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  1. When I buy something new, I try to take something similar out of the closet. I put those items in a travel pile. They are still good and worthy of wear. Just not brand new. So, when we vacation I go to my travel pile and see what I can take from there first. I start the trip with a very full suitcase. We recently sent three weeks in Cambodia and Vietnam. I left behind two pairs of blue jeans, four polo shirts and numerous socks and undergarments. I’ve got my husband doing the same thing, but on a smaller scale! This leaves plenty of room for items you purchase while on vacation. This is a good way to pack, especially if you need heavier items for Alaska, for example. It is easier to wash out small items on a cruise ship if you don’t want to use the laundry service. Using the pool towels to wring out excess water helps with the drying process. River cruises charge much less for laundry and we will usually pack with the plan of using their services. Enjoy your trip.
  2. Thank you. Good information.
  3. This has nothing to do with cruising, but I thought I would ask here for advice since we have never been to Jacksonville, Fl. I have been looking on TripAdvisor, but wanted some firsthand experience. We have tickets to attend The Rolling Stones concert in Jacksonville in April. We are driving to Florida from Connecticut. We have reserved parking, so transportation to and from the concert is not an issue. I am looking for recommendations on hotels that would be within 10 or 15 miles of the TIAA field. Thank you for your help.
  4. I understand having to argue with them. What amazes me is that even when you tell the medical department they have the wrong room, they don’t believe you. How on earth could they possibly be mistaken!!
  5. Thanks Ruth. We are willing to give it another try because we did love HAL.
  6. It probably won’t happen again, that is why we are willing to give it another try. I tried to find my post from that incident, but it has been over four years. Someone may remember this, as we were part of a large roll call. Short version: It had to do with HAL having added inside cabins across from the Neptune Suites. However instead of giving them completely different cabin numbers, HAL assigned them, for example 7047A and our cabin number was 7047. I received a call from the concierge telling me my husband was in the bar being unruly and demanding free drinks. This was 2:00 in the afternoon. I told him that was a mistake and that my husband was in the cabin with me and had not been in the bar. He would not except that it was not my husband, so my husband went down to see the concierge. The concierge refused to believe my husband. My husband told them to look at the security footage and they would see it was not him. They refused to do this. HAL actuallly called our travel agent during the cruise to complain about us. In addition, we were receiving calls from the medical department regarding the man across the hall, as he was suppose to be in quarantine due to nurovirus. Again, they would not accept they had the wrong cabin. Finally, the medical department came and saw there were two different cabins. It was not until we got home that we found out HAL called our travel agent. Needless to say, my husband was furious. We cancelled our two books cruises to the tune of about $35,00. When our travel agent told the HAL representative all we wanted was an apology, the rep said “no point, they already cancelled their cruises.” So, We never got an apology. Believe it or not this is a short version!
  7. Thank you both. HAL seems to have the best cruises for the Panama Canal. We did do the Canal on Celebrity from Ft Lauderdale to San Diego. Call us crazy, but we want to do it again. This time from San Diego to Ft Lauderdale or Miami. Two more questions, Celebrity offers a service when disembarking where they check your luggage and bring it to the airport for you. That was a perk for being in a suite. On the website it appears HAL charges for this service. Or, is it complimentary for a suite guest? Can you bring a bottle of wine onboard at each port? I recall doing that in Europe and it was ok. Thank you.
  8. We are thinking about coming back to HAL. We very much enjoyed our cruises on HAL, but had one bad experience and so we jumped ship to Celebrity four years ago. I have been reading the HAL website, but would like some first hand experience regarding any changes. (Ruth C, you were always a wealth of information :)). I have been reading about the Explore4 program, but seems that is only offered on certain sailings. Can you still bring one bottles of wine aboard per person? Does the Neptune Suite still provide unlimited free laundry? Does Neptune Suite or Lounge include free bottled water? (Water and laundry are important factors for me.) Has the Neptune Lounge been upgraded re: breakfast offerings and snacks? I understand they now serve alcohol in the Neptune Lounge? The dress code on Celebrity is very informal, has HAL relaxed it's dress code? Do most people still dress formally for dinner or is it at least business casual? (I still have all my cocktail dresses, would it be out of place to wear them.) Do Neptune Suites get any speciality dining? Previously we were able to enjoy breakfast in the Pinnacle Grill, is that still available? Thank you for your help.
  9. I also use the ice bucket tray for early morning coffee. This is well before the buffet is open for food items. People always say “what a good idea.” What is funny to me is the number of people you meet in their bathrobe, because they think no one else would be up that early!
  10. How is it determined who gets the chance to upgrade. We generally travel with other couples, if only one had the chance to upgrade to a suite and received it, the other couples would not be able to go to Lumina unless they paid. Thanks ( I am looking on the Celebrity website, but not finding it. )
  11. We almost booked this cruise while aboard. After talking with the travel consultant on board we decided to do a river cruise instead. As part of your research look at the shore excursions and length of time it takes to get from the ship to the places you want to visit.
  12. In January of this year, four out of the six of us were in concierge class. We all went to the main dinning room. We were asked to show our key cards. The two who were not concierge were turned away. So, we all left the line and were subjected to rude comments from a gentleman (?) in the line regarding our gate crashing. It was a little embarrassing. But, in reality it wasn’t us who should have been embarrassed, but the clod who made the remarks.
  13. We will be ending our river cruise in Paris. We would like to take the train to London. I would appreciate some tips on how to do this. Is it easy. Where exactly in London would we be? Any tips on where to stay in London. Thank you very much.
  14. Thank you Cindy, did you take the train from Paris? If so, was that difficult to do? Did you have any difficulty getting back to your hotel when you got back to the Paris train station? Thanks
  15. We would like to take a private tour from Paris to Normandy. We know it will be at least a 12 hour day. We are looking for recommendations for a private tour company. Thank you for your help.
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