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jb008

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About jb008

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    WNY
  • Interests
    Reading, relaxing on a beach, and drinks with little umbrellas :)
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Celebrity & Princess
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

Recent Profile Visitors

100 profile views
  1. jb008

    Personal water bottles

    Or a travel size squeeze bottle of some dish soap. There are options out there that are dye and perfume free. Dish soap also works well to spot treat when I inevitably get some form of food onto my clothes, and a drop or two works well if I want to wash laundry in the sink. They also sell dish sanitizer tablets, that would be another option to disinfect a bottle. Restaurant supply stores should carry them, some grocery stores might, or there's always amazon.
  2. I don't seem to have a copy of my luggage direct form. I don't remember if the earliest flights could depart was 11:30A or 12 noon in order to participate. That may be worth checking. Self assist with luggage at Port Everglades wouldn't be that bad though, biggest issue is if you'll need to wait for an elevator once shoreside. We did Luggage Direct and were to the airport by about 8:30 AM (Luggage Direct debark was immediately after self-assist), although hustle off and get to security, the lines were already forming with the LD disembarkation happening). Even with a delay on the ship being cleared to dock you should have plenty of time to make an 11:55 flight.
  3. We packed thermals (aka long underwear) as it doesn't take much space but can make a big difference as an extra layer under jeans. I also packed (but didn't use) a pair of hard shell rain pants. I'm a big fan of fleece as a mid-layer and then a rain coat as a hard shell outer layer. Rain coat doesn't breathe well, but will cut wind very well and with the fleece can insulate pretty effectively under light activity conditions. Fleece also dries fast and wicks well. I know people say it won't insulate when wet, but as long as it's not drenched I find it's still a decent insulator for me when I'm hiking... <shrug> We did a helicopter tour of Mendenhall Glacier by Juneau. I wore thermal underwear top & bottom, jeans, long sleeve tshirt, fleece full zip, rain coat. I also packed a thin wool knit cap and thin good quality gloves (TNF e-tips, fleece soft shell glove that blocks wind very well). We were comfortable, but only on the glacier about 1/2 hour (also weren't very active though, versus a hike). I wore waterproof trail shoes (LL Bean ones) and then the tour company gave us studded overboots (like this https://cozywinters.com/shop/stabilicers-overshoe.html) to wear while on the ice.
  4. jb008

    Personal water bottles

    You could pack denture tablets with you to clean out the bottles. We just brought some dish soap and washed them out in our cabin sink. A few tricks I learned from bringing a refillable bottle on our last cruise... wide mouth bottles are much easier to refill from a glass. Also water dispenser was slow... fill the glass basically full with ice, add a little water so the slurry will pour, and you can fill the bottle much faster. Also, there will be idiots who refill a small mouth disposable bottle by placing it under the dispenser and you will question whether it's worth using a refillable bottle to save a a little money but risk communicable diseases in the process.
  5. jb008

    Waving of Napkins??

    That's a little more complicated, hand sanitizer is only partially effective against noro, yes everyone should use the hand sanitizer but they also need to be good about washing their hands frequently and in an effective manner. I don't remember the exact protocol, but basically hand washing should be a ~30 second affair... yes any hand washing is better than none, but proper hand washing involves scrubbing the nail beds and a good long lather and rinse. I think I remember X's safety video suggesting say the ABCs while you wash to encourage longer scrub duration. Watch and be prepared to be terrified! 😛
  6. Since the new board now supports larger files, attached is a copy of the Patters from this 2017 cruise for people's reference Happy Sailings! CO_27May2017_AlaskaNB_Patters.zip
  7. jb008

    Waving of Napkins??

