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Everything posted by JVes

  1. No problem. I will gladly try to give a helpful review. You've explained the need quite clearly and I understand it.
  2. One week to go! I am SO EXCITED. So very very excited! It's going to be hard not to spam you guys. We're test packing, collecting everything we're going to pack except the clothing, right now. I'm going to wear the bulkiest of my clothes, and shed the ones I don't need in the cabin once we're there. I am taking my little black dress, (sorry, Mum2Mercury), because it packs well and doesn't crease. I'll put colour in with accessories. We might need a bigger cabin bag for me, which sucks because I love the one I chose. But the important thing is that WE'RE ONLY A WEEK AWAY!
  3. Two Weeks! (Pardon my enthusiasm, please.)
  4. Music is quite important to us both, and live music will be a great treat! Echo (my partner) is studying both singing and piano, and recently composed her first piece for her course. It's A-MAZ-ING. I'm so proud. Listing to great live music will be a thrill, and we'll probably stop in lounges with live music when we need to rest. (Clipped to the food review) I'm very disappointed in your review of the MDR. We're planning to have lunch there on our first day, partly to check on it, and partly because we both need to discuss allergies with the Maitre'd. Once I'm back, I'll let you know how it went. I'll be on Grand Princess, and she seems to do Australia/Alaska, I hope she has better chefs in the MDR than you had. I'll take note of your recommendation for Sabatini's. We both love good Italian - we get fussy about our pizzas and my favourite Italian meal is alfredo fettucine or penne. Carbonara is, of course, also a plus. However, I'll be adventurous. There's no better time, right? I hope our Crown Grill food is good. I am very, very fond of steaks and roasts. (Clipped to the fashion!) I'm planning to wear a fairly basic dress, but I knit and crochet. I'm planning to accessorise with a crocheted shawl that I made quite well, and it's an amazing yarn. Half of making your garment amazing is picking the right yarn. I don't go for what some people call "real jewelry". In my mind it is. Nothing wrong with silver and a polished piece of amber, with garnet touches to bring out the shine in the amber. Over time, I plan to make an assortment of spats for the shoes. One of the sets of spats I want to do will be fully embroidered. That one, however, will take a lot of time. A LOT. But oh my god it will be gorgeous! Before that will be a set of white spats in the classic 1800s style. Or spats that go up my legs and look like a pair of boots. Spats with fake buttonholes and buttons. Whatever I can imagine! And OF COURSE I will let folks in this thread know how it went! 27 days to go.
  5. That's a very good point, I hadn't thought of that.
  6. Just went through my copy of Ilana's cruise planner and compared it to the personal plan I based off both Ilana's and the many cruise video's I've watched. I made only four changes. Kind of proud of that.
  7. Thank you! I'm really looking forward to: Trying new foods. Enjoying live entertainment - theatre, comedy, music. Participating in deck games, trivia contests, 'game show' stuff. Karaoke, if they have it! (My friend is studying music, and I've got good pitch but horrible timing.) Browsing art - both the stuff inherent in the ship, and the art for the art auction. (No, I won't be buying. But no harm in looking!) Seeing the stars with less light pollution. Having afternoon tea like a real lady. And if it all gets too much, the Grand Princess has a library. And who's counting?!
  8. 37 days and not counting. Not at all. Not me.....
  9. Jewel tones are flexible for me. As long as I avoid limes, yellows and oranges (and the dress works for me) I could make a set of each colour! I won't, of course. That would be ridiculous. And thank you for the compliment re formal night! I like to fit in. I'll have a nice dress and a fancy hairstyle. BTW, if you sew, that website has a lot of useful free or cheap patterns.
