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thehowlingroad

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Everything posted by thehowlingroad

  1. This is the list I'm using: https://www.ncd.mhlw.go.jp/dl_data/keitai/list.pdf. It's from the Narcotics Control Department website. From what I understand, if your active ingredients are not on this list, then you don't need the Yunyu Kakunin-sho form for those medications, just make sure you're bringing less than a month's supply, and ideally, you could bring them in their original prescription bottles.
  2. The “ideal” way really depends on how much luggage you’re bringing. We’re 3 people with 2 larger suitcases and a carry-on, plus the assorted personal items, so we will be taking a cab to the City Air Terminal to catch the limousine bus to Narita instead. It’s a pretty standard 50-person bus where your luggage goes under the bus and it’s a direct (bur longer) drive to Narita, about 90 minutes. If your flight isn’t until late afternoon/early evening, you have plenty of time for this. It’s about $24 USD a ticket. If you’re packing light (a carry-on + personal item, or just one larger suitcase and a personal item), then Narita Express from Yokohama Station is the way to go. $50 USD seems extremely expensive to me… I believe standard fare is around $30. But you would just tap your Pasmo or Suica card at the gate like you would for a subway ride.
  3. We're staying at the Hyatt Regency in Yokohama next month. I picked up a good deal a few months ago, and got a triple room for just under $165 USD... with the exchange rate in USD's favor right now, it'll probably be even less than that at check-in. Right now, for the same time frame, I'm seeing a $220 rate. It's walking distance from our port, and only a few blocks from Chinatown, which we are very interested in seeing.
  4. We will be there in March 2024, staying at the Hyatt Regency Yokohama the night before our departure. No cruise ship shuttle that I know of, but it is directly across the street from the port. Google Maps tells me it's a 7-min walk. If the walk isn't a feasible option, the hotel lobby will be able to help you get a taxi, and the fare shouldn't be that expensive for a 5-minute drive.
  5. Hello! I'm the author of the March 28th-April 7th roll call board. We've had some discussions on the roll call, and a resource site is up and running, if you want to come and say hello! That is definitely the place to ask more specific questions about day tours and to get to know your fellow cruisers. The situation with the Japanese ports is that outside of the major cities, the tour companies have struggled with finding English-speaking guides/drivers. The ships book many of them for the ship-sponsored tours, which can cause a shortage of third-party tours. Another thing to be aware of is that many of the third-party guides use public transportation rather than a private vehicle. We've hired guides in Shimizu and for Kyoto for our family; in one, the tour company is helping us to book a chartered taxi for the whole length of the tour, and in the other, the guide will be taking us on public transit.
  6. I figured we might get an answer (or not!) rather than talking ourselves in circles on the roll call board! 😂
  7. I'm having some odd problems with the search function, so apologies if this has been brought up recently. Has anyone been on a ship in Shimizu that has docked at the Okitsu Port rather than Hinode? A tour agency I'm working with has brought up that our ship, the Diamond Princess, is docking at Okitsu in April (which is a far more industrial port than Hinode) and we might experience problems trying to get taxis, as they're not typically allowed into the industrial areas. I'm looking at the possibility of having our tour guide drop us off at the S-Dream Plaza after our tour, and then getting ourselves back to Okitsu, but if the taxis aren't allowed to do drop-offs in the area, then I'm more concerned. Has anyone been in Shimizu lately that wants to share their experience? Especially if you docked at Okitsu... Has Princess (or other cruise lines!) offered shuttles out to town? Are the concerns about getting taxis totally overblown? Thanks!
  8. We went last year on the Enchanted Princess. 3 ports in Norway, 4 in Iceland (no overnight in Reykjavik). It was a good mix for us, and I had looked at multiple other cruise lines during the planning process; Princess regularly does 4 stops in Iceland, instead of 2 or 3 with an overnight in Reykjavik like some of the other cruise lines. Whether or not that's a trade-off that's worth it to you is a personal preference; all our port stops were 10+ hours, so we felt it was still plenty of time to do the tours we wanted to do and walk around town. With the exceptions of Reykjavik and Akureyri, the other "typical" Icelandic port towns (Isafjordur, Grundarfjordur, Seydisfjordur) are really small.
