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Everything posted by loveapug

  1. I watched a wonderful documentary called, "The Platypus Guardian", which is set in Hobart, Tasmania. The film was available through the Public Television Station (PBS) subscription in the US on their program Nature. Not certain where else it might be available, but I wanted to share the information and link as a few clips from the show are available for free and might be of interest to anyone traveling to Hobart or Australia. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did. We are so excited to visit this part of the world! https://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/about-the-platypus-guardian/29274/
  2. Thank you for this information and certainly hope the region does not experience another cyclone.
  3. Hello, I'm piggybacking on this topic. We will be traveling to the Cairns area post-cruise in April for 4 full days. I had originally thought to travel to Port Douglas for a few days for the GBR and Daintree, and return to Cairns for the railway, gardens, and local sights. We were not going to rent a car and so would need to figure in transfers from the Cairns airport to PD and back again. I'd read that Port Douglas was a cute small town, with good access to the GBR and closer to Daintree. If I read the current status correctly, the coast road to Port Douglas is now closed, as is the Kuranda railway. I'm wondering if it makes sense to take GBR and Daintree tours out of Cairns to minimize transferring back and forth and finding lodging in both locations. If it helps to provide information, we will follow up the trip to Cairns with additional travel to Uluru and Sydney. Your feedback is welcome, as are any recommendations for lodging in Cairns.
  4. Our story about being late back to a bus. We were in Cartagena Columbia on a HAL tour, with multiple stops. Tour guide gave out white labels with his name on it and asked us to wear them during the tour. We typically are back early to the bus. First stop: back early. Second stop- we were outside of a cathedral- remained in the plaza, surrounded by merchants and others seeking money, and we were carefully watching the guide- maybe no more than 20 feet away from him. Then we could not see the guide, and multiple groups were in motion. Long story short: We were desperately trying to find our group. Very lost for about 20 minutes. The other guides in the area helped us (we were so obviously lost) and contacted our guide who was able to find us and direct us back to the bus. The labels on our shirts were lifesavers! We did the "walk of shame" on the bus, but everyone was kind. We were so relieved to not be left behind in Cartagena.
  5. We received the bronze medallion in our stateroom at the end of our last cruise in September. No ceremony. They were a surprise to us, and we had a good time trying to figure out where and when we should wear them. Do people ever wear them on board? How do those who have them use them?
  6. We cruised on the "beautiful and elegant" Oosterdam (as the captain announced every day) in February this year. One of my favorite memories was standing in my cabin and having my husband spot wildlife from the door to the veranda. We kept running in and out on the balcony with our binoculars. I'm so glad we had a balcony! I echo the comments of everyone that it is an unforgettable place to visit because of the vistas, the ocean and the wildlife. The trip we took had 4 enrichment speakers and that was wonderful as well. My husband is prone to seasickness so we booked a mid ship cabin on deck 5 and that helped a lot on the one day we had rough seas. Our cruise had the Drake "lake" but we had to miss the Falkland Islands because of sea conditions.
  7. I also agree that I have learned so much and continue to learn from those who have traveled to a variety of places and help us to figure out what to see, where to stay and how to get there!
  8. We will be arriving in Auckland several days pre-cruise and I'm investigating places to visit. I'm intrigued by the Hamilton gardens, and cannot seem to find a tour out of Auckland. My husband does not wish to try driving "on the other side of the road". We are willing to try public transport. I see that there is a train that one may take out of Auckland to Hamilton, but it looks as if there is at least one transfer or taxi ride to travel from the train station to the gardens, and I can't tell what is involved in those transfers, or if taxis are easily available? Also, I cannot tell if round trip on the train is possible on the same day after allowing several hours to visit the gardens. I also see there is a bus from Auckland, but I'm not certain about the transfers from the Auckland bus to the local bus to the gardens. The train ride sounds fun, and I would be willing to ride a train to Hamilton and take a return trip on a bus. Hoping some of you might have some suggestions for us. Thank you in advance!
  9. We had the best whale watching experience in our lives at Icy Strait Point. Saw many, many pods of whales "bubble netting". I'd had concerns about visibility at dusk, but that did not end up being an issue. Also saw many salmon jumping out of the ocean. Hope you have a wonderful visit!
