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Jim_Iain - 9/5 and 9/17 Equinox B2B - Come along for a Live Blog


Jim_Iain
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Here is the updated suggested reading list.  I’ll keep tracking it for everyone and will post an updated version every little bit so that those of you needing something to read NOW can make use of the suggestions.  😀. If you’re like me you want to have lots of options at hand so you are never without a great book!        Joanie 

 

 
Georges Simenon Series 
 
Gideon Oliver -Aaron  Elkins  series 
 

Louise Penny’s Gamache series.

Dorothy L. Sayers Lord Peter Wimsey series

Any books by Josephine Tey

 
Barbara Hambly - Benjamin January series, if you like historical mysteries!
 
JD Robb books and Robert B Parker
 
The Scarapetta series by Patricia Cornwel
 
MC Beaton books
 
Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley Series. 
 
Donna Leon’s Brunetti series. 
 
Any books by Tana French
 
Any books by P. D. James.  
 
Greg Isles, a writer from Natchez, MS.
 
Snowblind” by Ragnar Jonasson.  (Book 1 of 6 - DarkIceland)
 
Cork O’Connor by William Kent Krueger 
 
Brad Thor
 

JK Rowling (author of Harry Potter series), writing under the name Robert Galbraith -- the Cormoran Strike series.

Andrea Camilleri -- the Inspector Montalbano series.

Helen Fields -- the Perfect series.

 

Karin Slaughter -- the Will Trent series

Daniel Silva - Gabriel Allon series

 
JAMES CRUMLEY —should be read in order
 
Winston Graham—Poldark series
 
Janet Evanovich—Stephanie Plum series.  Fox and Hare series.
 
Anything by Tim Dorsey or Carl Hiassen 
 

 

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14 minutes ago, goofysmom99 said:

To repeat what's been said a bit earlier, set up your phone at home for wifi calling.  Then your phone works just like it does at home on the ship's wifi = texting and calling and data.  No need to make a call over your cell provider's land network ever, unless you get off the ship.  I take my T-Mo phone out of airplane mode and turn off wifi on land to check my credit card or bank apps.  But I also check financials aboard by activating my VPN first.  I don't leave the VPN on continually because it does slow down and already pretty slow wifi.  Before you leave home, try searching in your phone's setting for wifi calling.  It's there.  Doesn't matter what brand.  Then turn it on.  Make a call.  It works.  Then you're done.  That's for all brands of phones.  It's not a secret handshake kind of thing.  BTW, I leave wifi calling as my default.  When I'm not on wifi, it uses T-Mo.  Never think about it.


 

in order to pay a dish bill we had to us VPN, on my IPad, while near Hong Kong!   Our ATT account/phone doesn’t work in wifi as far as I know so it normally always off in airplane mode!  ATT recent replaced our phone but I still don’t think it would run VPN!  

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8 hours ago, hcat said:

Jim

Will they do anything on board to mark the 20th anniv of 9 11 ? 

On past cruises  our Caps have done so..

 

Solemn day here!  We must never forget!

 

We always look for the tear drop memorial ( gift ftom Russia) in Bayonne

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Yes they had a memorial service today in Celebrity Central on 4 at 9:00 AM the moment the first plane struck.   I know I will never forget.   I was on a plane at the end of the runway and we returned to the terminal.   Everyone was upset by the delay but when we walked back into terminal they had police with machine guns at every gate.    

 

We were advised to go  home as all flights had been cancelled.    I arrived back home just as the second tower collapsed.

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7 hours ago, TravelBluebird said:

 

Still raw for me as well. My Dad worked at the World Trade Center for many years, and I worked there 2 summers with him as a file clerk when I was a teenager. We know several people who died that terrible day. 

 

 

I joined Iain on a business trip to NYC since the Federal Reserve was paying for the room.  We were put up at the hotel directly across the street from the new Tower.   I was watching on CNN as they put the final piece (Tower) on the building. 

 

We later visited the memorial and as I read the names engraved in the  granite with things like Mary Jones and her unborn child.    I just lost it.    That pool dropping off in the  center is so dramatic. 

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17 minutes ago, Benthayer Gonbak said:


 

in order to pay a dish bill we had to us VPN, on my IPad, while near Hong Kong!   Our ATT account/phone doesn’t work in wifi as far as I know so it normally always off in airplane mode!  ATT recent replaced our phone but I still don’t think it would run VPN!  

Download the TunnelBear app.  Very, very simple and works on anything connected to wifi.  If you don't use it often, the free version should be more than enough for most.  And any phone will work in wifi calling.  The carriers don't want you to know about this because then you don't spend megabucks on daily data or phone calls.  Wifi calling costs them revenue.  But the phone manufacturers include in when they build the phones.  Please don't say it doesn't work until you've tried first, at home.  

