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lynncarol

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Everything posted by lynncarol

  1. We were in Alaska during the month of September and because the weather had been cold, no mosquitos at all in Denali. In fact, there wasn't a cloud in the sky for the two days we were there. I totally agree with previous poster...try to end the cruise in Anchorage and add on a week of driving around in a rental car. It is a gorgeous place and this way you can stop when and where you want. That's how we got those two clear days in Denali.
  2. Had layovers in Frankfurt at least 6 times over the years. Never had any issues there. In fact, they have a hotel within the airport that we have used twice when long layovers were involved. As far as meds, I carry a pill dispenser box with my prescription medications, and put all the OTC stuff in small plastic baggies. None of this is marked, never use original pill bottles, and never any problem anywhere going through security in any country. I guess that's one of the few advantages of being a "woman of a certain age". Obviously I look like all these pills are necessary.
  3. In the Caribbean, Klein Bonaire as of 2024. In the world, Seychelles and the Maldives (although that was over 20 years ago, so who knows now what they are like)
  4. I have a rock collection so try to bring home a unique pebble from each country we visit. It is important however to never take anything from a country's parks or their national areas of prominence. I also have a shell collection since I grew up near the ocean, but carting off shells is illegal in most places abroad now.
  5. When we were in Dubrovnik we had a rental car and drove to Mostar in Bosnia. I checked Viator and there are several day trips from Dubrovnik to Mostar that you can purchase. I don't know anything about them or how long they let you visit Mostar, but the four of us absolutely loved Mostar! We ended up spending the night there and all of us wished we could have stayed longer. Mostar has this incredible recreated ancient bridge in a lovely setting. Plus, mosques with minarets that you can climb, a really neat cobblestone road with tiny interesting shops: a quick introduction to the Muslim culture.
  6. In addition to cruising, my husband and I travel independently a lot. Almost always, if it is an individual tour operator they want paid in cash. We have found this to be true for guides in Russia, Europe, Africa, Australia and South America. Frankly, only once have I ever paid an individual in advance and it did not end well. (Fortunately, it was less than 100 dollars). Our bank does not charge for foreign ATM fees, so that is what we usually do: the day before, we get the money out, then bring it with us for the tour. That way, no carrying large sums of money around and we can get the exact amount needed.
  7. Although my husband and I have Elite/Diamond status on RCCL and Celebrity, we chose to forgo all those perks and sailed with Princess for our Alaska cruise, solely because we wanted to see Glacier Bay National Park and those formerly mentioned cruise-lines don't have the permits to go there. Glacier Bay is not to be missed, so whatever line you chose, I strongly suggest it is included on the itinerary.
  8. Never have cruised to Croatia, but we spent a week there on our own back in 2019. Our favorite place of all the beautiful sites in the country was Plitvice National Park. Can you find out of any of the Croatian port stops offer that as an excursion? Some people say that Krka (near Sibenik) is equally as beautiful but it isn't.
  9. Have you considered renting a car to drive to the site?
  10. maybe if you are on the shorter side it is chest-deep water. My husband is 6'4" and I am also tall so to us it was about waist-deep.
  11. Anchorage is, as I'm sure you know, a city. It has lots more restaurants and a great museum. Seward is more for the outdoor experience. The train from Anchorage to Seward leaves really early in the morning. (if I recall correctly, about 6:30 a.m). The Kenai Fjords are indeed lovely, but if the weather is bad, boat excursions there cancel. When we went in September, it was raining hard with wind and choppy waters so the captain turned the boat around and took us back to the dock half-way through the outing. (We were refunded half of the fare and saw a big pod of Orcas, so it was still a worthwhile experience). If I were you, I would check out the weather forecast before spending an entire day in Seward....we were told it rains there a lot!
  12. Four of us (in two partially obstructed balcony cabins) were on the Equinox this past January. We were told the ship would be going to be refurbished etc probably in April. I don't know for how long she will be out of commission. However, the other couple with us was very upset about the paucity of outlets in the Equinox as they use laptops, kindles, etc and they both like to read them in bed. Apparently the outlets were not convenient for that purpose (Eventually the staff found them an extension cord). Also, we found our cabins had very little drawer space compared to other Celebrity ships we have sailed. FYI...these were minor issues to us, but major ones for the other couple. I will say we don't recall any of those issues on the Constellation.
  13. This is by no means the first time there has been unrest in Haiti and never has it spilled over into the Dominican Republic. I wouldn't worry about it at all.
