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jpalbny

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About jpalbny

  • Rank
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About Me

  • Location
    Albany, NY
  • Interests
    Adventure travel, wine, food
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Silversea, Oceania, Uniworld
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Wherever I am going next!
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:
    http://jpalbny.smugmug.com, https://www.blogger.com/profile/01909358205846920309

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  1. jpalbny

    Amsterdam to Basel on Uniworld’s S S Antoinette

    We also did this cruise in the reverse direction, but the ship arrives at Amsterdam early in the morning so I'd assume that you could drop off your luggage as early as you want. We only had a half-day after the cruise before flying home so we just walked the city. Plenty to see. The ship docked a few minutes from Centraal Station, so it was convenient to trams, trains, etc. We were back in Amsterdam last year on Silversea, and we had one evening and most of the next day, so we knocked a few other things off the list. We ended up doing a fair amount, though we did not get to the Rijksmuseum. Another time. We did see the Anne Frank House last year, which is a moving experience. Make sure you go online and get your tickets 2 months before your desired visit day. We did, and had no problems getting the time we wanted. We got the earliest tickets (9AM) so we were in the first wave. It's still crowded. Lucerne is beautiful and I'm glad you're going there. We visited as part of a larger independent land-based trip a few years ago. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel near the train station and spent a few hours walking around town taking in the major sights, which you can do fairly quickly as it's compact. The lion is a little bit out of the town center but we found it an easy walk and worth seeing. We actually went up Mt. Pilatus as part of yet another different visit to the area, but it's definitely worth the trip if the weather is cooperating. Mt. Titlis, further out of town (you need to drive or take a bus) is another option. Very different experiences and scenery. Do both if you can.
  2. jpalbny

    A muse on the Muse.

    Love those Hot Rocks shots. We eat there at least once every cruise. Port Chalmers looks very peaceful. On our Australia/NZ cruise in 2008, it was the site of great anxiety for us. It's the only time in all of our travels that we almost missed the ship. We had rented a car and went off on our own that day, as we often do. We visited a bunch of places and had allowed plenty of time to get back, except as I was getting ready to return the rental car I could not find my little wallet with the ship's keycard anywhere! To make matters worse, my driver's license and my ATM card were safely tucked into that little wallet too, so now I'd lost both of them. Ugh. We backtracked to the town of Dunedin and I checked where I'd last seen it, pulling it out of my pocket to use the ATM. Guess I hadn't dropped it there. So we returned the rental car and got a ride back to the port. They grudgingly let us in with only Chris's ID. We were about 3 minutes after sailaway so the ship was looking for us. I guess that helped. And my wallet, with the ship's keycard and my driver's license was waiting for me at the front desk! Turns out that I had dropped it in the parking lot at one of our stops earlier that day. A group from the cruise ship was also visiting and someone had found it and brought it back to the ship for me. What a stroke of dumb luck! Dunedin is a nice-looking town. One of the Neurologists who used to practice in Albany actually went to the Medical School there. Did you tour the place? 😉
  3. I bet they couldn't stop at just one... Afterwards, they would be in the market for a new suitCASE, to hold those new clothes! Be afraid. Sounds like a dangerous place for you. The connoisseur's list might be cheaper.
  4. What a fun trip for you and your family! It's a pleasure to see how much you are enjoying yourselves. Hope the rest of it is just as fun.
  5. Unibok - fantastic! Between Jeff's love of Singapore, and your enthusiasm on this thread, we may have to get there sooner than later. Really enjoying your recap!
  6. jpalbny

