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Posts posted by mandwcruise

  1. Dubai started flooding April 15th. I was planning on going to Dubai April 27 and maybe Abu Dhabi May 1st. Was looking forward to things like:

    • the aquarium in the Atlantis
    • water park in the Atlantis
    • Ferrari World/Sea World/ Warner Bros in Abu Dhabi

      Now I'm wondering if all the tourist locations, restaurants and hotel lobbies are flooded and/or filthy with floodwater that mixed in with whatever trash/sewage.

      I can't tell what % of Dubai was actually flooded because the media has a habit of sensationalizing things. Any boots-on-the-grounds updates?

      How long should it take the UAE people to clean this mess up, based on other floods in history?

  2. On 11/24/2023 at 9:14 AM, Heartfelttraveler said:

    When planning keep in mind the Yellow Fever vaccine requirement for most of Africa.  South Africa is not a yellow fever area.

    Until your comment, I had not even considered that as I am fairly healthy and already have COVID shots.


    I saw this https://www.go2africa.com/african-travel-blog/vaccinations-need-africa


    Is it expected that I get all these vaccines before I go?

  3. Thanks for the replies so far. This is helpful.


    I am beginnining to see that a lot of these countries are flat-out unsafe, and I have concerns about even connecting through South Africa where tourists are getting targeted inside the airport.


    I was thinking Tanzania and Botswana. Botswana has Victoria Falls, but might be difficult to get to/back within a 2-legged flight.


    Defaulting to Tanzania until another viable option shows itself.

  4. I want to go to Africa and obviously see the offerings centered around South Africa. However, I have some concerns:


    1. Safety - where can a solo female safely travel to in Africa?

    2. Accessibility - is there going to be a major airport nearby, or am I going to have to pay thousands for a 6 hour flight that would cost $300 in the USA?

    3. Sightseeing - I want to be near a place I can do a 3-7 day safari tour

    4. cleanliness and pests - outside of the safari, where's a place I can avoid mice, scorpions, and oversized insects?


    Which African countries have you guys visited and what would you recommend? Since I am so new to this, I am open to something completely land-based. It doesn't have to be a cruise around Africa.

  5. We are 2 US Citizens, with residences in the USA, with active Passports and Passport cards. The plan is to take a Celebrity cruise from Florida to Nassau to Cozumel and back to Florida in December.


    My friend would prefer to sandbag the passport book (leave it at home so it doesn't get lost before international flights) and use the passport card if possible. Will the cruise terminal or Celebrity have any problems with the passport cards for getting onto the boat or returning to the USA?

  6. https://www.costacruises.com/cruising-soon/safety-above-all.html


    Costa is requiring vaccinated passengers to a COVID test within 24 hours before boarding.


    I will land in the Rio airport (GIG) 24 hours before boarding and then heading to my hotel near the Copacabana beach


    1. What do they mean by an "antigen" test. How is that different from a non-antigen test? Is one more expensive, accurate, or faster than the other?


    2. Once I figure out what's an eligible exam, where can I find a place in Rio (preferably within the safety of the airport) that is going to get me a same-day result so I can be ready next morning?


    3. Will Costa ever have emergency last-minute Covid testing for the passengers who couldn't get their act together at the terminal?

    • Like 1
  7. 2 hours ago, Wishing on a star said:

    Which ship and itinerary?  That could make a difference in the tips and advice!

    What do you hope to enjoy on the cruise?

    What type of cabin have you booked.

    Do you have a drink package?


    Food is subjective, of course.   But, I would say that that it is mostly about the same level on these similar mass market lines.  Not as good as the more upscale lines.


    On Princess, the Piazza, the International Cafe, and the coffee shop there, are something you should check out.  Everything from the breakfast, coffees, food, snacks, bars and entertainment in the main Piazza might be a different thing than you have experienced before.


    The Aft (wakeview) bar, (and small pool area) on most ships, as well as the Adult Retreat Pool area and bar might be more to your liking than the central pool deck, and the MUTS screen.


    Depending on what ship you are on, some of the alternate dining might be different.

    So, people can give you their thoughts on that if they know which ship.

