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Everything posted by XBGuy

  1. You are, of course, all correct. I really have to work on my writing to make my tongue-in-cheek more apparent.
  2. A few years ago during one of the final sea days on an Alaska cruise on the Emerald Princess, I signed up for the "Ultimate Ship Tour." Easily, one of the highlights of the tour was a visit to the Engine Control Room for a presentation by the ship's Chief Engineer. He had a pretty heavy brogue, but from his name, I am guessing he was Irish. It would have been too cool if he was a Scotsman. (Scottie, I need more power.) His presentation was incredibly interesting and informative. As you might imagine, he did spend some time discussing the ship's water, and it was clear that he was quite proud of it. He told us that, while there was really not much chance of the ship's water supply being depleted, they did take on some fresh water during our stop in Skagway. Now, I have this image of the Skagway public water supply being source from pristine streams fed by melting snow. This chief's opinion was that the Skagway water was not particularly good, and his ship's supply was diminished by it. 🤣
  3. In our town really nice family-run Persian restaurant opened a few years ago. Mrs, XBGuy and I really enjoy Mediterranean/Middle East/Northern African cuisines, and, so, it did not take long for us to check this place out. We've never, actually, eaten in the restaurant. However, we regularly call in an order for pickup. They are pretty strict and it is just as well that they don't know that the infidels are having alcohol with their food. On the front entrance of this restaurant is this sign, If you are hungry and you have no money, your sandwich is free. I should probably buy some Pending Sandwiches.
  4. On our first AK cruise--S/B. Whittier to Vancouver--we hit a storm in the Gulf of Alaska. It was bumpy all day, but it really did not seem like that big a deal. We went to bed that night and were rocked to sleep. I was very deep asleep some hours later when I drowsily realized that I was rolling out of the bed. I reached out with my arm and my right hand touched the floor--excuse me, the deck. I was able to stabilize myself while my wife was rolling into me. Technically, I suppose we did not fall out of bed, but that is just a technicality. We heard lots of stories the next morning.
  5. I specifically recall that in Mr. Toner's lecture he specifically said. "pure water," and he did distinguish that from "tap water." You are, of course, correct in pointing out that we are often quite sloppy about terms that we use. "Pure water" is another such term.
  6. Thank you for the explanation. It makes perfect sense. I am not surprised that there was more to it than my George Washington Junior High School recollection. If my chemist brother, who loves to show off as much as I do, had been available, I'm sure that he would have explained it in much gorier detail.🤣🤣🤣
  7. To the OP: That is what makes the world go 'round. You can ask the same question about, just about anything: Why would somebody pay $4000 for a wrist watch? I guarantee that my $30 Timex is just as accurate. Why do I spend $100 for a bottle of wine? Fermented grape juice is fermented grape juice. Why do people pay extra for clothes that have logos? Why doesn't the manufacrurer pay me to be a mobile advertisement for them? What is the difference between jeans and designer jeans? In 1970 would you have believed that people would pay $1 for a cup of coffee? Don't make me laugh. Why do I prefer to cruise in suite cabins? On every cruise I have every taken, all the cabins have followed the same itinerary. If I booked inside cabins, I could afford to cruise more often There is no right or wrong answer to any of those questions. Generally, these are not dollars and cents decisions. They do not have to explain their preferences to me. Similarly, I do not feel any resposibility to explain my decisions to others. Thankfully, not everybody is exactly like me. OK. End of pontification. Now, I'm really going to step in it. I have always admired the knowlege and the Cruise Critic contributions of @chengkp75, and I have always thought it was folly to disagree with him. It appears that I am not understanding something correctly, and, so, I am going to ask for clarification. Chief, in post #10. above. you state that "both distilled water and reverse osmosis water is acidic." I may be an old guy, but there were several gems from 8th Grade General Science class that have stuck with me. One of them is that pure water has a pH of 7--it is both acid and basic neutral. From your statement, I am likely to conclude that these distillation and reverse osmosis processes leave some impurities in the water that push the pH below 7. Is that it, or is there something else that I am missing?
  8. First ever cruise, @wondertwinsmom? That's terrific. I am glad to hear that you had a great time. Your husband is a clear-thinking man--always go for King Crab in at least one of the ports. OK, Dungeness is darned good, also. Thank you for your reports. Of course you realize that by picking Alaska first, all your future cruises will pale by comparison. NOT!!!!! The worst cruise I ever took was wonderful.
  9. We have had multiple mid- to late-September AK cruises. I can't say that we have ever hit a major storm, but drizzly rain or fog can happen--both at sea and in ports. On one trip it was so clear and warm in Ketchikan (yes, rainforest Ketchikan) that I was sunburned. We have hit bright sunny days in Glacier Bay and we have hit gray overcast days in Glacier Bay, As you can see from the various "Live from. . . ." posts since Alaska cruising resumed in August, the weather reports have varied. The fact that we have never hit a major September storm means nothing if it turns out that you do hit one. You pays your money and you takes your chances. Interestingly, the biggest storm I have ever experienced on a cruise ship was in early August in the Gulf of Alaska. That was a real E Ticket ride.
