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About cruisegermany

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Cologne, Germany
  • Interests
    Travel, Photo, Politics, Science, Cooking, Friends
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Norwegian Cruise Line, Cunard (more to come)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. Take a cab to MIA rental car center, pick up a car just for 1 day and drive around, Everglades, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens, whatever. No need to find a solution for luggage, leave it in your car!
  2. A Panama Canal transit is always a must, and when I think back to my full and partial transits, it really IS special. Since the old locks are still operated with that old-fashioned locomotive technique, I guess the new locks are "less entertaining", but hundreds of people will definitely be out on the open decks, trying to find the perfect observation spot, mainly close to the bow. The narrator will be an employee of the Canal Administration, and what he told us, being transmitted to all public spaces, was very interesting and entertaining. Passing through Gatun Lake, he held a slide presentation in the theatre. The evening before the transit you'll find a brochure on your bed which explains technical details of the canal, a map, description of the locks etc. - and still I have listened to conversations like that: "Well, I have seen enough, I get back to this place as soon as we're getting close to the second set of locks". Person 2: "Oh, there is another set of locks?" Yes, there is, or do you expect us to speed down river rapids or a 90 feet waterfall?
  3. Gatun Lake Tour, definitely. First of all, I really recommemd to focus on the full transit, even if you're doing the partial transit now. The full transit won't allow any Gatun Lake Tours, so it would be smart to go for it, now! Staying on board is mainly "boring", you won't see anything else than cargo ships and tankers waiting in the distance for their chance to pass through the locks, while the heat and humidity kill you on the open decks. There is absolutely no wind. Since the Panama Canal has old AND new locks now fully operational, one has to go twice... smaller ship and bigger ship. The new locks are still on my bucket list.
  4. Hi! Princess and Holland-America-Line are the two big players for Alaska cruises, although my trip with Celebrity was really lovely, too. All cruise line focus on Mother Nature during their cruises. Land and sea, mountains, wildlife, glyciers and icebergs, volcanism, earthquakes, tectonic plates and there is always a naturalist on board holding interesting talks. A grand focus and nature is what makes Alaska cruises special. Much more important, I think, than the name of a vessel is the routing, how many nights and if it is going from/to Vancouver or Seattle or all the way up to Seward, Whittier or Anchorage. The typical 7nts round trip from Vancouver / Seattle only allows you a tiny taste of Alaska, and squeezing yourself through the souvenir shops of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway is not what I call "Alaska Experience". My suggestion: disembark in Seward or Whittier and discover Alaska by rental car or RV. See Denali, Fairbanks, Valdez, take whale watching tours, ride a tour boat towards the glaciers near Valdez.
  5. Hey! Oct 6th, 2019 - Harmony of the Seas, from/to Port Canaveral - Caribbean Cruise. Taking my best school mate and her twin kids (18 years) to their very first long trip - far away from home. They are sooooo excited. USA, Florida, Alligators, Everglades, Cruise Ship, Disney, Universal, NASA - that's sensory overload, hehe ...
  6. Hi, guys! Hopping on board in Hamburg on May 4th, 2020 - going to Southampton (May 6th) and then setting sails toward NYC. So we're going to join the "Dorothy's Friends Meeting" in the Commodore Club, I guess? Do they still have it? It has been a while since I last sailed with one of the Queens. Have been on Elizabeth and Victoria, too, but QM2 is absolutely unique. Some say, due to the "carnivalization" Cunard isn't what it used to be. Don't know - to me she is still a very special ocean liner. My last TA on QM2 was in 2014 - Gee - and every afternoon about 50 guys were there joining the LGBT event, up to 98 years old. I bumped into a guy I knew from several gay chorus events in Germany, Amsterdam, USA. How small the world is.
  7. Hello! I am very fond of Princess Cruises, too. Once sailed around the UK on Ocean Princess. I believe it has been sold by now. It was one of the Renaissance Class Ships that nowadays sail as Azamara, Oceania and Vasco da Gama. I loved it. I still remember one day we were docked at a tiny place in Cornwall when the school cheerleaders came and the mayor himself welcomed each and every passenger with a handshake.
  8. This is the "floating pier", that will connect to the vessel.
  9. When the ships are ready to set their sails, we will see, if Virgin can fill it with "payload" for these fares 🙂 If not the fares will go down. If not during the first weeks, then later. They always have. In the first season, everyone wants to see the new things. Has been the same when the Oasis Class was new, today we see the same with Celebrity Edge...
