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Spif Barwunkel

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Everything posted by Spif Barwunkel

  1. I've got to say, Dubrovnik might be my favorite stop on this beautiful voyage. How fitting that the fading luster of a gorgeous Adriatic sky bids you a glorious adieu from a journey well taken.
  2. Post #18 by RedOaks is very well stated. Indeed, the choices for cruise travel are many and do present opportunities to all who prefer this method of travel. Matters not your life style, your social preferences or your economic status. Somewhere out there a ship's manifest could have our names on it. Just up to us to find the right fit. We are seasoned cruisers and prefer what the X brand offers. In keeping with the OP's theme, once Celebrity releases the European schedule for 2023 we will plan two or three cruises that offer itineraries attractive to us. Within that theme and to make a point regarding the pricing comments, I will say this. If Celebrity and Royal and whoever else offer cruises with the same itinerary, our choice will be Celebrity. Price differences are not a consideration. We are good with spending more money if that is the way it works out. Why? Because that is what works for us. We have certainly gotten our fair share of deals and perks over the years. Sometimes not, but that's okay too. So, if X has priced your name off of its ship's manifests, plenty of other places to go. That's a good thing.
  3. And, you do not have to lug luggage from point A to B to C, etc. You lug it once, airport to cruise port. Also, I'm thinking you don't want to pay more than one transport fee. Could be wrong.
  4. If all goes as scheduled, you land at 7:40. Off the plane to baggage claim, grab your luggage and now it's 8:15. Unless you just have to do something, why not hang out at the airport? AC, food and all the comforts of home. An 11:30 check-in time at the port means you grab a taxi, Uber or Lyft at 11:00. At the port between 11:15 and 11:30. Personally, that would be my choice. Kind of like waiting for a connecting flight.
  5. NICE!! Maybe it would have been better had I not gotten there so early. Oh well, perhaps a cup of Greek coffee and some Bougatsa will do. Looking forward to your take on Olea.
  6. Once again, enjoying your comments, photos and style. Per your initial post to start this thread, I did some online browsing around Zakynthos. Absolutely gorgeous! When we are finally able to book a Greek Isles cruise and not have it canceled, a few days in 'Z' town, post-cruise, is certainly a possibility. Can you divulge the name of your hotel at this time or must I wait for your arrival? The fact that I am sitting at home, means the earlier I get there the better.
  7. Thank you, SNJ. Always enjoy the comedy clubs on all lines when available. Will definitely stand on line one night although I much prefer having reservations.
  8. Perhaps I have missed it in previous threads. Are reservations required/necessary for the Punchliner Comedy Club? If so, made at guest relations, comedy club itself, online? Can you make them prior to boarding? Carnival customer service cannot answer the question satisfactorily so I'm coming to you. Certainly not important and only at your convenience. Thanks.
  9. Jim, what a great b2b Caribbean itinerary to get you started once again. We have been to all of the islands, both cruising and land stays. Doing your first leg in January 2022 on the "NOX" and will re-visit, if we can, some of our favorite spots. Looking forward to your takes on the various islands as well as Equinox coverage. Hopefully you will have access to most, if not all ports. Fair winds, calm seas and only the best of times. Twenty-one days doin' the Equinox Boogie!
  10. Whether it's quill to parchment, pen(cil) to paper or plastic keystroke to plastic keyboard, any effort, or lack thereof to scribble thoughts on a napkin will in no way be intended to adversely affect an otherwise healthy muscle.
  11. Realtime visuals in exemplary splendor, with a smattering of commentary at just the right time. Excellent work, and play, twangster. We have not cruised on a Carnival ship in a long time. Our age has forced our loyalty to be given to another. A better fit for both. However, we are returning to CCL to renew old acquaintances through a new friend, if only for a one time visit. Mardi Gras lives thirty-minutes away and we are going to pay her a visit in December. Made that decision before all the vlogs and blogs and hoopla. Thanks to you, and Kmom in an earlier thread, our experience will seem familiar, but not to the point of diminishing the enthusiasm and the newness of it all. Thanks.
