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About BarbinMich

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About Me

  • Location
    Detroit suburbs
  • Interests
    travel, genealogy, photography, gardening
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Thanks so much for posting this info! We visited Keukenhof back in April 2007 when we did a river cruise. Just loved it!
  2. We've done it in Jan (WB) and Apr (EB). As others have said it will be hot whenever you go because it's very close to the equator. Thus, don't plan on being outside on deck the whole time. And when outside in the sun be sure to wear sun block or sun lotion. Assuming you're going thru the old locks, there are two sets of them with Gatun Lake in between. Ships may anchor in the lake and stay there for some time because I think that's where folks get off for ship excursions. Say you go from Ft. Lauderdale, you'll enter the canal around 6 a.m. (around sunrise) and then leave it at the other end about 4-5 p.m. Enjoy!
  3. On the pre-Royal ships, buffets were partially self-serve (salad bar, desserts) with the hot food being put on a plate for you. I was amazed to see the "openness" of the buffet on the Royal. Not only is it wide open to germs, but the food is lukewarm at best.
  4. IMHO, we have to put the corona virus in perspective. There are currently 200,000+ cases in the U.S. The U.S. population is 327 million so the percentage of infected US folks is 0.06%. I assume that the avg age of a corona virus patient skews towards older people like those who cruise, but I haven't seen such a breakdown. Yes, it's true that two Princess ships (Grand, Diamond) had a few pax with COVID. But Princess has 20+ ships. Perhaps if they take the temp (with the kind of instrument we've seen used in NYC for COVID) of every pax before they board, they can stop those with an above-avg temp from boarding and cruising can resume sometime in the future. In addition to the financial predicament this situation puts the cruise industry in, think what it's done to shore-side businesses who cater to pax in the US ports and in all the foreign ports those ships visited. Let's hope the corona virus dies out sooner rather than later!
  5. Here is a photo from a small church in Copenhagen with an emphasis on sailing.
  6. Don't know which parks/monuments you're planning to visit, but there have been closures per https://www.usnews.com/news/politics/articles/2020-03-26/appeals-grow-to-close-us-national-parks-during-pandemic. As one can imagine it's difficult to adhere to the current rule of 6-ft separation near each park's highlights such as Mt. Rushmore in S. Dakota.
  7. The 2 ships are nearly identical (both "Crown Class") and are only 1 year apart in age: Crown Princess maiden voyage was in June 2006. Emerald Princess entered service in April 2007. We've been on both several times and prefer them to the Royal/Regal.
  8. We've been to Greenland three times on fall TAs and one reason there aren't many, if any, land excursions offered is that there aren't roads connecting any of the ports and the latter are have small populations. The first time we were in Nuuk (the capital) several of us on the RC went looking for birds even tho it was snowing--saw at least one not found in the US. We have also stopped in Qaqortoq (a beautiful sunny day and I enjoyed walking around town and viewing the mountains surrounding it). On another cruise we were scheduled to stop in Nanortalik, a tender port, but there was an large iceberg "parked" where the captain planned to anchor. Got lots of up-close photos of the berg! The captain took the ship part-way up Prins Christian Sound (acutally a fjord) which was beautiful since we couldn't stop at Nanortalik.
  9. That ban only goes til July 1, so perhaps the cruise lines will be able run their ships later. The season usually runs from May-Sept.
  10. We've been through the canal three times, twice in January and once in April (2013, most recent one). Went from Caribbean to Pacific twice and reverse the last time. It's always hot and humid there, as noted above, as you're quite close to the equator. Always had good weather, but short rains not unusual in the tropics.
  11. We haven't done the cruises you're looking at, but have visited southern Norway (3 ports) and Iceland (3 ports) several times at the beginning of transatlantics. I would definitely recommend the Norway-Iceland itinerary. While we haven't cruised north of Flam, Norway, we did enjoy our several visits to southern Norway and loved Iceland with its varying landscapes as shown in scubacruiserx2's photos above. Amazing waterfalls, lava landscapes, Yellowstone Park-like thermal landscapes, etc.
  12. That period only covers EB TAs this spring. WB TAs this fall should be sailing.
  13. We've done a number of land-based tours in Europe as well as 50+ cruises. But I wouldn't do so now as corona is "virulent" in Italy and will probably spread from there.
  14. I think the average age on HAL cruises is probably higher than on Princess. But the age of the pax also has a lot to do with the itinerary--the Asian cruise is expensive, compared to those in the Americas, especially airfare because of the long flights to get there and back, so it's less doable for a large number of younger folks.
  15. Carnival IS in Asia: https://www.carnival.com/cruise-to/transpacific-cruises/singapore-cruises.aspx AND on the West Coast. It may not have struck their ships since their pax tend to be younger than those on Princess, HAL, etc. Corona virus cases are now in about 35 states. One of the 15 with no reported cases is my home state, Michigan, per the latest map just shown on CNN. The states not affected are in "clusters" of 3 or more and the clusters are scattered around the US. Appears to be no "rhyme nor reason" for where it's appearing except perhaps the affected states have had Asian visitors or locals who recently traveled to China, etc.
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