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BAYA

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  • Content Count

    567
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About BAYA

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Ponte Vedra, FL; Rye, NH
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, RCCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Transatlantic, Canada/New England, Norwegian Fjords

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  1. Friends and I are booked on the Viking Paris to the Swiss Alps (reverse direction) starting Dec. 2, 2020. in Zurich. We embark in Basel on 12/4. On the Viking site there is no mention of the specific Christmas markets we'll be able to visit. Our ports are Strasbourg, Speyer, Mainz, Koblenz, Cochem, Bernkastle, disembarking at Trier. Of those places, are there any Christmas markets or other sites that are recommendations as "must see"? Many thanks for all of your helpful info, @notamermaid!
  2. My Paris to the Swiss Alps cruise on Viking Idi begins in Zurich on 12/2/2020. The day we arrive we're on our own. Viking provides a highlights tour on Dec. 3rd. I am hoping some of you who've been in Zurich can recommend a private guide. I used a private guide for two half-days in Lisbon last August prior to a cruise and it was a great way to maximize our sightseeing time. Thanks.
  3. I want to second the other poster's kudos for the RCCL main dining room staff. A couple of weeks ago we were on Mariner of the Seas with three out of 4 at our table having dietary restrictions ranging from celiac disease to a "low residue diet" for diverticulitis, to a child with Aspergers and extremely narrow food tastes. The Head Waiter and our waiter and assistant waiter were extremely accommodating and super helpful. I have cruised a lot and they were the most compassionate staff ever!
  4. We reserved with MyWayTours for both days.
  5. Since it appears the Hop on Hop Off bus won't be operating on Sept. 2nd (a Monday) I'm looking for minivan tours out of St. John's, Newfoundland, and found McCarthy's. https://www.mccarthysparty.com/day-tours/ Has anyone used them and want to share your experience with them?
  6. If you're visiting Portland and need to have a gluten-free bakery fix, I highly recommend Bam Bam Bakery. My sister has celiac disease and it has made us really appreciate the top-notch GF places in ports. Hope this is helpful to someone!
  7. I'm sorry I can't answer your specific question about the shuttle buses, but I have some experience to share in general about the old port area and handicap friendliness. IMO it is not handicap friendly. There are cobblestone streets and some shops have a large couple of stone steps to climb to enter them. My Mom came with me on a cruise to Portland twice. The first time she was using a walker and couldn't get into some stores. The second time she didn't bother to get off the ship, I'm sorry to say. By then she was in a wheelchair and it just wasn't feasible. Don't get me wrong. I love Portland and have been there many times on car trips. It's a great city, just not great for wheelchairs or walkers (rollators).
  8. I also collect Christmas ornaments on cruises and one that's really sweet is a wooden boat from St. John's Newfoundland. I bought it on the main shopping street and it wasn't very expensive. The other thing I routinely collect are lanyards in the ports, since I always punch a hole in my Sea Pass card and hang it on a lanyard. The lanyards from Stockholm, Peggy's Cove, The London Olympics, The Blarney Woolen Mills (it just says Ireland on it and has a bunch of funny sheep), have all been fun conversation starters. When I was still working I used them for my office job. I still wear the baseball cap I bought in Bar Harbor 6 years ago. It isn't a run of the mill cap -- it has a humorous spelling for Bar Harbor along with some embroidered sheep. T-shirts are a no-brainer souvenir but I only buy them if they are unusual and good quality material. Happy hunting
  9. I have booked with Paul for Sept. 5th. He was very responsive to my questions and even called me so my initial impression is very positive.
  10. I've had the Bite Into Maine food truck lobster roll and I agree with others that it's not worth taking a taxi or Uber to get there. That being said, the views from where they park are gorgeous and I was driving my own car so I'm glad I tried it once. They run out of lobster and my group of three were the last ones to get lobster rolls that day!
  11. Ashland, thanks for this suggestion! I'll be in Halifax on Sept. 5th and will try to find at least 2 people to share the private tour with us. I just sent Paul an email. https://halifaxtitanictours.ca/
  12. The second time I cruised to Halifax I booked a private tour for our family that took us to Lunenburg. If you've already been to Halifax and Peggy's Cove I highly recommend a visit to Lunenburg for something different. Our driver dropped us at a small restaurant with a nice view of the harbor and the pies were outstanding! Sorry I can't remember the name of the restaurant but if I can find it I'll post it.
  13. Raisinette, thanks for the info. The pictures are also quite helpful for us!
  14. My TA on Veendam from Lisbon to Boston is also visiting these ports. I have been to St. John's Newfoundland before and I enjoyed the ship's excursion that took us to the farthest eastern point and the telegraph building there. Sorry, I can't recall the name but in any case it was worth my time and money. After the tour we enjoyed walking in downtown Saint John's and did some shopping. Super friendly locals there -- you will love it! As for Sydney and St. Pierre, I'm in the same boat as you (pun intended 😉 ) doing my research!
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