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  1. We too use a battery charger, but not that brand name and have for years. Ours came from Harbor Freight and works great. We also fill the gas tank and Dave adds Stabil to it because gasoline degrades and he says Stabil maintains it for about a year. We set the thermostat for a/c at 83 and the furnace for 53 (approx) so we don't worry about it getting too hot inside or, alternatively, the pipes freezing! And we turn off all water to the house so no worries about leaks.
  2. "+1 . They want the 20th to be a milestone. " You are both totally correct; i misstated policy when I wrote "21"...sorry about that.
  3. Get this one! Upon returning from ATW16, we applied for our free cruise--a 14 day one and at the same cabin category we always reserve. We were told that we had missed our opportunity to take our free cruise because it MUST be #21--but we were in the middle of ATW! It took us climbing the Miami phone ladder until we reached the desk of someone who didn't say "No" but said "oh....this hasn't happened to us before but let me double check" and so it was finally straightened out. Our TA said it was like banging his head against a wall to get anyone to listen to him so he enlisted Mr Wonderful's help--a master of corporate ladder climbing to get an answer. Moral is--keeping working your way up management until you find someone who can make a decision--AND GET IT IN WRITING!!!
  4. Go Bucks-- I've seen those rooms and have been glad i'm not a roomie of that person--couldn't handle it! Our last cruise I bought fresh flowers every week or so and our room attendant enjoyed them as much as we did. We discussed which port had the prettiest flowers and where I had purchased them.
  5. We've told our attendants not to do our rooms on turn arounds and overlands for years--I wonder if you had a new supervisor since we just returned from 2 mos on Nautica and talked to our attendant several times about our cabin and he was able to skip us successfully. Oh well, we all try...
  6. and I forgot to say, that in the mid-cruise and end of cruise survey we ALWAYS commend our attendant by name. If I see Head of Housekeeping in the hall, I tell her my cabin # and state that my attendant is excellent. Those comments are passed on to the attendant.
  7. OK, to summarize: your cabin attendant will introduce him/herself day 1 of your cruise. (there will be a little sign on the wall telling you the name of that attendant so if you don't catch it or forget it....no worries) take that opportunity to tell him/her EXACTLY what you want daily. We always say that Mr. Wonderful likes Diet Coke so pretty much everything else in the fridge can be removed. We tell ours that we will place the "please make up cabin" card in the door when we leave in the morning for breakfast and it remains there until the attendant removes it. We further state that in no way are we asking for them to do it immediately, but rather is an indication that we ARE out of the cabin. Often they appreciate getting that early start--sometimes it means they can be done by noon. I pack neon colored post-it notes and tell our attendant that if we need anything I will leave one of the post-it notes on the bed where it is hard to miss on white sheets! If we are gone on overnights we tell them to make up the room for bedtime and they need to do nothing else for us. If we are remaining on board at the end of one cruise we tell the attendant that he/she will not be needed for that day or night. We can make up our own bed and reuse towels as we do at home and they are grateful that it is one less room to have to do that very hectic day. We have sailed with O for many years and have yet to have a poor attendant. They are wonderful.
  8. Go Bucks, I followed several of the passengers experiences on ATW19 as they were friends of mine. Yes, you had a very different itinerary for your ATW cruise. And, it is different than the ATW20--I'm glad O changes their itinerary so we can see the world. Glad you had no problems with mosquitoes.
  9. GoBucks, our ATW itinerary had us in a tributary of the Amazon as well as both western and eastern Africa, several ports in SEAsia and a bunch of tropical islands and their jungles. We took no chances! Our friend Don Horner did the same with the permethrin spray and we proudly modeled for each other in the Amazon boat! We stuck the Ben's the ship gives us in our backpack for port use and bought deet wipes so that we could take them in carry-ons for overland flights rather than liquids & will do the same this time. (and I'm ordinarily a freak about using too many meds, sprays, etc but caution won out)
  10. we got Yellow fever shot at our doc's & travel clinic's rec for ATW16. He said we travel so much he thought it was warranted. One less thing to think about for ATW20! (and no side effects for either of us) Malarone made Mr Wonderful ill so upon advice of Insignia doc we just wore long pants & long sleeves in some ports. In other ports we used lemon-eucalyptus oil which is much better smelling! Consumer Reports tested deet products & lemon-eucalyptus oil and said both were highly effective. We had sprayed the long pants, shirts, & socks at home with permethrin and it also affords protection against zika, west nile, dengue & chikungunya. Consumer Reports also rec'd it. Check their ratings for 2019 to see if these rec'd have changed. Permethrin will last through several washings although it is the agitation of the washer that breaks down the protection so we just dunk them in bathroom sink and hang to dry in the shower stall. We put them in a ziplock bag so as not to taint the rest of our clothes and on those days where the presence of mosquitoes was almost guaranteed that is what we wore. Also sunblock then followed by dabs of deet on unprotected areas. Worked great! common sense tells you not to be out at dawn or after dusk in some areas-- limit your exposure. Don't be like the woman who said she was 'eaten alive' on a shorex and when asked what repellent she used she said 'none, because nobody told me to.'
  11. I always have noted 2 things on my mid & end of cruise comments that I would like changed; 1) provide scent-free cleaning products to be used by the cabin attendants (i always open the sliders when i come into the room after they've cleaned just to get rid of the scents-5 minutes or less usually works) 2) lower the decibel level of the band in Horizons for HHour; I like to be able to hear the person sitting next to me while having drinks at the end of another lovely day on board. We have had staff stop by the table to say 'hi' and they have to go ask the band to turn down the volume so we can hear each other. I love the band-- I think they are awesome, and I enjoy their music choices. I've even suggested that periodically the string quartet stay there for another hour after tea just to provide a quiet time place for HH drinks--maybe once a week? i understand that the 'band shell wall' that was up there has been removed in the refit of the R ships. That area immediately behind the wall was our go-to area to provide an acoustical barrier for us.
  12. this is the itinerary that is immediately before the one OP liked; oslo, Norway Embark 1 PM 9 PM Jun 26 Sat Skagen, Denmark 8 AM 5 PM Jun 27 Sun Stavanger, Norway 8 AM 5 PM Jun 28 Mon Flam (Sognefjord), Norway 8 AM 3 PM Jun 29 Tue Geiranger (Geirangerfjord), Norway 7 AM 3 PM Jun 29 Tue Hellesylt, Norway 5 PM 8 PM Jun 30 Wed Kristiansund, Norway 7 AM 3 PM Jul 1 Thu Bodo, Norway 10 AM 6 PM Jul 2 Fri Trondheim, Norway 12 PM 10 PM Jul 3 Sat Alesund, Norway 10 AM 8 PM Jul 4 Sun Bergen, Norway 8 AM 11 PM Jul 5 Mon Haugesund, Norway 8 AM 5 PM Jul 6 Tue Cruising the North Sea Jul 7 Wed london
  13. invention of 'sliders' is brilliant; a taste or two of something without investing in a whole meal of 1 thing only!
  14. yeah, i'm with you on memphis/Kansas City BBQ and it tastes a lot like Texas BBQ eastern NC bbq has no tomatoes and is vinegar based--and is more of a 'wash' than a sauce; western aka Piedmont or Lexington Dip also has vinegar but has ketchup added (or sometimes tomato sauce). SCarolina adds mustard to their bbq sauce much prefer the old Kansas City style --tangy, thick, sweet...the kind where you don't bother with napkins --a roll of paper towels is part of the table settings!
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