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czrunner

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About czrunner

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    Southern California

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  1. Noteworthy hot springs visited & recommended: Thermae Bath Spa, Bath, England Miskolctapolca, Misckolc, Hungary Hamner Springs, New Zealand Hot Creek near Mammoth Lakes, California (now closed, too many people cooked in it) Plan to visit next year: Myvatn Lagoon near Akureyri, Iceland Secret Lagoon off Golden Circle, near Reykjavik, Iceland
  2. Thank you for the fast response. We really enjoyed the lectures on our Viking Russian river cruise a few years ago, and don't want to miss them on the ocean cruise. Great to hear that Viking had expert lecturers on your cruise, and hopefully we will have somebody just as good next year.
  3. Retiredman, thank you for the detailed description of the excursions. In another thread (I believe it was the roll call) you mentioned that you loved the lectures on your Viking cruise. What time of the day did they usually take place?
  4. I wish I haven't seen this topic, but I just had to look at the booking for our Iceland cruise in July 2020, and of course we have reservation for cabin 3041! I don't think that I will worry about the noise though. My husband is hard of hearing and I don't sleep that well anyway. If the music gets loud, I will explore some of the lounges on the ship. I get seasick and liked the location on a lower deck near the middle of the ship. I will pick the positives from the above posts, and definitely won't let the cabin location spoil my high expectations for the cruise!
  5. Does anybody have experience with renting a car in Reykjavik and returning it at the KEF airport? We will be in Reykjavik overnight (on the Bergen-Reykjavik cruise with Viking) and plan to rent a car the second day, after disembarking. Viking ships dock in Skarfabakki Harbor, which is a little outside Reykjavik. Do some rental companies provide shuttle or pick up at the harbor or does Viking provide a shuttle into the center of the town and if so, is it even on the last day of the cruise? I plan to do some googling, but just came across this topic, and a first hand experience is always useful.
  6. The museum and the boat ride to and around the (closed) Arizona Memorial are free. As I mentioned in my post of May 18 above, you can purchase additional tours (e.g. Missouri) onsite. We reserved the "free tickets" for the Arizona boat ride for $1 each on the recreation.gov website as an insurance, in case there is an unusual number of visitors on that particular day. The reservation was for the 1 p.m. tour, which seams to be the standard. When we arrived a little earlier, we were offered an earlier trip, without any wait. The reservation was not really necessary. I suspect that the narrated headset or anything else that you prepay includes the Arizona boat ride, but check on the website or with whoever sold you the headset or Missouri reservation. You should be able to make it back to Waikiki by 5:15 p.m. either by bus (#42) or a taxi. Try to take an early boat ride to the Arizona memorial and then you can time your other activities at Pearl Harbor accordingly.
  7. We booked the luau directly on the Smith's Family website. I don't know what Robert's offers, but our cost was $95/person, which included a ride through the gardens, the Imu ceremony, and the luau. We had a rented car, but Smith Family Luau offers transportation from and to the NCL ship.
  8. This is interesting. We were on the NCL cruise just two weeks before you and had absolutely no problem with shuttles between the port and the airport in any of the ports. There was actually a designated line for the car rental shuttles in the Maui port. We didn't notice it the first day, but saw the Dollar/Thrifty shuttle pulling into the port area and ran up to it. We had separate rental reservations for each of the two days in Maui, because we originally planned to rent a car for only one day, but later decided get one for the next day too. We were surprised that all people on the shuttle from the port the second day were returning to their cars parked at the airport. They in turn thought that we were smart to avoid the parking fee (I believe it was $15), although in our case it happened by accident. Otherwise uman provided excellent tips on car rental. I think that a car rental is worthwhile even for just two people, saving money and providing more independence. We didn't add any insurance and gas at COSTCO for the few gallons was not very expensive. Whatever you decide to do, enjoy your trip! We definitely did.
  9. Bus #42 takes you to Pearl Harbor (from Waikiki along Kuhio Ave.). Day bus ticket is $5.50 or $2 for seniors with a U.S. medicare card. The museum and the boat ride around the Arizona Memorial are free, but we splurged on reserving our tickets at $1 per ticket. There is a small extra fee for Missouri, but you can add the tour on the spot.
  10. We reserved the cars using our United frequent miles (never have enough for a flight and the miles expire if not used), and the rental process was flawless. We went with Dollar or Thrifty as they were the cheapest for what we wanted. You may want to check their cancellation policy if you are not sure. Dollar/Thrifty had shuttles from/to the ports where we rented.
  11. I recommend renting a car in every port , except Honolulu. In Honolulu we took bus #42 from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor, bus #2 to the Bishop Museum, and hiked up to Diamond Head from our hotel (easy approx. 7 miles round trip). I don't have first-hand experience with renting a car in in Hilo, because in Hilo we opted for an excursion to the Volcanoes National Park and didn't rent a car.
  12. czrunner

    Car rental

    Is there an advantage in renting a car for two days as opposed to two separate one-day rentals in Maui? We will be in Kahului overnight on POA. I originally reserved a Dollar rental car for the first day, but later made a separate reservation for the second day. Should I try to combine the two reservations? With a two day rental we would still have to park the car at the airport and take a taxi back to the port. Is it a big hassle to go through the rental process twice?
  13. czrunner

    Tours in Hilo

    Thank you for the recommendation, snow1. Ricky responded to my e-mail inquiry within a day, and I just sent him our names to reserve a spot on his tour at the end of April. I am a little surprised that he doesn't ask for a deposit. I trust your recommendation and hope that the reservation will be honored. Now I have to cancel my reservation for the shorter NCL Volcanoes National Park excursion, which with the $50 off for the two of us would cost the same as Ricky's tour that includes additional sights in Hilo.
  14. czrunner

    Tours in Hilo

    We will be in Hilo for one day on NCL, and are considering taking a tour that would include the Volcano National Park. I am not thrilled with the NCL excursions and Marylou's tour will not be available. Can anybody recommend a reliable tour operator? I am also considering the hoppa on hoppa off bus, and to get to the volcano park, perhaps the tour offered by Keikana in connection with the hoppa bus. Anybody has had good experience with a tour in Hilo? Has anybody taken the public bus to the Volcano National Park? Could you just roam in the park on your own or do you need a guide? Thank you. Marie
  15. What car is best suitable for the Road to Hana on Maui? I reserved a full-size car at Dollar at the airport in Kahului, because we are big people, but now we are worried that it may be too large for the Road to Hana. We could probably get by with standard or intermediate car, but it is so hard to determine which cars are included in various categories by the rental companies. (I couldn't find the thread about what cars to rent that CruiserBruce mentioned above.) Right now we are considering renting a car for the first day the POA is in the port in Kahului, Maui and Nawiliwili, Kauai, and use public transportation or taxi/uber the next day. Does that make sense? Any advice from you experienced cruisers would be appreciated. Marie
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