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About squick64

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  1. At the Grand Canyon, I saw teenagers sitting on the edge, past the fence. A woman walking near me said, "They'd better hope the ranger doesn't see them." And I said something like, "the ranger is the least of their worries." Some people die of exposure and dehydration while hiking at the GC, but a ridiculous number die from completely preventable falls. In one, a guy was taking pictures of things on the opposite side from the canyon itself, like the lodges, and of course, he took a step back to get everything in the shot and went over the edge. This could easily have been the last photo this woman ever had taken of her. It would take so very little to lose your balance or your grip, especially with the usual windy conditions around a ship (and sometimes wetness). And then that's it for her, most likely. They'd probably never find her body. But hey, at least she'd get a really good shot of herself in her new swimsuit? They could show it at her memorial service.
  2. I'm thinking suicidal or drunk or...either way, not a good plan. Whether it's cruise ships or the Grand Canyon or whatever, there will always be people who think that somehow, they're immune from the extremely clear and present risk of death that comes from ignoring the signs and the safety railings. She's very lucky she only got banned.
  3. I don't know if this contributes anything useful, but Explorer is doing two charters (1980s and Star Trek) in March 2020 and has been chosen for the March 2021 versions of those cruises as well (Star Trek, at least--I assume both). They're both 7 days (or 7 nights, however the math works)--I don't know about 9-day cruises.
  4. As much as I like to not pay a lot of extra money for a solo, in the end of the day, I'll pay what I need to to get the trip I want (or I guess I won't do it at all, if it comes to it). I'm definitely paying double on my Panama Canal cruise, but it's 16 days (my longest yet), and it's a spa balcony in a prime location--I decided to live a little. šŸ™‚ But then on my next cruise after that, I'm in an awful little solo cabin down in steerage, but I don't really care and the cruise is already costly, as it's a holiday. Bless Royal Caribbean for giving double points for double rooms booked as solos, though. Roll call wise, my next solos are as follows (and are in my signature): Star Trek: the Cruise IV (March 2020) NCL Bliss - Panama Canal (November 2020) RCL Adventure of the Seas - Western Caribbean (December 2020)
  5. I figured that's what you meant, really. But yeah, I'm not going to go with a different line just because I no longer have status with NCL or RCL. As it is, I'm open to trying other lines out of curiosity or to using other lines if the itinerary warrants it. Of course, I only have silver and gold on those lines, respectively. Maybe if I were Mega Diamond Platinum Plus Deluxe(TM) and got my own butler on every cruise, I'd be singing a different tune.
  6. What cruise I go on always depends on itineraries and cost and so on--in the end of the day, I'm going to go with whoever can give me what I want, when I want, for the price I want. But if two lines can give me the cruise I want but one will also give me sparkling wine in my cabin or something, then I'll go with them. Of course, if one line killed their loyalty program and no other line did, they'd be in for a world of hurt.
  7. The r/retrofuturism subreddit would like to see that, I'm sure, assuming it's not been posted already. I have a copy of an article from the 1900 Women's Home Journal (or something) about what the world would be like in 2000. I think it's at least as interesting as an insight into the issues of the day as it is a vision of things to come. A lot of what was mentioned in the article related to food hygiene, for instance, which was a massive issue in the Victorian era. I agree, waiting until you're retired to experience life is...suboptimal. There are so many places to visit--one could spend months just in a single country--and then you often find you want to go back. You just can't fit that into your retirement years, especially given that your health and activity level are going to decline.
  8. They're a bit of a mixed bag. I've done a couple now, I guess. I organized one, and it went pretty well, but I don't want to do it again. It allowed people to share information on getting to and from port and arrange things together--one person had booked a coach, for instance, and was willing to take others. My last one was one of the busiest roll call threads the site has ever seen, but the event was a bit of a wash. Only a handful of people turned up, and one of the people missing was the person who posted in the thread nearly every day and knew everyone and was chatting away for like 2 years beforehand. On one of my current ones, someone posted about a deal the cruise line was offering. I would never have known had I not gotten the thread notification. It saved me a ton of money.
