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About SempreMare

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    Austin, Texas
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  1. @Budget Queen, my apologies; my intention for this topic to be about Alaska's photo opps replated to sunrise sunset. Not about which fixed vs anytime dining. I only linked to the original thread to show context.
  2. In a topic about anytime dining vs fixed time dining in the HAL forum, @Crew News made this interesting comment: >> Cruising to Alaska is very port intensive for me. I arise two hours before docking to have breakfast and take photographs of the port during sail-in. Add long days on excursions and I become "early to bed and early to rise". and >> As a photographer, I cannot capture those amazing Alaska sunsets while dining. Dining at 5:30 allows me to take advantage of all available entertainment, capture sunset photos, process my daily photographs, and be asleep around 11:00 PM with a calm tummy. I will be in Alaska (on HAL) in August. Given these sunrise and sunset times for August, what time would be best for sunrise / sunset photos? https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/usa/anchorage?month=8 Maybe I should ask a less specific question: Given these different types of sunlight in August: Daylight: 6:20 am - 9:37 pm Civil Twilight: 5:29 am - 6:20 am, 9:37 pm - 10:29 pm Nautical Twilight: 4:16 am - 5:29 am, 10:29 pm - 11:43 pm Astronomical Twilight: 12:00 am - 4:16 am, 11:43 pm - 12:00 am what are the considerations this brings to when you take sunrise and sunset photos? @Crew News and others, when is your favorite time of day & why for sunrise, sunset photos? I do realize it rains a lot in Alaska which means none of this might matter :-). Definitions from Time and Date: Twilight is the time between day and night when the Sun is below the horizon but its rays still light up the sky. Civil twilight is the brightest of the 3 twilight phases. The Sun is just below the horizon, so there is generally enough natural light to carry out most outdoor activities. Nautical twilight is the second twilight phase. Both the horizon and the brighter stars are usually visible at this time, making it possible to navigate at sea. Astronomical twilight is the darkest of the 3 twilight phases. It is the earliest stage of dawn in the morning and the last stage of dusk in the evening.
  3. Thanks so much everyone! Wow, @Anita Latte that Northern Knives store in Anchorage looks serious! What an excellent selection. Unfortunately my Anchorage stay will be before my cruise. According to the Holland America "Know before you Go" PDF, "knives or sharp blades over two and half inches long and illegal drugs of any kind are prohibited without exception." darn it... Though maybe they would ship... I've always been waylayed trying to find a post office while on vacation. Something happens and I can't get there in time. When my hand was in a cast last year, someone advised me to buy an Ulu knife and a Subway salad bowl . Great advice - I could simply dump veggies into the bowl, then go all Jason on the veggies with my Ulu knife. @quack2 the Soho Coho place & art looks unique!
  4. What is the fastest way to see all topics I started? fastest = fewest keystrokes and mouseclicks
  5. What have been your favorite souvenirs from Alaska ports? I'll be traveling on Holland America this summer to - Haines - Juneau - Ketchikan Before the cruise, I'll also stay in - Anchorage - Seward
  6. Wise words. Nothing like the voice of experience. I'm going on my first cruise on HAL this summer. I'm thinking about writing the muster station on the back of an Index card and taping it to the back of my door.
  7. Very cool review @RedneckBob! I wish you were my neighbor. I'd love to make you and the Mrs. dinner just to listen to your cruising stories. (Looks like you're in FL, I'm in TX, darn it, though I do have family in Florida (Tampa / Central FL area).
  8. @thinfool >> Take what you can when you check in/embark....make sure the wine goes with you. Then leave the ship and get whatever other non-alcoholic items you deem necessary. What a great point! You must a "sideways thinker" 😉 Check-out time from Seward cabin = 10:00am. Boarding time = ?not sure? Sail away = 8:00pm. Since I probably will have tons of time I could simply just re-board? I could: 1) Board first with carry on & backpack, leaving beverages in the rental car with a foldable duffle as @Higntn suggested. Then empty the hard shell. 2) Return to parked rental car. Refill and check back on. 3) Turn in rental car at Hertz. Take the Hertz shuttle back then explore all 11 floors of the Westerdam. @midwest 852 >> Because you'll have the car i would buy everything before the cruise and drop off with luggage. Agreed. From a tour & transfer Anchorage to Seward, will rent a car in Seward before the cruise for a couple days on Resurrection Bay. @midwest 852 >> Seward doesn't get as many private cars as other ports lots of buses so fairly easy to get in & out. @midwest 852 >> I only carry water (hate HALs water) Good to know; thanks. @VennDiagram >> Plus you will have some sort of carry-on luggage for valuables/important things, right? So you could put the bottle of wine in that. Agree. I'll probably put the bottle of wine in my backpack. It's usually full when I travel but on this trip my laptop won't be there. Of all beverages I consider the bottle of wine to be the most iffy (take it or leave it). I'll probably have 2 glasses max during the cruise. But I'd rather take it than not, even if just to share it with new friends. @knittinggirlRe: Quantities Am not sure exactly how much I'll have left of the soda from initial purchase when I embark. Before the cruise: 5 days exploring the Anchorage, Whittier, Seward area with a friend from school. Then 7 day cruise. Then 3 days in Vancouver