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About travel-to-go

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    Colchester, CT USA
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    Flying, Cruising, people!
  1. Paul, I think that was maybe 1999. I can check. And thank you for your condolences. It was harder on my aunt and three cousins. It is amazing what you have to go through when someone dies at sea. I think it was their second day out, on a thirty day cruise to Tahiti. He was kept alive for several days, and died before dawn on the day they were returning to Hawaii. They had to return, as it was too far for the Coast Guard to airlift him off. He had to be repatriated and declared dead by a medical examiner on shore. The family ended up opting for cremation and a memorial service back home in Marietta, GA. He was my father's youngest brother, and so much like my Dad, whom I was already grieving. My Uncle Sidney had been a man amongst men. The Atlanta Constitution ran an obit/ news story on his passing. I'm thinking the offending ship passing (leaving a few minutes late) might have been October 22, 1999. We were on the Hilton Pier B, for our Sunset Celebration (private) at MOTM (Meeting of the Minds) Annual Parrothead Convention. Can't find my badge from 1998. So not positive which one. Peter Mayer was playing his song, "Oh , Suzannah, (when the sun goes down) " as that carnival ship steamed past the Hilton Pier. Right between us and the sunset. Just returned from this year's convention. It was my first attempt at air travel since a very damaging heart attack April 22, 2012. My heart is fine, but I went into shock and organs failed. I have lung damage which keeps me on oxygen, 24x7. I don't know if I am ever going to be able to take another cruise, first because the logistics are difficult, and secondly, I no longer have a job, since my doctors still have not released me back to work and I have used up my benefits. I am "separated from my company" (involuntarily) on Long Term Disability, for half my base pay (and I made a lot more than base, due to OT call-outs, night work, etc that paid for our cruises.) our favored line was Cunard, though we also had a number of trips on HAL, one on Royal Carib, one on Carnival (not my style) and one on the defunct Seabreeze ( Premier, I think- I forget!) my favorite of all time was on the QE2 including crossing directly over the wreck of the Titanic on the anniversary of the loss, laying a wreath over the spot. We crossed to England, took the Eurostar through the chunnel and spent three days in Paris, and returned on the QM2. Many happy cruises to you!
  2. Aqua hound. Thanks for the answer. We've been on board ships which had to make emergency ports, one on New Year's Eve. And I lost an uncle at the start of a long cruise to Tahiti two years ago. I feel bad for the woman, here she is celebrating a cruise and an upcoming child, and lost both. That is awful. I wish her the best. Jasminee, I don't know if the rule has changed, but when Key West built the new pier and expanded cruise ship service fifteen years ago, the rule was, they had to be out of the port by Sunset. They make a lot of money and a name for themselves by their famous sunset celebration on Mallory Square with buskers performing all sorts of acts. I remember being on the pier, where the Peter Mayer Band was playing (Peter is a member of Jimmy Buffett's Coral Reefer band as well as an accomplished musician on his own,) was singing his song, "Oh, Susannah, (when the sun goes down)" timed for the moment of the sunset, when a Carnival ship pulled out of port at the exact wrong moment, billowing clouds of foul diesel smoke and soot and pumping its loud horn. They got a one finger salute from three thousand people on the pier. It completely blocked our view of the sunset we had all paid a lot of money to see!
  3. Just left Key West yesterday, Tuesday, Nov 5th. While watching the sunset, Monday, the 4th, we noticed a Carnival ship turning around and heading back into port, at what appeared, from our vantage point, at the Casa marina long pier to be the Navy docks. Is this a scheduled thing, to be out of the port at sunset, per the Key West ordinance? Or was there a medical or other emergency on board? Does anyone know? Just curious. I thought it odd.
  4. Steve and Chris, Let me add my voice to those enjoying your "sea diary" You and the posts of a few others have about convinced us to switch our allegiance from Cunard to Seabourn. It might result in fewer trips, since the financial trade-off would preclude as many on Seabourn, but more service, and more intimate wonderful ship.s Do be careful of pirates. They snagged an oil supertanker. And I think it was Seabourn they tried to board a few years back (Ship's staff was on the ball and took evasive and defensive manuevers.) Enjoy, and keep posting! Thanks, Karie, who is seriously thinking about the April crossing.
