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chipmaster

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About chipmaster

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    In the air, new gig & now flying ~ 350K miles/year
  • Interests
    Between honey to do, dad to do, Moore's Law to do, and vacations to do no time for anything else
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Haven't taken a cruise line I didn't like! So many ships so little vacation time :(
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Yet to sample them all, so I can't decide
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://charlesandjuliephotos.shutterfly.com/

Recent Profile Visitors

421 profile views
  1. These were fun loving and liking fine dining, entertainment, they were very unimpressed with the set stage shows nor optional upgrade eating and to be honest the upsell eating and entertainment is very average compared to any medium sized US city, might be even below what you can find, but for value good, for quality terrible, so if you judge by that you could say you get better eats, experience, shows in almost any local hometown or nearby big city then on a ship, of course not the ports and value, but if value isn't part of the measurement totally agreed with them.
  2. Alaska: Princess, they have a dominate presence with some many sailings you should find a schedule and port lineup that works for you. In the summer princess Alaska is still great fun, with multiple ports, what will make it fun is what you got lined up for the young and old that is jointly fun in Port. Tropics: As you noted a RCCL mega ship, all about fun in the sun.
  3. Everyone can find something they like, not true: We've taken a couple familes with us on what we thought would be a vacation they like, they both came back more sure cruising wasn't for them and no fun, LOL
  4. We have done a couple cruise from the Med, agreed a great way to see a different city/port every day. I'd say the best line is the one that does the most ports you want with the sailing you want. I think all the mainstream lines are pretty close, some more party like, some more full of formal image, some about ship amenities, but if you pick Europe it is PORTS, PORTS, PORTS. Like others suggested we did one that started in Venice and ended in Barcelona ( Grand Med ), with stops in Athens, Naples, Mykonos, Istanbul, Kusadasi, Rome, Florence, Naples. Was crazy amazing but a terrible tradeoff as a day in Rome, Naples ( Amalfi ), Istanbul was so hurried and just wet our appetite, but nothing is ideal. Our second focused on the Greek Islands and had allowed a little more exposure, but also less variety. Hardest thing is the port tradeoffs.
  5. Believe it or not the more exposure the better, you need to shock your immune system to make it familiar with the germs / virus and for your immune, that after all is the whole premise with flue and immunization shots isn't it. If you live in isolation once exposed you could and more likely than not get really ill as your body goes into shock response. I'll take the elevator versus stairs, I exercise a lot, but on a cruise even with exercise getting your intake and burn to match makes taking the stairs for that little extra burn desirable.
  6. My 2cents on sleeping it is very personal, starts with your personal habits and then how your body cycles do with change. For a few years now do a 12-14 hour flight changing time zones between US and China, do this by flying out Saturday, land Sunday ( Local ) night, work M-F then fly out Friday and land Friday. Work Sunday-Thursday in US from 4pm to about 2am, then on Saturday fly back to far east. As noted before starts with eating and exercises, I never sleep on the plane, and then crash when I arrive, not sick once in more than three years. BTW I'd used to get sick but also exercise and eat less disciplined. Always here about people who can't sleep or wake up and take days or more to flip time zones, If you got to flip every week, you go cold turkey and at least for me never sleep on the plane, read a lot of books and also saw every movie worth seeting, read mostly standing up, sitting not so good for your circulation and health.
  7. Will be a sad over response, my sail in/outs were epic, will miss it if they cancel it
  8. Flooding was epic, all us cruisers flying and vacationing causing climate change Just a little rain when we were there this July
  9. Thanks for the suggestion, I've noodled that and at the time sad cash baby! There are always multiple solutions and what one picks is very personal, if you can defended it and the choice of risk versus risk/work then it works for you. BTW I travel a lot and fully appreciate backup. I have two ATM cards and 3 CC, never carry all of them together, nor my passport ( now ain't that another fun topic with many positions. ) When actually traveling point to point passport/cc/atm usually in my backpack with 2x laptop, and of course wallet with cash/atm/cc. Do you want to know my data backup for photos and computer, LOL
  10. As noted I did my research on companies and had my preference, they took cash only at the time. Kind of like choosing where you want to eat, you have choices, and then you have "your" choice. I was the owner, it was my responsibility to take care of it. I could have burdened my father/mother, and mother inlaw and brother in law. As I said I took ownership, if I distributed it would now be their burden and expectation. Cash, or maybe they should also look at tour guides and tours too, where does it stop, stops with the owner. To often in life we don't take ownership. Worked out just fine with me owning it, tour and guides were great, as was the vacation for my parents and inlaws.
  11. I travel a lot to China, and they are really ahead of the game. You are SOL if you don't have WeChat Pay or AliPay and need a square of toilet paper, literally SOL. https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-mobile-payment-boom-changes-how-people-shop-borrow-even-panhandle-1515000570
  12. You do realize that I was needing in excess of 1K or more per tour, I do have a daily limit even though I have plenty of money in my account. An alternative would be to have 3 different bank accounts and then doing the limits on each in every port. FWIW we had a wonderful experience with RIL in two vans in three ports, they were waiting for us at each port and to be honest I'm not sure I'd have really had time to do a 3x stop, I guess I could have done it around the Vatican, Trevi, etc. etc., Same on the busy naples day, I can remember all the ATMs around Pompei as well as Amalfi coast stops, I'm sure there were some. I guess for me saving a couple % wasn't that important for me. I fully appreciate for some time is money and for some money is time. This much I know, when I'm in the ground it won't matter how much money I have, but I do know when I don't have any more time all the money won't buy more time. As you noted we can wish and say more tour companies accept CC or whatever, but if the one you are using wants cash, that is a "choice" Good luck telling them accept a CC or I go somewhere else, maybe next tour they change, but for you, you are SOL.
  13. The thread brings back fond memories of my adventure planning for a large family group 11. We ended up securing two vans and adding four more people for a total of 15 in multiple ports. As organizer I got to handle payment, and yes some companies require/prefer cash to CC. To bad they ain't like china going w/o cash or CC, LOL. I'd figured out how much the tours were, sucked it up and did it all by exchanging many thousands of dollars to thousand and thousands of euros, what a stack, felt like a drug dealer. Time in port is valuable you really want to run around trying to stop and withdraw your and your family friends and others to the limit. You are on vacation you spend thousands for your ship, thousands more for your airplane and then thousands more for your tours, yup run around from ATM to ATM to save a few euros. yeah it costs a lot, but you know what you'd save more by not going at all! On to reality, convenience is worth the cost, we got our euros, I think it was like 6 or 7K at BoA. I wasn't going to waste my valuable port time ATM, using ship, or local exchanges. Balanced with a few ATM stops to top off spending money, but all tour money was reserved and converted before leaving the USA. Carried about 2/3 in a body wallet, I looked fat, and the other 1/3 carried by my wife. Went into the safe once at hotel and on the ship.
  14. It will be fall so figure long pants and light layered jacket, nothing like jeans and sweatshirt to scream tourist in the Far East 🙂
  15. Dreamliner is indeed a more comfortable, as long as you don't fly the one built in SC, LOL
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