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the more ports the better

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About the more ports the better

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    Chicago
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Asia

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  1. Last time in Santorini we hiked the caldera from Thiera to Oia. It was spectacularly beautiful, barely anyone on the trail, every half hour or so we would see someone, aside from locals living in the little communities up there. It’s about 3.5-4 hours, 9 miles I believe but not certain. Challenging but worth it. A few small places to stop along the way but few and far between so bring lots of water. Also, proper foot wear with socks as you are on volcanic sand most of the time. You will see authentic Santorini at its best. Once you start, there is really no way to stop as you are not near the road, it’s turn around or end in Oia, which was packed. Fantastic way to spend a day.
  2. Kitty 9 Too bad the “left coast” IT company that chartered Riveria before your sailing wasn’t SpaceX. It launched 60 satellites a few days ago, the first of 12,000 going up for the low orbit (speedy internet) starlink project. In this day and age there is no excuse for such poor internet service. I’m on Marina for two weeks in July and would have booked the extended voyage but I can’t be disconnected from the office for extended periods of time so 2 weeks is my limit on O. We will be in hotels the additional two weeks because of poor internet when I would much rather have stayed on the ship. When I take my kids and grandkids on Mega of the Seas there are 6000 people streaming Netflix and using FaceTime and Skype without issue at a very low cost. Seabourn, Azamara, Celebrity all zippy, no problem, Oceania, just horrible, VERY FRUSTRATING, I just don’t get it.
  3. But on the bright side Bloomberg says..... https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-02-22/china-won-t-be-able-to-use-tourists-as-leverage-for-much-longer
  4. Very interesting article in travel weekly. I have a few trips to the med planned in the next two years but it looks like it will not be enjoyable or even feasible for much longer. When our kids retire, they will not have the same travel options we have. Very sad....... https://www.travelweekly.com/Asia-Travel/China-tourism-takeover
  5. Funny this thread came up. I’m taking my mom (85) on a land trip to Italy in Sept for 2 weeks. I spent a few hours on cruiseTT.com making a chart of how many passengers will be in port in Rome, Venice, Livorno..... each day and booked our hotels when ships were not in port, or the least amount of people in the case of Rome. When I’m happily traveling via a comfy Oceania cruise ship (most of my travel) cruisers are fantastic people but when I’m on a land trip, those damn cruisers, when they are not me of course, are a PITA. 🙂 In all honesty, I think world economics and partly the emergence of an upper middle class in China has had a big effect on tourism especially in Europe. China has such a huge population that even a small segment of their population that can now afford to travel is still an enormous number of people. At least that is what I have observed over the past five years or so.
  6. Cuba and Venezuela have been in bed with each other for 100 years. Their governments are intertwined. They exchange people for goods and Cuba has sent thousands of troops to Venezuela to act as their pseudo military. Russia, on the other hand is in Venezuela for financial reasons. Russia needs oil from Venezuela so they support the current repressive government. Kind of like we need oil from the Saudis so we support their oppressive government. Wait, the Saudi’s only repress 50% of their population, I guess that makes us different from the Russians.
  7. I second the fact that the Cuban govt is “nationalizing” the tour guide industry, just like they did with sugar and rum in the 60’s. I’ve been there a few times this year and spoke to a guide who was arrested and spent a few weeks in jail for being overheard telling tourists about living conditions. We met people outside of the tourist area who said they are determined to make Cuba a capitalist country even if they had to lead the army to do it. All the educated young people we met wanted either capitalism or they wanted to leave. One guy told us that his mom was a heart surgeon and was sent to Venezuela for 5 years when he was 12 in exchange for oil. I hope our govt is supporting them and stirring the pot in the background. It’s a sad situation all around. Regarding Turkey, we had three guides in 2015, all female and not one had a good thing to say about Erdogan. One said, no one will vote for him but he’ll get elected to office anyway. She also said at the rate things were going, she would be required to wear traditional dress and cover everything up in a few years and was very unhappy about it. In Russia, our guides in Moscow and St Petersburg all seemed to think Putin a necessary evil. He runs everything but encourages free enterprise. No one seemed to be lacking for opportunity like they do in Cuba. In Russia, one funny thing I heard was the women complaining that the men just wanted to drink and play video games whereas the women were hustling and starting businesses. Moscow seemed to be bustling whereas Cuba has a feeling a total repression. just my two cents!
