Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community


  • Content Count

  • Joined

About scapel

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Chilean Fjords & Antarctica
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    PREVIOUS CRUISES 1.Stella Oceanus to South America 1975. 2. 1978 SS Freeport to Mexico 3. 1979 Stel

Recent Profile Visitors

423 profile views
  1. I know what you mean about cabin choice. I had always liked Aft cabins, but the Voyage of the Seas aft cabin turned out to be a terrible choice.
  2. I met a lady in the hall amidships on the port side that said she booked her cabin about one year ahead of time so she was close to the washing machines. She would certainly not appreciate being upgraded away from the washing machines.
  3. Cabin 7005 Ship: Journey Date: October 2015 Choose Again: yes-Liked it better than 6088 Noise: None Balcony Size: Table and chairs and lounge Choose Again: Yes--My cabin of preference.
  4. Cabin /Stateroom 6088 Ship: Quest Date Jan 2014 Choose Again- Y Noise- none Balcony Size: Room for table and chairs Choose Again- Yes
  5. I just spent one cruise overnight and one day, so didn't get to see the country side. There certainly should be a way for the politicians to get together and put money aside and just do the right thing and let Americans visit.
  6. We were on the Cruise Jan 2018 to Havana and the Panama Canal. The only thing interesting for us was seeing all the 1950's cars that had to be redone because of Castro. The removal of Cuba from the cruise circuit will only hurt Cuba. There were silly rules when we went, but we enjoyed the Tropicana Cabaret Show I would prefer to go back to Malaga, Spain and ride back to Mijos rather than go to Cuba. The Cuban people were nice, but there was not much to see but old buildings and where Castro gave his speeches. Lots of History, but one can read about that. Glad I went but wouldn't go back.
  7. How would handle an upgrade that you did not know about and did not want but found when you checked in that you had been upgraded to the owners cabin on the stern. I had specifically obtained the forwarded viewing cabin and wanted to stay there.
  8. Great Job you are doing here. I hope you get some perks. I remember the first time I had that Owners suite on Journey and I ordered a cocktail to be brought to the cabin. Drinks that are complimentary are not complimentary if delivered to the cabin. On a cruise in Mexico I found some Sangrita (not Sangria-Spanish wine) which is a chaser for a shot of tequila. They were serving shots of Tequila ashore for about one dollar, but I had purchased the bottle of Sangrita, so when I got back to the ship I ordered a shot of Tequila to be delivered. I was charged full price for the Tequila which was about $7. I used 1/2 of the shot and saved the second 1/2 which my thrifty wife threw away since she thought it was just dirty water. So I passed up a shot of tequila ashore for $1 and paid $7 for one in my cabin to chase with the recently purchased Sangrita. I could have swapped out the scotch in the cabin for tequila, but didn't think about it until after. Here is a short story on the Panama Canal- Cuba trip-- As I have had the Owners suite before I booked a forward viewing cabin for this trip, but when I went to check in they informed me that I had been bumped up to the owners suite, which I did not want and was never asked about being upgraded. I started complaining and asking for a higher up to correct this unauthorized action. My wife told me to be quiet and accept the upgrade. What we men do for our wives is sometime heroic. I shut up. It is nice to be in a forward viewing cabin eating breakfast as you sail into a port. We sail this Sunday on NCL Bliss to Alaska and have a forward viewing cabin. I'll let you know how the NCL Bliss is. This will be our first experience with NCL and cruise # 52 I think.
  9. Try another cruise line. Azamara has some wonderful Greek Isle cruise that usually start or end at Piraeus. Out of Athens you should have a minimum of two or preferable 3 days so one day you could go and visit the ancient city of Corinth and see the Corinth Canal unless of course you have sailed through it. You should be aware that sometimes a captain will alter the ships schedule after you have paid and boarded and sailed. We skipped a Greek port once because of an influx of refugees on our scheduled visiting date. On a cruise you have to be prepared for undesirable occurrences. Hopefully you never have an accident or get sick on a cruise, but these are personal things that you should have insurance to protect your monetary investment.
  10. I would cruise with you anytime. Funny Story: My wife had a cousin that had a cruise on her bucket list. She was in a wheelchair and on oxygen all the time. We sailed out of Galveston and her husband had permission to bring on about 12 bottles of Oxygen to carry on the chair. She used an oxygen generator in the cabin. I wasn't sure how we would get her motorized chair off the ship so I had told the husband to bring a mechanical w.c. In Grand Caymon I went down to see how the tender would work and the tender had a two story and she was able to roll the wheelchair on the tender. When we checked in in Galveston the cousin's husband (good ole country boy) had a 2-inch pocket knife on him as all country boys would have. Security took it away from him, but even helped him bring the 12 "bombs" aboard. Oxygen bottles can be rigged. Rules are Rules and just because we had prior authorization for the oxygen bottles didn't mean we had authorization for the pocket knife. They couldn't afford the Imogen portable oxygen generators.
