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About JimnKaren

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Spring Hill, FL
  • Interests
    Reading/knitting for Karen, gardening for Jim. Both retired.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL, Princess, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    My driveway

Recent Profile Visitors

419 profile views
  1. Twice we have been on 42-day itineraries. Lots of time crossing the Atlantic (both ways). I read; we were on ships with good libraries, although I did take my e-reader with me. Karen knits, she would spend several hours on each sea day knitting with other needleworkers and has become on-line friends with several of them. On longer cruises, one has an opportunity to really get to know the other passengers (if you wish). We have cruise with several people on different ships and it is fun to cruise with them again (without planning it out). We have no problem with being 'cool' on a long cruise. We don't need lots and lots and lots of fun things to do all the time, we are way past that with our lives. If you want, spend some money and get on Cruise Critic every day and let everyone know how the cruise is going for you. Jim
  2. Ruth is correct (once again). Look at the itinerary for when you want to go. Then consider pricing. That aft pool thing was goofy at the time, but it works now. There is water, about 3" deep with loungers there. We have been on Veendam a couple of times and enjoy the smaller ship feel that one gets on that class of ships. You don't wear yourself out getting from one end of the ship to the other. Nice library with a great coffee bar experience. Jim
  3. I really enjoyed the Osso Bucco several years ago. Sadly, it was removed. I ask anyway. Maybe it is put on the menu for longer voyages, just to change things a bit. And for the old-timers here...many years ago there was cotton candy given out, pink and blue. I recall that was when there was no charge for that venue. Jim
  4. However...you might consider making copies of your passport. You carry someone else's and that person carries yours. It is not a big deal, it is one of those just in case situations. I have a copy of Karen's and she has a copy of mine. Jim
  5. You are encouraged to order small plates. No limit. You can try several things. Anything you don't like, they will take away. If you are a wine drinker, their wine menu is OK. Jim
  6. I used to question the decision of folks who ate at a table for two, figuring they ate together all the rest of the time. Why not branch out? However, as my hearing has declined (even with hearing instruments), we find it better to not have to try to get me to understand conversations with folks whose voices I cannot understand. Sometimes, we will share a table, but not often. AND, once we find a table with efficient servers, we will request to be seated in that wait station area. Jim
  7. We live in Florida, it is easy to fly one-way to some city in the world and then cruise back to Florida. Generally those cruise prices are a bit less than the round-trip cruises and air fares can add significantly to the cost. We just completed Buenos Aires, through the canal to Ft. Lauderdale Before that, it was Venice to Ft. Lauderdale. We have done several West Coast to Ft. Lauderdale. It was good for us moving from Illinois to Florida, just for that reason. Jim
  8. Carnival sails from Mobile, Alabama; and Jacksonville, Florida is not too bad. They also sail from Galveston, Texas and Port Canaveral (fly into Orlando for a short transfer to the port). Jim
  9. We were on Zaandam March/April of this year. The piano bar is unchanged, it is part of what they call "The Mix". In the Ocean bar, there was a gent playing the piano for early diners and on to about 8:00 or so. Then a 3-person group of instrumentalists plus a vocalist came on to coincide with the end of the first evening performance in the show lounge (not what they called it, but you know what I mean). All were good at what they did. We were on from Buenos Aires to Ft. Lauderdale. There was a bit of a change of musicians in Santiago, but all were good. Amsterdam's layout is similar. We did not feel crowded on either ship. Jim
  10. Consider cruises from close to your home. There are several ports along the Gulf of Mexico that offer nice itineraries and you won't be spending too much money on air fare, etc. Look at the options, then check out the Ports of Call forums for lots of good information. Jim
  11. Contact a local travel agent. That person will have lots of appropriate answers for you. Relate your priorities and your budget and allow that person to offer suggestions. Jim
  12. It is nice to have the windows, just for the natural light. However, it is not necessary. We have been through the canal eight times and have become accustomed to being in the Pinnacle for lunch that day. Typically, it is not crowded and the staff has the time (and if you encourage them a bit) to chat with you quite a bit. It is a nice alternative to the goofiness upstairs. Jim
  13. Once, several years ago, I was quite discouraged with some of the non-events on a HAL cruise. I wrote a long letter to the president's office in Seattle (more to vent than anything else). Surprisingly, I got a very nice 2-page response with a freebie included for a future cruise. When we were on Zaandam from Buenos Aires to FLL in March/April, there was nothing in the When & Where about knitters getting together. I bellyached three times (on behalf of Karen) and eventually they indicated that "Seattle" needed to pre-approve that kind of non-host activity prior to the cruise. I appealed and they eventually agreed to post one-time, a notice about needleworkers getting together in the Explorer's Lounge. It worked, several showed up and they planned their own things after that. Since then, we have discovered the name of the person in Seattle for our upcoming Tales of the South Pacific cruise and have email her directly, asking that something be posted for sea days (20+ out of 51 days!). We'll see what happens. If you have a significant concern with something that is or is not happening on a ship, send the letter. If you are polite and make a salient point, you will be assigned a case number and get a response. Let them know in Seattle what you think. This forum is good, but writing a letter is more effective. Jim
  14. The only way I know to beat the system is to purchase wine ashore that is sold on the ship. If they see an unusual label, they know it is not one of theirs and they charge the corkage fee. If it is a familiar label, their assumption is that it was wine delivered to your cabin and no corkage. When you bring wine on the ship (in excess of your allotment), you can pay the corkage fee on the pier and a blue (if I remember correctly) sticker is affixed to the bottle to let the wine folks on the ship know that you paid the corkage on the pier. Jim
  15. We will be on Zaandam next year for Voyage of the Vikings. I have also been reading Dave's reports. He has posted the daily When and Where. Karen is a knitter and I noticed that there is nothing in the When and Where about needleworkers getting together on sea days. Are you? Seattle has been lax on that, they would rather have ping pong players meet! Jim
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