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About PandaBear62

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  1. We will be in Lourdes (France), Amsterdam and a day in Hopsten, Germany (near Rheine). Our cruise ports are Skoldjen, Bergen, Eidfjord and Alesund.
  2. I will consider that! I do wear capris. I will keep that suggestion for my list. We plan and try to check weather right before we leave and adjust as appropriate.
  3. My mom and I booked a cruise under the Explore 4 and received the free drink package. Recently, we added my sister as a third person to the room. Will she have to purchase the drink package? She'd like to just buy the soda package and pay for any drinks she has (she's not a big drinker) Has anyone experienced this scenario? Thanks.
  4. I'm sailing in July so love seeing everything you've posted. If you have a chance, can you take a picture of any of the drink menus, especially wine? I'd love to see what they have. We have the drink package, so plan to indulge a little!
  5. My apologies, I guess I was reading about the Conquest before I posted. Yes, we were on the Triumph. I tried to delete the original post, but was unable to do so. I'll start another post and let this one "die".
  6. Definitely not bringing 2 sweatshirts. Sorry I didn't make that clear. Just bringing one. I was thinking of getting a cheap one from Goodwill, etc, so if I want to leave it behind I can, rather than a nice one from home. I on;y wear zipper fleece sweatshirts, so they get pricey.
  7. Thanks, I do plan to purchase a rain jacket, but in Ketchikan. I want it as a souvenir. Not quite sure what a neck gaiter is. I was planning on using the pashmina as a scarf. Would I need both?
  8. Thanks, I packed the windbreaker but plan to purchase a rain jacket in Ketchikan (our first stop). I am thinking maybe a pair of Keen shoes rather than the Sketchers. I will add a hat. I dont' tend to like them and prefer a pashmina over my head, but I think I will pack one just in case.
  9. I began planning our trip in fall 2018. I thought a trip to New Orleans would be fun. But after enjoying a cruise in September 2018, I decided to look into cruises sailing out of New Orleans We had a specific week to travel, as I work in education and our school district has “ski week” off every year. I haven’t skied in years, but appreciate the time off! I booked a 5 night cruise on the Carnival Triumph. This is the 4th cruise I’ve taken since summer 2013 and the third in the last 14 months. My husband and I are very close to being empty nesters (at least financially). We just paid what we are hoping is our last tuition payment for youngest ds. So we have been doing a lot more traveling in the last year. When I sailed in 2013, it was a ladies trip and my mom really wanted a balcony. We were upgraded to a mini suite, It was so amazing and wonderful. But, when we have sailed since then, I seem to book inside cabins. I just haven’t been able to justify the expense of balconies. Every time I look at prices, I see the difference and think, “the difference could be another trip”, or “the difference will pay for our other expenses (shore excursions, alcohol, airfare)” So, for this cruise we booked an inside cabin for $339 each (taxes were $76 and pre-paid gratuities $65). We’re flying in the night before (from the West Coast) and then spending 2 days after the cruise exploring New Orleans. My planning ahead for this trip consisted of port excursions, where to stay in New Orleans pre and post cruise as well as what to do in New Orleans. And because I am super obsessive about packing, planning my wardrobe, which includes bags and shoes! I tend to be a little obsessed with packing. I am also someone who packs light. I generally only do carry on. The bags I am taking for this trip are these: Travelpro WalkAbout 2 Spinner 21” Expandable Spinner . It’s dimensions are 21” x 14” x 9.5 “ (45.5”). This is actually smaller than allowed for Southwest, which allows a bag to to 10 x 16 x 24 inches. My under the seat bag is a Kipling Sasha. It’s dimensions are 15 3/4" x 11 1/4" x 8 1/4"in. I am also packing two bags. One is a Coach travel weekend bag. (18"L x 12"W x 7"H). This is a great tote, since it folds into a pocket. When you take it out of the pocket, the pocket itself goes inside the bag and attaches as a zippered pocket. If I end up coming home with too many extras (not likely, but I prefer to be prepared), I will ship through my roller bag and use this to carry on. The other bag is a ChicoBag Sidekick Crossbody Reusable Shopping Tote/Compact Grocery Bag. It rolls up very small and is great for carrying “extras” as needed when off the ship, around the ship, etc.. My packing is pretty simple. One nice cocktail dress for the cruise elegant night, a nice but more casual second dress, jeans for travel, 2 pairs of slacks and 2 pairs of capris, and a variety of blouses and nicer t-shirts. Two lightweight sweaters and a heavier cardigan, plus one heavier Goretex rain jacket for our time in New Orleans. One bathing suit and cover up. I’m easily able to limit clothes…..what I love is shoes! On February 4th, I received an email for an upgrade. I called and ended up accepting it, which was $250 for a balcony. This made a balcony room $464 per person. I decided it would be a nice surprise for my husband. He likes to get up earlier than me and I think he’ll enjoy slipping out on the balcony. It was probably too much to pay, and after agreeing, I did have a little “buyers remorse”. But, what’s done is done. I realized I should start noting all the prices for cruise when I book, so if I’m offered an upgrade again, that information can help me decide if it’s a good choice or not. We also had multiple discussions regarding the beverage package. We decided to bring two bottles of wine from home to bring to dinner (we like to wine taste and are members at two wineries) and just see what happened without the package. This was a decision I really agonized over, because I loved the Alchemy bar on our last cruise (a four day cruise on the Inspiration) and we spent a lot of time there. I knew I’d be really irritated if we spent more on drinks than the package cost. We also finalized our plans for New Orleans hotels before and after the cruise. I originally booked the Springhill Suites, which is quite close to the cruise terminal, for $368 (includes tax). With a taxi ride to the area, I was looking at a bit over $400 for that first night. I started considering options and ended up booking a night at the New Orleans Marriott Metairie at Lakeway and renting a car. That price was just a little under $200. We’ll drop the car off at the Hilton on Poydras. For our two nights after the cruise, we ended up at the Renaissance on Common Street, quite close to Canal. Not our first choice, but our best option when we weighed cost and convenience ($428 for two nights). My mom dropped us at the airport and we took off for New Orleans. Both flights were delayed a bit, but we ultimately landed close to our original time. Lots of turbulence, which I didn’t like! Our first flight to Vegas had no beverage service due to turbulence. Our second flight was better, but I was still definitely happy when we were on the ground. Luggage took forever at the airport but we eventually had it and picked up our car and headed to the hotel.
