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MrsPete

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  1. MrsPete

    If emergency at home happens

    Eh, maybe, maybe not. Can my knowing about the emergency make things better? Is it even possible for me to get home sooner? Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Two true stories: We were in Florida celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary. We were scheduled to drive home on Friday, and my grandfather died (he was old and fragile, but hadn't been particularly sick) on Thursday. My mother opted NOT to call us. As a result, we enjoyed our last evening in Florida, and we drove home without stress on Friday. Upon our return home Friday night, we found out he had died, and we scrambled to be ready for the funeral on Monday. If we had known about his death, we could not have done a single thing to improve the situation, and we would've been miserable on our drive home. We went on a cruise for our 20th wedding anniversary -- hmmm, I see a pattern here -- we're close to 30 now, and we're staying home! -- and another grandparent died in the middle of the week. It would've been difficult to contact us on the cruise, but no one even tried. Sure, we could have left the cruise early, paid last-minute plane fares for six people ... but what would that have done? Again, our presence would not have made one bit of difference. We would've been stressed traveling home, and we would've hated wasting half our cruise ticket cost ... but our presence would not have improved a single thing about his death. This situation was actually a little bit worse in that we arrived home on Sunday and the funeral was planned for Monday evening ... because of us. My mom was actually the one who made the decision both times NOT to contact us, and she did exactly the right thing. With the advent of cell phones, we seem to have the idea that we MUST have bad information RIGHT THIS MINUTE! If it's available, we MUST HAVE IT! Why? Does it really benefit us?
  2. MrsPete

    BIG questions! I need BIG answers!

    Try Priceline. I always "win" with Priceline. You're absolutely right to insist upon arriving a day ahead of time -- it's the cheapest insurance you can get.
  3. First, have you been to the orthopedist? If not, you should! If your plantar is currently inflamed, let him give you a cortizone shot. It will hurt, but you will be better the next day. My orthopedist made me a set of orthopedic inserts, which slide into most shoes -- Keds-type sneakers, boat shoes, loafers. They're no good for sandals or strappy evening shoes, but they make MOST shoes work great. I stand up on a tile floor for work, and with these inserts, my pain is a 0 level at the end of the day. These inserts are supposed to last about five years (I'm on year three, and mine are still in perfect condition), and they cost one doctor's office co-pay. Second, I can wear a number of shoe name-brands (without my inserts -- 'cause as much as I like my inserts, I live in the South and want sandals). I've figured these out through trial and error, and they work for me. All the rules are 100% mandatory -- absolutely no compromise: - Arch support is the most important item, and it must be in just the right place. - Sandals or flip-flops must have a "high strap" ... that is, a strap that hits near the ankle, not down by the toes. - Shoe soles must have a "heel bed"; that is, the heel bed must be cupped to cradle the heel. - Shoes must have a small heel; 1/2" - 1" is enough, but a flat shoe is a no-no. I wear Keds, Vionics, Sketchers, Tevas, Jambus, and Chacos. Not EVERY style works, but those brands are all in my everyday rotation. These are 90% as good as my inserts, so I don't wear them on heavy-walking days at work, and I wouldn't wear them on a lengthy walking excursion. For a walking excursion, I would wear my inserts in slip-on Keds or Sketchers boat shoes.
  4. Yeah, a case of water goes on sale for $2. At the worst, your risk of loss is very low.
  5. Yeah, I don't think those boxes are new. It's easy: Don't use the expansion zipper or overstuff the bag. One more reason to pack carry-on only. If you carry your own bag, it's unlikely to be lost.
  6. MrsPete

    Dress Code Question

    I was going to say something very similar. You want some nice photographs. This isn't a trip to Myrtle Beach (also called the Redneck Riviera).
  7. MrsPete

