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Everything posted by K.T.B.

  1. So you're able to sit on your balcony while going through the canal? Good to know!
  2. And from that link: All international travellers must carry acceptable identification and a valid visa (if necessary) when entering Canada. A passport is recommended because it is the only reliable and universally-accepted travel and identification document for the purpose of international travel. International transport companies, such as airlines, must make sure that travellers have proper, valid travel documents. If you do not have the proper documents, you may be delayed or unable to board the plane. What you need will depend on where you are from, how you are travelling, and what docume
  3. I'm basing my info provided by the link in terms of what one needs to go into Canada. A link that is a US government site. Unless that site is wrong?
  4. I agree about Midway, but I'm also 15-20 minutes away from there. And Blazer is correct about Christmastime in Chicago, it's been relatively mild of late. Odds of there being snow is very slim to almost non-existent. The whitest Christmas we've had in the last decade or so was about an inch and that won't cause issues at O'Hare. It seems the temperature usually hovers between 35 and 40 though. It's been below freezing (as a high) about 10 times the last 25 years. I think you'll be fine. I hope. I also have a flight going out of O'Hare on Christmas day to Cancun,
  5. In October of 2020 it would probably be best to have a passport anyway. By then you'll need a "REAL ID" to fly domestically. Here's the link for that: https://www.dhs.gov/real-id While all you'd need to do is update your drivers license, getting a passport make it easier, IMO. And to enter Canada, you need proof of citizenship and proof of identity, which is either a passport, passport card, or NEXUS card: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Canada.html Also, an apology, I realize
  6. IMO, even if a passport may not be needed, if you're leaving the US, it's better to have a passport than not.
  7. Odds are the ship will stop at Victoria if the ship departs and enters a US port, whether it's Seattle or an Alaskan port. That satisfies the "foreign port".
  8. We needed one back in 2007 to disembark in Victoria. There was a gentleman in front of us getting off the ship who didn't have one (he had his birth certificate) and they would not allow him to clear customs. So has Canada relaxed things?
  9. Tom, if the ship is a closed loop leaving from Seattle and you decide to get off the ship in Canada to visit Victoria, you need a passport (if you do not get off the ship in Canada, no need for a passport). I'm not talking about US Customs, I am talking about Canadian Customs. If it is a closed loop out of Vancouver, you need a passport. If it is a one way from Seattle to Seward (or Anchorage), you do not need a passport if you do not plan on exiting the ship in Canada. With all that said, it's best that you have your passport since the ship is visiting a foreign port, even if y
  10. You definitely need a passport if you take an Alaskan cruise because it'll make stop at a Canadian port. It's not a Princess thing, it's US law now.
  11. I always tip a flat $5, regardless of how many bags I have. I've never had any demands or unfriendly porters "come at me".
  12. TBH, I don't understand how this is a big deal. I've had a passport since 2003. My first cruise one it wasn't required, but by the second one I needed it to travel to the Caribbean.
  13. This^^ I switched to Celebrity awhile back and, unfortunately, went back to Carnival for 2 cruises... Never again. Make the switch. You'll love it. Trust me. I'm really excited to see what Princess has to offer and I thoroughly enjoyed my 3 with Celebrity. No more Carnival for me and my wife!
  14. I think this happens on every cruise line. It's happened to me on both Carnival and Celebrity. In every case they reversed the charges, It's a real PITA to wait in line, but it's the price we all pay for automation/computerization.
  15. It's definitely been cut back. My 2015 cruise was the worst experience I've ever had. I found out later that 3/4 of the crew members were on their final cruise before heading though, so service was not up to snuff. (Except for the bartender at the lobby bar. She was awesome!) So I took that as a "one off". Unfortunately. my most recent cruise with them back in March wasn't too good either. Good service, not great, except for the dining room where the service was excellent. The food did not match up to the service though. Even Guy's Burgers was bad. There was a
  16. If you're doing a whale watching tour with Mendenhall glacier involved, odds are you'll just be driving by the glacier on the way to or back from the tour in order for you to take pictures. They'll stop for a short time and let people get off the bus. The 3 cruises I've done to Alaska (Granted none were with Princess, but all the cruise lines spend about the same amount of time in each port) there was only a short amount of time in Juneau. Just enough time to do a whale watching tour and nothing else OR Mendenhall glacier and maybe some sightseeing downtown or taking the sky tram
  17. This is what I've used for numerous trips: https://www.amazon.com/Belkin-BZ103050-TVL-Surge-Protector-Charger/dp/B0015DYMVO/ref=sr_1_9?keywords=multiplug+usb&qid=1565629424&s=gateway&sr=8-9 One of the best things I've ever gotten! The best thing is that the 3 prongs rotate, so you can put in any position you need.
  18. The bolded part of your comment (which I bolded) worries me about Princess now.... IMHO, the food on Carnival was average at its best, but it's been below average my last 2 cruises with them. However, I don't cruise for the food. IMO, the best thing about Carnival is its very relaxed atmosphere. But if you like really good food, you may get lucky in the dining room. one or two nights. And I hope Princess is far better than that!
  19. My wife and i have gone by train once when we sailed out of New Orleans. Booked a sleeper car room, so it was nice and, at the time, it was actually cheaper than the airfare. The issue we discovered is that coming home we just want to get home! 20-ish hours on a train made the trip home arduous.
  20. As a fellow Chicagoan, I can completely understand. I was thisclose to booking a Mediterranean cruise for 2021 instead of the Panama cruise, but then I saw what the potential airfare was going to be like. Once my wife used the smelling salts and got me off the floor, I decided to keep looking for another cruise. Hence Panama.
  21. Celebrity was pretty relaxed the last time I sailed with them, but that was also Alaska. But here's a recent photo of what I would typically wear on a Caribbean cruise (one of many shirts my wife has made for me!):
  22. we have one booked for 2021. But on the non-formal nights, basically every other night in the dining room, how casual can one get? I'm not talking shorts and t-shirt casual, but jeans and button down shirt.
  23. So what can you experienced Princess cruisers tell me about Princess? I've been doing a bit of research on the ship and the itinerary, but nothing beats those who have actually sailed the cruise line. Some of the reviews I've read are.... interesting. They're just not a lot of help. I'd just like to know how it compares to either Celebrity or Carnival. (For those who may have sailed either of those cruise lines.) One thing I do enjoy seeing is that the formal nights are truly formal. I actually miss getting dressed up for dinner while on the ship. I definitely do not mind
  24. I haven't owned a tie in almost 2 decades! Be that as it may, I'll probably end up renting a tux for my cruise in 2021. I don't mind dressing up , my wife likes how I look in a tux, AND it's less to pack. So it's win-win-win.
  25. I've been on 7 Carnival cruises and only one was a "party boat" (our first one). Carnival is definitely more rambunctious than most cruise lines, but not annoyingly so. If you go in with the attitude of it being a more playful atmosphere, you'll be ok. If you're looking for pure relaxation, then avoid Carnival. The activities by the pool during sea days is anything but relaxing some of the time unfortunately. With your kids being 12 and 17, I think you'll have a fun time. However,, if you truly feel uneasy about it, look into Celebrity. IMO, they're better than Carnival and
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