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About alex_drew

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Northern Virginia

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  1. alex_drew

    Walk off Ship Tours in Le Havre?

    Thank you so much! This will be very helpful.
  2. alex_drew

    Walk off Ship Tours in Le Havre?

    Carlmm, we will be in Le Havre the day before disembarking in Southampton and rather than a long day (10 hour ship excursions), we are interested in exploring Le Havre for a few hours and then having time to pack. I had thought we would just get a local tour guide at the port, but now that I am reading about it on this board, I see that this is not done in France. So now I am very interested in the HOHO bus as a way of seeing the city. We will be on Celebrity so I imagine if Princess has shuttles into Le Havre, Celebrity must also offer those as well. Where would we find the HOHO bus and would you have an idea of how much that would cost? Thank you so much for any information.
  3. alex_drew

    Southampton to London - Time to Schedule Bus?

    Thank you so much, Newport Dave, John Bull and Markanddonna! I now have lots of information to work with and I very much appreciate your time to share your knowledge with me. Thank you again. :)
  4. alex_drew

    Southampton to London - Time to Schedule Bus?

    My husband and I will be doing our first TA next April (2019) arriving Southampton and then spending a few days in London. We are, ahem, a bit older and not at all familiar with either Southampton or London, so I thought we would just take a taxi into London, but maybe a car service would be better? Does anyone have any recommendations? And how much should I expect to pay for a taxi or car service? I really am not comfortable with a bus/train option (although I take public transportation all of the time at home, but then I've done it for years and know exactly where I'm going). Thank you in advance for any and all guidance.
  5. alex_drew

    YES it is a SCAM

    Well, I've always turned to Cruise Critic for valuable cruise info, but who knew that I would learn so much re scams. The first time I had one of the "can you hear me OK"? calls it went like this: "Alex?" I said "yes" and then "Can you hear me OK?" I said "yes". So now they have me confirming my name and giving a "yes" answer on their recording. I hung up soon afterwards when it was a clear scam, but now I realize the possible implications of that call and that someone has me confirming my name and then saying yes on a recording. The second time I had a call from them, I recognized "the voice" and immediately started screaming into the phone "why are you calling me?! Don't call here again!" and hung up, but honestly, I did not realize that answering "yes" after the "can you hear me OK" would be something they could use. *sigh* Well, I will try not to lose sleep over this tonight and I thank you for this very valuable info.
  6. alex_drew

    Why do you choose to cruise?

    I’ve been cruising for 25 years. Has there been a decrease in quality of food over the years? Yes. Has there been an overall decrease in service? Yes. Things have changed somewhat from 25 years ago, and not everything is “perfect” but cruising will always be my vacation of choice. Do I enjoy going on vacation and staying at a nice hotel while exploring a new city? Yes, but then I have to go out for most meals and entertainment. It will be more expensive than cruising. Do I enjoy renting an ocean-front house for a week at the beach? Yes, but then I have to haul all of our linens, food and anything else that the rental may not have AND I have to cook! Cruising is the most relaxing vacation ever! Maybe I’ve been lucky, but I can’t recall on any line that I’ve cruised (RCCL, Celebrity, HAL, Princess, Carnival) ever having a bad meal or ever having anything but pleasant staff. Yes, some waitstaff or room stewards are better than others, but honestly, I have never had an unpleasant experience with any staff on a ship; they tend to go out of their way to please. Love cruising! :)
  7. alex_drew

    Small Power Strips

    Thank you, that is perfect! I am so totally un-tech-savy when it comes to this kind of thing, and I didn't want to request a ship extension cord since my husband's condition is not serious (as those that have sleep apnea), just something that needs to be dealt with on a regular basis to keep it under control. I will order the USB extension cable. Thank you again for your kind assistance.
  8. alex_drew

    Small Power Strips

    Chief, I would greatly appreciate advice from you for our upcoming (in 2 weeks) cruise. My husband uses (Dr. ordered) a heat mask for an eye condition. At home he plugs it into his computer usb port. For the upcoming cruise I was going to use the port on our Kindle charger, but the cord on the mask won't be long enough to reach the bed or sofa where he would be using the mask. I had intended to bring just a regular extension cord to plug into the ship outlet with the Kindle charger on the other end, but is there something else that you would recommend for this? I hope this makes sense. Thank you in advance.
  9. alex_drew

    what to do first day

    Made me laugh. Yeah, I'm with you on that. :D
  10. alex_drew

    Solo cruising

    The only thing about that worries me about the DND sign and, hopefully, someone can tell me what the rules are now, but a few years ago (on deck 2) our steward just sat at the end of the hallway all day waiting for those people to come out of their cabins so he could make up their rooms. He had hoped to go ashore that day and, when I asked him about it, he said that he had to wait... I felt so badly for him and I think/hope this had changed now.
  11. alex_drew

    what to do first day

    We go to the quietest bar we can find, get drinks and settle in at a table, breathe deeply and enjoy being on vacation. Then, I leave my husband there with his book/kindle and go to the spa to book any treatments that I may want during the week, as spa appointments fill up quickly. Then I go back to the bar, order another glass of wine and wait for the rooms to open at 1 pm. Then we drop our luggage in the room and THEN go to the Windjammer for lunch as most passengers have now vacated and there are plenty of tables and no lines for food. Works for us. :):)
  12. alex_drew

    I am a chair hog

    But you also cannot find chairs underneath the shaded area adjacent to the outdoor pool or inside the Solarium, because all of those loungers have been "hogged" as well! Those of us that need to stay out of the sun for melanoma or other issues are also trying to find chairs in the shaded areas near the pool or in the Solarium and are having the exact same issues with the hogs.
  13. Thank you! I just clicked your link and instantly ordered. I had also read the CC article and thought they were a great idea, but the magnets that I already have are, as someone else mentioned, not very good, even though they say they can hold 10 lbs. I put less than a pound on the hook and it starts sliding. These look great! You should get a commission...
  14. alex_drew

    Sorry for another question

    OK. I am not good at math, but help me out here. Let’s just assume a drink is $9. Now, let’s assume my drink pkg was on sale for $45 per day. Let’s assume that I’m having only 5 drinks per day (Hahahaha). 18% would be a tip of $1.62 perdrink. Now, if I drink 10 drinks, it takes the price down to $4.50 per drink and my tip is down to 81 cents for the same drink... So, that is why I always tip $1 extra for my drinks with the drink pkg. It isn’t 18% for each drink...it is 18% on whatever you paid for the package.
  15. alex_drew

    Just off the Grandeur Feb 22-March 3

    I'm not sure why that is odd; maybe they switch off when someone is on vacation? Delta, you were on both the March 27, 2017 and October 28, 2017 cruises as well. Wasn't it Captain Ante on both of those? Or am I just having a "senior" moment?