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150 lashes sounds like a bit of a death sentence to me😉 Fat Yak is a fun name, just the name would get me to try it once. I saw on one of the pictures I think it was Coopers it said bottle fermented so I have to assume there is a bit of yeast residue in the bottom of the bottle. Belgium was such an eye opener for me, more than 180 different brews and every one seemed to have it's own glass. I even found a couple that Lynn would drink, I ordered a Leffe Ruby and got less than half of it by the time she was through, the only solution was to order more. In Germany she discovered radler (shandy) and she liked that. 

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37 minutes ago, Blackduck59 said:

150 lashes sounds like a bit of a death sentence to me😉 Fat Yak is a fun name, just the name would get me to try it once. I saw on one of the pictures I think it was Coopers it said bottle fermented so I have to assume there is a bit of yeast residue in the bottom of the bottle. Belgium was such an eye opener for me, more than 180 different brews and every one seemed to have it's own glass. I even found a couple that Lynn would drink, I ordered a Leffe Ruby and got less than half of it by the time she was through, the only solution was to order more. In Germany she discovered radler (shandy) and she liked that. 

There is a nice Canadian Belgian-style beer that I had on a cruise a couple of years ago - La Fin Du Monde. High alcohol though, like many Belgian beers. 

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45 minutes ago, OzKiwiJJ said:

There is a nice Canadian Belgian-style beer that I had on a cruise a couple of years ago - La Fin Du Monde. High alcohol though, like many Belgian beers. 

 

I think I had that at a beer festival quite a few years ago. n beer laws are seriously strange. We get beers from all over the world but not much from out of province. And of course the explosion in Microbrews and the "buy local" movement really seems to slow introduction of products from other regions. We really are seeing a whole crop of beer snobs.

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8 hours ago, Blackduck59 said:

 I ordered a Leffe Ruby and got less than half of it by the time she was through, the only solution was to order more. In Germany she discovered radler (shandy) and she liked that. 

I have some very dim memories of drinking Leffe. What an awesome brew 😜

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Have been looking at our next or alternate adventure. We are still hoping that the down under adventure goes as planned but if we postpone a year we will be thinking about something different. East Coast Canada or back to Alaska. I went to the Holland America boards and just didn't like the tone of the folks there. There is also an east coast Canada cruise that is almost entirely in Canada, no US ports.

Because I have encountered several well traveled and level headed people here, I thought I should ask your opinions. There is a land and sea Alaska tour with Holland America, any thoughts on Holland America? The other East Coast Canada is on RCL Empress of the Seas.

Everyone that said the Australia New Zealand boards were the best, as an outsider who you have made welcome, it is. 

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I've done four HAL cruises and can't really fault them. The last was Auckland/Sydney in February and had to cancel an Alaska cruise that would have started a week from today. My preferred cruise line is Celebrity but HAL is running a very close second. Many (detractors) will say HAL is like an old peoples home on water but I've not found that lately. Like Celebrity (since I started cruising in 2012), the age demographic is coming down substantially (meanwhile mine is going up😉). I have also cruised with Princess, Carnival, RCI and MSC.

Edited by lyndarra
Had Wellington instead of Auckland
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Thanks Lyndarra, we're partial to Celebrity, we like the size of the Solstice ships, not too big not too small. No water slides, go cart track, wave riders etc. We quite like the land and sea Alaska trip on Holland America, the stops in the Yukon interest me because I spent 7 weeks in the Yukon in the summer of 1977. I was in Whitehorse mostly but also Carcross and Dawson City, it will be interesting to see what has changed in 43 years. Also Celebrity doesn't have permits for Glacier Bay so HAL looks to be the best choice for a return to Alaska. I am looking at the East Coast Cruise with Royal Caribbean because it doesn't stop in Th US, I prefer to stay away from there with the current situations there. I know Empress of the Seas is an older ship I'm just looking at the deck plan. I may have to look for a one way that does touch in the US😕

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Put it this way, Lyle. If you had to choose a cruise line based on some of the people on the cruise line forums hete you wouldn't go near any of them. 😯🤣

 

If the itinerary suits you then try it, and make the most of the good points of the cruise. We've done last minute cruises on both Royal Caribbean and Carnival, neither of which are among my favourite cruise lines, but we had a great time on both cruises.