  9. We are booked on the Feb 2024 edition of this cruise on the Spirit. Thank you so much for what you've posted so far!
  10. Considering that Princess has given booked customers a bit over 2 months' notice about an increase to "crew appreciation," I don't think it's too much to ask for more than 3 weeks' notice.
  11. Honestly, I put a deposit down on a '24 booking that I already felt was overpriced for 3 of us, but figured I wanted to hold the room and reprice later on... but this is making me re-consider the booking altogether, especially when other lines have similar itineraries at significantly lower fares. And with less than a month's notice before the fee increase? This isn't a good first impression for NCL, lol.
  12. We prefer pods sealed in a Ziploc bag and put inside a harder container, but you can buy liquid Tide in travel packets as well (I think Harmon sells them and I've seen them at Target twice), if you're worried about the pods bursting or anything like that. I've never used the detergent sheets but wouldn't mind trying them. The washers are top-loading, the dryers are front-loading. We did three loads of laundry on the Enchanted over the summer-- two were planned, one was not after we got caught in a significant rainstorm in Norway.
  13. Was on Riviera on the Emerald in 2018-- I don't remember where exactly the room was located, but we got a lot of deck chair noise, especially in the mornings when the crew is setting up for the day.
  14. https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B09PGXWNWG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I use this Anker one for the outlets by the desk, and another adapter (it isn't listed on Amazon anymore), and that works great for 3 phones, an Apple Watch, a DSLR battery charger, 2 portable battery packs for long shore excursions, and my Kindle.
  15. Yeah, you only bid for the 1st and 2nd person. So when you divide my $200 bid over 3 people, that's $66/pp.
  16. My bid averaged out to $66/pp (there's 3 of us) from an interior room into a premium deluxe balcony, but mini-suites weren't available for bidding yet when I put it in last week. Your daughter got a steal!
  17. Yes, the 4-day run to Ensenada and back. We love San Diego during the holidays but hate the traffic, so this is the neatest solution, lol.
  18. Our cruise sails on 12/17 and I got my bid accepted today. My app says we're 18 days from sailing.
  19. I once made the mistake of booking a room below Lido and it was annoying but not unmanageable with earplugs. I can see this being a similar situation, but can also see light sleepers/early sleepers absolutely hating it.
  20. Reviving this thread because the cabin reviews thread didn't have the information I was looking for... we're booked on the Discovery, E731, after a successful upgrade bid. Anyone have strong opinions either way about the Vista Lounge noise on this ship? Even experiences with the same room on the Enchanted would be helpful. The deck plan tells me it's the cabin immediately to the left of the starboard corner suite.
  21. My bid was accepted this morning. We moved to an aft cabin on the Discovery; E731. I'm a little concerned about noise from Vista Lounge in the late evenings, but given it's only a 5-day cruise, I think we'll be okay.
  22. I placed 5 test bids on our upcoming Discovery cruise next month, just to see what would happen. 4 of the 5 were rejected an hour after I placed them, but the premium deluxe balcony bid is still pending. $200 total, but there's 3 of us in an interior room, so any kind of upgrade would be worth it, tbh.
  23. Princess is one of the very few lines that will do 4 Iceland ports, instead of an overnight in Reykjavik. Flam and Olden are deep fjord ports, and that’s honestly more than you’ll get with most other itineraries. Quite frankly, the fjord ports are very small and there isn’t much to do, so you do need to balance it out with the coastal ports for a good mix of activities. If you’re looking at the June 3rd Sky Princess sailing, I’d say go for it. We went on the 2022 edition this summer and did not regret a single moment.
  24. Most places will accept Mastercard and Visa. The one place in Alaska where I found was truly cash only was the shuttle bus from the furthest dock in Juneau (the AJ dock; check if your ship is docking there). It's $5 for the whole day, cash only. Our ship was kind enough to point out that you can exchange USD and break large bills down with the on-board Casino but I'm sure there was an exorbitant fee and unfavorable exchange rate.
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