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kathy884

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    714
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About kathy884

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    St. Louis, MO
  • Interests
    Tennis
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    I've only tried Carnival and NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    I've only cruised to Caribbean and Canadian ports

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  1. Both DH and DS really don't like wearing masks. I WFH now, so don't have to wear them too often either. At this point we are most inclined to do trips that allow for enough social distancing that wearing masks is pretty rare.
  2. I probably won't cruise again and picked that choice. Given that, I'm really glad we were able to take such a lovely cruise on the Harmony in February this year (our adjoining large balcony cabins (three) were heavenly), and it was nice to end my cruising on a nice note. This "No more cruising" choice for me would have been the case even without COVID 19 as I'm really not that much of a cruise person, but given that my dad loved cruising (was one type of vacation he was still willing to do), DS loved cruising, and DH didn't mind cruising, seemed like a nice thing to do on occasion for a vacation (extended family group). Now, though, my dad will not be cruising again (cautious (and that makes sense at 83), mobility is more limited too making traveling a much bigger hassle than it used to be, and he now just wants to visit family in his home or in our homes - and not now but in the future when COVID 19 is not so great a risk), my main reasons for picking a cruise vacation in the first place is gone. // I will, though, I'm hoping, be doing land based vacations, closer to home (maybe even later this year) and international travel when that seems prudent (which could be a while). (We had a Paris/Belfast trip planned for early June this year, but that's a no go, of course, with COVID 19.) Wishing all safe happy future traveling.
  3. Boarding the Harmony Sunday. Six of us originally booked three cabins, now we will still use all three cabins, but one person (my dad 83) will be a no show. He has been feeling dizzy recently some days prior to getting out of bed and his doctor doesn't want him to take the risk and travel (Have insurance and doctor's note, so may get non-refundable part of fare back). Have travel insurance, but not with RCCL. My 24 year old son was going to be rooming with him and is still going, but will just have his own cabin now. Do we just do our check in as normal and not have him check in? Do we mention at check in that he won't be joining us? Or do we call in advance? Appreciate your thoughts / advice.
  4. I feel your pain OP. We are considering an Alaskan cruise too, but when adding up all the costs, I am not sure. Not only is the cruise itself expensive, but so are airfares for us even to the closer places like Seattle and Vancouver for a round trip fare. Fares aren't too bad off season, but cruise season around cruising (day before) and afternoon after (sky high). Also, excursions are pricey too -- If you are there, do what you'd want to do, but that whale watching trek, dog sledding, and then especially high that cool float plane excursion will set you back another $900 pp). If I do Alaska prime season in July, get a balcony cabin, pick a line with Glacier Bay which I'd like lol to go to Alaska is more expensive that my longer spring trip in Europe to (Paris and Belfast - even including the premium economy flights upgrade). Say what? Recent summer trips that we've done last summer - South Dakota, summer before Colorado -- (hitting some great State, National Parks, etc.) for the same length are less than half the cost of doing the Alaska cruise (when I crunched the numbers), and that's flying there, renting a minivan, and staying in nice hotels/lodges/condos.
  5. Packing light and DH wondered if he could get away with just wearing jeans on formal nights with a button up. Or would you recommend throwing in a pair of dockers and dressier shoes? Thanks so much. We are packing for flight tomorrow, two nights in Orlando, and a cruise Sunday on the Harmony of the Seas. Can't wait.
  6. We are asking the same question for an Alaskan cruise, but would be booking a balcony with three adults in the room. We have DH and me and DS 24? I was thinking the Koningsdam as DS loves newer big ships with lots to do. Midweek doesn't work as well due to work schedules, but we could do it. What do you think? The Eurodam from Seattle (cheaper more direct airfare) is also a possibility, but we've been to Victoria many times before (sometimes staying for a whole week), and I thought maybe it would be worth it to spend more time in the inside passage and just fly to and from Vancouver. I'm torn for sure. From Seattle there is also the Ruby Princess and NCL Bliss, but I'm leaning toward HAL due to the great reputation they have for knowing how to do Alaska. Seeing Glacier Bay was a must do. Also we are looking at Seattle to Seattle or Vancouver to Vancouver. Doing a cruise tour too (typically done with the one way itineraries) although, it sounds amazing is just way out of our budget for this, so not a consideration.
  7. Thanks John and LaLa. Sing a long sounds fun. I will have to check that out.
  8. Thanks for all the suggestions LilBlackDress. When my mom and dad did an Oasis cruise my mom really liked the Central Park area and maybe I will too (I'll be fine as long as I'm not expecting Central Park in NYC, which I love). I am hoping they will open the dividers for us. Part of our getting two of the large balcony cabins, was to have a little more space for sitting out together in case they won't.
  9. Yeah. Last time I was there I was super impressed (totally enjoyed the visit). Back in the 90s I was disappointed and thought "Boy they could really learn a lot from their theme park neighbors and make this so much better" and IMHO they really did and have. Even though I'm really not into space, I absolutely loved visiting this place. I liked the historical perspective they did in the little film at the beginning too. I have relatives in the Orlando area and seem to get down to the area almost annually.
  10. Zipline sounds fun and we have done land based ziplining before. I'll definitely have to look into that. Didn't realize that this is available on the ship. Do you recommend this on a port vs. at sea days due to lines or doesn't it really matter? We will have to try mini-golf too (a fun activity with family). Have to say, though, for me surfing is way harder than it looks when I have tried it before (no natural ability here on that), so I will skip that. It's really cool, though, that they have that on the ship.
