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Posts posted by OceanNerd

  1. I am beginning to make my  "To Pack" list for our upcoming cruise on NCL Pride of America and need to know the toiletry situation.  With baggage fees an unfortunate fact of life, I am looking to minimize.  However, DD (17) and I do not want to wind up looking like Monica in The One in Barbados (Friends).  We also do not want to wear ponytails for an entire week.  We both have medium (me) to loooong hair (her) that is super thick and naturally wavy/curly.  


    So.... What type of amenities are provided (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion)?  What brand? And what was your experience with it?


    Thanks So Much!!!

  2. On 8/30/2018 at 10:45 AM, VideoTech said:


    We took an NCL city excursion after disembarkation. That way our luggage rode with us in the tour bus and we were dropped off at the airport later that day. The excursion also included Pearl Harbor and the Arizona memorial, and someone else did the driving in the abysmal Honolulu traffic, so it was worth it.


    It was the only formal excursion we booked for our whole POA cruise.

    We will be doing this excursion in June.  Sounds like it was a good choice!  So the luggage does just stay stowed in/under the bus during the tour and you collect it once you arrive at the airport?  That has been our only worry for this trip.  Thanks So Much!

  3. We were just on the CB in E727 March 30 -April 4. The picture is very accurate as to what you can expect, however, there is practically no floor space in the sitting area when the sofa bed is pulled out and you can't get to the balcony door. We were able to just fold the bed up during the day until the room was made up.

  4. We are here at Residence Inn, boarding in a few hours!!! Yay!!


    The hotel is pleasant enough, in a quiet area. It is a little difficult to find because it sits back off the road behind another building and the signage isn't obvious. Staff are very pleasant. It is an older hotel but has been well maintained; although it seems to be in need of a good, deep clean. (Please don't take this as the hotel is "dirty", it just doesn't "sparkle") The parking area is well lit and I had no reservations about leaving my car here while we cruise. We shared a 2 bedroom suite which had 2 bathrooms which is great. Plenty of room for the six of us.


    The shuttle service is offered through an independent contractor. One way is included with the room but return trip is $12 per person or a group rate of $35 for over 3.


    There is a Walgreen across the street for any last minute needs and a plethora of restaurants about a mile down the road. I didn't visit but there is also a Walmart about 5 miles south.


    And on a bonus note, we originally booked the Park n Cruise package for $279 plus taxes etc. but I double checked out reservation on Friday and the rate has dropped to $229. I called the Hotel directly first and was told I would have to cancel and rebook, but instead I called Marriott directly and was able to secure the lower rate with no problems at all.


    While we haven't used the shuttle or had breakfast yet (I will detail after we return!), I would say this is a good choice for a pre-cruise stay.


    While I'd love to stay and chat--- I have a ship to board!!! See you in 5 days!

  5. jrbaum54 One of the reasons we chose this location is that it offers a 2 bedroom suite (with 2 bathrooms). We are a party of 6. Also breakfast and parking for your cruise as well as a shuttle to port are included.


    We will be there in 27 short days!!! :D

  6. We've booked the Residence Inn Plantation for our pre-cruise stay. I searched this forum but the most recent info I came up with was from 2006. I was hoping someone might could give me a more updated review ;)


    From the hotel website, it said there is a cruise port shuttle and breakfast buffet in addition to parking for our cruise.


    Thanks for any info you can provide!!!!

  7. We were on the Grand June 2013 to Alaska and loved it! If you are taking the route that cruises Tracy Ar Fjord, it is definitely worth getting up early to see.


    I also recommend the Whale Watching excursion in Juneau -- simply amazing.


    We had Anytime Dining and found the Botticelli dining room to be an excellent choice aroun 6:30-7:00. never more than a few minutes wait. On our sailing, this dining room was used for early traditional and then opened up to anytime at the end of that seating. Make sure to take advantage of the International Cafe for a delectable breakfast or an afternoon snack.


    All in all, this cruise was one of our favorite vacations! Have a wonderful cruise!!

  8. We took the Grand from San Fransisco in June 2013. We flew in to SF a couple of days early so that we could enjoy the city including a tour out to Muir Woods to see the great Sequoia Trees Which was a lifetime dream for DDad.


