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About edmonton2

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    Sooke, B.C.
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  1. We will be there on April 14th so we will report back after our trip!
  2. Has anyone ever done the free walking tour that starts at the Municipal Tourism office. According to my research, there should be one that starts at 9am on Saturdays. We arrive in port at 7am - do you think its possible to take a taxi from the ship and get there in time for the start of the tour?
  3. Following...we are interested in walking also. According to Google maps it is 3.2 km (2 miles). We understand about the heat, but just wondering how safe it would be?
  4. Just curious...did you stop at another port to replace the stop in Nicaragua, or just skip it and have a sea day?
  5. Isleta is a small island. There is a small sandy beach area with a dock near the main building (I think this is a small resort that can be rented privately). There is also an infinity pool and eating area. The different parts of the island are connected by boardwalk and walking trails and there are a number of private areas to explore where there are hammocks and lounging chairs to relax in. The day we were there was extremely windy, and we found it less windy to sit by the pool as opposed to the beach. We were served lunch that was prepared in a large outdoor kitchen (not quite as good as the food on the cruise ship) served buffet style. Drinks were available all day - I'm pretty sure there was an extra charge for the drinks. There were also small kayaks and snorkeling gear provided at no charge. It was very quiet and serene on Isleta, compared to an adjacent island with lots of people and loud music playing. A few people in our excursion rented jetskis as well. We noticed a couple of people set up an area to sell jewelry and other souvenirs but they were not pushy by any means. Something to keep in mind is that the island is very small so there are not a lot of places to actually explore. Even though our trip to the island and back took longer than expected because of the weather, it is still quite a ways from Cartegena. If you are looking for a relaxing day then this is a great excursion! Here is a link with some great pictures of the island and its amenities. http://www.aviaturecoturismo.com/es/colombia/aviaisleta
  6. Wait! We have taken a shuttle before, and it seemed to take ages! You could be one of about a dozen people in the shuttle (which will wait until it is fairly full before leaving the airport) packed with everyone's luggage. If your hotel happens to be last on the list, it could take quite a while to get there, not to mention the time it takes to unload everyone before you. Before you book a shuttle I would definitely check out the flat rate taxis that Pizzalady1 listed. I have searched Charley's taxi before and they are recommended highly. The advantage is that the taxi will be there waiting when you arrive. However, the one drawback is that you will be waiting for that particular taxi you have booked, not the first one that happens to be there. For this reason, we chose to just take the first cab available - it was the quickest and easiest. Yes, it might have cost a bit more, but we were out of the airport and at our hotel in less than half an hour. We are definitely not the type of people to normally jump in a cab when on holiday, but this is one place we do!
  7. Are you planning on driving the road to Hana? If I'm not mistaken, I think that is where you will find most of the waterfalls with easy access. We tried to hike the Waihee Ridge trail on our visit in February but the it was closed. We were planning to do this mainly for the hike, though, and not necessarily just to see the falls (they are visible off in the distance apparently).
  8. We visited Rainbow Falls in Hilo a few years ago. A quick search and I found these directions: Take Waianuenue Avenue (one of the main roads in downtown Hilo that connects to Highway 19) west for just over a mile and a half from downtown. Follow the sign for the falls and turn right onto Rainbow Drive. You'll see the park on your right with a large parking area. If you get to the Hilo Medical Center, you missed the turn. Here's a link with a map: https://www.lovebigisland.com/hilo/rainbow-falls/ And don't forget to watch for the eucalyptus trees at MM 6.7 on the Hana Hwy - even though you can't really walk through this forest area easily, you will still see them :)
  9. Yes, this is why we turned around once we reached Ohe'o Gulch. As Astro Flyer pointed out, driving any further may have voided our rental car agreement, so after much research, this was a risk were didn't want to take.
  10. Look for the Painted Grove between mile marker 6 and 7 (approximately 6.7). If you stop on your way toward Hana, there will be a small pull-in on your right hand side. We stopped both on the way to Hana and on the way back - the light in the morning was so bright that the contrast in the colours on the trees didn't show up nearly as well as they did later in the day when the sun was less intense. At this stop the trees are down a bank off the highway, so its not really possible to wander among the trees here. You might want to stop at the Ke'anae Arboretum (MM 16.7) which might give you a better view.
  11. I am celiac and always eaten in either the Oceanview cafe or the MDR. I have had great experiences, but I completely agree with the comments above. Especially when it comes to asking questions - don't be shy about this! I found the staff very helpful, but make sure you ask the right questions and the right people. Once they even made me gluten free fish and chips in the buffet! Also...at dinner, I always asked for my gluten free bread to be toasted. I agree, its not great, but it does taste better this way (and don't let them bring you raisin bread at dinner, unless of course its something you like:)).
  12. We did the drive to Haleakala in February and saw an absolutely spectacular sunrise! I am so glad we got up early to see this (we drove from Lahaina). The roads are well marked and there are reflective cat's eyes most of the way. One thing to be aware of though, since Feb. 1 there is a new reservation system if you are taking a rental/personal vehicle. The cost is minimal, but without a reservation you won't be allowed into the park until after 7am. See this thread http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2427272 If you have the time, I would recommend doing this in a rental car instead of a group tour. After the sunrise there are a lot of interesting things to see on the crater (short walks, hikes) and a few restaurants on the way down. We really enjoyed taking our time to explore a bit. Something else to be aware of if you plan to explore Iao Valley State Park - the park is temporarily closed due to heavy flooding - http://dlnr.hawaii.gov/dsp/parks/maui/iao-valley-state-monument/ Hope this helps!
  13. Completely agree with you... we need to try to be understanding of mental health issues rather than judge people and put insulting labels on them.
  14. I''m really going to miss this blog! I started reading when we returned home from the Caribbean and you have been my cure for the post-cruise blues!!! And since we are planning an Australia/NZ cruise in a couple of years, I have been most interested in your travels. I will go back and re-read your blog many times, I am sure! Thank you for all of the detailed information and great pictures - and your commentary has been very entertaining! I look forward to following along on your next adventures - wherever that might be. :)
  15. We have stayed on Deck 6 on the Eclipse and deck 8 on Equinox - loved both locations!!! If you take the stairs often (as we did), deck 8 is a bit closer to everything - however, that would be minimal in the decision-making in my opinion. On deck 6 there is a blue deck-part that extends beyond the balcony, but no one below you. On deck 8 you can see people below you at the railing (and above if you look up) as others have mentioned. For our next cruise we have booked, we chose a SV cabin with a larger balcony, which happens to be on deck 6 - we are very happy with this!
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