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Everything posted by Bimmer09

  1. Dana, I am anticipating an amazing cruise-the ship is a stunner- Celebrity Silhouette, my favorite until I sail one I like better and Norwegian Fjords will be a new experience for us as we'll be very close to land for much of the sailing. We have excursions in 4 ports and I will get to do my favorite thing which is eat ashore in a harbor setting. You are already making me drool over your London pictures. It has changed so much since I lived there-tall buildings were rare indeed then. I like that your husband wants to enjoy as many London pubs as he can. Yes, they have history and character in spades and can certainly draw a crowd, especially after work. You may be home now- I didn't pay attention to your travel dates so you are probably already home-but I hope you stopped into a British bakery shop for a cornish pasty or a hot sausage roll. I do miss some British foods that can be found nowhere else. I no doubt will be having a "Full English" breakfast when in London, but that even pales to an "Ulster Fry" (Ulster being N. Ireland, home of Game of Thrones). Looking forward to more of your London experience. I love that you both had the idea for this itinerary. You only live once and you guys know how to live! Yes I will write a review- I have reviewed every cruise I have taken since 2011 and this will be #14 I think. Celebrity Board, September 9th for the launch. Links will be placed on the Princess and Azamara boards. Cheers and toodle-pip! Norris, Brit who thinks Brexit is more than slightly silly.
  2. Dana, this is an epic that many should bookmark if they are considering either of these must-see cities. You have -as you always have-really done your homework, made your spreadsheets and organized like there's no tomorrow and I admire you for the energy you put into your trips and your recounts that we all get to share. I personally would avoid these tourist magnets like the plague in high season as off-peak is my middle name and the temperatures these cities are experiencing these days in summer are very off-putting. I haven't lived in London since 1986 but back then a 77F degree day brought forth a picture of a bikini-clad girl in the Sun newspaper, (good for wrapping fish and chips in)licking an iced lolly with a headline- "Whew, cor Blimey! What a scorcher!" Crowds and heat are 2 things that can mar my day-hence I am heading to Norway in a couple of weeks. You guys are a well-suited pair who roll with the punches and always have big smiles and an upbeat attitude. More power to you. Norris, with thanks.
  3. Alison, we will be on Celebrity Silhouette on September 1 for just 7 days. Just 4 ports. The review will kick off on the X board September 9 when I get home. It will be a very long review, that much I know, as we will be in London before and after and we are both excited about that. The Silhouette is also our favorite ship to date and I have a better camera than I had on my first trip on her and a better grip on taking pictures. So I am psyched! Thanks for the kind wishes! Norris
  4. Your love shows in the photos and thanks for being so generous in sharing. You are showing me some parts of Norway I won't get to see in 3 weeks when I visit Bergen, Flam, Alesund and Stavanger but I imagine it won't be "one and done" for us as far as Norway is concerned but a cruise longer than our 7 day trip will have to wait until retirement. I am very much enjoying following along on this fantastic adventure. Kudos! Norris
  5. Dana, thanks to one of my undercover agents, Crystal- (damn! I've blown her cover!) I am here reading along as I am (a) going to be in London in 3 weeks and (b) lived in London for a total of 14 Earth-years and (c) have never been to Paris even though I am the biggest Francophile I know. I would never ride a bicycle without wearing a beret, a blue and white hooped shirt, a fake mustache and a baguette under my arm. I even had a period when I smoked Gauloises Disque Bleu which smell like a burning mattress. Keep the details and the stellar photos coming. Norris
  6. Trip I am just on page 2 and see that already you are finished by page 4! LCG is one of my favorite places at sea and that fact that only the Silhouette and Reflection have it means I will be less likely to sail on the other 3 S-Class ships. Also they don't have the Alcoves which we rent in warm climates and enjoy although they are lame compared to the Sanctuary on Princess. I have zero interest in the Edge class- some dim-bulb ideas in designing and furnishing that, but would sail an M class if the itinerary compelled. I very much liked the Azamara experience but Cuba had a part to play in how memorable that cruise was. Outdoor dining or drinking is my favorite thing ever and the LCG location can't be beat! Norris, who will be armed to the teeth with cameras and lenses come September.
  7. Hi Trip and thanks for the link to your new review! Have to agree that Maarten is a fun cruise director as we enjoyed his enthusiasm on the Reflection in 2017. Thanks for so many great pictures included. Those skies as you left Ft Lauderdale-yikes! I am following along and am particularly interested in your food comments, especially the MDR selections. We will mainly do Specialty dinners on our upcoming Silhouette cruise but will hit the MDR for breakfast and a sea-day lunch or two. Lawn Club Grill will be our first dinner aboard as we leave Southampton. Norris
  8. Trip, thanks for the link! I'll be on the Silhouette in just 3 weeks bound for Norway. Sunset verandah, just like you. Cheers! Norris
  9. Thanks for pointing this out HGC as it gave me a chance to re read this and remind myself how much we enjoyed the MDR on Azamara Journey. It was the best MDR food we have enjoyed at sea. We are sailing on Celebrity in 3 weeks but expect to eat a lot of specialty restaurant meals. (Murano and Lawn Club Grill are favorites). Norris, Norway-bound.
