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Lady Patriot

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About Lady Patriot

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    St Louis, MO
  1. Lady Patriot

    Why did you decide to retire when you did?

    dh retired from the Army after 24 years in 2005. With the situation in Iraq and Afghanistan at the time, some soldiers were doing 2 rotations in 5 years, meaning they were gone from their families for a year at a time. dh was working entire weekends in addition to his civilian job (he was reserves at the time) and it actually caused us to go deep into debt mainly because the per diem wasn't paying nearly enough. The Army would pay him for overnight travel and accommodations if he had to travel more than 110 miles each way and his mileage was just under that. But I knew how much he enjoyed being in the military. The final blow came when they told him he wouldn't be getting into a school he needed to get promoted any time soon, that priority was going to soldiers going out and soldiers coming in. I guess they thought he sat around and surfed the web or something. I finally said enough was enough and nagged him to retire. We BOTH did our time. :mad: He is due to retire from his current job in 7-10 years, depending on things. We are currently living just west of St Louis to help take care of my mil but if she's gone by that time we are moving back down south. So ready; not crazy about midwest weather.
  2. Sadly you have no real way of knowing ahead of time what might work. Dramamine has always worked for me, but last cruise we ended up in 15' waves and popping Dramamine pills like candy. Still ended up calling the dinosaurs. Of course I drank myself silly the night before, celebrating my free drink package on the NCL Dawn. Hope everything goes well.
  3. Lady Patriot

    Why NCL?

    dh and I always wanted to take a cruise. Long story short, we lived in Charlotte NC at the time the Majesty was sailing to the Western Caribbean out of Charleston (a 4 hour drive away). We decided to just take a cruise and if we liked it we could take more; if we didn't then we would never do it again. We liked the Freestyle dining especially. We had been in rough seas 3 out of the 7 days, one of our ports was cancelled, another port (Cozumel) had been pretty much totalled by Hurricane Wilma. We were one of the first ships into Cozumel after Hurricane Wilma destroyed nearly all of the island. We were going to skip that stop too, but Cozumel begged us to come in to get the economy going again. It would have been a cruise to nowhere otherwise. Unless you're into pub crawling, Key West is a complete waste of time and effort. Even after all that we were ready to go on our next cruise. Anyway, the Freestyle Dining and the Free at Sea packages are the best. NCL is convenient for us because we can drive to NOLA. It's cheaper and we don't have to mess with the airlines. We had the UBP, so I drank my face off, not thinking we might hit very rough (16') seas for the next 22 hours. :eek:
  4. Lady Patriot

    Bed Bugs on Dawn?!?

    Hey, at least it wasn't a used condom like my husband found in an Athens hotel.
  5. Hi everybody. Glad I found this thread. Am reading French Women Don't Get Fat and adjusting my diet from there. I do better some days than others. I lived in Italy for 3 years; trust me, this doesn't work with all that lovely pasta. Ideally I have a good 100 pounds to lose, but at this point I'll settle for a size. At the moment I weigh 305 pounds, but I'm also 5'10" and very muscular. In fact 200 pounds is a pretty decent weight for me. I'm actually one of those freaks of nature who can lose weight on a cruise.
  6. Lady Patriot

    Diminishing Quality on Carnival?

    I've heard mostly bad things about Carnival and I'm sure 99.9999% of their cruises go off without a hitch, but if I gave you 100 pieces of candy and I told you that 4 of them were poisoned, would you eat them? We were going to give the Carnival Dream a chance, just something different, but then I heard about the flood on one of the decks (I guess they said a water pipe burst). Yes, stuff happens, but that wouldn't sit right with me. Now we'll just do the Norwegian Breakaway, even though we want to see something different than the Western Caribbean, but this is my mil's first cruise and I'm not too sure she cares. She is 75 and a flooded deck wouldn't sit well with her at all. I'm told that cruising in general is going downhill since cruise ships became cheap floating resorts. We sailed the NCL Dawn in 2017 and whereas we used to get drink glasses for the drink of the day (still have ours from the NCL Sun in 2007), everything was served in plastic cups with the NCL logo on it. Yes, it's a little thing, but it's often the little things that make the best memories. Even though we'd like to try some other cruises, we sail out of NOLA when possible because it's an 11-hour drive from where we live and we don't have to mess with the airlines. I really hope other ships start sailing out of there. It looked like RCCL used to. Only thing I hated about NOLA is that we sailed at 4 pm and were in US waters until just before midnight, which meant no duty free purchases and had to pay the taxes on our drinks, even though we had the unlimited bar package until we got out into international waters.
  7. Lady Patriot

    Cigar Bar Questions on Norwegian Escape

    Thanks, everybody. Hubby will probably bring his own, not knowing what the selection is.
  8. Lady Patriot

    Cigar Bar on the Breakaway?

