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Everything posted by Nebr.cruiser

  1. We've done this several times, or vice versa. It's really not that big of a deal. If we are getting in to the airport late, we stay in a hotel near the airport. If getting in mid day or earlier (doesn't happen often from Omaha) we might get the drive to a hotel closer to the port done on the day we fly in. We have used a Limo (large family group), shuttles and Uber. All worked just fine
  2. There are so many reasons why we (often, not always) book a hotel near the port, if possible. Particularly in Florida, we have been to Ft. Lauderdale and Miami many, many times, so not all that much we need or want to see. We usually fly in the day before and often don't arrive until evening. By that time we just want to get to our hotel and crash, maybe have a late dinner somewhere nearby. I find it more convenient to be close to the port in the morning for transportation purposes. If we are going to a new port at a great city, we would certainly plan on spending a
  3. Hi to you! Kind of a tough year for our FB team. No snow here yet, but probably soon. We are near Norfolk. Cruising to the Panama Canal and then another cruise in Jan., so yeah, at least some time out of the cold.
  4. Yes, we probably should have done it--maybe still will, if available. The cruise is Dec. 6th. My sisters did go for the suite! Yay, so excited for them!
  5. We had an upsell offer from a balcony to a mini a couple of weeks ago for $229pp. Today got an offer for $129pp. This is for a 10 day cruise. My sisters got an offer from their mini to a full suite for $589pp for the same cruise. Probably still not going to do it, but more tempting, especially for the mini.
  6. I have found this to be true too. I hand wash some items--but have never done jeans--then roll them in towels to blot up extra moisture, then hang them in the shower. They seem to dry much faster than outside, which was surprising to me. I think the key is rolling them in towels.
  7. We sail both lines but prefer Princess. Yes, Celebrity does often have all those perks--but whenever I check on it, their prices are usually considerably higher than Princess--even adding in the 'free' stuff. Also, we already get free internet on Princess. Also, some of us really don't want certain perks; for us, the beverage package doesn't mean much, since we rarely drink and have never bought a drink on a cruise. I guess if it was really 'free'--that is the price isn't more if you book under that promotion, then we might enjoy a few beverages. You just have to do
  8. We either DIY or do private tours most of the time. Depending on the port, we have also had good luck finding a tour with one of the vendors that are waiting on the dock as people disembark. There are ports where these kinds of tours are not available though. Research is key. I use these boards and other online sources to figure out what we want to do at a particular port. Can we just walk around the town or to local attractions/beaches on our own? Is public transportation available? Tour operators at the port for a non-reserved tour? Is it a long way to attractions? Time i
  9. Who knows. When I was pricing our Harmony cruise, OV balconies were $200 more pp the park view--since i was paying for six, an extra $1200 just wasn't worth it. For an extra $13, no problem.
  10. We've done four Transatlantics now, all in the spring because fall doesn't work well for us. We like all the sea days and so far every port has been interesting. My favorite was perhaps the stop at the French Riviera--Villa de Franche. The latest TA, last spring, was our least favorite,largely because it was out of New York in April, so a more northern crossing and the weather was not great, plus the ship had noro virus and also we did not particularly like the ship. The ports were awesome though. I'm sure we will do more!
  11. We have never used cruise line insurance; usually use Insure My Trip and choose the coverage we need. Now, we have started using GeoBlue, since we mainly want good medical/evacuation coverage. We can eat the cost of a missed cruise (would hate it though!) but perhaps not the cost of some medical problems or evacuation needs. I can see possibly using Princess insurance as we age; are getting very close to the point that other insurance isn't very affordable. We have had to use travel insurance three times; they all paid the expenses, but in all cases you
  12. I don't think you even need the boarding pass--they have all your information.
  13. I liked Carrie Ann's dress; Erin was ok but somehow looked too casual. Several other dresses, with some modification, would be great for a cruise. Very disgusted with who went home--how in the heck does that happen! My husband vows he isn't going to watch anymore, with last nights result. I fail to see how this year's voting format can be fair; Don't the couples who dance first have a lot more time to have votes come in, compared to those who dance later? I just wish people voted as to dancing skills and not based on popularity or they just like the person.
