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About MLeh

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  1. The Silver Muse seems to be sticking closer to the Vancouver Island side of the strait tonight. I could only get a far-away picture. Glad you enjoyed your Rocky Mountaineer experience. Getting the full view of Robson is breathtaking, isn't it? Fair winds and following seas for your upcoming adventure.
  2. TLC: Lots of things to do in Vancouver: Granville Market (on Granville Island) Grouse Mountain Capilano Suspension Bridge Stanley Park shopping on Robson Lots of delicious seafood There's also a Vancouver to Victoria (V2V) day cruise that goes from downtown to downtown if you won't be going there as part of the Muse cruise. Other options include taking a ferry up to the Sunshine Coast (where I live) for a day. (You'll be passing where I live at around 7 pm on the day your cruise leaves Vancouver - look to your right. I'll try to remember to snap a picture for you.) Weather forecast calls for nice weather (down here anyway - can't speak to the rest of your itinerary). Enjoy your travels.
  3. Good to see Silver Explorer is out of drydock in Vancouver, and according to MarineTraffic.com, is heading to Rudyerd Bay. You can barely see her, with the black hull, just off East Trail Island. (The big ship in front is Radiance of the Seas).
  4. Uncloaking for a brief visit. DaveyWavey, et al: hope you enjoy your cruise thru the inside passage tomorrow. You'll be in my backyard. The Muse will pass by our place around 4 am, so I won't expect you to get up and wave (despite your nickname on this forum). Pictures at night are difficult - we just see floating bundles of light in the distance. But here's a shot of the Muse from our deck when she was northbound. (She's the smaller ship in the photo, but in the lead!)
  5. We were already a bit leery, especially after they expanded the scope of the refurbishment, but I'd booked based upon the itinerary, and didn't see another opportunity to do the Panama Canal on SS in the near future.
  6. Greetings all, and a wave in passing to Mysty. I hope she finds the Whisper in good condition. We made it home at midnight yesterday from our Panama Canal cruise on the Whisper. The weather in San Francisco was horrible - pouring rain and windy - which had all the flights landing slower and thus taking off late. Our luggage was left out in the rain by the baggage handlers and upon arrival we discovered all our checked clothes had received an extra 'rinse' cycle courtesy of mother nature. So today has been deciding which can just hung up to be dried out, and which need to be completely laundered again. My husband isn't too thrilled with his good suit being soaked, but we're hopeful a good cleaning will be all that is needed. One note: If you ever end a cruise in San Francisco, don't take the Scenic Tour Airport transfer. Possibly the worst tour I've ever been on in my life. The woman was an idiot, and instead of getting to the airport at 1:15 pm, as advertised, we actually arrived at domestic departures at 1:50, and international departures after 2 pm. Fortunately our flight wasn't scheduled until 5 pm (and didn't actually depart until after 7 pm), but there were some domestic passengers who had to do a run to catch their 3 pm flight. As pertains to the cruise itself: I hope Mysty will take some pictures and post them. The ship is looking lovely. The new furniture in the suites is a bit bigger than the old stuff, which makes the suites seem a bit smaller, but that is compensated for by the fact that it is all very comfortable! The new beds were top notch. I'm fairly sure the room attendants were emptying the vacuum cleaner bags after every room for the first few days, as the new carpets were shedding quite copiously. Being the 'shake down' cruise after the refit, there were some obvious issues. The pool didn't get filled for the first few days while they worked on some final repairs. Handrails were missing in a couple of areas, but were soon replaced. Automatic doors didn't open automatically There were a lot of new staff who joined the Whisper in Fort Lauderdale, and service suffered while they got to know their new roles, general ship procedures, and learnt to communicate with others. This was cleared up after a few days however, and towards the end of our 17 days on board you wouldn't know the newbies from the old pros. I'm sure the World Cruisers will appreciate the hard work we put into the whip everything into shape for their arrival. For this traveler though: that's the last time I'll book at cruise immediately following a refit!
