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About AncientWanderer

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  1. In the grand "Showboat" tradition. lol 🤷‍♀️
  2. We're early 60s and really like the new music offerings. The ships were way too quiet at night. Things have livened up a bit. It's fun to "go out" without having to drive home or call an Uber. 😉
  3. Where there's life, there's hope. Our tour guide in Homer a few weeks ago said they had been seeing them late at night within a few days of our being there. We went out to the deck very late for a few nights while in that area for some stargazing. Skies were clear, but no lights for us.
  4. That's a bit of an exaggeration, Hawaiidan. We have met plenty of wonderful, interesting, professional people on HAL cruises. I really think it depends on the route and the time of year.
  5. There are many countries that don't themselves require the shot -- unless you have recently traveled in other yellow fever problem areas. So you really have to look at the whole itinerary, and, yes, as suggested by the prior poster, ships won't let you board if the shot is required at any one place. Due diligence -- always due diligence.
  6. We recently had a nice dinner at Canaletto. The "new" menu presents things a little differently than we expected, so our server suggested we request pasta alongside our order of the veal marsala. We enjoyed our meal of veal and spaghetti very much and appreciated our server's suggestion.
  7. Cartervan, our very first "long" cruise was the trans-Atlantic and back-to-back Med on the Noordam. (I think 32 or 34 days.) A very energetic Mark Pells was hotel director back then; corporate purse strings weren't too tight, and the weather was fine. It was wonderful. Fun to hear someone else remember that Noordam route as a highlight. 😊
  8. So funny...I think we were on the same cruise. And I've been telling everybody that my favorite meal was my lunch at PG. Actually, the only one I would characterize as "delicious." You, too, must have experienced the cold PG breakfasts. lol Strange cruise in the food department. Quite fun, though, nonetheless. Thumbs up to the filet in the PG for lunch...and the chocolate brownie dessert. 🤗
  9. We were aboard the Noordam for 42 nights, sailing from San Diego to Auckland, NZ, via Hawaii, Australia, many South Seas islands. That was an amazing experience. We had fascinating speakers and fellow guests...and the quality of the sky and seas in the South Pacific is simply magical. I bring this up because others may hesitate, as I did, thinking all the sea days might make it boring. A million times no to that. It was fabulous.
  10. On our HAL Alaska cruise, lots of people were talking about their late booking "great deals" without being asked. It was an odd cruise. But we won't be booking early again for anything -- unless it's a Crystal cruise because they have so few ships. There's just so many big ships out there to fill, seems like waiting for prices to "settle" makes sense.
  11. 4-star here with HAL. We just completed an Alaska run with them, and I have to agree with the OP on all points. (That raw hamburger tartare is real, folks, even in Pinnacle Grill, where it used to be entirely different -- DH's favorite thing.) The problem with HAL is its inconsistency. We had a beautiful cruise with them just this past spring. And with the interesting routes they offer, coupled with some 4-star perks we like, we've been perhaps too optimistic and keep booking with them. Our "kids" really love Oceania, but they are young professionals who can't take long journeys, as we do, so they find itineraries that work for them. Anyhow, we are keeping an open mind and looking at all the cruise lines more carefully -- accepting that HAL may not really be for us anymore.
  12. Absolutely correct. There are no standards. Research is essential. We did have a great experience in premium economy on Air New Zealand. Such a long flight and it was quite pleasant. Also...you earlier mentioned health considerations. Right you are. Maybe in the old days one could get up, walk around in coach. But those days are gone. The aisles are too narrow and they leave the seatbelt light on more often so that meal and drink service can continue. I personally can't healthfully sit in a coach seat for a long period of time. There are probably many out there like me.
  13. Discussing air options...premium economy is on some airlines really great and well-priced. Kind of the Signature Suites of air travel.
  14. We are also in San Diego, and, yes, home port and Los Angeles cruises now get our first attention. If we have to fly, we do all the workarounds that others have mentioned to make the whole thing less strenuous. I'm glad we were able to see so many wonderful places before travel conditions changed so much!
  15. Recent changes in my Shoe Department: I finally admitted to myself that I won't be working out in the gym on a cruise, so eliminated athletic shoes and now substitute waterproof Teva low "hikers." These are really comfortable for long days of walking. And...I finally admitted that I'm old. So now no more heels for gala nights. One pair of low-heeled black shoes can suffice for all dinners. And...love that the light, thin, basic Havaianas are in style. Those things are great for pool, shower, and in place of slippers. So it boils down to three or sometimes four. I agree with Cruisemom42 that if one has "problem" feet, it's good to have an extra pair. Even good shoes can fall apart at the strangest times. (Thinking of Thailand when all my mosquito repellant basically dissolved my shoes. LOL)
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