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Everything posted by princeton123211

  1. Sort of a silly, vague statement. There's crime anywhere. Santa Monica is actually below the national average when it comes to violent crime which is what most visitors would be worried about. The areas where a tourist visiting would go are quite safe and unlike most of LA, very walkable.
  2. Assuming you mean downtown LA, I think your initial thought to stay overnight in Santa Monica is a better one for a first time visitor to the area. Unlike most areas of LA, Santa Monica is walkable and is right on the beach. With half a day and one overnight you'll have no chance to even scratch the surface of LA as a whole, so just concentrate on a smaller area and Santa Monica will have most of the things you could be looking for. There are a bunch of nice hotels for nearly all budgets and the area is safe. Most shuttles reportedly shut down. Just take an Uber of Lyft which will run you about $45 from the port to Santa Monica. The good news is that Santa Monica is not too far from LAX so your trip to the airport the next morning will be shorter and cost about $28.
  3. You are actually headed the opposite direction of where you'll need to go for the cruise in the morning. Flushing isn't necessarily dangerous per se, its just dingy. While I haven't stayed at the Marco, when we travel we will avoid third party airport hotels unless there is a major compelling reason not to and the Marco doesn't appear to fit that bill. Why not just head to downtown Brooklyn for the night? Hotels there are less expensive than Manhattan and you'll have a nice leisurely morning before boarding in Red Hook (12 minutes away) vs the 40-45 minutes it can take you to get from the Marco to the cruise terminal. Plus you'll be in an area where you can walk around in the morning, get breakfast, etc.
  4. As Charles mentioned, Hitch can be very useful-- its like a local version of Uber. Heads up there are some small fees built in that are over a usual taxi fare-- we will get a taxi the traditional way at stands or at any major hotel to avoid that when its convenient to avoid them. But if you are somewhere away from a stand or hotel, Hitch gives a lot of peace of mind. We've been places as well where there was a little queue for taxis but the app let us get a taxi right away. It does allow you to pay by credit card (whereas the majority of taxis only take cash) so it can be helpful with that too if you don't want to carry too much cash.
  5. They do, but it's an enormous, time consuming hassle. If you have to ditch your cruise and fly back, presumably your'e doing it because you don't have time for an enormous, time consuming hassle. In nearly all cases they will have to go to the US Consulate to either have a replacement passport made or an emergency passport issued which can take at least a day (or more if it's a weekend) before entering the US.
  6. I would second the Royal Hawaiian based on what the poster said. Worth noting that it is part of Marriott Bonvoy in their Luxury Collection so you could potentially also use points for all or part of your stay to get it within budget. Generally the RH sits in the high $200s to high $300s depending on the time of year. You shouldn't have an issue getting it within that budget as long as its not holiday travel. The other major benefit is that you can reserve beach chairs and umbrellas in private, roped off areas of the beach reserved only for Royal Hawaiian guests.
  7. I believe you are right, at least mass market ships that could ever realistically be in service there. The old Royal Viking triplets could-- I believe I saw Albatross (it could have been Black Watch-- I could only see the funnel) there in 2018 but looks like all three are being scrapped right now. You can make an argument that Oceania Insignia is sort of a hybrid between mass market and luxury-- she doesn't cleanly fit into either categories (hence how appealing she can be). The entire Azamara fleet can do it-- they are in a similar category as Oceania although probably more mass market. I wouldn't put Windstar in the luxury category and their three former (stretched) Seabourn sisters could easily do it. The old Astoria is still with us, could do it, and is mass market but she's laid up. The former Prinsendam could as well I believe (slightly smaller than the Celebrity ships). Deutschland is small enough as well but unlikely to ever get that way. I believe Empress of the Seas could call on St George's, but she's now been sold out of RCCL to an Indian cruise line. Both Horizon and Zenith are still afloat, although it's questionable what will happen to them in terms of being scrapped or brought back into service. Wouldn't it be amazing to bring one of them back on the run (after a substantial refit)? But aside from those most everything else is too big.
  8. These two things are at odds with one another. There are faster ways to get around the island. If you are going to accomplish a lot in a short period of time sticking to straight economics isn't going to get it done. If you exclusively use busses you are going to spend a lot of your day on busses. A taxi from Hamilton to St George's is going to be about $40-- so you could take the ferry from Dockyard to Hamilton and then the most you would pay would be $80 for up to 4 passengers to St George's and back. As Charles mentioned a stop at Swizzle near the caves is well worthwhile which you can easily do. It's not the most economical solution but its going to save you a lot of time and let you do and see more of a beautiful island.
  9. Also worth considering that, while the first few days you will be in open seas and anything can happen, if going all the way to Montreal there is a good portion of your cruise that will be in the sheltered waters of the St Lawrence which tends to be calm (at least by the standards of what a medium sized cruise ship can handle). And a lot of those itineraries overnight in Quebec City so theres potentially a night you wont be moving at all.
  10. Generally no, airlines will have restrictions in place to disincentive this or make it very difficult to do. Plus its like half an hour each way back and forth to the airport. My recommendation is pick a nice hotel to have breakfast in once you get off the ship and they will gladly check your luggage with their bell staff for the day. Just tip well and usually there isn't a charge.