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4 hours ago, taylortime05 said:

Jim, have you tried the Chef's Table?  I've thought about it but just haven't yet.  

We have done both the Regular Chef's Table 3 times and the Chief B's once.   Funny thing last night we had a card confirming out reservation for the Chief B's table which we had not reserved.   I called immediately to let them know as I didn't want to deny a person on the waiting list.

 

Originally they had just one scheduled but requests were so high they added 2 more.  

 

I personally prefer the Regular one -

 

Here's a couple pictures on what you can expect...... Except I'm sure Chief B wont be there to great you like our special dinner.

 

some of the pictures www shard with me by Karen 

 

 

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Edited by Jim_Iain
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18 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

I guess the folks at St Kitts have a plan when the Equinox arrives on Sep 14th. Will be interested to hear if it's any more of a "bubble" than the other Caribbean ports you'll be visiting.

 

Port Zante to Become a Bubble for Arrival of Celebrity Equinox on September 14 – ZIZ Broadcasting Corporation (zizonline.com)

 

Does that mean we can get off and just explore the port, like in Dominica and st lucia?

 

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10 minutes ago, goofysmom99 said:

Download the TunnelBear app.  Very, very simple and works on anything connected to wifi.  If you don't use it often, the free version should be more than enough for most.  And any phone will work in wifi calling.  The carriers don't want you to know about this because then you don't spend megabucks on daily data or phone calls.  Wifi calling costs them revenue.  But the phone manufacturers include in when they build the phones.  Please don't say it doesn't work until you've tried first, at home.  


 

i doubt it works at home!  It’s a stupid phone!  
 

Norton VPN works fine on the iPad.  I had a freebie at the time we needed vpn near Hong Kong.  

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7 hours ago, taylortime05 said:

That's great!  I've put on weight during Covid.  I worked from home and sat alot.  We recently retired and I'm trying to focus on my health.  I'll try some of your techniques.  

 

We'll be arriving in FLL next Wed.  Are the ubers readily available from the airport and from hotel to port?  I've heard that in some cities there are shortages.  

Yes Ubers were easily available at both.   We arrived around 11:00 pm and no problem.   The Shared Driver lots are between each terminal on lower floor.     Wait time was less than 5 minutes and same from hotel.

 

Earlier I posted comparison of Uber and Lyft.    I check both and choose the best arrival time and price.   They really vary as demand raises and fall.

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7 hours ago, Oolie said:

Jim… on the 8/27 Equinox my husband inquired at the front desk on deck 3 and was able to get printed crossword puzzles and sudoku for me… daily.  FYI.

Loving following you… Kathy

 

Good to know....   Surprised they didn't' tell me but I had asked "Do you still put out the Crossword Puzzles.

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6 hours ago, Arzeena said:

????

We were there in August on the Equinox. No restrictions at that time except for curfew at 4 you mentioned, and on weekends it was 6 pm.

Things have changed a lot.   The locals have a 4:00 PM curfew on Saturday -  7:00 PM Weekdays and 100% Curfew 24hours on Sunday.   

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20 minutes ago, Jim_Iain said:

I joined Iain on a business trip to NYC since the Federal Reserve was paying for the room.  We were put up at the hotel directly across the street from the new Tower.   I was watching on CNN as they put the final piece (Tower) on the building. 

 

We later visited the memorial and as I read the names engraved in the  granite with things like Mary Jones and her unborn child.    I just lost it.    That pool dropping off in the  center is so dramatic. 

 

I was living in California on 9/11; I visited family in NY every year but couldn’t bring myself to visit where the towers were until years later, when you could still see the “footprints” but construction on the memorial and new tower had not started. There was a little church that I remembered from my lunch times when there, and it was open and was set up with some of the original posters for people lost, as well as other personal memorials; card, letters. Like you, I just lost it.

 

I’ll be in NY to see Hugh Jackman in Music Man this February (finally! its been cancelled several times due to COVID) and I plan to visit the Memorial. 

 

Oh, and congrats on 32 years of marriage! We are at 31; missed what would have been a cruise to celebrate our 30th anniversary due to COVID; so we’ll be celebrating on the Equinox!

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6 hours ago, jagoffee said:

Enjoy your private tour.  I am also looking forward to hearing about the experience.

I am sure going to miss not having the two menus on our first Edge Class cruise next month.

 

Just curious as to why you do not dine more often in one the Specialty restaurant, since you have the option at no charge.  I am guessing you put a lot of value in the expanded menu options?

 

When on the Solstice Class ships with unlimited included speciality dining, we review all the menus in advance and firm up our Specialty Dining options based on the Luminae and MDR menus.

