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Everything posted by slidergirl

  1. The flight portion of HAL buys bulk fares and once they have them they can split them into one ways. That's why you are getting a deal Are you flying AMS-SLC-<wyoming>? Did you get the nonstop AMS-SLC on Delta or KLM? Or are you making a stop so you end up with 2 connections if you go onward from SLC hoe. Are you sure you couldn't select a seat because you hadn't paid yet or is it because you were sold a Basic Economy ticket where you don't get a seat until you get to the airport (hello middle seat). Curious about it,
  2. Ever visit a National Park or National Monument or National Historic Monument? Everyone who wants to access may do so AFTER paying a fee to help maintain and preserve. Ever been to a museum? Everyone who wants to access may do so AFTER paying a fee to help maintain and preserve. Not sure what "Antelop Valley" or "Horshoe bend" you are referring to. If it is Antelope Canyon in Arizona, it is on Native American land and they do charge for entrance. They do this to preserve AND to be sure they know everyone who is in the canyon due to the possibility of flash flooding. Like Bear Ears National Monument - a sacred place to the Native American tribes in Northern Arizona/Southern Utah. It was preserved by joint agreement of the tribes and the government. But, oil, gas, and mining interests paid lobbyists to get the current regime to decimate Bear Ears and open up the area to mining and fracking. Another beautiful place where the common man could go to but will now be destroyed for monetary game. I do not mind if I have to pay a fee to enter any area. I'll even drop some money in the boxes at a church that I visit - I am grateful that I am allowed to visit and will do a little to help maintain. As for doing a cruise or not doing a cruise that does Venice - sure, you are just one person and someone will take the cabin. But, everyone has to make a conscious choice. If everyone says "well, it's just me" and doesn't do anything, nothing happens.
  3. From one of the earlier posts: "...very much doubt your "story" blocking your view..." One of my seasonal Butlers from my last hotel came from Venice to learn from our Lead Butler so he could teach the new Butlers going in to the new hotel in Venice 5 years ago. He told us he couldn't live within Venice because rents were insanely high and more and more absentee owners were putting their places into VRBO/AirBnB instead of renting to locals. He had to live on the Mainland and have a long commute to/from the hotel on one of the islands. Most of the people he had to work with had to do the same. Typical of many resort locations around the world - the people who work in the hotels, restaurants, venues, teachers, firemen, police, etc. cannot live where they work.
  4. When I first saw the title, I thought "what in blazes is a cruise shirt?" Just like I always ask "what is a sundress?" Now I see it meant those matching kitchy T-shirts that I see groups wearing around. Not for me. I rarely buy something specific just for a cruise. It has to be multi-purpose and something that I'll wear "in real life." If I wouldn't wear it out in town, I wouldn't buy it for a cruise. I do wear T-shirts around town - we're a casual mountain town. Some are plain, some have messages on them. My current ones are one with a picture of Smokey Bear on it with paw raised, saying "Resist" (great to wear camping and to National Parks to show support for our US Park Service workers) and one that says "We Should All Care" (a counterpoint to to the "I Really Don't Care" jacket Mrs. Trump wore to visit the US Border). And then, it's plain but colorful T-shirts. And, the plain T-shirts do triple duty as shirts under my suit jackets for work, at home for daily wear, and out on vacation.
  5. Yes, I hopped on the DevaCurl thing for awhile, and the Bumble & Bumble and other shampoo/conditioners for curly hair. It didn't seem to do anything special with my hair over any of my Lush stuff. Plus, since the Lush shampoo is solid (as is a few of their conditioners), I can just toss it in my bag and not have to have space for it in my Kippie Bag.
  6. I did not say it completely ruined my experience. I said I wasn't thrilled at that point. I don't care that "thousands" got to enjoy the trip into the Canal. I got the same trip and more using the public transportation. Yes, I know demand is up as more of the world's population has gained the means and access to travel. Not sure what you mean by the "far richer" and "WEIRD" comment was about. If one wants to visit some places, one must pony up and pay. US and Canadian National Parks, Egyptian antiquity sites, Petra - I don't see any reason that Venice shouldn't charge and limit access.
  7. Hey, it's a multi-purpose building - Small hill ski jumps for training ("small hill" is the K90 jump, "large hill" is the K120 jump). But, the outrun is a b!tch... 🤣
  8. Why book the HAL hotel and have to use a shuttle to the ship? There are several hotel right at the cruise terminal. Springhill Suites, the Bayside, and others are all popular with cruisers out of San Diego. Look at the West Coast departure threads and you'll find them. With those hotels, you just walk across the street to the terminal. If you even took the Amtrak from Los Angeles to San Diego - the train station is right there, also.
