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Everything posted by msmayor

  1. Not every free stateroom is upgradeable...the casino deals are often capacity limited. That being said, I can almost always get a casino discount on any booking I make. It usually comes to around $300-$400 per person. That discount is different from the 'free stateroom' offer though.
  2. Jacqui, much thanks for maintaining this list...so good to see it getting longer as that is a sign cruising is coming back. I'm about to make the list shorter - you can remove this one for me please: N Statendam - 16-Mar-22 - Southern Caribbean Wayfarermsmayor - 1st voyage on this ship While a bit sad to give this up, we're now greatly anticipating the birth of our first grandchild right around that time and I'll be in VA helping my daughter adjust to her new role as 'Mom'. We'll get something on the calendar down the road
  3. I've enjoyed aft staterooms three times...I'm in the group that loves them. Love watching the wake, and the fact that the breezes are limited means it's easier to spend time back there without things blowing around. I find they are usually a bit longer so a little more space. Hubby and I like that they are often more shaded which makes them easier to use regardless of the weather. We've not had issues with any soot or particles.
  4. @Mr. Boston, so sorry to hear of Paws passing. Pets fill a special place in our families and hearts.
  5. Morning all! Manners matter for sure. Bacon is best when super crispy. Tailgating memories at Phillies games with friends years ago, never the driving kind - I'm a 'two-car spacing' gal. Buffalo wings are a staple in my house...I've grilled them, but the best ones come from places that do the 'unhealthy' and fry them crisp. Heading out today with my son to look at new cars...not sure how much luck we'll have. Availability was already short due to supply chain problems, and now with the historic flooding the demand for ANY car is going to go up even more. He's got his eye on a particular model - fortunately, the purchase isn't critical and he can afford a long lead time. Tonight is 'date night' for me and hubby - we're going to a comedy night at a winery about an hour north of us. I'm in the Vintner Club there but this is the first time we're visiting for an evening show. All outdoors, but we'll be bringing masks just in case. Should be a pleasant evening. Thank you for the care and celebration lists...good thoughts and wishes to all for better days ahead!
  6. @mamaofami so glad you are feeling better today. @Vict0riannhoping for good news on your DD. @irishjim most definitely hoping for a good outcome for you! I may have taken National Lazy Mom's Day a little seriously today...by noon at the office, I'd decided that I was running out of gas. I wrapped up the reports I needed to finish, emailed them off and headed out the door by 2:30. I just couldn't bear sitting in the office with the sun shining. I'd already warned my husband that I was coming home early and to please wipe down all the deck furniture. By 3:15pm, it was me, feet up, with a new book, cheese plate and a glass of crisp chardonnay sitting in the sun. Stayed out there and barely moved for three hours...lazy as can be. It was glorious!
  7. Thanks for the daily report! I'm getting an early start today in hopes that my work day moves quickly and I can start the holiday weekend early. Skyscraper Day is one I've not heard of before - they're nice to look at but with my fear of heights, tough for me to visit and look outside windows (during a visit years ago to the Hancock Tower in Chicago, the floor-to-ceiling windows on the observation floor were a non-starter...I spent the entire visit plastered against an interior wall, well away from the windows and full of anxiety). College Colors day is a nice one for all the students headed back to campus. I'll celebrate by enjoying my morning coffee from my MSC (Montclair State University) mug. Love the Berlin quote - life really is what you choose to make of it. Will skip the meal - not a fish fan - but interested in knowing what's in that drink of the day. Sounds ominous!! I'm betting the wine is fantastic - I'm a big fan of Aussie varieties. Woke to another glorious day of sunshine and pleasant temperatures. Haven't seen the care and celebrations list, but sending thoughts and good wishes to all for a day that is better than yesterday, no matter what. Check in later!
  8. We had the news on and had heard of the one that came through Mullica Hill...a colleague lives there and I immediately sent him a text to check on him. He and his family fine, but a lot of devastation. A family his kids are friendly with lost their entire home in 30 seconds. We finished dinner and I started the dishes, ABC Channel 6 on in the background. We were watching the report on the confirmed tornado moving through Cherry Hill and into Maple Shade...my son's phone was the first to go off with the tornado warning and he looked at me and said "Let's go Mom...basement". I yelled for my husband and we headed down the stairs, watching the ABC app on my phone to get the updates. It moved closer to us, but must have taken a more westerly track once it got closer to Willingboro (town just south of me) and moved into the Bristol PA area. We emerged from the basement after 45 minutes and thankfully, all seemed fine. I've lived in NJ for nearly 57 years and never remember tornado watches or warnings (or REAL tornados) in this state like I've seen the past few years. Even the meteorologist said we were only used to seeing 'gust-nados'...bursts of swirling winds that take days for the weather service to decide if they are legit tornados or not. Today...at least three "confirmed and extremely dangerous" tornados on the ground...visual confirmations. And we all thought 2020 was a crazy year...