  12. That is quite the faux-pas by Celebrity, doc, and it speaks to the continuing foibles still existent within a system that should be quite tight by now. There are necessary precautions and requirements that cruise passengers must adhere to and abide by in order to get on a boat. No problems with that. The problem is when additional, unnecessary steps and threatened interactions become a part of that process. Don't like to see other challenges befall anyone within the normal required scheme of things, especially when they are through no fault of ones own. Perhaps that kink in the X process chain grates a little louder these days when it involves a member of the medical profession who is in touch with this Covid19 aberration every day. I'm assuming your Wisconsin address did not give you easy access to the cruise port, unless Millennium boarded passengers on Lake Michigan. Additional worries about travel and subsequent efforts, possibly all for naught. Doc, I hope you and DW had fun. Maybe even more fun than if everything had gone super smooth. Only you know that.
  13. For many years there have been no good deals on high end watches in the Caribbean. The only savings will be the tax. So naturally, the more expensive the watch, the more tax saved. High end timepiece manufacturers have always been strict with their pricing policies and careful to whom they gave discounts. Dealers around the world no longer enjoy the occasional benefits they once did. For my 40th birthday, in 1984, I had planned to gift myself a Rolex watch. I priced watches locally as well as in various high-end stores in the Caribbean. At that time, deep discounts were available on some islands. Little Switzerland on St. Thomas has always been a favorite of mine and that is where I bought my Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date-Just, !8K Gold/Stainless Steel. I could have had it shipped but considering the savings I decided to take a mini-vacation and purchase in the store. Stateside, the watch cost $2650.00 plus tax. Purchase price in Little Switzerland was $1675.00 and no tax. The flight to St. Thomas from Florida (with First Class upgrade) plus three nights in a waterfront hotel cost me $625.00. Total cost for Rolex and mini-vacation, $2300.00. Now that’s a darn good deal. Those days are long gone. So, unless you are going to purposely be somewhere and take advantage of tax-free high-end items, purchasing at home is certainly more convenient. I did indeed declare the Rolex watch at customs in St. Thomas, showed it proudly to the customs agent with a big smile on my face. He wished me good luck with my purchase and sent me on my way, duty-free, with a big smile on his face. Naturally, I am still enjoying this timepiece. Had it appraised two years ago by an authorized Rolex dealer. To my pleasant surprise its value is $9000.00. Sorry, it’s not for sale.
  14. I realize the frustrations of getting old and the so-called discriminations shown us seniors because of our advancing years. It is not a malicious intent to stifle what independence and active life-style we have left. Rather, I believe it is a realistic reminder to better evaluate what our capabilities are in relation to what they once were. I no longer need to see things from high up or down below, at break-neck speed or over the rockiest and bumpiest of surfaces. I no longer need to challenge mother nature. Whereas I am healthy and in good shape for my years, I am happy that my brain is listening more to my body instead of trying to activate the override switch. It is not as much that I can't as it is I don't want to. Once you come to that understanding about yourself there is no reason for blame or anger or ill will toward anyone. There are activities and excursions that sooner or later are not for everyone and those responsible for providing the recreation must determine what works best for all involved. Perhaps a less strenuous, more relaxed adventure is just what the doctor ordered....whether or not he/she actually did.
  15. FYI - The interior of Dominica is lush and beautiful. We did a rain forest hike to an embarkation point for river tubing. It was humid and muddy and wet and adventurous. Just like a rain forest should be. Kind of like an Indiana Jones experience, minus the temple of doom and rolling boulders. An amazing and fun outing if one is in shape and mobile and somewhat daring. Other less strenuous excursions can also provide an enjoyable rain forest adventure.
