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About tammyjw305

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    Cool Cruiser

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    DFW, Texas

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  1. That sounds hopeful. Hopefully, they can resolve the issue during the downtime.
  2. Has anyone heard if the Star has had or has a date to dry dock for its azipod work? Or, is it delayed? Thanks!
  3. Hi, We are scheduled to land EARLY at SJU -- 5:30 am on the day the cruise embarks. We are on the Carnival Fascination at the pier in Old San Juan. From your experience, what is the earliest we can check our luggage with the porters? What other options? We were hoping to store luggage and explore OSJ. It looks like the restaurant that will store luggage does not open until 9am or even 11am on Sunday, when we will there, and that the other luggage storage place closed in 2009. Thanks, Tammy
  4. Great review; thank you for sharing! We are going over Spring Break with our kids (so will be more crowded). Without kids, we just did the Sensation, which looks like an identical twin sister ship, so we should find our way around easily. We seem to share a similar travel philosophy with you, though not as positive as you :). We normally stay the night before the cruise, but only found crazy flights to PR. We land at 5:30 am, luckily from a direct flight, fingers crossed. Our youngest son wanted to swim with Sea Turtles, so we are going to try to see some in Barbaros too. All ports and PR are new for us too, except St. Thomas. Hope you are having a great time on our current cruise (if I read your signature correctly)! Tammy
  5. I'm also curious. I found reviews on TA about seeing sea turtles, but they were all from 2016 -- before the hurricanes. So, I wonder if the sea turtles are still at Honeymoon Beach as well. Tammy
  6. Thanks! We want to do the Eastern Mediterranean now :).
  7. If anyone is looking at the Canary Island and Morocco cruise from Barcelona on the NCL Spirit, I created a review here:
  8. After the tour, we found a grocery store. I was not very comfortable at the grocery store, but husband noted there were not others around. We found dinner for at the hotel since our hotel was not near restaurants and some snacks. Then we were off to pick up our luggage; this went smoothly. We then caught the bus, with our T-10 card, for a long ride to the hotel. With luggage, it is hard to find a seat on the bus; as we progressed down the line to the end, it less and less crowded. Buses have stroller sections; this one had two. We did not get "the look", but there was definitely a "look" for "I have stroller, move it". The ride was about an hour, so longer and slower than the train we took into town. Our hotel was the Barcelona Airport Hotel or BAH. It was nice, though the shower/tub was not functional. It had two sinks, which was nice. We arrived about 4pm. We had a 6am flight, so an early, early morning. So, our dinner, shower, and to bed early. The hotel provided a shuttle, first come, first serve. We did not know how crowded, so we took the 2:40 am shuttle. We were the only ones on and got to the airport quickly. The airport -- Lufthansa desk and security -- did not open until 4am. It was an international flight to us, but not for Lufthansa with our layover in Frankfort. The flight was long -- 11.5 hours with some delay taking off. They cleaned the restrooms mid-flight, which was very helpful. I watched a lot of movies -- finishing Crazy Rich Asians and Ocean's 8 that I started but did not get to finish on the cruise. I'll end here -- a great cruise and lots of great ports! I will try to help with any questions that anyone has.
  9. The bike tour email said to be there 15 mins early. The Fat Tire team was not there that early. When they arrived, they easily found our reservation on their ipad. We divided into groups based on the tour booked. Our tour guide was from Latvia. She had lived in Arkansas and, I believe she said London too. She came to Barcelona on vacation and decided to stay. She has not learned to speak Catalonia, noting enough people speak English. After checking in, we walked to their bike shop to get our bikes, which was down a near alley. Then we were required to walk the bikes in some parts of town -- the rules, so we walked it back into the square where the Costa coffee was. She then began the tour; we learned about Barcelona and introduced ourselves and where we were from. From there, we rode. Barcelona was very impressive with the number of bike lanes, special turn lanes, bike lanes in round-abouts, some one way, some two way, and special bike signal lights. I very, very rarely ride a bike (last in 2001), so I was not good at this. Traffic was scary to me. Husband rides daily for exercise and was very comfortable. I did learn to get the pedal in the right place to start quickly after the light turned. Next stop: Palau de la Música Catalana, English: Palace of Catalan Music, by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. I looked this up, did not remember. Our guide noted it was very beautiful inside and to go there if we had a chance. Next stop - this park: There were some street