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About jpalbny

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Albany, NY
  • Interests
    Adventure travel, wine, food
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Silversea, Oceania, Uniworld
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Wherever I am going next!
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://jpalbny.smugmug.com, https://www.blogger.com/profile/01909358205846920309

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  1. Thanks, Lois. That silver-based (Silvadene) cream has been around forever. It is the best for raw skin like burns, as you said. I have a tube of it around somewhere for just such emergencies. I have been lazy about posting. We were in New York last weekend; decided last-minute and booked a hotel on Wednesday, for Friday and Saturday nights. We drove down Friday after work, made good time, and checked in. I'd bought the cheapest room at the Conrad, downtown in the Financial District. They upgraded us to a room with a nice river view. We walked about 10 minutes to Eataly and were early for our dinner reservation, which we enjoyed very much! Saturday AM, breakfast was included (thanks AMEX, for the upgrade to Hilton Gold status, so that perk is thrown in). No crummy "continental" breakfast here. It was a real meal, and quite tasty. Later in the morning, we walked the whole southern tip of Manhattan, then went to the half-price tickets booth (they have a branch downtown at the South Street Seaport which is way less crowded than Times Square). Decided to see something off-Broadway at 5PM - a show about the history of drinking, with drinks included! From there we took the subway up to 8th street, for lunch at a Ukrainian restaurant that Chris used to go to as a kid. Great stuff, but "stuff" being the theme if you want to eat there. My "mixed Ukrainian grill" plate was huge, and I was so full that we walked from 8th all the way to 36th, to see the Morgan Library. From there we wandered to Bryant Park and sat in the last few rays of sunshine, before going to our play. It was cute, and the drinks were actually pretty good. Then we went back to our hotel to have dinner next door, at the French marketplace (Le District). The service was kind of slow and the pace of ordering and serving was odd, but the food was delicious. Still, it was hard to eat everything because we were full from lunch. Sunday morning we went shopping at Eataly, bright and early, then had breakfast at our hotel again. We grabbed a few items from the French market, which opens later than Eataly, before driving home. A very enjoyable weekend, and The Conrad is definitely on our list for a return visit.
  2. Uh-oh. My brother was in Sao Paulo for Carnival! I'll keep away from him for a few weeks.
  3. We started in our 40s on Uniworld. Always had a great time.
  4. That sounds like a lot of fun! And I agree, stopping at the smaller spots off the beaten path can be just as much fun (often, more so) than the major tourist destinations.
  5. Oh my. How did I miss that glaring typo! 😳 My second-worst nightmare! Hope you have better luck there!
  6. So sorry! My worst nightmare would be going there by cruise ship and being unable to go asfor it. I know that you've been before, but I hope that your other stops make up for it.
  7. M, I've not seen SS offer that option, BUT on SS, we have only disembarked there (rather than made a mid-voyage stop there). During stops on other lines, we have walked into town from there. It's a hike, and we were at least 10 years younger back then...
  8. NCL (and Oceania, Regent) have canceled all Asia cruises through Q3 this year. This link was hard to copy on my phone so hopefully it works. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/cruises/2020/02/20/norwegian-cruises-canceled-summer-across-asia-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/4823118002/?for-guid=75b40ad0-ca6c-4d9a-9674-808dfa4cb471&utm_source=usatoday-Travel&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=baseline&utm_term=list_article_thumb They are also denying boarding to anyone who has been to China, Macau, and HK in the past 30 days. We have a China trip planned for June. Not very confident that it will happen, but you never know. If we do go, it might be empty of other tourists!
  9. Interesting! They really are giving the Far East a wide berth.
  10. If you mean Kobe to Otaru June 7, we have non-CC friends from Pennsylvania on that trip, and a friend from Brisbane as well. Look out for Joan and Stuart (PA) and Lisa (Brisbane); we all met on Explorer in 2013 so they will be hanging out together much of the time. When you meet them, tell them hello from JP and Chris! They will be quite surprised! We looked at this cruise but didn't end up booking. Hope you get to go as scheduled.
  11. The Rhine was our first trip, in 2014. My info about specific tours on this itinerary is a bit dated, I am sure, but the beauty of the river and the castles section is not. I can't comment on Crystal but there are some reviews on these boards; I think Keith1010 cruised with them, but not the Rhine, perhaps? My Uniworld review is here: And there is a review of a Crystal sailing on the Rhine here:
  12. Me too. We have done four - one every year from 2014 to 2017. Liked all of them very much. Did the Rhine, Rhone, Danube, and then went to India with them. Seriously considered the Douro with them as well but decided to tackle that trip on our own. Is there a particular itinerary you have in mind?
  13. Sounds right. As our host says, Switzerland is really expensive. The official website says it's 50 CHF to Basel. The port is on the far end of town, so the price you were quoted seems in line with that. https://www.basel-airport.com/taxi.php
  14. Why wait and see? Where's the fun in that, when we can speculate wildly? 😉 Though I suspect Wes will get a good answer from his contact. We have two booked for 2021 and we will almost certainly pay in advance. I agree with you, jolly, that I won't get 10% on my money, so we may as well take advantage.
  15. Kyiv. The friendship of nations monument on Volodymryska Hill.
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