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  1. Thanks, Orator! That's what I was thinking, but a figured more experienced cruisers would be able to tell me for sure. Happy Cruising!
  2. A question for those familiar with the Concierge lunch: for some unknown reason, our Xpress Passes list our "Arrival Appointment" as 3:00-3:30. That is about 4 hours after we planned to embark. Will we be denied boarding if we arrive earlier? What time does the lunch service end? We were also in Concierge Class on our last cruise, but took a tour on the way to the ship, arriving around 4pm, so I didn't even bother looking for the lunch. The tour was more important to us that day. TiA
  3. You're very welcome! We travel light most of the time: one carry-on roller bag and a backpack each. On those short (3-5 day) cheap repositioning cruises, it's generally just a backpack each. Luggage schlepping is pretty easy. Since you are on Princess, and have access to laundry machines, you can definitely get away with packing pretty light, if you choose. For us, the benefits of traveling light outweigh the minor hassles of hand or ScrubbaBag washing and having stuff hanging to dry. For others, not dealing with laundry at all is worth bringing extra bags, and planning land transportation accordingly. Everyone makes the choices that work best for them. Bon Voyage!
  4. We now use a combination of cubes and folders. It may seem as thought you can't pack more with them, but I think I do, as smaller groups of "stuff" can be separately compressed. I do a combination of packing what I'll need on land by outfit in one cube, and like items I will unpack and put away onboard in cubes and folders. We like to travel light: one carry-on roller bag, and one backpack each. This has worked fine for 3-4 week trips. However, our next trip is for five weeks, including Iceland at the beginning of June, southern Italy, Croatia, and Montenegro in late June, and northern Italy in early July. That's pretty diverse weather to consider. I hope we can still do it without having to check bags. I'll find out very soon, as it's almost time to pack.
  5. Yes. If you have a US American credit card, such as Visa, you can use it. Even if yours charges a foreign transaction fee, it's still a cheap and easy way to get to the airport, with plenty of room for baggage. When there were 8 of us disembarking a cruise down from Alaska, we did the private transfer thing. With traffic, it took considerably longer than the train. However, when Hubby and I have done cheap last-minute repo cruises to or from LA, we found that the sky train works best for us. YMMV. Enjoy!
  6. It's super easy to just take the sky train to YVR. For sky train, take the escalators to underground shops and follow signs to the correct line (sky train maps are available online). Trains have ample space for luggage. In 2018, day passes cost $9.75 CAD for unlimited use on trains and buses. I think it was about $7-8 CAD for a one-way trip to YVR. Canada Line also goes right inside the YVR airport - about a 25 minute ride from downtown.
  7. Thank you so much for this live blog! We will be aboard in just over a month with a very similar itinerary. Our CCRC is the quietest one I have ever seen, so I'm guessing there is one or more very large group booked. This blog is letting me get a nice picture of the Constellation. Enjoy!
  8. Thank you for this thread. We are relatively new to cruising, and have thoroughly enjoyed cruising on Princess and Celebrity. We've never cruised on Carnival, and, from social media posts I've seen from Bachelor/bachelorette party cruises and other things I've heard, it didn't seem like my cup of tea. However, Carnival will be sailing a new ship out of SoCal starting in December, and it has a 7-day cruise that lines up perfectly with our son's HS senior year spring break, so we have booked it. Reading this thread, I feel much better about the prospect of enjoying the cruise. Thanks!
  9. You may want to check out the folders as well. Like you, I heard of these things on CC first, now I can't imagine a trip longer than a few days without them.
  10. Count me among the packing cube converted. Along with packing folders, I can fit everything I need for a month-long trip in a carry-on roller suitcase and a backpack. I pack the clothes I need pre-cruise into one medium cube and put that in the backpack (cross-packing one outfit with Hubby, of course). that way, I don't even open the suitcase until we are aboard (except for the voltage converter and plug adapter, when necessary). In my experience, the folders really do minimize wrinkles and the cubes help with wrinkles somewhat, though I tend to cruise with very lightweight clothing that doesn't wrinkle much, or is meant to have the crinkled look. I'm hoping to be able to keep with the one carry-on and a backpack for our upcoming month-long trip. It includes Ireland and Iceland in early June and Italy and the Adriatic in late June and early July. I think I'll be doing lots of layering in the early part of the trip.
  11. Delta13, I would strongly advise allowing plenty of extra time. VCE is a mess. We arrived at 09:20 for a 12:10 flight. We spent literally the entire time in 3 queues. Passport Control was the worst. They had to pull people out of the queue because their planes were boarding. After almost two hours in the PC line, it happened to us, as well. We, and about 30 others, boarded the plane shortly after the scheduled take-off. I found out later that our experience was not unusual. However, friends had no trouble at all last year for a very early morning flight.
  12. This reminds me of a news story I saw about 20 years ago. A 94 year-old woman was graduating college. She had been forced to drop out for economic reasons when she first attended (when it was fairly rare for women to go to college). The journalist asked her what the biggest change was, clearly expecting an answer about computer technology. The graduate replied, "Vaccines," and went on to talk about how many childhood and young adult friends she had lost, about iron lungs and the crippling effects of polio, about quarantines, etc. I've tried searching for the video in the past, but this was before nearly every news story was put online, and "important" ones stayed in accessible archives.
  13. Thanks for the review! We are looking forward to our first Caribbean cruise and our first time on Summit in January. By the way, my kids (17, 20, and 23) LOVE Pink Floyd (and Queen, and Led Zeppelin, and BonJovi)... the youngest flew up to MT to visit the oldest for spring break where they attended and loved a Styx concert.
  14. I just got my second shingles shot last week. It is often out of stock*, so I had my two shots more than six months apart, but late is better than never. I'm trying to talk the hubby into it. Baby Brother just turned 50 last week, so I'll try to talk him into it as well. Thanks for the reminder! *Maybe if the manufacturer spent less on advertising it, and more on manufacturing it, the vaccine wouldn't be in such short supply.
  15. I didn't discover the delicious chocolate beet muffins (sounds gross, but actually wonderful) in the Spa Cafe in the solarium until near the end of our Reflection Med cruise in 2017. Upon boarding Eclipse in 2018, I went to find them the first day, only to find the menu had completely changed. I inquired about the muffins and was informed that the contract with the former Spa Cafe supplier had expired and a new one was in place. I was also informed that many people wanted and missed those muffins.
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