  9. Thank you all so much for the good wishes...we're full of joy and anticipation and looking forward to holding that sweet bundle of joy in six months or so. Lots and lots of tornado warnings popping up on my area right now...PA, along the western side of where we are (I am about 15 miles northeast of Philadelphia and not far from the Delaware River). Looks like things are moving north and could reach closer to our area soon. One just confirmed over Willow Grove PA. Fingers crossed, nothing comes of it. @bennybear - that hail!! OMG it must have made such a noise while falling.
  10. "Don't count your days...make your days count" Reminds me of The Dash Poem: May we all live our dash with gusto!!
  11. Good morning all! Wouldn't really celebrate Cherry Popover Day - not a fan of that stone fruit. Still have fond memories of hand-written letters both sent and received as a child with 'pen pals' from far away lands. Learned to play chess as a kid too, but never to the skillful level as some. Lasagna would be a perfect meal for what will be a cool and dreary day here in NJ. They predict my area is far enough east that our rainfall totals may reach just 1-2 inches; those further west are facing 6 or more. Curious to see what is in the Flirtini - if it's fruity flavored, I might need to seek one out. The cruise my husband and I have planned as our 'Welcome Back' in March 2022 is going to be cancelled. I have known for a few weeks that it was going to need re-scheduling, but only in part due to the continuing fluid nature of what cruising is right now (I don't mind the masking, and for us the ship is the destination so movement in/around ports isn't a big deal...the testing part is a new twist though). Truthfully, even if cruising was moving much closer to normal we'd still be rescheduling because.... We found out (and can now share the news) that we are going to be grandparents for the first time! Our daughter and her husband are expecting, with arrival of the their first child right around the date of the cruise in March. There's nothing that will keep us away from that event, so we'll delay our return to cruising a bit longer so we can celebrate this milestone. I will call HAL soon to release the booking - 11 nights on Nieuw Statendam in one of the double-wide verandahs on deck 4 aft - and have my future cruise deposit put back in our account to find another trip down the road to take. Hope everyone has a good day today!!
  12. I adored this stop in fall 2019 on Eurodam...my husband and I did a tour that went to Solvang and included two wineries. It was during this stop that I ended up joining my 'second' wine club...Kalyra Winery. Beautiful port I'd love to visit again.
  13. I grew up in Ocean County, and spent many a summer day (and night) at Seaside. This morning I heard that of the eight people struck, four were lifeguards. The weather didn't necessarily indicate danger...there were clouds off in the distance, but the remainder of the sky was clear. They reported that despite appearances, lightening can strike anywhere within 10 miles of a storm center. I'm guessing a wary eye was to the location of the clouds, but human nature seems to believe if the sun is out, we're fine. Evidently once the lightening strike happened, those in the area very swiftly scattered as the remaining lifeguards on the beach screamed for people to seek shelter. Still, tragically, too late for those affected. The beaches there will be closed through Thursday and grief counselors are being made available to anyone, especially the rest of the lifeguard team.
  14. Good morning all and thanks for the daily information. With humidity still crazy high, I think we'll skip eating outside. Trail mix (minus raisins) was always a favorite during my backpacking days. Love Touch a Heart Tuesday, I'm inspired to find a way to make someone's day today. Curious about the meal - similar to a pot pie, perhaps? Love a nice white wine blend for a nice summer afternoon. Finally heard from a friend of mine who lives in New Orleans late last night. He and his family were incredibly lucky, with some damage to homes but nothing catastrophic. It's bad down there...very bad. Katrina was supposed to be that 'once in a lifetime' storm, and here we are sixteen years later and they get it again. Still a long way to go in hurricane season...keep praying for them. Hope everyone has a good day!
  15. I don't think it's a mistake at all. Sometimes, we have to treat ourselves. We deserve it. I've already warned my husband that after we get through this pandemic, we may end up treating ourselves to suites more often. There's something special about feeling so pampered.
  16. Carol, sending an extra hug your way.
  17. Good morning all - foggy day here in south Jersey, rain expected later today. I think the weather will be a question mark most of the week as Ida's remains creep northeast into our area. To me, a toasted marshmallow is only good when smushed between two graham crackers and some Hershey's chocolate. Not a fan of Frankenstein, but I do love a good walk on the beach. My favorite? Half Moon Cay... I put my chance of chicken tenders for dinner at 50-50...it's in the meal rotation this week, so we'll see what my husband ends up choosing. My outlook on life has always been...if you wake up on the right side of the dirt, it's a good day. I am going to hope that those on our care list get an extra boost today...perhaps signs of healing, calls of support, indications that things are moving forward in a good way. Know that I am passing you each a smile, a light squeeze of the hand and a wish that things get better for you soon.
