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About BarbinMich

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

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. We've sailed on the Royal several times and I do miss the Promenade, esp. on sea days. We've done 28 cruises on the older Princess ships, both in the Caribbean and TAs. I always enjoyed sitting on the promenade when weather permitted--something very calming about watching the sea and one might even see a sea creature <g>. [note: on the older ships we always booked an OV so no balcony]. And there were always folks doing their laps (where do they do them on the Royal/Regal? on that little deck on a high deck with no protection from wind/sun?). On our Royal cruise in the Caribbean I did find a similar experience aft of the buffet--plenty of seats, etc. But you're far above the water so it's not quite the same.
  2. We've been to Aruba a number of times and that was probably the first place I snorkeled. Have done boats that went to the Antilla and also from shore on my own out that way. When we there 2 yrs ago, it was too windy/choppy to go over that way, so instead we snorkeled just east of the ship. Not a good place! No plants on the floor of the ocean and no fish. What a waste of time and money!
  3. We've been to Antwerp twice (2003 and 2007). The first was on an ocean liner, the second on a river cruise. I found it an interesting place to wander around--many older and interesting buildings. Plus, it's known for its "Diamond District" if you're interesting in buying. The city is about 20 miles upstream from the ocean on the River Scheldt.
  4. Not to be too picky, but if your ship is coming from the Caribbean you travel NNW (Colon) to SSE (Panama City) and the reverse if you go the other direction (Panama City to Colon). We've done 3 Canal canals: 2 were complete and 1 was a partial (ocean to Gatun Lake and back out).
  5. Specifically, the ladies' and gents' changing rooms that have showers, steam rooms, toilets and lockers. Even though I love the spa's heated loungers, etc., I made do with what the changing rooms have to offer on our port-intensive Alaska cruise a few years ago. We've done quite a few TAs and that's when I buy the spa pass because there are so many sea days; don't think I ever used it on a port day as we're usually off the ship all day and then busy with the ship's evening activities. And certainly not much time to use it on the typical Caribbean cruise either.
  6. As was our 7-day American Hawaii cruise, but they managed to include some Hawaiian programs, entertainment, etc. in the evenings.
  7. Surprised to hear that the NCL ship has little Hawaiiana onboard! This ship is there year-round so I would have thought it emulated the American Hawaii ship it replaced doing this itinerary! Lots of Hawaiiana on that ship.
  8. FWIW, our third cruise was on the now long-defunct American Hawaii "Independence" in 1994. [company went bankrupt some years later and eventually NCL's Pride of America started doing this itinerary]. We visited all 5 ports (4 islands), not just the 4 that the Princess cruise does. The difference is that our ship stopped at both Hilo (east coast) and Kona (west coast) on the Big Island. Those two ports are quite different as the climate is very different on the two sides of the island. Princess only stops at Hilo, which does give pax access to the volcano area, but not Kona on the west coast which offers more sunshine, snorkeling opportunities, etc. We have done 10 TAs and they have 5-7 sea days and 5-6 ports. So we like sea days, but I don't know how well we'd enjoy the ratio of 11 sea days to 4 port days. At least it eliminates long flights to and from Hawaii as we've done a number of times to enjoy Hawaii in January--our M.O. was to rent housekeeping lodging and a car on 2 islands on each trip so have now visited every island multiple times. Have stayed in a variety of locations on each island as well.
  9. I've had a number of hot stone massages on Princess cruises--haven't tried any others as I loved the first hot stone one <g>. Be sure to visit with the spa people (usually just outside the spa) on the day you board as they often have specials for those who sign up right away.
  10. Wonderful! Enjoy those cities and your cruise!! One of my favorite foods in Lisbon are the custard tarts. On our first visit to Lisbon we had a wonderful guide who took us around, including into a bakery to taste/buy them. On our last visit when I was doing my own walking tour, I made sure to buy some <g>. I also bought some in a small grocery near the Ponta Delgada, Azores port, but they just weren't the same.
  11. I got lucky with the slots a few years ago on a TA on the Zuiderdam. Lot of sea days so lots of time to spend in the casino, esp. since I was doing well <g> and not many others were in there. Ended up with a net "haul" of almost $100, but hardly makes up for all I've "lost" on our many prior cruises. I budget for my "hobby" and quit when I reach that limit.
  12. FYI "orange" is important to the Dutch because the ruling family is the House of Orange-Nassau (William of Orange is their national hero, having led their rebellion against the Spanish who then controlled the country). Their national holiday is King's (or Queen's, as the case may be) Day and occurs on April 27. We were on the Zuiderdam on that date a few years ago and had an Orange Party on that actual date. Lots of festivities and we were all encouraged to wear something orange.
  13. Sounds like you got a pretty good deal! We haven't been on the Connie, but have sailed on the Summit, one of her sister ships and enjoyed the ship very much. Enjoy your TA (our favorite cruise, in either direction)!
  14. While I realize you're primarily asking about the ship, thought I'd first comment on your itinerary. Looks like a good one! We've been to 4 of the ports: Barcelona (highly recommend spending a few days there pre-cruise, if you've never been), Malaga, Gibraltar, and Lisbon. Liked all of them, esp. Malaga and Lisbon. We've also sailed on Celebrity and HAL a number of times. Celebrity will be livelier than HAL and food will be better IMHO. I "loved" the casino on the Celebrity Eclipse because I won a diamond pendant they had a drawing for 😉 I didn't realize that the Infinity is one of the 4 ships in Celebrity's Millenium class (others are the Constellation, Summit, Millenium); they all launched in 2000-2002 and carry 2,000+ pax (about the same as HAL's ships).
  15. The view that Prudential uses is from the east, looking west at the "back" of it. We've passed by several times on TAs. The first time was at night so saw nothing. The next time was in late afternoon on a beautiful day and we could see that "hallmark" view. We've actually stopped there once on a cruise, but of course the town is on the west side of the mountain (no town east of it).
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