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About RevNeal

  • Rank
    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Royse City, TX, USA
  • Interests
    Cruising. Reading. Writing. The Internet.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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243 profile views
  1. The two times I've cruised out of Civitavecchia I didn't stay there overnight. On my first trip I stayed 3 nights in Rome, spent a couple of days touring, and then the tour company we used also transferred us to the Cruise Ship terminal in Civitavecchia. In Rome we stayed in an apartment that I and several friends rented for our stay. It was affordable and had a great location near the Spanish Steps and a subway station. Lots of great restaurants around. If you're looking for a Hotel to stay at in Rome, you might try checking Rick Steve's guides. The other time I cruise out of Civitavecchia I paid for HALs Airport Transfer. I landed early on the morning of cruise departure and HAL put me and my stuff on a bus for a easy transfer to the ship. It was worth it.
  2. Thanks, Vic! All is well. Getting ready to cruise again -- this time on the Koningsdam -- and decided to see what was new on Cruise Critic. Life is busy, but not too busy to get excited about cruising. It's been too long, however, since I've been aboard ship.
  3. You even get to sail past Elephant Island, where a fellow passenger once asked: "I can't see the elephants, where are they?" to which my dear Ruth sang (almost under her breath): "that's the place the Teddy Bears have their picnic." LOL I'll never forget that. It was the best come-back I've ever heard! One of my favorite memories ... ever. Mine ("They're sliding down the other side on their trunks") was weak by comparison.
  4. For my January 2020 cruise I gave serious thought to driving to Fort Lauderdale from Dallas, Texas. I ran the numbers and discovered that it was more expensive for me to drive than to fly. Distance: 2580 miles round trip Price for gas: $225 Hotel stays (Tallahassee, FL (going), Fort Lauderdale, FL (pre-cruise), Mobile, AL(returning home): $475 Car park in Fort Lauderdale during cruise: $80 Total cost to drive: $780 This doesn't count food in-transit, transfers from hotel to cruise terminal and from cruise terminal to where I've parked my car, nor does it take into consideration the extra time involved in making the trip, nor does it consider the wear on my vehicle and on me in driving across half the USA pre and post cruise.
  5. Thanks ... but it's both yellowed and now looking a bit threadbare. I've already ordered a new one.
  6. I once went on a cruise and forgot my swim suit. I thought I'd just pick one up in Fort Lauderdale (we were arriving there a day before the cruise) but, as it turned out, I couldn't find one my size at the department store near my hotel. I had to take a Taxi (this was in the time before Uber) to a big-and-tall store to get one the morning of cruise departure. It was more expensive than I would have liked (suite plus the taxi ride plus the stress) ... but it was worth it. Since then, I have never forgotten to pack a swim suit.
  7. Stipulating that I was completely available (which won't be possible until I retire), I could do it in 60 minutes. I'd have to trust those who would come take care of the fur-children that they would be able to do so, but I could manage it. I might have to buy a few things on the way to the airport ... or pack some dirty clothing if I'm getting close to laundry day and then put those in the bag to be sent to the ship's laundry the first night I'm aboard ship ... but I could do it. Saying I COULD do it in 60 minutes doesn't mean that I would WANT to do it in 60 minutes. Why create that level of stress for oneself?
  8. About the only thing I ever overpack is an extra pair of underwear or two, filling nooks and crannies in my bag. I've never been struck by indecision when it comes to actually packing; by the time it comes to actually pack (a day or two before the cruise) I've already made, adjusted, and finalized my list and I'm usually rather strict with myself regarding that list. I try to pack enough without packing too little or too much. Be the cruise 7, 10, 14, 21, or 33 days long I usually pack just about the same: enough shirts, underwear, and pants (2 long and 2 short, 1 dress) for 5 days, with laundry going out every-other day. The only thing that causes variations in what I bring is the climate: is it a cold weather cruise or a hot weather cruise. Or, even more importantly, are both climates to be expected on a single cruise? That requires a bit more and different packing scheme than just a 7 day tropical weather cruise. If the cruise is a long one, with lots of Gala nights calling for dress-up, I'll bring extra ties or perhaps a second jacket. Back when I brought a Tuxedo, packing for the Formal nights was easy: just bring extra bow-tie / cummerbund sets (all of which weighed very little and took up little space -- could be rolled up in shoes).
  9. Ah! True. But what you've worn has long been memorable to me. ("You'll recognize me ... I'm short, round, and wearing a muumuu.") But, yes ... you're talking about people like the "hat lady" (with her "two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun hat."). Gotcha!
  10. LOL ... as in me!!!!! We've got about 145 days together on HAL ships. 😄 Heck, you're my table entertainment! Cruising without you is dullsville!
  11. LOL ... sounds like we could almost swap clothing. I suppose it all depends upon what one considers "essentials." I like dressing up ... it's part of the fun of a cruise for me. So, going on a cruise without the kind of clothing I like to wear would not be fun for me ... not if the cruise has those kinds of venues. As for cold weather wear ... well ... in Alaska and Northern Europe I would tend to agree. Antarctica was another matter (my sweat froze to my skin and beard ... and, oh my, that wind was cold).