  10. Carol, here is the link I see in the intro that we canceled a Norway cruise to do this one. We are sailing to Norway in 30 days on the Silhouette and a review will follow September 10. Hope you can tune in! Norris
  11. I sure will, even though it's not an Azamara sailing but it's Norway and it's a beautiful ship if ever there was one. I am sure I will find something interesting to photograph and have a tale to tell. The review should set sail by September 10. I am looking forward to London as a bookend city! Cheers! Norris
  12. Thanks for taking us along on this great itinerary! A very enjoyable, interesting and detailed read. Norris, Norway bound but on Celebrity.
  13. That is a more than fair, non-gouging price. If one purchases a pack of Marlboro in a shop in Chicago the price is $14.90 and when you ask for a pack the shopkeeper dips down behind the counter and when he resurfaces with the pack he is wearing a Lone-Ranger mask and pointing a gun. I drive to Indiana where they are a dollar more than Azamara charges. Norris, who enjoyed the company of Cuban cigar smokers on the Journey.
  14. Sunset from Azamara Journey between Havana and Cienfuegos, Cuba January 2019 Norris
  15. Royal Caribbean hardware...in Nassau Enchantment Norris
  16. From my kitchen window with fog Trump Tower (center) obscured by fog The fog lifts Norris
  17. Lipizzan Horses at Tempel Farms, Wadsworth, Illinois Norris
  18. Michelle, I'm glad you enjoyed the Cuba review. It was a very different Caribbean experience and we really loved Azamara Journey. Our hotel in London is by the Thames-the Royal Horseguards near Trafalgar Square. There are so many sights to experience there and I won't kid myself that we will see a fraction of them. I am not intending to rush around as we only have a day and a half before sailing and a full day after. We can go back another time hopefully. I spent 13 years of my life there and really took the sights for granted as they were just part of the backdrop to being young and working in London. We have only dined in a Celebrity MDR once-on Silhouette on our last night as I was curious and it was very poor, food and service wise as my review detailed. We hope for better this time around but I foresee a bunch of Murano and LCGrill dinners and Indian lunches for me in the OVCafe. The Suite life on Silly and Reflection (2016/2017) cost us about $7400 in the Caribbean for 7 days. The S1 Norway was just over $11,000 for 7 days which got me thinking of a Sunset Verandah and putting the savings towards another cruise. That 11K has now paid for 2 cruises in lesser accommodations (with the same view) and with fewer perks. Our last 3 cruises in fact were in balcony cabins as aft suites were all gone when we got interested in booking and we don't want suites anywhere but aft. We found that we aren't in the cabin much at all-just to sleep, nap and bathe, get dressed. Will we miss Luminae-oh yes. Michaels?-a little. Butlers? Not at all. Reserved seats in the theater? No, we always get there early. Tune in September 10th.... Norris
  19. Hi, Michelle, I'm glad you read my Cuba review. A couple of days in London precede boarding Silhouette September 1 and we are psyched to see London again after so long (25 years since I was last there) In my comparison review with Princess I thought that X really pulled out the stops for suite pax with Luminae, Blu and Michael's. That all comes at a price though and it seems X prices are rising and we had to consider the price recently when I found the cabin next door to our Sky Suite on Silly was half the price and that dollar amount saving would pay for our next cruise after Silly (the new Sky Princess next January). So I will not be sailing in a Sky Suite to Norway but rather a Sunset Verandah next door (7360). I am interested in seeing what life is like for a non-suite X passenger and don't plan to be in the cabin (er, stateroom LOL) much each day. I will give the MDR a chance after a disastrous first experience on Silhouette in 2016 but plan a few Murano/Lawn Club grill meals. I do like Oceanview Cafe for lunch, especially the excellent Indian food. I have bought two new lenses I can use for the Norway trip and will hire a couple of sherpas to tote my camera gear around. Cheers! Norris
  20. Michelle, thanks for a great informative read and for all those excellent photos! Enjoy your Sky Suite on the Reflection! Norris
  21. Norris (Bimmer 09) and Carol (DeckChairQueen) signing in. It will have been 2 years since our last Princess cruise(Crown) and we are very much looking forward to sailing on the new ship. Meantime we have sailed Azamara to Cuba and will be on Celebrity Silhouette to Norway on September 1-8th.
  22. Hi, MJ, as usual I will start it the day I get home (Jan 26th) and will have a boatload of pics and video. I didn't go looking for the ship but rather a Western Carib itinerary and the Sky popped up so I was happy to try a new ship, especially when French Bistro appeared in the offerings and I believe it will have some outdoor tables. I look forward to that! Good to know you will be reading the review and I hope you'll read my Silhouette to Norway in early September this year. Cheers! Norris
  23. January 18th sailing for me. Looking forward to the French Bistro. Norris
  24. Indeed, Cruise Junky, I have sailed Alaska 3 times (out of 13 cruises total since 2011) and each time was with Princess who specialize and excel in Alaska. Each time in Glacier Bay there was an NCL ship sailing with us. We are not done with Alaska even though we always visit the same ports-it's what lies beyond those ports that is the draw. Ship and local excursions rule. Ships from Royal Caribbean and Celebrity are often in port with us and they don't have access to Glacier Bay so it's not a must-have to get people on a ship to Alaska. Norris
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