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About eetonaee

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    North Vancouver, BC
  • Interests
    Watching the Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS) and Edmonton Oilers (NHL)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity, Norwegian
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
  1. eetonaee

    Thoughts on on Mexican Riviera Cruise Eurodam

    My wife and I were on the same November 4-11 cruise on the Eurodam. Our first cruise, 20 years ago was on a Holland America ship, but this was our first HAL cruise since, with 14 on other lines in between. Having just turned 69, I expected to have reached the perceived HAL demographic but still felt like a kid compared to many others on board. I admire those who defy their age and mobility difficulties and continue to enjoy cruise vacations. We didn't use the spa facilities other than one visit my wife did for a facial. She enjoyed it immensely. We ate in the MDR every night and can understand noise concerns. We were next to a noisy table but enjoyed the company of the other couple at our table and stayed put. The menu was creative to the point that many of the options were not appealing to me but they do have basic items available each night as well. While not outstanding, the food was very good and the desserts well worth saving room for. The highlight of the trip for us was the BB King Blues Club. 6 of the 7 nights we enjoyed live music from one of the best groups of musicians I've seen on a ship. The band was friendly, interactive and seemed genuinely happy entertaining audiences that ranged in age from 9 - 90. We also enjoyed the Billboard Piano Lounge with two musicians singing selections, mostly by request, from the 50's to current hits. We saw two shows in the main showroom, an impersonator and a comedian. The other shows didn't appeal to us but people who went seemed happy. The main pool area can be noisy especially with small children on board but there are adults only whirlpools and a pool at the aft of the ship. There is pizza available and you don't have to stand around waiting as they give you a pager that vibrates and lights up when your order is ready. You can customize the pizza from a wide choice of toppings. The main pool also has a very good burger bar with Nathan's hot dogs as an option. The Lido dining area is very hectic on boarding day as people are still trying to find their way around and new cruisers aren't used to the set up. By the second day things calm down and line ups are short. My plan is always to avoid prime time for breakfast or lunch in the Lido. We chose this ship and itinerary as we live on the west coast and didn't want to take the long flights to Florida and back. The three stops, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, are all familiar to us but we did leave the ship to do some walking, shopping and relaxing on the beach. We don't use any of the ship tours or land transportation but there is an overwhelming choice of locals at each stop ready to take you to your favorite or new places at lower prices with smaller groups. The stop at Cabo requires a tender to shore but you can walk in to the main part of town from there. Mazatlan requires a taxi in to town but you can get transportation for under $10 each way for two people. Puerto Vallarta also requires a taxi in to the city but there is also a large shopping center and a Wal Mart right across from the pier. Even though it might appear that you travel in a relatively straight line north to south, you do experience two time changes. If you don't hear the reminder in the showroom, or read the note left by your cabin steward then you could be late for a morning tour or appointment. We saw this happen in Cabo as well as in Puerto Vallarta where people showed up late for their pre booked tours. We stayed in San Diego the night before and after the cruise. Looking to be economical I chose the Town & Country. It is about 15 minutes from the airport or cruise terminal. The hotel is undergoing massive renovations which may have accounted for our Expedia rate of about $155 CAD per night. Other than our room being a bit of a walk from the temporary check in location we did not experience any noise or inconvenience. It is walking distance to the Fashion Valley Mall so we enjoyed visiting higher end stores like Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdales as well as the usual assortment of mall stores. Dinner was at P.F. Changs, also by the mall. We stayed the extra day post cruise to visit the Zoo, After 5 hours there we were happy to spend the evening at the hotel and enjoy an in house pizza. On a separate note, I was a little apprehensive sailing during the week of the US midterm elections as from our Canadian vantage point we worried that the partisan politics could cause some uncomfortable moments. I have to say that everyone on board I encountered seemed to want to escape politics and I had no conversations about the elections before, during or after. A couple of times when the topic came close to politics either the person stopped mid sentence or their spouse jabbed them in the ribs. Overall I prefer Caribbean cruises with more interesting stops and warmer ocean water for swimming, but for a quick break for West Coasters the ship and itinerary fit the bill.
  2. eetonaee

    Shower Chair

    We just sailed on the Eurodam, cabin 4131. This is classified as a handicapped accessible verandah cabin. There is no bathtub but a shower with a chair that folds down from the wall if needed. No steps as there are drains on the floor for the water. We didn't have any problems with water getting on to the main part of the washroom. Lots of bars to grip on to in the shower and by the toilet.
  3. eetonaee

    Pre cruise Coast Coal Harbour hotel

    I live in Vancouver so haven't stayed there but you are just a couple of blocks from Canada Place. If you have time you can walk along the waterfront to Stanley Park and back
  4. We enjoyed a private tour that featured locations in Sicily where the Godfather was filmed. We had time for a few hours in Taormina as well.
  5. eetonaee

    Venice.. Early May or late Sept?

