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  1. Never buy bottled water. Its a scam made worse by the high prices onboard. Dasani is Coca Cola's bottled water and is filled from the local city tap. Same for Pepsi's Aquafina. Some companies claim "spring" water, but they fill out of reservoirs. Save you $$$ and fill from the ship's water supply which goes through a rigid purification process.
  2. River cruise companies, to include US companies, have the same policy.
  3. We have used Park N Fly at both MIA and FFL. Excellent company and they provide frequent parking incentives like free days. Both locations have convenient shuttle service to the port (Port Everglades) and airpower (MIA). We live north of Tampa and find that 4.5 to 5 hours of driving time is required (there is always some road construction in progress). We always add about 30 minutes for a pit/gas/snack stop halfway. I-95 Traffic around Sarasota can be a bear. We have done both east and west coast routes and I-75 is the best road and maybe safest road. Florida hotels double prices during the winter months - some triple. Its designed to soak the seasonal visitors. Makes it a challenge for those of us who just want a place for the night. We have started stopping during summer and shoulder months near Bonita Springs. Good selection of hotels and restaurants, and its just under 2 hours across Alligator Alley to Port Everglades. La Quinta Inns apparently do not gouge travelers during winter months as do the other major chains and were able to book the LQI near FFL at the "regular" price for a one-night February stay prior to a cruise. Bon Route
  4. Maybe no "intentional trickery" on Azamara's part, but it is disingenuous to even suggest that some can get a better deal using terminology like "Best Price Guarantee." Very poor public relations on Azamara's behalf.
  5. We selected Hurtigruten's Fram for our Antarctic adventure two years ago February. Really nice ship for traveling south of the Antarctic Circle and making landings in a dozen locations. Being in Antarctic waters for 10 days was a real treat providing travel through ice flows, viewing wild life in their natural habitats (including orcas tormenting seals sitting in ice flows), the red "midnight sun" reflecting in the waters, and of course magnificent views of ice capped mountains, fjords and coastlines. As interesting was the different grounds we visited, from volcanic to very rocky. Plus, the naturalist guides were exceptional. We made our decision to go "full monty" in part do to the expense of flying to Usuaia to join the ship. For just a little more we were able to see and experience so much more. For us it would have been akin to doing an African safari (in our case two weeks in Kenya and Tanzania) via a 50 passenger bus and never getting off the bus!
  6. None. I do not want or intend to carry a PDA around the ship. Does nothing to enhance my onboard experience. Therefore, the question of adding apps is moot.
  7. For planing purposes, Mr Trump will be in Copenhagen on an official state vista 2-3 September! He has asked his staff to look into buying Greenland from Denmark. Expect congestion in Copenhagen on these dates!
  8. Think of Labadee as a place holder for Cuba when it opens back up in 2021.
  9. Just booked Connie for the ABC itinerary out of Tampa. Easy drive for us to the port and very easy access to port parking. Corralled an S1, my spouse's favorite cabin. Don't give upon on Dubai. Several years ago we did 17 days Mumbai-Pireaus on Azamara and it was great. Included Dubai - the visit to the Burj Khalifa is not to be missed. Northern Arabian Sea and Red Sea transits, stops in Aqaba and Eilat, Suez transit, Cyprus then into Pireaus.
  10. Another reason for Connie being home-ported in Tampa is access to Cuba in addition to the faster access to western and southern Caribbean ports vice the crowded eastern Florida ports. By late January 2021 Cuba should once again be a big cruise draw. RCI's previous Cuba ship, RCCL's Empress of the Seas, is dated and really wasn't satisfactory for Cuba.
  11. The current Gulf "problems" are a self-licking ice cream cone. All fabricated just like WMD in Iraq in 2003. With the Florida eat coast ports becoming crowded and the easier access direct south into the Caribbean, Tampa is becoming a great location for both passengers and cruise lines. And it has one of the best airports in the US with international connections. The only cruise restriction in Tampa is the clearance under the bay bridge. The behemoths will not fit.
  12. How true. CC contributors quickly forget that they are just a tiny segment of any guests on a cruise, usually around 8 percent. Not really enough to matter when it comes to cruise line policy or even a consensus of experiences.
  13. Agree. Same on Regal and Majestic. Will give Enchanted a try next year.
  14. Installed the OceanMedallion Class app on my iPad this afternoon in anticipation of our upcoming September cruise. Filled in all the data required to activate and was a happy camper until the segment for purchasing Medallion holders... Since the Medallion comes with a lanyard and we already purchased wrist bands from Amazon, the "basket" was empty on checkout. Princess website didn't like that and sent me into a "do" loop within the app. Not fun. Looks like we will have to wait until check-in to get it fixed. Guess this is what Princess calls "aggressive marketing." The cruise card was so much easier.
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