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Everything posted by J_M_F

  1. We are 5* on HAl and have cruised on a number of other lines. We have done only one Caribbean only cruise and that was with extended family. All the other Caribbean stops we have done have been on the way to other destinations. I think there are two types of cruisers out there (with some crossover, obviously): those that are going on a long explore and those that are going for a week long party or vacation. I don't know what the split is, but I expect that overall it may be 50/50.
  2. I put the photos in folders first by camera (mine, my wife's, the underwater camera, and the cell phones) then by year and month. I do this so that if we don't get the date and time synchronized on the cameras I can go back and change the ones that are off as a block rather than individually. I tag all the photos by the trip (eg 2012 India) and the country and city. I also have some other tags like "beer" since we make a point of trying the local brew where ever we go, and "risque" for some photos, usually from some museums or certain temples that I don't want my young grandchildren to see yet, so I can flag my screen saver to not show those. My biggest problem is with movies (which my wife takes a lot of) because while Photo Gallery will associate the tags with the movie, the meta data in the movie file doesn't retain them like the jpegs, so I lose it when transferring to a new computer.
  3. I use Microsoft's Photo Gallery (it is still available from CNET) to organize my photos and then use the included screen saver to display the pictures on my computer. I can specify the tags and star rating of the pictures to be displayed. Since the computer is in our family/kitchen area, we see them all the time. Some time we play "where was that taken?" I also use a selection of the pictures as my desktop background, and have it change every few minutes. I use some of the pictures as background when I am in a zoom meeting. I have also made presentations of several of our trips to my Rotary Club, usually when they are desperate for a speaker 😁. Like many of you, I transfer my photos to my tablet when traveling, usually on sea days, and try to tag them, rate them, and add captions while everything is still fresh in my mind. I take enough SD cards so that I don't have to erase them, thus providing a backup. When I use my cellphone, I upload it to the tablet as well.
  4. We did a sail by on HAL 8 years ago and really liked it. Two years ago we went there on an expedition ship from Silver Seas. The best part of going on the expedition ship was stopping at some unusual spots on the Falkland Islands and spending several days at South Georgia Island. South Georgia has lots of Penguins and fur and elephant seals that you can walk among. At one stop we stood at the edge of a group of King Penguins that numbered in the tens of thousands. We were able to land in the Antarctic on the expedition ship, and it was great to be able to say you have actually set foot on the continent, but we saw mostly the same places we saw on the sail by, just a little closer. Expedition ships are very expensive. If you can afford one, that is the way to go, but if not, a sail by is worth doing.
  5. We are five star on HAL. We have sailed Oceana on a Dubai to Cape Town itinerary and liked it very much. We were scheduled on another last March that hit the western part of Africa but Covid caused it to be canceled. We transferred our credit for that cruise to another similar itinerary in 2022. We like the size of the ships and the packages you can get with your cruise. I wish they had a wrap around Prominade deck, but other than that the ship layout is fine. They like to brag about their food in their broachers, but we found it to be about the same as HAL's. The problem we are having with HAL is that they are getting rid of their S and R class ships and only building the larger ships with 2500 passengers. We don't like ships that large, so even with the five star perks we have been looking at alternatives. We found the crew on Oceana quite helpful and friendly and there was less "nickel and diming" than on HAL. We prefer longer cruises (4 to 6 weeks) going to unusual locations and we can find those on Oceana. Overall, if you have liked HAL, you probably will like Oceana.
  6. Seven years ago on this date we were on Fanning Island.
  7. Correct. Its the Maritime Museum in Freemantle. I got to talking to a docent there about steam engines and he took back into some of the workshop areas of the museum. There is also a great brewery in Freemantle called Little Creatures.
  8. From the glass fixtures on the ceiling I would say the Veendam.
  9. Not all rivers are in Europe. On which river were these pictures taken?
  10. It looks like Hakodate, Japan. I recognize the fort, although we did not go up into the tower that overlooks it.
  11. Here is another view of that mosque at sunset.
  12. Here is an easy one. Where is the Volendam?
  13. Correct. A local bartender gave me a bad time for ordering a Victoria Bitter in New South Wales.
  14. I think that there are two different types of cruisers. There are those that want to go on a long explore and those that want to party for a week. We were on the Prinsendam when she docked at St Thomas after a month long trip to the Amazon river. There were at least six other ships docked there, all much larger. The town was so crowed that you could hardly move. Most of the folks were not exploring the town, they were going into the tourist stores like Diamonds International. The contrast between those from the Prinsendam and those who wanted to party was obvious. Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with going on a cruise to party and there are many more ways to party on a large ship, but if you want to go on a long explore a small ship is better. You can get into smaller and more exotic ports and the number of passengers is small enough to not totally overwhelm the port. There was a much larger ship ship docked opposite us (we were at the far end of town). We had one gangway out and there was never a wait to get back on board. The other ship was two gangways out and just before departure there were 50 yard long lines at each gangway.
  15. Where is the Volandam? We got a canon salute as we were leaving the harbor.
  16. This is Otaru, Japan. We were there on the Masdam last year.
  17. Jan Mayen is correct! We were sailing from Iceland to Spitzbergen and sailed along the west side of the island. It was a formal night and I remember standing out on the promenade deck in a suit freezing my tail off while I took pictures. We also spotted a whale between the ship and the island. At that time of year the sun never goes down, it only gets close to the horizon, so we had to use clothes pins to hold the window drapes closed to make it dark enough to sleep.
  18. No. It is above the Arctic Circle but East of Greenland.
  19. No, wrong hemisphere. It is an island but I don't know of any ships that stop there.
  20. This picture was taken from the Prinsendam during a sail by. Here is a major hint: it was taken after midnight.
  21. You are correct. You don't get off there, but most of the (at that time) 53 inhabitants come aboard to sell souvenirs and entertain. I don't think any cruise ships have stopped there for several years because of reports of sexual abuse by some of the islanders.
  22. This one may be a bit harder. This was taken from the Statendam. It is the only "port" on the island. The second picture is major hint.
  23. Correct! We did have a great visit there. Here is a picture of one of the downtown buildings that reminded me of the Gringotts (sp?) Bank at Universal Studios.
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