    We were in Venice near the end of October 2014 and were greeted by high water in San Marco as we walked to our nearby hotel from the vaporetto stop. As mentioned the only high water is in the square and we experienced it a couple of times in the middle of the day. I would be more concerned about the crowds of people. When we were there the streets and squares were still packed with visitors. I can't imagine what it is like in mid summer. If May or September is the less busy then that is the one I would choose.
  6. eetonaee

    Vancouver--buying wine

    As of April 1, 2015 the sale of BC made wine will be allowed in large grocery outlets such as Safeway, Save-On Foods and similar stores where groceries make up the majority of their sales. This will make it convenient for people who want to buy wine as well as non alcoholic beverages and food in one location. Only BC made wines can be sold but there are many quality wines produced in the Okanagan and other areas of the province. Non BC wines, beer and spirits will be available at government or private liquor stores only. The locations of the grocery stores that will sell wine haven't been announced yet but I don't believe there are any stores within walking distance (about a mile) of Canada Place that will qualify.
  7. eetonaee

    Pompeii or Herculaneum?

    You may want to check out Paestum. Possibly the best preserved Greek temples still standing. About an hour or so south of Naples.
  8. eetonaee

    Debarkation process

    sorry - posted in error
  9. I was on the Jade from October 25- November 1st and just had my review posted in the Cruise Critic member reviews section. This was my first cruise with NCL. My review was generally favourable. Another review, posted by someone on the same cruise had the opposite opinion.About the only thing we agreed on was the shower size in the inside cabins and the Tenors of Rock. I can't tell you that I am right and he is wrong so keep checking all of the reviews. In the end the only opinion that really matters is yours. Have a great time.
  10. eetonaee

    What was your first NCL ship?

    After 14 cruises mostly on Princess, Celebrity and RCCL we've just completed our first NCL cruise on the Jade two weeks ago, sailing from Venice to Rome. I must admit that many negative comments on cruise critic forums about NCL gave me the impression that we would not enjoy a Norwegian cruise. I'm pleased to say that our cruise experience, although short and very port intensive, was as good as any we have had. The food which seemed to draw the ire of many posters was excellent, plentiful and imaginative. Our basic room had all that we needed including a shower that you didn't have to step out of to pick up a bar of soap from the floor. Appreciated not having to take extra clothes for formal nights and the friendly crew. The Jade was perfect for a European cruise and look forward to trying one of the newer ships in the Caribbean.
  11. eetonaee

    How to do Santorini

    Thank you- I'm due for a visit . Haven't been since 2005. Shana Tova
  12. eetonaee

    How to do Santorini

    Not a coincidence. When I joined CC many years ago I was publishing a small community paper.
  13. eetonaee

    How to do Santorini

    Thank you. So there is no confusion - the beach in the picture is in Mykonos.
  14. eetonaee

    How to do Santorini

    I have picked up some great information from Cruise Critic members over the past 10 years or so and perhaps given some too, but I am always reluctant to answer an open ended question like the OP's. There are so many factors that can affect your day in a port like Santorini. How many ship's in port? The weather? Individual interests? The mood you are in? We were in Santorini in June 2012. A beautiful hot day as you can see from these pictures. Our ship, the Celebrity Equinox, was the only one in port when we arrived in the morning so the cable car line up wasn't too bad. Some passengers chose to walk up the stairs or ride the donkeys. I knew that the best photo ops were in Oia so I walked a few blocks to the bus station and boarded the public bus for the short ride from Fira. Oia is an amazing place to take pictures, look at shops, look at people and mostly look at the amazing blue water. I knew there could be a bit of a rush to get on the public buses so I left earlier than I wanted to to but had time to stroll around Fira before taking the cable car back to the tender loading area. A calm relaxing day in a place I hope to visit again. One of the last stops on our 10 day cruise was Mykonos. I knew there was lots to see but as the ship approached the dock we saw a beach on the port side that looked very inviting. As we had already toured Athens, Crete, Ephesus and Rhodes and a tour of Pompeii was a few days away, we decided to just relax on the beach. I wouldn't have known 2 or 3 months earlier that would be how we would spend our time in Mykonos. We try not to over plan so that when a new option opens up we can take advantage of it. Line up for the cable car from the port to Fira Stairs between the port and Fira shared by people and donkeys Oia Relaxing in Mykonos