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Everything posted by boltnut55

  1. I've only been to Canada and Mexico, and last month in Mexico was the only time I realized it wasn't required! I took it with me anyway... my excuse was what if I got arrested😁 Next time I'll bring a copy with me instead.
  2. Wow, that means they are read very quickly in fact! That's actually good to know. I rated my experience in the shops a zero because of something that happened (service oriented situation where the another sales clerk wouldn't help some of us because we had casually spoken to her co-worker, but her co-worker that we were now forced to wait for was helping someone else who took a long time... while she helped someone who came way after us)… so I'm seeing if someone will contact me (highly doubtful).
  3. Princess I find this interesting... I hear it several times on every cruise that I think "everyone" knows they are telling pax to do this. Everyone meaning cruise ship management. Otherwise, they would do it more on the sly, but they do this in the open. I appreciate the replies πŸ™‚
  4. I completed my survey for our cruise, and my husband is doing his right now. When on board, we hear things like "rate us a 10" "anything less than a 10 is a failure" etc. My husband is more literal. He's concerned about their livelihood (although he's probably going to rate them a 10 anyway), but I'm wondering for the rest of you who complete the surveys... how do you feel about the ask to complete a survey, to be asked to rate a 10, etc.? And what do you normally do (rate as you would, feel guilted into giving a higher rating, etc.)? Thanks!
  5. We've done several of these... Catalina Island: we've done the submarine boat thing (wouldn't recommend), drove around the island in a golf cart wandering aimlessly (would recommend), and walked around the shops and restaurants (would recommend). In Ensenada, we walked around on our own, went to a museum ($2/person), and walked further up in search of the best tacos (would recommend all of this πŸ™‚). Helps if you speak Spanish (I don't) because the further you walk away, the more local it is (not catering to tourist)... but fish tacos were like 33 cents each! I'd also recommend La Bufadora to do one time.
  6. What?! I didn't even think of them rinsing it out for me. I was like, "I don't want to wash this out all day!" 😁 Next time! Mine did this until I didn't like the Nojito, so he went back to asking me. Oh boo! That's probably why when I'd ask for ideas, they'd look at me like deer in headlights. Some will ask me what I want... since I don't drink alcohol, I don't know what's out there. The only thing I've asked for that might now have been on this list is a virgin Miami Vice, which is strawberry daiquiri and pina colada. Normally, it's either top bottom or even better, one side red, the other side cream color, but on the Grand, all mine were mixed together to a pretty pink.
  7. Aha! I was wondering why my bill wasn't $80.50. Thanks! It sure does. At least on the Grand it did just the other day. I walked up and asked, "I have the unlimited soda package; what can I get here for free?" 😁 I had 2 milkshakes (yeah, shoulda had more) You can also buy it on board, but I was told I could only buy it at the Calypso Bar. I went to Bar #1 and was told to go to Calypso. I went to Bar #2 thinking it was the Calypso, and they had to redirect me (and I didn't even have a drink yet!). They will give you a plastic tumbler for free as well. You don't have to use the tumbler though for your drinks though.
  8. Just got of the Grand and then home. I was thinking of y'all when I got on (all the notes I'm going to take, photos, etc.), but that didn't get farπŸ˜‚ First of all, I'm not that detailed, so I don't remember what everything looked like in July 2018 when we went to Alaska, so folks will need to correct me if I got stuff wrong: Medallion was "Coming Soon", so with no mail box, they either put paper curled on the door handle, placed on the bed, or slid underneath the door Shower head looks new to me, but maybe that's me (good temperature, strong output of water) TV is LG and as pictured from an earlier post I think carpet all around is new; chairs and carpet in theatre are new; chairs in Horizon buffet is new My husband said the ship has a new paint job (see?! I don't even notice the entire ship!) I ate at Salty almost every day 😁 I had a hot dog or 2 every day for a while and then tapered off at the end. The chicken sandwich looked really good when it was being prepared, but I didn't order, so I don't know how it tasted. On occasion, they had service issues (my SIL waited about 20 minutes for her food, but there was no line). The day after, they used the buzzer system, where you ordered from someone who gave you a buzzer, and you pick up your food when your buzzer went off. All the hotdogs are on the rolling thingy (like at 7/11), and the fries are already made, so I don't know what the hold up was. I heard one customer tell the worker that he preferred where he'd walk up and get his food (I agree). The gym equipment looks new to me. Last time the treadmills had fans, but these didn't. The mats and some of the weights look new (compared to last July anyway). That's all I got for now.
  9. Our family will be on the Grand on 3/20. Glad to see that some of the improvements will be visible to us as I thought they were only just equipment related. EXCITED!!!
  10. When we bought our package, they didn't give us a cup. Then we were told we could get a couple bottles of water instead, but no one we asked, including customer service, knew what we were asking about. I'll try to buy it from the main guy selling it this time instead of at the bar.
  11. I bring my Bible art journaling stuff to work on along w/watercolor related stencils. I will either bring a book or borrow one from their library.
  12. We've done the La Bufadora tour and enjoyed it. I almost feel like if it's your first, you should do it There are vendors there, so you can also buy stuff (or not). The last 2 times, I ended up wandering around town looking for fish tacos at the local stands. There's 1 closer by that's a sit down place, but others are cart-style. One time, we also went to a museum, Museo de Historia, hopefully it's the right one... either $2 or 4/pp. Then we found ourselves in a courtyard where there were several vendors. Turned out to be a tour stop for other tourists. If you google, there are many blogs and stories on taquerias you can try. This one is the closest to a restaurant for us: Tacos Don Zefe on the corner of Riveroll and Mutualismo. There is an indoor area where you can sit and eat. I think you can order from your server, but we usually order at the counter. They are pretty good w/the exchange rate as well. It's the most comfortable, but if you walk several blocks up from the main street, it's definitely more of a local scene. Not always seating, no one speaks English... but in all cases, the food is yummy! And cheaper as you walk away... I can't remember the details, but I think we got tacos as inexpensive as 30 cents each.
