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AncientWanderer

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Everything posted by AncientWanderer

  1. 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!
  2. 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)
  3. One time in Honolulu, we walked early morning all the way from the ship to Waikiki Beach. OMG were we roasting by the time we jumped in the water. We took a taxi back.
  4. Thank you, wwcruisers, for the heads up! HAL has really upped their Coastal game. Happy to have booked one from our San Diego home port! 😊
  5. For the most part I do prefer a quiet pool area. But as others noted, there was a time when a live group would set up for an hour or two throughout a cruise. We enjoyed that and I do miss that live music. It did give a festive air to the cruise.
  6. Yes...orange is "difficult" for some. I can see from your photo, Esther, that you are a "summer," as am I. I haven't worn orange since maybe the 1980s, when I had my colors "done" according to the "Color Me Beautiful" formula. But....I am making an exception for the Orange Party. I'm counting on the lighting being favorable. lol 😂
  7. Glad to see I'm not the only one having trouble sorting it all out. Lol
  8. I can't believe they booked a comedian like that. I'm glad people walked out and complained. It's a slippery slope as the world gets more vulgar every day.
  9. H'mmm....sounds about like what we experienced on a long South America journey last year. We hoped it was a "one off." Frustrating to spend so much on what should be very enriching trips, and then to be let down. Really, all of ours have been good, except South America, and we were told that there was a glitch and a last minute fill-in there. But, again, I am unclear on what is going on -- what the official policy is -- whether the Maasdam cruises are the only ones getting the high-quality speakers. I do recognize that on some very port-intensive cruises, there is almost no time to even have the educational talks.
  10. I'm very confused by this thread. A few years ago, we sailed San Diego to Auckland, NZ. Along with us for the journey was a fabulous expert on Polynesian cultures, AND a second gentleman who was an astronomer who taught us about the Southern skies. The talks were really well-attended and made the journey an extraordinary one. Are speakers of this kind discontinued on HAL? I have very little interest in talks by a shore excursion salesperson showing slides and suggesting what to do in ports. Is that all that is being offered now?
  11. From what I'm reading here, it seems like this party will just vary depending on "the exuberance" of the crew. We were on one sailing where the Halloween party was just great because the crew really got into dressing up and being wild at the BB King Blues venue. It was so much fun. So personally I'd just wear my orange and wait to see what happens!
  12. Oh man...you're making me crazy to get back to London -- my favorite city! Will be following along here on your wonderful trip!
  13. Yeah. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to expect a Sunday service on a cruise ship. Cruise ships do provide most all the amenities you'd find in a small town -- health care, laundry, restaurants, cocktail lounges, entertainment venues. Church on Sunday could reasonably be expected to be part of that mix, IMHO. And that's the end of my contribution to this thread, since it kind of segued into the forbidden "politics and religion" territory.
  14. So did we determine what is to be expected per the promotional materials? A Catholic priest who will also do nondenominational services? As well as a rabbi if there are Jewish religious holidays during the cruise? Obviously unless something goes wrong. Hal4Now's story at post 45 was so sad about the priest passing away onboard.
  15. It's the dark, stormy nights that perhaps concern me more. On those nights, feeling right with my worship routine could be a real comfort.
  16. I'm glad this discussion has come up. On recent sailings, I've been confused by the lack of an organized Sunday service. Sometimes there is a service organized by passengers; sometimes nothing at all. I think there have been instances where the Catholic priest onboard would also lead an interdenominational service, but this has not been consistent. I have been confused enough, and figured we were experiencing "one-off" situations, so haven't lodged a complaint anywhere. But I do want an ordained Christian officiant onboard -- and a Sunday service, or something akin to that, depending on port schedules. It's important to us.
  17. I wish I could learn to love cabanas. They always make me feel a bit claustrophobic -- be it at a hotel or on a ship. I know most people do enjoy them.
  18. For us, the OBC takes the sting out of the ups and downs. I hope the shareholder benefit never goes away. We've enjoyed it!
  19. We tried a 2800-passenger ship. One and done. It was a very "flat" experience -- really a waste of money. (And we paid for all the extra "frills" to try to get that "ship within a ship" experience. Forget it.) We'll continue to limit ourselves to smaller ships and we are much more careful about looking for port information to see how many ships will be in at the same time that we are. That bit of extra research is worthwhile, I think.
  20. There are lots of ways to save the planet. To my mind, the cultural value of cruising outweighs the environmental impact. People who might otherwise not even have a passport are out there being exposed to all kinds of different people and cultures around the world. Thinking globally, this is a very good thing.
  21. About the Ho-Ho's, I don't count them out. They're just another tool in the travel tool box. We saw virtually everything in Barcelona with an overnight stay and two-day Ho-Ho, visited every museum. It really depends on what your goals are for the day and how many ships are in town. One thing we have learned: We don't wait for the bus to fill up at the port. We get the map of the stops, take a taxi to one of the main hub stops, and start our tour from there. It makes all the difference in the world. At least that's how it has worked best for us. We do really like the commentary from the headphones on the Ho-Hos's. We've learned a lot about our destinations that we wouldn't have known if we'd just taken a public bus around.
  22. I think it's kinda odd that some think it's okay to hang from the lines of the ship. Truly, these guys may have been "nonviolent," but somebody else may not be. What happened to just picketing with signs? 🤔 I'm very uncomfortable that these people were allowed to get that close to the ship. Maybe they could climb the lines and throw something ugly onboard? I don't know, and, frankly, I don't think I should have to think about it. Security isn't my responsibility as a cruise passenger. Anyhow, Note to Self about cruise ports in Germany. They don't want us there? Well, okay....
  23. That's us, too. We've been around the world in segments, and seen so many wonderful places. I think segments count! 😉
  24. I wonder. There are so many places that really want the business. My fear is that the ships will sail on, and Kiel will be the big loser here. I cannot tell you how many ports of call I have been to where the local people are organized to greet the tourists, help guide them around, offer the best of hospitality. That is just the way it is.
  25. Maybe the local authorities knew more about it than we do? They might know who the local kooks are. This ended as well as it could, so it was maybe handled the right way. I was more worried about these idiot protesters than the ship. They really put themselves in a very dangerous position. Totally wrong, though, that they got as close to the ship as they did. I'm sure heads will roll about that -- and I hope the protesters have to face some penalty for this event. But anyhow, thank God nobody was hurt either way. Young people do foolish things. Poor scubacruiserx2 seems like he's having a bizarre cruise. I hope the rest of the journey goes as planned!!
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