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Everything posted by PelicanBill

  1. Flightseeing areas have always been problematic as you have multiple aircraft in tight uncontrolled air spaces. There is no technology to manage multiple aircraft in these spaces (especially at low altitudes) and the aircraft are not equipped with expensive collision warning systems. Hawaii Volcanoes, DisneyWorld, etc. have similar issues. These flights were operating under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) in uncontrolled space. A VFR pilot is responsible to see all around clearly to avoid obstacles and other aircraft. It will not surprise me if the NTSB finds that the larger aircraft descended unsafely to collide with the smaller aircraft which is reported to have been in straight level flight. Yes it's only my hypothesis, but it seems likely based on what is known.
  2. I always say this about all sailings from New York or Boston: At any time of the year, any day, you can have calm seas, light seas, moderate seas, heavy seas, or a mother-lovin-bomb cyclone. You just can't be sure ahead based on time of the year. A storm that passed 1,000 miles out to sea can send swells into Bermuda and New York 2-3 days later. Windy.com and their phone app is a great resource to look at sea, temperature and wind conditions at sea or anywhere.
  3. On the web site, with a browser, there are two versions of your calendar. The one at the menu item called "My Calendar" shows "at your leisure." However, on the HOME screen, scroll down until you see "Your calendar at a glance". Scroll to each day and hover your mouse. You will see they DO know when you reserved. So take a record of your times with you in case they are not apparent when on board. Do that for all your reservations.
  4. The ship excursion plane had a pilot and 10 passengers and 9 were rescued, most injured, one critical. One is still missing. Many are searching.
  5. This sounds like a change since last November when I was able to message people in other cabins. Bad news.
  6. 1 - I have sailed from NYC in many different months. Generally in the spring and fall you can expect shorts weather by the afternoon on the second day (first full day of sailing) unless there is a cool wind coming in. You are generally off the coast of North Carolina then. A cool wind can affect the second day, too, when you are off the coast of northern Florida. I've had great warm weather on the second day after a cold April 1 departure from NYC once. I agree with prior poster that June should be great barring bad weather. 2. Take the bus to Cocoa beach as described and walk the area if the weather is nice. Many people do stay on the ship. You can return at any time. 3. If your bus is going to the Pier, nothing could be easier. If going to the Port Authority, just find the taxi stand outside and you are a very short 10 minute ride to the pier drop off. The Manhattan pier has 3 levels. There are two large elevators. No matter where you are dropped off, go to Level 1 (street level), where you drop your tagged luggage. Then return to level 2 to enter the building for security screen, picture and check in. Level 3 is the parking level. When you return, luggage and immigration are on level 1 and they exit you out the doors at street level and out to 12th ave for all pickups and taxis.
  7. Must be fairly recent trend then. Been on Breakaway 4 times over the last 4 years from NYC and I can recall only twice that a movie was shown outside. Perhaps it depends on the CD's preference or they felt the Atlantic weather was not ideal for it.
  8. There is still conflicting information about how many are missing. is it 1 or 2? CNN says 2, other reports and the ship letter suggest 1. Anyone know for sure?
  9. May be a little hard to get hard data about watersports available since the hurricane. Orient Beach has only really been functional as a tourist spot for 6 months with far fewer services and facilities than before.
  10. Reviews on another site I cannot name here are very positive. A taxi to Little Bay Divi was noted in another post as being $5 a person each way, so I think it would be similar for the trip here.
  11. Oh someone posted specifics on Little Bay - using the beach at Divi. This might be a great bet.
  12. You are very correct that snorkeling is never "very good" from tourist beaches. The only beach that qualifies in St. Maarten is Great Bay, the beach in front of Philipsburg in the same bay as the cruise dock. There is a ferry from the excursion dock that goes over there for a few dollars per person. The only problem is the excursion dock is quite a long walk from the ship - my wife walks with a cane and it took a long time and was difficult for her. There was a single large golf cart giving people rides but they did not seek out those needing assistance - just picked up anybody - so we never got help from them. The taxi stand is closer than the ferry dock. A short taxi ride gets you to Little Bay, where there are some hotels on the beach but the public beach has few services. And Orient Beach is about a 20 minute taxi ride. Lots of services but there is a nude section at the south end. Be aware that all the beaches are likely to have topless women being very European. Hope that helps
  13. I saw a lot of kids have a great time on my 4 times on Breakaway. The only negative is there is very little space around the kids pool for parents to sit and supervise. Kids are not allowed in the big pool.
