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About AryMay

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Photography, cruising, travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America, Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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  1. I just noticed this too. All along my departure city was listed as "Sioux City, IA", but we usually book flights out of Minneapolis. Now Minneapolis is not even a choice to pick from. I have learned the hard way TWICE not to mess with the departure city so am hoping that Princess fixes the glitch on their website. Just last week I was talking to my PVP at Princess and inquired why my home city was Sioux City. Before I knew it she had changed it to Minneapolis which automatically CANCELLED the flights we have booked for our next cruise in February 2020. 😖 I had booked our flights on the first day they became available and have only seen the price go up since then. To say I was upset was an understatement! And I should have known better than to even ask about the home city since the same thing happened last year. I had our flights booked to South America on HAL's Flight Ease but just wanted to compare prices online from a different airport. In the process our flights got cancelled without any notice. A few weeks later I discovered the flights were gone. In both cases, things were able to be "fixed", but I am pretty nervous to even try and check prices anymore! I am just curious how Princess decides what is your home city. I even cleared the cookies and history but my home city still comes up Sioux City.
  2. I wanted to report back that I made a $750 payment using my Blue Cash Everyday card on a cruise we have had booked for a long time and also made another $750 payment using my husband's card. Both times we received the $225 credit so it does not have to be just for new bookings. We have other AMEX cards, but the offer didn't show up on those. Heads up...the offer expires next week.
  3. We were in Ushuaia this past February (2019) and "accidently" found a great tour guide that I can recommend if you are looking for a small, private tour. Originally we (2 couples) had booked a private tour with Ruben (ruben-ushuaia@hotmail.com) and I think he would have been an excellent guide based on the correspondence we had prior to the trip. However, at the last minute he had car troubles and didn't want to risk taking us into remote areas for our tour. I was impressed that instead of just cancelling, Ruben got Frederico Moyana to fill in for him and meet us at the dock. Frederico is a licensed tour guide and our day with him turned out to be one of the best! Frederico was able to find ways to keep us away from the crowds (which were huge at some locations) and also make suggestions of things to see that we hadn't planned. I have written about our day in Ushuaia on my blog if you want more details https://mysouvenirmemories.blogspot.com/2019/02/glacier-alley-and-ushuaia.html. Ushuaia and the surrounding areas are breathtaking. Here are a couple of photos to give you an idea of what we saw... And a photo of Frederico... Here is Frederico's business card if you would like to contact him. He is just getting his business started and I expect it to be a big success!
  4. Thanks for watching! The video was filmed when we were in the Falklands on February 15 of this year (2019).
  5. Hi Sue! When we got to Volunteer Point, all of the Land Rovers parked together and the distance from where we parked to the main colony of king penguins was maybe 100 yards. Hopefully you wouldn't have much trouble walking that distance. The first photo is where we parked. The next photo is looking the other direction towards the penguin colony. The walk to get down to the beach was further...but you wouldn't have to go down there if you didn't want. There weren't a lot of penguins at the beach, but it was fun to watch the ones who were there. The water and waves were beautiful as well! Looking back from the beach towards the penguin colony... And although the majority of the penguins stayed huddled together in the large group, there were penguins wandering all over. How often do you see cows & penguins in the same photo!! If you are interested in this tour for 2020, you should be checking into booking ASAP since they fill up far in advance. We booked about a year and a half prior to our cruise. The ship tours to Volunteer Point would also go to the same place, but cost more than double what we paid to Patrick Watts. Even so, those were all sold out before the ship reached the Falklands so don't wait too long.
  6. Actually I do have a reason! 🙂 When we book a cruise, we purchase travel insurance right away to cover pre-existing conditions. BUT...we only insure the amount of the deposit to start with. Our final cruise payment isn't due until fall, but IF I make a payment before then I need to increase our insurance coverage within the time frame to keep the pre-existing condition coverage. (Two weeks after I make another payment...I think.) Our insurance coverage goes up in $500 increments so a $750 payment would mean another insurance payment. When final payment time comes then we will insure the rest of the non-refundable costs of the trip. Since we are booked on a long and somewhat expensive cruise, the insurance premiums will be pretty high. At this point we do intend to take the cruise, but on the outside chance we may cancel I would rather not pay more in insurance premiums which would be non-refundable UNLESS it means getting the $225 credit. In that case it is worth it to me. In the past we have used the AMEX Carnival Corporation offers multiple times on cruises that were already booked. I'm just anxious to hear if it will work on this specific offer or if it truly is only on new reservations.
  7. I am still hoping to hear from someone who received the credit after making a payment on an “already booked” cruise. I have the offer on two cards, but it is for a cash credit of $225 rather than the points.
  8. Does the cost of laundry tokens get added to your shipboard account just like any other purchase so that it could be paid with OBC?
