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“LIVE FROM” 2019 Oceania Insignia World Cruise, Jan. 11-July 11

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Thanks Bob Brown for including pictures of Betsy....she is my love.  She looks/sounds like she's having the best time! 

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I loved the photos of Oahu you three posted.  You all engaged in different activities and it seems like everyone had a wonderful time in the beautiful weather. We spend a lot of time on Oahu since we have a condo in Waikiki and our son lives on the leeward side.  Your photos represent the areas well.

 

I hope your weather today on the Big Island is just as good.  I read that there was an earthquake there this morning.  Perhaps you didn’t feel it. 

 

Hello to Betsy!  On a 2017 cruise to Cuba, we were on a trivia team with Betsy and her son Adam.

 

Can’t wait to meet up with everyone in Sydney.  You seem like a fun group that is enjoying every day of your memorable World Cruise!

 

Frances

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Another great day here in Hilo, Hawaii! No rain where we went and didn't feel any earthquake. We rented a car again and went to the OK Farm to have a 1 hr tour that I booked months ago and was confirmed 2 weeks ago...but the lady there said we weren't on her books so we left (and weren't too happy with her attitude). We then went to the Volcano National Park and started at the Volcano House. Had a fantastic lunch while sitting at the edge of the caldera/crater! The restaurant is above the level of the crater so we could see down into it, all the while steam and smoke were belching out. Next we drove down the crater rim road to the steam vents....steam was spewing out of the ground everywhere! Sulphur smell and quite warm. Drove back to "downtown" Hilo to walk around and get some ice cream. 

 

2 days ago, on Kauai, I found a new friend for Titan...he's one of the famous wild chickens (stuffed, of course)...his name is Moa, which means "wild chicken."  They'll be traveling with me and sharing the adventures. 

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Thanks for the great photos.  The “hole” is a lot bigger than it was 3 years ago.  Last August  when we were on the Big Island, the national park was closed where you took your photos.  We hope to see it this August.

 

When in Hilo, we always stop at Big Island Candies.  They make the best chocolate dipped shortbread cookies.  They also have guava, coffee, pineapple...flavored shortbread cookies.  Hopefully someone on the ship went there and is willing to share.  

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Titan and Moa are a great pair.  I see adventures ahead!  Volcano  National Park is really interesting.  Did you see any flowing lava?  

 

Senior Citizen..  Big Island Candies choc dipped shortbread are da best!  We order them online.

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Just now, Senior Citizen said:

Thanks for the great photos.  The “hole” is a lot bigger than it was 3 years ago.  Last August  when we were on the Big Island, the national park was closed where you took your photos.  We hope to see it this August.

 

Our lunch server said that the eruptions were from a hole on the other side of the caldera. I wonder, though, if the caldera might have collapsed in more during the eruptions?

 

The steam was HOT when the wind blew it on me!!  My glasses were all fogged up...but I didn't think the sulfur smell was too strong. I'm glad I went there...very interesting and the second time I've had lunch while watching an active volcano (first was in Antigua, Guatemala...Fuegos...it was belching huge plumes of dark smoke every few minutes).

 

Didn't go to any candy store but that shortbread sounds good.

Edited by Go-Bucks!

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Just now, palakika said:

Did you see any flowing lava? 

 

No, it's not currently erupting. But several roads that were destroyed by the lava are still closed.

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Hilo, Hawaii, trip to Volcanoes national park, Kilauea's crater, steam vents, orchid nursery, Macdamia nut factory & "pearl fishing"
2018 eruption photo by Jonthen Turner our guide who lives 7 miles from the volcano

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Looks like you had a very neat experience at the crater, Lisa.

Went with Betsy, Sandy, and Ann on the basic  “Panoramic” tour.  When we got back, we took the shopper’s shuttle to pick up a few things.  It was a great day in “paradise.”🙂

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7 hours ago, Senior Citizen said:

 

When in Hilo, we always stop at Big Island Candies.  They make the best chocolate dipped shortbread cookies.  They also have guava, coffee, pineapple...flavored shortbread cookies.  Hopefully someone on the ship went there and is willing to share.  

We stopped there on our tour. We were offered delicious samples and Kona coffee to wash it down.

I picked up a small box of solid dark and milk chocolate’s.

