitamin K.
  13. We stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel. It is directly across from a huge lovely park that contains a beer garden. Restaurants are within walking distance. I would recommend you visit the castle (easy to do on your own via a taxi) and take a tour that includes the UNESCO sites of Jeronimos Monastery and the Tower of Belem. Also consider a day trip to Pena Palace in Sintra, which is easily done by a direct train from the Rossio station in Lisbon
  14. La Digue in the Seychelles The Baths in Virgin Gorda. (I don't think cruise-ships go there but it is accessible by boat).
  15. Just wanted to say that my husband and I (as senior citizens) found the Turkish locals in Istanbul to be very warm and accommodating when we were there in 2014. We had the day before our cruise was to start and a day afterwards where we wandered around on our own. Every time I boarded the tram, several folks hopped up to offer me their seat. Back then, Hagia Sophia was still a museum and while visiting the site, I was very impressed with how seamlessly the crowd control went. We also got to see the Cisterns and Blue Mosque thanks to locals who took the time to make sure we found the correct entrance. I would also recommend the Topkapi palace complex which we loved.
  16. I just took a look at the train schedules. You can get from Venice to Ravenna with one change in Ferrara in a little over two hours and the cost is less than 30 dollars. My husband and I (both senior citizens) always travel via trains throughout Italy, including Ravenna. Of course, we don't carry a lot of large luggage and have no major mobility issues but its is a great way of travel if your group meets this criteria
  17. We were in Alaska during the month of September and because the weather had been cold, no mosquitos at all in Denali. In fact, there wasn't a cloud in the sky for the two days we were there. I totally agree with previous poster...try to end the cruise in Anchorage and add on a week of driving around in a rental car. It is a gorgeous place and this way you can stop when and where you want. That's how we got those two clear days in Denali.
  18. Had layovers in Frankfurt at least 6 times over the years. Never had any issues there. In fact, they have a hotel within the airport that we have used twice when long layovers were involved. As far as meds, I carry a pill dispenser box with my prescription medications, and put all the OTC stuff in small plastic baggies. None of this is marked, never use original pill bottles, and never any problem anywhere going through security in any country. I guess that's one of the few advantages of being a "woman of a certain age". Obviously I look like all these pills are necessary.
  19. In the Caribbean, Klein Bonaire as of 2024. In the world, Seychelles and the Maldives (although that was over 20 years ago, so who knows now what they are like)
  20. I have a rock collection so try to bring home a unique pebble from each country we visit. It is important however to never take anything from a country's parks or their national areas of prominence. I also have a shell collection since I grew up near the ocean, but carting off shells is illegal in most places abroad now.
  21. When we were in Dubrovnik we had a rental car and drove to Mostar in Bosnia. I checked Viator and there are several day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar that you can purchase. I don't know anything about them or how long they let you visit Mostar, but the four of us absolutely loved Mostar! We ended up spending the night there and all of us wished we could have stayed longer. Mostar has this incredible recreated ancient bridge in a lovely setting. Plus, mosques with minarets that you can climb, a really neat cobblestone road with tiny interesting shops: a quick introduction to the Muslim culture.
  22. In addition to cruising, my husband and I travel independently a lot. Almost always, if it is an individual tour operator they want paid in cash. We have found this to be true for guides in Russia, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America. Frankly, only once have I ever paid an individual in advance and it did not end well. (Fortunately, it was less than 100 dollars). Our bank does not charge for foreign ATM fees, so that is what we usually do: the day before, we get the money out, then bring it with us for the tour. That way, no carrying large sums of money around and we can get the exact amount needed.
  23. Although my husband and I have Elite/Diamond status on RCCL and Celebrity, we chose to forgo all those perks and sailed with Princess for our Alaska cruise, solely because we wanted to see Glacier Bay National Park and those formerly mentioned cruise-lines don't have the permits to go there. Glacier Bay is not to be missed, so whatever line you chose, I strongly suggest it is included on the itinerary.
  24. Never have cruised to Croatia, but we spent a week there on our own back in 2019. Our favorite place of all the beautiful sites in the country was Plitvice National Park. Can you find out of any of the Croatian port stops offer that as an excursion? Some people say that Krka (near Sibenik) is equally as beautiful but it isn't.
  25. Have you considered renting a car to drive to the site?
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