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About joat

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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  • Interests
    Travel, cooking, photography, reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland American Line
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We did manage to get away from the craziness in the States. Our house sold earlier than anticipated in mid-March. We closed in April (that month's cruise was canceled). We spent May in a temporary condo; June another in Flagstaff, AZ, where it was cooler. July 1 our escape flight brought us to Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico and the largest lake in the nation. (J is pronounced H, remember) Lake Chapala has several small towns along the north shore with many thousands of expats. The governor of Jalisco is doing a great job in the efforts to control the virus spread (much better than the nat
  2. Well, this is a not unexpected bummer: CDC Extends Ban on Cruising in U.S. Waters Into the Autumnhttps://www.frommers.com/blogs/passportable/blog_posts/cdc-extends-ban-on-cruising-in-u-s-waters-into-the-autumn
  3. We have always liked HAL and have always wanted to sail with Fred.Olsen. The itineraries have just not worked for us yet. We like the smaller ships and, after viewing the videos on YouTube of the renovations Fred.Olsen has made to these two ships, we are very interested. We do look forward to sailing with Fred.Olsen line when cruising is actually possible again.
  4. I received an email announcement from Fred.Olsen line (a British line) that they have added Bolette and Borealis to their line-- "Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has bought the Rotterdam (1997) and Amsterdam (2000) from Holland America Line as it works to modernize its fleet. The vessels will be renamed MS Borealis and MS Bolette, the company said. Both ships are around 63,000 gross tonnes, so will be Olsen biggest and youngest. ships. The passenger capacity at around 1,400 is quite modest for their size." - Looking forward to the day we can cruise again and we will certainly
  5. Our cruise has been cancelled. Holland America Line has followed suit. They have "made the decision to voluntarily pause global cruise operations of its 14 ships for 30 days, impacting sailings scheduled to depart through April 14, 2020". (A quote from the HAL Facebook announcement) Will see what happens as time goes.
  6. HI, We just booked a cruise with Holland America (4th one down when you go to this link) Come along! Contact our HAL rep if you are interested in joining us on this cruise: Lisa LeTavec @ Personal Cruise Consultant, Holland America Line LLeTavec@hollandamerica.com 800 355 3017 Ext 29303 NOTE: As we usually do, we booked a large inside cabin. It is the last of that category, but there are other fine cabins yet available. We opted for the pricing that included the Signature B
  7. My partner and I (and his sister and Mom) will be taking our first cruise this summer. We'll be on Royal Caribbean going to Alaska. Terrific! We have been on three Alaska cruises. Beautiful. Know you will have a great time.
  8. Just wondering if anyone has thought about making a return TA in the fall on Pullman or other line? Schengen limits non-EU citizens, generally, to 90 days in 180. So when one sails TA from the Americas (Pullman leaves Colon on 17APR2020) and stops in the Azores (29APR2020), that is a day in the Schengen Area to be subtracted from the 90. After debarkation, stay in the Schengen Area for longer. And where would you go so that you could have enough Schengen Area days to let you take the return TA cruise in September? (Leaves Lisbon 18SEP with a stop in Punta De
  9. Here is a direct quote from the Carnival site: https://www.carnival.com/awaywego/cruising-fun/how-to-plan/what-to-wear-on-a-cruise "If you want to attend a “cruise elegant” evening, bring a fancier, more formal outfit. Men can wear suits or dress slacks with a sport coat and dress shirt. For women, cocktail dresses, pantsuits or elegant skirts and blouses are appropriate. Some guests like to go all out with a tuxedo or ball gown." If yet in doubt, call Carnival Cruise Lines-- In USA: 1 (800) 764-7419 In
  10. Except for a few cruise lines on the very top end, 'formal' nights are less formal than even a couple of decades ago. Slacks and a nice shirt are acceptable in most cases. A blazer added to this is a plus. On our last cruise with HAL there were few gowns. Mostly what one would wear to a nice restaurant in the evening at home. But no flip-flops, shorts, tank tops (though the females on board can usually get away with this, much to my objection to the double standard). You should ask the specific cruise line what their dress code really means.
  11. Maybe you can look to being on the first cruise under Pullmantur: The ship will sail in Northern Europe in summer 2021 following a major refurbishment. No cruise dates are set for it in 2021 so far. The Alan Fox family of sites is the official agent in the US, so keep a watch. Could be exciting. A newly refurbished ship. Exciting. Since it is to sail the Northern European area, I am sure there will be a Spanish and English speaking crew so no problems for non-Spaniard sailing.
  12. Horizon is 4000 passengers. Not sure we would ever sail on it. We took a Panama Canal cruise on Celebrity Constellation a bit over a year ago. Friends in San Fran wanted us to go with them and they were restricted to a specific time period. Constellation is 3000. That was almost too many folks for us. These older and smaller ships are much more to our liking. Pullmantur will be adding Grandeur of the Seas (not sure what the new name will be) to their line to replace Zenith. Grandeur is just under 2000 passengers. Nice size.
  13. Thanks for the input. I believe Zenith is the ship which they will be changing sometime this year. Currently their site list Horizon, Sovereign, and Monarch. We are going to keep Pullmantur on the list for possibilities for 2021.
  14. You can keep SS payments anywhere. We maintained a US bank to which our checks were deposited. Then transferred once a month to a Mexico account. Also, the US account did not, at that time, charge for use of our debit card for cash withdrawals. (Things have changed.) Not as to Medicare coverage, it is not nor ever has been usable outside the US: https://www.lizlarroquette.com/different-retire-panama-vs-united-states/ "Most of my inquirers quickly ask whether Medicare, the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, is accepted in Panama. The answer, of
  15. In 2001 we retired and moved to Mexico. We lived in Mexico 9+ years. But we regularly met others who had sold everything, bought a home and moved to Mexico. Almost all left after 2-3 years. Strongly suggest putting treasured things (furniture is just 'stuff' and easily replaced) in storage. Rent for at least a year before considering permanent relocation, and especially before buying property. We eliminated Panama as a place to retire because of two consistent things: HOT and HUMID. Just another consideration for you.🤔
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