    My husband is very much into cigars. We searched ncl's website but couldn't find out whether there is a cigar bar. We're guessing that the newer ships don't have them. If not, is there a place that cigar smokers get together?
  9. Lady Patriot

    Thougts on Carnival for 55+ Solo Cruiser?

    I was wondering the same thing. Hubby and I were thinking about cruising the Carnival Dream out of NOLA, which is an 11-hour drive from St Louis, where we live. Don't have to mess with the airlines. We've cruised Norwegian for our first 3 and are ready for something different. The NCL Western Caribbean cruises always seem to go to the same places. I love Cozumel, Costa Maya and Belize but are ready for something different. I hear that Carnival has much roomier cabins than the older Norwegian ships. Looks much cheaper, too. My husband and I could get a nice roomy balcony cabin for less than a Norwegian interior. Lord and our budget willing, I'm looking forward to going next year.
  10. Lady Patriot

    Stingray City Sandbar?

    There are plenty of YouTube videos of Stingray City, you might want to check those out.
  11. Lady Patriot

    Harvest Caye- very disappointed.

    dh and I were there from the Dawn about 6 weeks ago. I completely agree with the original poster. HC is more of a tourist trap. There might have been plenty of chairs, but they had all been taken by the chair hogs the day we were there. All of them. The "sand" was mostly crushed seashells. If you go there I recommend Aqua Socks. There was even a Coldwell Banker real estate office. We couldn't believe they would charge us for food and drinks. Even if you wanted to pay a king's ransom for drinks at the swim-up bar, it was so crowded I could hardly get to it. It does have a long walkway, but there is a free shuttle service back and forth to the ship. There are also plenty of benches along the way. It sounds like anybody who just didn't want to walk all that way could use the shuttle. By noon more and more of us were gravitating back to the ship to get lunch, and only a few went back to HC. dh and I just didn't think it was worth the effort, so we spent the rest of the afternoon on the upper deck. Granted it had been a long time since we've cruised, there weren't as many excursions in Belize this time around. Last time we were there I went on a beach break to a small, quiet, uncrowded beach. We talked to each other and there was total silence except for the birds. There was a masseuse there that charged $1 a minute and another place where I could get a henna tattoo if I wanted. I miss that Belize.
  12. Lady Patriot

    NCL free at sea promotions.

    We got the prepaid gratuities and unlimited open bar. Originally we were going to book an interior on the Dawn, but dh did some math and found out that we would actually come out $39 to upgrade to an Ocean View.
  13. Lady Patriot

    NCL Dawn- What do I need to know?

    dh and I were on the 1/22 sailing out of New Orleans. I think like any other cruise, it depends on what you're looking for. I personally thought the Dawn was kind of "plain Jane". It doesn't have any of the bells and whistles you would find on the newer ships. I really liked the bathrooms. There were 2 glass partitions, one separating the toilet/vanity and the other separating the shower/vanity. Yes, there is plenty of shampoo/body wash. A little thin, so you will have to use a lot of it. The Dawn seemed to be cracking down on chair hogs. There was a sign that said any items left on a chair for longer than 30 minutes would be removed. You'll notice my frowny face next to the Dawn on my signature. There were several reasons that dh and I didn't like, but that's just us. The biggest reason is because on the first day when we hit very, VERY rough seas (almost 20' swells with gale force winds) that lasted for 18 hours, which I know happens, I think it would have been nice for someone to let us know when things might calm down, give or take an hour. The same thing happened on the Majesty, but they at least gave us a guesstimate when we might be out of the storm. The crew was wonderful. They might be able to tell you about some well-kept secrets. Personally I would like to sail it again when the seas aren't so bad. Have a great time.
  14. Lady Patriot

    Problem with NCL refund with insurance

    As convenient as it sounds to book everything online, we still always go to a travel agent, AAA in this case. Though we didn't buy the cancellation insurance, it sounded like AAA's insurance would reimburse everything. The catch? You have to buy the cancellation insurance when you book your trip; you can't go back and purchase it due to a preexisting condition, such as your back pain flaring up yet again. We've found that booking through a travel agency and buying their products (usually much cheaper than the cruise line's) saves a lot of headaches. Sorry you had those problems.
  15. Lady Patriot

    The Dawn boring?

    I went on the 1/22-1/29 cruise to the Western Caribbean. Honestly I wasn't impressed. It is pretty basic, without, as others say, bells and whistles. Even though it had been redone, to me it still has that "old" feeling. One nice thing is that the Dawn seems to be cracking down on chair hogs. There is a sign saying that anything left on a chair longer than 30 minutes it will be removed. The crew was fantastic. On the first day we were in crazy rough seas (16' swells) with gale force winds, and they quickly got everything tied down or locked away. One thing I would have appreciated--those rough seas lasted a good 18 hours. It would have been nice if either the captain or somebody could have let us know approximately when we might come out of it. That info wasn't on the navigation channel. I hope that helps. Have a good time.