  18. Sending some extra prayers to those enduring the wrath of Ida...I just read that all of New Orleans is without power, over 700,000 overall with no power; catastrophic damage to the transmission grid. God help them all, please...
  19. How wonderful! Much happiness to all!
  20. Thank you for this information - the Video Poker is the only machine my husband and I play in the casino and Jacks of Better is my game of choice. We're usually table-players. Our last HAL cruise in fall 2019 we were able to load the cash from our room account - I was very happy to learn that could be done without any fees. We had sought a marker, but discovered during the process that it was quite easy to get it from the room account. Meant we didn't have to carry a lot of cash.
  21. Many thanks for the daily info today. I know that bats are good, but they still terrify me....so much so that at the zoo, I cannot even bear to get close to them in a zoo enclosure. I can see them flying around at dusk and always keep an eye to the sky if I am outside at that time. If I recall correctly, the port of Cristobal in Colon may have been where Zuiderdam stopped at the end of our partial Canal transit back in 2017 - this cruise was one of my absolute favorites for three reasons: Finally getting to see the Panama Canal, even if only part of it. Still hoping someday to do a full transit and see all of its glory Very first time in a Neptune suite - had booked a great casino deal on a Signature, and just two weeks prior got an upsell that I couldn't pass up. It was such a treat! While docked in Panama, a phone call from our daughter shared the news that she was engaged to be married - it was a wonderful reason to celebrate that evening at the Pinnacle! Will watch the progress of Hurricane Ida and hope that the residents of all areas affected remain safe. Hoping the pumps in New Orleans can stay ahead of the surge - lets not repeat the dreaded history of Katrina. Hope everyone has a restful and peaceful day today.
  22. Good afternoon all - thank you for all the great Daily information. Really enjoying all the wonderful port photos for today's stop; just makes me yearn to get out and travel again. Disclaimer - I haven't yet had a chance to fully go through yesterday's Daily so not sure if this was mentioned, but wanted to give some update on the young lifeguard who lost his life in Cape May. I read yesterday in our local news that Cape May will be renaming the Reading Avenue Beach in his memory, and they are covering all medical costs with municipal insurance. The family is now planning to use the funds raised through the Go Fund Me campaign to establish scholarships in his memory with the Cape May Beach Patrol and Phoenixville Area High School where he attended. His family is comforted by the tremendous outpouring of support - over $170k raised so far. Norman Inferrera III's sense of goodness and service will live on, a shining light in the darkness of this sad event. Speaking of tragic events, prayers and comfort to the families of all who lost their lives in the bombing at Kabul Airport yesterday. Just an awful situation - may those that remain be able to get out quickly and safely...and prayers for all those who remain behind. Happy that it's Friday and this challenging work week is over. With any luck, the awful heat we've had this week will also break - though it means a weekend with a much higher risk of rain. That's OK - I have a few indoor tasks I can now tackle.
  23. 'Morning all, and thank you for today's daily Rich! Love the collection of days - when it comes to strange music, I would give kudos to my son's playlists. He's got some eclectic tunes mixed in with old standards by Sinatra and wild rants by Iron Maiden. He runs the gamut! Not a fan of mushrooms, so I'll pass on the meals. I have a business dinner tonight, though, at one of my favorite go-to spots that serves a delicious tenderloin salad...that's on my menu tonight. Sending virtual hugs to all on the care list...and hoping for better days ahead. Have a wonderful day all!
  24. Good morning all...relaxing with a hot cup of coffee while the house is still quiet. Love the collection of days today. In these times, if we all chose to be an angel for something small each day, what a better world this might be. Also love Never Bean Better Day and that it is a day for a special hound. My granddog's name is Dean, and we often refer to him as 'The Bean'...he certainly brings us joy whenever we can be together and as his 'grammy' I spoil him tremendously: I think I'll choose the alternative meal for today - you had me at 'chilled raspberry soup'. Chilled fruit soups are an absolute favorite of mine! Looks like we'll have a slow and steady rain all day today, so good thing all my errands were done yesterday. Will be a day to cocoon in the house and get ready to head back to the office after my week of travel. I shudder to think what my inbox will look like. Have a great day all - check in later.
  25. Actually, it can be - depending on the airline. Air Canada would only allow me to select seats more than 24 hours in advance if I paid. I could wait until the 24-hour mark to select for free, but then would be stuck with whatever is left.
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