  5. You know, I think it is said that my dear dear friend got an upgrade to a cabin that is larger than many people's houses. In the meantime, My gowns are entertaining the Captain and staff and, of course, the butler serving canapes in the Queens Grill and Queen's Grill suite while I am sitting freezing my nose off in Framingham Massachusetts in a calls which make my brain hurt. Well, at least I am sitting in a Marriott, having just dined at Naked Fish with copious quantities of "Cuban Cocktails" (as their banner said) instead of at home with my sick beloved (I'd rather go to work than be home with a sick man- if they have to wheel me in on a stretcher with multiple IVs in my arm!) <sigh> So how are things, Morrie? Any luck on EBay? <G> (secret coded message!) Karie, thinking about a Seabourn trip- Maybe the April TA, on which will be one of my favorite people from a previous Cunard trip. Ends in Lisbon with a stop in Funchal. And I have a friend who just moved to Lisbon, whom I missed in London in April.
  6. Well, I am! Or some people wish me thus. But you know me. Couldn't stop talking long enough to figure that out. Been too busy at work. Things are popping. We just talked this past Sunday (while I took a rare few minutes to lie in my Cunard-like deck chair) where we should go next. Marc replied, Oh, I wouldn't mind 'poodling around the Caribbean' " in the words of one of our beloved Captains! Karie, missing y'all!
  7. Oops. Sorry, My bad. At least I didn't claim to be his best bud! <G> Mybad! Hi Nitty! Long time no write. Now I know why! I can't get it right! Thanks for enlightening me!
  8. well, I haven't actually SAILED with her, but I have conversed with the famous LansonLady! In fact, I have some of her favorite beverage in my fridge as we speak. I bought it in Paris. (still haven't found it in the US) and popped it for my birthday Sunday night! And I'll just bet Cliff WAS waving at you, probably was as excited as all hell to have seen the one, the only! I know *I* would be!
  9. Cliff Richards was on the ship last October November on our Caribbean trip. We were at a lively tables full of Brits (mostly from the Yorkshire area) and were full of fun and frivolity. We were usually the last to leave, and became friends with our wait staff and sommelier and restaurant manager. We had a marvelous time! We almost got caught singing one of Cliff's songs (We're going on a summer holiday, I think) when he passed us. He ate in the Queen's Grill )Well, not every night) but for some reason passed through our lowly <G> Britannia haunts. He tended to sit by the Queen's bust in the Queen's room when he was in there. Of course, I have seen a few other celebs on board, but shall keep mum. Heck we had a marvelous time partying with one with friends of ours last trip, not having any clue that he was well known, well-loved and further, on board to be a guest speaker later in the cruise. Who knew? Karie, who hasn't been on these boards in a couple of months til someone emailed me b/c a few nights ago. So I thought I'd check in! P.S. Google Cliff Richards, or try YouTube. You'll find some videos.