  10. Bestie and I found a dress pattern which should make a lovely gown. We plan to convert it to a shirt/skirt combination, and make the 'undergown' section into a wearable skirt itself. That produces three different 'gowns': one to look like the pattern, one to be the shirt with a lace (or otherwise patterned) skirt, and a third with the shirt and a skirt that reveals the leg (or leggings, or whatever else). And we plan to make a second set in a harmonious colour. Give me time & the money for the fabric and I won't be stuck in an 'LBD'. And yes, you were in part inspiration. I'm planning to use the 'jewel' saturation & hue, the first in blue. https://patterns.bootstrapfashion.com/sewing-patterns/women/plus-size-patterns/fashion-designer-sewing-patterns-gown-with-2-layers-skirt.html
  11. And yes, I'm still excited as hell! I have the 'Life well cruised' ultimate cruise planner, and am working through it to hopefully make this as fun as possible!
  12. I was born & raised in Brisbane. I hope you tolerated the summer weather there better than I did! I'm happy to be living in Melbourne now. As for the dog track: my pets' vet is the same one as treats most of the greyhounds used in racing. The track is about twenty klicks thattaway. (as I point...) You and Mrs Benson would be most welcome.
  13. I craft. I have some gorgeous (if I say so myself) hand-knitted or hand-crocheted scarves and shawls. I use the dress as background, and the hand-made pieces as foreground. Having a neutral background allows me to accessorise as I please. Jewelry and hairstyles (with decorated hair) are also fun. So yes, I have the LDB, but I try not to be dull with it. As for the shoes, I have a plan to go back to the 'medical' shoe shop and get some shoes which are suitable for 'dressing up'. But that's not happening very soon. Sadly. I hope people can be forgiving.
  14. Speaking as one of those people: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU SO INCREDIBLY MUCH! That may have been a tad loud. If you're being a little bit overzealous, make a document with all the important information. My first overseas trip, I went to a dangerous extreme and listed everything, including not just driver's licence and passport, but address at home, where I was staying, what my itinerary was, and oh so much more. The older, wiser me suggests making such a document and leaving it with next of kin and/or most trustworthy friend/s. That document stays in those wise hands. Make a second document. This has an image of you, your name, and your nationality, and your cruise ship. (And any hotels, you landlubber!) along with contact details for: - next of kin, - trustworthy friend, - travel agent, - travel insurance, your cruise line & ship, - anything else you think wise. Put the second document everywhere. In each checked bag, in your carryon luggage, inside a compartment on a tote bag, in the safe in your ship/hotel, on the backdrop of the theatre stage.....
  15. I will! It's not until November (late spring/early summer down here), so I'll be waiting on tenterhooks for a while. Update to come ....
  16. Thank you for the kind words. We have no intention to try a cruise sooner than this. We've been a bit careful (and hopefully clever) with what we chose. We will be going through some of Bass Strait, and into the bit of the Indian Ocean which blends into the Southern Ocean. If we can make it through Bass Strait comfortably, we should be okay with most wild waters. We have one port day, but the port day is into Adelaide (the city closest to Melbourne, where we live). We're hoping to experience a ship in port, with most of the cruisers off into the port. And we have a couple of sea days. And we're on Princess, which I hope bestie and I like. Cruise vloggers and bloggers talk about Princess and it 'feels' like one of the short-list lines for us. So yeah, all my choices have been intentional. I want it all, I Want it All, I WANT it all, I , and (to quote Queen) I WANT IT NOW! But I'll try not to pull on the leash too hard.
  17. 108 days. I'm already planning my next cruise. Is that a problem?
  18. Wisdom from other forms of travel: Carry two forms of government issue photo ID. While actually travelling, keep the one which isn't needed in a next-to-your-body moneybelt. Or hidden vest, concealed shorts with thigh-pockets, or bra with pockets sewn into the band. Or whatever you've come up with. The other form of photo ID should be with your other travel documents, in a garment worn in front of you. A jacket pocket if you will always be wearing the jacket. A cross-body bag with the bag part in front of you. A 'cargo shirt' with a bunch of pockets. Ideally, a pocket with zips or buttons. Once in the cabin, the passport-level ID and travel documents go straight into the safe. The cruise card (or Princess medallion) will be all the ID you'll need until disembarkation.