They are not going to last very long...😉👌

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Thank you all for these beautiful pictures. I am enjoying traveling with you and happy that I will be able to recognize some of you when we board in Dubai.

 

I have two unrelated questions that I would love some feedback on:

 

1) We will be spending a few days in Dubai before boarding and we have most of our time planned. We would like to see the Burj Al Arab Hotel. There are tickets sold online for a reasonable price and other, more expensive "fast track/ avoid the line" tickets for more money. Does anyone have any experience with whether it makes sense to book this in advance , how long the line is, and whether the fast track ticket is the way to go.

 

2) We disembark in Rome and due to our travel arrangements, we will be spending one night in the airport hotel. The hotel has a free shuttle to the city. We have been to Rome several times, most recently in December. Does anyone have any suggestions for something different do (we've seen the major sights) or interesting places to eat or shop? Pretty sure we will be toured out.

 

Thanks,

Gail

 

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On 1/18/2019 at 6:33 AM, tennispretzel said:

We disembark in Rome and due to our travel arrangements, we will be spending one night in the airport hotel. The hotel has a free shuttle to the city. We have been to Rome several times, most recently in December. Does anyone have any suggestions for something different do (we've seen the major sights) or interesting places to eat or shop? Pretty sure we will be toured out.

 

Like you, we’ve spent a lot of time in Rome ... most recently a week last year.  Look into a tour of the Quirinale Palace.  This is the presidential palace and can only be visited with an official tour ... pre-booked on the website.  The shorter tour is free (except for a nominal reservation fee), but the longer €10 tour takes in a lot more.  Quirinale Palace was a highlight of our time in Rome.

 

Another option ... is D’Arte Antica museum at Palazzo Bernini ... or even better, the Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia.

Edited by h2so4

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2 hours ago, decafnights said:

 

2) We disembark in Rome and due to our travel arrangements, we will be spending one night in the airport hotel. The hotel has a free shuttle to the city. We have been to Rome several times, most recently in December. Does anyone have any suggestions for something different do (we've seen the major sights) or interesting places to eat or shop? Pretty sure we will be toured out.

 

Thanks,

Gail

We stayed at the Rome Hilton Airport after leaving our ship about 2 years ago. We didn’t want to go into Rome because Trump was in town for the G10 (or something) and there were demonstrations. We took the local bus from the airport to the town of Fiumicimo. It’s a nice fishing village with some cute shops and restaurants. We walked around a bit, then had an early dinner before taking the bus back to the airport. No major sights to see, just a pleasant afternoon by the sea.

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2 hours ago, decafnights said:

Thank you all for these beautiful pictures. I am enjoying traveling with you and happy that I will be able to recognize some of you when we board in Dubai.

 

I have two unrelated questions that I would love some feedback on:

 

1) We will be spending a few days in Dubai before boarding and we have most of our time planned. We would like to see the Burj Al Arab Hotel. There are tickets sold online for a reasonable price and other, more expensive "fast track/ avoid the line" tickets for more money. Does anyone have any experience with whether it makes sense to book this in advance , how long the line is, and whether the fast track ticket is the way to go.

 

This might not be accurate, but when I researched this place (to stop by when we'll be on the HOHO bus), it said that you had to either have a reservation for a meal in their restaurant or to stay in a room in order to be let inside. Their meal prices are outrageous so we just plan to see the outside. 

 

If there's another way to go inside I'd like to know. 

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Concerning the Burj Al Arab, I visited it 4 years ago while visiting my Nephew and family.  It is spectacular!  At the time the only way you were allowed on the driveway up to the hotel is if you had a confirmed reservation for a room or in a restaurant/high tea.  They had a guard post and traffic arm at the street entrance to the driveway up to the hotel.  They may have decide to offer tickets to sightsee, but I suspect advanced purchase is required.

Charlotte 

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Sounds like the description is for the Burj Khalifa skyscraper?  They sell tickets online and we used to be able to book for a certain time and skip the lines.  The last time we were in Dubai, the only way to get into the Burj Al Arab was, at a minimum, to buy very expensive tickets for tea.

