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About birdylady

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    Near Charlotte, NC

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  1. Welcome to cruise critic and cruising (your new addiction). And wow. You start off with a bang. A 12 day sailing. I have to say, after having sailed Grandeur for the first time this year, you will love her and her crew. The ports you are going to will offer you alot of great options. We did Barbados twice. The second time we did the Tiami catamaran and it was awesome. Hubby has scuba dived and I'm okay with swimming but not great with snorkel equipment. The crew were fantastic. There were guests with all different levels of experience and I think everyone had a super time. I can't recommend this excursion enough. I'll leave other ports to other folks to offer suggestions. Enjoy. Erika
  2. LOVED Capt Marek. He had great announcements each day. Whether wishing different crew members a happy birthday or as another person mentioned, welcoming back Jane and John after their much needed extra shopping time while he delayed departure. And that was followed the next day suggesting they get their shopping done early the next day or they were welcome to meet up with the ship in the next port, home port. LOL Then we found out that we would be getting escorted into the home-port after a different ship as the harbor master changed the order. Needless to say, he wasn't happy about it. He even went to the disembarkation area an apologized to passengers and thanked them for sailing. Definitely one of my favorite captains. Hoping the family are safe and sound whether whatever the reason. Erika
  3. I agree with those that say the new ones look like something from a theater or amusement park (or gas station!). More importantly the accordian straw I think would not only be hard to clean but due to height, I think I would knock over to often and easily. This last cruise, we just brought a few straws from home (in case they didn't have any) and used those in the 'old' style (with the chip). To be honest, so far, we liked the OLDER style (probably didn't have chips) which could handle hot and cold. Oh well.. Guess it is what it is. Erika
  4. FYI - I don't know if it was because were were in a JS or just timing, but we had the MOST comfortable bed on a ship, EVER. It was a thicker mattress on a higher frame than any other ship. I heard they were working at replacing the beds. I just don't know if it's only in JS and above or just where they started and are moving through the decks. I hope they do this for all cabins, all ships. Erika
  5. We we were there back in the fall. But I have to apologize. In thinking about this I think I was describing Labadee. Sorry. Hit was early and the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet
  6. G-d forbid! We need our double points for our upcoming sailing. That was the reason we booked JS for it. Erika
  7. And it is so nicely done. You go up a little hill with a few steps. They have 'bungaloos' that are private yet still open air. You get to listen to real ocean sounds (and people on the beach too) while you relax and enjoy it. Very nice treat. Erika
  8. Hi there. I can't compare RCI to any other cruise line. BUT I will say we did Grandeur in April and LOVED her. The BEST crew ever. The ship was in good condition and the Cruise Director, Activities Manager and their crew made everything fun. I say give her a try. I would sail her again in a heartbeat. Erika
  9. I completely agree. RCI sailing out of Charleston could do 3 nighters to Bermuda easily. IF Charleston would allow it. They constantly say they don't like all the tourists (seriously?). But Charleston/Bermuda is a due East/West trip and would be perfect. And if/when Bermuda is not in season, could still do Bahamas. Erika
  10. But it was shut both outbound on April 25th (about midnight) and inbound on May 1st about 9pm. Erika
  11. We just got off Grandeur earlier this month. The ship was amazing as was the crew. We made a point of watching as we sailed over the tunnel (both ways). There were no headlights going into the tunnel as there were police cars on each side stopping traffic as we went over the tunnel. Thought that was very interesting. We wondered if they do this for ALL ships or certain ones. We assumed it was for safety sake. Erika
  12. Alaska cruising is only during (roughly) end of May to maybe mid September so your options are somewhat limited. The most expensive/popular times are probably July/August. But it's great no matter which sailing date you pick. We did our first Alaska sailing as a closed loop out of Seattle for the inside passage. That only made us want more. Then about 2 years ago, we did the land and cruise tour. We started in Fairbanks, toured down to Seward and cruised to Vancouver. Ultimately, it comes down to your time and financial options and then your preferences. I will say, if you can afford it, do try to get a balcony so you can see the amazing views as much as possible. And enjoy. Erika
  13. We booked a couple years back for our 2017 Land/sea Alaska trip, just weeks after the sailings opened for booking. When we booked, there were only a handful of balconies left. SO, if location of your cabin is important (and lets be honest, Alaska HAS to have a cabin with a view), then book ASAP. Erika
  14. It would have been nice to have been there for a FULL day. Or better yet 2 full days with the overnight. AND if Hamilton wasn't basically shut down. But it is what it was. Erika
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