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About zelker

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
    travel, crafting, reading, our pets, researching anything on the web
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, HAL, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Antarctica, Alaska, the Baltic, the Med

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  1. Oh, how exciting! Hope you'll post once you return to give us a quick review and share any helpful tips! Enjoy!
  2. zelker


    So does that mean avoid the ice on the ship, too?
  3. zelker

    Condition of Noordam

    Do we know for SURE that the Noordam will go through drydock in September 2019, prior to her repositioning to Australia/New Zealand in October? Asking because we cancelled the same trip this year because they cancelled the 2018 planned drydock and we don't want to get caught again. Also, assuming she really IS going to be refurb'd in 2019, do we know what interior things are planned? E.g., will suites finally be updated to have the large interactive flat-panel on the wall, USB plugs, electrical plugs, and reading lights on either side of the bed, etc.? (so that the SS's will look like this when she's done)
  4. zelker

    Cellular at sea

    We were on Seabourn 3 years ago and for the most part it worked fine. That said, Seabourn gets more remote than HAL does and we did lose the satellite signal a few times which impacted TV and internet as well as phone.
  5. Have been up there 5 times, twice in May. We were in Ketchikan once during the first part of May and it was 80 and we wished we had had on shorts. You never know what the weather/temps will be so as I always tell anyone going up there anytime during cruise season, dress in layers and have something rain/wind-proof. Re: cabanas - wouldn't waste the money. As others have suggested, put that money towards excursions.
  6. zelker

    Alaska Earthquake

    Praying for all in #49.
  7. Judith, I think it had issues because of our location more than anything. I had the same package and don't remember seeing anything about a cap (guess I ignored the fine print) and certainly never experienced it cutting me off. And like you, we used it frequently as well. Will be curious to compare it to our upcoming cruise on Volendam (and try to remember to check out the fine print LOL).
  8. zelker


    fred111 - so good to read such positive posts. Looking forward to further comments. Curious what cabin # you were in?
  9. Because we are registered with the US State Department's STEP program, we just received the following Demonstration Alerts from the US Embassies in both Nicaragua and Columbia and wanted to share. Both were issued today. Nicaragua is particularly concerning since it mentions the risk of demonstrations against the US and they are instructing embassy personnel to limit activities until further notice. (apologize for the lousy formatting but ever since CC "updated" their site, it's been near impossible to do anything straightforward) --------------- Demonstration Alert: U.S. Embassy Managua, Nicaragua (November 27, 2018) Location: Nicaragua, countrywide Event: Recent public announcements have heightened the risk of demonstrations against the U.S., and, as a precautionary measure, Embassy personnel have been instructed to limit their activities until further notice. Actions to Take: · Avoid demonstrations and leave the area immediately if unexpectedly in the vicinity of large gatherings or protests. · Do not attempt to drive through large groups or barricades encountered on the street. · Minimize your public activities. If you fear for your safety, leave the unsafe area as quickly as possible. · Monitor local media for updates. 100% Noticias, also known as Channel 15 or Channel 63 on cable, and Radio Corporación offer nearly 24/7 news coverage. Demonstration Alert – U.S. Embassy Bogota (November 27, 2018) Location: Colombia, countrywide Event: Demonstrations (called a “paro nacional,” or nationwide strike) are expected to take place throughout major cities in Colombia on Wednesday, November 28. Additional demonstrations are scheduled for the coming weeks. Students, transportation providers, truckers, the judicial union, and other labor groups are protesting government policies and lack of funding. Many private schools will be closed on Wednesday, November 28. U.S. citizens may encounter disturbances, heavy police presence, the use of tear gas, and significant traffic delays. U.S. government personnel are advised to avoid demonstrations. Actions to Take: · Monitor local media for updates. · Avoid demonstrations.
  10. Hi, Judith! Hope you guys enjoyed your TA and had a great Thanksgiving. We actually booked a private tour to visit Leon - thanks for the suggestion of socks for the roof! 😄 Barb
  11. Just checked the current location of the ship and it's in Corinto (Nicaragua).
  12. We had it on the Zuiderdam TA in Aug/Sept (the "Surf" package) and never ran into data caps of any kind. I was frequently on Cruise Critic (reading and posting), checked in/out eBooks through Overdrive, was on Facebook both reading and posting countless times as well … just to name a few. If they've changed it since September, I guess I'll find out when I board the Volendam in a week but I sure hope not. PS - you mentioned streaming, and that's the highest plan and maybe that one has a cap?
  13. We're docking in Puntarenas - but that's Costa Rica. LOL Hopefully someone will post that's on the current cruise. Huatulco is, to my knowledge, still clean and safe - it's going outside of the tourist area where one has to be careful; same with PV. BTW, I talked to HAL today and was told that currently there are no weather or civil unrest warnings (she called them "emergency warnings") that would keep us from visiting either country but that of course they monitor those things closely and would change the itinerary if needed to keep us out of harm's way. She said IF the captain made the decision to skip a port, they would try to find another place to take us or we'd wind up with a sea day.
  14. Did you go to Nicaragua and if so, did HAL issue any kind of extra warning because of the travel advisories due to civil unrest that's been going on for quite some time now? The US State Dept. labels it at Level 3 - Reconsider Travel and Canada states Avoid Non-essential Travel … certainly gives one pause about even leaving the ship. Re: Guatemala - did you go to Antigua? Asking because the Fuego Volcano erupted again last week and they had to evacuate 4K people in nearby communities (in June 150+ people were killed from a major eruption and there are still 200 missing). Antigua is only 9 miles away (but not evacuated from what I can tell), but apparently the road between there and the port was just finally repaired from damage it incurred in June. I'm not sure of its current status or if it suffered damage yet again.
  15. The US State Dept. has issued Warning Level 2 - Exercise Increased Caution for many places in Mexico, including outside of Puerta Vallarta and Huatulco so we're hanging close to town in both places. Colombia is also Level 2 (with some parts Level 3) but it looks like staying around Cartagena and the immediate coastal area is considered relatively safe, with of course the caveat of keeping an eye on one's surrounding ... for all these countries. Re: Nicaragua - it's been very unsettled for a long time and yet the cruise ships still seem to go there. The US State Dept. has issued Warning Level 3 - Reconsider Travel for pretty much the entire country but added the following (for what it's worth): On September 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of State lifted the ordered departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel and family members. The U.S. Embassy remains open to provide emergency services for U.S. citizens and will gradually return to normal operations. Does Canada offer anything similar to the US's STEP program (Snart Traveler Enrollment Program) where we can register where and when we're traveling including our passport #s, reason for travel, contact info, etc. I registered both of us for this trip.