  7. Greetings all. Since the demise of app access I find I am spending significantly less time on this forum, so I should probably make this an 'adieu' post. I don't take my laptop with me on travels anymore, using only my iPad, and using browser access is just a pain. Not that I contributed much! But I did enjoy following along. I thought I'd share one last story, following along the theme of freezers and their contents: My parents, in their 90's now, still live on their own in a somewhat (an hour from the hospital, 20 minutes from groceries) remote lakefront home. They love it there, and despite the encouragement of their children to move somewhere with a few more services, are pretty determined to spend their final days there. I try to phone & see them on a regular basis, and my siblings phone and visit regularly too. My mom usually answers the phone when we call, as my father is recovering from a stroke and doesn't do random conversation well anymore. One day a couple of weeks ago, I phoned and my father answered. This is the approximate transcript of that conversation: "Oh, hi dad. How are you?" "Your mother didn't answer the phone because she's outside chasing a bear." "Dad. Put down the phone and go tell Mom to come back in the house right now." I hear the phone being put down, and my Dad calling to my Mom. A few minutes later she picked up the receiver. "It's gone now," she said. "It's just a little one." "Mom," I said "If it's just a little one, there's probably a big one around." "Oh," she said, "It's not THAT little." So I made her promise to just use the bear banger and not actually go outside chasing it anymore. (We then had a nice conversation about her work with Habitat for Humanity, and the meeting she had attended the day before.) Fast forward to the next telephone conversation: Mom: "We're still having that bear come around. It opened the freezer (which is sitting on their back deck) and stole a box of chicken wings and an apple pie. Dinner and dessert. The freezer was locked, but that little built in lock didn't slow him down long. He moved the freezer about 2 feet getting it open though. The neighbour found the pie plate (a glass pyrex one) in their yard, licked clean." "Have you called the conservation officer?" "Oh, that's a good idea. I'll do that right after we finish this conversation." (We then talked about the work she was doing on her autobiography, and how she is now up to when she volunteered with the UN to go to Namibia to help with registering women to vote in their first election. The bear probably won't even make it into the book.) Due to the size of their house (small) it wasn't possible to move the freezer into the house, so my brother went up and put a hasp lock on the freezer. Mom said "If that bear gets into the freezer again it will be because he ripped the door off." I'll be phoning again today. The motto in our family is "Live long enough to become a burden to your children." My parents haven't become a burden yet, but one just never knows where the conversation is going to go.
  8. Can someone clarify for me: is a berth = one person? or one suite? (typically double occupancy - ie 1600 passengers). If these new ships are for 800 passengers, then this just continues the slow death through a thousand cuts of slightly larger than the Muse/Spirit, et al.
  9. Not exactly crazy about it yet. Change is always hard, so I try not to rush to judgement. It is easier to attach images though, so that's a plus. Here's something in honour of the significance of today in Canada ...
  10. Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving, all, especially to my fellow Canucks. Our turkey dinner was yesterday, so today we are eating leftovers and watching (CFL) football. Not quite as exciting as JP & Chris in Quito. Keep posting those pictures, JP! I can only climb mountains vicariously these days, but do so enjoy following along on your adventures. Mysty: we won't be able to meet up at the Whisper in San Francisco when you're boarding for your world cruise and we are (probably very sadly) disembarking. Our transfer whisks us away from the ship at 9 am. My husband was musing the other day that if we have had a really good time on our holiday cruise, maybe we'll just 'stay on' for a few more segments. I wish! As it is, if our holiday cruise meets our expectations, there is an improving chance of WC 2020. Fingers crossed.
  11. I'm curious as to what the "Evolution Class" will comprise. (and, if I may try some humour, hope it doesn't incite 'Revolution'.)
  12. Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving weekend, all. My mother has always told me that you should never name something you're going to eat. The exceptions when she was growing up on the farm were the two turkeys they raised each year. One was called 'Thanksgiving', and the other was 'Christmas'. Glad to read that Lois' most recent health concerns are alleviated, and also thanks once again to JP for providing an explanation accessible to us mere mortals! I was in the Okanagan earlier this week, and just barely managed to make it home. The rules in BC are that we have to have our winter tread tires on for travel on most highways that have mountain passes as of October 1st. I didn't, as it is usually after Thanksgiving (Canadian variety) that the snow hits the passes, so I wasn't really concerned. However, on September 30th, I was on the wrong side of the mountains and the Drive BC website showed significant amounts of snow on the Okanagan Connector (Hwy 97C). I ended up taking the scenic route home, down to Hwy 3, whose mountain passes are a little bit lower (*1342 metres) than the passes on the connector (*1728 metres). The snow level was down to 1300 metres, but hadn't made it that far south. So the drive ended up being mostly uneventful (the best kind). Of course today the pass is clear. (Current condition webcam: http://www.drivebc.ca/mobile/pub/webcams/id/251.html) But I'll be getting my snow tires put on before heading that way again! But, because I was taking the slow road home (5 hour drive versus 4 hours on the Coquihalla - the major difference being Hwy 3 is mostly 2 lane, 90 km/hr speed limit, while the Coquihalla is 6 lanes, divided, with top posted speed of 120 km/hr), I stopped at a couple of produce stands along the way, and bought some 'farm direct' harvest items: tomatoes, onions, garlic, squash, etc., so it wasn't a completely wasted diversion. (And, as always, the scenery was spectacular.) DH and I have been busy making relish, salsa, etc. the past couple of days. (* For the Welsh in the cooler: These are the elevations of the mountain passes, not the mountains themselves, which are much taller. We refer to every approximately 1000 metres as a 'Snowdon', so the mountain passes are '1.3 Snowdons', or '1.7 Snowdons'. ;) )
  13. Sorry to hear of your close call and subsequent loss of power, Mysty. We're following along the news reports, and it looks like you're indeed fortunate to have your daughter relatively close by to provide shelter until the power is restored in your area. Partial power restored this morning, but still a lot of people affected. There are some pretty harrowing stories, and news of some people in critical condition in hospital. A miracle no one was killed. Truly makes one thankful for small mercies. Lovely pictures on your cruise, spins. Thanks for sharing!
  14. I think you had it right the first time.;p Speaking of winter - portions of BC and Alberta have skipped over autumn completely and gone directly into winter.
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