    It was a wonderful trip although it began to feel a bit long by that last sea day on the way back to dock. My parents had taken a 7 day Alaska cruise out of Seattle on a different line and enjoyed it as well.


    As others have mentioned, it basically will come down to two main factors:


    1. Which city would you rather see? (Sequoia Trees or the Space


    2. Will additional sea days be fun or boring?


    If you really enjoy cruising, the 10 day might be the way to go. If you cruise as a means to visit several ports in one trip, you may prefer the 7 day.


    If you have any more specific questions, feel free to ask!

  9. Our family did the 10 day out of SF in June 2013. We had fabulous weather in Alaska, which everyone told us was an anomaly. And when I say fabulous, I mean sunshine and 80+ degrees each day. The only day we really even needed jackets was when we visited Mendenhall Glacier.


    We were on the Grand and had a Caribe Balcony room with 2 adults, DS 13 and DD 11, and we had plenty of room. My parents had an obstructed ocean view room on Emerald Deck and was again very spacious.


    San Fransisco, on the other hand was an entirely different story. It was COLD! The day we visited the Golden Gate Bridge, it was so cold and windy that our jackets, hoods, and hats were almost lost in the wind. We took a combo tour that went out to the Muir woods (can you say: FABULOUS!!!) in the morning and a city tour in the afternoon, complete with a nudist sighting :eek:.


    I have to give Kudos to the Embassy Suites where we stayed. It was wonderful and the staff was most helpful.


    All in all, I don't think you can go wrong with this cruise, either itinerary (ours took us through Tracy Arm) will be breathtaking. Be sure to splurge on a whale watching excursion. The one out of Juneau was one of the highlights of our trip.


    Have a wonderful trip!!

  10. It's definitely all about the planning and the patience! We frequently travel with my parents and sometimes end up with the 6 of us in one room. While DD and I can share sink and mirror space DMom doesn't like to share.


    We have to plan bathroom time very carefully so that we can all get ready and be where we are supposed to be on time. We even resorted to using the desk area to dry hair and do makeup!


    Last cruise, we had a Caribe balcony cabin which was great because the girls could shoo the guys out to the balcony to wait on us!


    It can be done, but definitely would recommend either a balcony cabin or a mini-suite at minimum for extra room or places to wait.

  11. Thanks again for the quick replies. I pretty much assumed that any of the little extras/perks which could have a monetary value couldn't be shared which is perfectly understandable. It was really just the priority boarding that I had a question about. :D


    We are still debating and may just leave it up to the fates (upgrade fairy?) since over half the suites on our sailing are still empty.

  12. We will be sailing with our 2 kiddos and my parents. We are considering upgrading from a mini to a window suite as the price difference isn't huge and the perks are considerable. However, my parents are currently in a balcony cabin. My question is this: With the priority embarkation/disembarkation for sail away and tendering, would that only apply for those of us in the suite or could it be extended to our entire travel party?


    I'm thinking it would only be for the suite guests, in which case that particular "perk" wouldn't be of that much benefit to us. It's just one of the factors in consideration.


    THANKS!!! to all you knowledgeable, experienced cruisers out there!

  13. Our experience on the Grand last year:


    On the second night (of 10) we fell in love with our servers. Each day, usually in the afternoon when we would return from our port adventures, I would call and request a dining time based on whatever we had going on that day in the dining room our favorites were assigned to. When we showed up, I simply requested a table in their section and never had a problem. I believe there was one night the table ahead of us hadn't quite cleared out yet and we had to wait a couple extra minutes and one other night they were hesitant because there were several other larger parties already in that area but it worked out great for us.


    Your waitstaff can have such a big impact on your whole cruise experience. In fact, when we booked our upcoming cruise, my dad asked "Will Ferdi (our FABULOUS server) be there?"

  14. Nikki there must be something going around.... I was up .4 this week too! :( But I dipped into my "weekly" points much more than usual this week. It is very disappointing and sometimes makes me want to just eat all the more. However I know that I didn't gain it all back overnight and I won't lose it again overnight either. No matter how much I wish that were true! :)

  15. Yes been eating a lot of these...but some of the Power Foods are so high in points ... kinda freaks me out lol. Not as hungry this am since did have an egg, a slice of bacon and a dry slice for breakfast. I have been having oatmeal but it really doesn't keep me full.


