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About Bimmer09

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago, via NJ, via Miami, via London, via Northern Ireland
  • Interests
    Opera, theater, ships,driving in Germany, all things French including fries,drums,sailing.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Any line not featuring Joe Farcus "designs"
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska and hopefully the Baltic

Recent Profile Visitors

3,775 profile views
  1. Having a 9 day cruise as our longest so far (Azamara) I can surmise that a cruise lasting over a month would wear us down a bit and be unkind to our cat, Snowy. There's no way a cat knows you are coming back when you leave with suitcases. That's one consideration until we are cat-less. From our own standpoint or my own I should say I feel that I would get so into the rhythm of ship-life that returning to work after a month away would really be hard and as long as I have a job not even feasible to take that amount of time off. There's retirement ahead and reduced income but I think I would rather take six 7 day cruises or four 10 day than one 42 day cruise on the same ship. A World cruise is not even something we dream of. There are parts of the world we are happy to avoid and have no interest in and parts we could go back to time and time again, by ship or by air/car as we love them so much. Mainly Western USA and Western Europe. I agree that variety in cruise lines is a factor for the avid cruiser. We love Princess foremost but are happy to have added Celebrity and Azamara to the list. HAL may well be next, or Viking. There's a number of lines I have no interest in sailing but those two seem like a good fit. I will certainly keep your endorsement of HAL in my mind when I consider them. My thanks for that! Norris
  2. MJ, thank you for the response and for re-reading our Star Princess adventure! I have been surfing various boards looking for photo reviews and of course have to go back a few months to find any that weren't interrupted by Covid-19. Lots of time on my hands to check out lines I haven't sailed. Princess remains my go-to for value and bang for the buck. Thanks for the mention of "The Cruise" videos on Youtube. When I went looking for them a few years ago they weren't available to view in the USA. I have already watched the first couple featuring the Regal. A really well-done insider's view. I have subscribed and will watch them all. I'm glad you are staying safe-the more of us that treat social distancing/masks/hygiene seriously as if our lives depended on it the quicker the virus can be managed to a level where cruise lines can get back to making our cruising dreams a reality. There is a sense of urgency in finding an effective vaccine, unlike the lack of urgency in finding out who is carrying the virus. We can all help by slowing the spread. As Captain Tovo would say...."Bye Bye!" Norris
  3. Thanks dspencer- beautifully produced films. A nice balance of narration, subtitles and soundtrack/ ambient shots. Informative and honest. Great job! Norris
  4. Hello Wisconsin! Thanks for taking the time to read my Star review and for the kind compliments. We did 3 Alaskan cruises in 5 years but it's already been almost 5 years since our last. Even though it was the same ports as always we found new experiences on shore and highlights were the dogsled camp, Misty Fjords on a boat and the luxury carriage on the White Pass train. I missed the chance to eat at Tracy's Crab Shack but there's always a "next time". A cruise tour is on our bucket list for sure. Alas we sold our Michigan home 2 years ago and are getting to know Chicago better. I have to salute the people of Chicago who are doing a great job of staying inside and social distancing outside using masks in the majority. Stay safe and healthy! I forsee a nice drive up to beautiful Milwaukee this summer... Norris
  5. Marie, thanks for the follow-up and the endorsement of HAL. The few HAL photo reviews I have seen on CC show the food to look good on the plate which is a good sign and now you've given the cuisine a big thumbs up. They have some very old and several smaller ships and although I am not a night owl I do like choices of entertainment in the evening so will think "bigger" when looking at their fleet. I was attracted to the Nieuw Amsterdam sailing on Jan 16 2021 as it stops in San Juan PR and Princess never (?) goes there it seems. A cruise of 51 days? My mind is boggled at being pampered and entertained for that long! Cheers! Norris
  6. Thanks Florence. Adding another step and one that can potentially eat up the customer's time is weak in the digital age. Not a problem on the Princess and Azamara sites so it can be done. I'm not desperate to sail HAL although not averse to the idea as they seem to do a lot right and their ships are built for relaxation and enjoying the sea ( a real promenade deck, Crow's Nest for example) If I can't find a Princess itinerary for January 2021 that suits-one of the newer Royal Class ships just for variety sake -HAL will certainly get a second look. No Az sailings then. Viking? Virgin ?(tongue in cheek on that loopy design) Time is on my side. Florence am I right in thinking you have sailed HAL and if so your opinion of your experience? Cheers and thanks again! Norris
  7. John, I went back to the HAL website yesterday and checked out a Nieuw Amsterdam sailing on January 16 2021. Tried a booking on a Neptune Suite and again it came up as a guarantee. On Princess as you know you can see all the cabins that are available and book the one you want-which in our case is always aft with a wake view. Norris
  8. Thanks John-I loved the photos and it looks like perfect weather for your visit. It certainly looks less touristy than the other ports in Alaska. I have looked at HAL for Caribbean cruises but don't like that I can't book a specific cabin on their website and I am not the man to book "guarantee" cabins, ever. The ships have some nice public rooms though. Norris
  9. Hi, John- The Bayreuth Festival is communicating with ticket holders later this month and have suggested that 2020 tickets can be used in 2021 or in 2022 which is what we could take as I already canceled one Azamara cruise this October and booked a new one for October 2021 which I don't want to cancel. So should be Germany 2022, August. How was your HAL Alaskan experience? Have thought of them just to visit Sitka. Cheers! Norris
  10. May 2 2020 I'm bumping this up to page 1 to make it easier to find... Norris
  11. Louden-welcome! Permission granted after I take your temperature... Carol is well and appreciates your greeting. Norris
  12. Greetings from Chicago in Lockdown! I'm an avid reader of CruiseCritic, mainly for the cruise reviews. Those won't appear again for some time. I'm including a link to a review from my last visit to Alaska in September 2016 should anyone want (a) a break from talk of refunds (b) for anyone who is curious about Alaskan cruises (c) for anyone who had booked this year only to have their hopes dashed. There are a lot of videos which due to the software changeover/update on CC since this sailing, can no longer be seen. If you keep a screen open on Youtube (Norris Adair channel) you can watch them there. This is the first Vancouver video that might land you in the right place... Here's the link to the review itself.... http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2403532 Norris
  13. Maris (and hi again Noreen!) there are a number of islands where wandering past the port gates is going to get you harassed and there are even recommendations on board to avoid doing so in some places. Ocho Rios is one place that immediately springs to mind. Falmouth too and on my one visit to Grenada 30 years ago me and my then wife chose to go to a beautiful public beach only to have to deal with an endless cavalcade of hustlers. One even went down to the water and brought back a conch shell to sell to me, LOL. I told him that after my nap-"once you go away"-I'll go down and get a free one myself . Hair braiding? Can I play you a Bob Marley song? Need some "smoke"? Etc. Beach day cut short. I can't blame poor people/hustlers for trying to make a quick buck from the tourists they'll never see again but now they'll get a good idea of what it's like when their island is no longer on an itinerary. Common sense-taking "no thanks" for an answer and moving on to another tourist will probably never occur to them so I would expect them to return to work with even more gusto when the ships return. Sigh. The Caribbean Ports section is always worth a visit to see if harassment is prevalent on one of your port stops. The ABC islands I love for the lack of hustlers (in my experience after multiple visits). Thanks for the heads-up on Antigua! Norris
  14. Maris, thanks for helping us all through these long days of isolation and reminding us through your great photos of what we are now missing- the freedom to travel and meet new people in far-off places where we can leave our daily cares behind as we glide over sparkling blue seas with a cocktail in hand and a smile on our happy faces. Wonderful review! Cheers! Norris
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