  14. It's been awhile since my husband and I were in Ephesus, but we really liked Ephesus Shuttle tours. They got us there so early from the ship that the gates had not yet opened, allowing us to be one of the first into the site. Although our guide politely asked if we wanted to see a rug factory, when we declined he did not insist and instead recommended some places we could visit for free on our own after his tour. (Unlike some different companies that others have used). I checked Trip Advisor, and it is still in business with a 5.0 rating
  15. I highly recommend Hotel Palo Santo located in the prestigious Palermo District of Buenos Aires. It is a small boutique hotel, serves breakfast, has a lovely enclosed little garden and you will not encounter bus-loads of tourists. They even let us check in hours early for no extra charge. This area is very safe to walk around at night and only a few blocks away is the small Crizia restaurant, which served delicious food at a reasonable price.
  16. I really thought being on a jury would be interesting, but wasn't even called for duty until I was in my fifties. As luck would have it, I had a cruise scheduled and they deferred my jury duty with only a phone call. Years passed until I got called up again. This time I went, only to have the defendant 'plead out' just before the trial started and we were all sent home. So now I am in my late seventies, and nobody 'official' seems to want me anymore...destined it seems to never serve on a jury.
  17. Here is what my husband and I did in Kristiansand in 2016. Not sure where the ship docks anymore, but back then it was only a short walk to the Odderoya Peninsula. This former military area has been converted into a large park. There are still defensive armaments there that overlook the sea, some dating to the 1800s. Guns, ramparts, abandoned buildings etc. and when we were there in September, wild blackberry and blueberries lined the trails. At the top of the park are the ruins of an old fort with a spectacular view, a perfect spot for a picnic. I'd definitely check when the park closes: that was not an issue as we docked there in early morning. Alternatively, you could walk to Ravnedalen Park, which is supposed to be lovely. We had intended to do that after the Peninsula, but it was a long walk to get there and though we eventually saw the entrance in the distance, our energy was spent and we headed back to the ship.
  18. After reading all these replies...maybe I have the answer. I bet they look up your onboard spending now to decide if you are 'worthy' of a free gift. Speaking only for myself, I can see why my husband and I aren't on the top of their list: We don't gamble, partake only of the free drinks we get in Elite status, never use specialty restaurants, do our own tours and rarely use ship excursions. Heck! I wouldn't waste a free gift on me either if I were the one making decisions.
  19. You should be fine using local tours in Reykjavik. We used GeoIceland tours for the Golden Circle in 2016 and were very pleased. They picked us up right on the pier. I just googled them and they are still in business with a 97% rating in TripAdvisor.
  20. Once we did a ship excursion that included Peggy's Cove as well as the Titanic passenger burial ground. Normally, we don't do ship tours (preferring independent bookings) but I was really glad this one was a ship excursion as on our return to Halifax, we ran into a lot of traffic and were late returning to the ship. It was nice not having to worry that we would be left at the dock. Halifax itself, is very walkable if you are used to hills and we have done this twice now on our own. Highly recommend their Botanical Gardens, the Citadel and the Titanic Museum.
  21. My husband talked me into a 17 day TA cruise from Copenhagen to Boston in September of 2016 on a mid-size ship. Even though I am prone to sea-sickness, only one of the days was bad. We had a balcony and out of the entire trip, only one day was it warm enough to use the balcony. The entertainment and food were good, and we really liked our table-mates at dinner but both of us decided afterwards, that 17 days was just TOO LONG for us to be on a ship. (And I had a father who was in the Navy during WWII and loved being on his ship). I am sure that on a November cruise, it will be really cold in the Atlantic so dress appropriately.
  22. Is your ship overnighting in Reykjavik? If so, try to get one of the later afternoon tours of the Golden Circle. My husband and I have done this twice: once during an independent week in Iceland in 2006 and another in 2016 while on a TransAtlantic cruise. We were both stunned at how many more folks were visiting these sites in 2016 then 10 years earlier and I understand the crowds have only gotten worse now. So...you need a tour out of Reykjavik that either leaves port really early, or if, overnighting, later in the day. Akureyri, at least in 2016, was a gorgeous area and much less crowded. We used Saga Tours for a full-day tour of the area that ended up with time at the Nature Baths. Isafjordur is a very small port and most cruise-ships use tenders. (Or at least they did when we visited in 2016). When two ships are in town, it was a mob scene. Try to get a ship excursion to see the nearby falls would be my suggestion, as you would get your money back if that port is skipped during bad weather.
  23. While the four of us were traveling independently in Europe, we took one of the three days we spent in Vienna to go to Bratislava (Primarily so we could check another country off our list), We took the train from Vienna to Bratislava and spent most of the day there. All four of us agreed: We would rather have stayed in Vienna which has so much more to offer.
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