  14. Yes really. It's my business. So instead of making a sarcastic comment why don't you ask why I say that. A cruise manifest is a large collection of highly private information that could easily be used for identity theft. It must be handled with the utmost care in secure systems, and encrypted storage. It's not appropriate to load it up on a spreadsheet. Small island nations don't have the infrastructure to handle that and the US is not likely to transmit it without a clear ability to handle it. Instead, these countries trust the cruise line to check the basics - a passport isn't even required for most Caribbean ports as we know! So why check for passport expiration in 6 months? Immigration is invited aboard to see the manifest if they wish, and mostly they want to know about non-US citizens. Any country that has a more strict requirement (Russia, Cuba, etc.) has to perform the immigration function under a dedicated process with the cruise line. Russia comes aboard and interviews everyone with their passport. Cuba performs a visitor visa for everyone and the cruise line processes it with them. Collection of personal information for identity theft is rampant in the Caribbean, especially Mexico and Jamaica. Again, information security is my profession and business, and I have a lot of internation experience at this.
  15. Yes this is what I was going to respond. People are overestimating the capabilities and resources of these small island nations with very underpowered IT.
  16. TUMI in Newark Airport terminal C. https://www.tumi.com/store/0000001116
  17. Mahwah NJ is also a good location for your travel. Decent prices since well outside the city (like Parsippany) and just 45 minutes to the port.
  18. Look at windy.com (and has a phone app too) to see wind, waves, temperatures.... very helpful. Wave conditions really vary based on the wind and conditions offshore and can be calm or rough at any time of the year... and change from day to day!
  19. Not in St. Maarten. There is a golf cart there but they pick up anyone and we could never get their attention to help people who needed it.
  20. A lot of people have reported trying to up load a picture that meets requirements only to have it retaken on check in. I'm not bothering ahead... will just do at check in.
  21. Movies are rarely shown outside. Parties are held on the Spice H2O deck some nights. Movies are usually shown in the Atrium.
  22. All three ports require a lengthy walk down a pier consistent with almost all ports. Labadee has a tram that takes you to several points so that will be reasonable. San Juan has a free trolley that lets you see the old city, and many stops to get off/on so you can get over to the west end of the shopping and restaurant area with less walking. It is a quarter mile walk from the end of the pier to the east end of that area. Saint Maarten has a pier shopping area and the excursion pick up area is to one side. The walk to the excursion dock for the ferry to downtown or boat based excursions is very long. very long. My wife has bad knees and walks with a cane so we feel for you. The walks are always an issue.
  23. I would NOT trust one of those sleeves in the water with my phone that costs $1,000 to replace . We store our phones and stuff in one of these. Is water resistant and will survive a short rainshower or longer if you put a folded towel over it. https://www.amazon.com/Vaultz-Locking-Tether-Medium-VZ00724/dp/B00P45FXGW/ref=sr_1_13?keywords=beach+safe+with+cable&qid=1557247429&s=gateway&sr=8-13
  24. I think if this were a problem in the commonly visited cruise ports we'd have heard about it before this. More due diligence should be done when doing unusual itineraries and visiting countries with sensitive relationships with the US... Asia, Middle East, Cuba, Russia, etc. I am not sure if there is much scrutiny of US passengers by the countries of most common cruise ports. I suspect the cruise line transmits the manifest as a courtesy. Immigration officers come aboard and speak with the officers for a few minutes and may ask to see certain non-US passengers but only if there is a concern. Imagine the work to inspect the manifest person by person and look at expiration dates! Source: rode in the elevator with departing immigration agents in Nassau once had a nice chat. And noted in trip reports from the Baltics that For St. Petersburg all passengers had to meet with Russia immigration and some were not permitted to get off the ship.
  25. I got 5:30 for many evenings on Anthem in June... but I did make my reservations as soon as they opened.
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