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4 hours ago, decafnights said:

the Burj Al Arab Hotel. There are tickets sold online for a reasonable price and other, more expensive "fast track/ avoid the line" tickets

Is it possible you are seeing ticket info for the Burj Khalifa (the skyscraper) and confusing that with the Burj al Arab (the hotel)?  

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5 hours ago, decafnights said:

Thank you all for these beautiful pictures. I am enjoying traveling with you and happy that I will be able to recognize some of you when we board in Dubai.

 

I have two unrelated questions that I would love some feedback on:

 

1) We will be spending a few days in Dubai before boarding and we have most of our time planned. We would like to see the Burj Al Arab Hotel. There are tickets sold online for a reasonable price and other, more expensive "fast track/ avoid the line" tickets for more money. Does anyone have any experience with whether it makes sense to book this in advance , how long the line is, and whether the fast track ticket is the way to go.

 

2) We disembark in Rome and due to our travel arrangements, we will be spending one night in the airport hotel. The hotel has a free shuttle to the city. We have been to Rome several times, most recently in December. Does anyone have any suggestions for something different do (we've seen the major sights) or interesting places to eat or shop? Pretty sure we will be toured out.

 

Thanks,

Gail

 

I think you mean the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.  It’s beautiful and worth seeing. When you buy the fast track tickets, not only do you bypass the very long lines, you go to a higher floor. You’re also served some treats.  I would suggest trying to do this just before sunset so you can watch the lights come on. It’s also an amazing place to watch the Dancing Fountains. The ticket is expensive but it’s a once in a lifetime event. Why waste an hour (or more)standing in line? The Dubai mall is pretty fabulous too. A great place for people watching.

I love Dubai. Have fun.

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I am on the Tokyo to Singapore segment. Oceania just notified me that the time in Shanghai has been cut short due to tides. I had booked an excursion to Zhujiajiao    water town but now that we’re losing half a day there it leaves little time to see Shanghai.  Has anyone been to Zhujiajiao?  Does it warrant the tour? I believe there will still be some time in the morning or the evening to wander in Shanghai. 

Any opinions?

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I’ve never been to Dubai. My “mission” there, will be to visit the now retired RMS QE2, which I had the pleasure of sailing on her final “winter crossing”, in January of 2008.  She has been coverted into a hotel and conference center, sort of like the original RMS Queen Mary, in Long Beach, California.😎🛳

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2 hours ago, Damicom said:

I am on the Tokyo to Singapore segment. Oceania just notified me that the time in Shanghai has been cut short due to tides. I had booked an excursion to Zhujiajiao    water town but now that we’re losing half a day there it leaves little time to see Shanghai.  Has anyone been to Zhujiajiao?  Does it warrant the tour? I believe there will still be some time in the morning or the evening to wander in Shanghai. 

Any opinions?

We were in Shanghai with Viking about 10 years ago.  One of the highlights for us was the Art Museum -- some really gorgeous art there.  We also very much enjoyed the Yu Yuan Gardens (near the Bund).  Can't comment on Zhujiajiao though!

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2 hours ago, Damicom said:

I am on the Tokyo to Singapore segment. Oceania just notified me that the time in Shanghai has been cut short due to tides. I had booked an excursion to Zhujiajiao    water town but now that we’re losing half a day there it leaves little time to see Shanghai.  Has anyone been to Zhujiajiao?  Does it warrant the tour? I believe there will still be some time in the morning or the evening to wander in Shanghai. 

Any opinions?

 

Do you have any details (dates/times) of the Shanghai changes?  We were not notified and the ship internet is running so slowly that it won't connect to O's website.  Appreciate any info you might have...thx.

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14 minutes ago, Go-Bucks! said:

 

Do you have any details (dates/times) of the Shanghai changes?  We were not notified and the ship internet is running so slowly that it won't connect to O's website.  Appreciate any info you might have...thx.

Yes. We got an email yesterday that due to the tides the itinerary for Shanghai will be arriving April 9 at 5pm. Departing, April 11 at 6AM.  

We arrive Hong Kong April 13 at noon. Depart Hong Kong April 14 at 6pm.

 

Tours for April 11 have been cancelled.

 

I wan on the Singapore to Rome segment is this cruise 2 years ago. My experience was that by the time the ATW cruisers get to Asia, they’re so relaxed and pampered than any changes or disruptions don’t bother them. It’s all good

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