  16. I cannot speak to NCL because I have never cruised on one of their ships. I am a Celebrity cruiser, including the Edge, because that is where I am comfortable and find much enjoyment. Itineraries, service, ships etc., it all works for me. NCL has never been an attraction. Obviously, you are comfortable with NCL. That is important. If something new is attractive to you, then the X brand will certainly be a step up and will not disappoint. If you must have the Greek Isles itinerary, there are other X ships cruising those waters at that time, the Edge as well. Difficult sometimes to move away from familiarity and comfort and peace of mind. Many factors in making the decision to do so. However, in this case, if everything can be worked out to your satisfaction, cruising on a Celebrity ship will be a very wise decision.
  17. Should be interesting to see if your sea legs are there waiting for you. Probably so, just like riding a bike. Looks like there will be no challenges from Grace. We have sailed Eclipse, Reflection and Silhouette each on more than one occasion and enjoyed them all immensely. First time for us on Equinox comes in January 2022. If there is any reason to expect something different from this Solstice class ship, that would interesting to know. Perhaps this thread will indicate such. Cruise in fair winds on calm seas.
  18. A very informative and entertaining thread, beholding to everyone about everything Mardi Gras. Anyone paying attention and who will subsequently be sailing MS MG has been educated. Lessons learned should prove to be invaluable. Kudos to Kmom and associates for a job well done.
  19. Sorry graphicguy, I meant grandgeezer. One of you is going to have to change your name. Legally, of course.
  20. GG - I will take full responsibility for this but I'm afraid you totally missed my point.
  21. jg, Agreed and I'll give you 51 reasons why my post is not funny. 1 - 'Cause it ain't. 2 - Wasn't meant to be. Three through fifty-one I'll forego for now and defer to your saddy/maddy face. What is funny is this continued effort to pull something devious and dishonest from deep inside a marketing concept because it doesn't fit or feel right. Like trying to pull a wedgie from deep inside a different kind of concept, on a hot, sweaty summer day. Neither one is going to make you totally comfortable. Solutions; Don't cruise where AI abounds and don't go outside on hot, humid summer days. How quickly one serious subject became two. Thanks jg for making that happen.
  22. Once again roils the contentious AI tempest in a teapot. Two simple words, "Always Included" rankles the cockles and beckons the bluster of otherwise sensible, easy-going human beings. And, just like times before there will be no solution, no satisfaction, no mitigation. It is what it is, for now. For now is....................this long, or longer? Truth be told, AI is quite simple, really, 2 + 2 simple and quite effective. If you are still worked up when next you step foot on a cruise ship, use that AI and have an alcoholic beverage to drink....whether you drink alcohol or not. You would certainly feel better than you do now.
  23. Would have been interesting to see the new Mardi Gras up close and personal. Certainly a totally different style and presentation from the new Edge class ships.
  24. When your dad was in Danang, I was about 400 miles south down the coast in Phan Rang. Has your dad enjoyed the pleasure of an Honor Flight?
  25. Kmom, some might say that you are working too hard to be having any fun on your cruise vacation. Others would surmise that how much fun you have is heightened by how much “work” you do. I know where my vote goes and I could probably stuff the ballot box. Good on ya for taking all requests and leaving no one hanging. From temperatures to consistencies, flavors to aromas, menus to mask hangings and all things other, it’s all covered. No matter the time of day. Darn good, young lady. Kind of like a Brand Ambassador with pharmaceuticals. Wow, could that get interesting. I gotta say, in following the John Heald “walkies” and your “stills” there is an awful lot of ground to cover. I wonder if it’s too much, for us anyway. For example, food looks great but are there too many choices? There are some gorgeous public spaces, but will Center Stage ever be utilized to its fullest potential? Choices are nice to have, but with them comes the possibility of establishing favorites. Eventually, some will prosper and perhaps some not so much. May all things good come to Mardi Gras. And, whatever day of the week it is, it will always be Fat Tuesday. Looking forward to my December cruise and thanks to folks like Kmom, I’ll be smarter and ready. At least I think I will. Also, only one request from me. Sometime, in the wee hours of the morning – between 3:00 & 3:30 am – I would like to see pictures of the ships bridge, from where comes the “Night Moves” when no one is looking.
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