  9. I always have a To Do list and a packing list. The To Do list includes things like putting notices on credit cards, setting out of office on my e-mail...as well as the big-ticket stuff like "get a flight". I pack everything in cubes an am very diligent about making sure that everything's crossed off as it goes in. I still manage to forget something, though, every time. Sigh. My packing list includes things like packing cubes, a hanging toiletry bag, travel hangers (extra hangers to hang up clothes or to put swimsuits on), and plastic luggage tag holders for the cruise. Of course, always fly in at least a day early. I get everything sorted out online beforehand, in terms of drinks packages, dinner reservations, anything.
  10. I have the CSR, as well as the Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited. I got it when it first came out, when the bonus was 100k, I think. It's been a great little card. The fee is a pain, of course, but the points are good, and there's a free Emerald Club membership at National, a free Priority Pass to use in airports, and free global entry, among other things. Their definition of "travel" is also one of (or the) loosest in the industry--a remarkable number of things qualify for the 5-point rate.
  11. Any time I see people suggest that their kid would never do X, I laugh. Yeah, there are reasonably "good" kids, but I guarantee that everyone has done something they weren't supposed to at some point in their youth. Most of the time, they're restricted by the availability of an activity or the inability to drive to it or pay for it--a cruise erases a lot of those lines. More or less 24/7 amusements and food, all for the taking. And there's always somewhere to hide where a supervising adult won't be able to find you. Having a chaperone per cabin is an undertaking, as most cabins can only fit 3 or 4 people. So you'd have to pay for and organize the kids and all of the extra adults. You'd end up with either "bad" parents, as mentioned above, or good parents who do a proper job...but then the kids are annoyed because it's not much of a cool trip with their friends if they have to share a cabin with their mom every night. If it were me, I'd want to share one with my friends and no one else so we could stay up chatting and stuff. As mentioned, even if the cruise line allows instruments, the passengers will end up staging a coup and throw you all over the railing by day 2. šŸ˜„ I can't even imagine trying to have a nice time by the pool and having halftime football marching band music blaring at me. The only thing worse would be my most hated instrument of all time, the bagpipes (I would throw a bagpiper over, or at least go to Guest Services instantly). Also, I may be alone in this, but I've sometimes been more annoyed by teenagers on ships than by little kids, I guess because little kids are just...being kids. Teenagers are old enough that you feel they should know better. And they're not cute anymore. By the way, are y'all sure the kids have never broken and then replaced the tape when you've traveled?
  12. I live alone and all, so I don't even try. I did take my family on a trip last month, sort of, but otherwise, I'm not looking for company (I suppose I'm potentially open to my parents joining me--they joined me to Alaska basically because my mother didn't want me to see Alaska before she had :-p). But then I do everything alone, anyway, so I don't feel a need for company--in fact, it would sometimes be a pain to have. I'm sure as heck not sharing my cabin, at least. But different strokes, different folks. Some people really don't like the supplement, and some people can't stand the idea of not traveling with someone else. Alas, you only have so many options--either find someone you know or go alone and meet people. Although I guess occasionally, there are roommate possibilities on ships? And if the price is a factor, book solo cabins.
  13. I've not seen a proposal, but on one of my last cruises, this guy borrowed the guitar from one of the musicians who was going around and played and sang for his table--I think to his girlfriend, although I couldn't really see properly. One sort of wacky and fun experiences was when one of the solo group (NCL) volunteered to do hypnosis. She'd clearly done it before. She was by far the best entertainment of all the people on stage, doing these huge performances under hypnosis, really energetic. Afterwards, we struggled to even leave the theater because so many people were stopping to praise her performance or take selfies with her and stuff. Another situation that was nice and kind of odd was when I sat with a few other people--a woman traveling solo and a couple from Canada--for the muster and we didn't end up leaving the muster station for like 3 hours, ordering drinks and chatting away. I hardly ever saw them again, though, although the solo woman was on my next (?) cruise and I recognized her in the check-in hall.
  14. Well, I'm all for the inclusion of laser tag and VR and whatnot for the people who are interested in that, but the lack of Spice H2O is notable. I've been on one NCL mega ship (and am booked on another), and my memory was that during the day, there were no loungers to be had, and everything was crowded on deck--a real pain. Replacing Spice H20 with laser tag will only make it worse, surely? And where will the late-night parties be, if not in Spice? I guess they could be indoors, but the outdoor space was kind of neat for that. Oh well, no one's forcing me or anyone else to sail on her. šŸ™‚
  15. Iā€™m using traveling solo, so I go either way.
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