  10. Thank you so much for your reporting. We will join the ship on Wed and it is so helpful to learn of your experiences. Safe travels home
  11. @Gail & Marty sailing away Thank you for your post. We join you in a little more than 2 weeks for our first back to back cruise on the NS. This great report helps build our excitement for this trip! I encourage you to keep the comments coming.
  12. @Nebr.cruiser@TV Dad I'm reading this post in August 2023 and planning a trip at the end of our cruise in Sydney with approximately the same travel "to do" list. I was wondering if you could share what you ultimately chose to do, and how you found the experiences.
  13. We sailed through the original locks to the halfway point, then took a bus ride to to join a smaller ship to transit the remaining locks to Panama city. From there we rode a bus back to meet the ship in Colon. It was enjoyable to see the entire canal and I endorse @LLRS11 suggestion to read The Path Between the Seas. I felt it added tremendously to the experience. I hope you enjoy your trip.It has been one of the highlights of our travel experiences.
  14. Thank you so much for all of the above and the insider tip about the floral clock! I've included a link in case anyone else would like a view of the clock designed for 2023. https://theedinburghreporter.co.uk/2023/07/the-floral-clock-commemorates-100-years-of-the-flying-scotsman/
  15. We will be visiting Edinburgh on August 25, 2023 via the cruise port in South Queensferry. Last year we had a stop in Edinburgh, took the Lothian X99 and then used the HOHO to see the town and to supplement our walking around town. What a wonderful city, and too much to see in one day! This year I'd like to visit the National Gallery, the Portrait Gallery, the Botanical Gardens and Holyrood Palace. If I read correctly the fair we pay for the Lothian bus return fare "DAY ticket" could be used to catch buses in the city. We enjoyed the HOHO and could certainly ride it again for transport in the city. My concern is about the volume of visitors in Edinburgh and wondering if it would be best to try to use the Lothian app to navigate in the city, versus potentially long waits at the stops for the HOHOs. Thank you for your assistance with this.
  16. We used International Friends last year for a transfer from London to the cruise port at Southampton which included a stop at Stonehenge. We were very pleased with their service.
  17. We started using the type of tags posted by Oakrigger and Haljo 1935 two cruises ago. It has made this part of travel so much easier, and they are quite sturdy.
  18. Last summer we stayed at the Resident Victoria and were pleased with the stay, especially as there was air conditioning. A few blocks walk to the tube station, which had a small grocery adjacent to the station. There was a (very) small space with sink, coffee and hot water maker, fridge. Several good restaurants within a few blocks walk as well.
  19. Thank you for your cruise review! My husband is also subject to motion sickness. We started booking cabins in midship (from both top to bottom and bow to aft). It's made a tremendous difference in his experience. He also wears the acupressure bands which helps as well.
  20. We cruised on the Oosterdam in February of this year. I absolutely recommend getting a cabin with a verandah. We saw a lot of penguins and whales from our verandah and those were some of the highlights from the trip. I never tired of looking at the ice and how the water changed as we traveled from SA through the Antarctic peninsula and then viewing the Chilean Fjords. It was a wonderful trip. One recommendation from someone on the Antarctic section of these boards was to invest in a good pair of binoculars. We did, and we used (and shared them) with others on the trip when out on deck.
  21. Hoping you will continue to report on your trip! We are considering a 28 day cruise to Japan in 2025 (twice around the island) on HAL and your reporting is extremely helpful in trying to think about planning, pre and post cruise travel, and your independent and HAL shore excursions. We have not had much opportunity to try Japanese food and are also enjoying the reports about what to eat in each locale. Thank you.
  22. Just got off the Oosterdam- and several of the waiters used the crumb catcher! I like the seeded rolls and the seeds always seem to shed...
  23. We will travel on the n statendam in 2024 and booked cabin 6075 which has a verandah . We’re wondering if there is a small sofa or what the seating is like in the cabin. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  24. Thank you everyone for this enjoyable thread- and that it ended with a happy reunion with the luggage. Thinking I'll now use the duct tape that has movie popcorn as the image on our bags to aid us in locating our bags more easily on the carousel.
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