  10. That is certainly disappointing. The Mussel Pot is Mrs. XBGuy's favorite. She has it at least once, and often more than once, every cruise. However, we do realize that there are inconsistencies in the galley staff and the purveyors from cruise to cruise. Mrs. XBGuy's other Crown Grill favorite is the Garlic Fries which she orders as her appetizer. She often gets a double take from the server when she does so, but they quickly recover, and her fries arrive along with whatever appetizer I might order. The really cool thing is that she can't eat all the fries, and, so, I get to reach over had have some myself. 😄
  11. 👍 On the sea bass entree. I like red meat as much as the next guy, but when I am in a white wine mood, that is my go to.
  12. I just returned from an adventure behind the Orange Curtain, I had breakfast with my brother and his wife. That was a lot of fun. Then, I stopped by Total Wine and picked up a reprovisioning order that I had submitted a few days ago. Being on the Total Wine mailing list I get lots of coupons that are pretty cool. I spent quite a bit of money, but I have convinced myself that I saved a lot, also. [Insert "Eye Roll" emoticon, here,] One of my favorit quotations--almost. The version I always knew is, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public." The other thing I thought was that while the quote is attributed to H.L. Mencken, nobody has ever found where he wrote it. Today, I found a website that quotes Mencken which if not the exact wording of the well-known quotation, sure is a similar sentiment. "No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." Keep all this in mind. It may come up in a Trivia contest. 😁
  13. I know what you mean. On the other hand, it still beats the alternative. 😂
  14. Thanks to the posters who related the Interesting stories above. Clearly, Princess has a lot of leeway in reallocating cabins. They are pretty well covered in the passage contract. We have been "upgraded" more than once. On each occasion I received an e-mail advising of the change. On each occasion Mrs. XBGuy did not like the new cabin and a call to Princess within 24 hours of the notification restored us to the original cabin. It's been a few years since any of these cabin changes has occurred to us, but, now that I think of it. apparently, Princess does not have an elegant way of undoing these upgrades. More than once the telephone agent has told me that they have to fill out a form and send it to some other desk. They advised that it would take up to 72 hours to restore us to our original cabin. On one of these restorations, we were moved to a cabin on the B Deck, not the A Deck. The B Deck cabin was exactly under the desired original cabin. I placed another call and explained to the telephone agent that we were supposed to be on the A Deck, not the B Deck. She asked me to hold for a moment. She came back a few seconds later and told me, "OK, you're now in your original cabin on A Deck." It seemed to me that she was able to pull up our reservation on her terminal, and move me with a few keystrokes. Did a "Super Agent" pick up my call--one who had more power than the previous agents with whom I had dealt? I don't know. I was happy. It is always better to be lucky than good.
  15. This question popped into my mind, this morning. I don't think I have seen this discussed in any of the recent "Live From. . . ." threads. Since it appears that the My Way Dining system can accommodate reservations for any venue, is the DINE line still available? I can see where Princess would hope that the My Way Dining system would be sufficiently efficient and could replace the live humans manning the DINE line.
  16. Sorry folks today's wine pushes me into pontification mode. I am not much of a sparkling wine fan. I do, however, enjoy the festiveness of sparklers. On every one of our cruises we sit on our balcony during sailaway with a bottle of bubbles and get our cruise off to a great start. The Paula Kornell NV Brut is just a terrific wine, and, as @cat shepard indicates, it is very easy on the wallet. Paula Kornell is the daughter of pioneering winemaker Hanns Kornell of Kornell Champagne Cellars. So, she is carrying on the family tradition while blazing her own path. When I learned that Robin Akhurst was the winemaker at Paula Kornell, I knew I would be checking it out. Robin Akhurst is another very interesting personality in the California wine industry. He is a Scotsman who sold his motorcycle and moved to Burgundy to learn winemaking. He then went to New Zealand before finding his way to Napa Valley. There he apprenticed under two pretty stout winemakers--Thomas Rivers Brown and Mike Smith. In addition to Paula Kornell he is also the winemaker for Swanson Vineyards and Clos Pegase Winery. However, it is at his own winery--Apsara Cellars--where he best shows his talent. At Apsara he is able to produce wines in very small batches--less than 100 cases and, often, less than 50 cases. Apsara Cabernet Sauvignons and Syrahs are, truly, outstanding. While I am at it, I am also going to give a shout out for the meal recommendations from@richwmn and @rafinmd. Both of those sound pretty good to me. In fact, combining them on the same plate sounds pretty good to me.