  10. You lost me here, Jimmy. Are you trying to pretend to be Happyscot? Or maybe do Jabberwocky? Or perhaps (you sly old elitest dog, you) typing in middle English (Whan that in Aprille) Or something. I don't pretend to speak it or type it correctly! Well count me as one of those frequent) well, actually infrequent. I usually just grit my teeth, as I don't want to offend or make anyone feel bad at their alleged gaffe- and I hope I didn't do so here. It's just one of those usages that has come into begrudging acceptance, but which I have never come to accept. I have a dear dear friend who was a renowned wordsmith. He was known for it the world over. Sadly, he has just left this mortal coil. I know that it is a term he would never pardon. (But then there are those who thought him a snob, especially a word snob. His first gift to me was a book titled "The Right Word") So I guess I should just chuck this old OED. It was creating too much dust anyway, and the floor was starting to sag. <G> (No I really DON'T have an OED. I'm not that.... well, obsessive! Or rich!) An (short for Anorak) I agree, and I hope you don't think by my statement I was saying NCL was N/G. I have limited travel budget, both financially and time-wise. Marc is one of three principals in his company (or is that principles? <G>) and when he is away, business comes to a bit of a halt! All three of them are essential, so he can't take too much time of at once. We would love to do the 4th of July sailing, but as it is 6 days this year, we would have to take 3 or 4 days off. So what I meant was, if I can only do so much cruising, I am not giving up a Cunard trip to try NCL. I am also a part time Travel agent (VERY part time) and even our agency owner has complained about NCL having gone downhill in recent years. I know our NCL rep is not very helpful or available compared to other lines. When they started going to anytime dining and got rid of Michel Leroux (that was NCL- or was it Celebrity- I can't remember now!) Well, anyway, it seemed like they kind of lost their way while they were in a transition mode. I have booked people on NCL- Even the older Dawn, and they loved it so much they booked it again. For their honeymoon! (Their first trip was the first time a hurricane has scored a direct hit on Bermuda in over 50 years. Guess which trip THEY were on- Talk about bad luck! But they had a marvelous time.) I have had another client I had to cancel off of NCL and rebook him on RCCL. Ironically, it was he who introduced me to Cruise critic. He wanted to cancel the NCL because of things he read here! He's delighted with RCCL, and they are probably more appropriate for him with 3 kids. they just love it! OTOH, one of the people at the agency is best friends with someone who works for NCL and cruises them all the time! She loves them. I really can't judge. I meant to go on them and try them, but then we started doing HAL and QM2 came out and ,well, that was that! So Bettie, Anorak, it sounds like NCL is bringing things back up again. (If indeed, they were ever down.) I have a theory that how things are on a particular cruise- for instance, if you get a waiter who is less than charming, or maybe have problems that don't get addressed and it is your first experience with that line it may color your feelings about them. I have had one Cunard cruise that was horrible from the perspective of the ship and other issues. But we met wonderful people and still had a great time. We did a Christmas cruise on HAL, and there were some unruly children whose parents were not watching them. But it was our third HAL cruise. And we knew it was an anomaly. However, many longtime HAL cruisers had told us the standards were way off from the past. And even our stewards and waiters told us they had cut the staff such that they were doing twice the tables/cabins as before. But it might have been a one-off experience. As for formal nights? It has been my experience, even Carnival folks dressed appropriately on formal nights. I guess it all depends on the crowd you are with on a given trip. So I'll reserve judgment on NCL, yet take all that folks tell me of their experiences in, in order to match customers to the product that would be best for them. And Bettie, (or Anorak)I like the idea of the little flaggie thingy! Count me in for that one! (oops. sorry flaggy thingey!) Karie, who had to stop back in because someone rang me up and told me to check in!
  11. Oh, that darned slow Danish postal system! <G> KP
  12. Morning all, I am glad Gail had the opportunity to explain her post. When I read it, I knew it came across other than how she meant it. This is a very sweet lady! I hope Anorak, you have not put her on your ignore list. It was a misstatement. Good to see a few old friends on board today. I have not been reading the boards at all, other than my one subscribed thread, which was my roll call. Not going on any other boards either, as I needed to take a break from it. It was bringing me down. Now Bettie, "flaggy thingie is in my vocabulary, and if not in the OED, should be! But Irregardless is nails on a chalk board to me! There is no such word! (even though it has very common usage!) For years, I cringed every time a friend would say that. When I finally said something, she said "I had no idea!" We're even now though, as she proofed a letter for me (pre- spell checking days) and it was the first time I learned EQUIPMENT did not have a T between the P and the M (Well, you know- EQPT abbreviation?) <LOL> Well. I guess I live and learn! I have people who rave about NCL. I also don't like the direction it has gone in recent years and have heard bad things from people I trust. Still,. there is something for everyone! I doubt I would risk my travel dollars on NCL when I KNOW other lines/ships I DO love. If I had lots of time and money to spare, I would consider them. But the fact that "one doesn't have to dress for dinner" is a reason some give for going on NCL is exactly a reason many who love Cunard would not have as meaningful a cruise on her ships, since the elegance is one of the reasons many fold sail Cunard! I think that is more along the lines of what Gail meant, along with the fact that there have been reports of some "guests" behaving like kids on spring break. I'm not sure how widespread that is,but it would certainly make me think twice if I heard it! Just my opinions. Karie
  13. I called Maria tonight. She got the post card mailed from QM2. It was postmarked the 29th from Brooklyn (With the QM2 post) We disembarked on the 28th, so that was reasonable. She got it several weeks ago, which means within a few days. So I guess the AMERICAN postal service managed to get it across town! Karie
  14. Hm, I might make it up to Long Lake if we go up to Sebago for Memorial day. I'm not sure if we will. It looks like I will have to work Monday night. We used to go up every year. Now that the "next generation" has taken over, I just can't be bothered. I can't sit on the beach and read a good book0 Kids tried to bury me in the sand last time I tried! (not quite enough sand for that, but they still tried! <LOL>) Just not relaxing enough for me! But who knows. We might go up. Our camps are down on Harmon's Beach, But we have friends up in Naples or Bridgeton area. Karie, Not really here, but thought I would check in! (And today was even worse! But got that site up and 911 fully tested and working for the grand opening!)