  14. Way too pricey for me. I just turned down an upgrade from a balcony to a mini on Princess, 10 day cruise, for $229pp. I really only like a mini for having a tub vs a shower, so it's not worth it to us. Of course Princess has notoriously small showers.
  15. So will we and our sons and wives. First time on one of the Big Girls.
  16. We recently got an upsell offer on our December 10 day Island Princess cruise; $229pp from a balcony to a mini. Not worth it to me, I only like mini's for the bathtub anyway. That price was not much different than what my sisters, who are sailing with us, paid originally for their mini suite. Now if they give us a free upgrade.......or a lot cheaper upsell, well maybe.
  17. We enjoy eating locally, but I must admit on a couple of our longer trips, we were very happy to see a Burger King or McDonalds once in a while. After a couple of weeks in Thailand, with wonderful food, a Burger King at the airport hit the spot. In Cairo our whole bus cheered when we made a quick stop a McDonalds. In Vietnam, our guide went out of his way to find the french fries my husband was craving. He actually had them hand made at a couple of restaurants, going into the kitchens to oversee; they were 'interesting'. It is quite a unique experience to eat a 'Amer
  18. 2.5* Orlando airport area, Hot rate hotel on Hotwire. Guest rating was 4.5; it included breakfast and an airport shuttle. Price was $81 (plus tax). We needed three rooms. Got the Fairfield Inn and Suites, which is what I expected to get. Happy with the price and hotel; it is only for one night and we are all getting at times ranging from 6:30 to 11pm so it will it will be just fine for that short time period.
  19. As I noted earlier, our upsell offer was $229 pp for an upsell from a balcony to a mini on a 10 night Island Princess cruise. That wasn't much if any different from buying the mini outright when we booked, so didn't follow up on it. Response was to be made by email if we wanted it.
  20. We almost always either DIY or do private excursions. That said, last December in St. Kitts we got back to the ship literally at the last minute--they were taking up the stairs behind us--from a private excursion. We loved the tour and our guide, but he was so determined to take us around the entire island that we came within a hairs-breadth of missing the ship. We arrived exactly 30 min. before sailing, which was the ship's deadline. At least on Celebrity, believe it that you will not get on the ship if you arrive even a couple of minutes later. We should have pro
  21. We got one too; balcony to mini. It was $229 for 10 nights, pp. Not worth it to us--not much of a bargain over what it was priced at when we booked. I only want a mini for the tub anyway!
  22. I hear you too; we almost met our maker driving a stick-shift on the roundabout near Stonehenge. We have lots of roundabouts in our small city; but going the 'wrong' way with the gear shift on the wrong side (for us). was a whole different story. Truly, if not for a very observant and alert driver, we would have been broad sided.
  23. We sometimes pick up a tour from the vendors right off a ship. So far, we've always had a good tour. I like that often you can go with someone just yourselves and go to where you want to go by doing this. For instance, skip shopping stops or set your own time to be back at the ship.
  24. Lots of pretty dresses last night, some even wearable by 'ordinary' people. I loved Carrie's dress, even the pink though it wouldn't look good on me. Erin looked great too. Lauren's dress was very pretty and one of the pro's had a lovely white dress. Well, Shean Spicer and a couple of others certainly aren't good, but unfortunately Omar was possibly the worst dancer I have ever seen on the show. Just too much to overcome, I guess, with his gangly height.
  25. We almost never do ship excursions and like to explore on our own or use well-recommended non-cruise tours, which we generally find by going to the ports of call boards here. We like saving money and usually the private tours are a much better experience. But, for a first time cruiser, especially ones who are already nervous and not adventuresome, perhaps ship tours are the right choice. That said, all of the ports you listed are pretty easy to either do on your own or with a reputable tour company. Visit the port of call boards for ideas, or use Trip Advisor, etc. I
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