    Windjammer for Dinner

    I constantly tell my students: The best, strongest sentences are not lengthy and full of fluff; rather, the best sentences are concise and to the point. In this case, delete most of the words: It is a buffet. Totally agree. While I enjoy the MDR, a lengthy dinner seven nights in a row can be "a bit much"; however, I can't say I love the WJ for dinner. We eat at the buffet because we're tired after an island stop or we just aren't up for -- as you say -- the "dining experience", but the WJ isn't as nice a dinner.
  8. Yep, that's exactly what I was going to say. Upper-resp stuff can just be a simple cold ... or it can turn nasty and stay with you for weeks and become something worse. At any normal time, I'd tend to wait a couple days and see which direction it's going ... but if I had a cruise scheduled only days away, I'd get to the doctor ASAP. Even though I am usually in the camp of "don't over-use antibiotics", I'd ask the doctor for an antibiotic ... just in case it's something like Strep or Bronchitus in the making. And don't neglect the obvious stuff: This week, get plenty of sleep, eat healthy, drink plenty of healthy liquids. Pack plenty of OTC meds.
  9. Multiple thoughts: - Eating in the room seems to me to be more work. You have to transport the food, then you have no access to salt and pepper, no way to refill a drink. When you're done, you have the messy trays leftover. - If you're going to do it, I'd bring along a pack of paper plates from home ... then go get one BIG plate of food from the buffet, then divide it between the kids' paper plates in the room. If I were going to do it, I'd bring something like styrafoam take-out plates (and plastic forks) and a wide-mouth water bottle from home. - Consider planning ahead: Go to breakfast in the buffet, and bring back fruit or cookies so you'll have a snack later in the day. - Ordering room service would be easier than all this preparation and transporting. - If the buffet seems too big for the kids, consider some of the smaller eateries: pizza place, little sandwich spot, Johnny Rockets. - I "get" that the MDR is problematic because you have to wait for your food. Consider bringing some little puzzles or a Viewmaster viewer ... and withhold those toys except for waiting-for-meal-times so the kids'll be really into them for that short time. OR have one parent go to the MDR first, order, then the other parent can follow 10 minutes later with the kids.
  10. I suggested a rolling carry-on bag. Nothing about these is "non-conforming". A quick Google search tells me that carry-on luggage may not exceed 45" in combined length, width, height. An average bag seems to be 22x14x9. That's pretty big, but some of my clothing is child-sized. When I was a child, my parents both worked for the airlines, and we flew free (space available), but we had rules. One rule was that each person was only allowed an official airline carry-on ... it was about the size of two shoeboxes. I've always been a good packer, and I think that early experience is part of why. For a two-month trip, I think anyone would need to do laundry in some way -- whether you wash things yourself or whether you send it out. I don't own enough clothes to skip washing for two months.
  11. MrsPete

    Swim Dresses or Suits with Skirts?