  11. I have been on 51 cruises and don't think I have ever been robbed, except when a $20,000 Rolex was stolen while on a private tour in BA Argentina. Celebrity had nothing to do with that. I forgot the watch was a piece of jewelry. Had used it as a watch for 20 years. I am not sure what an extreme amount of money is. I once took 5 of my 7 children with there spouses on a cruise for a week and including air fare I think I spent $45,000 for a week. It was the cruise of a life time. I think D.Trump would not call that an extreme amount of money. I have jumped ship once, hit another ship on another cruise, been bumped up a class that I did no want and was going to make a scene since the bump up was done without my permission and I wanted the forward viewing cabin, not the stern which I had already had. My wife told me to shut up and quick making a scene. Listen to the wife or no one will be happy. I have helped a personal friend of JW Marriott when he broke his arm on a cruise in 1975. Have eaten at the captain's table many times and remember wonderful experiences. I am so sorry that the OP feels he was robbed. I hate to hear of people not having a good time on a cruise since I always seem to have. We only jumped Ship because my wife and a friend wanted to in Vera Cruse Mexico. Ship was an old converted steamer and the cruise was for the crippled children hospital benefit.
  12. I say you should rent the Penthouse on the Millennium
  13. I don't always sail with NCL so I use my personal TA no matter what. Trying to get through to the right person to solve whatever person is a chore, so I let the TA do all the work. She just has done such a great job over the past 20 years, that I hope she continues to thrive. I suggest one keep trying until they find a good all around cruise travel agent and stick to that one. Score them by how soon they fix any problems. How easy to reach and get back to you. Efficiency. Be sure she gets as good a deal as any other you can find by yourself. The TA can usually tell you why your new found deal may not be as good as it seems.
  14. Thanks for the info. I suspected it would be limited. If I get a peep-hole it will be welcomed/
  15. 22. BARBECUE ON MULTANOVISKY IN ANTARCTICA 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpPioIDKDpE 23. ANTARCTIC EXPEDITON 2009 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2IKEZEnvcs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2IKEZEnvcs&index=23&t=180s&list=PL7BD0156994A61402 2009 ANTARCTICA ANTARCTICA EXPEDITION I had wanted to go to Antarctica before and almost got it scheduled when one of the ships sank when it hit an iceberg and my wife talked me out of it. A few years went by and time helps cure things and she said I could go so I got it scheduled. This was a wonderful experience. I left Monroe, La on Nov. 22, 2009 and arrived in Punta Arenas on Nov. 23 some 29 hours later. I returned from PUNTA ARENAS on Dec. 3 arriving in Monroe on Dec 4 some 30 hours later. I list it as an Expedition rather than a cruise since it was hard and I could not make it all the way to the top of some of the climbs to penguin rookeries because I just gave out. There were plenty of penguins all around that I did not have to go to the top. The ship was the PROFESSOR MULTANOVSKIY built in 1982 for Russian oceanographic and polar studies. It was converted to a tourism ship and it is not a luxury cruiser but is comfortable. It is 249 ft long, 42 ft wide and draft of 15ft. It has two side by side engines with over 3076 total hp and a single screw, a bow thruster and can run on one or two engines. Its cruising speed is 10 knots. It has passive stabilizers only. It is not classified as an Ice Breaker, but has an Ice re-enforced hull. The night before departure in Punta Arenas we were fitted for boots and given instructions on how to get in and out of the Zodiacs. We were suppose to have breakfast at 8 AM, but got a wake up call at 6:30 AM and told to hustle since we had a weather window to take off from Punta Arenas to land at KING GEORGE ISLAND before weather moved in. The ships passenger capacity was 49 and had 32 crew, but we only had 25 passengers on this trip so the BAE 146 plane from Punta Arenas to King George Island had plenty of room and the ship was not crowded. We used only one of the two dining rooms for meals. Of the 25 passengers there were only three of us from the US and we wished each other Happy Thanksgiving. Other countries represented were Holland, England, Australia, Israel, Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Chile and Argentina. We did two landings daily, weather permitting and we had beautiful weather except for the gale across the Bransfield Strait and fog at Deception Island which would have been beautiful