 

Enjoy

Congratulations on winning the PH bidding.

 

 

 

 

We have only been once.   The food has been so good in Luminae we haven't thought about it.    We are having dinner there once more for sure.    Not a big fan of Tuscan but maybe.    Le Petite Chief done it a couple times and done.

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25 minutes ago, fstuff1 said:

 

Does that mean we can get off and just explore the port, like in Dominica and st lucia?

 

Don't know. I know there were some ports on our B3B, like Nassau as well as maybe Cozumel and a few others, where we weren't allowed off the ship if we weren't booked on a Celebrity-sponsored excursion. It just all depends on the rules enacted at a specific port on the day you arrive. 

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2 hours ago, funatseascott said:

We talked with a few shop workers and asked about the port not being open to wander.  They relayed they had elections recently, so there were a lot of rallies and group activities.  Covid cases were around 10-15 per day, but jumped to 150-200, so they had to tighten things up.  Only sharing what we were told.  They had 5 ships in August, but we were the 1st ship in September.

Ok that's what caused them to implement a tighter restriction. I was wondering. Thanks for this info. I was told that our Equinox sailing was the third one.

 

What did you do in St Lucia? Would love to see pics and hear about it. Thanks.

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All aboard was 4pm so sail should have been 4:30p.

It's now 430 and we're still tied to the pier.

 

Last time this happened, we changed ports to st Thomas.

 

Wonder what changes are being made now?

(Please let it be Aruba and curacao so at least I can get off the ship without ship excursion.)

 

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4 hours ago, bobka said:

Since everyone is making recommendations, consider anything by Tim Dorsey or Carl Hiassen for some good laughs about Florida. Hiassen's Skinny Dip is a classic about cruising...

 

Just bought Skinny Dip on Ebay for $3.80...free shipping! Thanks for the recommendation!

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7 hours ago, hcat said:

Where is the pvt journey tour?  Which island? That seems like something we would be interested in, for the few ports where we may get off the ship....Did you arrange with Excursion Dept or Suite or other Concierge?

,

On St Lucia we docked outside the city area. I recall limited shopping stalls and a bar/ burger place, it was awhile ago.  Once or twice  there we took excursions , Pitons are a must ( beach snorkel  with water view), land based..roads quite winding....but last time there we grabbed some tee shirts  and lunch at the pirt locations. Enjoy!

 

We did our first private tour in St Lucia today.     We had John and Yuliia make the plans for us.  They contacted the Head of Guest Relations.    They prefer you provide them 2 days notice but they were very accommodating and jumped through the hoops to make it happen.    We didn't get final confirmation until after dinner as they had a power failure on the island. 

 

You basically just tell them what you want to do and they put it together for you.  

 

You can do it through the excursion desk or if in a suite they will meet you in the Retreat to arrange.   

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7 hours ago, Turtles06 said:

@Jim_Iain Hi Jim, thanks again for taking us along with you. Congrats on the upgrade to the PH!

 

Quick question, since you are currently sailing and did this so recently:  do you recall whether the health questionnaire that you had to fill out the day before boarding asked if you had tested positive for Covid-19 within the last so many days (maybe 14)?   

 

We'd never lie about this.   I'm only asking because our plan is to have a rapid antigen test 2 days before we sail, and I've been wondering, in case either of us has what could be a false positive, whether to schedule a (very pricey and far less convenient) same day PCR test as a backup.  I hadn't even thought that the PCR test, if negative, might be of no value (given my hypothetical of a prior positive antigen test) until I saw that someone had posted on another thread that a guest would not pass the health screening if they said they'd had a recent positive Covid test.  And, I have no idea what Celebrity would even do with those conflicting test results in terms of allowing a guest to board.  Again, no intent here to lie about test results, I'm just asking what the health questionnaire asks, so we can decide what test(s) to take. 

 

Thanks so much, and keep enjoying your trip!! 

 

 

I don't recall but I know if you click on health questionnaire early you can see the questions but not answer them.    I tried just now on our next cruise and it says  "Checkin has checked out - Please try later or complete form at pier"

 

If I recall there was a question about Testing Positive in x number of days, in close contact, Fever, Headache, nausea and even if you have been tiered.   I guess I fudged since we flew cross country and arrived at 11PM and got up at 7.... of course I was tired.

 

Anyone else remember?   

 

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I look forward to following you on your trip. I do remember following you on your trip in March 2020 when the world came to a halt!! Have a great time we don’t have a  cruise until September 2022  east coast Canada (A reschedule of our Sept 2020 )! We actually should’ve been in Vancouver doing Pacific coastal this week!!

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