    First an embarrassing story: Before one cruise, I tried on a "swim dress" at the mall, and it really suited me. I looked at it in the mirror a long time, wondering if it was "too old" for me, but finally I decided that it really did bring out my best features ... so I bought it. One day on the ship I was wearing that swim dress at the adult pool and was quietly reading. Another woman -- much older, much heavier, and most definitely drunk -- was annoying everyone at the pool. She was loud and somewhat crude, and I don't think I was the only person failing to enjoy her company. I got up with the intention of moving to the other side of the pool ... and I realized SHE AND I WERE WEARING THE SAME SWIM DRESS. As much as I loved that swim dress (and still wear it today), I didn't wear it again on the cruise. The real moral: Always take a couple swimsuits on a cruise! Multiple random thoughts: - I agree that two-pieces are easier in the bathroom. You can get two-piece swim dresses ... I don't have such a thing, but I'm sure I'd like it. - I think swim dresses /swim skirts are in style now. Even my college daughter has one. We had a family swim party last summer, and I realized that almost every woman in my family -- regardless of age /size -- was wearing a skirted suit of some sort. - Don't we all like the fact that these suits provide some cover for the often-difficult bikini line? - That black suit with white polka-dots is adorable.
  12. I'd say your attitude is bad because of comments like these: When you are living with mobility challenges you'll understand! … Try it sometime and maybe you'll will be a little more helpful … No wonder why I can't stand people! … I expect no less then the snarkiness of the people from this board! I agree that the food you've pictured is lackluster, and I agree that you have every right to (politely) complain ... but these nasty comments to online posters do nothing towards finding the path to resolving the problem. I understand your problems. While I am able-bodied, I was a primary caretaker for my grandmother, who lived a century. I'm well aware of the small details that gave her trouble /the small things that made her life easier. Given that you've had problems with tables and trays, here are my best suggestions: - Skip the problematic buffet and stick to the MDR (or other venues that offer wait staff). That will remove the problem of finding a table, juggling a food tray and a cane, and refilling your tea. In the MDR you'll be seated with other cruisers, which will also make your meal a more social event (which you seem to want ... and not want). - Contact RC's special needs department before you cruise, and let them know that you need a table kind of "out in the open" /easy to reach -- not a table in the corner or a table that requires walking through a maze of other tables/chairs. When you board, go to the dining room right away and talk to the Head Waiter -- he will be available during boarding to help with problems. Check out your table, and -- if it's not easy to reach -- request a change with him. If you do this right away (not while he's seating people for dinner), he will probably be able to help you. - You say you were cruising alone. Perhaps next time invite a friend -- sounds like another set of hands could've been helpful. - Canes are trouble -- you have to hold onto them. I've seen two types that might be easier for you: I've seen models that have a "wrist strap", which would allow you let go of the cane for a moment ... without losing it. I've also seen models with a three-pronged base, which allows you to let go of them for a moment without the can falling over. I certainly agree with this comment. If the food tasted like it looks, it's sub-par ... but the reasoning makes no sense: No one should be served poor quality food. Disability has nothing to do with it. You know, when someone dislikes a couple things, I tend to listen and sympathize ... when someone finds a negative to essentially every meal or every dish, I start to think that person's hobby is searching for problems. Nice idea! Expanding upon it: - Once you've booked a cruise, search out (or start) a thread to get to know people. - Sign up for your Meet-and-Mingle. - Maybe consider signing up for a suite so you'll have access to the lounge. That'd give you another social venue ... with the same people every evening, so you'd get to know them.
  13. Consider traveling with a carry-on bag only; it all but guarantees you'll never lose your luggage, and a roll-on carry-on bag holds quite a bit!
  14. MrsPete

    Passport question

    As I said, passports are some trouble to obtain. The other option -- a birth certificate -- is something you already have (or you need to obtain for the passport anyway). This means the birth certificate option is less effort and free. You have to decide whether it's worthwhile or not, but the passport is more effort. I suspect that's true for the majority of cruisers; however, if you're only going to take a cruise or two in those 10 years, it's still an expensive choice. Take a look at my whole statement, note the topic sentence, and you'll see that you're not really responding to what I said. The most likely outcome of either choice: - You will board the cruise, stay the whole week on the ship, and disembark exactly where you intended. - If you need medical attention, the ship's medical center will be able to take care of it.
  15. MrsPete

    Passport question

    What'll happen if you purchase the passport: - The passport'll cost more than $100/person, it's some trouble to obtain, and it will expire. Children's passports are more trouble. - In the unlikely situation that you need to fly home, your ability to board will be unimpaired ... however, you'll have to wait until the ship reaches an island ... and on small islands, a flight may or may not be available the day your ship reaches that island, so you might end up staying in a hotel a night or even two ... and you'll pay last-minute high-prices for the ticket. Regardless of whether you have a passport, flying home won't be easy or cheap. You won't fly home mid-cruise unless your reason is extremely compelling. If you fly with a birth certificate and state ID: - Since most of us need the state ID for everyday life, it will cost you nothing. - The birth certificate will not expire. - In the unlikely situation that you have to fly home from a foreign port (remember, not all Caribbean islands are foreign ports), it will be a hassle and you will pay more than you would've paid for the passports. This is definitely a more difficult situation, and it still includes all the difficulties mentioned above: wait 'til you arrive at an island, hope a flight is available, be able/willing to pay a last-minute ticket. The most likely outcome of either choice: - You will board the cruise, stay the whole week on the ship, and disembark exactly where you intended. - If you need medical attention, the ship's medical center will be able to take care of it. This all assumes -- things become tricky for other situations: - You're American and sailing to/from American ports. - Any children with whom you're traveling are your biological children with your name.
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