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Everything posted by PelicanLvr

  1. These staterooms look great! Thanks for all the useful info Are there any drawbacks? Any crew work areas (across the hall) near them? Any noise from the theater below? Thank you
  2. Thank you so much for posting the Exciting Deals link. Glad to see it's back!
  3. I see it's March 2024. Can you change dates? The itinerary change is a big downgrade. If you haven't been to Bonaire, it's so worth a visit. Great snorkeling and from these boards I hear the golf carts are lots of fun. Aruba has excellent beaches.....Curacao - we weren't impressed. Frankly IMHO, C is the least of the ABCs.
  4. We have also used Guided Tours Israel (GTI) and it is outstanding! One of our greatest travel experiences ever. Also, Make arrangements to get off on Day 3 and spend 2 nights on land. Rejoin ship on day 5. Let GTI do an itinerary based on your interests but I would imagine it will be a day in Galilee and 2 days in Jerusalem. Very doable. Don't waste time valuable tour time going back and forth to the port & ship each day. Remember Israel is very small. While there I was told it is the size of New Jersey. You can get around very quickly. With a fast-moving small group or private tour from GTI (or similar company) you can see all the highlights in 3 full (long) days. But so worth it.....no matter what your religion. Please don't use large ship tours. They move at the speed of the slowest participant. You will see so much less. Our GTI guide timed our sites to avoid many of the large groups ... that's how to see Israel.
  5. First Congrats to the OP on your upcoming wedding. Travel (like much of life) is so much about your attitude. There will always be someone in a better hotel room or at a better restaurant table etc. Your reaction to that inevitable situation will determine if that ruins your enjoyment. Don't let it! Have a wonderful wedding cruise and don't give any more thought to being "2nd Class".
  6. Don't remember the X ship, but some years ago our stateroom was far aft. It wan't cool enough and we spoke to the steward. He changed some settings under his control and the room was much cooler. Moral of the story: Speak to the steward if you have a temperature issue. They can help with this issue.
  7. Ask nicely with a smile and see what happens.
  8. Suggest you contact a passport/visa service company and get all passports resolved before departure. Cost will be high,....but some things are worth it.
  9. I have purchased a policy thru insuremytrip that covers pre-existing conditions if purchased within x days of final payment. It was more expensive....but it is out there.
  10. Suggest you look into "Guided Tours Israel", a highly recommended tour company here on CC. After learning about GTI from these boards, we used them about 10 years ago for a 5 day private land tour there and it was perhaps our greatest travel experience ever! I would recommend using them even over any ship-tour.
  11. OP - Everyone questions "did I do the right thing" when it comes to tipping and (as you can see from the above discussion) there really is no "correct" answer. But, since this started with you asking for suggestions, here's what we do: Stateroom attendant at end of cruise: about $10 per day - ie: $70 on a 7 night cruise etc. - adjusted up or down for quality of service. I go to our bank before departure and get lots of small bills: Usually change $350 for: 50 single ($1) bills 20 Five ($5) bills 20 Ten ($10) bills I always have several of each bill with me and usually tip: $5 - server of our one round of drinks nightly before dinner in Cafe B. $10-20/per night - to server and assistant to share in specialty or MDR - Since we don't eat with the same crew each night I do this every night. $0-$10 per night to wine steward- depending on attentiveness ( when on a drink package) $2-$4 - breakfast room service delivery - That was back when it was free! - so probably $0 now if a service charge is applied. $0 - when I pick up a bottle of beer or water directly from the bar. $0 - Maitre D' of dining rooms: Unless they do something for me, which they often do, so it varies. Tipping is a personal thing, but since you asked that's what DW and I do.
  12. OP - I think you need a different plan. By 8:30 you will feel "unwanted" aboard the ship. Maybe a day pass at one of the airport hotels with a pool?
  13. Suggest you call and speak directly to CC. See if you are in their computer. Happened to us on a different line and found out our name was misspelled in their records. Once corrected our points appeared.
  14. Sounds "odd" to me that the vendors are telling you they return before sunset time. Isn't being on the water at sunset the whole point of a sunset cruise? Has anyone ever been on a sunset cruise that returns before sunset? I agree with -Lew- above that you will probably dock from the sunset cruise AFTER sunset. You must find out the time of the last tender back to the ship. That's key. The "all aboard" is in reality the time that last tender leaves the island. Yes, if the sunset cruise docks at the same port as the X tenders, you can probably just walk along the port to the tender location. We were actually proud to be the 2 last passengers back to a Windstar cruise in Santorini after dinner in Ioa. We stepped on the tender and the port staff (with their tables umbrellas etc) got on with us. I suspect that Santorini sunset cruises are mostly used by folks staying on the island....not cruise passengers. Be careful. Your plan is risky. I agree with Susan above: With 17 people, did you think of chartering your own boat?
  15. We have also used Guided Tours Israel.....They are outstanding! Highly recommended.
  16. Asia is the "advanced class" of DIY excursions. So, it all depends on your experience with DIY and risk-tolerance for problems. Remember, unlike Europe, out on the streets, few, if any, speak English. You can't even understand posted signs (even numbers). I have quite a bit of DIY experience in the "western world". But in Asia, I'm not sure I would try.
  17. Can you do "walk off with your luggage" self disembarkation? If so, you would be first in line for authorities at the pier.
  18. Yes to both: 1. Don't bother with the concierge - The specialty restaurants handle their own reservations, so speak to them. You can speak to anyone "selling" specialty restaurant reservations (sometimes I have even seen them on the pier)-but that is likely a person only able to fill available spots. So, if that is unsuccessful, I do suggest you go to the restaurant you want to go to (Tuscan Grill) and speak to the Maitre d of that room. That person would be the final word on it. 2. Yes, book the 9pm just in case as long as you can "deal with" eating that late if you have to. As long as that is better than not being able to go at all.
  19. Jelyne above is correct. Go on embarkation day to Tuscan Grill and explain your needs. They will help you out if they can.
  20. Shop what matters to you! For us it's having an extended balcony...whatever stateroom class X calls it is not important. OP, what do you value? Book based on that.
  21. Please don't waste time on a big, slow-moving ship tour! You will see less & be in a crowd! OP, use Guided Tours Israel (GTI). You will have a much better experience in a land that is truly unforgettable. Like Ex-Airbalancer above, we used GTI about 10 years ago and it's still one of our best travel experiences ever.
  22. Couldn't have said it better myself. Just more cost-cutting and deterioration of product....."to serve you better"
  23. I believe all the aft extended balcony B3s are aft of the aft elevators...... all above the dining room. The casino seems quite a bit forward of that location on deck 5. Don't see the casino as a real issue for these cabins.
  24. Suggest a sunset dinner on the beach at "Passions of the Beach" located at the Amsterdam Manor Hotel on Eagle Beach. You can probably be back onboard for the 9pm show....but we didn't rush back.
  25. Livorno is the port for Florence. It's a bit over an hour each way on the road even without traffic.
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