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Everything posted by Nebr.cruiser

  1. First off, we always cruise in a balcony. For us, especially in Europe, I do think some kind of ocean view is wonderful; so many of the ports have fabulous views coming in and going out, and sometimes ships are not too far from shore around the Mediterranean, so there can be much to see even while at sea. But, if it is the money, then you will be fine with an inside. You can always make a point to be up on a view deck for entering and leaving ports, or for any other scenic viewing. Having your own balcony just makes it much easier and for us, nicer.
  2. We don't always eat on shore, but not because 'we've paid for the food on the ship', but simply because either we are not on shore over a meal time, or more likely we are just way too full from too much to eat on board. We almost always stop some where and have some pop (rarely drink alcohol) for a nice refresher. Sometimes we will eat at a local restaurant, or have a snack like gelato. Since some tours include drinks, snacks and or meals, of course we eat then. We are very careful about water and some other foods in places where it may not agree with us.
  3. We had a cruise--I think it was Princess-- with a similar number of blind persons with their seeing eye dogs. It was wonderful to see how professional the service dogs were and how well behaved. Such a temptation to pet them, but I know not to when they are working. We have also been on cruises with dogs that were obviously just pets, but of course somehow were called service dogs.
  4. Most day tours we have been on people keep the same seats; sometimes we are told to do that by the tour guide. I don't have a problem with changing to different seats, if 'ours' are occupied. We often do leave belongings on the seats though, so I'd not be happy if someone moved them. On one longer land tour we took--bus size about 20--everyone moved one seat back each day; that way everyone had a chance at the best seats. Otherwise, on multi-day tours, there are people who will always try to grab the best seats, so I think this is very fair. Obviously this is differe
  5. We almost always cruise by ourselves, except for some family cruises. We enjoy the time together and it is nice not to try to work around someone else's likes and dislikes, schedule and level of energy. We do cruise with my sisters once a year and have done two cruises with sons and grandkids; another with just the sons and spouses coming up. I find that many people wetalk to are very apprehensive and well, ignorant about cruising; all the media's overwrought reporting when there are problems doesn't help. I've heard, oh, I'll get bored, I'm afraid I'll get seasick, I
  6. If we have to fly out really early, like 6 AM or so, we seldom go to bed before; we both stay up until 1 or 2--or later, most nights anyway--we have a 2.5 hours drive to the airport, and neither of us can usually get to sleep much earlier than normal ever, plus the night before a trip it's always hard to sleep, for us. So if we want to get to the airport an hour ahead (plenty of time in our airport), that means leaving home about two-thirty (we usually go a little earlier, especially in winter, for some padding), which means, for me at least, we'd be leaving at my normal bedtime.
  7. Missed the first night; for some reason it didn't tape.\ Yes, Christie does look amazing for her age, but let's face it, besides being much more beautiful to start with than the average person, and a model, so has the height and slim figure, like most stars she has all the advantages that money can buy to maintain 'the look'. The best of plastic surgery and other procedures, such as botox, laser treatments, etc., can afford the most expensive of creams, facials, etc. She can also have almost any fitness coaches, private lessons and equipment that most of us can't affor
  8. The cabin would have to be a lot better (or better price) before I would go to the bother of changing cabins.
  9. We do like to watch movies in our cabin during down times and sea days and this change will definitely cause us to look twice or more at booking with Celebrity again. They only had about 5 free on demand movies on our cruise last year, whereas they used to have dozens. It's relaxing to us and we also are night owls but not party people, so watching a movie in the stateroom is something we like. We do go to the movies in the Cinema, but one, they were shown at very odd times if you were trying to get to other shows and eat dinner and two, the seats in those theaters are really u
  10. Princess is possibly our favorite line and often cheaper than others. It is more of an 'adult' line, although they do kids really well, and doesn't have a lot of the climbing walls, wave runners, zip lines, etc. that many RCI ships have. For an itinerary like Alaska, most of those amenities aren't particularly needed partly because of weather and mostly because the emphasis is on the ports and the beauty of nature. I don't have an answer why Princess is regularly the best priced cruise for us except that it has fewer of the bells and whistles as stated above. We have sailed it m
  11. We are Platinum on Pricess, maybe 5-6 cruises on Celebrity and have cruised several other lines. We always have a good time, but Princess wins out. They are usually a better value, we like the real promenades on many ships, the International Cafe and MUTS (for me, at night only.) Food and service seems about the same, although the buffet on Celebrity wins for being much more spacious--the newest Princess ships have awesome buffets though. I love the huge closet on Princess that are so accessible but Celebrity wins on bathroom for the shower and storage space. I don't
  12. This may have been 8-10 years ago but we toured with a company called White Cliff tours. It was just the two of us; there was supposed to be another couple joining us, but they didn't show so we had a private tour and driver. He drove us around the city of Dover, toured with us through Dover Castle and took us on a short walk along the white cliffs, drove us to various nearby towns and by several other castles, also kind of secret lanes down to the shore, etc. He also made sure to find some thatched cottages for me. While at Dover Castle we did the WW II secret tunnel
  13. Usually the lead price you see for a cruise in an ad, whether the cruise line or a travel agent, is the price you will get with all the current deals or sales already applied, as others have pointed out. It is kind of deceptive, but after a while you figure it out. Kind of like the 50% off chair you see in stores, for instance, that was never really priced at twice the so-called discount price. It's a marketing ploy.
