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About crystalspin

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    3,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Orange County, CA, USA
  • Interests
    Fibercrafts, technology, and travel!
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Holland America
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. We had a Deck 10 inside on the Zuiderdam last April and were thrilled to book the same on Oosterdam next March. Not nearly so small as I imagined, although no sofa. SO convenient to the Crows Nest (which is also the Exploration Cafe now, one-stop-shopping!). It would also be handy to the spa as well as the Fitness Center, if you like to spend time there. Not a long walk to the Lido (pool or buffet), a bit longer to the MDR, but one walk a day is not too bad! The Cabana on 11 is an option I hadn't considered!
  2. Wow, YOUR Ovation cruise sounds more than awesome! Circum-pacific or nearly. We have two "live-out-of-a-suitcase" 2-wk land-trips between now and the SoPac cruise (Central Europe leaving next week, and South America in January). Like you, I'm more excited about the long cruise (picking excursions) -- but I do have to get to packing for Europe where it is about 20 degrees (F) cooler than here!
  3. @awhfy That sounds like a good color scheme for you (judging from your thumbnail photo) -- Cobalt turns my skin Frankenstein green! I think the palazzo pants will be a perfect kick with the other colors! I am off in 10 days for a land-trip to central Europe. I spent last evening browsing VivienneFiles. Did not find anything that helped (but I sure do love her ideas)... It's only a 12-day tour, but our flights are with FinnAir having a carry-on limit of 8kg/person! Also the longest we stay anywhere is 2-nights so laundry will be tight -- either handwash or by the hotels. The highs look like they will be about 60, so significantly cooler than home OR my mom's where I just spent seven weeks. So today I'm rooting through storage boxes for cool-weather clothing...
  4. Wow, that's wonderful to hear! It's great when good things grow. Do not know if we will get to travel inland again; we have another 2-wk roundtrip out of Los Angeles planned for next June on Princess. We *and* our family members will not have to fly, although they will have to drive a total of 12 hours (to our house) and then back. But they can do it as long ahead of time as they like, to have time to recover!
  5. Is this the cabin you originally asked about? because 12531 is a Virtual Balcony category CF concierge Inside Family Suite, with approximate square footage of 572... Not what most cruisers would call terribly small!
  6. 1: Choose your own room, for all of the reasons. The cruiselines have re-categorized their cabins so they can say they are giving you a "better" cabin while it actually has major deficits! (a) There really isn't a better side; you are primarily either out to sea or surrounded by scenery, and for glacier viewing the captain will turn the ship 360degrees. 2: What line and/or ship? We have sailed in and to Alaska in insides and partially obscured oceanviews all on HAL. the partially obscured OVs on the Lower Promenade (the deck with the actual promenade) are a best-value in our estimate! Steps from the biggest balcony on the ship! 3: Book the cruise with a refundable deposit and you can re-fare up to Final Payment Date if the fare goes down or there is a promotion of greater value to you. You will need to check for those yourself... unless you have a very good service travel agent. 4: Ketchikan: Totem Bight or Saxman Totem Park, shop on Creek Street, eat at The Alaskan Fish House. Juneau: Whale watching or whale watching + Mendenhall Glacier. Skagway: One of the railroad excursions. Have done up-and-back and up by train down by bus and prefer the latter (two different sets of views and the bus will stop at a couple photo ops). If you are taking a cruise that stops at other ports, please supply them. here is a link for a 'what to pack' article: https://juneaushoretours.com/what-to-pack-for-your-alaska-cruise/ There are other links in the sidebar and at the bottom!
  7. Ian, I admire your contributions and it appears that we travel in similar ways (carryon only) -- but I finally have to answer your bristling about loyalty programs and such. We book most with Holland America because we like the way we are treated on HAL! The free laundry after our next HAL cruise was the slightest factor in moving our So.Pacific cruise from Princess to HAL. The fact that Princess treats anyone under a Minisuite as steerage had a LOT more to do with it.
  8. For our two-cabin 14-day R/T Los Angeles AK cruise in June 2020, the difference for Landmark refundable over non-refundable, in a mini-suite was $130pp! Nonetheless, the refundable Landmark was still a better deal than the May sale for my sis and BIL, by about $35pp as the new OBC was more than the previous OBC+grats. Our mini-suites are in a prime position, though, so the 3FF that is described may result in a lower base rate (almost mid-ship for all the forward price? is what I'm reading), that could mean ANOTHER re-fare! Fortunately my PVP is very willing to do it for us. I'll surely be watching in September!
  9. I haven't cruised your area, but if you're on deck and the ship is moving, you will experience it as wind. I would say bring what you would wear in the spring in Minnesota -- something to cover your ears and a lined windbreaker or the like -- with pockets for your hands. Maybe someone will be along to help you decide between a lined windbreaker and a wind-resistant light fleece...
  10. Ah, I see, we were preachin' to the choir. As I said in post #6, it's not that difficult. If there's room in the CARRYON suitcase, I will put in a Guayabera shirt for dr'spin, otherwise just a pale-colored hiking shirt like an AirStrip from ExOfficio. With a cardigan over it, you can't even tell that it is vented! He doesn't take special trousers or even shoes, if it's going to be a Gala night I will suggest he wear a dark pair of zip-off nylon pants that day (because changing more than his shirt for dinner does NOT happen). Don't overlook the ship itself as a place to pick up cheap bling. There are pricey jewelry shops but they pretty much always have specials on costume jewelry and accessories in the "ship" store, synchronized with the Gala Nights.
  11. It's amazing how much water shoes can hold. I feel your fall. I didn't fall in either of the wet experiences above, but I have fallen HARD on hard surfaces on two occasions in 1-2 years. Gotta stop leading with my chin! It's a wonder I didn't break a veneer or two.
  12. Wow what a great summary @Anita Latte! I love how you broke layering down into, well, LAYERS. I grew up in the Adirondack Mtns where we would almost always hit 40F-Below at least once a winter, so layering is second nature to me. My DH grew up in Southern California, and he used to be like "Well, a jacket is a layer (over any light shirt!)". He's learned some! I'd only add that the warm layer is better if it is two layers, so that you can peel one off and not be down to your base+raincoat. Like a shirt *and* a light sweater or cardigan maybe. I would give a holler to neck tubes -- Even the light polyester ones from eBay are good, and you can also find them in quality 'tech' fabric at places like REI. I have been known to wear two, one around the neck (like a cowl) and one pulled over my ears but under my real hat, like a headband. They pack in no space at all and come in zillion colors/patterns. We also like thin silk longjohn BOTTOMS -- it's easy to layer tees/shirt/sweater/jacket on top, but bottom layers are fewer by nature. Silky bottoms also pack small, and mostly will not overheat you under whatever your standard trousers are. I did take rain-pants on my first trip to Alaska, where we self-drove for two weeks after a 7-day NB cruise... I guess I wore them once or twice, but in the end, I left them behind at our last B&B, feeling that I would never wear them again. I do love my SmartWool socks, but in the Adks we had a saying: If your feet are cold, put on a hat. Head loses most of your heat!
  13. Hi Von! We had lunch in Talkeetna at the Brewery, in 2009. It was tasty! My given middle name is Yvonne after my paternal aunt, a dear lady.
  14. Chicks may hatch earlier up "north" at Punta Arenas and Stanley, than on the Antarctica Peninsula. Just a guess.
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