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Chardonnay Char

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Posts posted by Chardonnay Char

  1. On 8/18/2023 at 5:48 PM, marshacruises said:

    We are on The Solstice that leaves Vancouver for Honolulu on September 22, 2023.  Our stop in Maui has been changed to a second day in Kona (an overnight).  We will be stopping at Hilo for a day, then Kona for two days then on to Honolulu for disembarkation on October 1.  This was done pretty quickly, and I would think that they might have to make different arrangements for each cruise since they have to work with ports that have already been booked years in advance.  At least we will be in paradise!



  2. There is a gem of a place in Waikiki called the Breakers.  Old-Hawaii atmosphere. Family owned and run.  Check Trip Advisor reviews.  We have stayed there three times and will be there again next month. Lots of repeat guests.  It is not on the beach and not a "luxurious" high rise, just a '60s style two story brick hotel with a beautiful pool. But it's a very short walk to the beach and to beach restaurants like Dukes as well as major shopping venues and restaurants.  It's actually more or less in the shadow of Trump Tower.  SO welcoming, so friendly.  Even the ever-present and very friendly/petable cats at the open air reception desk will greet you.  Stay here and you can save to spend your money on food.  

  3. Does anyone know if you need to get tickets in advance to visit the Missouri in Honolulu.  I know you have to get them for the Arizona but is the Missouri the same?  We will be there next month on the Solstice.

  4. Here is my question.  It says you can check in 45 days before sailing.  Obviously the earlier you check in, the better chance you have of getting an early boarding time.  I leave in the Eastern time zone.    Can I check in starting at midnight on day 45?  Does that mean people in the UK, who are about 5 hours earlier than us, get a chance to check in before me?  Thanks

  5. 7 hours ago, prmssk said:

    If not all of your travel group wants to eat in a specialty restaurant.  Or if you want some things from the MDR menu but would like an uncharge steak or lobster.  Or to save a little money but still get something that is a step up.


    To me, as long as upcharge items in the MDR don't replace things that used to be included, it seems like a net positive as it gives people more choices.

    I'm afraid your last sentence is exactly what would happen.  Eventually popular items -- even Steak Diane made with sirloin -- would disappear.

  6. On 8/24/2022 at 3:45 PM, mom says said:

    If it was only for the ship passengers it wouldn't be a hop on hop off, it would just be a bus trip with numerous stops.


    HOHOs employ several buses spread out over their routes which have numerous stops. You get off at a stop you want, then catch the next bus that comes along when you are ready to continue. Depending on the city, there may be a HOHO at the terminal, or there may be a shuttle to take you to and from a specific stop.

    Not always true.  We did an American Queen Mississippi trip last summer.  The steamship company offers HO/HO trips for no charge at all stops.  The buses actually follow the boat -- but on land.  So they are only for passengers.  

  7. On 5/23/2023 at 6:15 PM, paulh84 said:

    I’m failing to see the correlation between opening early and encouraging people to wait in line. People wait in line to get tender tickets, for shows, for walk offs, for meals, etc. You wanted to be first in line at 5:30 to get your coveted window seat and other people beat you to it. Had you been the one in front of the line, there would be no complaint. You’re on a ship with thousands of people. Not everyone can get the prime spots. 

    Remember the saying: If you build it, they will come.  I think there is a parallel:  If you open early, they will come earlier.  


  8. 1 hour ago, rickdent said:

    Question: did the house near the beach include food, cooking, maid service, laundry, bar waitstaff, liquor, or transportation to various islands?

      Probably not.  But it probably did include a coffee maker, a washer and dryer, super fast internet, a refrigerator to store lunchmeat, and good seafood and steak restaurants nearby that were't $50 a head over what was already paid.  We too spend time in Florida in the winter.  We are there for 6 weeks.  Even after paying for food and drinks -- at restaurants and from grocery stores -- those 6 weeks would equal about 2 weeks in a veranda cabin.  Cruising is fun but we like choices.  

    • Like 7
  9. Just now, Chardonnay Char said:

    No no no

    Before my mother died 20 years ago, she complained the burgers just didn't taste as good anymore.  Then one day I realized why:  She was buying 90 pct lean beef.  One day I bought some very cheap 73 pct beef to make a burger for my grand-dog.  OMG.  So good.  I have fewer burgers these days, but the higher fat content makes a huge flavor difference.

    • Like 5
    • Thanks 1
  10. On 5/19/2023 at 11:15 AM, NutsAboutGolf said:


    You need to try a top burger recipe; the following is an easy to make (no grinding meat) and affordable (about $2 per 8oz patty) "99% burger" or a burger that's better than 99% of the burgers you've ever had...For the meat, you generally have the best, Japanese/Australian Wagyu, second best which is what we're using here American Wagyu and third, USDA Prime.  For the patties, sams club and costo sell American Wagyu at under $7/lb, buy that and McCormick's Just 5 classic french onion, liberally sprinkle both sides of the patty with McCormick's powder, that's it...Some have called this burger "life changing", it really is that good





  11. I suspect this isn't a problem on Carnival, where the crowds are much younger.  Many old people just eat early. Maybe it dates to the days when women stayed home and the Man of the House expected dinner the minute he got home.  I am old too.   I can not imagine eating at 5 o'clock.    I want to enjoy cocktail hour first!  

  12. On 3/27/2023 at 2:44 PM, goofysmom99 said:

    Well, I did it.  Finally looked at the grass on the other side of Celebrity's fence and booked 14-night Regent Mariner for my 2024 TA out of Barcelona and will be jettisoning the Silhouette TA.  Wanted something other than MDR, but could NOT justify X's pricing for me, even with my zenith benefits.  Silhouette:  S2 $783/night ($850 OBC); A2 $450/night (lousy extra wifi, $50 OBC).  Regent Mariner:  Cat G $478/night ($150 OBC, $1000 OBC as new cruiser).  Regent includes everything, excursions, laundry, 24/7 room service, bigger cabin, etc.  So for $28/night more than A2, my decision sort of became a "which hand has the rock." 🤚👊  I'm really excited to try Regent and wish it weren't so far off; if I didn't have so much already invested in Nov Constellation TA (last of the FCCs), I'd be looking for something else this year, too.


    Edit:  Regent's deposit is refundable, less $100 admin fee (the $100 admin fee is converted to a FCC).  Not like X's new nonrefundable deposit policy (fortunately, I book onboard so will only be out $100 for cancelling the Silhouette).


    I'm impressed and tempted

    • Like 2
  13. 11 hours ago, rodndonna said:


    We're on this cruise also.


    I thought the Astoria port thing was  odd port and agree, your option would be much better! I expect there is some reasoning to having Astoria in there though. 🤔


    Overnight in Honolulu would have my supercharged vote, but sadly I expect it is only a dream. 😋



    Solstice docks in Hawaii after a cruise from Vancouver -- 2023 and 2024 in September.  Sadly no Kauai.


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