    Most would say definitely check out the Alfredo's/Gigi's pizza italian.

    NO upcharge for that.

    Some ships also have some different food options,


    The same goes for the main shows in the Princess Theater.

    Some ships have newer and different production shows.




    Princess Caribbean to Panama Canal + Costa Rica



  8. On 10/21/2022 at 2:12 PM, njhorseman said:

    Your favorite cruise search website is wrong.

    There are a few cruises from Manila in 2023 . Silversea has two departures from Manila in February 2023, one each on Silver Shadow and Silver Spirit. They're listed on cruisetimetables.com, along with two other cruises. I verified on the Silversea website that the two February cruises from Manila do indeed exist and are available for purchase. I didn't bother to verify the other two cruises.


    1. thanks for sharing this site

    2. via another site, I discovered that NCL (a more affordable option) has something going on



  9. 21 minutes ago, dolittle said:

    Have done many cruise ship excursions. My best was not on a cruise but from the hotel in the Grand Canyon . For one hundred dollars each a bus ride to and all day raft down the Colorado river with lunch on the river . Best money ever spent my grandson still talks about it (this was 2004).


    Interesting that you said this because I was thinking the same thing as I typed up this survey:


    I had a wonderful bus tour that was $100/head. Spent maybe 11 hours from Las Vegas hotel to Grand Canyon and back. Had some good photo ops, guide was amazing, wasn't paced too slow, and they even threw in a drive-by of Hoover Dam.


    Excellent use of time and money.

    • Like 1
  10. Call out the 


    1. the excursion

    2. the port

    3. what made it memorable


    A few of mine are below:



    Grand Cayman

    I'm an animal lover and my family had never seen this kind of close encounter with marine life before




    Growing up, our Latin teacher talked about this all the time, so it was nice to see the volcano behind the story.














    My worst vacation was spent traveling across Asia by airplanes:

    • constantly riding on planes/buses
    • worrying about being late
    • unpacking and repacking the next morning


    I want to see a wide range of places without the hassle and without a surprise cost popping up.

    The fact that I can get a fixed cost on my cruise vacation is just the cherry on top.

    • Like 2
  12. I would love to take my family to see a unique part of Africa, pyramids, and where Indiana Jones was based. Then I read things like this:


    1. https://www.france24.com/en/20171016-cairo-deemed-worlds-worst-city-women

    2. https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220713-egyptian-women-are-fighting-desperately-for-a-safe-nation-and-a-political-voice/

    3. https://www.jtgtravel.com/africa/egypt/is-cairo-safe/

    4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rape_in_Egypt


    The country is ahead of other Middle Eastern nations in terms of women’s rights, but Cairo remains one of the worst megacities for female harassment, and solo travelers can receive unwanted attention.


    an estimated of 99.3% of Egyptian women said they faced some form of sexual violence.


    Women of this forum, is this going to be a disaster!?

  13. On 9/9/2022 at 3:41 AM, mandwcruise said:


    What is the methodology behind this "ranking", one that claims that DC is the safest? LOL

    Without additional info, we can only assume that "crime" is literal, meaning it includes non-violent crimes.


    Murderers, rapists, and armed robbers (the violent ones that were the focus of that image I posted) pose a far more relevant threat than shoplifters.


    3 hours ago, Underwatr said:

    A table with Vermont on one end and DC on the other and you conclude that DC is the safe end?


    From that site "Higher crime index value means more crime." 


    Thanks for the call out, @Underwatr. I was confused because my eyes saw "New York" and thought it was comparing cities instead of states. This chart only shows that "new york state" as a whole is safer than DC as a whole...it does nothing to refute the other guy's suggestion that New York *city* is unsafe, an idea that appears to be supported by the stat I posted.

  14. 32 minutes ago, donaldsc said:


    I understand that but it was a number that I could come up w easily.  I did a further search and came up with this.  New York is #11 at the low end of the number of violent crimes.  Take a look at the ones at the bottom that are the worse state.  How about we all move to Vermont.  Sort of interesting that Illinois which has Chicago which is the murder capitol of the country is right about in the middle.  I guess that my home state of Nevada is not so good on this list.