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OzKiwiJJ, I hear you, I've read many reviews on cruise critic and some of them are clearly from people with unreasonable expectations. I have found a different tone from the people I talk to here.

I read some reviews last year from people on the same cruise as me and holy cow were some of them petty.

I also like the ones that preface their loyalty status and then proceed to trash the cruise company they are so "Loyal" to. Then don't forget the ones that are all bent out of shape about burnt toast and they didn't get a $100.00 OBC for their trouble.

I have encountered some veteran cruisers that have been helpful, kind and welcoming and I appreciate all of their opinions.

I have also encountered many who I think of as "that guy" you know the one, in the scrum at the martini bar, the one that comes from the gym or the pool all drippy to the buffet and thinks he can "reserve" a lounger at 10 am for use at 4 pm, you know "that guy".

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1 hour ago, Blackduck59 said:

 

I have also encountered many who I think of as "that guy" you know the one, in the scrum at the martini bar, the one that comes from the gym or the pool all drippy to the buffet and thinks he can "reserve" a lounger at 10 am for use at 4 pm, you know "that guy".

I know what you mean by "that guy" but since we mostly cruise on Princess we rarely see him. Princess has the pay extra Sanctuary so on warm weather cruises the first thing we do when we board is to go up there and book our sunloungers for the whole cruise. And we avoid buffets where possible.

 

The Celebrity cruuses we've done have all been NZ ones and the weather has been a bit variable so no sunlounger time for us, we just chill out in our cabin or on our balcony between trivia sessions on sea days and, since we always do a one way Auckland to Sydney cruise, there aren't that many sea days.

Edited by OzKiwiJJ
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3 hours ago, Blackduck59 said:

Thanks Lyndarra, we're partial to Celebrity, we like the size of the Solstice ships, not too big not too small. No water slides, go cart track, wave riders etc. We quite like the land and sea Alaska trip on Holland America, the stops in the Yukon interest me because I spent 7 weeks in the Yukon in the summer of 1977. I was in Whitehorse mostly but also Carcross and Dawson City, it will be interesting to see what has changed in 43 years. Also Celebrity doesn't have permits for Glacier Bay so HAL looks to be the best choice for a return to Alaska. I am looking at the East Coast Cruise with Royal Caribbean because it doesn't stop in Th US, I prefer to stay away from there with the current situations there. I know Empress of the Seas is an older ship I'm just looking at the deck plan. I may have to look for a one way that does touch in the US😕

I've already done two Alaska cruises with Celebrity (Millennium & Solstice) so I was looking forward to the HAL cruise as a comparison. I liked the variety of HAL post cruise tour options, including Yukon.

I enjoyed the Celebrity post cruise 7 day coach/rail tour Seward/Fairbanks with 3 night Denali stop. I suggest that you really need 2 days for Denali, one for the full day Tundra tour and the other to see all the other stuff.

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8 hours ago, ilikeanswers said:

If you are considering an Alaska cruise does that mean the border between your two countries will be opening soon? 

 

No that would be 2021 at the earliest. No cruise season in Canada this year. Our ports are closed to cruise ships over 100 passengers and crew until October 31 which is the end of the cruise season. I'm not sure when the land border will open to "optional" travel. We aren't really traveling within the province yet, and we really aren't interested in travel to the US any time soon. This would be in place of the down under adventure, if we can't do that in January. If we are able to travel down under but not cruise, we will do that. The New Zealand "cruise" will turn into a land trip with some changes to the itinerary.

Edited by Blackduck59
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I see that China is advising citizens not to travel to Australia, I wasn't aware that China was on any short list for travel with Australia.

Also saw a story of a fatal shark attack in Australia, the third this year. Are they becoming a little more common? or is this about the normal? It almost feels like it was a fill piece in the "international" news segment that didn't involve Covid 19 or the international anti racist demonstrations. Although the shark attack is tragic especially for the family and friends of the victim, it seems that we could have done with some "good" news stories.

