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About SbbquilterUT

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    Golf, pickleball, lawn bowls, bridge
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    RCCL, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We have really enjoyed a busy land vacation, locations determined by where we board the ship. With the help of research on the internet you can make the hotel, tour and transportation reservations if you want to travel on your own. Alternately you could contact and TA and arrange a land tour with a company as well as your cruise.
  2. I would suggest you find out the actual tour operator and book directly with them. I assume Shipmates is a clearinghouse operator rather than the tour. We have had great experiences finding the company after researching on Trip Advisor/ Viatour.
  3. Our first TA was retirement present to ourselves. Love Barcelona as embarkation point - easy city to spend 3-4 days precruise on your own. Then easy embarkation port. The ship was RC Brilliance which went all out to make it fun. Excellent entertainment was brought on board, outstanding CD Clo kept us entertained. Plenty of activity and once we on the sea days stretch it turned into a “coming to America party” theme. Seas were amazingly calm the entire trip. We did clear US immigration in San Juan so it was a simple disembarkation in Tampa. Can’t wait for our next one - B2B transpacific from Sydney to Vancouver.
  4. Time change on the westbound from Barcelona to Tampa for us was and hour each night - lovely long days, smooth water and sunshine for us.
  5. Agree - maybe. We did last year but we travel with only carry on luggage and got in line to self disembark at 7:00am. The line was quite long but moved well. Also remember, because you are due to arrive at 7 that does not always work out, or there can be delays in clearing the ship for entry into Canada. Fortunately if you are early off there are plenty of cabs waiting to get you to the airport (about 35” with no traffic issues). Later on there can be a wait as the congestion for the entry to the port can be dicey.
  6. I would also suggest you have her read about cruising so issues like the size of cabin and en-suite bathroom do not come as a surprise to her. We make sure to book when there are likely to be the fewest children on board as we enjoy the peace of the ocean. The best shows we have seen are in the Royal Caribbean Oasis class ships but those shows may not appeal to you. I would first select the date range and destination, then review the ships that fit your needs. When with our kids we enjoy RCCL but on our own prefer Celebrity. Loved our Viking River Cruise but the entertainment is not a top priority (we loved ours but it is low key) but the physical demands of the tours may not be right for your Mom.
  7. We rented through Avis - walking distance from the pier. Do remember your passports to cross into Canada. Wonderful drive.
  8. Our preference is spring or fall - fewer crowds and more temperate weather.
  9. Yes it is a small stall shower with a couple inch step over to get in.
  10. We had a wonderful day in Skagway - rented a car and drove the Canadian/Yukon Highway, stopping whenever we wanted. Startling views along the way made for a special day.
  11. Also consider where you travel - personally I don’t like 4 wheels when traveling over cobblestone or brick sidewalks and managing on and off trains, have seen many a bag with at least 1 wheel missing.
  12. Personally I would much prefer Granduer of the Seas 9 night itinerary over Empress. Also look carefully at how long you have in each port and if it is a tendered port, allow plenty of time to depart and rebrand the ship - this will influence how far you can explore.
  13. I think the same when I read advise like “no white tennis shoes in Europe” or never wear a back pack” - both of which are used by locals every day.
  14. With no docking delays you should be fine. We walked off at about 7:35 (just a roller board bag each), into a taxi (4 of us) and were at the airport in under 30”. Fortunately you are driving away from any rush hour into the city center so traffic was not an issue.
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