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Everything posted by knotheadusc

  1. It's been way too long since my last SeaDream and I definitely need a vacation. Going to keep my eye on this and keep squirreling away $$$.
  2. I look forward to seeing how expensive it will be... 😄
  3. Is that Jose in the water? I need to book a cruise just to see him again!
  4. It is as far as I'm concerned.
  5. Adding my vote for the Hilton. We stayed there and found it to be pricey, but lovely. I wouldn't hesitate to stay again. The beach was absolutely gorgeous.
  6. The luxury ships we've been on are SeaDream I and Hebridean Princess. SeaDream has just 112 passengers per vessel and Hebridean Princess tops out at 49 passengers! I can't even imagine getting on a ship with 1,000 people on it now. I never see Hebridean Princess listed among the favorites of luxury cruisers, but I have experienced the most amazing, personalized service on that line. The food is outstanding and all excursions, transfers, and alcoholic beverages are included in the fare. Tipping is also forbidden and when you board the ship, you don't even need to hand over a credit card. Granted, Princess used to be a car ferry, so she's not the newest or fanciest, but luxurious she definitely is. I have no desire to be on a big ship now, even one that is a luxury brand.
  7. Our very first cruise was on RCCL's Vision of the Seas, one of their smallest ships. It was a four night cruise in the Baltics. We had a good time, but my husband didn't like all of the nickel and diming and constant emphasis on tipping. We'd rather pay a lot before we get on the ship than pay less and end up with a big bill as we disembark. We also like smaller ships, especially ones that allow you to sit at your own table, and we like our booze and prefer not to having to worry about signing chits. For the most part, I think we're a lot happier on the luxury lines.
  8. The brand is Palmetto Farms. https://palmettofarms.com You can also purchase them off of Amazon or find them at Whole Foods (according to their Web site).
  9. I live in Germany now and have them sent from a farm in South Carolina. Every Saturday, it's grits time... 30 minutes in salty water equals a taste of home!
  10. Wow... 15 people on a cruise! That is amazing! And I am also amazed about the grits. I remember asking about grits before our first SD cruise and people on this board kind of laughed at me! ;p
  11. It's been awhile since my last SD cruise, but when I was last on, the food was often Asian inspired. They also had a very extensive raw and vegan menu for those who are into that. Breakfast consisted of a variety of options. They put out continental items for early risers, then later, you could order anything from oatmeal to steak and eggs if you wanted to. If there's something you don't like, the staff will take pains to get you something you will. For example, on our last SD cruise, legendary SD1 waiter Jose noticed I didn't like the Morbier cheese course he brought out. I'm not really a cheese fan, especially when they're stinky. Without even asking, he took it upon himself to bring me a lovely salad. I'm by no means a vegan, but I really enjoyed some of the raw and vegan courses they offered. Someone who's been on more recently can tell us if they're still offering that. As for the booze, I thought most of it was decent quality. Granted, I did notice that they traded prosecco for Champagne, but that doesn't bother me. The bartender didn't even mind making me a margarita with fresh lime juice instead of a mixer. There is a piano bar, which I love. There's also a guitar player and sometimes the staff members double as entertainers. Last time we cruised, there was dancing one night. I think on the transatlantic cruises, they often have speakers who give lectures. I have also once seen karaoke on SeaDream, but to be honest, it was the worst karaoke show I've ever seen. I still participated, though, and ended up making friends! I think they also do movies under the stars. As for "shows" like what you'd see on a larger ship, I've never seen that. I think SeaDream's entertainment is mostly people getting to know each other and bonding. Laundry is not free of charge. However, SeaDream is the only place I've ever had laundry done that comes back to me practically giftwrapped. I'm not sure if they still do the pre-booking deal that allows you to book on the ship and lock in a discount. Someone else will have to answer that question. I'd actually love to do a transatlantic cruise. I imagine it would be especially fun on SeaDream, but I realize not everyone can take being on a small ship for that long.
  12. I'll be honest. I love SeaDream, but I do get motion sickness when I cruise with them. It's happened on all three of my SD cruises. I don't think these ships have stabilizers, so when the water is rough, it can be tough going. I usually have pretty good luck with Bonine when motion sickness does strike. Also, I've heard there is a magic shot the ship's doctor can provide. I have not gotten the shot myself, but I have heard that it works very well. The worst motion sickness I ever had was when we did a southern Caribbean trip. It wasn't as bad in Europe or up near Puerto Rico. Other people will surely add their experiences.
  13. If you haven't heard of Hebridean Island Cruises, you may want to give them a look. I've sailed with them four times. Yes, you'll spend a lot of money to get onboard, but everything is taken care of... and I mean EVERYTHING. You don't even have to give them a credit card when you board. I have blogged extensively about a couple of our cruises on Hebridean and the links to my blog are on Hebridean's board, should you be interested in checking it out.
  14. Wow... the pictures of Palau de la Musica are breathtaking! Thank you for sharing!
  15. I recommend SeaDream Yacht Club. It's a small ship, all inclusive, and tends to be focused on younger couples. The staterooms don't have balconies, but it's not hard to find private areas outside. Also, they have Bali beds that allow you to sleep under the stars if you wish. It's been five years since my last SeaDream cruise. I'm jonesing for another one. :hearteyes:
  16. I still use the leather key card holder from our last SeaDream cruise as my actual wallet. :D
  17. I know my husband and I have hung out with solo travelers before, but it seems like the mood of every cruise is different. Sometimes it's not just couples, either, because there are times when large groups book. I know at least a couple of times, there have been family groups cruising with us. You could run into other singles in that case.
  18. I think you're on the wrong board. Hebridean Island Cruises doesn't do crossings.
  19. Your review makes me want to book another SeaDream cruise. It's been too long!
  20. When we went, we spent two days touring the island. We did the Xtreme Circumnav with Adventure Antigua. https://adventureantigua.com And we also did a Segway tour with Segway Antigua, but I'm not sure if they're still operating. Looks like they weren't open in 2017. Both activities were excellent, though. I especially enjoyed the speedboat tour, even though I got a horrible sunburn!
  21. We stayed at the Wind Chimes Inn, which is right by the airport. It's no frills, but the service is very good and you can sit on the balcony and watch planes take off and land. I definitely would not recommend it if you're hoping for great luxury, but for a couple of nights, it's fine. When we were there, they had a regular taxi driver they used who was very dependable and took great care of us. At the time we booked, this place was ranked #1 on Trip Advisor in Antigua (it's now #3 for B&Bs). We decided to stay there because a lot of the places in Antigua required a three night minimum stay, which we couldn't do. I also agree that English Harbour is beautiful. If we ever get back to Antigua, I think we'll stay there for a more upscale experience.
  22. I started looking at their offerings. Hebridean lost a great hotel manager to Viking Ocean Cruises.
  23. I look forward to reading about your experiences! One of my favorite Hebridean staffers jumped ship for Viking Ocean Cruises. :D
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