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About jsiegel

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Northern California
  • Interests
    reading, gardening, walking, Zumba
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)

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  1. I second the suggestion to fill out comment cards and if you can, give specific examples of how they went above and beyond. I did that for one assistant waiter who, on top of being friendly and helpful, did go above and beyond when another staff member messed something up (not either person's fault) On my next cruise on the same ship I found out that the assistant waiter had been promoted to full waiter, I'd like to think my comment card (and probably others) helped in that promotion.
  2. What is the name of the company? The picture doesn't mention or have a website shown. It sounds interesting and a good value. As I'm there after you, I hope you post back after your cruise and we can later compare experiences on the Pacific Northwest. Jackie (jseagal @ sonic dot net)
  3. I received free gratuities for booking onboard once. I already knew I planned to book the cruise so was delighted to hear there was an extra perk above the promotion at the time. This isn't always the case but it doesn't hurt to ask. Jackie
  4. It was really easy to get the ETAs for both countries online directly through the respective government websites. I made notes of the steps, I imagine the Canadian experience would be the same as US. For Australia I used this link to get to the Australian government visa site: https://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAS3/etas There are 7 steps, all pretty straightforward. First step is choose type of via, a tourist visa and agree to the terms. Then in step 2 you put in your passport information. It asked if you had any other names, alias. I do, my former married name, so checked yes but it didn't ask for the other name. Step 3 is your contact information. It asks for you phone country code, I looked it up and put in +1. Hope that is correct. It didn't like dashes in my phone number, so type in just numbers. Steps 4-7 are review, payment $20 AUD, credit cards accepted), and reference numbers. I received two emaisl almost immediately after submitting, the first that the applications was pending and the second that my application was successful and had been electronically attached to my passport. The visa is good for 1 year from the date of application. At the end there was an option to apply for another ETA (visa) Round two for my husband went quicker. For New Zealand I went to https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/nzeta I scrolled down to "Request an NZETA" then clicked on the link to the online web form. It also asked for pretty much the same information as Australia but did ask for my former last name. The charge is $12 NZD for the visa and an additional $35 NZD for a tourism levy for a total of $47 NZD. I received two emails within a minute that my application had been pending and then approved and electronically attached to my passport. There wasn't an option to apply for another one so I had to go back to the main page to start over for my husband. Easy peasy. Total time for both (and for two people) was less than 1/2 hour, and that included taking notes of the steps and being extra careful when I was typing my information.
  5. Thank you. How interesting that there are two provisioners for sweeteners. You'd think they'd source everything together for consistency.
  6. Are Stevia packets available on board or should we bring our own? Usually a green packet.
  7. Does anyone happen to know the dimensions of the showers in the Encore veranda suites? I have bet with my husband that they are bigger than the shower in the old Victorian B&B we are staying in now on vacation. Its dimensions are 2 1/4' × 2 1/4'. (and doesn't everyone carry a tape measure with them when they travel?) We were on the Legend previously but we ended up assigned to a handicap cabin that had a huge shower but no bathtub (so we didn't get to enjoy a nice soak on that cruise, darn, we are looking forward to a bathtub on our upcoming cruise on the Encore) Thanks, Jackie
  8. Thanks all. I wear a size 6 1/2 so my feet swim in those slippers but I like the option if I don't want to go barefoot or strap on my sandals.
  9. Does Seabourn still provide fabric slippers for guests? I'm updating my packing list and wondering if I should pack my own slippers. Thanks, Jackie
  10. Great topic and great suggestions. I'll add Jane Harper - The Lost Man
  11. We get to Australia mid-December, two nights in Sydney, then board ship for a 16 night cruise ending in Auckland. Very excited and loving all the discussions on what to see and do (I even checked out the roll call for your cruise and have noted all the advice from locals mentioned there) We'll have some shipboard credit for shore excursions but also love to head out on my own to explore at much lower cost so I'm trying to determine where it's easy to get around and where it makes sense to use an excursion. Thanks for the heads up about the long walk on the Sydney Free Walking Tour. I won't attempt it for the day we arrive, husband is sure he'll be totally jet lagged but I want to make the best of our limited time.
  12. Glad to know you enjoyed the Free Walking Tours tour in Sydney. We'll be spending two days pre-cruise in Sydney in December. I have a question about it, the tour starts about 1mile from our hotel. Do you happen to remember the total distance of the tour? I can handle miles and miles, husband maybe not so much. I also plan to do the Free Walking Tour in Melbourne if we don't have a shore excursion in that port. I hope you post a review of what you see and do on your cruise, I'll be gearing up for ours and will still be determining what we will be doing in our ports. I'm also on your Pacific Northwest cruise next March. Maybe we can meet on board and compare our Australia/New Zealand experiences. Jackie
  13. The complimentary specialty dining for full suites in only available to be used on embarkation day and very few other people plan to dine in specialty restaurants on the first night. You should be fine if you want to dine at 7:30 p.m. You can try to call the dine-line when you arrive to make reservations but often someone from the dining staff will call you in your suite to arrange what time you want to eat and where. I wouldn't bother making reservations in advance. You should not have any problems for the first night, especially for Sabattini's as Crown Grill seems to be more popular. Jackie
  14. Thanks for the photos. I too was wondering about the laundry. We will be on a 16 night cruise so figure we'll need to do laundry at least once. I especially love that there is bottled water waiting for thirsty passengers in the laundry room. They think of everything, don't they?
  15. The water deck can only opened when anchored, not when docked.
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