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Everything posted by puppycanducruise

  1. Thanks for the clarification. Sometimes I try to help, but I get the wrong words.
  2. Hi, welcome to HAL, I hope you love it. Pinnacle Grill is $25pp (may be going to $29, but not sure when). DH and I think it's worth it, go ahead book online, get in before the price increase. Don't know about As you Wish Dining, we always go for fixed dining time, but I'm sure someone will give you the 411. Not sure when cabins are ready, we get to the ship in the early afternoon, and by then, no wait to drop our bags in the cabin then to the Lido for lunch. After that, we try to get our bearings and explore the ship before the life boat drill. Enjoy your cruise.
  3. I wouldn't like it, I think tablecloths and cloth napkins add a special quality to the whole MDR experience. And, for the record, we use a table cloth and cloth napkins for dinner at home too.
  4. We did the Inside Passage cruise on the Volendam many years ago, it got us hooked on cruising! We loved the cruise, even though I don't remember all the details after so many years. I hope you have a wonderful time.
  5. If you book separately you will be charged a 'single supplement' which would probably be hundreds of dollars, so you wouldn't save any money.
  6. We did a Baltic cruise in August about 7 years ago. It was a great cruise - I'd love to go back. But, to your question, we flew into Copenhagen the day before the cruise, and I wore capris and a short sleeve blouse as my embarkation outfit. It was quite warm/hot most of the time. I wore capris or light slacks for sightseeing. We were in the pool a few times, and the beach at Warnemunde was very busy. We didn't get rain, and the sea was as calm as a mill pond. Enjoy your cruise. The Hermitage in St Petersburg was a highlight for me. :)
  7. If you haven't already, post this question on the Princess board, you'll probably get great advise for your situation there too.
  8. That's fabulous. Such talent and skill. Thanks for sharing with us and your steward. :)
  9. My DH and I use packing cubes. I put one of my packing cubes (with at least one complete outfit) in his checked bag and he packs one of his cubes in my checked bag. It's extra insurance in case one of the checked bags is lost or delayed.
  10. Never used either of those things - I think they would just take up too much space in the luggage. There's enough storage space in the cabin for me.
  11. One thing I would suggest, is to fly in 2 or 3 days before your cruise and explore that city. Most Med cruises leave from great cities, and it would be a shame to miss seeing those sites.
  12. Go with the best itinerary for you. Since this is your first trip to Europe, start with the cruise with your most desired ports. Go to a local travel agency and get a bunch of brochures. Study them, and check the web (here on Cruise Critic and other sites) for reviews of the ship and itinerary (take them with a grain of salt). Fly to your cruise a couple of days early and explore that city. We did a Med cruise last spring, and spent 2 days in Rome before embarking on our cruise. I know 2 days in Rome isn't enough, but at least we got to see a bit of the city. For us, the days were so busy, we didn't care about entertainment on the ship. Have a great time, and plan on going back to do another cruise. We've done 3 (Med, Baltic, Rhine River) and are hoping to do another. :)
  13. Congratulations on winning the bulbs. If you can't get out to plant them in the ground now, you can put them in the crisper in your refrigerator for 6 weeks then pot them up and 'force' them indoors to bloom. Enjoy.
  14. Welcome to the wonderful world of cruising. Don't forget patience and manners. Have a great time.
  15. I suggest you check on the Panama Canal board, I think the question of what time of year to do the canal has been answered. From what I understand, fall is the 'rainy season'. I think it's hot there all the time. We did a partial transit in April a few years ago, and it was so hot and humid, my glasses fogged up when we went from inside to outside at 6 am. We are looking at doing a full transit in the spring of 2015, but haven't booked yet. We want to do the cruise, but are apprehensive about dealing with the heat. Enjoy your cruise and let us know all about it. :)
  16. We wanted to do a submarine adventure in Aruba several years ago, but it was cancelled at the last minute - hope you have better luck. We ended up doing a glass bottom boat type tour and we really enjoyed it. The hull of the boat was see-through, and you sat below the water line to see everything. We saw a ship sunk in World War 2 and lots and lots of fish. It probably wasn't as good as a submarine, but very enjoyable. Aruba is beautiful, and the beaches are wonderful. Enjoy.
  17. Okay, this isn't about snorkeling, but it is about sharks. Recently, a couple of men in Newfoundland saw what they thought was a beached whale. Upon further investigation, they found a Greenland shark with a hunk of moose stuck in its throat, choking it. So the men, pulled the chunk of moose out of the shark, and pushed the shark back towards the open water, and it swam away! I thought it was an interesting news item.
  18. My suggestion is to go to a local travel agency and get a bunch of glossy brochures from several cruise companies and read them. Read reviews online (with a grain of salt). Check out the cost of airfare and flight times (you don't want to have to rush like mad to get to the airport on the last day of your cruise). Plan on going a day or two before the cruise. My DH and I did a 11 day cruise on HAL out of Rome this past spring. We stayed 2 days in Rome before the cruise to do some sightseeing. Med cruises tend to be port intensive, on our 11 day cruise, only 2 sea days. In some ports, we just got off the ship and 'wandered around' - no need for expensive shore excursions at each stop. However, in Athens and Kusadasi, they were, in my opinion, necessary to get the most out of the days. A few years ago, we did a Baltic cruise, again on HAL. I especially loved St Petersburg Russia. My DH and I are in our 50s and feel we fit in quite well on HAL. We are not the youngest or oldest on any ship we've been on. Also, you might want to investigate river cruises (there is a section on CC). We've been on 3 European cruises (I'd love to look at doing another, but the long flight and airfare makes me think twice), and we usually budget about 10k for 2 weeks. You have a lot of decisions to make, and if you want to travel in March of next year, you need to get going because some cruises (especially river cruises) may have limited space. Research and planning are lots of fun. Have a great trip.:)
  19. On our last cruise, we got an upsell about 2 weeks before our cruise (from inside gty to veranda stateroom for $99pp which we took). When we arrived at the pier, we were informed of an upgrade to Neptune Suite. Nice surprise! :):)
  20. Another good source of information is Rick Steves - check his website
  21. We were on the Volendam a HAL ship and sailed into Glacier Bay with the ranger doing commentary and it was fantastic. I'm not sure if all cruise lines have the expert aboard. We were very lucky, the weather was sunny and cool (it was May). Just thinking of seeing a piece of the glacier split and fall while we watched from the bow of the ship, makes me want to go back. Sorry, I haven't seen the Hubbard Glacier but cruising Glacier Bay is a must in my opinion.
  22. Don't forget to check out the library on the ship. Many ships also have an exchange section, leave a book you brought, take a book someone else left. Maybe your suitcase will have a little more room for souvenirs if you leave books for others.
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