  14. There is a site where you can look for cruises either from a certain port or stopping at a certain port. Unfortunately, since it is a travel agency, we can't mention it here. It is a very handy feature. It is one of the bigger sites, I think, so maybe Googling and then looking at different agencies will help--but be tedious. I am fairly certain no Panama Canal cruises start in Galveston though.
  15. When we do guarantees we almost always get a slight upgrade; usually from the lowest priced balcony to a higher grade balcony. The only nicer upgrade we got was from a balcony to a mini-suite; We had a friend who was a travel agent and booked the cruise for us; I truly believe she was instrumental in getting the upgrade. I would love to get one of those great move-over offers on an overbooked cruise!
  16. All I know is that in May, 2019, we took the free shuttle to the area where the buses were. It wasn't far, but would have been a fair walk. Perhaps sometimes they have buses right at the dock?
  17. We did the same thing last May--it was a great day and easy We did have to take a (free) shuttle bus from the port to the bus station where the 20 euro buses were. I suppose it could be walked. You do not need to buy ahead of time. Just be sure you are aware of the time the last bus leaves Brugge.
  18. I do intermittent fasting at times. The plan that works best for me is 5 days of normal (not over eating) days and two non-consecutive days of very low calories. The original plan calls for no more than 500 calories on those days, but for me it works better at 650 calories. Sometimes after I have been doing this for a few weeks, 500 seems enough. Of course they need to be healthy calories, but I usually have at least 1 oz of dark chocolate.😁 Maybe two! I can lose weight quite quickly doing this and only need to do it a couple of times a year to stay even on weigh
  19. My son, at about age 32, once gained 19 pounds on a 7 day cruise. He did eat a lot, but it was probably due to being put on powerful steroids as they thought he had Krone's disease. He is naturally quite lean and has never been overweight. Luckily he did not have Krone's, did take the weight off quickly and has stayed in great shape at 50.
  20. What's funny is that we have been on around 40 cruises, and NCL was the only one where I have seen someone turned away--for wearing jeans in the MDR that did not allow jeans (the other MDR did.) It was our first NCL cruise and I was astounded. I have seen people in the dining rooms on formal nights in sweatpants and running shorts and clothes that I would wear to do lawn work. I'm ok with not making everyone dress formally, but there should be some standards.
  21. We once sailed from San Juan when I am almost positive it did happen. We ate in the MDR several times with Puerto Rican passengers who told us that the ship was offered at truly ridiculously low prices--like $149 for a balcony on the 7 day cruise (it may have been a 10 day, since we seldom sail for seven; memory fails.) It was a December cruise and I think schools were out and apparently kids were free. I'm not sure why multiple people would lie about the prices. It was a somewhat different atmosphere because of more children on board, and a language barrier, at times, but we en
  22. I just take empty water bottles on NCL--sometimes emptying the last one right before checking in. Of course, refillable non-disposable bottles work fine too. I drink a lot of water, but I am fine with the ship's water. I usually bring about 4 empties with me, fill them and keep them in the fridge. I really do not like that you cannot bring bottled water on board NCL. I also won't pay the inflated prices for their water--at least it was very high the last time we sailed.
  23. Well, we haven't done a ship excursion in about 10 years because of price and (usually) quality of the tours. You have to do your research, choose a well-recommended company, and we always pick a tour that gets back at least one hour before sailing, preferably more. We are doing a ship excursion in December because it was really the only alternative on this partial canal transit, on the day we are in the canal. Sometimes ship excursions do make sense. The chance of being left behind because of a late excursion is extremely small. Tour operators do not want the bad pu
  24. I bring the Purell sheets. They can be very busy especially on sea days on a longer cruise, but I can always find a time they are open. There was a real problem finding machines that actually had tokens or were the token machine was working the last time I used them. I finally went to guest services and got some.
  25. There is one I use all the time--unfortunately we are not allowed on this site to mention cruise sites or travel agents. I love this site because it is so easy to look at cruises by date or ship or area, etc. I have booked with them, but don't always. Often I use this site to get an idea of price, then go to a bidding site. Which we also can't name! Maybe just keep trying different sites until you find it!
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