  13. Colo: Is it just a name change or did something (restriction, etc.) actually change?
  14. I saw it on the Patter of the Grand... but I remember it was too early for me
  15. We went in July, and I THOUGHT the deal was as you had stated, and that's what I told our group, but when I double checked on the ship, I was told differently. We had 4 rooms; that meant all 4 rooms had to purchase the $199 package for us to have all photos of us in them. Our intent was for the parents to purchase it so that any photos with anyone in their room and the rest of us were included in their package. In the end, we ended up buying a package of some type (it might have been a special that was advertised on the ship) where we got 10 frames and a bunch of 8x10s. However, on our next cruise, we're just going to buy 1 or 2 like we used to. I've been on cruises where I've purchased none.
  16. Very interesting post.. and I feel we should be able to discuss and ask questions and assume good intent because that's how we learn from each other. As a Chinese-American, I have seen more Asians and specifically Chinese travelers from China. Our family of 15 (three generations) was on the Grand Princess on a 10-day cruse to Alaska in 2018. I don't think I noticed it as much, but on a previous cruise from Vancouver to Alaska in 2017, it was very prominent and probably because there were many tour groups. In fact, right after I returned, I did ask a friend who took the Seattle to Vancouver cruise to see if she saw the same :) She didn't. Many in China have a lot of money to spend. That's why they can come here (and here meaning San Francisco, where real estate prices are crazy) and pay for a house in cash, so they will have easy spending money for cruises that the rest of us have to save up for (or at least I do). And compozer, I sympathize and get it. Different cultures have their own way of doing things. My co-worker visited his parents in Hong Kong and told me that one time he was with his parents and were about to get out of the elevator when he held the door and let other people (strangers) out first. His parents told him that while they understood in the US, that's the polite thing to do, he considered a "loser" there. I'm also not saying that the entire region thinks like that. This is just one example. But that might be why one runs into elevator or queue related incidents. On that Alaskan cruise w/lots of tour groups, a comedian even make jokes about it... I started laughing already when he said, "You know, I'm observing people on elevators..." because I knew what he was going to say. I don't want this to be permission to bash Asian travelers because we all know there are polite and rude people out there no matter what race, gender, nationality, etc. :) Happy cruising!
  17. Wow, I didn't experience that on my trip in late July but will remember that for our March 2019 cruise. Until I'm out that morning, they should not be throwing stuff out. Crazy they thought you would leave when it's something essential like hot water missing for 2 days! And it was easily restored!
  18. You'd think w/all the hot chocolate I drank and watched him make, I'd remember clearly... it's all fuzzy, but I'm pretty sure it was heaping spoonful(s) of cocoa powder and steamed milk from that machine that makes a lot of noise, lol. I got that from the IC on the Grand at least 2x day. He looked up, saw me, and said, "okay, large hot chocolate, no foam." It is free with the unlimited soda and more card.
  19. It makes me crazy that I was on the Grand, got a massage, and just learned that I get an hour in the Sanctuary... and no one told me about it when I was there. I asked for a tour, asked about what other services/perks came with spending money at the spa, etc. If I knew about it, I might have booked. I'll be back on the Grand in March for Mexico instead of Alaska. Maybe I'll book a half day at embarkation...
  20. On the Grand, there were a lot of books but many duplicates... It made me feel like someone who didn't know too much about books (like an avid reader) was stocking them because there wasn't a lot of variety. Usually there is mystery, romance, science fiction, non-fiction, crafts, etc. There were a bunch of tables maybe 12+, and people played puzzles. I did some watercoloring and did art in my Bible. :( I remember when I was a kid, and the library was open for 8+ hours every day and maybe closed on Sundays. A while ago, I noticed that on some days our library was open for 4 hours:o
  21. I say this to myself every time I return from a vacation!
  22. I'm looking forward to this! I will be retiring on October 1, 2021. It's the first day I'm eligible to retire (the first of the month after I turn 55 and have at least 10 years at the company). When I was about 50, I thought, "what if I get cold feet when I decide to retire? I mean, I would have no income and I will be using all the money!" Fast forward a couple of years and my job turns to mush... things I get complimented for a year ago are now nitpicked at for needing improvement; projects thrown at me out of the blue and then questioned why I'm not the subject matter expert; given a client group and projects that no one else wants (we've shopped them around) and then asked why I'm having problems w/my work; oh and a load more. THEN I start thinking, "when's the first day I can retire?" While things have improved a little bit, it's too late because I'm now looking forward to retirement, so I'm not going to change my mind about that. I would actually retire earlier except I discovered how great our company's retirement medical benefits were. For every year after 45, they put aside money for me and my husband. This money would supplement a percentage of our healthcare premiums each month... by the time I retire, that pot will be around $135K. If it wasn't for that, I would have quit about 6 months ago. My mom died when she was 62. She was hospitalized soon after she decided not to work anymore, received her first SS check about a month later, went into a coma about 2 weeks after that, and died a month after. I hope to have some years where I no longer work.
  23. I'd say if it's affordable for you to do it, definitely do it. We are the Oceanview, obstructed view people :') Thanks for sharing this. <3
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