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Everything posted by shipgeeks

  1. Anyone else besides Mr. Shipgeeks watching the recovery process for hours at a time?
  2. And I notice that at home, I spend a lot of time sitting (aka slouching) and reading CC, or doing awkward stuff like vacuuming, neither of which is great for my back. On cruises, I do none of that.
  3. I, too, think there could be multiple factors involved. We have always had our best sleep on a ship, even though our mattress at home is quite good. I believe one reason is the constant hum and vibration of the ship, even while docked. Building on this idea, we recently started using Green Noise each night at home, and it has helped considerably. There is a post in the Disabled Cruise Travel section of CC, titled Unexpected Benefit of Cruising. It's worth a read, even though it's not specifically about back pain.
  4. Yes, we always do. We ask our cabin steward the first day. If all else fails, there are some at Guest Services.
  5. No sailings between now and May 25, due to her scheduled drydock. That is why no cruises are showing during that period. From May 25, all cruises should be showing (unless sold out). But whether the earliest ones are from Norfolk or Baltimore remains to be seen.
  6. Now you're talking my dream cruise! A week across, a couple of weeks around the Med, then a week sailing back to the US, with no flights required.
  7. I have to say, if the new slide-button dryers were chosen because people complained about holding the button down, I'm a bit disappointed that there is now an additional, though minor, fire hazard on the ships. Perhaps you all know that dryers should only be plugged in at the desk outlet, not the bathroom outlet, which is for shavers only, and that Dyson Air Wrap dryers are notorious for destroying themselves on ships.
  8. Small and plain, such as RC Vision Class. Outer promenade deck, but no inside "promenade". Preferably no "thrill rides" cluttering up the upper decks. I guess, in a nutshell, that means old and classic, with views of the sea and sky from many vantage points. And as long a cruise as possible, with as few ports as possible.
  9. Some further thoughts about balance training. One of my prescribed PT exercises is using a wobble board. Standing on it, I rock side to side, and forward and back, then stop and hold the balance. During this still period, my feet and ankles, and actually all my muscles, produce tiny movements to keep my balance. I do think it helps. I wonder if being on a ship, with its constant vibration, and sometimes larger movement, provides a similar challenge, which, if we can cope with it, leads to greater control in the long run.
  10. On Vision this year I had a new one. No need to hold the button, and very powerful. I imagine they are replacing them only as needed, though.
  11. Oh no! Yet another thing for pre-cruisers to worry about! From a popular cruise forum: "Which ships or cabins have toilet seats? I have never had one. It's disgusting having to sit on the rim."
  12. I remember needing a franc or euro, years ago on Guadeloupe, to be able to use the restroom kiosk (similar to the little "one-person buildings" in Paris).
  13. I would suggest looking at Royal Caribbean departures out of Baltimore, which should be resuming within a very few months. The ship will be Vision of the Seas, which might be a good choice for your mom, as it's not so large as to be overwhelming. Cruises are generally 5, 9, or 12 nights, and if you avoid the coming summer cruises, which have more kids aboard, it can be very comfortable. I'm confident you could get an affordable interior or oceanview cabin.
  14. Tapi, I do agree that it's now much easier for us cruising veterans, because we know what's out there and we know what we want and how to get it, and we know we can survive missed ports and other blips. And we know that we can go on a cruise without taking and hiding 100 ducks, and without packing a full 70s outfit, and still have a wonderful cruise.
  15. We find the regular coffee quite acceptable, with the best brew in the dining room at breakfast, (comparable to Tim's, or better), and least appealing in dining room after a late dinner. Coffee in WJ varies, due, I believe, to some passengers drawing theirs off before the urn has completed the process. Pop can be purchased by the can if you don't have a package, and certainly okay to get two glasses for one can.
  16. "Terrified", "panic-stricken", and "overwhelmed" are words I've taken directly from a number of first-timer posts on other cruise forums. I didn't make them up! Some also say "excited", but they don't seem to be the majority.
  17. We started cruising in 1991. What it took then was a trip or two to a travel agent to pick up as many cruise brochures as possible, spend a few weeks going over every aspect, then choosing a cruise ship and date, and finding a cabin on the deck plan that had the right kind of bed. (Bed setup was not convertible then.) Then another trip to the travel agent, to sit while she phoned the cruise line, locked in a cabin, and took my deposit. Some time later, after final payment, an envelope would arrive, containing plane tickets, shuttle tickets, cruise tickets, a booklet with info about the cruise, including dress codes, dinner times, rules, fine print. Another booklet had lists of excursions available, which we'd be able to book once on the ship. My biggest worry during the following weeks was how we would find our way to the shuttle, in the chaos of the airport. We packed our passports, cash, and clothing, including the tuxedo, dresses, and suits that would be expected. Without online forums, we never thought about getting seasick, so we didn't pack or take anything....and we never got seasick, nor have we in the 30 years since. The cruise was fabulous, and the start of many years of cruising. Not many decisions to make. Show up for the assigned dinner time and table, or don't have dinner. Go to the show, or not. Choose the excursion that looked most appealing, and show up for it. Now.....there are so many decisions and choices, and so many people giving advice. Which cruise line, ship, deck, cabin, season, month to book. How to track price changes. How to track beverage package prices. Reviews abound, and must be read before making any decisions. Dining room options have to be decided and booked. There are dozens of products that are "cruise essentials" if one is going to have a good time, and be one of the cool kids. I think I, too, would be overwhelmed if I were planning my first cruise now, but I'm glad I know it doesn't have to be that way.
  18. If considering MSC, I would recommend acquainting oneself with the four "experiences". Each one has a different base price, and perhaps equally important, different benefits. Bella and Fantastica, the lower end, have assigned dinner times; Aurea has "anytime" dining. That was an absolute deciding factor for us, as we will only do fixed dining. We booked Bella, and had two very fine cruises. Aurea is more spa-related, and so on. If you have a loyalty level with another cruise line, it can be worthwhile doing a Status Match, which can give you some nice onboard benefits. And finally, you might find some elements that some find shocking, others rightly put down to cultural differences. If you order toast, it might not automatically include butter, as that is not a European thing. You might need to ask for washcloths in your cabin, if they are not there. Again, a cultural thing. We found the passenger mix, and these amenity differences, a very positive element of our cruises; more like truly being "away" instead of next door for our vacation.
  19. The ship we are booked on next will be in drydock soon, for about one month. If I study the cruise dates, there is a gap, but not really noticeable, i.e., no Drydock listed in the calendar. So bookings are available before and after, but close inspection would show no cruises for those weeks.
  20. Ships purify and desalinate their water onboard. We think it is delicious; we take our morning meds with cabin tap water every day.
  21. This seems to be a job title that's now gone. In some cases, she was the person who determined who should be invited to dinner at the Captain's table, or at least gathered the invited guests to the lounge where all would meet. Sometimes there would be several, who spoke different languages, to assist passengers of various nationalities. Perhaps cruising is too casual now, to have a need for such a person.
  22. I've noticed locals in some ports trying to sell conch shells. I'm fairly certain they would be confiscated upon entering the ship, as would sand, sea glass, and shells picked up on the beach. Then there are food and drink products, which I imagine would be okay if sealed (brown sugar in Barbados, coffee beans).
  23. I'm just happy that Baltimore never has 3- and 4-night cruises! Apart from that, I'm very pleased with the variety of itineraries, most of which are 9 and 12-ish nights.
  24. Yes, and begins Baltimore cruises on May 25, so two Norfolk cruises before drydock.
  25. Domenica is being added to St. Lucia and Barbados on Vision next year.
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