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About AncientWanderer

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  1. So many big ships come into port at one time. I never before considered how this might impact air traffic for flightseeing tours. We travelers think, and plan and weigh risks. Stay safe, fellow travelers.
  2. I don't think weather has been mentioned as a factor in this incident, but just as a side note, it's my understanding that weather can change very rapidly in Alaska, so even if it is nice when one sets out, things can change rapidly. This is important to remember when preparing for any outdoor activity, such as hiking. Anyhow, so very, very sad. Many prayers for all involved in this incident.
  3. That should be a beautiful cruise. I know what you mean about "the bottom line." On some itineraries, the very small ships can get in tight places so well that even some shore excursions become unnecessary. That can be a big savings. So, yes, it pays to do a thorough cost analysis, factoring in all the included stuff. The results can be surprising.
  4. You are absolutely correct, terrydtx. I should have mentioned the Signature class as well as Vista. They accommodate the extra 200 passengers without a sweat. Eurodam and NA are actually my favorites. But bigger than those...just not for us. Just musing, I wonder if the cruise lines assumed that avid cruisers would quite easily migrate to the bigger ships. For us, if smaller ships become prohibitively expensive, we will just switch to land vacations. We love cruising, but the big ships leave us nervous, rather than relaxed. I'd imaging there are others out there who feel the same way.
  5. This is good news. We've experimented with the new bigger ships. They're just not for us and we won't book them anymore -- Vista class is as large as we'll go. Larger than that, the ships seem to become just big floating resort hotels. Happy news!
  6. I think it depends on if you are more fond of meat or fish. Our experience is that Rudi's is better for seafood. We like the dover sole, and prefer Rudi's bouillabaisse to the cioppino that is on the PG menu. The bouillabaisse has very delicious seasoning. DH has always been happy with the catch of the day at Rudi's....even though it's probably frozen fish. If I want a steak, I'd go to the PG and order a filet. Can't go wrong with that. That's just my two cents worth. We've dined in both multiple times.
  7. I have one of his RCI cookbooks as well. We enjoyed the dining on RCI ships back in the day when Rudi was their head chef. After he left, it seemed to slip quite a bit and we gradually quit sailing with RCI. I have great respect for Rudi Sodamin. He seems to know how to work within budgets in a very creative and appealing way -- which has to be quite challenging sometimes. It's no wonder he has received so many awards in the culinary world.
  8. I still get a wonderful feeling of being "at sea" on a HAL cruise. Many of the competitors these days just seem like floating Las Vegas hotels -- no connection to seafaring traditions at all. When I board a HAL ship, a very pleasant connection to the natural world begins.
  9. Thank you, Father, for your kind post at this very special time. 🌻 🌷 🌹
  10. The problem with all these "special" areas is that they sell out early, and then most passengers booking a bit later are left with the dregs...which cannot make for a lot of happy campers. We almost always cruise with HAL, but wanted to see what Celebrity was up to these days, so we just completed a cruise on Celebrity Eclipse...Aqua Class and ate in "Blu." It was nice. Just nice. We went to the MDR for a couple lunches to get the feel of the MDR. We found it loud, hectic, bright, and tables way too close together for our tastes. A lot of posters here are focused on what CO is taking away from suite guests, but my fear is that it will take away from all guests. If the MDR remains lovely, nobody will feel the need for the upsell to CO. Princess has been doing the partitioned off special area in the MDR. So what does that mean for people in the unspecial area? I really hope HAL sticks to its wonderful formula of offering delightful dining for all who sail its ships -- and charging just enough of a premium to cover this cost of doing business.
  11. Well, there you go. Nothing is as consistent with HAL as inconsistency. I really do think it's a good habit to call and make sure everything is squared away, even if you book online. I enjoy fishing around for my own staterooms, but the consultants really do often have different "deals" to offer and they can get the booking all "shipshape."
  12. On our last couple cruises, I called to check on this, but the system had automatically matched my husband to his Mariner number and it was successfully added into our booking. I always call anyhow after booking to make sure dining requests and other things are in order, so asking about the Mariner number is no big deal.
  13. Darn...I wish someone would have pulled for the number two option...because that's what we picked. I've been watching this thread with such interest. The two routes are both so enticing. We ultimately decided that we just had to get to the North Cape And, we've already spent time in Oslo and Amsterdam. But hard choice! Thanks for asking the question, Alberta Quilter!
  14. Yum!! So glad to hear good feedback This was on my must-try list! 😋
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