  8. We have driven to Cinque Terra from Livorno. It takes a little over an hour. There is online prereserved parking under the La Spezia train station. The trains run back and forth between La Spezia and the five villages every 20 min or so as the villages are only a few minutes apart by train. You can rent a car at the Livorno port from Hertz and Avis on the dock. It is one of the few ports where you get off the ship and your car is right there. The Cinque Terre is my favorite place in Italy, maybe in all of Europe. Sent from my iPad using Forums
  9. The walk to the train from the port entrance is appx 20 min. There is a 9:15 frecca train which is usually 18e pp rt for 1st class. The advantage to the frecca is reserved seats and it takes about 15 min less than regional trains. Sometimes the regional trains are full leaving Termini so they skip stops including the Vatican stop. If you are waiting at the Vatican to get back to the ship and your train drives past without stopping it is not pleasant. Also, Frecca trains do not participate in strikes. You can take the frecca to Termini with reserved seats in hand. From there, the metro gets you close to most everything. Red line to Vatican, Blue line to Colosseum. Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain Pantheon etc., are a bit of a walk from metro but strolling is half the fun of Rome. Enjoy! Sent from my iPad using Forums
  10. Wow, I had no idea it was so popular! I was going to deposit all threee PH categories on the waitlist in October when on Marina but it looks like that may be too late. I guess I better do it now. It’s almost two years away and situations change so you never know. The thread regarding the waitlist is discouraging at best. I may have to wait another year and I’ll be the person on the boards asking when the new sailings are opening for booking so I can book on day 1. Maybe we’ll retire by then and do the entire world sailing instead. :D:D:D:D
  11. When do segments of ATW sailings open? I’m looking at a grand voyage Singapore to Tokyo In 2020 but the entire ship is wait listed. I’m assuming availability is based on how much of the ship is sold for the ATW. When does O stop blocking rooms and open for other bookings? DH is very tall so need a PH on R ships which are limited. Should I just deposit the waitlist and see what happens?
  12. I admit, I’m a port addict, that why I love O, port intensive, interesting places. First TA in Oct after 2 weeks in the med, I may die of boredom but I was out voted. The cost of speedy internet is an NCL wide expense not a population per ship expense. Some equipment cost is per ship, of course, but the satellite system provider contract is the bulk of the cost. Currently, the only way to deliver true high speed internet to a ship is with low orbit satellites. Elon Musk is dropping these things into space fairly quickly bring down the price. Many years ago, DH headed a group of physicists that developed the technology that allows for this stuff today. NCL keeps contracting with satellite providers at 20,000 plus feet with no targeting ability which will never deliver low orbit speed and reliability. Hence the problem. Carnival finally came onboard with low orbit and the new Seabourn Ovation was connected and is lightning fast everywhere. Maybe in a few years when the new NCL contract expires, they will see the light and O will finally get speedy internet too.
  13. Any more reports on new WiFi. Improvements? Very frustrating as we embrace “work from floating home”. We sail O when sailing by ourselves and Royal Caribbean with kids or grandkids. Royal Caribbean has 6000 people, plus crew, using facetime, Skype, streaming Netflix.... with no problems. We can video conference anytime without issue. Working while onboard is fine but having to use port time to make a conference call because WiFi is so poor on the ship is unacceptable. Why is it that O can not figure this out. Obviously, it is a very solveable problem.
  14. Thanks all for the info, I won’t worry about the drydock and go ahead book aspect on Oasis. I’m taking my mom and she has never been on a cruise so I didn’t want her first to be full of construction. Yay!!! Sent from my iPad using Forums
  15. Has anyone been on the last sailing prior to a dry dock refurbishment. I am looking at the third week in September in the med next year but Oasis goes into dry dock after that sailing. I sailed Allure two weeks post drydock in the med a few years and it was a great trip but I’ve heard that construction sometime starts on that last sailing. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thx
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