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About LandlockedCruiser01

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago metro area
  • Interests
    Baseball, board games, swing dancing, general aviation
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Royal Dolphin Swim at Cozumel

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  1. A road trip to Wisconsin Dells, like me and my friends went in May last year, to escape the government tyranny in Illinois. It was a total 180 compared to Fauci-cago, like a time warp to 2019. Almost nobody wore masks masks, except in corporate chain stores and restaurants; independent businesses didn't care. There was absolutely no social distancing: people were shaking hands, hugging, and dancing with near-strangers. People on the street let us pet their dogs. I danced with a woman I just met in bar; it was G-rated swing dancing with a "thank you" hug at the end, but still a culture sho
  2. I do the "reverse pill-boxing": I keep the amount I'll need for my cruise plus a few extra doses in the original bottle, and dump the extra into a pill box. The bottle does into my backpack; the pill box stays at home. I also carry a printed copy of the prescription, with all the information matching the bottle label. This way, I have bulletproof defense against everyone: the embarkation agents, the US-based police, and the Customs officers. Foreign police, it's a hit or miss; but if they can read English and my pills are legal in their country, I'm safe from them too.
  3. Theoretically, it's a hit or miss. Poolside bars during the daytime may have bartenders who are more lenient with having a teenager sit there, provided that she doesn't drink alcohol. With indoor bars and any bars at night, your odds are extremely low. Just sit at a table together, with you drinking a beer or a cocktail, and her drinking a virgin drink; problem solved. Unless she'll enjoy the taboo factor of herself sitting at a bar, I highly doubt she'll see the difference. Practically, why would she want to? When I was 13, I wanted to hang out with my peers. Not sit at a ba
  4. I'm a simple man, when it comes to New Year's Eve. As long as I have strong drinks to chug, a lively dance venue to party in, and a friendly lady to dance with, they can serve simple bologna sandwiches, for all I care. It just has to be enough of them to soak up the booze. For New Year's Day, I want something filling and hearty, to help nurse my killer hangover. Something like a rich, cheesy, meaty pasta dish. With a beer on the side, of course.
  5. I agree with you in principle. But my situation was different: I was cruising solo. A fine dining venue like Sir Winston's feels suited for a special occasion with a significant other, where the ambiance, not the food, is a #1 priority. Its offerings didn't seem much different from the ones I can find around Chicago, so the value just wasn't there for me. (I chose In-N-Out Burger, a uniquely California experience, for my dinner instead.) Also, I'm uncomfortable dining alone in a nice restaurant, unless I'm on a cruise ship. :) I suppose if I were cruising with a significant ot
  6. The "betting" might have been metaphorical. Still, there's a difference between true connections and what I call "courtesy connections", where you have a shared goal but not always shared interests. The former is when you bond over a new experience, realize you have things in common, and become friends, even if just for the duration of the cruise. The latter isn't too different from work colleagues. That is, you make an effort to get along and exchange pleasantries, but you don't hang out outside that place. (Unless you bond well enough for it to turn into true connections, which happened
  7. Thanks! That couple were the alpha dogs of the table. That is, they took charge to get everyone to introduce themselves, started group conversations, and set the tone for the dinner social dynamics. I saw them while I was doing the limbo, but they sat on the sidelines rooting for the participants, not partaking themselves. (Limbo would be a challenge for most 60-somethings.)
  8. Whether or not they become your friends depends on how close they are to you in age, or shared interests (or lack thereof). On my first cruise, at age 29, I was the youngest at the table, while the "alpha dogs" of the table were a couple in early 60's. Some of my tablemates saw me doing the limbo on the Lido deck or dancing with a woman (which they probably found nostalgic). We didn't hang out outside dinner, but I really enjoyed their company; they inspired me to always choose assigned dining on my future cruises. Go ahead and change it! You may or may not gel with your tablem
  9. I've only done Carnival. One thing that put me off NCL is lack of assigned dining. I like having a guaranteed set of dinner companions, to compare notes and shoot the breeze with. On one cruise, my tablemates even adopted me. So, I didn't want to look for a table like a new kid in school. And eating dinner alone feels, well, lonely. Eating breakfast and lunch alone, I don't care; those meals have a more "utilitarian" feel. Perhaps on Epic and other ships with Studio cabins, there are organized dinner groups, but I feel gun-shy about chancing it. As for solo experiences on Ca
  10. I beg to differ on Carnival being solo-unfriendly. While its pricing structure is meh, its onboard atmosphere is very solo-friendly. I always had a very easy time meeting new people. All I had to do is either start a friendly conversation or draw attention to myself by going onstage in the piano bar. The rest would always snowball from there, in the best way possible.
  11. I stayed on the Queen Mary on my latest cruise. (See my review in signature.) It was truly awesome, despite an overly cold room. The ship/hotel just breathes history everywhere you go. It gets under your skin, even if you're only a casual history fan. That said, I did not eat at Queen Mary, save for a morning coffee at Starbucks. The food menus were nothing special and obnoxiously overpriced. Instead, I took the AquaLink to Alamitos Bay for dinner at In-N-Out Burger, and a normal road bus to downtown Long Beach for breakfast at a diner.
  12. He definitely would not. Judaism provides a few limited leniences for travelers when it comes to kosher laws. But whether or not a closed-loop pleasure cruise is a form of travel... well, only an experienced rabbi can answer that for sure. There are specialized kosher cruises on fully chartered ships, so highly observant Jews are better off sailing on those.
  13. They don't. Kosher meals, resembling TV dinners, are ordered from land-based kosher kitchens, and sealed in double-wrapped packages. The outer wrapper is taken off by the line cook who heats the meal; the inner wrapper is taken off by you, the diner. Flatware is plastic/disposable, because the koshering process for regular flatware and plates is impossible to do on a mass-market ship. Depending on how strict they follow kosher laws, Jewish passengers can also eat fresh fruit, bread, and other parve (neither meat nor dairy) foods off the buffet. Some packaged foods
  14. That's true on land. But on cruises, work talk seems to be semi-taboo. (Which, interestingly, isn't true at AI resorts.) I rarely had anyone on a cruise ask me what I do for work, and I never initiated that question myself. All "getting acquainted" questions seemed to revolve around past cruises, excursion choices, favorite ships, and food preferences. Only when keeping in touch after the cruise with the people I exchanged contacts with, we talked about our jobs.
  15. You probably should have put "[SFW]" in the title. (It means "safe for work", opposite of the more common "[NSFW]", or "not safe for work".) I waited until today to read this thread, because I last accessed Cruise Critic on a work computer, and the word "horny" put me off.
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