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highbridge5

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About highbridge5

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    Cool Cruiser

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    northeast US
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  1. highbridge5

    Bringing Wine On Board- Confused!

    [quote name='Breadman54']By carry on, does it have to be a piece of luggage, or can it be a large shoulder bag (purse or beach bag thingy)?[/quote] Unlike the airlines, if you can carry it on, it is a carry-on. We had 4 or 5 apiece - including a soft-sided collapsable cooler that used to carry our bottles of wine in so they wouldn't get broken and then used to keep drinks etc. cold in our room. We had the steward fill it on the first day and top it off each day. The fridge in the room will keep things cool. If you want anything cold, you need ice. hb5
  2. highbridge5

    Bringing Wine On Board- Confused!

    [quote name='Conradfam13']I don't want to Hi-Jack the thread, but I have a question. Can I take the one bottle of wine AND a 12 pack of soda? Just couldn't see where it said you could or couldn't do both! Thanks J.[/quote] We had 4 adults and 3 kids and two rooms. Carry on: We brought 3 bottles of wine and a box of wine. And 2 twelve packs of soda. It was all distributed between the carry-ons so nothing had an excessive amount of anything. We used duct tape to make handles for two cases of water (larger bottles) to make them easier for the porter to handle and checked them as checked luggage. Everything made it through inspections and to the rooms.
  3. highbridge5

    Wine Cork Screw?

    This is one of my favorite kinds of wine bottle openers because the cork cannot not get broken in half and there are no "bits" of cork to fall into the wine. However, about 50% of the people I have tried to teach how to use this cannot figure it out. You wiggle the two prongs alongside the cork so the prongs are wedged between the bottle and the cork and then slowly turn and pull at the same time. There are instructions on the web if you search for "two prong corkscrew".
  4. highbridge5

    Wine Cork Screw?

    Ask your room steward, he/she will have whatever cork screws would come if you ordered a bottle of wine from room service and ask them for white or red wine glasses, whichever you prefer. We had a cork screw in our room all week and our steward was really good about replacing our used wine glasses with fresh ones. We brought bottles of wine and we got a couple bottles in our deluxe fruit baskets from BV and we brought a box of wine - no corkscrew needed. hb5
  5. highbridge5

    A nice thank you gift for watching the kids?

    I'd leave them with some GC's to cover taking the kids on an outing while you are gone and order a nice flower arrangement to be delivered after you get home. Most of the major movie theater chains have gift certificates. Get them enough so they can take the kids out to a movie and another gift certificate for dinner at a restaurant your kids will all eat at for while you are gone. Everyone loves the dinner and a movie but at $8 or more a pop just for a movie, it is not easy to do with 5 people. As for the flowers -- something they can enjoy for a couple weeks and then never have to dust or find a place to display or worry about expiration dates and/or inactivity fees.... Unless my parents tell me that they really need something, I just assume that "less stuff" is always a better policy -- hence flowers, or fruit basket or Omaha steaks or something, or wine. hb5
  6. Isn't is always a matter of how much your time is worth? It seems the trade-off is between the cost of the passport times however many people are travelling and how willing and able you are to endure the stress and inconvenience of not knowing how long it will take you to get home in the rare chance of an emergency. Also, the time and stress on those who are waiting back home for you. Cruise ship destinations are not like the airport movie where Tom Hanks was stranded in between the arrival gate and customs for months. With the proper ID, a diplomatic office, enough time, and enough phone calls, you can get back to the U.S. from all of the places that cruise ships go. How long it takes and how much inconvenience is involved varies greatly. How many people cruise every year vs. how many have to fly home from a foreign country prior to the end of the cruise? The odds must be microscopic that you will be one of those people. Yet it happens as evidenced by this thread. A passport is going to be $200 when you are all said and done. It is good for 10 years. If you travel out of the country once a year on a closed end cruise, $20 a year is minimal amount to count into the cost of each cruise. But for one cruise for a family of 5, $1000 is a considerable chunk of change to insure against the inconvenience from a situation that is incredibly, very unlikely.
  7. highbridge5