if the weather would have been nice. We had one day when at Neko Island the chop was too bad to launch Zodiacs so we just moved to another bay. Saw thousands of penguins, skuas, giant petrols, many minke whales and orca whales. One orca got just under the bow and I have a picture of it under the water swimming. Saw several Weddell seals and a Leopard Seal. The little Snow Petrols were very curious and would actually come up and bite on your gloves. Penguins kept their distance and we kept distance. If we saw any seals on land with us we definitely kept our distance, since seals can be aggressive. We visited KING GEORGE ISLAND, ARDLEY ISLAND, MIKKELSON HARBOUR, HERRERA CHANNEL TO PORT LOCKROY, LEMAIRE CHANNEL TO PETERMAN ISLAND (THE SOUTHERN MOST EXTENSION OF OUR TRIP), PARADISE BAY, DANKO ISLAND, BROWN LANDING (Antarctica Peninsula proper), DECEPTION BAY back to King George Island. On the way back we got into a full gale across the Bransfield Strait that gave a rough ride. The crew used the term “the ship will move tonight”. The roll threw one man out of a chair when the ship rolled to 30 deg crossing the Bransfield Strait. My bunk was cross ways or I would have probably been thrown out. I just slid from head to foot as she rolled. Scopace tablets worked to prevent seasickness. We got back to Maxwell Bay at the Fildes Peninsula of King George Island on time (Dec. 1, 2009) but we could not get out because the runway was covered with 15cm of ice. We spent an extra night on the ship and got out the next day. Antarctica XXI was superb in changing all flight connections. BTW the satellite phone worked very well from the ship, but cost was about $5/min. To fill the morning while we waited on the plane the Antarctica XXI people arranged a visit to the KING SEJONG KOREAN scientific station and they seemed very happy to have us visit. I have video from the ship of their snow plow cleaning a place for us to walk from the dock to a building. On two occasions we did a Zodiac cruise only where the three Zodiacs went out and by radio communication one would report wild life sightings and we would creep up on them. The scenery was magnificent. I have never seen so many beautiful icebergs. One day at breakfast while we were anchored we heard and felt a thump. Either we had drifted into an iceberg while at anchor or the iceberg drifted into us. No big deal, we just use the single screw and bow thruster to work away from it. As I said it was a hard trip taking 29 hours to get to Punta Arenas, Chile the departure point and 30 hours to get back from Punta Arenas. The flight across the Drake Passage of 600 miles was better than crossing it by ship in a Drake Rake. I found that having automatic dimming prescription glasses was not an asset. They got so dark I couldn’t see where I was going and I would suggest one use regular prescription glasses with snow goggles over them for light protection. The brighter and colder it got, the darker my glasses got until I was almost blind. I didn't realize that cold also dimmed the glasses. I was never really cold because I followed directions and dressed properly. I had a waterproof bag for my cameras and it saved me once when we hit a wave in the Zodiac and everyone got sprayed, but it happened only once. I could have just put the camera under my down jacket to protect it. Skin protection for the face is a must because it can take only a few hours and your face is burned. I found my best dress was two pairs of socks, silk longs, blue jeans and rain suit pants which gave excellent wind protection and maintained dryness on the wet pontoons that we sat on in the Zodiacs. The last layer of waterproof goes outside the boots. Insulated hunting type pants (waterproof) also worked well over the silks or thermals. A down jacket with hood and baseball cap took care of the top with under garments and warm shirt. The baseball cap kept the hood from falling over my eyes and helped keep sprinkles off of the glasses. Glove liners were best and I used outside gloves attached to the coat with the little clippie things. One had to take off the outer gloves to manipulate the cameras with the glove liners and the clip things kept you from loosing the outer glove. On a recommendation from another article I used inserts in the boots and I think it helped a great deal. The baseball cap should have a safety tie to catch it if the wind blows it off. There is a lot of wind in Antarctica. The ship was maintained at 70 deg F and we could open the porthole if we got too hot. The temperature was only about 0 C but when the wind blew it would drop to chill factor of -15C. Water temperature was around 0.5 Deg. C. so we tried very hard not to fall in and no one did. I was the oldest passenger on this trip and probably the slowest when we went ashore, but was just too happy to let the youngsters pass me up. I had a wonderful time. ================================================================================== Sorry if this took up too much space, but out of the 52 cruises I have taken this was the most memorable. I'm 81 now and in too poor health to do it again, but I would others the chance to experience this trip. My wife was not interested in going.
  • Create New...