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About jklc123

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    Cool Cruiser

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    travel, reading
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  1. I agree -- I was surprised, too, but judging by only this one challenge, I liked his designs best. i would be interested in a special episode about what previous winners end up doing, after mentoring and funds to start their own lines. Or even how some of the talented runners-up do.
  2. A few years ago I was able to stop their incessant mailing with one email. Apparently this is no longer true. I wasn't successful in getting Oceania to stop their frequent mailings, after one cruise with Regent. These mailings are such an ecological waste. I appreciate Uniworld's one catalog mailing a year.
  3. I spent a semester studying in Madrid, immersion except my American roommate and I spoke English in our room. I was once asked for directions on the street, which I was able to give in Spanish. The person I spoke to asked if I was French as of course my accent wasn't quite right.
  4. LOL. I also have a little trouble with the "r" and all the darn silent letters. I've been working on teaching myself French online (Duolingo) for a while. Also picked up some German and a little Welsh, preceding trips to where those languages are spoken, but have returned to the French. Learning languages is supposed to be good for the brain!
  5. Thanks so much for the well written review and great photos! I enjoyed reliving our trip, and deciding what I would have ordered from the dinner menus -- chicken soup only once. 😄 I look forward to your final thoughts. PS Pronouncing Rouen eludes me. Sounds like someone clearing their throat!
  6. Wow! We so enjoyed our time in Viviers, even returning in early morning on our own before proceeding onward the next day, but your visit to Frances' home -- what a wonderful memory. I agree, Viviers seems a medieval village, almost untouched by time.
  7. Very true -- but enemy to the diet!
  8. After visiting the chocolate factory, we still buy Valrhona chocolate if we see it for sale. Last time was at Harrod's in London last spring.
  9. 7 cruises with Uniworld and it wasn't offered so often.
  10. We sailed this itinerary with Uniworld May 18 - 30, 2012, so it's been a while. I don't think there is a preferred side of the ship. We were on the starboard side with a balcony, which happened to be docked on the "port" side at most stops. In Moscow, we were docked next to a park, and it was interesting to watch Russian families enjoying the area. As we were preparing to sail from Moscow, a small brass band serenaded our departure; most pax missed this, especially those on the port side of the ship. As far as which side while sailing, I don't think it makes a difference. Both sides are picturesque most of the time, often with long stretches of forest on both sides. You probably know there's a lot of daytime sailing due to the long distance that is covered, unlike on most river cruises. Several onboard activities were offered during sailing -- Russian history talks, blini making, vodka and caviar tasting, Russian language lessons come to mind. I left a paperback book in the ship's library, which is probably long gone; it described the sights along the way, so using that, I would go to the sun deck if the sights were not on our side of the ship. We did enjoy bundling up and sitting on a forward deck after dinner -- there is a long time of daylight at that time of year. We had no issues with water levels. Kizhi Island, however, was iced in until about a week before we sailed. We weren't aware of noises and vibrations, as I remember. Slept very well. This was one of our favorite trips. As someone who grew up during the Cold War, walking in Red Square was something I didn't think I would ever do! Please ask if you have other questions, although as I said, it has been sometime since we enjoyed this trip.
  11. On a Caribbean cruise one night we were watching Mama Mia! outdoors on a big screen when a light rain started, just when the fountain in the film burst out. Great coincidence!
  12. It was the Uniworld Grand France itinerary in 2015.
  13. You were taken to more sites than we were. We didn't go to Utah Beach, Pointe du Hoc nor Ste. Mere Eglise. Wish we had. We saw a cinema in the round about the landing and investigated bunkers near Arromanches, where we had free time for lunch, then time on Omaha Beach. Our 5 Canadians were taken to Juno Beach by taxi. Then of course quite a bit of time at the American cemetery and a wreath laying ceremony there. Left the ship at 8 and returned at 7. Certainly enjoyed the beautiful Norman countryside and thatched villages on the coach ride.
  14. That's not a menu item that used to be offered in restaurants!
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