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Posts posted by SargassoPirate

  1. On 12/25/2019 at 7:34 PM, 2Oldpeopleinlove said:

    Ah...different tastes. I find I have a problem with how loud much of that sort of thing is. Personal problem, I know, but I hate sitting in a theatre with my fingers stuffed in my ears to avoid pain!


    We find just about show on every ship over-amplified - perhaps to cover up a mediocre performance? - so when She Who Must Be Obeyed insists that we attend, we take ear plugs.

  2. Having worked in law enforcement many years ago, I can tell you that all law enforcement officers profile.  They look for certain behaviors and demeanors.  They will ask you seemingly innocuous questions to see how you react.  If they get the impression that you are being evasive, you will be questioned further.  It happens with traffic stops, immigration, customs, border patrol, etc. 


    I always look the officer in the eye, smile slightly, ask them how their day is going, and give direct and concise answers to their questions.



  3. Never had anything go missing.  When our bags are not in our possession, we lock them with TSA locks AND put a zip tie through there as well.  A missing zip tie indicates that someone has tampered with the lock and warrants an immediate inspection before we leave the baggage claim area.  Only happened one time and when I opened the bag, there was a TSA notice inside that the bag had been opened and inspected by TSA.

  4. With just under 50 cruises under our belts, on various lines, we have cruised on brand new large ships and older smaller ships.  While we mostly cruise for the itinerary and/or book transocean cruises to get to or from another continent, we seem to prefer the older smaller ships.  We don't need a floating amusement park to be amused.  Food and service are subjective, but we've found that a kind word or two and a smile goes a long way to receive excellent service from the crew.


    When we boil it down, a comfortable standard balcony (with seating) and a wrap-around promenade are our two main requirements.  


    And, one can be about as happy on a cruise as they make up their mind to be.  

  5. 1 minute ago, Iamcruzin said:

    🤣...Foodjammer....Love it.   We stay away from it as well unless we just want some fruit or cheese to snack on. 


    Thanks.  You can use it anytime, along with Melanoma Deck for the pool area.


    She Who Must Be Obeyed will enter the 'jammer in the afternoon just to put together a cheese plate for us later that evening. Other than that, we pretty much avoid it - it's like the Zombie apocalypse at peak times and putting together a meal means several trips since they took away the trays. 



  6. On 12/25/2019 at 10:52 PM, Iamcruzin said:

    We are early risers. We ate breakfast in the MDR at around 7-730 on Anthem. We were one of the first ones in. We only went to Windjammer for breakfast once and will never go back after the wonderful service and quiet MDR. It was the best breakfast experience that I have ever had on a cruise ship which includes sailings on Celebrity and Princess. The buffet in the MDR had all of the basics like danish, fruit, cereal, waffles, french toast and eggs and breakfast meat. If you are in a hurry it's a good choice if you want to avoid the buffet in Windjammer.  They also came to the table and offered danish and bread. I ordered fresh squeezed OJ every morning and we ordered off of the menu. It really didn't start getting busy until around 8:30 and by then we were leaving. Even at 8:30 it was still better than Windjammer. 


    Our experience has been the same. We avoid the Foodjammer whenever possible.  Breakfast and lunch in the MDR is a much more civilized experience and when the crew sees that we are regulars, the service is even better.


  7. On 12/17/2019 at 11:15 AM, Azulann said:

    Clay, I am doing well.

    But it is getting more difficult to find a friend to share a curise for various health or family  reasons.

    When is your next cruise? I love reading your blogs. 


    Azulann.....I sometimes cruise solo when She Who Must Be Obeyed doesn't want to go but the itinerary is appealing to me.  While certainly not as all-inclusive as Viking, I just recently booked a cruise with P&O.  They have a limited number of single balconies and insides, but I wan't fast enough to snag one of those.  The U.S. travel company that I used got me a nice cabin for a 59% single supplement - basic single fare plus 59%.  It's on an adults only ship (no feral children running loose) and tips are included in the fare.