  19. See? The love of Vegemite is what makes a person an Aussie. I had a B vitamin deficiency at one point in my childhood. Our doctor prescribed a teaspoon-ful amount of vegemite per day. Probably expecting I'd have vegemite on toast for breakfast, vegemite in my sandwiches or in after school snacks. Nup. I grabbed a teaspoon, took a teaspoon of vegemite, and would sit down and do my homework with the spoon in my mouth. Like one of those lollypops on a stick. I figure that's proof of my Aussieness. And yeah, wallabies are small kangaroos, pademelons are small wallabies.... (different species, same family.) Of course, the Six White Boomers are special. Aussieland is too hot for raindeer, so when Santa arrives in Australia, the elves unharness the raindeer and look after them, and other elves harness in the Six Boomers. They're a special, unique set of Macropods, reserved for Santa's use. They live on a secret, magic island near Darwin, and the elves who live there protect the island from intruders. Jenn.
  20. I love Vegemite, does that count? I'm planning to do a wardrobe try-on soon. I have friends who I can trust to say 'don't pack that'. I hope I will have two lbds that fit me with enough ease to allow for sea air. Thanks for the warning! Koalas and wombats are both hard to find. My parents used to live next to a state park that had lots of koalas living there. They commonly saw koala claw scratches but only very rarely saw the koalas. I've seen two wombats - one of which was in a shelter, healing from injuries. The other one was amazing - this wombat just walked out from the side of a path, waddled his way along the path ignoring us, then went back into the wild grass and completely disappeared. The pademelon, wallaby and kangaroos are pretty much the same thing; they're in the family macropodidae. There are other macropods in the family, but .... ahem. Let's just stop that before I wax too lyrical about my country. I kinda love it. 109 days!
  21. FINAL PAYMENT IS MADE! My cruise is 110 days away. I've been trying to fill in Ocean Ready, but it seems that I'm too excited and eager. I have travel insurance. I'm making a mermaid picture to magnet-attach to the room door. It's one of the 'colouring in for adults' pictures. I think it's Art Deco in style but don't quote me on it. The important thing is that it's distinctive, and it's distracting me from compulsively digging through my wardrobe trying to decide on everything from 'which shorts' to 'I need to buy a hawaiian print skirt'. Hawaiian print skirt. In Australia. In the south of Australia. So yeah. Final payment made, and I'm excited. Could you tell?
  22. I hope 'thank you' posts don't clog up your bandwidth. I've read everything suggested, and viewed that Royal Caribbean video. Thank you for all those ideas and sources. I feel very welcomed. I think that's all I have. Thank you, and I feel welcome here.
  23. Thank you for such a helpful response! I have two little black dresses, one requires a bit more 'dressing up' than the other: I'll try them both on before the cruise. The one with the cowl neck suits me better so it'll probably be the one I pack. Unfortunately for the 'formal' dress code, I need to wear prescription shoes. If I'm in a crafting mood, I'll make spats for them. I like milk. But yeah, we don't need zip lines, conga lines, limbo line.. sticks. We wanted to sail Melbourne-to-Melbourne, which limited our options, but all the research I'd been doing suggested that of the options, Princess would suit us best. Your post makes me feel better about the choice. I hope you enjoyed Australia! I have the kind of deep love of country that I think comes from having lived here my whole life. I've patted koalas, kangaroos, even a wombat. And had a zookeeper drape a snake over me and let it explore me. I've played with the bark from paperbark trees (never made a bark painting. Probably should look into that). Ghost gums in fog look amazing. Kookaburras do sound like laughter. Re wine and currency I suspect the ship's currency will be AUD, I'll check with the travel agent. As for alcomahol, neither of us drinks it. Correction: Bestie may try a cocktail or two. No enough to warrant a drinks package! I won't have any. Unless I want one of those spectacular flambe food. And thank you very much for caring enough to post all of that!
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