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About TiiiSailor

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  1. Unless it's changed since 2017, there's a steam room and sauna in the spa locker room. That locker room, separate for male and female, is available to anyone without purchasing a spa pass. It's located directly below the gym.
  2. I went for my interview with Admiral Rickover with 6 other prior enlisted sailors. We'd done our research and asked a lot of questions before we selected the nuclear path. Found out the Admiral asked questions, made wise crack comments, and according to some people threatening statements. He wanted to see how you reacted under pressure, because if you couldn't keep your cool in an office setting and answer his questions there was a good chance you wouldn't be able to do so in a stressful situation onboard. He also wanted you to answer the question he asked. A standard question a married man got was, "How many children do you have?" If you said "A girl and two boys." He yell, "If I wanted to know what sex they were I'd have asked that." I got that one correct, "Three." There were also those that had done poorly in the technical interviews you had before you ever saw him. The first question I was asked in my last technical interview was how the other two interviews had gone. I said I'd totally blown one question and was given a chance to redeem myself. Nothing unusual during my interview with the Admiral. He did try to tell me I was just looking for another year of shore duty. HAHA What a year of shore duty. Anyway, when he finally said that's all, as we'd been briefed, I just got up out of the chair, left the office, and stood at attention outside the door until told to go to room to await the decision. I'd left my lunch outside the office to the left side of the door as instructed before I went in to see the admiral. When I was told to go I bent over to pickup my lunch and got about half way down and couldn't bend over any further, no matter how hard I tried. A captain next to me asked me if I was okay. I told him I was trying to get my lunch. The captain and a commander started laughing, let me pick up my lunch, and said they thought I had blacked out. Also told me the purpose of having us stand at attention for a short time was due to every now and then someone would leave the interview room and just kept on going to places unknown.
  3. Navy dependent until I joined the Navy in 68 as a CTM. 1975 went to the dark side, as a few friends called it, as a submarine officer. Served on the Lapon 76 -80, LY Spear 80 - 83, Sculpin 85 - 89, Gato 89 - 91.
  4. Thank you for putting the reference for the optional excursions during the land portion of a cruise tour. I realize there may be different ones when we go in 2021, but it gives us an idea of what to look for. I looked for around the internet for hours to find this information. It's almost as if it was a big secret.
  5. My wife's new Global Entry card came in the mail also. I need to go for an interview. They'd already said before all this Coronavirus stuff came up, that current card holders were valid for a year after expiration if they've applied to renew due to the backlog of renewals. I think that backlog just got longer
  6. We've been on both ships. Well the Endeavor we were on has been replaced by a new one, but the same size as the original. The staterooms on both ships are much smaller than a traditional cruise ship. But we only were in them to sleep, clean up and change after a swim/excursion. If I were to go again, I'd pick the Islander due to the almost family like atmosphere due to the limited number of people. I go to a family picnic every June and there's twice the number of people there than on the Islander. Regardless of which ship you take, the excursions are the same. The particular island you stop at determines what's offered. Each excursion is limited to 16 people and a naturalist from the ship. But they have enough naturalists on board the ship to allow everyone to take the excursions they desire. You had the opportunity to go on an excursion in the morning and another in the afternoon. There was always a swimming and non-swimming one to choose from. We had a pre-breakfast excursion on one stop. Getting on and off the ship the ship is not the same as a cruise ship. You use Zodiacs, which are hard bottomed with inflatable sides. You sit on the sides of the Zodiac while going to and from shore. Life jackets are mandatory during these rides. My wife, who is not very athletic did just fine stepping up off and down onto the Zodiacs. You get plenty of help from the crew. We were fortunate, between the two cruises, Feb and July 2015, to get to most of the islands. Regardless of which trip you take, you'll get to swim with plenty of marine wild life, including white tip reef sharks. (We were told they were vegetarian.) Both ships had a computer station where I transferred pictures from my camera memory chips, which I had one for each day, to a thumb drive as backup. I purchased an underwater camera (works just as well in air :-)) before I went. This allowed the obvious underwater pictures and those from the Zodiac. Many people missed some good pictures while on the Zodiac due to protecting their cameras in waterproof bags. Be sure to get a float-able wrist strap to attach to the camera. But either way you go, Endeavor or Islander, and which route you take you'll have a great time. The second time we went, which was only five months after the first was just as wonderful as the first. The pictures below: 1. Shows sitting on the side of a Zodiac. Also shows me holding my camera with the float-able wrist strap. Normally you're sitting right next to someone, not like this with some "social distance" between us. 2. A typical drive on the island of Santa Cruz on the way to the Darwin Research Center. Now after writing this, I want to go back again.
  7. Talked to a person familiar with the vacuum flush systems used on cruise ships. He said just about all the issues with the system is caused by people attempting to flush something other than the provided toilet paper, including toilet paper brought on board by passengers.
  8. Although many of the car rental returns are only a couple minute drive from the terminal, due to the potential crowd of people returning cars and needing a ride back to the cruise terminals, give yourself plenty of time. We had seen of us in a minivan. He dropped off everyone and the luggage, than drove to the rental car return. Due to the multitudes of people, some with all their luggage and family the driver didn't return for over an hour. That was our experience.
  9. Thank you for the very good travel log of your trip. During the period spent in Hubbard Glacier did the ship have a guide give a discussion of what you were seeing? Thanks.
  10. This is the exact reason I don't purchase much stuff when I travel. I've been fortunate to have traveled extensively since I was seven years old. The stuff I wanted back then were mostly trinkets that would be left alone two weeks after I got back home. As I got older and watched adults purchase some nice things, to later find out they were ripped off, just as you were. I've even seen a "reputable" merchant in Naples place a nice piece of jewelry in a beautiful box and wrap it up for a friend. We both were watching him. When we returned to our hotel and he opened the package to show his wife what he'd purchased for his mother, the cameo necklace wasn't in the box. There was a cheap, gumball piece of jewelry in its place. Next morning back at the store the owner said he could do nothing as my friend had left the store with the package and could have made the change himself. Too many stores, but not all, that cater to tourists know: you won't be coming back, they won't be held liable for their swindle, and you won't be able to get the word out to enough tourists (even in todays social media). All we can do is spread the word as much as we can and hope enough tourists do read about them.
  11. The 20% Mr Mike was illustrating was the added gratuity.
  12. On a cruise ship you've already paid for the meal. Specialty dining cost is above what you've already paid. So it makes Flemings look inexpensive.
  13. When consumer item prices are increased by this large of a percentage its usually due to some uncontrollable factors. This could be deep freezes in Florida destroying a significant percentage of the orange crops, excessive rains preventing the timely planting of crops, diseases causing large populations of chickens to be slaughtered, etc. But these specialty restaurant prices are being raised just because NCL wants to raise profits. They'll say the demand is high for these restaurants and that's the reason. Why is the demand high? Because NCL is "giving away (haha) specialty dining packages, thus driving up the demand for "free" stuff. Those that don't get the perk now have to pay the increased price. Those that do will now have to pay an increased gratuity, depending upon the date of receiving the perk. Remember, not every new profit raising concept is accepted by the customers. Didn't NCL just start selling dinners in the Haven restaurant to the steerage class customers. The uproar by the paying Haven cruisers was so quick and loud, NCL stopped selling the dinners to non-Haven customers.
  14. Don, Did you attempt to lean around the balcony divider and ask them to turn down the music and then file a compliant to guest services regarding the loud playing of music if they ignored you?
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