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About phaelon56

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Syracuse, NY
  • Interests
    Travel, espresso/coffee, scuba, music, reading
  1. phaelon56

    "Disembark" vs. "debark" vs. "disbark"

    Let's see... I think "debark" is what you do to a yappy dog by having its vocal chords removed (under anaesthesia of course!). "Disbark" is the stuff the covers the trunk of the tree closest to me and "Datbark" is on the tree over yonder. And I disembark to get off a ship. But why is it that when I get off a plane I am deboarding and not disembarking?
  2. If the Manhattan terminal is stil in use I think Newark is the best airport. If the new Red Hook terminal is being used I'd consider La Guardia as posisbly a better choice. It's about 12 miles from the new pier whereas JFK is 20 miles. Also - if it's a Saturday mornign and there's lots of weekend traffic heading into the city, the highways heading west from JFK are more likely to be congested than those from LGA to Red Hook. But JFK has a better on-time arrival record than LGA does.
  3. phaelon56

    Time for a change?

    As a non-drinker and a person with a finite travel budget I'm among those who doesn't care to be "subsidizing" an all-inclusive alcohol policy that I can't take advantage of. But I see the value of the ambiance/environment created where one never has to sign for anything. It's too bad there's no intermediate ground - some sort of system that would enable those wishing all inclusive alcohol to pay one price and us non-drinkers to pay a different price. But I'll be darned if I can think of a mechanism for controlling it (short of a touchpad at every table and bar that does a fingerprint scan to match a passenger to their alcohol or lack-of-it program and yes... fingerprint scanners are invasive and the last thing I want to encounter on a cruise).
  4. phaelon56

    Caribbean Princess Menus

    Common consensus that I've read on these boards is to the effect that the dining room menu for the first and last evening of the cruise tend to be among the least interesting. Many people seem unenthused about the Caribbean night menu on CB but I really liked it. I do suggest ensuring that you don't miss the Italian night menu. The exective chef is Italian and the food that night was IMO the best of any evening during the week.
  5. phaelon56

    Picking a guarantee category

    If you're a previous Princess passenger, book a low category room (e.g. inside room or obstructed view) AND book on a cruise at a time of year when they do a lot of discounting to fill the ship AND get lucky... you might... just might... get bumped up a category or two. But it seems that the higher a category you begin with the less likely you are to get an upgrade. On my most recent cruise I took a GTY for my mini-suite but in retrospect wish I'd paid the extra $50 pp and gotten a cabin a bit closer to the center of the ship. There are very few suites and lots of mini-suites. Chances of being upgraded from a balcony to a mini are not great and there's almost no possibility of getting an upgrade from mini to full suite.
  6. phaelon56

    Princess Newbie.. Suite questions

    All the answers are in this post from the FAQ http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showpost.php?p=4391175&postcount=14
  7. phaelon56

    Margaritas and guacamole

    Guacamole, salsa and tortila chips are also usually available on the CB in the Cafe Caribe late at night. The salsa is a bit watery and balnd and the guac is just plain bland. But if you let the sals drain on a late for a minute... mix a few big spoonfuls of it into the guac and then dose it with Tabasco sauce (also available) - it's not bad.
  8. phaelon56

    Questions re: dress code

    A problem for her perhaps but not for us guys who appreciate a lovely petite woman :-)
  9. phaelon56

    Questions re: dress code

    I'm sure there's a thread elsewhere that covers this but here goes: I'm another one of those guys who enjoys dressing up in a tux. If I go on an 8 day trans-Atlantic repositioning cruise on RSSC will there be nights where it's appropriate to wear it? As much as I enjoy wearing it.... if all the other guys are wearing open collar shirt with jacket I'd rather leave the tux at home.
  10. phaelon56

    Exercise machines on Caribbean Princess

    Just show up to use it. As far as I know there are no reservations required and there's definitely no extra fee. It's a large area with lots of machines - should be no trouble to get one without a wait. But you can always just go to the Spa Pool and swim against the current if you enjoy swimming as a way to exercise.
  11. [quote name='frequent traveler']Hi Phaelon 56 -- If you don't want to pay a single supplement - you should try the Sea Dream's cross -Atlantic cruises. While there is no scuba, there is lots of fun, sun, good companions, and alcohol. $1999 for a 9 day crossing -leaving from Tenerife. Or if you want to go in the spring from Barbados to Funchal -- again, $1999 all inclusive. [/QUOTE] I've been checking out the SD discussions and website since you made this suggestion. But their website specifcally states "rates based on double occupancy" and says to contact them for single pricing. I'll do that but just curious - do they traditionally wave the supplement for the crossings?
  12. phaelon56

    Is this cruise line for us?