  9. Thank you for calling me a liar yet again. I did not get any photos, sorry. I was not going anyplace specific that day, just wandering around. I didn't wait in line anywhere, book a private tour or excursion, I didn't do a gondola, but used the traghetto to cross the canals a few times. Spent a wonderful time with an old woman who saw me looking at Murano beads and jewelry in her shop window (it was closed for lunch), invited me in and we talked about beads (I make jewelry), using some books she had and showing me pieces (I don't speak Italian, she didn't speak English, but we "knew" what we were saying) over a cup of espresso. Found some good cheap places to eat over by the University. Wondered the streets at night, after the cruisers and daytrippers left. It was a totally different atmosphere. Oh, I was down at Cocoa Beach in May. Went down to Port Canaveral to maybe have dinner at a new restaurant there. The Harmony of the Seas was docked - I found it rather disgusting. Far too large and carries too many people to let loose on a small place at once, IMHO.
  10. Thank you so much for calling me a liar... I was not in Venice for a day, like a common cruiser or day tripper. I was there on vacation, spending money multiple days, seeking out quiet passages, getting lost, not rushing to see things to check off my list. I vividly remember being in a passageway, walking down toward the Canal, across from Chiesa di San Gregorio Maggiore, As that ship passed by, it blocked out any view and cast a shadow. I don't care if it was for a minute or two or all day long - it was a major distraction. There is no such thing as a 'beautiful' ship when it is ruining a great old city.
  11. I say "bravo". I wasn't thrilled when my view on a sunny day was blotted out by a huge Princess ship coming up the Canal. I was there on vacation and not part of the hoard from the cruise ships. Day trippers, including cruisers, should be willing to pay the 10EU entry fee to help preserve the city. The Cinque Terre villages are also going to institute a cap on the number of daytrippers/cruisers. They are also being overrun by people. Places are starting to realize that all those tourists aren't helping - there was a study a couple of years ago that showed daytrippers/cruisers spend less per capita per day than those who spend more than a day, but on the whole contribute more to the garbage than those who stay longer. Capri has banned single-use plastic bottles and plastic shopping bags - they have so much garbage from tourists that it is costing too much money to barge out the garbage to the mainland.
  12. It's all about the Benjamins... HAL is a for-profit company, not a customer relations company. If someone leaves, there is always someone waiting in the wings to take the place.
  13. Bravo! I still remember standing in a walkway on a sunny day. All of a sudden, it grew dark and the sun was blotted out - it was a cruise ship going up the Canal. People will whine and say they will miss their chance to sail in the Canal and now they have to travel a little further to spend their few hours in Venice. Too bad. It is all worth it to try to save Venice from further destruction.
  14. Depending on their age, it is difficult to get a job on land in their country (Indonesia for sure). One of my workers a few years ago was a middle-age man from Indonesia. He said he has to go overseas to find seasonal jobs because it is next to impossible to find employment. He worked the full length of a seasonal work visa, go home, come back. I have several Filipino workers now who do the same thing. Some of the bellmen have been doing this for 15 years, they work here and send their money back home. They go home once a year. Yes, they are the ones payed the low hourly wage and rely on tips...
  15. slidergirl


    Sorry you are disappointed. I like it. Yes, she mentions a lot of those restaurants on her site, but many people don't know about her site. I just know and trust her recommendations. I liked the neighborhood setup. It's not the be-all-end-all, but I like it better than most. Maybe I'm just partial to Katie. I wouldn't just use her book and go - it would be part of my overall research. Oh well. Some go with Steves and are happy, some of us, like you, do a lot of research. the more tools, the better.
  16. I joined the Eurodam for a repo cruise up from San Diego. It was a continuation of a longer cruise. Some weren't happy that this "interloper" got on their ship. Apparently they had gotten familiar with everyone and had their special tables, chairs, etc. and would glare if one of us dared to take an unmarked space that they had been using for their cruise. One woman in a gaggle of women made sure to say loud enough for me to hear "these repo cruisers are just ruining it for us."
  17. Yes, it's on you for saying OK to a short transfer time. Not sure why people always love to bash France. I must be lucky that I haven't had horrific experiences at CDG in my years of transiting there. Even when the terminal collapsed and they had to do temporary arrangements - the connections were difficult, but given the circumstances, OK. When I transited in a wheelchair, I was treated with respect at the checkpoints when I was "frisked", picked up by the para-assist people on time at the Sheraton. Queues are inevitable with international travel, especially at large airports . When I am able-bodied. I always give extra time - lines ANYWHERE in the world can be long (JFK is the worst), and if I happen to get through quickly, I can go to lounge and relax before flights. Next time, alert the authorities that you are transiting and see if they can arrange a lane just for you 😉 And, I don't eat Freedom Fries...