    It might be worth looking into.

  8. We have never had a bad experience with only  booking cabins with passenger cabins above, below, and across the corridor.  Before we figured that out, we found ourselves, on various cruises, above a disco, below the pool deck, or across the hall from the mop closet/scullery used by the stewards.


    Also, once we have selected the perfect cabin for us, we have our booking marked "no upgrades".  The cruise line's idea of an upgrade might be to the cabin the OP described.



  9. When we first started cruising we thought port days were important.  After a while, the port days became less important - especially in the Caribbean - and we began staying on the ship on some port days and enjoyed relaxing days on board.  Now it's to the point where if we do decide to get off the ship on a port day we avoid the cattle calls and scheduling of the ship's excursions and do our own thing or book a private tour with a local.  We don't do ABC tours anymore - another blessed cathedral, another blasted castle.


    We also tend to book transocean cruises to get to or return from a land vacation on another continent.  We still love cruising, but are done with the floating amusement park big ships and look for ships that offer a wrap-around promenade, comfortable standard balcony cabins, a guest laundry on board, mostly adult itineraries or all adult lines/ships, and good reviews by other CCers.


    Fortunately, there are many cruise lines and many ships to choose from.  

  10. 18 minutes ago, Tapi said:

    I’ve learned that there aren’t enough perks to keep me loyal to any cruise line.



    Same with She Who Must Be Obeyed and me.  We are Elite with Princess and D+ with Royal, but don't feel any particular loyalty to either line.  We have also sailed on NCL, Celebrity, HAL, Viking Ocean, and soon P&O.  We sail for the itineraries.

  11. Ditto all of the above and she was our first - and you never forget your first.  She looked HUGE as we arrived at the port.  Captain Rob Speaking 😁 was the captain on one of our later cruises on the Grandeur and he was a hoot.  His spirit and dedication trickled down throughout the crew. 


    We are cruising on her one more time next year.

  12. 13 hours ago, RocketMan275 said:

    I certainly would.  The 737 Max will be the best tested aircraft flying when it is returned to service.  No other aircraft will have undergone the scrutiny all things Max will have gone through. 


    It's a good discussion to have.  I would hope that testing and retesting would give the pilots the assurance they need to start flying that equipment again.  If Boeing was smart, they would insist on their top executives and the engineers who sign off on the plane spend a few weeks flying on the 737Max.  If they would be not willing to do that, I don't think I would be comfortable on it.


    18 hours ago, cruzrbachoua said:

    I printed the personalizer and the ocean ready..i had them folded together so when i pulled them out the security woman said she could take either as i showed both.....so glad i am a bit of an OCD freak and plan for the what if's! 


    OCD is not a disorder, it's a way of life!   When I apply for electronic travel visas - ETAs - I always print the confirmation screen and/or the confirmation email just in case. 



  13. We use the QM2 to get to or from Europe for land vacations, so we don't want to lug a lot of fancy dinner wear ensembles with us on land.  She Who Must Be Obeyed packs a couple of pairs of lightweight black slacks, some tops with sparkles, and tops it all of with a pashima.  I pack one pair of basic black slacks and a black sport coat.  I wear the sport coat with one of my colorful pocket squares over a black ribbed T-shirt or a white ribbed T-shirt.  We clean up pretty well for formal/gala/whatever nights on board and we also wear these items  on land for dinner in nicer restaurants. 


    You can't go wrong with basic black and a few accessories.


    As an alternative, after a particularly adventuresome journey across and around Australia for two months, we had a bag of "cruise only" clothes shipped to the ship by Luggage Forward for the transpacific back to the US. 





  14. For many reasons, we blew off cruise line excursions years ago.  We now book our excursions through our big box warehouse club's travel website (cheaper and a return-to-the-ship guarantee) or Tours By Locals.  Sometimes if we don't feel like the regimentation of a tour, we'll do the HOHO bus, or just get off the ship with a map and wander.  Some of our best experiences and memories are from just wandering.