    I probably am not really all that hungry but it is like trying to kick a habit.


    I keep saying if I could quit smoking then surely I can lose this weight.:D Got to keep that in mind.





    In addition to the power foods, try drinking a glass of water when you aren't really sure if what you are feeling is hunger or habit. Sometimes, mild dehydration sends the same signals to your body as hunger. You can never go wrong with water! It will hydrate you, flush out toxins, fill you up somewhat and give you time to decide if you really need to eat or if, like you said, it's just the habit!


    And remember, sometimes our bodies are just more hungry than others and that's ok. Make the best choices you can and get back on track the next day/week!

  16. Ready2Cruz and TraceyDW....... You are correct that you only weigh in once per week. Some of us have been at this a while and our WI days just happen to coincide. ;) If you are just using the online tools, you can set your WI day to whatever day you want under settings. If you are actually going to the meetings, like me, your WI day should be your meeting day.




    I'm sure you have tried lots of different things to break your plateau. Sometimes it might help to have someone else look at your routine and habits because even if you are technically doing what you are supposed to do, sometimes fresh eyes can see something that you may not realize is keeping you from losing. Just keep at it and don't give up! If you lost it once, you CAN lose it again... (the pounds, not your mind :D)


  17. Good Job, Nikki! Like you said, any loss is a victory! And for me this week just not gaining was a victory. The scaled did not move at all, either way, but I will take it! Now that hubby is home and we are finished celebrating (at least for two weeks til our anniversary! :eek:) I am back on track!


    Thanks for all the encouragement and advice seavoyager! It's easy to get discouraged when the scale doesn't move and it is always great to be able to come here and commiserate and celebrate!


    96 Days til Cruise!!!

  18. Hi Folks! Sounds like we've had a lot of celebrating going on! I have to add my 2 cents for the weekend... Hubby turned 40 last Tuesday but was away on a business trip so we celebrated double this weekend (Welcome Home and Happy 40th). Of course his chosen menu was BBQ (ribs and pork), home made potato salad, baked beans, corn, and of course cake and ice cream.


    I tried to make it a little better by adding a big green salad to the mix so that maybe I could curb the rest, but, I don't think my little trick worked so well ;) Actually I think what's getting me more than this meal is all the sodium I've had lately. Can really tell a difference. :eek:


    So I've already accepted that tomorrow's WI may not be so great BUT, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so there will be "ups" as well as "downs".


    Love sharing with everyone's successes! Keep on losing!!!

  19. Hey Nikki.... Hopefully the hubby won't be reading this and I won't spoil your plan BUT, down here in the south we have a brand of bacon called Gwaltney that has a reduced fat variety that is 2 points for 4 slices. Compared to some turkey bacon, it's actually a little "better" as far as sodium, saturated fat, etc. AND it tastes great!

  20. Congrats Nikki! Congrats Bunches!! When it comes to weight loss, any negative is a BIG POSITIVE! Great job to all who lost this week!


    My own personal report: down another pound so I hit my 5% goal!! Yay Me!


    And like Nikki, I had to "Splurge". I call it Munchie Monday. A friend who has WI on Tuesday calls it Fat Tuesday. It's where we leave the guilt behind and indulge in a little (or a lot!) extra. Partly because WI for us is at 5:30 in the evening and lunch is at 10:45 in the morning, therefore, I still have almost all my daily points left after my meeting and am ravenous! Typically I'll have an afternoon snack but not on WI days. I cut out all food and drink about noon.


    Tonight my indulgence was a New York style hot dog from Sonic... And cheese sticks. :o


    This next WI is going to be a dud if I'm not careful. My DH is coming home after a two week business trip over seas and he will be wanting some "good country cooking", not to mention his birthday is tomorrow!


    Just have to remember PORTION CONTROL and IF YOU EAT IT, COUNT IT! And it's ok to be "up" a little every now and again as long as you know the reason and can get back on track. With WI, timing is everything and it's a marathon, not a sprint... yadda yadda....


    Happy Weight Loss!!! Thanks for letting me ramble on!

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