performers here with large hula hoops. Then a stop in this park: Me pretending that I can ride a bike: A bull fighting ring, turned mall, when bull fighting was outlawed: Our tour also stopped at Sagradia Familia; I posted these pictures early. Here we learned about Gaudi. This originally was not an official church. Gaudi would pray at a different church each day, but he stopped taking care of himself. Then one day he fell in the street, and no one immediately helped him. Finally, someone took him to the hospital, and later he was determined to be Gaudi. After he passed, work continues on the church using some of Gaudi's notes and guessing what he intended. We had time to talk around at this stop too. We ended the tour at restaurant where we could have drinks and food. To get here, we rode on a path on the beach. The food was pricey, so we shared a brownie sundae only. Then we rode back to the shop to end the tour. It was a good, informative tour.
  10. Off the ship, we bought shuttle tickets to town (3 Euros/person, cash) . We had a Fat Tire bike tour and luggage storage booked --- our hotel was close to the airport and far from town. In Barcelona, there were many (seemed like) bike shops (bicycle and motorcycle) that would store luggage. Husband found a cool site -- BagBNB with options, hours, ratings, and bookings. We booked Mattia46 to store 2 bags. It was scheduled to open at 10am. After we walked around some, we were there at 9:45am. Someone had the shop open already, we went in. The shop was in the Rambla neighborhood; very close to our bike tour start. They give you a paper with luggage id; do not lose this. Our tour was at 11am, so more walking around (continuing later).
  11. Now for the saddest part of all cruises -- packing to leave. We did self-assist walk off, so did not have the pressure to finish with everything and get it into the suitcase. The next morning for disembarkation, the ship was scheduled to arrive at 5am. The buffet was a madhouse; we ate outside by the pool though it was cold for a seat. We went back to our room until about 8:15am, all out by 8:30am. We sat in the Champagne Bar until about 9am. They were urging people to disembark; everyone was holding back because Barcelona does not open too early :). We disembarked when everyone else was too. No customs, just luggage claim for those that put theirs out the night before. We used the port wifi to pick better airline seats. We had checked in when we woke up. Some closing ship notes: Loved: the itinerary, great weather, calm seas! Liked: the ship -- small enough for me to not get lost too much. Improvement needed - Needed other venues for breakfast, not available from Blue Lagoon. Room good: Great towel animals every night, ice, and extra hair towel, great location, peaceful hallway hidden in the front. Not loud, despite being over over casino. Room cons: toilet rarely cleaned, so toilet paper hung and took multiple flushes. No sitcom channel, multi-language channels further limited the selection, nothing much on. Room wreaked of perfume when we arrived; the previous occupant must have sprayed down and the closet...right before we arrived. We used a wet one and washcloth-ed forever to finally get to smell better by day 2 or so. We were cleaning all the hangers, afraid to put our clothes on.
  12. Port 6 - Alicante We planned the Castle, Volvo Sea race museum, and old town. From the port, we passed a shopping area on the lower level at the marina that was more hopping when we returned. There was also an elevated walkway with views of the beach and ocean. Past the shopping area: This time, instead of hiking uphill, I talked husband into the elevator. We arrived before 10am and had to wait for it to open. There was only one machine, but someone that knew it well helping. Then a line for the elevator, but not bad. This is the hall in the hill the castle was on to the elevator: View from the top: They had a few inside museum displays. Cool tunnels: The knights: Next guard house picture, now a tradition: After the castle, we walked down. It was through neighborhoods and a maze of stairs. We were not clear if our elevator ticket was round trip or one way. The ticket was 2.70 Euro each. Walking down is okay and was more scenic. We walked through the shopping area on the way back to the ship. The Sea Race Museum is a pier before it curves around where the ship was docked. It was a nice museum and was free. They race a long way, and that is a super-hard sport, yikes!
  13. Then we hiked up the hill to the Castle. Some friends from the ship took a taxi. I believe there was supposed to be a bus too. I do not have many pictures from the Castle... A very different looking squirrel: After we saw the Fortress and Castle, both had an informative guide available in English, we walked back to the ship, stopping to buy a soda and some candy. My only notes this night was that I had a double chocolate roulade dessert that was very good.
  14. A view of the ship from the Fortress: I loved these channels with water flowing around the fortress -- a definite garden design idea for some day: Model of the fortress: There were great views: View of the bull fighting ring:
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