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About onespots

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Phoenix Arizona
  • Interests
    golf fishing photography
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    South America
  1. onespots


  2. First I would like to thank all the people who responded to me many months ago about planning for this trip. The Port Douglas advise was extremely valuable & I'm glad we lodged there instead of Cairns. It was quite warm in Port Douglas for November & we enjoyed all the activities the town has to offer & a smooth ride out to the reef for some snorkeling. Our accommodations in Sydney were very nice as we stayed in the Meriton serviced apartments about 5 kilometers from the Harbor Bridge & Opera House. Then on Saturday embarked on the Solstice to begin our next journey. The port area was under a lot of construction making it difficult to get to the proper area to receive our luggage. The process time with Celebrity was about 1 hour. Our cruise was just great & the weather was quite good, except for a bit of our time in Doubtful Sound. We found the service levels to be good throughout the entire ship. Only exception would be the Martini Bar. Our dinning staff was terrific & sommelier exceptional. People aboard were very friendly & engaging. Food was okay to good as you would find on most mass market companies. Second show in the theatre was generally filled & the entertainment about what you would expect on a cruise ship. I know we just scratched the surface of these two beautiful countries & would hope to return again someday. Once again Cruise Critic proved to be a valuable tool in planning our holiday. Happy Travels, John
  3. Thank you all for the information provided to us. If Sprint Plan for international is too high, we will go & purchase sims cards for the phone. Appreciate the nice & timely answers. Happy Travels, John
  4. onespots

    Australia & New Zealand

    Thank you all for the nice replies & suggestions. Appreciate the quick responses. John
  5. Hello We are traveling to these locations at the end of November. We are from Arizona (USA). We are taking the Galaxy 8 phone which is android & our carrier is Sprint at home. We will use the phone only while land, to confirm our excursions. We are doing a 6 day DIY trip in the Port Douglas Area & then arriving for 2 days in Sydney prior to boarding a Celebrity Vessel for a cruise from Sydney to Auckland. Would appreciate any advise, thanking you in advance, John
  6. Hello We are leaving for this trip at the end of November. We are from Arizona (USA) . We are doing a DIY trip for 6 days in Australia in the Port Douglas area & ending in Sydney, 2 days prior to sailing on Celebrity a 14 night cruise from Sydney to Auckland. We need advise about phone service to communicate while on land. We are taking an android Galaxy 8 phone & need to confirm our land excursions throughout this trip. Will not use the phone to call from the ship. Our USA carrier is Sprint. Any advise is welcomed. Thank you in advance, John
  7. onespots

    Airline Recommendation for Anchorage & Vancouver

    If everything is equal, fares, & destinations I would choose Alaska. Alaska service much better. We have used Delta on long flights & have never been happy with their lack of service. Just my opinion... John
  8. We always keep our passports in the safe on the ship unless required at a port for immigration. We do have a photo-copy of the passport we carry with us at all times & keep one in the safe. Hopefully this copy would help us if this document was lost or stolen. Fortunately we have not encountered any problems in over 25 years of foreign travel.
  9. onespots

    Alaska in September

    We did a 7 day DIY tour of Alaska before getting on the ship on the 4th of September. We encountered rain during the 2 days prior to boarding the ship in Seward.. We had no rough seas or rain during our southern cruise back to Vancouver B.C. Dress in layers & be ready for every type of wind & weather during September. We took warm hats & gloves & were very happy we did so. We lucked out on the weather which made for a great trip... Happy Travels, John
  10. onespots

