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About wassup4565

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    Ottawa, Canada

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  1. Yes, and the vehicles were parked very nearby outside also. Make sure to ask how to return the keys when you get back. I think there was a slot we had to throw the keys through or something. The agent was long gone. Please let me know if I can help further. I am just planning a land vacation with a rented car in nearby Brittany, and then to Paris for a few days. Not an expert, but I am learning a lot.
  2. When we rented a car in Le Havre we ran into an unexpected farmers’s protest shortly after leaving the city. Several dozen tractors and farms vehicles had arranged themselves bumper to bumper in all the freeway lanes, making a blockade. They were travelling at tractor speed. We exited at the next opportunity and fell back on Plan B, lunch in Caen and a drive back along the coast on secondary roads - one gorgeous old village after another all the way to le Havre ( pronounced Le Av). Have a Plan B if you try your excursion.
  3. Check with the rental company, but when we rented two years ago, two or three companies had a set-up a short walk away from the dock. No need for a taxi, we walked off the ship and into a huge hangar-like structure, and found the companies there. Easy to find, easy walk. The agent was not exactly on time, and showed up a few minutes late, but once he did, we and the others waiting were on the road pretty quickly.
  4. Sorry, I do not have that info right at hand, but you can google Magen’s Bay and find the official website, which is very thorough. I remember seeing price lists on that official site. Don’t forget you also have to pay a modest admission cost to the park (I think it’s $5 US)
  5. There is a certain category of cruiser who loves to complain and find fault with anything and everything. My theory is they think it makes them feel like they are discerning. Ignore these people. They think complaining makes them seem sophisticated, when it actually reveals they are cranks. Unless you are determined to whine and nag, you will be delighted by any cruise on any mainstream line. Just pick something and go, you will love it. Ten years ago my daughter was working herself to the bone and I made the decision with three weeks notice to book the two of us on a 5-night Western Caribbean cruise on the RCCL ship Radiance of the Seas. How did I choose this cruise? I picked it because it was the exact number of days she had available, at exactly the right time. I had no clue about anything else. The short story was we loved every minutes of it and we have cruised again and again, in many places and on many ships. And by the way, we'd have loved it if it was any other line travelling in any other place. And we still love every trip, on every ship, to every place. Book something that appeals to you and suits your timeframe. Join your roll call and read the many, many wonderful threads on CC to learn everything you want to know. Someone here will always help you. You will have a great time if you go with a good attitude and avoid the gripers you sometimes encounter. And remember what someone in my very first roll call on our first cruise told me when I was stressing about what to pack. "All you really need is your passport, your seapass, your credit card, and your bathing suit. Take it from there."
  6. We took the public bus #2 to Nelson's Dockyard. The bus cost $2 US (bring a few singles as change will not be in US$). See post #6 for description. Ask the locals and they will tell you how to find the bus station. The Dockyard is a UNESCO site, national park, and costs about $8 to enter. Very historic and in great shape, it's still a working dockyard, and you can see sails being repaired, and look at the gorgeous yachts docked right there. You can buy a reasonable lunch at the bakery. I disagree with the suggestion above that you can't have a quality time without spending money on excursions and pricey transport. I loved this bus trip in Antigua, and felt it was one of the most genuine and interesting experiences I've had. It was really great riding along with the local people as they went to work or their homes, while the bus radio played a call-in show with people talking about their issues. Everybody was very kind and helpful when we were not sure where to get off and on. Nelson's Dockyard is a beautiful site, and you don't need an expensive tour to look at this beautiful historic site.
  7. Hoski, I love this suggestion! Was it easy to arrange for the rental car near the pier? Which company? Do you remember where the grocery store was, or was it obvious? Thanks for a great idea! Any further details you can suggest will be appreciated.
  8. Thank you for a great read. Such an intinerary! Our TA on Brilliance a few years ago stopped at Reykjavik for two days (one night) and we were so enthralled with that country we’ve since travelled back there twice. Flew over Greenland on one return trip, and I was so happy to read your account of actually visiting there.
  9. Thanks for all the suggestions here so far. I am particularly interested in Belize. On our first stop here, we booked a small group open-boat trip to Caye Caulker. This was mainly for people snorkelling, but for non swimmers, we had the option of being dropped off on the Caye itself for a couple hours, then rejoining for the boat ride back. We chose this tour because the shuttle boat to Caye Caulker departed too early for our ship arrival including tendering time. First, the tour operator was about 45 minutes late picking us up. On the way back, the boat broke down, and we had to wait for the guy’s buddy to come and get us in another boat. We barely made the last shuttle to the ship. Caye Caulker was nice enough but not very interesting. We rented a golf cart and drove around the very tiny community, which seems to be mostly made up of diving guys and gals and people seeking a laid back alternative lifestyle. The community is mostly small shacks and cottages. Both the boat and tender rides were very long and somewhat rough. This would be a bad day for someone prone to seasickness. The excursion to the Mayan ruins sounds like a better choice for us. Caye Cailker - meh.