  9. Here is an excerpt from my blog about how we dressed for the Drake Passage and Antarctica this past February. We are from Minnesota so the temps in Antarctica were MUCH warmer than what we had back home...but still pretty chilly if you spent any amount of time out on deck (which we did.) My clothing amounted to either Cuddle Duds long underwear or a pair of fleece-lined leggings under my jeans and then topped by a pair of REI rain pants to block the wind. On top was a warm sweatshirt or sherpa top, my Columbia fleece jacket and finally my parka-length Eddie Bauer packable down coat. For headwear I had a fleece lined knitted beanie covered by a microfleece hood that I got at Kohls. This protected my neck and I could pull it up over my chin and mouth. I also pulled up the hood on my down coat...so 3 layers on my head altogether! I had purchased convertible wool mittens that could be folded back to expose the tips of my fingers to use my camera but these I never wore. Instead I put Hot Hands hand warmers inside my snuggly fitting gloves and my hands stayed toasty warm. I had also brought along foot warmers, but never used any. Wool socks kept my feet plenty warm. Getting dressed was time consuming, but we stayed outside for long periods of time and were comfortable.
  10. Can OBC be used to pre-purchase an unlimited internet package before a cruise? We have quite a bit of OBC and already have free gratuities.
  11. Our tour was originally booked with another tour guide (Ruben M.) and he arranged for Frederico to fill in for him when he had car trouble. Ruben had requested we pay him in cash at the end of the tour and so instead we paid Frederico the same amount that we would have paid Ruben (which is what we agreed on before we started the tour). Hopefully you will hear back from Frederico with more details.
  12. Yes...we did get some vaccines for our trip after visiting a travel clinic. The Yellow Fever vaccine was the one that we debated about most but we went ahead and got it. Also got Hepatitis A (2 shot series) and typhoid (4 pills containing the live virus good for 5 years.) The shot form of the typhoid vaccine is only good for 2 years. Here is a link to my blog post where I discussed this: The Painful Side of Traveling In hindsight, I don't think we would have needed the Yellow Fever vaccine. In the couple of days we were in the warning area I didn't see a single mosquito. But having the vaccine gave me some piece of mind knowing that the disease can be fatal. Also, my husband is going to Peru next month on a missions trip and would have needed the vaccines for that trip anyway. Credit cards ARE accepted for entrance into Iguazu Falls. I knew it said so on the park website, but the tour guide insisted we needed cash so we complied. After returning home, I emailed 01Argentina (who we booked with) and explained what happened and got the following reply: Well actually the last season the credit cards at the entrance of the National Park were not working properly and some passengers arrived to the Park without cash, the CC system was out of order and it was too complicated for the tour guide solved those troubles. Honestly this is the first season that Visa and Master are accepted (not Amex yet). We still need to evaluate with our supplier if it was successful this year the CC system since it is something very new. Here is a photo I took at the entrance and you can see there are Visa, Mastercard AND AMEX logos in the window so maybe American Express IS accepted now? Have fun planning your trip and please let me know if there are any other questions I can answer!
  13. Before our trip I opened a Charles Schwab online checking account. The debit card associated with the account refunds any and all ATM fees so we could use the card anywhere without worrying about what the fees would be. When we landed in Santiago, we withdrew Chilean pesos from an ATM at the airport. We also got a little extra cash at our hotel but I don't think we got a great exchange rate so probably should have used an ATM again. Most of the time we did use a credit card (Visa) that has no foreign transaction fees. A couple of our tours accepted US cash, but required that we pay with crisp, new bills. We hadn't planned on getting money in Argentina, but then our guide at Iguazu Falls insisted we had to pay the entrance fee into the falls with cash (which wasn't true.) We used an ATM at a bank in the town of Puerto Iguazu and only withdrew enough cash to pay to get into the falls...equivalent to less than $40 USD but the ATM fee was over $10 USD. With the Charles Schwab card the fees were credited back to our account. I had put about $1500 in the Charles Schwab account prior to the trip but since coming home I have transferred most of it back out of the account. (There is no minimum balance needed.) When it is time for our next trip I will add money back into the account once again. I tried to include more details about costs, etc. in my blog if you are interested. The link is in my signature below.
  14. I'm so glad you were able to make arrangements and hopefully Frederico will be your guide. He is such a nice guy and a great guide as well!
  15. We just did the HAL South America/Antarctica cruise in February and I took a lot of video. By using video (instead of just still photos) I was able to capture so much wildlife in action...whales breaching, penguins porpoising, etc. Once I got home I could go through the video footage and then save a frame if I wanted a still photo. I talked to other photographers on the ship who were only doing still photos and never did get some of the shots that I did. My main piece of advice is to take warm clothing and spend a lot of time out on deck. My husband was able to get some awesome video (on his iPhone no less!) of a whale breaching right next to the ship when almost no one else was around just because he spent so much time outside. And another tip...some "Hot Hands" hand warmers inside your gloves will make all the difference in the world for comfort. With the hand warmers, I could wear thinner gloves and still operate the controls on my camera. Lastly...since you will not be stepping foot on land, having a good zoom will be important. We passed by large colonies of penguins that were just tiny specks to the naked eye. With a zoom (mine was 50x) you could see them in action. A link to my blog is in my signature and has more details, photos and links to a couple of videos I put on YouTube.
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