    Didn't try this in Russia or Egypt, but back then we were still doing cruise line excursions.

  15. 22 hours ago, chisoxfan said:




    Good point about bottled water, but we carry refillable bottles and are fine with tap water ( I wonder what the ratio of plastic straws to plastic water bottles is)


    And it doesn't sound silly to cross a cruise line off your list of consideration. When the barrel chairs in the standard balcony cabins on Princess disappeared, Princess disappeared from our list of cruise lines to consider.


    Fortunately, there are many cruise lines and cruise ships to choose from.

  16. She Who Must Be Obeyed and I often use transatlantics or transpacifics to get to or back from land-based travel.  We have used Cunard, HAL, RCCL, Celebrity, and Princess (although we are no longer booking Princess since they pulled the barrel chairs out of the standard balcony cabins)


    We love the number of sea days, finding them much more relaxing than port days where the day is scheduled by excursions.


    Our biggest tip is that we always book a balcony on the sunny side of the ship, depending on which direction we are sailing.  Starboard eastbound and port westbound.  SWMBO loves the privacy of her own balcony rather than being subjected to over-amplified music on the Melanoma Deck.


    Other than that, we always manage to adapt to the peculiarities of each line or ship and find that the transocean cruises beat flying any day.

  17. Okay, okay, you have convinced me to try the Medallion on an upcoming B2B2B.  


    First of all, I don't embrace technology just for technology's sake. It has to serve me and not the other way around.  That being said, I guess a lot of the earlier bugs with the app have been worked out. After following this thread I was prepared with what I would need to load into the app to be Ocean Ready.   I installed the Medallion app from Google Play and then was able to load all of my info and get all green circles fairly quickly.  It took about a 45 minutes from start to finish.  All three cruises showed up.  The only glitches I noticed is that I was never able to scan my passport - it kept telling me to scan in this position or to avoid glare.  The second was that once I logged out, the Medallion app seemed to take over the screen on my phone and I couldn't get back to my home screen no matter what I tried.  I finally just restarted the phone.


    Now, back to technology serving me.  I don't really see the value of the Medallion for the way we cruise.  I don't need my door to unlock as I approach, I  keep my phone in my pockets for taking photos, I don't need shop clerks greeting me by name when they don't really know me,  I don't need to stay connected every minute nor do I need to stream TV or movies on our phones to stay entertained.  I don't need my  photo to be posted outside my door or follow me around the ship - so I uploaded my skull and crossbones avatar that I use here.


    I may just get a cruise card from the guest relations and stick the Medallion in the safe.  Time will tell.



  18. 51 minutes ago, Joseph2017China said:

    Yes you can take your bags yourself, but I rather have the paid employees do it for me. 


    Ya gotta do whatever works for you.  We prefer to roll our own bags on.  We are unpacked by mid-afternoon while others are playing "gopher" by popping their heads out to see if their bags are there yet.

  19. On 12/14/2019 at 7:39 PM, chisoxfan said:

    Thank you for responding and the info. The drink package is important to us (not that we drink so much) but it adds to a relaxed feel for the vacation and fixes costs. This was a big reason we have gravitated towards the all inclusives and the MSC Yacht Club. HAL sends us mail on their select or private (whatever it is) sales but I know in the last year nothing included a drink package or I would have noticed. Maybe they need to direct their marketing more accurately.


    The drink package just doesn't work for us because we just don't drink enough to make it pay, but when we cruise with HAL I purchase several bottles of scotch for delivery to our cabin on the first day of the cruise.  I can have a wee dram or three in the evening. 



  20. 21 hours ago, Oldies123 said:

    Just looking at excursions for Kusadasi, Turkey with our HAL cruise 2020.  Has anyone any suggestions or recommendations for private tours to see Ephesus and the Terrace Houses ?  There are a couple on TripAdvisor which look ok, but has anyone had any experience and can recommend ? We are looking for a 5 hour (ish) tour.

