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Everything posted by TMLAalum

  1. I suspect RCCL would decline to speak to the press, although if approached it should be reported that RCCL declined to comment. Crying families and blaming the cruiseline sells. Think of those attention-grabbing headlines on the tabloids! And as far as investigative reporting on this story, it's just the one case. Now if there was a pattern of toddlers falling out of open windows on cruise ships......
  2. Spending $ for a cruise, to me it would be worth the $ to get my passport book rather than risk issues with a passport card. $390 for two passport books is not that much money in comparison to the cost of your cruise + flights from the west coast. As others have pointed out, there are some unforeseen events that would impact your ability to return to the US even if a passport card is deemed sufficient for your cruise, e.g. returning late to departure time at a port & missing the ship, unexpected illness that requires hospitalization in the Caribbean, spending longer at a foreign port due to a hurricane and deciding to catch a flight home because you can't afford more time away from work...
  3. Thanks so much, Tom! 36 days til we fly to Frankfurt and 50 days til we board the Illumination!
  4. From a past Reunion Cruise participant...Unbeknownst to us we booked a Reunion Cruise on the Reflection from Rome to Rome in 2017. As Elite we were treated to a special evening for our overnight in Barcelona. We were taken to this winery: http://www.visitascodorniu.com/en/where we were greeted with applause by the ship's staff and treated to wine, tapas & flamenco. It was a wonderful experience. Every other night on the ship, there was a little treat for all Captain's Club members. there were some special Reunion Cruise excursions, but we did not book any since we were in a group and booked private tours together. I'd book a reunion cruise again in a heartbeat. Although there were like 10+ busses taking us to the Codorniu Winery, we never felt like we were sheeple. In fact, we were so lucky to be assigned a higher bus # because tables for each bus were pre-assigned and we ended up right in front of the flamenco dancers!
  5. We will be on Illumination 7 November from Nuremberg to Budapest. Not relevant to this thread, but what is your experience of the Illumination?
  6. Thanks- will check into it!
  7. @niceguyneastbay Having sailed on both the EDGE and the new Nieuw Statendam (our 1st HAL cruise), my caveat for a long-time HAL cruiser is that you will be leaving staid and traditional for modern and unique which may not be to your liking. I felt like I was returning to another era when I boarded the N.S. as the decor was very dark on the entertainment decks and the Lido cafe had a 50s diner vibe thanks to the lime green & yellow vinyl seating. Loved the muted neutral tones on the EDGE and the interior and exterior airiness whereas the N.S. felt very closed to me. The music row on HAL was a definite + vs. entertainment venues on the EDGE, but theatre shows were better on Celebrity I thought. We sailed the EDGE 12/16 and pricing for our Infinite veranda was double that of our GTY veranda on the N.S. departing 12/23- we ended up on Deck 4 #4009 which had a huge veranda with footstools, so aside from the mish-mash decor in that cabin, I'd give the edge to the N.S. for cabin.
  8. Ever since I joined Cruise Critic, I've joined the roll calls & signed up for the Connections Party for every one of our Celebrity cruises. Friends have been made, tours have been joined and fun activities such as slot pulls, cabin crawls and even a Murder Mystery at Sea (thanks, 4774Papa!) have been planned. There are two Celebrity cruises on my radar- one to Alaska on the Eclipse in May 2020 and the other titled European Capitals on the Silhouette departing in September 2020. No rolls calls have been started for either one! Is it my imagination that roll call participation is perhaps a thing of the past? I surely hope not!
  9. Great tips. Last week a timeshare exchange search yielded a Paris environs "resort" for a week next September. The Azamara cruise works perfectly with the dates of the timeshare trade but the Oceania cruise will overlap the week by 2 days. However, there is a Celebrity cruise to/from Southampton departing at the end of the week that is also a possibility. Doing a dummy UA booking, the fee to LHR is $5.60 and the day flight was showing as an option. We have used UA miles for AC flights several times connecting through YYZ. We don't have enough miles on one carrier to book an FF open-jaw so will likely us our AA miles for Paris and UA for LHR if needed. We'll book a LCC intra Europe.
  10. We were in 6294 on Eclipse and the veranda is about 2 feet longer than all other verandas except those on the angular cabins off the hump mid ships. If that cabin on the Reflection is one of the last 8 toward the stern you are in luck!
  11. No in-cabin announcements on Celebrity. I seem to recall numerous announcements on NCL for bingo, etc. Corkage fee for bringing any wine aboard NCL- 2 bottles permitted per cabin on Celebrity w/o corkage fee unless you bring unopened bottle to dining venues. Water & specialty coffees included in Celebrity drink packages, not on NCL. If choosing perks on Celebrity you can opt for prepaid gratuities- a deal on longer cruises- or you can pick $300 OBC per cabin- neither choice is offered on NCL. Wifi is unlimited if you choose that perk on Celebrity, but only 250 minutes on NCL. The $50 per cabin shorex credit (per port?) offered only on NCL doesn't go far in paying for ship tours.
  12. We missed Mykonos on the Silhouette in June 2012.
  13. This is who our group of 14 used in October 2017: https://walkingibiza.com We booked the city tour and were glad we did since our guide provided lots of information we'd not have learned on our own. There is a free bus in Ibiza that takes you from port to city harbor. We missed it because it was parked behind the Celebrity transfer busses which cost us between 6 to 10 euros pp.
  14. @Twickenham Thanks! I'm looking at two cruises: Oceania 9/7/20 from Lisbon to Southampton and Azamara 9/2/20 from Southampton to Lisbon. We would likely fly home from Paris so would just need to book an LCC from Lisbon if we chose Azamara or if we decided on Oceania, then more options- Eurostar, train + ferry, or plane. It's the transatlantic flights that are leading me to Oceania although I like the Azamara itinerary better.
