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About simplelife

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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Southern Caribbean

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  1. Depends on our budget and how tired we are from the drive in. We usually check into our hotel, have dinner (choice of restaurant is where the budget and fatigue part come in), maybe a couple of drinks,, and turn in early.
  2. Whatever is allowed in the public areas of the ship is fine for embarkation. IF what you are wearing would be acceptable if you wore it over underwear, there should be no problem if there is a swimsuit underneath,
  3. lyWe used to be able to cruise only every two or three years. Now that DH is retired, we are doing about one a year. Once I retire, we hope to do at least a couple a year.
  4. And the beaches there are unremarkable, at best.
  5. I don't care for Nassau, but at least there's a site or two you can explore on your own and a few decent excursions. Freeport is even worse, as the ship docks is in an industrial area and there's nothing to do and not even any decent excursions. I usually stay on the ship for these ports.
  6. We did a January cruise a few years ago and would so it again.. Rates ARE significantly lower. The weather will be great in the Western Carribean that time of year - warm, not hot. If it's one of those rare days where New Orleans is cold, just wear a jacket to port and stow it before you board. Since you won't have air travel l involved, I'd say go for it. (That's the biggest problem with January cruises - weather related flight delays. )
  7. Make the day all about him. Ask his friends and family to prepare cards and greeting for him. Bring these with you and give them to him at breakfast (you know prefer a quiet, private breakfast from room service, seaside with food from the lido, or th MDR). Do the sushi lunch. When you listening to music during the Day, ask the musician to play his favorite song (they'll probably announce his birthday too if you wish). Have predinner drinks with your friends and them dinner with them in the MDR - since it's formal night it will already be festive - buy a Bottle of sparkling wine for the table and toast his birthday. Be sure the waitstaff knows it's his birthday, and they will being him a special dessert. Let him decide what the evening activities will be.
  8. To me the main advantage dealing regularly with one independent TA, is that you get personalized service based on a real business relationship with a "REAL" person. A good TA, like mine, is affiliated with larger travel groups and has access to all the specials, etc. She is available by phone, email, or website and knows my needs and preferences. I sometimes book short, inexpensive cruises on my own through the cruise line website, but use my TA for cruises involve air travel, a large group, unfamiliar cruise lines or ports, etc. Bigger does not mean better
  9. I, too, am generally an early riser, and it takes only the first morning to locate your fellow coffee drinkers. On one of my early RCL cruises, we discovered an out-of-the-way coffee station with hot coffee very early. On Carvival Magic they serve an early riser continental breakfast in Ocean Plaza, on the Promenade deck.
  10. Some of the brands make pods where the part that holds the coffee is like teabag, rather than the plastic cup.
  11. We usually do fixed dining. About half our cruises we are travelling with others and eat with our party. When travelling alone, we usually prefer to have tablemates - we enjoy meeting people. We have done anytime dining only once and we were travelling with another couple, so we ate with them.
  12. DH and I have never been wealthy and will not be wealthy in retirement either (DH is already semi-retired). We travel as much as we can while we have each other and our health. We have learned what things we can economize on and not greatly affect our overall experience and when it's important to spend a little more. We are looking forward to my retirement for the flexibility it will allow. Our jobs have always operated on the academic calendar, so we have only been able to do land vacations and cruise at "high dollar" times. After we're both retired, we'll be able to take advantage of off-peak prices and last-minute cruise specials. We also will have more time to spend with grandchildren and visit friends and family across the country.
  13. As a university professor, spring break for college kids is my spring break, too. Last year DH and I shared a ship with many college students who were having a blast enjoying all the ship had to offer. They brought fun and energy to the ship/ I never once saw inappropriate behavior from any of these young people. They were courteous and friendly. They invited us to sit with them when pool-deck table were in short supply. Almost every time I approached a bar to order a drink. a young man waiting in line would insist I go ahead of him (something I rarely experience on most cruises - it's everyone for themselves). With all the complaints we hear about spring breakers, I thought this worthy of mention (though I have found from working with university students every day, courtesy and consideration are the norm. There might be a few isolated incidents of boorish behavior but we see those among groups of all ages)
  14. This happened to us in one of the Caribbean ports - We had bought a couple of bottles of an interesting liqueur to take home. We expected to turn it in until the end of the cruise as we reboarded the ship but they just put it on through,
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