    Connoisseur’s Wine List

    Thanks for the good reading over breakfast! Those Dom rosés would go well...
  7. Looking forward to more as well! Haven't been anywhere near here yet but it's getting closer.
  8. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Lois, I haven't been to Union Square Cafe but it certainly looks nice. We don't go to that area much. When we stay in NoMad we usually don't go below 20th. Not as if we are avoiding it but we usually can't get past Eataly without stopping in for wine and/or food. One thing to consider is making sure that your dinner ends in time for you to get to the show. So a restaurant in the Theater District would be more used to the pre-show crowd and would have the timing down to a science. That's why I gave you those places that are a block away. Trying to get dinner at 19th, and making sure it ends in time to catch another cab to 33rd for your show, may make it pressed for time. There is also Aureole in the Theater District; forgot to mention it earlier. It's on the same block as your theater. We ate there about 10 years ago - did a crazy good 10-course tasting menu for one of Chris's special birthdays. That was in a different location but the place has changed locations since then. They are right next to the Bank of America Tower. Have not had a chance to get back there but certainly would based on past experience. Wherever you eat, take a minute to enjoy Bryant Park before or after the show. A beautiful oasis in the middle of Midtown, and close by.
  9. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Oh, the Beekman! Cool. We wandered through the lobby on Thursday with our Aussie fried before we walked the Brooklyn Bridge. Such a nice place. I didn't take a picture for you, sorry. Beautiful is at the Sondheim Theater on 43rd? The Nomad may be one of our favorite restaurants in NYC but it's not one to rush through before a show. It's also about 3/4 mile from your theater. Within a block or two of the theater, there are two very good restaurants which we've eaten in and really enjoyed. DB Bistro Moderne is a more casual version of Daniel Bouloud's signature restaurant, Daniel. We ate there on Thursday and really liked it. Gabriel Kreuther is also nearby and we did a tasting menu there maybe a year or so ago and it was great too. I suspect (but have never tried) that either will do a pre-theater dinner or at a minimum, will accommodate you so that you'd be done in time for your show. Each is easily within walking distance to the Sondheim, a block at most. Look at those two, and their menus, and let me know if that kind of place appeals to you or not. It's always a challenge to recommend something for someone whose tastes you don't know but that's my opening bid, so to speak. 🙂
  10. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Lois, where are you staying again? Limiting it to just one is going to be impossible, but I will try... Made a light dinner after stuffing ourselves silly the past few days. Seared halibut with lemon caper butter sauce over rice. A little avocado to add color. Too bad the wine bottle is empty.
  11. Catching up after a few days away - great stuff here! Congrats again on the free laundry. Enjoy the rest of your trip.
  12. jpalbny

    A muse on the Muse.

    Nice pix, even in the ugly weather. Glad you are enjoying yourselves! Thanks for the picture of our old friend, Oceania Regatta. We have sailed on her in the past (it's been almost 12 years) but our Australia/NZ cruise was on Nautica. And yes, the fiords were cloudy and rainy for us too! We have to bring RachelG next time, I guess... 😉
  13. jpalbny

    Silversea Water Cooler: Welcome! Part Five

    Hi all! Just got home from 3 really busy, active days in New York City. Had some friends from Australia and Canada join us so we played tour guide for the whole time. We ate great food and drank too much wine but all fun. Glad tomorrow is a holiday so we can rest up. Went to a bunch of old favorites and a few places that were new to us so very fun for all of us. But we are tired! Today was the first day with less than 20000 steps. Time for a sip of wine and a soak in the hot tub, I think. A pleasant evening to all!
  14. jpalbny

    A muse on the Muse.

    Seems like we were just there! Enjoy your visit.
  15. jpalbny

    Ushuaia to Cape Town Feb 25th 2019

    Absolutely! Some of our past travel companions and tour guides have become like old friends, and we try to meet up whenever we are in the same part of the world. We were on a big South America trip last month, and halfway through we needed to get from Chile to Argentina. So while planning the trip, we reached out to one of those special tour guides we've used in the past for some ideas. And voila, a private 3-day wine-tasting tour was organized for us, starting with our pickup at the hotel in Santiago and ending at the airport in Mendoza. Our guide was just as delightful as she had been in the past. Hoping to see her again when we are in Santiago this January for our Cloud cruise. Our very first river cruise director has also become a long-time acquaintance, and someone who we keep in touch with frequently. We have met up with her in Germany a few times since our cruise, and we always ask her advice about traveling in that part of the world. And on a more immediate note, we are off to New York tomorrow to meet up with a friend from Australia whom we've cruised and traveled with a couple of times. Travel really does expand much more than just your waistline... The world is full of amazing people, and the more of them you spend time with, the more rich your experience is.
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