    And how might the SeaDream experience be for an affable, sociable and open minded 50 year old single person who does not drink alcohol? The reviews I've been reading seem to very frequently mention free flowing alcohol - almost to the extent that it seems like "partying" is significant focus of the socializing on these ships. I'm not a naysaying teetotaler and am very comfortable around social drinking (most of my friends drink). Just curious - perhaps it was just a fluke that the reviews I read came off this way?
  13. phaelon56

    Getting Home from Funchal?

    I found my best price by just planning an overnight stay in Lisbon (if I do this trip I think I may also spend a day or two in Funchal). Check prices from FNC to Lisbon and then check your Lisbon to US price separately. I did that and it was about $400 cheaper for me.
  14. If they went to Palau (don't think they do) I'd be in scuba heaven. That area is said to be even better than Cozumel which makes it very good indeed. I will talk to a TA but I just now looked at the "brochure prices" on the RSSC web site and read their FAQ. It appears that I would most likely take the per person brochure price and add 30% - 35% to estimate single price. The "2 for 1" is a moot point or so it appears. But that's a very good single supplement. rochure special price was $1995 for the the absolute cheapest cabin (200 sq feet w/porthole windows) on the 7 day PG Tahitian cruise. But wouldn't I need to double that for the single price? The standard price was $2795 but with single supplement that comes to about $4000 to $4200. I'll guess that airfare from the US east coast is about $1200 - $1800 RT. Add about $100 per day minimum for two tank dives w/tips and I'm at about $5500 - $6,000 minimum. Can I swing it $$ wise? I think so but for that amount I can buy a 7 day dive trip to Cozumel, a 7 day dive trip to Honduras and then a 7 day land based vacation in Spain, France or Ireland. Maybe even a trip to Macchu Picchu, which I have a strong desire to visit - in place of the Europe visit. Or I could do my long planned 14 day trip to Vietnam and have about $2,000 left over. But here is a GREAT deal in the spring on an 8 day repositioning cruise from FLL to the Funchal Madeira island off Portugal. $3,051 on the Voyager is the single price... . I can then spend a day on the island, another day in Lisbon and then fly home - all for probably less than $4,500 total if I plan carefully. But no scuba diving. Hmmmm.... And if anyone can suggest a good service oriented and price competitive TA please email me at the address found in the Biography section of my profile. Thanks!
  15. I wasn't actually calculating the single supplement for RSSC. I was operating under the assumption, quite possibly erroneous, that a single would be able to travel at the 2 for 1 price on RSSC even if occupying a stateroom alone. Are there discounts offered that are steep at times and then the x% single supplement is added to the already discounted price? Some of the mainstream lines such as Princess offer a single supplement at 150% to 175% of the per person price but when they have heavily discounted dates (the sailing I was on was over 50% off the "brochure price") the single supplement is not offered. I have found a few good prices (7 and 8 day sailings) on RSSC through a consolidator's site - $3,000 to $3500 for the trip not incl air. I'm not much interested in ports in the Caribbean as a place to visit and explore but I am a diver - RSSC has a few itineraries that would let me dive in as many as four separate areas of the Caribbean during a 7 - 8 day cruise. THAT is VERY appealing. I have seen some good prices on Crystal and my non-alcohol consuming status might make that a good relative value but I'm age 49, young in outlook, interests and activity preferences. I know I'll enjoy any cruise I could possibly take (within reason) but RSSC seems on the surface to have a better combination of demographics and other attributes for me. But as usual.... I could be dead wrong and look forward to hearing alternate opinions.