  15. Aw, Gail. You're too sweet to have flown a broom! As stated,, the Noordam did go out of New York. We've done 3 HAL trips and were delighted with each, although we, and other passengers, did feel on the last one that Carnival's touch had made service slower, food less impressive and cabin service worse. Talking to our staff members (as we always do) we learned that Carnival had recently doubled the number of tables wait staff handled, and doubled the number of cabins each steward had to clean. First time we ever had our cabin cleaned in the afternoon when we were up and out early (and hung the door tag so they knew they could enter at will) We were about to book the Noordam maiden or one soon after when the QM2 past guest offer for the Jan '04 Panama 13 day came out. Have not looked back (yet!) But it depends on what comes up. IMHO, the food on QM2 while good is not up to what it was on several Cunard ships in the 90s. OTOH, QE2 food recently was WAY below par, and service was often surly, rushed, and it was obvious they wanted you out of there so they could clean up and go to their cabin. They were often cleaning glasses and such in the station near us while we were still eating, Often neglected to bring butter, or even salt and pepper! We were missing a salt shaker the entire cruise. Would bring tea (When sweet and low was even specified) and not bring sugars and creamers to the table or with the drink. We were told the waiters often get testy at the end of the World Cruise (which we were) having "put up with" some less than sterling passengers for over 3 months. Well that wasn't us. Two couples at our table were on only for the crossing, and the other couple, who were delightful (as were our cc tablemates) had only been on since Sydney. Our QE2 wait staff got no additional tips (our cabin Stewardess couldn't have been better! Anna was a delight!) However, Rusty, our waiter on QM2 got extra, as did our Matire D' (Jamie) sommelier and assistant waiter. They were very special, and we were thrilled when our waitress from our previous trip came rushing over to our table to welcome us aboard. She was excited to see us back on board! How marvelous is that when your previous wait staff remembers you by name! Not the first time it has happened on QM2 or indeed, some of our Cunard trips in the 90's! Gail. I'd give my eye-tooth to have been in that plane! Marc tried to get me float plane lessons on Sebago a few years back, but the woman he took lessons from took her plane to Alaska for Bush flying in the sumer. Was just talking to a contractor from Sebago yesterday about various float plane owners around Sebago. Marc used to land a helicopter on the beach by their camps us there, and I have flown my plane into and out of Limington Harmon and up to Twitchell's north of Portland area. Let me know next time you get a shot at a bi-plane float plane ride, and I'll go in your place! (But it's been a LONG time since I was eighteen <LOL> Karie, haven't been on cc in a while, but good to see a few old friends! we've got to get together soon, but it has been hell week at work this week! Stayed til 7 tonight bringing a new cell site on line for the new MGM Grand at Foxwood's grand opening- last minute thing- and last night, Colchester site was still down at 5:00 for work repairing wind damage to an antenna! Sorry I haven't called!
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