  12. Are you physically small? Thin? Short? All three? I'm tall and fat ... meaning my clothing is more bulky and, hence, takes up more space in a suitcase. Depending upon the cruise, I can usually manage with a single 26" rolling upright (that will have to be checked). I also bring a carry-on for items I don't want handled by luggage crew. To do this, however, I have to wear my jacket and black dress shoes on the plane. I prefer cruises longer than 7 days and I pack for 5 days and use the ship's laundry. If the cruise includes cold environments (i.e. Antarctica) and I have to pack a cold-weather coat, I have to re-think. I don't take anything that I would wear only once or anything just because I can't decide what I'll wear. I usually plot things out by day and night and try to project each thing to be worn at least twice, if not three (or more) times. I did a 33-day Trans-Pacific cruise, not counting the 3-day pre-cruise stay in Hong Kong, with a rolling 29" upright and a large garment bag. I could have taken less (I guess), but there was a significant variety in climate on that cruise that required both tropical and cold-weather wear. And, we had a lot of "Gala nights" on that cruise and I wanted to take my Tuxedo.
  13. For me, the questions are: 1. Do I have want I want and need for this cruise in terms of clothing? What is it that I want to get that's new? Need time to shop for that, or order that, and always theres the question of "can I afford it?" 2. What is it that I have that I've worn in the past but is either too old, too frayed, out of style, or no longer fits and needs to be replaced? I'll need to shop for those items, too. 3. The luggage: has it been so damaged in previous trips that it's no longer fit for travel? That has happened to me this time. I noticed when I moved to my new house last year that at least one of my rolling uprights no longer rolls. Ooops. Had I waited until a couple of days before the cruise to check my luggage I would be in trouble. 4. I need time to look at the itinerary and consider what I'm going to wear where and relative to what shore excursions. I'm going to do a snorkel dive ... the shore excursion suggests I wear a specific kind of shoes to keep my feed from being cut on the rocks at the beach. Ok, I need to buy those, too. I like to think ahead. 5. To me, getting ready for a cruise is FUN. It helps pass the time and builds the anticipation and enjoyment all around. Part of "getting ready" is preparing to pack. The above being said ... when it comes to actually packing, it takes me about an hour. I like to make sure things are neat, tight, and ready to go. TSA sometimes screws up my planning and preparation, but I've not (yet) had a real disaster.
  14. I know I'm weird, but enjoy the packing process. It's part of my anticipating the cruise. I usually begin by updating my packing list not long after I book a cruise. I give thought to any items that need to be changed, or new selections made. Depending upon the kind of course (warm or cold weather) I'll vary what I bright for daytime and shore excursion wear. For example, on my January 2020 cruise I'll be in the Caribbean. I no longer have any shorts that I would wear on a cruise, so I'm looking on Amazon.com for a couple pair of shorts I can take with me. Ditto for casual shirts. I've got plenty of good-condition slacks and polos and button-down shirts for evening wear. I'll need to get a new white dress shirt (I never wear them and the one I wore on my last cruise is too yellowed) and I MAY buy a new suit or a slacks/jacket separate for this cruse (I've not bought a new suit in several years). I'm looking at sandals (I don't have any), and perhaps a light weight hat to shield my balding head on shore excurisons. My list is categorized into sections: (1) Dress-up wear, (2) smart-casual evening wear, (3) daytime wear, (4) shore excursion wear, (5) swim/active wear, (6) worn in-transit and pre/post cruise. I usually plan on wearing in-transit a suit jacket in order to get it to the cruise without having to pack it. Ditto for a pair of jeans (always heavier than slacks). Since I'll be traveling in January, wearing jacket and jeans solves to problem about what to do about cold weather in Dallas (for the very short time I'll be outside). Without fail, I take: 5 pair of underwear (not counting the pair I'm wearing in-transit) 5 pair of socks (not counting the pair I'm wearing in-transit) 2 polo shirts (not counting the one I'm wearing in-transit) 2 smart-casual evening shirts 1 dress shirt, 2 or 3 ties (depending on how many Gala nights ... they don't weigh much) 1 white t-shirt (for wearing under dress shirt) 1 pair of dress slacks 1 pair of casual dockers 1 dress jacket (worn in-transit) 1 pair of jeans (worn in-transit) 1 pair of casual shoes and 1 pair sneakers ( I usually wear my dress shoes in-transit along with my belt.) Sandals for Half-Moon Cay swim suit 1 active-wear / lounge-about-the-cabin type shorts 2 casual outer-wear t-shirts 1 or 2 pair nice walking shorts (depending upon weather of cruise) Toiletries Charger and usb cables for iPhone and iPad if it's a cold-weather cruise I would ditch the walking shorts and add another pair of jeans or dockers For Alaska or the polar regions I'd also add a cold-weather coat and ditch anything to do with swimming or beaches
  15. Perhaps they're working on it ... I got this notice when I tried to sign in on HAL's site. I managed to get in, but it's slow.
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