  11. Hello, Will be doing a cruise on the Harmony in another two weeks. This is my first RCCL cruise. Can you suggest fun activities that I might want to try on the cruise? (Are there talks you found interesting, games that you thought were fun, activities that were fun, etc. that maybe I might want try?) I'm not into sitting out in the sun, shopping, gambling, drinking or bar scene which sound like big time cruise activities. I think I will bring my Kindle and buy / download a bunch of books as a backup plan. A more typical vacation for me is going to a national park and exploring, going to theme parks (I love Disney, for example and am doing a day at the Magic Kingdom before the cruise), visiting historical tourist sites. My last vacation was to South Dakota where I really enjoyed seeing wildlife, national monuments, and national and state parks (I especially liked Custer State park buffalo herds, feeding the burros and pretty scenery). My next vacation after this cruise will be to visit Paris and Belfast where we will be visiting historic sites, parks, and enjoying cafes and people watching. I'm more a land based vacationer than a cruise vacationer, but want to make the most of this upcoming cruise. Things I have enjoyed doing on cruises in the past that I am planning on this cruise: -- Visiting with extended family on private balconies -- We have three cabins next to each other (two large balcony - one regular balcony) -- Visiting with extended family for dinner in main dining room (signed up entire party to eat with each other at same table) -- Shows on cruises in the past were OK (the bigger the ship, the better the shows) -- signed up whole group for all shows we could sign up for in advance on Harmony (With bigger ship am thinking shows will probably be of higher quality than on other cruises that I have been on) (DH and I go to a lot of theatre at home -- season ticket holders at the rep, and we see lots of Broadway musicals in NYC and traveling ones that come to town) -- Enjoyed a cruise critic meet and greet before on NCL and signed up for this one (I always enjoy meeting and talking to people -- seemed like after meeting folks when I did this before that I saw them though out my cruise all over the ship which was fun) -- Behind the scenes ship tour -- signed up for this for me, DH, and DS -- We all loved one we did on a Carnival ship some years back, so signed up for this on Harmony -- Tours at ports -- am doing non ship tours in San Juan (historic walking tour -- have seen the forts before, etc. and visited a bit of the island on full week trips) and St. Martin ( non-ship island tour w/ DH and DS -- Last time I was there I just did Maho Beach which I loved -- so much fun to photograph the planes, and on this cruise I also signed up for waterpark at Coco Cay with DS -- Shuffleboard (really liked doing this on our last cruise and played almost every day) -- Mini golf was OK Ages of our group (24 to 83) and it's not like we are going to be doing everything together. -- What about the talks about the ports? -- Might I enjoy those even though I don't plan to do any shopping? -- What about the ping pong tournaments? Might my son and I like them, even though we don't play ping pong regularly or even have a ping pong table? -- We are tennis players, so have some eye - hand coordination. -- Any fun sing a longs at a piano bar or Karaoke? (The last time we went to Karaoke place on a ship, there were tons of kids who signed up who were really poor singers (out of tune or couldn't carry a tune murdering songs)) -- I'm sure it was fun for them, but not so much for us. -- Is there any water volleyball (pools on ships are kind of small, so I was thinking maybe not much on this) I would love other suggestions. (And really and truly if I think about it there could be a lot worse things than reading a good book on an ocean view balcony in the Caribbean) I think I'll be able to handle this.
  12. Last time we were in St. Martin, we just took a cab over and back to Maho Beach. We had checked the plane schedule online (had done our own research) so knew what to expect and timed going over to hit the big planes on our own. Just used our own beach towels and only paid for cabs there and back. We did buy some snacks and sodas at the bar too. I actually loved the crowded atmosphere. Talked to some other really nice tourists into photography. They could see we were really into photography with all our different camera equipment. Had a great time taking photos of planes coming in with our GoPro and other cameras. This was actually my favorite experience on the whole cruise (This was a cruise out of San Juan on Carnival) - not RCCL. This was a few years back and we weren't approached by anyone about chairs or hair braiding. We were so engaged in our photography and talking to other photographers, so maybe no one wanted to bother us. Do note too, that DS used to take flying lessons, etc. too - so if you have an interest in aviation and are a photographer, what's not to love about Maho Beach. We're doing the Harmony in about a week and a 1/2 (first RCCL cruise), and actually did book a tour with Bernard's. Since we did Maho last time (only place we went on this island, but a total blast for us), thought we'd see a little more of the island this time, but we did want to stop quickly at Maho Beach again. Here we will be at the mercy of the tour, so aren't expecting to see the big planes, etc. or having adequate time for serious photography. But we did that last time. This is a place that is easy/peasy to do on your own.
  13. OP here: Sounds like we will probably stay on EST on the cruise and that local times will be one hour later AST, based on what I am hearing from others on experiences on the Oasis class ships (many which don't do that many ports). I will definitely check the daily papers, etc. to be sure, knowing that this is up to the captain, and that many have been on RCCL cruises where time changes to local times are made.. Thanks for all the responses.
  14. Hello, We are taking out first RCCL cruise this February on the Harmony of the Seas out of Port Canaveral. I have non ship tours booking in San Juan and St. Martin that are local time. Does the ship stay on EST for the entire cruise (e.g. says arrival in San Juan at 7 a.m. on cruise itinerary, and is that 7 a.m. EST meaning actually 8 a.m. San Juan time or Atlantic Standard time?)? Just want to do proper planning to show up for tours on time. Thanks so much?
  15. I just filled out the pre-boarding info for a Feb. cruise for our party. The earliest check in time I could get was 1-1:30 p.m. We have to leave our condo in Orlando at 10, and are planning to take an uber over at check out, so should be at Port Canaveral around 11:15 a.m. (maybe later based on traffic). Is that an issue? Do I need to find something for us to do to fill an hour and 45 minutes? Or are these check in times just something random that you aren't held to? (First time on RCCL). We've always had earlier check in times on other cruises and cruise lines.
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