  11. For what its worth (and I would never presume to know your personal budget) but the Oceania sailings are quite reasonable in comparison to the larger ship lines. Over the same dates in July that Oceania sails there, NCL is charging between $970-$1100pp on 7 day trips, RCCL is around $700 for a six day. Oceania is charging $1499 for a 7 day. Sure, its a bit of a premium but its not huge. We've found these sailings to be a tremendous value with the small ship, docking in Hamilton + St Georges, and they often include things like free bar and internet in that price. Also worth considering (and I have to go back and see if I can find what we paid) but I remember those trips on Horizon not being cheap-- actually much more expensive than a similar cruise today.
  12. I don't know the ship but have sailed from New York innumerable times during the winter/early spring. It's going to be cold the first and last days-- not "I can throw on a light jacket and make the best of it" cold but genuinely cold. The late afternoon/early evening of the first sea day it should start to turn the corner. I remember being on the old QE2 sailing between New York and Ft Lauderdale when she put her afterburners on and did the trip in 1 day, it was generally getting warmer by lunch time, but you'll be moving a bit slower on Anthem. I'd plan to take a jacket and plan to use the indoor facilities those days.
  13. You cant consider Hawaii as one place-- each island operates very independently of each other with their own rules and regulations as it relates to Covid. That's the issue with cruises right now that go to several islands vs a land based vacation. While there are no restrictions right now about inter-island travel by air, any one of the islands may decide they don't want cruise ships there for quite some time.
  14. Our experience with Bermuda in November is that it generally is in the mid 70s during the day but can get quite chilly at night-- mid to low 60s. Water temperature will be mid to low 70s-- you wont see many people at the beach-- most locals don't go much beyond September. In November Bermuda is pleasant form a Northeast perspective, but it's not a traditional beach vacation.
  15. To piggyback off of this, you can occasionally negotiate a discounted day room with a few of the mid tier resorts that would provide you this access-- Elbow Beach Resort used to do this. I believe Coco Reef allows you to purchase a day pass without a room-- not sure if thats still the case. It's not an inexpensive way to go about this but it could work. Other top end hotels that have private beach clubs like the Rosewood and Hamilton Princess run them like fortresses and the only way to get on there is to have a room for the night. You could technically get a room for the night while on a cruise but it would be very expensive. It's not very promising-- this will be an expensive, uphill battle.
  16. Horizon and Zenith were nice smaller ships at the time. Wish we had more of those types around these days.
  17. You are right-- we mainly have done the Oceania and did Veendam once and a few memories blended into one. That being said, I still preferred being docked in downtown Hamilton the whole time vs being out at the Dockyard (much more central to everything), but the Oceania itineraries are our favorites with both towns.
  18. If you are looking to have the experience of docking in downtown Hamilton as well as out at St Georges, one of the better values out there are the yearly Oceania sailings (usually aboard Insignia). While not as inexpensive as some of the larger ships can be, this is a good value for a small ship (vs the luxury lines that occasionally also call at Hamilton/St Georges that charge a ton more). Holland America used to do it with Veendam (and it was even more affordable through them) but with Veendam sold who knows. We prefer these sailings-- I'm not a fan of the Dockyard. Its very touristy and is quite aways from the rest of things to do on the island. Being docked overnight at both St Georges and Hamilton lets the ship be your floating hotel and you are able to walk to things at night which is nice.
  19. Probably the most spectacular and unique hotel in town is the Sagamore Pendry which is build onto a former industrial pier and has a beautiful pool deck jutting into the harbor. It isn't cheap (would def be a splurge) but its nicer than the Four Seasons and has a ton of atmosphere.
  20. You're sort of bringing sand to the beach-- the whale watching will be more plentiful and better on the Alaska section of your cruise in all likelihood. If you want to save some time (assuming you are staying in Seattle proper and not Edmonds in which case nevermind) they run whale watching trips right from downtown that go up to Friday Harbor. You have a 2 hour stopover at Friday Harbor so that may allay your friends fear of seasickness. When we took this trip it was on a boat similar to the Victoria Clipper-- high speed catamaran that was pretty stable.
  21. Its actually the opposite-- at $40 a day you are paying less, in some cases significantly less, than most other midtown Manhattan lots.
  22. When I had work trips in and out of San Francisco a lot I would often stay at hotels that actually had rental car pick up/drop offs at the hotel themselves. For example, you can rent or drop off from Avis at the Hilton or Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. Theres a Hertz at the Marriott Marquis. Driving up from SoCal and just dropping your rental at the hotel valet could be super convenient.
  23. Hope you're right-- one less thing to do. That being said one last antigen test on the way back North most likely wouldn't deter me from taking this trip. Was just going off of what was sent over to us.
  24. They are capping themselves at 60% so there is the possibility it could be that high-- whether they are booked at that level will depend. None of that matters if the cruise line is requiring it. It's not like I'm going to argue with them over it. I'm sure they are just covering themselves in case.
  25. Crystal is requiring it-- I'm sure they are just anticipating an update to the current policy. Regardless-- I cant imagine doing all of that on a larger NCL ship, even at reduced capacity. It's going to create an incredible bottleneck. I'm skeptical Crystal can pull it off smoothly with 500 or so passengers. Would love to be proven wrong.
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