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About IWantToLiveOverTheSea

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    no favorite yet - looking at Europe now

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  1. I really liked Costa Maya. In the morning I went on a ship's excursion to one of the Mayan ruin sites - very worthwhile. Then I walked from the port down to the little beach, which was actually kind of a nice, fun place. The sand wasn't great, but I enjoyed looking at the little shops on the boardwalk, and stopped into the internet cafe to use a computer. I enjoyed the fact that the beach was not crowded, and that there were things I wasn't quite expecting, like massage tables and tables where you could order a beer. I photographed the nearby lighthouse and then took a cab back to the ship. I found the port to be an interesting place to take a few pictures of the vibrant colors, flowering plants, etc. It was a nice day. In Roatan we rented a motorcycle (yes, not for everyone) and drove around the island, stopping at the beach for a short while. We enjoyed that day, too. We had been to Cozumel before, so I wasn't exactly looking forward to it much. It was an OK stop, just like the first time we stopped there. Haven't been to Harvest Caye.
  2. I agree. They will answer non-monetary questions, but if there's a possible purchase or credit involved (having Oceania purchase a visa for you, or an upsell), they will politely tell you to contact your agent.
  3. Normally only river cruises and the occasional smallish ocean cruise ships dock where River Countess is. But to get to where almost all ocean liners dock, the ocean liners travel through the canal and into the port. Attached is a screen shot of Venice near San Basilio. Toward the right hand side about a third of the way into the screenshot, you see a small bumpout near a red "360" circle at the water line This is the area of the San Basilio vaporetto station. The dock for river ships is to the left of that and the multi-berth Venezia Passenger Terminal is farther to the left (northwest).
  4. I don't see that. The accident seems out of the range of the video. Confused.
  5. And a Viking river boat had an accident in Budapest. Sad.
  6. Regarding Iceland/Norway clothing and Viking dining room: I found weather in both countries pretty mild. The only time I needed my very warm clothing in Iceland (down jacket, scarf, wool cap) was when we drove to the bottom of a cape pre-cruise. I was out of the car for a half hour and it WAS very windy and cold. The only time I needed that clothing in Norway was when we visited the North Cape from Honnigsvag. (You could stay inside the museum there if you wanted; some people did.) It was so blustery that I wrapped my scarf around my face! You'll be fine in the dining room with a decent fleece sweater (with something a bit nicer for Chef's Table & Manfredi's). However, if you're trying to pack conservatively I wouldn't go overboard with a lot of heavy things. And if this is someone's first ocean cruise after going on river cruises, my advice would be to remember that you certainly CAN re-wear the same things and few people will notice! Also, there will be a washing machine down the hall if you need it! As my husband says, there's ice in Greenland and green in Iceland! It's really true! Enjoy!
  7. A friend just flew Newark to Hong Kong on Cathay in economy. I asked her how it was, other than very long! She said the food was "just like any other airline" but didn't mention anything about the seats. Only really poor seat I've experienced was on Icelandair, and that wasn't even for a 16 hour flight. Nice newish plane but terrible seats.
  8. Thank you Chiliburn. After I posted, I was able to email the port of Dunedin and got a reply that they usually get everyone cleared in a half hour - unless, of course, there is a problem. I didn't really ask if we had to be checked individually in person or not, or if the checking was done by looking at passenger manifests and passports or have everyone clear in person. However, it doesn't really matter. If the process takes a half hour or less, that's at least helpful for me to know. And GradUT, I did read about the new ETA, but thanks for the information, as we are cruising when it's needed.
  9. I'm going on a cruise which starts in Bali, goes to a number of ports in Australia, cruises the Milford Sound for a day, and then goes to some New Zealand ports. Our itinerary calls for us to be in Dunedin from 11 AM to 8 PM. The port (Port Chalmers - Port Otago) has us down as arriving 9 AM and departing 8 PM. I started wondering about the difference, and wondered if it was simply a change on the cruise line's part, or mistake, or something to do with New Zealand immigration. Port Chalmers is our first port, other than cruising Milford Sound the day before. Therefore, can anyone who has cruised New Zealand recently tell me what the passport check might be either in Dunedin, or at any port that was the first NZ port you visited on your cruise? I'm trying to plan my day in Dunedin and the beautiful Otago area!
  10. I have never really wanted unlimited excursions. But for our upcoming cruise, it's tempting me. But does unlimited really mean unlimited - no restrictions as to choice? Is there anything else I should know? I suppose I can't let my husband go in my place on an excursion, but other than that is it a simple and predictable process? I know that occasionally excursions listed on Oceania's website change to a "no go" when you board. Does this present any hiccups?
  11. I forget, what is going on there to cause the port to tender people to ships? Is it just congestion at the port?
  12. Just wanted to say you're a great blogger - so fun to read your blog posts!
  13. I looked on their website and see that they (at least now) have a statement which warns that they won't give a refund if the space isn't cancelled in the time required. So I guess it's defiitely a bit of a risk. Akaroa looks like an absolutely beautiful little place. I'll be really disappointed if we aren't able to make our planned stop there. But I've also learned to accept the fact that sometimes those itinerary changes are needed, and also that there's way more involved in the decision making in addition to how calm the sea looks at the time or how blue the sky is.
  14. And keep in mind that some countries require an actual visa, others just a travel authority, and some nothing. Sometimes the requirement applies to Americans and sometimes it doesn't. Names of these documents, and who they apply to (Americans? Canadians? Europeans?) isn't always consistent and things can be confusing. Some documents can be obtained easily right before travel, others not. Occasionally a country requires a traveler to pay an entry fee at the airport. All this can be confusing but usually gets sorted out by the time I travel. The cruise line, Ports of Call section of Cruise Critic, and websites of embassies can be helpful.
  15. And for (most) cruisers and crew members going to New Zealand starting Oct. 1, 2019, don't forget to get your electronic travel authority, which is something new. See: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/government-confirms-electronic-travel-authority-details I'm assuming Viking doesn't purchase this for anyone, but I could be wrong. It's something you download to your smartphone or download to a pc and print.
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