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About schagpal

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  1. Loved your review. Laughed that I don’t have to make any notes for our trip, just send my friends to your journal. Glad your family visit worked out. Happy cruising and hopefully our paths will cross. R&M
  2. Loving your pre-cruise review. The Jewel cruise, weather, and ports were awesome and I agree anyone considering the ship and/or itinerary shouldn’t hesitate. Can’t wait to see your pictures and review on that portion of the trip. We are still unpacking and trying to get caught up on life! (We sat with you on the bus to Chania.) Ron
  3. THANKS 138east. Your advice was followed. Last month, after driving into the area and quick stop at EWR we stayed at La Quinta Meadowlands for 2 nights. Worked out perfect. Parked the car out front on arrival and didn't touch it for 2 days. Road the bus to/from NYC at a few bucks each (sr rate) - wow talk about convenient. Ride back each night after shows was quick/convenient. Hotel quality is more than "tired" but for what we wanted/expected it was fine. Mall 1 block away and shops across street/around corner. Thanks again, Ron
  4. Having read many posts and opinions we settled on Fremantle and really enjoyed our experience. Stayed at the Hougomount (boutique type) and loved the location. Took Uber from airport in and then an Uber to the cruise ship - both were easy (assuming you have cell service). Just walking around the town is nice - full of coffee joints and pubs - how can you go wrong! We did not opt to spend time up in Perth but it would have been easy via the train service. For us it was a 2 night stay and a fair amount of walking around which helped battle the jet lag.
  5. DUNEDIN: We had a fantastic time on our port call in Dunedin this past March. I arranged a private tour "Royal Peninsula" with Back to Nature for 5 couples. I worked with the owner Chris Roberts. We were met at the cruise terminal and saw highlights of Dunedin, visited Larnach Castle, visited Penguin Reserve, walked a beautiful beach, drove throughout the Otago Peninsula, saw the famed Royal Albatross. All in all everyone thought it was an excellent experience and felt it was worth doing. If were doing this all over would do it exactly the same. PICTON: We did a private Marlborough Wine Tasting tour with Na Clachan Wine Tours this past March. I worked with Wendy in making all the advance arrangements. Helen did the tour itself and was fantastic in her explanations, descriptions and timing. The tour is customized to the # of wineries you can/want to visit. We picked Saint Clair (big operation), Spy Valley (great views, awesome story, some good tasting), Wairau River (fantastic lunch), and Johannesof (very small, unique). Having done a number of wine tours before, we thought Wendy & Helen really know what they are doing and do everything they can to make your experience one you enjoy. I would re-book them if I am ever back there. We had close friends do both of these tours a year earlier with the exact same experience. For those interested in the "how to", I booked the tours myself and then recruited other couples through the cruise critic thread for our cruise. There were far more folks interested in each of the tours than we had room for. Everyone sent in checks to me before departure. Had a get-together for sail away to meet each other - which is nice as you then know other folks right away for the rest of the cruise. The morning of each tour we gathered at a lounge and exited the ship together.
  6. Awesome. You are great. Will look into now. Ron
  7. Party A is 1. Party 2 is 2. Yes can fit all to drive to port. Budget is flexible based upon what makes most sense. Thanks
  8. Question for 138 East Looking for your suggestions regarding airport/hotel given these plans for Oct 18 cruise out of Cape Liberty Party A flying in Tues Oct 16 and flying out Sat Oct 27. Will Uber/Taxi to/from airport. Party B driving in from PA same day. Will drive home Sat Oct 27. Want to visit NYC for Broadway play evening Oct 16 and do NBC/911 tours Oct 17. Budget is flexible. Not opposed to parking at cruise terminal if best logistics. Spent time trying to browse thread but thought I'd just go to the expert...best combo of airport to use for Party A and most convenient hotel for plans. Thanks for your suggestions. Ron
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