  15. In the past, when we've looked to use AA miles into London, the fees have been in the hundreds of dollars vs. the $5.60 we paid to use miles to FRA next month. Are the high fees still in place? We could use UA miles- are their fees as high? If we book a cruise out of Southampton can any experienced flyer suggest workarounds to flying into London? Thanks.
  16. I'll need to do a work-around using shampoo from those small bottles to hand-wash my dainties!
  17. Ditto! Except both of our luggage was AWOL for our entire 3 weeks abroad that included 2 weeks on the Silhouette around the British Isles. I agree that trying to purchase enough of a wardrobe to look passably decently attired on the cruise was a challenge. It kinda irked me that I had to buy size 40 slacks but DH fit into 27s! Between our roll call members' and Celebrity's help + shopping in Berlin & Amsterdam we survived quite nicely.
  18. I'd be reluctant to suggest Carnival to them, but that is based on my impression of the line. I almost got them to try a short Disney cruise for their anniversary, but they opted for the Big Apple instead.... They had fleeting thoughts about finding a cruise with a stop in Barbados since they lived there for about 4 years but are spending time there + St. Lucia and another island over the holidays. Some day....
  19. I totally agree with your suggestion! For first-time Europe visitors who are skittish about crime, the ports on a British Isles cruise may be somewhat safer than Rome, Barcelona or Paris (although I do remember being told by a sweet Irish lady to hang onto my purse in Dublin). Plus English is spoken so your DH needn't stress about communicating in another language. This itinerary will be a great introduction, and other cruise itineraries as suggested above will be sure to follow. My DH & I are in our 70s and have been traveling to Europe by sea and land for a couple of decades. As others have posted here, be aware when traveling whether abroad or in the U.S. BTW our DD, DSil and 3 DGS's live in Mt. Pleasant- wish I could convince them to cruise with us one of these times!
  20. Long story with a synopsis below: YES! Air Berlin lost our luggage in 2016. It didn't catch up to us in Berlin where we were staying for 3 nights, nor in Prague, nor in Amsterdam where we spent 2 nights before boarding the Celebrity Silhouette for a 2 week cruise. We managed thanks to helpful roll call members and some shopping for a few replacement clothes in Berlin and Amsterdam. Our bags finally were reunited with us at Schilpohl prior to our flight back to the U.S. Ironically, we had packed into carryons as our AA ff tix had us flying from CLE to LGA and then out of JFK. But when we got to the airport we asked if it was possible to be put on the CLE-JFK flight. It was, and I then suggested to my DH that we check our carryons rather than schlep them. Bad decision!! We do plan on carryons only for our upcoming river cruise which is in the middle of an extensive land trip. Our German timeshare has a laundry facility, we'll use JetWasch in Lucerne, Avalon's laundry and we should be fine for the remaining 3 nights in Munich.
  21. In addition to the conversation dominator, we've encountered the Great Inquisitor, a man who persisted in asking who we voted for in the last presidential election. We spent that dinner dodging his repeated questioning. Luckily for us we were doing HAL's version of select dining so we only had to endure one meal with him. We pretty much choose select dining these days and request joining others and I can recall only one occasion besides the one above that was problematic. There was a woman on our roll call sailing with a friend who asked if they could join us at dinner on embarkation night. Well, the friend ticked the 1st, 2nd & 4th of your risk items! Friend ordered at least 4 appetizers, complained about their overseas flight and Civitavecchia hotel and never stopped talking! Our poor waiter met the definition of his title....Finally, I whispered to him to please go ahead with the rest of our dinners otherwise we'd have been there forever.
  22. Agree that suitcases in addition to hand luggage PLUS lingerers at the Oceanview make for an unpleasant start to a cruise! For those who can drive to a port, check-in after 1pm and the cabins should be just about ready. That's one of the things I loved about the Edge- immediate access to cabins! We've done self-disembark out of Florida ports when we've got the long drive back to Cleveland ahead of us. Splitting it up with a stop in SC or NC still means 9+ hours on the road so the sooner on the road the better. It is much more relaxing when we can linger longer.
  23. Thanks all! I've looked at the website link form Daisi, but will have to wait until closer to our date of arrival since ours is not showing. We do plan on traveling light- a backpack and carryon each so maybe we could take the Metro the morning we disembark since our train doesn't depart until 9:40am. But I recall those steep escalators down into the depths- was skittish even without luggage! And we experienced a scam at the bottom, when a very decrepit old lady who barely made it on , fell in a heap as she exited! We held back from helping as she was assisted by several men who were shortly thereafter apprehended by the transit police! If we'd rushed to her aid, I suspect we'd have been pickpocketed by her helpers.
  24. Hi Judy- I switched her back after she blurted out Hungarian directions to Westfield NY enroute to Niagara Falls when I driving on a girls getaway with my Oregon & Chicago sisters. We laughed so hard! We call her Missy and she is coming with us again this fall! Barb
  25. #1. How close do river cruise boats dock to Tram Line #2 which goes along the Danube? Are there designated stops? We have afternoon tickets to visit Parliament and my basic research indicates that the tram would be the most convenient way to get there. #2. We will be catching a train to Munich out of Keleti station the morning we disembark. It looks like we might be able to take the Green Metro line there IF we are docked close to the Fovam Ter station near the Liberty Bridge. Has anyone done this or would the 2 of us be better off having a cab called from the ship? Szepen!
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