  18. It's an "interesting" 10 mile commute to work. It's the last 2 miles that are bad - a road with a 6% grade, and then a little connector road on the side of the hill that's barely 2 lanes that has a 180 degree turn at the top (where I hit the guardrail). Outside of November-March (with some bad April days), it is a nice drive. Think of driving the road among the Dolomites - beautiful in the Summer, but "interesting" in Winter. I'm called slidergirl for some sports I used to be involved with.
  19. Yeah. After hitting a guardrail (keeping me from going over the edge) one year and doing a "270" on the road the next year, my tires are ahead of a vacation. 4 snow tires for my car is about $700 (with install). Sigh. I'll try for the next sale. I've been spoiled by being able to fly Business the last couple of trips - I'm not sure I could deal with Economy, let alone the Basic Economy middle seat! I haven't been to Rome in January, but I have been to Venice in February...
  20. If you book via a 3rd party like Expedia, booking.com, hotels tonight, etc., you may be paying the 3rd party according to their rules and then they pay the hotel. If you want a refund or cancellation, you have to go through your 3rd party. On Expedia, they have 2 ways of booking - pay the whole thing to Expedia right then or pay the deposit and you pay the rest when you check out of the hotel. (BTW - booking and hotels are all under the Expedia umbrella - when I have to find a missing reservation for either of those, I logon to the Expedia vendor extranet) My hotel always takes at least a 1 night deposit, regardless of how you book. There are a couple of "advance purchase prepay and you lose it" rates, but anyone who reads can see it and not choose it if they want. If you are outside of the cancellation date, if you book with the hotel, you get the deposit back, no problem. If you book 3rd party, you have to deal with them. I don't like those calls - the 3rd party agent is very aggressive when they try to cancel and get deposits back when they've already passed the cancellation deadline. When the agent calls different times on behalf of the same client and uses different reasons to try to cancel without penalty - well, it's fraud and sometimes just funny because they are hoping someone else will answer the phone and fall for their scam...
  21. I wish I could fly into MLB - it's a quick drive up Hwy A1A to my friend's place in Cocoa Beach. But, it is more expensive than MCO, so it is actually more cost-effective to fly to MCO, rent a car and drive. MLB is a small airport, so you won't find any NONSTOP (there is a difference between nonstop and direct) from any distant airports. All the flights I looked at would connect at ATL (I'm a Delta person). Another airport to check is Orlando Sanford. Some of the low-cost carriers fly there.
  22. I was always told to ditch the sunscreen you have at the end of summer and buy a new one next year... I just checked some of the sunscreens I have here in the bathroom. Two (Australian Gold and a Neutrogena Ultra) have no date on them, but two (Kiehl's and Neutrogena Sun Defense) do have expiration dates. So, no guarantees here. I'll keep ditching them.
  23. A quick update on the Woolx T-shirt: After sweating all night with the tank top under the jacket, I went back last night to the Woolx shirt and jacket. Again, I didn't feel like I was sweating, I was rather comfortable. And, again, it didn't stink. The care instructions for the shirt says to not wash it frequently, as that will affect Merino wool. Just hang and let it air out. I'll let it hang today and wear it again tomorrow for a full test. I've got to say, I'm impressed so far. I would tell everyone to go to the website and take a look. They have much more than just the shirts and have things in different weights (my T-shirt is one of the lightweight ones). I'm going to get one of the long sleeved ones, too - the Coral color looks nice.
  24. I chickened out. It wasn't the flight, but my common sense. I can use that money towards a new pair of snow tires for winter. Where I live and work, 4x4 and snow tires (NOT all-seasons) are required. I'll probably end up putting my tent, sleeping bag, kitchen box and stove in the car and take a few days to Grand Staircase/Escalante and Bear Ears National Monuments before it is decimated by mining and fracking,
  25. Unfortunate. But, when a hotel can be guaranteed guests with a massive contract from a cruise line, well, the hotel may not worry too much about renovations. They know they have a "captive" audience. For the 'non-smoking' room issue - that happens everywhere. At my current hotel, we are non-smoking in rooms, out on the patios and balconies, and in our indoor and outdoor public areas. We tell everyone that when they check in and we point it out on the registration card they sign. Yet, when I walk the courtyard at night, I find a couple of cigarette butts and the occasional cigar butt on the ground. It's not difficult to smell smoke in a room once a guest has left, regardless of if it is tobacco or weed. We have to take that room off market for a full day - do a deep clean, bring in the ozinators and air purifiers for a day. We will charge the last guest a $250 cleaning fee. But, some hotels don't care. If you have your rooms filled by a cruise line, their ROI may be enough to not worry about the rest of the time. Westmark hotels as a chain aren't the best thought of, kind of like maybe a step up from your Motel 6 (although I've stayed in some nice renovated 6s before). Honestly, if I were you, I'd not buy the hotel package from HAL the next time and find your own hotels. You'll probably save some money in the process.
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