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A 99 Day Journey to Alaska (Serenade by the Sea) with a Teen and Young Adult (over 21)


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Posted (edited)

So, Twangster sticking his hand in the Serenade Solarium pool for you and posting that it is heated is not evidence enough? Gosh, you sound pedantic. Enjoy your cruise. 

Edited by Coralc
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On 4/5/2022 at 11:13 AM, Travel R said:

[Today]

Serenade of the Seas – Deck by Deck

 

Although I have been thinking about Vancouver excursions, I have still not heard back from the fourth member of my party as to their choices, so as mentioned in a prior post I have turned my attention to other things, like the Serenade of the Seas itself.  I have made a significant dent in writing the document.  I used an online version of the Compass from an August sailing of the Serenade (same 7-Day Glacier Highlights itinerary w/same ports).

 

I noticed a few interesting things, such as they do not always refer to some areas using the same terms throughout the Compass, or even when comparing the names in the Compass to the Deck Plans on the RCI website. [I have had sometime had to make additional entries and cross references so if you know the area by only one name you will be able to find the information for it – one example is Fairways of Serenade vs. Golf or Mini-Golf.]

 

Yes, these are the silly things that an over planner like me hones in on.

 

The other thing I had had considered before looking at this Compass is the protocols for the pandemic from last year.  Although I am going to enter the hours of operation for each venue, I will try to re-review what I have compared to early Alaskan sailings (if they share their versions of the Compass).  The only concern I have is what if RCI decides to only use the App and no paper copies – although if that happens, I will figure out a way get the information.

 

I have also begun to watch some videos taken on the ship to I can see POV aspects of the layout which are sometimes not apparent on a bird’s eye view of the deck plan.  Yes, a vast majority of people would say this is overkill, but in the wee hours of the night when I cannot sleep (health issues in the family that are weighing on me) it gives me something to concentrate on, although I have been watching re-runs of old TV series on at 2 AM that I had not seen in years (never new that Frazier’s brother actually married the aide (although you knew it was going to happen), but did not know they were expecting a baby).

 

Although this deck-by-deck guide will be a good guide for others (IMHO), by performing the exercise of creating this, I am getting to know the ship very intimately myself (from afar). In the past I have impressed my family by walking to a particular location without ever looking at the Compass or the computerized deck plans throughout a ship.

 

I will be including hints & tips particular to the Serenade within this guide – so if anyone has a few, please post them. [Thank you in advance.]

Future Cruises

 

I am going to be going off on a tangent for a few paragraphs, but it is going through my mind, and it is directly related to cruising . . . .

 

We are planning a two-week trek to Italy.  It has gone back and forth from being a part land trip in Italy with an Italy to Greece cruise.  Then due to fears about COVID, it became an all-car tour in and around Italy, then as the pandemic has begun to die down, it returned to possibly going back to the original Land + Cruise idea.

 

Then yesterday I saw an add pop up on AOL (yes, I am that old) about a Holy Land cruise.  The historian part of me thought that this may be interesting (and someplace that is on my bucket list), so I clicked on the link, which brought me to a 12-Night cruise (on Celebrity) that interestingly enough, departed out of Rome, sails to Greece (another bucket list), Cyprus, and Turkey, as well as 3 days in Israel.  I talked to my DW, and she says that it sounds very interesting and would like to do it.  If we fly in 2-3 days pre-cruise we can get to see the parts of Rome we had not seen on our earlier trip (although this would mean missing out on the rest of Italy; something for a future vacation).  But it is something to think about, and I would like to do some research on what other itineraries are out there (on other ships).

 

I sent a short text with the link to that itinerary to the other couple we are going with and they immediately expressed their love for the idea. No one actually said so, but when the Summer 2024 itineraries are released (I think November 2022), and we find one that matches, we are ditching the drive around Italy idea. We also already talked about looking for similar itineraries on other cruise lines to find the one that matches us best. 

 

So, for now looks like our belated 25th Anniversary vacation from 20221 will be a cruise from Italy that explores the Northeastern Mediterranean in 2024. Although I have already performed multiple hours of research on the various areas we would like to drive to in Italy, a cruise like this will reduce the amount of logistics we will have to plan.  It will also take us to multiple countries that I believe we would all like to see (our friends were never in Italy, so it is a bonus to them). I was looking forward to seeing the Last Supper in in person and take a romantic gondola ride with my DW in Venice, but those will have to wait for another time. The only other down point to change (as of yet) is that I will be breaking my streak of nine unique: ports of departures, itineraries, and ships.  This will be the second time we will be sailing out of Civitavecchia (Rome). Not that it means much to anyone but me, but as we added on cruises, there being just so many ports, it was inevitable.

 

Yeah, I know . . . .once again, third world problems.

 

But then where to next? . . . Our 30th Anniversary is in 2026, as is our younger DD's graduation from college; what cruises will be in our future.  A big bucket cruise for my DW is Hawaii, which is a possibility (sans our daughters), although two top bucket cruises for me are Australia & New Zealand and East Asia (a cruise that hits all of the ports that will allow us to visit all three Disney Parks (Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Shanghai - and maybe coordinate the schedule with an Asian RunDisney (if they have them there by then)). However, we have also discussed river cruises - maybe something down the Rhein, Nile, or maybe something closer to home, following the the tale of Huck down the  Ole' Mississippi.

