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About IslandThyme

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Bainbridge Island, WA
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  1. This is why I donate to WCKitchen. There's no other organization like it!
  2. I can't find the descriptions of what's included in pre- and post- cruise stays. Can someone point me in the right direction? When I look at a specific cruise I see where to "add pre-cruise stay" is, but then I don't see an itinerary or any details.
  3. My heart breaks for the animals, but even more for the people. Those pictures from Mallacoota have me transfixed. I was just in Eden last October and it breaks my heart to think of it gone.
  4. I am wondering about the best places to donate. I have already donated to the Australian Red Cross, but would send more money if I knew where it would do the most good.
  5. Hello all. I just read through this entire thread (whew, and thanks for all the great information) and have a couple of questions that I haven't seen addressed here. I've done a lot of ocean cruising but I'm planning my first river cruise in July. I will be travelling alone and am wondering how welcoming AMA life on board is for solo travelers. I'd love to hear any impressions about that. Also, I'm loving the Grand Danube itinerary, but two things stand out for me after reading this thread. Is the Danube likely to have water level troubles in July? It's an entirely new question for me to consider. The AmaCerto is the boat for that trip, and I really haven't noticed any comments about her here. Would anyone who's sailed on her fill me in a bit?
  6. Yes, we did have to take someone back to Eden, not that I can imagine they have much of a hospital there. And no, no crossword puzzle in the new rag (and I use that term advisedly). The weather does look really sub-optimal for the next few days, alas. I'm blogging our trip at http://frenchletters.wordpress.com if anyone's interested.
  7. Actually, we are missing Milford Sound entirely, because we lost 240 miles returning to shore to medevac a passenger, which couldn't be done via helicopter due to rough seas. I have a digital subscription to the NYT, so I can, and do, read it on my laptop, but have always enjoyed having the print version to read with breakfast. The new substitute has two pages of sports, for you sports fans, and very little news, for us news fans.
  8. I'm on Maasdam, and today, instead of the New York Times digest paper there was something called USA News. Crew members said that there was going to be no more NYT. Is this happening on all the ships? I think it's really a pity, if so.
  9. Since I was born in San Francisco, have lived in Portland, and now live near Seattle, I do have some thoughts for you. (I'm flying down to Sydney later this month: Seattle - San Francisco - Auckland - Sydney.) First, I agree with everyone who counsels avoiding LAX if at all possible. The train from Seattle to Vancouver is indeed very scenic, and the train from Portland to Seattle is pretty nice as well. The train doesn't actually go into San Francisco itself, so from SFO I imagine that you'd be taking a bus to Oakland to catch the train. If the train is running more or less on time, you wake up in the morning to some gorgeous scenery. But if you do decide to train it, be sure to leave yourself an extra day. The Cascades train, like all of Amtrak, is subject to frequent delays, because they don't actually own the track and so are often displaced by freight trains. The drive from San Francisco to Vancouver is breathtaking, and very long. It's only worthwhile if you drive slowly up the coast. Inland on the I-5 is tedious and heavily trafficked in many areas. If you have a week or 10 days to drive up the coast, go for it! If time would limit you to the inland highway, I'd fly.
  10. Thanks for the link, TT. I just booked my shuttle with them for later this month. Easy as pie.
  11. I'll be in Napier in October on Maasdam, and have booked a winery tour through Prinsy's Tours. I found them through Trip Advisor, and am expecting a good tour with them.
  12. Later this month I'll be on Maasdam, sailing out of Sydney and up the coast of New Zealand. I can't for the life of me think why I'd want to be in an area of really excellent wines and drink wine from Italy, at whatever price (and the prices above are just silly). I'll be bringing on Aussie and Kiwi wine from our port stops and paying the corkage gladly in order to drink local. I do appreciate seeing the JS list, though.
  13. Thanks for the details of daily onboard life, Tim. I think I'm going to love it.
  14. Americans sometimes say What the What? to tone it down. Of course, if you pronounce that Fut the Fut, it takes on a whole new feel.
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