    kids shows on TV? - fascination

    My kids were 4, 6 and 9 on our cruise. We did not bring a DVD player or hand-held video games. I brought my laptop but no movies. If you are bringing a laptop that has a DVD player, bring a couple movies/videos. It'll be easier than hauling a separate DVD player. We had the TV on a lot but I honestly don't remember what was on it. I'm pretty sure that cartoon network was on a lot. And the "map" channel and the news (CNN or CNBC or something like that). I half remember Disney or Nickolodean (sp?) channel - nauseating amounts of Sponge Bob and/or iCarly and Suite Life on deck. Maybe that was some other vacation. My 4 and 6 year olds did not really care for Camp Carnival. They went once but did not want to go a second time. My 9 year old really enjoyed Camp and not having to hang out with the family all the time. My 4 year old was not tall enough for the water slide but loved the mini-golf. I'll ask my kids about the TV - they remember everything - and I'll post back. hb5
  8. highbridge5

    Dolphin Encounter?

    You should go to the Bahama's boards. There is a ton of info there and proabably more relevant than my one-year-old reasearch. A year ago, there were certain days that Blue Lagoon was closed to the public but still ran tours through the cruise ships. If they are closed to the public but have a cruise ship tour, they might allow you to book the dolphin encounter privately but you might not be able to use the beach. In January 2010, the Blue Lagoon encounter through Carnival picked you up right at the pier where the ship was docked. On your own, you had to take a taxi or water taxi to the ferry terminal. At the time, I thought that the convenience of being picked up right there and dropped off right there (or dropped of at the ferry terminal where you could walk to Atlantis) would have been worth any premium they might have charged to book through Carnival. We did the Atlantis dolphin encounter. At the time I booked, the Blue Lagoon excursion was not available to purchase on the Carnival Web site but was available once we got on board. I would have done the Blue Lagoon one if I had known that it was going to be available. hb5
  9. highbridge5

    What did you forget?

    [quote name='jagsfan']Just tell me what OOT stands for. I'm too tired to wrack my brain trying to figure it out. [/quote] Maybe "Out Of Town" or at least that is what Google wants to suggest. (Along with out of time, over ocean transportation (U.S.Marine term), and out of touch...)
  10. highbridge5

    What did you forget?

    We had 3 cabins and I brought a goody bag for each cabin. Of all the stuff I put in each one, we actually used: Battery powered LED light for a nightlight for the bathroom. One of those meant for closet that looked like a button. You press it once and it was "dim" and press it again and it was brighter, press again and it turned off. Took AAA batteries so I brought spare batteries for a 7 night cruise. post it pad and pens for notes to each other and room steward; notes on fun times. large shammy type towel for extracting excess water out of the swimwear so it might be dry by the time we wore it again Someone mentioned lanyards. The nicer ones on the ship will run you at least $5. If you have some from conferences or whatever, bring them. You can get free ones in the casino but they are for "players" which will not include any children in your party and they are not as nice as the ones you'd buy in the gift store. You could also order some "soda coupons" or "drink coupons" from Bon Voyage. It saves you 50 or 75 cents on a soda or house drink since the coupon covers the drink and the tip. Pointless if you plan on buying the soda card but useful if you are buying ala carte. Misc assortment of ziploc bags - to bring snacks from the lido to your room, to pack wet things in to take home, bags for the endless assortment of sandy seashells and other treasures the kids (and/or adults) in your group will pick up on the beach. Small ziploc of first aid stuff - a few bandaids and some antibiotic ointment and an antisceptic wipe of some kind (alcohol). (Blisters from walking in new shoes, scrapes from the rough surface of the pool.) A couple travel size towels in individual pouches (like WetOnes) and a couple of the "Shout on the go" type things (Tide wipes). a small supply of paper goods - paper plates, plastic ware. I ordered deluxe baskets (cheese and fruit and crackers) from BV and we used the plates etc. to eat these without a mess Bring some seasickness medicine of some sort. You'll pay about $1 per pill to get it on the ship (a pkg of 8 pills was 7.95 or something).
  11. highbridge5

    bon voyage liquor - mixers???