    There is a reason that sneezing into an elbow is a suggested practice by the Centers for Disease Control!!
  8. jb008

    Last Minute Cruises

    I get nice drop and go / last minute fares from the cruise lines through their email lists, and notice that the past guest rates through their loyalty programs are often a little bit better pricing. There's some 3rd party websites that also seem to specialize in last minute specials. I've booked the last couple cruises after final payment and have been very happy with the deals I've gotten (On our recent Crown P. cruise I think we paid about 60% or less of what the peak pricing was for the same cabin, and on Coral P. even after forfeiting our deposit and OBCs the "last minute fare" sale still saved us a couple hundred pp., on Ooster we didn't get as good of a price break on the cabin but the last minute sale perks and our TA obc netted us ~18% back as OBC). As was mentioned above, the sting can be flight prices/options. I accumulate a lot of credit card airline points and have used a buy1-get1 voucher that has made the flights booked <75 days out manageable prices... but being willing to be flexible on the days/airports you'll fly, or accepting really long layovers or inconvenient flight times helps (e.g., we disembarked at 8a, but didn't have a 1st flight til 3:45p and then had a 3+ hr layover on the connecting flight but that was about the only choice by the time we booked). I keep a simple excel sheet of all the cruises and pricing (plus perks) I've done in the last 7 or so years and it helps me keep a general idea of what pricing might look like, I also have kept some notes on itineraries of interest for a couple years to also get a feel for what pricing might look like. For example, I have notes on a few New Year's sailings for the most recent holiday post-final payment prices for a couple lines I like... now I'll know next year what a "good" deal would look like relative to that historical rate in the event a promo rate happens that gets very close to (or beats) last year's "best" price.
  9. I posted the Oosterdam menus for the 12/29/18 W. Carib sail we recently completed. It sounds like menus in the region will be pretty similar other than maybe a ship chef dish/speciality or two? Hope this helps, enjoy your upcoming cruise!!!
  10. For anyone interested in copies of the MDR menus from a recent sailing, I just posted a zip file that includes menus for all of the MDR dinners, embarkation MDR lunch, the two sea day MDR lunches (2nd sea day was the invitation-only Mariner's Society Lunch), coffee and cocktail prices for Explorations Cafe, the onboard speciality restaurant options, and the Beverage Event list (e.g., wine tastings, etc...) to my recent Trip Report: The comment that includes the direct link to the zip is: I posted this as a separate topic so people are aware of the zip file with the menus, but I also would appreciate the reads on my Trip Report post - thanks!
  11. Attached is a zip file of various menu pics from my 12/29/2018-1/5/2019 sailing. The file includes menus for all of the MDR dinners, embarkation MDR lunch, the two sea day MDR lunches (2nd sea day was the invitation-only Mariner's Society Lunch), coffee and cocktail prices for Explorations Cafe, the onboard speciality restaurant options, and the Beverage Event list (e.g., wine tastings, etc...). Cheers! Oosterdam Menu Pics 12-29-2018 New Years Sailing.zip
  12. jb008

    New Cruiser to Alaska

    Thanks - Yeah I turned down the thermostat in the room while I had the door partially open (only a few inches) so I could hear the narration. It was the reverse problem, they didn't have exterior speakers on/loud enough - so I was using the room TV narration to get an idea what was going on. The extend of the "chilliness" in the room may have been exaggerated a little for humorous photography purposes. 😉
  13. If anyone's interested in getting a copy of the "When & Where" handouts from a recent sailing I just posted a zip file containing .jpg pictures of the daily planners as a comment in my recent trip report: The direct link to the comment with the W&W zip is: I posted this as a separate topic so people are aware of the zip file with the When & Where's, but I also would appreciate the reads on my Trip Report post - thanks!
  14. Attached is a zip file of the "When & Where" daily bulletins for the 12/29/2018 - 1/5/2019 New Year's Holiday Sailing. Oosterdam New Years 2019 Sailing Dailies.zip I'll try to get Menus up sometime this weekend.
  15. WASH YOUR D*MN HANDS PEOPLE!!! It appalls me how often I see people leave a restroom without washing their hands. Dude came out of a stall at the airport in ATL and looked at the sinks but skipped 'em and waltzed out on his merry way. I try to avoid public restrooms, especially on the ship, but did have the "pleasure" of watching a guy go from urinal to buffet, skipping both the sink and hand sanitizer before touching food serving utensils. Noro incubation is 12-48 hours (per CDC), proper food poisoning can be as short as a few hours depending on how much toxin is in the food (good chart at FDA - https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm103263.htm). Worse, with noro you can be contagious even after symptoms resolve.
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