  17. That is a pretty tough aria. There is no shame in a mere mortal missing some of those notes. It is easy to guess which ones she missed. The Flower Duet is awesomely beautifiul. I'm sure you would not be surprised that the first time I ever heard that was in the BOAC commercials in the (what?) 1980s. What was the name of that show? We have never attended any of the Princess Theater shows. but your report has ingrigued me. I'll probably have to attend by myself. Mrs. XBGuy has a pretty sensitive respiratory system, and perfume gets her. Even when we attended an embarkation day muster drill she would be sneezing before we could leave. I am very much enjoying your reports.
  18. True. Typically, there are no Los Angeles departures, at all, during the summer months. Then, in Sep or Oct Princess starts offering intineraries--Hawaii, Mexico, and Coastal--out of Los Angeles. Those are the ones I am not seeing. I assume that there will be such cruises in 2023, but they have not been announced, yet. I know that I am being wildly optimistic, but I have this faint glimmer of hope that they might offer one end-of-season AK R/T before dedicating a ship to these other traditional autumn/winter itineraries.
  19. I may have taken too many Cockeyed Optimist Pills, but the one glimmer of hope for a Los Angeles-Alaska roundtripper is the fact that Princess has not released any Los Angeles departures for any of Sep.-Dec. 2023. Mrs. XBGuy and I have taken this itinerary three times, and the worst one was wonderful.
  20. In addition to being interested in @richwmn's Wine of the Day, I am also interested in the Meal of the Day, I like Spanish cuisine, I like Moroccan cuisine and I like all seafood. So, Spanish Moroccan Fish sounds like an absolute winner to me. I also enjoy @dfish's regular contribution picturing the Meal of the Day along with the recipe. I clicked on the link to look at the recipe, and, I have to say, it is a tad confusing. At the top, right under the picture its says, "Ready in: 10 minutes." Cool. What's not to like about getting supper out in 10 minutes. Well, clearly, that 10 minute ready in time does not include peeling, chopping, slicing and draining various items in the Ingredients list. OK, moving on to the Directions part of the recipe, heat up the skillet, cook some things, add some more things, continue to cook, sprinkle some other things, season to taste and stir. We are pushing our 10-minute ready in time when we get to the last step. Add the fish and cook for 40 minutes. Huh, I get it, if you don't count the 15 minutes of retrieving the ingredients and, then, peeling. or draining or slicing or dicing them and you don't count the 40 minutes of cooking with the fish, then, you can get supper out in 10 minutes. I jest, of course. We will be trying our adaptation of this recipe here at the XBGuy Adobe. I shared this recipe idea with Mrs. XBGuy, and she thinks the idea is great, and we will make it work for us. Five pounds of fish is quite a lot for just two of us. Similarly, most of the other ingredients will be reduced. One think I love about cooking is the fact that no recipe is sacrosanct. If you don't have an ingredient, there is no penalty for leaving it out. If you think you can improve a recipe by adding something that wasn't called out, then add it. 😀
  21. That looks like what is called on the other Royal Class ships, the Suite Concierge Lounge. We were in a suite on the Royal Princess in 2019 and, as @redrobinreports, we found an envelope in the suite inviting us to the Suite Concierge Lounge on Deck 14. Also in the envelope were two of the old style card keys which opened the door. Mrs. XBGuy, who, very much, likes to sleep late in the morning found that the Suite Concierge Lounge was a great place to grab some pastries for her late breakfast. We also enjoyed dropping by late in the afternoon for a glass, or two, of wine and some noshes.
  22. @redrobin I have seen this problem on numerous internet boards--not just Cruise Critic. It seems to happen intermittently when the original picture was taken with an Apple iOS device. I really don't know what the cause is, but my guess is that iOS uses a setting in the image file header that is not used the same way by the board hosts system. I have been able to consistently get the correct orientation by transferring the image file to my Windows PC, adjusting the orientation with some software on my PC, and, then, uploading to the internet board from my PC. I know that is a bit tedious, but it works. I am intrigued by @Sea Hag's workaround. That sound a lot easier. I may try that the next time.
  23. Ww took the Bear Search excursion out of Hoonah a few years ago. One of the most interesting excursions we have ever enjoyed. We did see bears. From the third viewing platform. Our excursion guide was an absolutely charming lady. It was apparent to me that she worked very hard on making her presentation interesting and entertaining. After seeing no bears at the first two viewing platforms, she was really excited when we reached the third one and spotted this guy. Sorry, my little point-and-shoot camera does not have much in the way of zoom capability. I don't know if your bus driver/guide pointed it out to you, @Copper10-8, but the road does cross over the river. On our way back to Hoonah there were numerous vehicles parked at the bridge. Sure enough, there was a bear. We stopped and several people left the bus to get pics. I was too lazy and just took a few shots from the bus. Edit a few minutes later. Let me add my congratulations on your anniversary.
  24. Tug making "donuts" prior to departure from Nawiliwili.
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