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About travelnap

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    Traveling and reading
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    HAL & NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Enjoy all of them

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  1. I guess I have been lucky. In all my trips I can only remember one occasion when I did not just breeze through customs traveling as a solo. I was returning from a three city tour from Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok and had arrived at LAX. When I got to the customs area and gave them my customs form, they asked to search my bag. I told them that that would be fine, and that everything I had purchased was in my carry on bag. The larger suitcase was filled with two weeks worth of dirty laundry and I told them that it was full of dirty laundry. Too funny, that is the one they wanted to search, and yes they did find two weeks worth of clothes to be laundered. I then asked them if they would like to see the things that I had purchased that were in my carry on bag, and they told me no thank you, you can go. They must have thought I was hiding something in with the dirty laundry. I just thought it was funny at the time.
  2. Copper, Enjoying your pictures and the travel log and information on your cruise. Happy Anniversary, even though I am a bit late. Enjoy the rest of your cruise as you head back south. I was on the Nieuw Amsterdam a couple of years ago and really enjoyed the ship. They have made some changes in the Crow's Nest from your pictures.
  3. I would agree with the exception of the dynamite. Purchasing that could really blow up your jewelry box if you are not careful. LOL
  4. It is indeed the same rock, no matter where you buy it. Larimar is a a pretty stone and found in the Dominican Republic. While on a cruise there I did pick up a few pendants from the local craftsman for gifts. They were simple pendants set in silver. No fancy settings. Since then I have purchased Larimar online, with better settings, and they were cheaper than what I paid the native craftsman, and much cheaper than what the cruise ships charge for basically the same setting.
  5. Yes, gemstone marketing is pretty prevalent on all the cruise lines. The zoltanite is the marketing name for diaspore which does have a bit of a color change. Tanzanite is the marketing name for Zoisite which has been marketed for years. I have also seen ships marketing yellow emerald which is a beryl stone know as helidor. You can also find mystic topaz which is simply white topaz that has been coated with a chemical solution and then irradiated to bring out all the different colors. All of the stones are very pretty and nice to look at, but very few of these exotic gemstones are all that exotic or valuable. Its all about the marketing. There is a huge markup on most jewelry and that is not limited to just the cruise ships, you will also see the markup in regular jewelry stores, but you won't find a lot of the gem stones marketed on a cruise ship in most jewelry stores. If you like the jewelry and are comfortable with the price, then buy it, but don't think of jewelry as an investment because it seldom is with the markups that are out there, both aboard ships and in the various ports they stop at.
  6. Totally agree with this post Roy. No matter which ship I was sailing on, the memories of that trip are far more valuable than anything I bought or received from the cruise line on the trip. Neil
  7. Sorry about the loss of your husband but congratulations on booking your first solo cruise. I hope you have a great cruise. I would also join the roll call for that trip as it will help you meet others on your cruise. Good Luck.
  8. My biggest unexpected charge was on my very first cruise. When I got that final bill and they let me know that all those drinks I had were not included in the fare. Joking of course, but it was a slight surprise to find out how much more fun I had than what I remembered having.
  9. Hope you have a great trip. Hopefully it will be nice and relaxing, and you will have some good ports for your voyage.
  10. With your anniversary in November and you looking for a relaxing week I think I would go with the Bermuda cruise. That way you can actually celebrate your anniversary. I would save the Alaska cruise for later when you have a little more time to get away and enjoy the wonderful scenery that you will see. I would definitely do the Alaska cruise as you don't hear too many complaints from people that do. Oh sure, the beaches are a little cool from the glaciers dumping into them, and all those whales around while you are trying to swim, but otherwise it is wonderful. Such beautiful scenery, much different than an island beach destination. Whatever you decide, I hope you have a great trip for your anniversary.
  11. Why would that seem strange, it's just pizza pie ala mode, unless they put the pizza on top of the ice cream, then they have deeper problems than we can deal with here on CC. It would melt the ice cream and cool off the pizza crust and it might get a bit soggy before they got to the ice cream soup that would be left.
  12. My first Europe trip was a trip that began with three days in Paris and then a trip through the Chunnel on the Eurostar and then three days in London. It was a great trip. I also did a solo trip through Italy with Globus that was great. Yes, solo land travels are a much better way to visit someplace than just a port visit and then gone. I used to do a lot of solo land trips but then I started cruising and liked not having to pack and unpack each day.
  13. I just got one in the mail on Wednesday. Some good offers for free or reduced cruises but don't know if the dates will work for me this year. May grab one of the Pacific Coastal tours in September from Vancouver to San Diego. Only 6 days but still a nice relaxing trip for a weeks break.
  14. I had probably had done 8 or 9 cruises before a friend told me about cruise critic. I was not even aware that it existed prior to her telling me about it. I appreciated her advice as I have found CC to be a great resource and a good forum.
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