    Somewhere on CC, I thought I read something about being able to order a "bar setup" from room service. I guess if you were entertaining in your cabin with your BV items, you can order the mixers and glasses etc. to go with it. Also, have your room steward provide you with the right glassware. Scotch is just better in a rocks glass and red wine in a red wine glass and not the glass the give you to brush your teeth with... Any glassware they have a the bar they can probably get you for your room. hb5
  12. highbridge5

    Ribs or Flat Iron Steak First Night?

    If you are planning a meal at the steakhouse, don't bother with the flat iron steak in the MDR. The steak house has a far superior steak. I was not impressed by the ribs in the MDR but they were better than what you might get at Chili's or Outback or Lonestar or some other chain.
  13. highbridge5

    Pride out of Baltimore

    [quote name='cschultz']While I think it is kind of crazy to cruise out of Baltimore in February, I would not say that you are an idiot for choosing this cruise. You are from PA, as I am, so you have the benefit of sailing from a port close to home. The pride is an older ship, but a beautiful one. I have been on two cruises on the Pride, and have my third scheduled for May. I love this ship, and I love the convenience of sailing from a port within driving distance. If I were to choose a cruise in February though, I would fly to Florida. I don't want to pay for a cruise where it is too cold to be on the balcony for 2 or 3 days of a 7 day cruise.[/quote] Our first and only cruise was on the Pride, in mid-January (just after the enormous storm). It was raining when we left and raining when we got back. It was dark at sail-away and too wet to be outside anyway. I had no expectations to speak of and I thought that it had everything that I required in a vacation. My kids enjoyed all the stuff that they did and enjoyed exploring what the ship had to offer, I enjoyed unpacking only once and not having to deal with logistics 24-7. We all enjoyed not having to figure out where to park and find our maps to locate our next destination and constantly be having to negotiate about whether to go to Denny's or to McDonalds depending on how flush we were feeling at the moment. The food was consistently better than we would have found on our usual road-trip vacations. Especially in the MDR. The coldness of being on deck or balcony is an issue. As is the potential for rough seas as you go around Cape Hattaras and the NC coast. Any vacation you take from the northeast in winter has winter weather to consider - by car, plane or ship. However, you can't pick a more comfortable time to be in Florida and the bahamas -- 80 and breezy, not 100 degrees and 90% humidity. I think that your experience will be shaped by what you want and what you expect. We had no preconcieved notions about anything and so, in general, were not disappointed. The adults in my family are used to "going and doing" so 3 days at sea was more idle time than they would have liked. I think that you will find that the nice weather at your ports of call will more than make up for anything else that you might not enjoy from sailing in the winter from Baltimore.
  14. highbridge5

    Pride-Is the pool really covered?

    We left on Jan 17th so it was cold when we left. The pool with the retractable roof was closed the first evening but the pool was open for use by midday on Monday. The pool remained open for use until we encountered winds and rough seas on Friday night/Saturday morning. The roof was retracted at or near or right after Port Canaveral but was closed again by Friday night or Saturday morning. hb5
  15. highbridge5

    Why would anyone get the Passport CARD?

    No one has pointed out that the passport card is only good for land travel between the US and Canada and the US and Mexico. If you miss your ship in a port in Mexico or Bermuda or the Bahamas, you will not be getting on an airplane with the passport card - at least not one destined for the US and maybe not one going to your next port of call. If you have some kind of medical emergency that requires you to take a plane instead of the ship to get back to the U.S., you'd have to wait to get an emergency passport at the nearest embassy. (Which would be easier with a passport card in hand but you'd still have some delay.) The card costs less when you get it at the same time as your passport book. If you live close enough to drive to Canada or Mexico, the card is convenient. Otherwise, I am not sure why you'd need one.
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