joining back up with the friend from school. Typically I use 1/2 a six pack of each type of the lemon lime seltzer water and Zevia on week-long work trips. When in explore-mode before the cruise, might use more. Even if I only have left 2 lemon-lime + 2 Zevia = 4 cans, I'll definitely use that on the cruise. @knittinggirl re: Seward >> There's no covered gangplank from check-in building to ship. We had to walk out in the elements in the pouring rain. People were standing in line to board right by the ship. Long wait for the crew to help w/ wheelchairs, so I just limped onboard. >> It's important to hand-carry your camera stuff. I had my camera bag in the cargo section of a transfer bus, and the porter pulled it out before I could retrieve it and started dumping heavy stuff on top it. >> While it is possible for you to drag a wheelie up the ramp w/ an accessory bag on the handle and your knapsack on your back. It IS a pretty steep gangplank. All good to know; thank you! @knittinggirl re: Luggage tags >> I always put luggage tags on everything, even the stuff I plan to hand carry. If it gets left in a cab, you may have a very small chance of it arriving on the ship. I heard in San Francisco of a lady that left a bag w/ a tag in her taxi, and it made it to the ship anyway. Wow, great point - had not thought of that. @1ANGELCAT >> I don’t think the beer will be allowed. I've switched to non-alcoholic beer. Clausthaler is my fave. My friends can't tell the difference, so still limit them to 2 'if they are driving'! 😉 I can only reliably find it at Total Wine & more; not grocery stores unless I special order it. http://www.clausthaler.com/ . However, I have not yet tried the Heineken 0.0 that I read here was served on the Westerdam. https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2019/01/10/Alcohol-free-Heineken-0.0-lands-in-the-US If they don't have that at dinner or bar when I'm craving something beyond iced tea, the alcoholic drinks from the menus do look excellent. @3rdGenCunarder >> This raises an interesting point. HAL does not permit passengers to bring on beer. I wonder what they would say about nonalcoholic beer. I would be surprised if I could find Clausthaler in AK. Beck's non-alcoholic is second fave. Everything else I've tried is ick. I might try bringing it on board if I see Clausthaler non-alcoholic in Alaska. Otherwise I'll skip it as you advise. Worst case they would just keep it till I get to Vancouver, right?
  9. ?? What did I write that made you think I'd buy the beverages before I even fly to Alaska? Seward does have grocery stores... https://local.safeway.com/safeway/ak/seward/1907-seward-hwy.html Also, I don't need to wait and find 'if I must have it'. I already travel for weeks at a time for work. I already know what I'll want. I am looking for ideas for how best schlep the beverages on the Westerdam, not the plane. >> I'll be embarking the Westerdam in Seward, Alaska.
  10. In August I'll be embarking the Westerdam in Seward, Alaska. I am new to HAL. My only other cruise was eons ago. I've started reading the "New to Holland America" stickie topic but have only covered the most recent ~ 30 pages so far. Could you share your thoughts about how to best load everything on the ship? I wasn't thinking about this till the nice agent at the Seward Hertz suggested dropping off my luggage at the cruise ship before returning my rental car. Then, I would take the Hertz shuttle back to the ship that runs every 10 minutes. Questions: 1) Checked luggage (I anticipate this will be easy...) If I do as she advised, will there be a place I can drive right up to unload my checked luggage? After looking at the Google Earth picture of the Seward Cruise Ship Terminal, my guess is I'd need to park and then walk up my checked luggage somewhere. 2) Carry on luggage (This sounds hard.) For drinks, I want to bring on board: - 1 bottle of wine - 12 pack of water - Lemon lime seltzer water which I enjoy mixing with those kid size tiny cartons of fruit juice - Zevia root beer, my new fave carbonated beverage ** - A couple non-alcoholic beers if I can find Beck's or Clausthaler Assume I will already have one full backpack and 1 hardshell that has camera equipment and a couple other breakables. How would you advise I lug the drinks on board? ** My New Year's resolution was to kick my Coke Zero, Breakfast of Champions, habit. My watch made me realize it was making my heart race after drinking it. When in Hong Kong for work last month I stuck to that until day 5 without anything carbonated. Then I gave in and had to get one from a McDonalds. But have been good since. I found can be really happy with either the lemon lime seltzer water or the Zevia to satisfy my the carbonated beverage craving.
  11. Thanks all! I'm glad I came across it. I am much more likely to remember something relevant in the moment if I skim it before the trip vs in the hubbub of day 1. I'd expect pricing to be outdated unless I pulled it from the HA official website.
  12. Thank you @Crew News No need to look it word for word - what I really meant by that question was more along the lines of... 1) Does this PDF look legit? i.e., is it an official Holland America PDF? (I believe I went to last page and first page and didn't see an official document mark or copyright but maybe I missed it.) I don't see that PDF on the HA Westerdam website. 2) If you think it's legit, is it probably a Pre-Renovation booklet?
  13. I googled a question about the Westerdam (which floor is the muster drill location?). That landed me on a Japanese website with a "Welcome Book" PDF about the Westerdam. Is this PDF accurate? https://www.cruiseplanet.co.jp/pdf/holland/WelcomeBook_WEDM_2016_v1_180205.pdf It looks like an official PDF with a familiar font but I don't see it on the Holland America Westerdam official page
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