    Check out this site - http://www.usa.com/rank/us--crime-index--state-rank.htm.  Lots of neat stuff on it.


    U.S. Crime Index State Rank

    A total of 51 results found. Show Results on Map. The crime index value is calculated based on the data using USA.com algorithms. It is an indicator of the crime level in a region. Higher crime index value means more crime.  How about we all move to Vermont.  

    Rank Crime Index ▲ State / Population
    1. 950 Vermont / 626,358
    2. 956 New Hampshire / 1,321,069
    3. 985 North Dakota / 704,925
    4. 1,017 Maine / 1,328,535
    5. 1,042 South Dakota / 834,708
    6. 1,068 Idaho / 1,599,464
    7. 1,125 Virginia / 8,185,131
    8. 1,136 Wyoming / 575,251
    9. 1,171 Connecticut / 3,592,053
    10. 1,180 New Jersey / 8,874,374
    11. 1,194 New York / 19,594,330
    12. 1,203 Iowa / 3,078,116
    13. 1,227 Wisconsin / 5,724,692
    14. 1,230 Montana / 1,006,370
    15. 1,235 West Virginia / 1,853,881
    16. 1,268 Rhode Island / 1,053,252
    17. 1,298 Minnesota / 5,383,661
    18. 1,305 Kentucky / 4,383,272
    19. 1,335 Pennsylvania / 12,758,729
    20. 1,368 Massachusetts / 6,657,291
    21. 1,390 Nebraska / 1,855,617
    22. 1,405 Utah / 2,858,111
    23. 1,497 Oregon / 3,900,343
    24. 1,526 Colorado / 5,197,580
    25. 1,584 Mississippi / 2,984,345
    26. 1,599 Indiana / 6,542,411
    27. 1,608 Hawaii / 1,392,704
    28. 1,616 Illinois / 12,868,747
    29. 1,670 Kansas / 2,882,946
    30. 1,691 Ohio / 11,560,380
    31. 1,701 California / 38,066,920
    32. 1,757 Michigan / 9,889,024
    33. 1,855 Washington / 6,899,123
    34. 1,858 Missouri / 6,028,076
    35. 1,869 North Carolina / 9,750,405
    36. 1,884 Maryland / 5,887,776
    37. 1,911 Georgia / 9,907,756
    38. 1,938 Oklahoma / 3,818,851
    39. 1,941 Alabama / 4,817,678
    40. 1,962 Texas / 26,092,033
    41. 1,974 Delaware / 917,060
    42. 1,986 Alaska / 728,300
    43. 2,025 Arizona / 6,561,516
    44. 2,065 Arkansas / 2,947,036
    45. 2,095 Florida / 19,361,792
    46. 2,167 Louisiana / 4,601,049
    47. 2,180 Nevada / 2,761,584
    48. 2,194 Tennessee / 6,451,365
    49. 2,241 New Mexico / 2,080,085
    50. 2,253 South Carolina / 4,727,273
    51. 3,747 District of Columbia / 633,736




    What is the methodology behind this "ranking", one that claims that DC is the safest? LOL

    Without additional info, we can only assume that "crime" is literal, meaning it includes non-violent crimes.


    Murderers, rapists, and armed robbers (the violent ones that were the focus of that image I posted) pose a far more relevant threat than shoplifters.

  15. 2 hours ago, donaldsc said:


    The state of New York is 8th on the list of the number of mass shootings with 5.  The top ones in order numbers are California (23), Florida (12), Texas (12), Washington (7), Colorado (7), Wisconsin (5), Pennsylvania (5).  Do you plan to completely avoid all those states?  Yes I do realize that these numbers are total and not per capita but they are still useful numbers.  My home state of Nevada has only 2.




    Violent crime =/= mass shootings

  16. 2 hours ago, Zach1213 said:


    The fact that NYC is on your list means your reason for not going isn't based on actual data or violent crime rates, as NYC's violent crime rate is shockingly low for a city of its size...so I'd love to know your reason for avoiding cities where you have a very small chance, as a tourist, of something violent happening to you. 


    According to neighborhoodscout.com's data, NYC violent crime on a per capita basis is absolutely higher in Manhattan than the national average. 




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