  10. WE like the social experience of dining at a large table and meeting new people, and you can get that in the MDR. However, we’ve also ended up with some table-mates that were not interesting, and even more unpleasant, with people who have strident opinions they insist on imposing on others. If my dining companions are pleasant and interesting, I really enjoy the MDR experience. The WJ is a great alternative if we’ve had a long shore day or if we have been assigned to a table where we have nothing in common with table mates. The food is not a repeat of that at noon, and usually some of the evening’s choices from the MDR evening menu are available in the WJ. I prefer the salad choices in the WJ, as I can choose the variety of vegetables and quantity of dressing. Finally, if If I am travelling with my daughter, the WJ is ideal, as she can choose exactly what is best for her limited diet required by a medical condition. In the MDR she often has to consult carefully about the ingredients of some dishes and ask for special orders to have her food cooked differently. She can always find what she needs in the WJ.
  11. Sherri, thank you for this info. We will be in St Maarten in Dec, and really want to go to Orient Beach, one of our favourites. Glad to hear that we will be able to get a taxi and some food and chairs at the beach.
  12. Correction: I see that what I wrote about the south coast drive is confusing. To clarify, the drive is about four hours each way, for a total of about eight hours.
  13. Kiwi Cruiser, a lot depends on the dates you are visiting and how much time you have in port. Please let us know this info so we can help you better. I just came back from my third trip to Iceland. The first was a day and a half in port in Oct, and both other trips were multi-day trips on land. Unless you really don't want to drive, the best method is to rent a car as this allows you the flexibility to use your time best. Your second choice is to book an excursion through a local company. There is really very little public transportation in Iceland and taxis are horribly expensive - neither of those is an option. The Golden Circle is a road trip in the shape of a loop, so you can drive it without wasting time re-tracing your steps. You start out and end up near Reykjavik, and the entire route can be driven comfortably in about five or six hours. The road is excellent, drivers are polite and you get a taste of many unique Iceland sights - waterfalls, a geyser, horse meadows, distant glaciers, volcanic shapes and landforms. If you only have a day this is your best bet, either by car or tour. The south coast is amazingly beautiful, but it takes at least four hours driving and you will want to stop many times to sightsee. Part of that time is re-tracing your route, as this is not a circle and there is only one road there and back. If you are travelling in summer when the days are long, this is a lovely route. The Blue Lagoon is famous and very, very expensive. It costs about $70 a person, so it is not worth the cost unless you love warm geothermal water and want to spend several hours there. It is very pretty with turquoise water, but although people call it a spa, it's not what I think of as a spa - there is only one huge pool of one temperature, and any treatments cost over and above the basic admission. It is also always crowded, and you must book well in advance of your trip - you cannot just walk up. If you want to experience geothermal waters like Icelanders do, go to a public pool for about $10 a person, and enjoy many different heated tubs as well as swimming lanes etc. There are nine public pools in Reykjavik, but there are also pools in most small towns and hamlets. Google maps shows them. No matter what you choose, Iceland is gorgeous, so get out there and enjoy it! Wear warm clothes even in summer, and bring a good waterproof coat. The weather changes every few minutes, and you won't escape the cold rain!
  14. Thank you for the update. We took the excursion with Spencer's company in 2016 and really enjoyed the experience. I have booked it again for four of us in December, and I'm glad to hear your experience was good.
  15. Just for the record, I did not like the mud baths at all. Yes, it is very crowded. But my biggest problem was that I found the water far too hot for me to enjoy, even with trying to ease in. I gave up on submersing myself, and just put some mud on my face, arms and legs. There are a few open showers available to rinse off, but I found the mud wouldn’t come off and I ended up with a lot of it still on my skin. It seems very oily, so maybe you need strong soap to scrub with - there was no soap available that I could see. I also ended smelling very strongly of sulphur, and my towel and bathing suit reeked of it all the way back in the van. I was very glad I didn’t get the mud in my hair, as I saw others doing. As it was, I couldn’t get the grit out from under my fingernails for two days, even scrubbing often with a nail brush. That was my experience, and I didn’t care for it. Just thought people might want another view.
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