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  1. Some of the aft verandas are classified as Vista Suites. We like aft verandas and a deck 4 Vista Suite was the only aft veranda available for our November repositioning. I think the aft verandas classified as Vista Suites are on decks 4 and 7.
  2. We were on the Noordam earlier this year. We were to dock at White Bay Terminal. Our arrival was delayed by five hours because of bad weather in the Sydney Harbor. In previous cruises we overnighted in Sydney before catching the noonish flights back to the US. If we were to finish a cruise in Sydney again, we would spend the night in a hotel to insure getting to the airport on time.
  3. In 2022 we did the 35 day circumnavigation of Australia on HAL. We started the Australia cruise with the 34 day repositioning from San Diego to Sydney, so we were on the Noordam for a total of 69 days. The circumnavigation portion was extraordinary. I have no other cruises to compare, since this was my first and probably only circumnavigation.
  4. On our two cruises last year on the Oosterdam and Noordam, internet performance was adequate. I use the internet primarily for e-mail and documents. I had to do several video conferences and scheduled them for port days to insure strong land based internet. On the transatlantic in November on the Oosterdam, there seemed to be poor internet in the middle of the Atlantic.
  5. Last year we did a circumnavigation of Australia on HAL's Noordam. The itinerary is about the same as the one posted by strobe1. We started in San Diego and did a 34 day South Pacific cruise to Sydney where we started the circumnavigation. The Westerdam is a midsized sister ship of the Noordam. Both are very nice ships.
  6. When you sail from Rome to Messina, you will sail by the island of Stromboli. The Stromboli volcano has been in almost continuous eruption for the last 2000-3000 years. In 2018 we sailed from Messina to Rome and we could see the erupting volcano from our starboard balcony. Assuming the captain takes the same course, the volcano should be visible from the port side.
  7. The bus station is on Calle 82 about two blocks from where the cruise shuttle drops you in Progreso. Busses run about every 20 minutes and it takes about an hour to reach the Merida terminal near the central square. The busses are clean, well maintained and reliable. Here is a link to the bus company's web site with a map of the route. https://www.autoprogreso.com/en/ I ride the bus several times a month with no problems. You buy tickets at the ticket window in the station.
  8. When are you going to the Blue Lagoon? BL is currently closed because of the nearby volcano eruption. As I understand the highway from Reykjavik is blocked by a lava flow.
  9. I winter in a small village east of Progreso. One of our visiting grandchildren's favorite place to visit was El Corchito. They first visited when the were pre-teens and have gone back as teenagers. You arrive on the north side of the lagoon and pay for transport in a small boat to the dock for the park. I am not sure what is the cost. Here is a recent story about the park. https://www.theyucatantimes.com/2022/09/el-corchito-a-fantastic-ecological-nature-reserve-just-minutes-away-from-merida/ I think it would be possible to walk from the shuttle bus stop from the end of the pier to the park, but I would take a taxi. You walk through the city in neighborhoods with poor or non-existent sidewalks. No food can be taken into the park (they do not want you feeding the animals), but bring your swimsuits, beach towels, bug repellent and reef safe sun screen. Since we live in the Yucatan, I am not sure about excursions from a cruise ship.
  10. We stopped in Brisbane last year. We were a group of four, took a taxi from the cruise terminal and Uber from the CBD back to the ship. Four shuttle bus fares were more than taxi/Uber.
  11. We were at group of six in Barcelona in November, 2023 for four nights before boarding the Oosterdam repositioning cruise. While we were in Barcelona we made arrangements for an excursion to Montserrat through Spain Day Tours. It was a great day. They picked us up at our apartment and dropped us at Plaza Cataluna. You will have to check with them about whether they will pick up at the cruise port. We have used Spain Day Tours on previous trips. They are a reliable company, and provide excellent service.
  12. We have done two cruises, one with stops in Iceland and the other exclusively in Iceland. We did HAL's Voyage of the Vikings round trip that made three stops eastbound and two stops westbound in Iceland. Both legs included a stop in Reykjavik. The advantage to Voyage of the Vikings is the opportunity to stop in Greenland. Last year we did an eight day circumnavigation of Iceland on Hurtigruten Expeditions. We had the chance to see many smaller ports, but also were to revisit Isafjord and Akureyri. We missed Isafjord because of weather. If you have the time, I would recommend the Voyage of the Vikings.
  13. We were on the Noordam last year when it made a stop in Sydney. There was a paid shuttle from White Bay Terminal to Darling Harbor. There was a wait at both ends of the trip. (I heard passengers complaining about the wait). We were a group of four and used Uber without a problem. If time is limited and you want to maximize your sightseeing, I suggest a taxi or Uber.
  14. We were on the Oosterdam for the November transatlantic. We had the premium internet package. With Starlink we had,fast, stable internet across the Atlantic.
  15. Bummer babe, The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront in Cape Town is named for Queen Victoria and her second son, Alfred.
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