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lisakoivu

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About lisakoivu

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Canada
  • Interests
    Travel
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    NCL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Caribbean

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  1. I am sure that Canada will extend closures beyond July 1. Our Prime Minister has said we are months or even a year from things being back to normal, and that nothing can really go back to normal until vaccine.
  2. I am Canadian. This country is taking a VERY hard line on COVID-19. When you see that Canadian ports are closed to July 1st, I would take that to mean they are closed until *at least* July 1st. Also, Seattle is now closed “until the resolution of the public health emergency.” The article below gives some good perspective. I really don't think there will be much of an Alaska season. https://www.alaskapublic.org/2020/03/26/port-of-seattle-becomes-one-more-variable-in-alaskas-suspended-cruise-ship-season/ You also have to think about this: Suppose things were up and running mid-July or August? Would it make sense to move the ships around for a shortened season, or just keep them where they are and deploy them to the Caribbean in the fall? I mean, I'm not a mind reader, but it doesn't take too much to see that it's a pretty risky proposition to think that an Alaska cruise is going to go ahead.
  3. Ports in Canada are closed until July 1st for one thing.
  4. No cruising was involved, but this page was my go-to when trying to figure out what we would do for our vacation, so I thought I'd share what we did, in case useful to others: Really enjoyed the museum with so many costumes on display from Mardi Gras and an explanation of how it all works. Also, an amazing Katrina display with a lot of great explanations about where It All Went Wrong: https://louisianastatemuseum.org/museum/presbytere It was suggested to us by our B&B host to go to Mardi Gras World. It's a big warehouse where they build the floats for each year's parade. You apparently get to see past floats and floats in progress of being built. We didn't go, but next time: https://www.mardigrasworld.com/ We did go on the Steamboat Natchez. It's about 90 minutes. We learned a lot and the jazz was great. We did not have dinner. It looked like kind of icky frozen deep fried, so we were glad we didn't. https://www.steamboatnatchez.com/ Took a day tour to the Whitney Plantation and Oak Alley. Whitney is from the point of view of the slaves and is well worth the trip: https://www.cajunencounters.com/tours/plantations/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0u6R4N3V5gIVCNbACh2IEQLoEAAYASAAEgLMvPD_BwE We would rather have toured Laura and Whitney, but this company didn't offer it. Afterwards, we found out there were companies who do, so look around. Oak Alley was fine, but restricted to a tour, you couldn't just wander around yourself so much. Best burgers we had were at Port of Call. It is definitely a "bar", but a place that locals go as well as tourists. If you're there in the day, you'll be happy. https://portofcallnola.com/ Had an amazing brunch at Cru. We went for the Sunday drag queen brunch, which was fun for everyone (not lewd at all) but if you go for regular brunch, it is to die for http://www.crunola.com/ For great Indian Fusion, try Silk Road. We loved the Samosas and the duck wings: https://www.silkroadnola.com/ We stayed here. It was great, whole second floor to ourselves, and walkable to both French Quarter and Marginy. Plus, Betsy and Bill have SO MANY suggestions for places to go and eat: https://www.tripadvisor.ca/Hotel_Review-g60864-d621236-Reviews-Chez_Palmiers_Bed_and_Breakfast-New_Orleans_Louisiana.html These places are in the Marginy neighbourhood rather than French Quarter, but an easy 20 minute walk. Our favorite place to eat in the French Quarter was Napoleon House. https://www.napoleonhouse.com/. We thought it was the best Muffleta we had while we were there. Bottle of wine for $22, which we thought was amazing. If you need coffee, try PJs. https://www.pjscoffee.com/ Check out the French Market, which is right near the cruise terminal. We got great crepes and pralines there: http://www.frenchmarket.org/ Best pralines were Miss Loretta's. She has a stall in the French Market, as well as a store. She will also ship for you. I wish we had had time to stop for breakfast. Next time. https://lorettaspralines.com/ Our misstep was the Museum of Death. I don't recommend it. https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/museum-of-death-new-orleans A lot of newspaper articles about John Wayne Gacey and Charles Manson. Might have been quaint before the internet, but you're not learning any info you can't get by looking on Wikipedia. The focus on Jack Kevorkian was almost quaint, since we have legalized assisted suicide in my country now, it was astounding to have Dr. Kevorkian portrayed as some sinister crazy guy. You can agree with him or not, I'm not here to open that debate up, but to display him in a museum alongside Manson seems a reach. Hope this helps everyone!
  5. But you don't actually need any of the cruise docs. I went to the trouble of printing them all out, and all I needed was my passport anyway! Next time, I'm going to make sure I can present them electronically on my phone if asked, but I'm not wasting the ink and paper to print them. I got a cabin upgrade at the last minute, and didn't even have the proper luggage tags. No problem, they just made me new ones at the pier.
  6. Since I often see people wondering if they should book Veendam, I just thought I'd drop in and say that my Mom and I recently returned from an amazing Canada New England cruise on her. The ship was in great shape, the food was amazing and the service ... I can't even talk about it, just so, so good. My last few cruises have been on NCL, and the service there has been dropping like crazy. It's almost like I got used to it and forgot what great service looked like! Anyway, I'll be back to HAL for sure now, it was just so great and so restful. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to anyone to book her.
  7. I also have to say be prepared for warm weather. It could be cold on sea. It could be very warm in the ports of Quebec City and Montreal, like 80 degrees warm. One of the hottest tour days I spent was a few years ago in Quebec. You have to be prepared for anything. Geographically, your cruise is covering a huge weather area. Hope this helps (yep, I'm a Canuck!)
  8. This is the longest time I ever remember being like this, closing in on 24 hours by my count.
  9. I am about to take my mom on her first (last minute) cruise on the Veendam, Canada New England. There are some great deals to be had. Anyone have any experience with the front porthole cabins? They are pretty much all that is left. Are they noisy? Is the motion terrible? Any advice you can give would be great. My mom is 72, in great health, slightly deaf (lol). She has never been on a ship, but has never suffered motion sickness. She IS slightly claustrophobic, which is why I'm thinking being able to see light from outside would be helpful, but I don't think we need a view or anything. It's a port intensive cruise, only one sea day, so I really think we will only be there to sleep and watch a movie before bed, but I thought I'd see if anyone has any advice or tips. Thank you all so much.
  10. I hope you will jump back on and let us know if you were successful! One time I got an upgrade from inside to balcony for $75 bucks, and I'm still looking for a story to top that, lol.
  11. I am so sorry that you didn't like Roatan. It is hands down my favourite Caribbean port. I've spent two weeks there on land vacations too, I just love it. If you find yourself there again, book a tour with Cleve's tours, you will not be taken ANYWHERE that has shopping and you will learn the absolutely amazing history of this island. I really hope you will give the island another chance!
  12. Stop giving gifts to teachers. We don't all celebrate Christmas either. If we did, there are only so many coffee mugs and dollar store candles we can use. Then they go to the landfill. This destroys the earth and raises global temperatures. Please, please don't force your kid's teacher or the NCL crew to participate in the insanity needless collection of useless "things". Give them money to support their families. Give to the foodbank in the name of teachers, crossing guards and hair stylists.
  13. I've bid successfully before - inside to spa balcony for $50 US pp.
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