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About Mercruiser

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Spokane, Washington, USA
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity, Princess
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  1. I'm an American living in Europe for a temporary job assignment. I use the Schwab no-ATM-fee checking account for all my ATM cash withdrawals. There are no ATM or other fees. I've used this debit card all over the world for ATM cash withdrawals. Highly recommended.
  2. Thanks for posting this review and answering our questions.
  3. Here are pictures of the windowless wheelhouse and the Queen's narrow bed.
  4. I visited there last month. They had a very impressive passenger to crew ratio. My biggest surprise was seeing that the wheelhouse was a windowless room, one deck below the bridge. They steered the ship by taking orders spoken from the bridge through a speaking tube.
  5. For those considering a DIY excursion to Aix-en-Provence, please note that the train station is closed all summer (2019). Buses are your option for public transit. https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frqxb/aix-provence Fortunately, there is a frequent, direct bus from Marseille to Aix. Bus from Gare St. Charles to Aix, fare 6 € Bus 50 leaves every 10 minutes from Gare St Charles MARSEILLE to Gare Routiere Quai 01 AIX-EN-PROVENCE See http://www.rtm.fr or https://www.lepilote.com/ Bus from Aix to Gare St. Charles Bus 50 leaves every 10 minutes from 14:30 onwards, duration 31 min
  6. Important - The Aix train station is closed for the summer (2019) due to construction: https://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frqxb/aix-provence To get from Marseille to Aix, by public transit, you have to take a 30 minute bus ride: Bus from Gare St. Charles to Aix, fare 6 € Bus 50 leaves every 10 minutes from Gare St Charles MARSEILLE to Gare Routiere Quai 01 AIX-EN-PROVENCE See http://www.rtm.fr or https://www.lepilote.com Bus from Aix to Gare St. Charles Bus 50 leaves every 10 minutes from 14:30 onwards, duration 31 min
  7. Did Celebrity have any local entertainment brought on board in St Petersburg, such as a Russian folkloric group?
  8. We are planning our St. Petersburg visit on Reflection at the end of August. How did you like your SPB tour?
  9. Instead of bringing a bulky power strip, I bring some European-USA outlet adapters and plug my electronics into the 240V European outlets that are in the cabin. This effectively doubles the number of available outlets. Any electronics, phone, or USB charger, etc, made in the last decade will operate fine on 120 or 240 v (but read the label to verify). I buy these outlet adapters (or similar) from Amazon. They are small, and cheap. https://www.amazon.com/Ceptics-Europe-Asia-Plug-Adapter/dp/B0084OPT8C/
  10. Here is a Google maps link showing where Azamara has docked in the past. As noted by others, it is much closer to Livorno than where the big cruise ships dock. Molo Capitaneria Italy https://maps.app.goo.gl/CjC6HWkFis7WEZso7
  11. When going to Alaska ports, I have not really even thought much about port crowding, because we spend very little time in the port towns (too small to call them cities!). For us, the focus of our Alaska cruises is all about the excursions, such as flight-seeing on small airplanes, whale watching on small boats, and renting a car and exploring on our own. On any one of these activities, you will immediately be away from any crowds at all. As an example of the ultimate "get away from the crowds" excursion, we rented a car from Avis in Skagway and drove the Klondike Highway over the White Pass to Emerald Lake in the Yukon. Quite a few CC members make this drive using, "Murray’s Guide to the South Klondike Highway." I printed out a copy of this and we used it during the 73 mile drive to Emerald Lake, just past Carcross, Yukon. As you can see, there are no crowds here.
  12. On our 2016 Dubrovnik visit on Journey, we managed to avoid the crowds by being on the very first tender of the morning. We were the only passengers on that tender. The others were all Azamara crew, preparing to set up the tables, chairs, canopy, etc. for the tender stop. For the first couple of hours, we had Dubrovnik to ourselves. Then the crush of cruise visitors came and we took another tender back to Journey to relax on-board for a while. Taking advantage of Azamara's late stay, we went back to Dubrovnik again in late afternoon after most of the other cruise passengers had left to make their 4:00 p.m. "All-aboard" time. When visiting crowded ports, my number one strategy is to be the first off the ship.
  13. We bought a dual voltage travel hairdryer at Wal-Mart for about $25 (few years ago). Consider this option if you don't want to go hair dryer shopping during your vacation time.
  14. I'll go one further and suggest that it is imperative that you reserve your entry times for these galleries ahead of time. Otherwise you will waste an hour or more waiting line to get in. We were in Florence March 15-17 (not on a cruise), and the lines were really long for those without reservations. During peak tourism season, I would imagine the wait could be much longer. We are going on the July, 27 Pursuit cruise, with an overnight in Livorno. We will be skipping Florence since we were able to visit it in March. We will go to Pisa, Lucca, and maybe the Carrara marble quarry tour (need to spend some OBC) instead. Florence is a wonderful place to visit. I'd go back.
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