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Floridiana

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About Floridiana

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    traveling, reading, watching nature

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  1. Better check again. To tell you the truth, I don't remember which company HAL used. They did not permit liquids. I thought it was Luggage Forward.
  2. Why would you choose open dining if you want to make reservations? Wouldn't it make more sense to choose traditional dining right from the beginning? But maybe it wasn't available when you booked, had filled up already.
  3. I think it makes sense then. A group of volunteers from the ship's crew, mainly entertainers and cruise diretor staff, took supplies to a school in South America including soccer balls, bicycles and paint cans. They were going to paint the school. This was obvioulsy a prearranged visit with previous contact to find out the needs.
  4. I read your 3 summaries of your 2015 world cruise. Good read! We were on the Sea Princess in 2012: Sydney around NZ and back. A week later on the Dawn Princess: circumnavigation of Australia. Compared to the Dawn Princess, the Sea Princess was in good shape at that time. We did not return to Princess. The intervals between their drydocks are too long. I'll try to follow you on your 2020 world cruise on a Viking ship. We'll be on another line for a 5 week b2b along the coast of Brazil and into the Amazon at the same time. I always enjoy your posts!
  5. For some items, we bought replacements in Australia (Listerine) and Singapore. If your cruise goes via NZ, I am sure you can find mouthwash and similar products of the same brands respectively quality as well. I stock up on mouthwash, suntan lotion and mosquito spray down under. Luggage forward did not accepts liquids, therefore I packed them in our check-in suitcase which worked well for the 82 days of our cruise. Double zip lock bags! 180 days would be a different story.
  6. The cruise was on the lower Mekong from Saigon to the Tonle Sap upriver from Phnom Pen, then a bus ride to Siam Reap. I asked about the Tonle Sap Lake. It is most often too shallow for the hotel boats. The bus ride was not bad. There was one interesting pit stop and our (female) guide in the bus gave lots of insight into the country. We had also booked a river cruise on the upper Mekong in Laos, but it was extremely low water that year and the ship crashed on rocks before we got there. I think you can still book river cruises up there but I am not up to date on the information.
  7. I thought that the age range on Oceania, Azamara and Hal was comparable. My limited observation: Passengers are on average younger on German cruise lines and whenever there are many Australians. They all have much more vacation time than Americans.
  8. I don't think they keep you on the ship once you become too frail to get out of bed, become incontinent or suffer from dementia. Ships are not nursing homes but as long as you need only minor assistance, the crew will probably help you get food in the cafeteria. I have seen that on HAL.
  9. Island Thyme, Great blog! And great photos! We were indeed on the same cruise without ever taking the same tour. On Mystery Island's main island we took a very similar tour. I did not even know there was a second one by a different villager. Excellent translation for the mystery sign. I thought it meant that you were not allowed to let your cow into the garden, but your interpretation sounds much more likely. Island Thyme made the pretty wool ball for my handicraft bag. Thank you very much. I do not remember if I ever said thank you. If not, I apologize.
  10. The MS Amera has Venice on her itineraries. She also has a 125 day world cruise scheduled. Did the Prinsendam do world cruises?
  11. I think you should start with the itinerary and then compare prices.
  12. You answered my question here, excellent. In what way is the stretch upriver from Moscow different from the stretch downriver? How comfortable are the cabins on a ship geared to a Russian clientele? I am thinking of some of the Chinese ships on the Yangtze that are sold to Chinese only. We were on one with about 40 westerners from 3 different travel agencies (Swiss, British, American), all others were mainland Chinese. Cabins had decent western standard, everything else was geared to the many Chinese passengers. One of our American co-patriots had been on a Russian river ship and loved it, but he spoke Russian. The ship, however, he said was not very comfortable.
  13. Where did you book those? I love being on a river and watch the landscape float by. I don't mind when the ship stops just for a few hours at a small town. It looks like many contributors here see it as a waste of time and would prefer a more extensive visit to Moscow and St. Petersburg.
  14. That's exactly what I meant. That's what we had on our Mekong River cruise. Hotels at both ends. Our next 3 trips are ocean cruises, but I would look at a Russian river cruise if it were organized like that.
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