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11 hours ago, Blackduck59 said:

I see that China is advising citizens not to travel to Australia, I wasn't aware that China was on any short list for travel with Australia.

Also saw a story of a fatal shark attack in Australia, the third this year. Are they becoming a little more common? or is this about the normal? It almost feels like it was a fill piece in the "international" news segment that didn't involve Covid 19 or the international anti racist demonstrations. Although the shark attack is tragic especially for the family and friends of the victim, it seems that we could have done with some "good" news stories.

We do get lots of Chinese visitors, it is fairly close. But I’m not sure they add much to the economy from when I worked in hotels tended to do Chinese company tours, eat in Chinese owned establishments etc, I Don’t blame them, but I doubt it will hurt our economy too much.

 

shark attacks aren’t uncommon, but this was the first fatality in NSW in about 5 years.

 

And I wouldn’t hold my breath for most media outlets to report good news.

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1 hour ago, GUT2407 said:

We do get lots of Chinese visitors, it is fairly close. But I’m not sure they add much to the economy 

 

Last year about 1.4 million Chinese visited Australia spending $12 billion compared to New Zealanders where 1.3 visited last year spending $2.6 billion. The US whose visitor numbers are smaller are the second biggest spenders at $4 billion. 

Edited by ilikeanswers
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15 hours ago, Blackduck59 said:

Also saw a story of a fatal shark attack in Australia, the third this year. Are they becoming a little more common? or is this about the normal?

The Australian Shark Attack File has recorded that since 1791 there have been 639 shark attacks in Australia with 190 of them being fatal. The previous fatal attack in NSW was a Japanese surfer in February 2015. I don't know the numbers for bear attacks in Canada, but no doubt the media has a field day when they happen.

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12 hours ago, ilikeanswers said:

 

Last year about 1.4 million Chinese visited Australia spending $12 billion compared to New Zealanders where 1.3 visited last year spending $2.6 billion. The US whose visitor numbers are smaller are the second biggest spenders at $4 billion. 

 

Yep, our biggest market by far, hence concern from some sectors about the impact from their loss.

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On 6/8/2020 at 12:52 AM, Blackduck59 said:

we could have done with some "good" news stories.

Here is some good news from Australia. In the last few days two teenage boys with autism, (13 and 14yo), in seperate incidents went missing. Both have been found alive and well. One was missing after spending two nights in freezing temperatures. Source

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3 minutes ago, By The Bay said:

Here is some good news from Australia. In the last few days two teenage boys with autism, (13 and 14yo), in seperate incidents went missing. Both have been found alive and well. One was missing after spending two nights in freezing temperatures. Source

The one out overnight isn’t in a great state, I believe he was found alive but unconscious, the other boy got upset when mum stopped for a break and hitched to Sydney then a train to the Mountains, he also had the car keys which left mum stuck just p the rad from where I live.

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12 minutes ago, GUT2407 said:

The one out overnight isn’t in a great state, I believe he was found alive but unconscious,

"9News can confirm a volunteer bushwalker found the teen, who was still smiling, and offered him some food, before alerting authorities."

Edited by By The Bay
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On 6/7/2020 at 11:57 PM, By The Bay said:

The Australian Shark Attack File has recorded that since 1791 there have been 639 shark attacks in Australia with 190 of them being fatal. The previous fatal attack in NSW was a Japanese surfer in February 2015. I don't know the numbers for bear attacks in Canada, but no doubt the media has a field day when they happen.

 

Interesting point of view, we have many bear "sightings" around greater Victoria. I have a picture of one in my yard a few years back. A quick google search said 1 a year but I really don't know. Black bears are pretty docile to humans, unless you get between mama bear and her cubs. Grizzlies are a whole different thing and are best avoided. Polar bears are an even more unpredictable critter. For polar bears they are the top of the food chain, if they see something moving it's food, they have no fear of humans. And polar bears are big.

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