  10. I am planning ahead for our Alaskan cruise in June. We have a couple of days in Vancouver, a week on the cruise and then a cruise tour for 4 days. Them the following month, I have a week long Norwegian Fjord cruise with an additional week in Europe. I'm assuming I can pack pretty similarly for both. I'd like to pack in a rolling carryon and tote. My bags are: WalkAbout 2 Spinner 21” Expandable Spinner (by Travel Pro). Dimensions are 21” x 14” x 9.5 “ Sasha Kipling tote Dimensions are 15 3/4" x 11 1/4" x 8 1/4"in. This is what I'm thinking of bringing: Dark maroon lace dress (dressy): for both formal nights. I'm thinking I could wear with a black pashmina one night and a floral kimono style sheer wrap the other. Bottoms: black ponte knit slacks (Anne Klein slim ankle) black rayon/nylon pants with a black on black pattern (Alfani skinny leg) black cotton/lycra straight leg pants (almost has a small "waffle" texture) black leggings Tops: 4"nice" patterned t-shirts (Talbots, Charter Club, Chico's) 1 "nice" white t-shirt (Michael Kors) 2 "blouse like" shirts 2 sweater like tunics Outerwear: 1 lightweight Loft black cardigan sweater 1 zip up sweatshirt (from Goodwill/something used) 1 packable windbreaker Shoes: 1 pair of black ankle boots 1 pair black flats (or low heels) 1 pair black slip on shoes (Sketchers) 1 pair of flip flops (we plan to book the Enclave) Misc: 1 swimming suit 4-5 pairs underwear 2-3 bras 4 pairs merino wool socks 2 pairs trouser socks 2-3 camisole/undershirts 2 pairs tights (one taupe, 1 black) 1 pashmina 1 scarf 1-2 pairs of gloves Dh and I will probably do a load or two of laundry. I'm also fine doing a little hand laundry. I'm confident this will fit in the roller bag. Whats nice is I have packed in carry-ons before, but have lost about 50 pounds over the last year, so it's so much easier with smaller clothes (size 16/18 and XL vs 22/24 and 3X) The 3 pairs of pants all look nice, but are very comfortable. I figure I'll wear the t-shirts during the day and on excursions and the nicer blouse like shirts at dinner. The tunics are nice with the leggings......they're almost more like a short dress. I plan to purchase a coat/jacket in Ketchikan and leave the sweatshirt in Alaska when we leave if I need the space. (I plan to buy a sweatshirt from Goodwill, or somewhere similar) Our excursions are low key. A whale watch & trip to Mendenhall Glacier (Juneau), renting a car and visiting a totem park and other sites in Ketchikan and a van tour to Emerald Lake in Skagway (Dyea Dave) Does my packing list sound okay? Thanks for any input.
  11. Me too.....We're sailing June 8th and chose a ship based on when it worked in our schedule. We've never been to Alaska, so it should be interesting.
  12. Hello, What is the expectation for tipping guides and bus drivers on tours run by the cruise ship company? Specifically in Skjolden and Eidfjord? I know the currency is kroner. I hadn't planned on exchanging money, assuming I could use my credit card, but I know tips are different. Can anyone please share their experiences and knowledge? Thanks.
  13. This is a discussion my dh and I were just having. We sail next week. My original plan was to carry on our two bottles of wine (to be used in dining room) plus pay as we go. But out when I stopped and started figuring the drinks we might have, we were basically almost at the cost of the package. So while it seems like such a large amount to spend, I am thinking it’s a better deal. I’m figuring that 2 coffee drinks each, a soda or two, a mimosa with breakfast, a beer or two in the afternoon, before dinner drink at Alchemy, wine with dinner and a drink at a show in the evening-that make some the package worth it. Now, do I drink like this at home? Not even close. But we’re on vacation and like to splurge.
  14. Cool! I am trying to decide where we will go. Still haven't decided!
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