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About GradUT

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  1. A lot of the roads in NZ are two-lanes (with one-lane over bridges), but they are well-maintained. We have driven in NZ (including around Napier and Dunedin) many times with no problem. If your husband is a confident driver who can drive on the left, then he should also have no problem driving in NZ. And FWIW, we lived in Australia and drove all over the country. It is even easier than NZ.
  2. Your son sounds like mine. He’s tall (6’3”) and proud of his military service, but HATES to draw attention to himself. When he last cruised, he wore slacks, a button-down shirt and tie for Elegant Night and he fit right in.
  3. We were on that cruise and it was easy to get our 25% credit. We’re using it on a cruise to the Mexican Riverera next week!
  4. On our Baltic Cruise, the ship stopped in Kiel but did not traverse the Canal. We got off the ship and traveled by train to Luebeck and that town was one of the highlights of our whole trip. It’s a gorgeous town architecturally and has an amazing history (Old Hanseatic Town). I would seriously consider a tour to Luebeck as opposed to watching the ship go through a canal.
  5. I would seriously consider splitting up for your excursions in these ports with one parent accompanying your daughter and the other accompanying your father. Having been on this itinerary, there’s really nothing I could recommend which would appeal to both a history-loving adult and a museum-adverse pre-teen. Then you can rejoin at dinner and have lots to talk about!
  6. Your money, your choice. But we had an excellent day on HMC without paying for FTTF or a cabana. We chose to go later in the morning so that there was no line to board the tender. We then headed down the beach (to the right as you face the water) and found loungers that we could pull under the trees. There were hardly any people at this end of the beach, so it was nice and quiet. Then we waited to take the last tender of the day. We had about a 20 minute wait, but there were few people going back, so it was not chaotic at all.
  7. I can't help with what to do with your luggage, but if I had just one day in Perth, I would spend it on a trip to Rottnest Island. You can get tickets for a trip that includes the ferry from Perth to Rottnest Island and a bicycle so that you ride around the island. If you are not a cyclist, there are guided bus tours of the island once you get there. If Rottnest Island does not interest you, check out the myriad of things to see and do in Perth here: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g255103-Activities-Perth_Greater_Perth_Western_Australia.html
  8. No, No, No, NO! Do not lie to your grandchild (however old she is) about anything and especially about CIA agents on board cruise ships. There are enough misconceptions about CIA agents out there and we don't need to add to them! (FWIW, I used to work in a field where I came in contact with CIA agents on a regular basis. The last thing they need is people believing they are infiltrating cruise ships!)
  9. We stayed at the Wake Up Borgegade before our Baltic Cruise and it worked out great. The location is great in that it's just a few minutes' walk from Nyhavn, the Stroget, Tivoli, etc. The rooms are small (similar to a larger cabin on a cruise ship) but everything is so well designed that there's space for a queen bed, desk and chair, TV, and en suite bathroom. The breakfast buffet (an extra charge) is extensive so you definitely won't go hungry. And, there's A/C and free WiFi. The refundable rate for their Heaven Room (their best-located rooms for 2 people, which is what we had) for dates in mid-May is currently around $230 per night including VAT.
  10. I agree with this 100%. Thousands of people sail closed-loop itineraries every week with a BC and photo ID with absolutely NO problem. (And FWIW, my spouse was in charge of the Passport Section of an American Consulate for 2 years in a city visited by multiple cruise lines. Not once did he have to process an emergency passport for someone on a cruise ship who had to return to the US. It just doesn’t happen very often at all.)
  11. If you like a specialty tea (i.e. anything other than black tea) you’ll be charged extra for it. We bring our own teabags from home.
  12. There are lots of dining choices along Seawall Blvd. in Galveston, but the most interesting area of Galveston to me is The Strand (located right next to the port). There’s dining, shopping, entertainment, history, etc. all within about 6 square blocks of walking.
  13. If you enjoy hiking, there are some good ones on Catalina. We took the cheap bus from the port to the Wrigley Gardens where the Garden to the Sky Hike begins. We then spent the rest of the day perusing shops, playing minigolf and eating ice cream. See:https://www.catalinaexpress.com/california-hiking.html If you like history and/or architecture, do the tour at the Casino. My daughter enjoyed it.
  14. South Africa is one of the countries that requires two adjacent blank pages for entry. (Been there, done that.)
  15. There are a number of Freedom Trail self-guided tour apps out there, but I think the one offered by the Freedom Trail Foundation (website: www.freedomtrail.org) would be a good one. Several years ago, I purchased and downloaded their self-guided tour of the Freedom Trail onto an Ipod (before I had a smartphone) and it was an excellent tour! I especially appreciated the details it gave about graves in the various cemeteries that you see on the Trail. For more info about the Freedom Trail Foundation tours, you can read their reviews on Trip Advisor under "Freedom Trail Tours".
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