    Interior or Balcony

    Another vote the balcony. For a balcony provides an opportunity not to fight the crowds on the upper decks for viewing purposes. While in Alaska we used the balcony everyday. Did not matter to us about the weather, because we could just duck back into room to get warm. We were always on the balcony entering or leaving port. When our ship visited the Hubbard Glacier, the captain made to large circles so everyone could enjoy the view. We were close & able take some very nice photos from our balcony. Further as we left Ketchikan the captain announced the possibility of seeing some Northern Lights between 1:30-3:30am. I set the alarm, about 2:15 am the clouds cleared & we enjoyed the show for about 20 minutes without having to leave our room. I took some photos to remind me of this memory. Finally we can always enjoy an adult beverage during our sail-a-way from the balcony before heading out for dinner. I guess during our voyages I must see, hear, & feel the ocean to totally appreciate the cruise. Try getting this picture from way up high on the observation decks...
  11. I will probably get flamed for this, however these are my opinions. First of all you have picked a good itinerary which is port intensive. Therefore go into Venice early & explore the city & get rid of any jet-lag. Cruises in the near future will soon be unable to use the Grand Canal. A great experience for a sail-a-way not to be missed. Pick an all English speaking vessel like RCI or Celebrity. Your ship is not the destination, the ports are your areas of interest. Do the research on your areas of interest for each port. You can get ideas from the cruise line's excursions offered, Trip Advisor, & be sure to join your roll call for ideas from fellow passengers & maybe join them on a private excursion. Use the ports of call feature on cruise critic for the places you will be visiting. We found it much more pleasant to travel in a small group excursion with a good bi-lingual guide to explain the history & sites to us. You will be doing a lot of walking, so choose your footwear accordingly. In Venice pick a hotel in your price range & inquire about transferring your luggage to the ship. Costs vary depending on location. Also be aware of the costs of going from the airport to your hotel. Most travelers tend to over-pack & dragging luggage around in Venice is difficult. Remember there are no cars, so water taxis are used everywhere or private boats. Good planning will avoid most issues. Most everyone in Italy speaks English. Just learn a few simple phrases in Italian. Hello, good morning, thank you, farewell, or good bye. It is always good to take some Euros with you prior to arriving in Venice. This helps with small expenses, tips, & with a few vendors who do not take credit cards. Visa & Mastercard mostly accepted everywhere you are traveling. Beware of international fees charged on your credit card. To avoid this, many USA credit card companies offer cards with no Intl transaction fee. Really traveling from a foreign port is not that difficult in Europe. There is a lot of good specific information on cruise critic for suggestions on hotels & transfers, check out the boards. Venice seems more prone to rain than the other ports of call. Be prepared with a light windbreaker or jacket. Also nice to have on aboard the ship during sea days. Remember for most men in Europe, they wear long pants. Only the tourists wear shorts. Shorts & sleeveless shirts will likely prevent you from entering Cathedrals. For women they must cover their shoulders & nice shawl is recommended. Casual attire is preferred in Europe. Personally I like... light weight slacks & a golf shirt, my wife is usually in capris pants with a nice top, or a light dress. Always she has a shawl or some type of wrap with her. We have never been denied access to any site, historical building, or church. Europe is much more of an urban experience with a history much older than USA. It is always very interesting to us. Thus we have been back several times on cruises & land trips. Do take this trip... I am certain you will find this adventure most exhilarating. Happy Travels, John
  12. onespots

    Should I do Holland America or Celebrity?

    Hello Banana15 First of all... You cannot go wrong choosing a S-Class Ship with Celebrity. You will find the Exquinox an excellent choice. Given your age, interests, & energy the Equinox should be more to your liking. HAL is a fine cruise line, however much of their appeal is to an older demographic. If you enjoy night life on the ship, likely there will more to do on Celebrity. Happy Travels
  13. onespots

    should I upgrade

    To Glaciers Yes I do still have the Nikon D40. My reference was to what I am currently shooting today. I had forgotten about this trip & took all my pictures with the D40. Did not get the Nikon D7100 until 2013 just prior to a trip to South Africa. Still a decent photo for a 6mp camera. Thanks for correcting me... John
  14. onespots

    Help with Shutterfly

    Thanks everyone for your help. I will give this a try in the near future. Just another casualty & victim of photobucket who will not pay their high fees.... John
  15. Hello everyone With Photobucket now too expensive for me. How do I transfer photos out of Shutterfly to post on Cruise Critic ? Need set by set instructions, as my computer skills are weak. Appreciate your help, John