    Thank you


    We have had wonderful tours all over the world through Tours By Locals.  Highly recommend them.  We have not used them in Kusadasi, but I see that their website lists 10 tour guides to choose from.  Hopefully this link will work or you can cut and paste.




  21. 6 hours ago, Haboob said:

    That Northern Lights Guarantee could be important.  Solar Cycle 25, lasting through 2030, is predicted to short on the types of solar activity that causes auroras.



    It reflects their confidence in seeing the northern lights. If you don't see the northern lights, they'll give you another cruise.  I read several threads on the Hurtigruten board to get a feel for what the coastal cruises were like and also watched several videos on YouTube.

  22. Here are the details from the Princess website.  You have to search for a particular cruise before you can find out the details of the sale.  This is a cut and paste.


    Best. Sale. Ever.

    With drinks, wi-fi‡‡ & gratuities included

    Wi-Fi Package          
    Premier Beverage Package With Tips          
    Full Onboard Gratuities Included       N/A N/A
    Full Onboard Gratuities Included N/A N/A N/A    

    General Terms (applicable to all portions of the Offer) – ONLY available if all guests in a stateroom elect to participate in the Offer. Offer expires February 29, 2020 and is only available to residents of 50 United States or D.C., Canada, and Puerto Rico. Offer and its parts are non-transferable, is not redeemable for cash at any point, and may not be combined with other offers or other onboard credits. Offer’s Drinks, Wi-Fi, and Gratuities are only available on board the ship (not applicable to land portions), may only be used on a single voyage, and expire at the end of such voyage. Offer available on select voyages sailing starting on March 26, 2020. Offer is only available on cruises indicated as “Best. Sale. Ever.” Offer is capacity-controlled regardless of availability.

    *Fares are per guest and apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares are non-air, cruise- or cruisetour-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two guests in a stateroom. Fares and other values quoted in USD.

    Premier Beverage Package applies to guests booked in all stateroom types. It is valid only for all guests in a stateroom who are 21 years or older. Guests who are under 21 years of age at the time of sailing can still book the Best. Sale. Ever. pricing, but will receive the Premier Coffee & Soda Package and will not receive any refund or otherwise for that portion of the Offer. A daily limit on alcoholic beverages will apply.

    ‡‡Wi-Fi included for one device per guest. Wi-Fi details will be delivered pre-cruise or in the stateroom. All internet usage subject to Princess Cruises’ standard policies, which may limit browsing of sites due to network security and bandwidth usage. Applications that use high bandwidth may be blocked and offerings subject to change with or without notice.

    Gratuities included are in the ships onboard currency. Amount of gratuities paid on behalf of guest may vary based on stateroom type. This amount is paid on the behalf of all guests in a stateroom. Gratuities do not include gratuities added to bar charges, dining room wine accounts, or Lotus Spa services.

    Offer valid: December 11, 2019 - February 29, 2020 on select cruises sailing starting on March 26, 2020.

    Deposit of $100 USD per guest is refundable. Full Suites require a $200 USD refundable deposit per guest. Cruises under 6 days require a $50 USD refundable deposit per guest. Deposits are required for guests 1 and 2 only.

    Reference promotion code: NZ*

    SPECIAL OFFERS AVAILABLEInteriorOceanviewBalconyMini-suiteSuite

  23. 24 minutes ago, BirdTravels said:

    Just because you “can” doesn’t mean you “should”. 

    Lots of able bodies trying to manhandle bag through the terminal, up the gangway and through the ship. Jamming up the gangway. Banging other passengers. Blocking walkways and table space in the Windjammer. 

    Leave your bags with the porters. 

    Our pullman bags have wheels and are no worse than pulling the next size smaller bag. 


    Or are you saying we should leave all of our bags with the porter - even the carry on size?

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