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alc13

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About alc13

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    Previously California, now Maine

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  1. alc13

    Tender schedule

    Sounds good - thanks!
  2. alc13

    Tender schedule

    What is the tender schedule likely to be after an overnight in port? How early might we reach shore if we're not on an excursion? I'm specifically wondering about Cienfuegos, in case it makes a difference.
  3. alc13

    Trinidad - is a guide necessary?

    A million thanks for this - we'll see if Gio is available the day we're there. Oh, Bay Area - we just moved away from there. We were in Pleasanton. Shedding tears over the fires and smoke, and so sorry for everyone affected.
  4. alc13

    Cultural Cuba Review

    Wow, superb post and extremely helpful information, ebslcc! We do intend to do a day trip to Trinidad rather than Havana - we have a taxi for transportation to and back and we'll be on our own there for the day. Thanks for the tip in the other forum. Surfway - re "people to people" vs "support for the Cuban people" - the cruise line gets a visa under the former, which I believe is technically an educational category. It covers excursions. Cruisegoers should additionally check "support for the Cuban people" on the affidavit in order to go off on their own legally. Support for the Cuban people can include any interactions other than transactions with government businesses or employees, or lying on a beach all day. You are supposed to retain documentation of those activities.
  5. alc13

    Trinidad - is a guide necessary?

    One of us is photographer and likes being able to wander on foot without an itinerary. Can Trinidad be enjoyed that way? - or is it better to have a guide to get around?
  6. alc13

    Cultural Cuba Review

    Here is a helpful thread on bypassing ship excursions in Cuba -
  7. alc13

    Cultural Cuba Review

    As far as I can tell the legal requirement is to retain documentation of your activities showing "support for the Cuban people" if you go off on your own. It is very confusing - the cruise line apparently provides the appropriate visa, which I guess requires them to accompany you at all times, or something. But then there is (apparently) an affidavit that you sign that offers additional reasons for your visit, like support for the Cuban people. vcgeno, does that square with your experience? In any case, there are many reports of people wandering around independently without problems. We're planning to do that in January. We are not intrepid travelers by any means but are pretty comfortable with the choice.
  8. alc13

    Cultural Cuba Review

    We're on that itinerary in January so your review is extremely helpful! I wonder if you can answer some questions on these subjects - Money exchange. We tend to wander on our own instead of booking excursions. I'd love to avoid the exchange lines on the first morning in Cienfuegos. You mentioned that dollars are widely accepted in tourist shops, but do you think that would apply outside of the excursion routes? Cienfuegos on Foot. Worth it, do you think? Was there much information about the history or culture? Wines. We'll probably do the package because we both like beer and cocktails, but I was disappointed to read that the included package wines are still budget level ($10-15), and the discount doesn't apply on $40-60 bottles. Is there a wine-by-the-glass option for higher quality wines? And a comment - good for you for moving that towel and taking the unoccupied stone bed. I can't stand it when people reserve seats. It is really just a form of butting in line, which most people wouldn't dream of doing.
  9. We're familiar with both Bogle and KJ. Thanks for the helpful response.
  10. We’re considering a cruise on Seabourn or Silversea - it would be our first with either. Our experience with included wines on another luxury line wasn’t great. The options were mass market quality, very inexpensive and without much character. By contrast, the wine selections on lines where we’ve paid for them have been very good, with plenty of moderately priced options. Europa 2 was outstanding in this respect, but Cunard and Windstar have been good, too. So acknowledging that tastes vary, but with a belief that there can be agreement on the difference between poorly made wines vs decently and well-made wines, what might we find on the included lists on Silversea and Seabourn?
  11. I dip in and out of this board when we are planning or just back from a Cunard cruise, and since we are just back I'll probably be leaving again for a while. So I want to take this opportunity to praise our Host, the unfailingly helpful, courteous, and friendly Hattie. Not only is she all of that, but she is quick to deal with snark, so the board remains cordial and positive. A toast to you, Hattie! - cocktail of your choice.
  12. We love formal nights, the lectures, and live music (classical and jazz) that we find on Cunard. No looking to change just yet, but how would we like Oceania? (Sorry, horribly off topic.)
  13. Tempting menus. We spent last week on the QM2 in QG. The menus there were very different - fewer choices on both the daily and a la carte menus, and heavily skewed towards beef. Sadly, the preparation was lackluster, too. We wondered if we were seeing a trend or a one-off.
  14. Sad. I will guess that formal nights might go the way of the promenade deck, too, on this ship.
  15. If you’ve read all the (admittedly endless) posts on dress codes then you pretty much know the answers to your questions. The dress code is what it is; no one is ostracized for ignoring it or cutting corners, but efforts to comply are appreciated. That includes the so-called informal nights (jackets for men). No mysteries here.
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