  10. Hello! Norwegian Bliss - I would consider it as too big for this wonderful cruise region. The pristine waters, glaciers, widl life, that makes me think of a smaller ship. Been to Alaska on Celebrity and HAL. Both cruises were breathtaking. These ships are allowed to get close to Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay, stay there for more than one hour, you can watch the glacier calving, awesome. The nature talks and presentations on both HAL and Celebrity were lovely!
  11. Hello! This is most likely the basic problem when it comes to find "the ship" for the next cruise. Many people love to stick with just one cruise line, and collect their points / nights to get all the tier perks. I always found this a bit boring, because sooner or later you'll know all menu cards by heart, can sing along during stage shows. And, most important, you might miss some other experience that you might love, too. There are even big differences within the same cruise line, Norwegian Spirit (small) is different from Norwegian Encore (big), Vision of the Seas (small) feels different from Symphony of the Seas (XXL). Check out Douglas Ward's "Cruise Bible" - The Berlitz Guide to Cruising and Cruise Ships. Watch Videos on Youtube. There are a lot of talented movie makers around doing full walk arounds on cruise ships, this might give you a clue.
  12. Hello, weather / temperatures in Europe are impossible to know in advance. Last year, 2018, was a long and record-breaking summer, with droughts and low water levels in many rivers, leading to limited traffic. Cruise lines have been affected, too. This summer, 2019, was moderate most of the time, but three mindblowing heat waves, end of June, end of July, and - right now - end on August, laste a week each. Heatwave No. 2, end of June, was record-breaking (again), measuring an all time high of 42.5°C - equals 108 F (!!!). Just today, there were some news that water level of Danube River is low, in Bavaria, but further downstream, in Austria, water levels are managed by barrages / locks Due to climate change and altering jet streams, we have sustained weather situations, much longer than in some decades ago. Some other years there was moist air from the Mediterranean Sea being sucked around the Alp Mountains on an easterly path colliding with colder air from the Atlatic Ocean right above Bavaria, leading to major floodings. So - everything can happen, but - think positive - everything will be fine. Been cruising on Danube River in May, I loved it. But any other river cruise is a must, too: Rhine, Saar. Moselle, Rhone, Elbe... good reasons to come back! When visiting Vienna and Budapest, don't miss the Kaffeehäuser (coffee houses - cafés) and enjoy cake, pastry, strudel. Divine!
  13. The Pan Pacific is always expensive. The location is unique, the views breathtaking, the demand beyond imagination, that makes the price. Any other hotel will do,since the cab rides within Vancouver Downtown are never long. Vancouver's top secret recommedation is The Buchan Hotel, Haro Street, not far from Stanley Park. Stayed there several times, but is has a few stairs to get up to the ground floor. Another basic hotel is English Bay Hotel on Denman, I remember it has easy access for wheelchairs, too and an elevator. For only one night it's perfect and right next to Vancouver's best Ice Cream Parlor. (D'oro Gelato - yummie!)
  14. Hello! Whenever chosing a stateroom, look at the deck plans and pick one in a "sandwich position", means: only other staterooms above and below. No lounges, restaurants, theatres, bars, sport clubs, public decks. The noise especially from "above" can be nerve-wrecking, when there is music performance, dance floor activities, or people pushing around chairs. Theatres are very often in use for several other purposes than indicated entertainment venues on your daily programme sheet: rehearsals, crew meetings, talks, captain's Q&A, sound checks, port shopping presentations, movies, Bingo, you name it. Modern ships are not louder or quieter when it comes to "bow or stern" question, most have azipods that do not cause vibrations.
  15. Hi! Fort Lauderdale as the "Venice of America" with all its canals requires a boat trip. Water taxi, but also Riverfront Cruises offer narrated canal tours, not to forget the famous Jungle Queen! https://www.junglequeen.com/ Vor old and young explorers there is the MODS (Museum of Discovery and Science) with the largest 3D IMAX screen in southern Florida. What about a rental car and a trip to the Everglades National Park? Shop til you drop at the Sawgrass Mills Factory Outlet, this is my favourite of all shopping malls. It will be your favourite, too, after having been there. About 30 minutes from FLL, in Sunrise. Las Olas Boulevard for fine dining and shopping... the options are endless... oh, forgot to mention the nice beaches...
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