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About Pernilla

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Daufuskie Island, SC
  • Interests
    knitting, reading
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  1. And I thought it was just me. I found I have to hide the pears because as soon as they start to ripen, the steward removes them and replaces them with hard ones! :cool::cool:
  2. As a suggestion, she might look at Tours By Locals and WithLocals. WithLocals is mostly walking tours -- we did a couple in different places and the guides always took into account our physical condition. Tours by Locals usually have guides and drivers. We've also used them in several cities and were taken exactly where we wanted to go. Again, the guides are very accommodating. Since both companies plan their trips based upon the desires of the person(s) booking the tours, they give you what you want. We have been very happy to have private tours, usually at about the same price (or less) than HAL's tours.
  3. I'm not sure that HAL is having trouble filling its ships -- I think the fact that there are such low rates on the Kdam is an indication that big ships don't appeal to HAL passangers. I was just on the Veendam for a 49 day cruise and met many people who were taking that itinerary on whatever of the ships did it (used to be the Maasdam) for 5 or 6 times.
  4. And I strongly suggest you NOT plan to fly on the same day that you sail. Do you really trust the airline to get you there when they say they will? What if the weather is bad and they don't fly? Is it worth the anxiety of dealing with the airlines?
  5. When Russia first became Russia again, I was looking forward to buying a fur coat in Moscow. I looked, and I looked -- and while many of the Russian women were wearing furs -- I found only one furrier. I finally asked one woman, who was wearing a particularly nice coat, where she had purchased it. She said, 'Greece.' It turned out that Russia exported the skins to Greece where they were made into coats. Perhaps that is still the story?
  6. I just checked the tours offered by HAL on our trip this fall. We're not in Piraeus as long as you apparently will be, but they do not offer a tour to Delphi. Our cruise has a very active roll call, with tours privately arranged in almost every port. Many of the companies being utilized have guarantees to get you back to the ship on time. Most of the tours are far less expensive than the cruise-line offerings. I'd suggest you join the Roll Call for your cruise and see what's there.....
  7. We've learned to follow the crew -- they always know where to find free internet in port. Naturally, we don't stay on for long -- don't want to waste our port time. But it allows us to pay the bills, check on the house, and let people know we haven't fallen overboard.
  8. We're also 'older' -- and we purchase travel insurance. Health issues are covered under most travel insurance. And, since my Medicare (our primary health insurance) does not cover us outside of the US, the medical coverage provided by our travel insurance make it worth the purchase price for us. You can find all sorts of policies online -- more policies than I could count.
  9. We packed our laptop into our carry-on. We flew from Savannah to Sand Diego, via Houston, on United. The plane from Savannah to Houston was quite small and our carry-on was placed in the hold. When we unpacked at the hotel in San Diego, we found the screen on our laptop had been broken. Naturally, we reported it to United and were told that they are not responsible for electronics packed in luggage. So, be certain of the type of plane you'll be on, and where your carry-on will be. Don't assume that carry-on WILL be carried-on. Incidentally, since we're retired and have the luxury of time, I no longer fly anywhere. I have learned, over the years, that I can be abused for free almost anywhere. Why should I pay an airline to do it?
  10. It seems to be pretty well unanimous. The Tamarind is our favorite, too. In fact, we almost didn't book our next cruise because its on the Veendam, which doesn't have a Tamarind. I appreciate the various restaurants, especially on long cruises.
  11. We sailed out of Miami in September -- to Cuba on Fathom. We parked at the port, at the parking lot in front of the departure area for our cruise. There might have been a dozen cars in the lot. However, when we returned, we came into a different pier, tugged our luggage outside, got on a bus, got dropped off at the parking lot where we'd left the car, and wrestled the luggage back into the car. Not a horrible experience, but a nuisance. I suspect that because its a new line, they didn't have a pier of their very own and were sort of fit in where there was room. But parking space was definitely not an issue.
  12. Those in-room safes are also known as "the maid's safe" because guess who gets to open them when somebody checks out and hasn't left the same open?
  13. I can get seasick in the bathtub. However, that has never stopped me from cruising. I have used the patch for years now -- best thing for me to avoid seasickness. Talk with your doctor to see if he feels it would be right for you.:)
  14. Yes, we have found HAL to be slipping -- a little more with each cruise. And that's upsetting having almost gotten to free laundry! We took the Holiday Cruise on the Statendam. The food was fair -- though the menu was quite repetitive. It seemed to us that the staff was far fewer in number than we've experienced in the past. The air conditioning in the cabins was a problem -- while some cabins were too warm, others had their occupants wandering the halls looking for someone from the north so they could borrow a coat. Often, the bathroom facilities were not functioning -- I rarely saw the Ladies' room outside of the dining room open. The odor in some areas of the ship was rather strong. Illness spread like wildfire. I blame part of this on the fact that the concern for illness had changed. For years, during the first 3 days on board, passengers were not allowed to handle the serving utensils on Veranda Deck. This wasn't true on this particular cruise. When I inquired about that, I was told that the health authorities told them that makes no difference. Personally, I think it takes more staff and that extra staff is no longer available. Entertainment now consists mainly of "Dancing with the Stars" (I've probably got the name wrong). That is effectively, a long version of a talent show -- often with very little talent. It made me miss the talent show with more variety when passengers could choose where their talent lay. This was the first time on any ship, on any line, that I have seen the ship run out of beer. (And no, I'm not a beer drinker.) They restocked with what was available on a Polynesian Island, but also went cabin to cabin, removing the beer from the fridges. We paid a ridiculous amount of money (almost $20 per bottle) corkage to bring wine on board. This was wine to be consumed in our cabins (when you pay corkage, you may consume it anywhere). We did bring one bottle to the dining room -- that bottle was lost for more than a week while in the custody of the wine steward. We are aware that the Statendam will be transferred to P&O this year and that perhaps they are avoiding maintenance so that it comes from P&O's budget instead of from HAL's. That does not change the fact that the ship is in need of some TLC. We're going to try HAL once more -- different ship -- before we give up entirely on what was our favorite line. We're hoping the Statendam cruise was just badly staffed and that a change of on-board management will make a difference.
  15. Have you travelled in Europe by train before? I ask because we find train travel in Europe and luggage to be a poor match. Elevators are usually available only by finding the 'keeper of the key' to operate it. And baggage porters are non-existent. And there is no such thing as checked luggage. Admittedly, it has been several years since we've travelled by train in Europe -- but are planning to do so this fall. We're taking advantage of Cunard's White Glove Service and shipping the large suitcases from Southampton to Copenhagen. It was a trick to find a hotel that will accept the luggage (in Copenhagen) when we will not yet have arrived. And now that I think about it, with the latest difficulties in Copenhagen, the hotel may no longer be willing to do that. Here I go again.
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