 

What does the above have to do with our cruise to Alaska?  Absolutely nothing, I am just extremely excited about this future cruise. In the next few months (after we get back from this next cruise, some of you may see me on the Mediterranean boards (Summer 2024 cruises are not yet published). Now back to Alaska . . .

 

CDC Cruise Warnings

 

As you all probably know, earlier this week the CDC has removed its warning against cruising!

Not much more to say on this, but at least it is another step forward and a positive sign for us in the cruise community.

 

Now back to work . . . . .

Holy cow the Disney parks in Asia on a cruise?!?!? That is impressive! Your cruise plans sound amazing!

 

about Italy......you know you, but I lived in Italy for 2 years and rented a car only three times that I can remember.....and once was to get to Rome to watch the super bowl and drive back that same night......you can do it without a car if you want 🙂

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6 hours ago, Coralc said:

So, Twangster sticking his hand in the Serenade Solarium pool for you and posting that it is heated is not evidence enough? Gosh, you sound pedantic. Enjoy your cruise. 

 

I've been on CruiseCritic long enough to not trust the veracity of any one person's truth.

 

A good planner digs down into the weeds to uncover every detail, no matter how minuscule.

 

Please note that do I have a high confidence in Twangsters' findings, there are multiple opposing views. I do appreciate his input. This, however, will be an an experiment I would like to undertake myself. Although it may verify his statement, it will be fun - and have the memory of swimming in a pool while in Alaska.

 

Isn't that the goal of every planner?  To perform as much research, reading, and planning beforehand so that we (and our party) may have a huge ROI for enjoying ourselves while on vacation. For example, a few years ago (pre-pandemic) my family went down to Disney during Christmas week (one of the busiest weeks of the year). With proper planning we did not wait on any line longer than 20 minutes the entire week for any attraction (except for one ride (Test Track) that broke down), and most attractions with much shorter waiting times. [This was also before you had to pay for the SpeedPass/Genie system.] 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Kathscof said:

Holy cow the Disney parks in Asia on a cruise?!?!? That is impressive! Your cruise plans sound amazing!

 

about Italy......you know you, but I lived in Italy for 2 years and rented a car only three times that I can remember.....and once was to get to Rome to watch the super bowl and drive back that same night......you can do it without a car if you want 🙂

 

The Eastern Asia cruise is somewhere near the top of our bucket lists. Although it is a few years away, with everything going on in the world, it is not happening soon either way.  Once I am given the okay from my DW I will begin trying to find a cruise that works out logistically - or at least allows us to do a stopover close to one of the parks.

 

We have done a number of non-cruise land vacations. Although I love cruising, it is a different experience than getting in a car and driving through a foreign countryside, being able to stop when and were you want, seeing the "minor" attractions, and getting to speak to people (and hopefully they speak English)  - even getting lost is part of the adventure.  The potential itinerary we had begun to discuss would be more conducive to car travel, although we did consider taking a train during the last leg to Venice so we did not have to deal with dropping off the car outside of the city, then getting into the city itself. Some of the stops did not only include major cities, but also smaller villages as well (e.g., one night at a bed and breakfast in Tuscany, a stops in Siena and San Marino, etc.).

 

However, - that trip has currently been cancelled (although still may do it one day).   The current plans are 3 days in Rome pre-cruise, then fly further north and do a river cruise (Rhine or Danube are currently our options).

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6 hours ago, Coralc said:

So, Twangster sticking his hand in the Serenade Solarium pool for you and posting that it is heated is not evidence enough? Gosh, you sound pedantic. Enjoy your cruise. 

 

After writing my above reply, I looked back at both this thread and the one where I asked the question about heated pools. I did not find any instances where I doubted Twangster's post.  It was some of the prior responses (and often conflicting) that I was not in agreement with. As for my reply to Twangster's post, all I had to respond was my thanks.

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On the topic of future vacations - for our next family trip we are thinking of maybe flying to a Denver and doing a road trip from there. We have airline points and companion vouchers to use up. I have to wait until DD has finalized her school plans for next year but prob this August Or next. Since you’ve done a lot of road trips I’m up for suggestions. I also have the one family member with height issues so it will be a mix of finding the great places/ hikes he can do with the occasional - leave him back at the hotel/find something for him to do.  Strangely most road trips from Denver I see posts about spend more time at Utah parks, which I’m up for but need to figure out some Colorado places that are great in summer too. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, familycruzinnewbie said:

On the topic of future vacations - for our next family trip we are thinking of maybe flying to a Denver and doing a road trip from there. We have airline points and companion vouchers to use up. I have to wait until DD has finalized her school plans for next year but prob this August Or next. Since you’ve done a lot of road trips I’m up for suggestions. I also have the one family member with height issues so it will be a mix of finding the great places/ hikes he can do with the occasional - leave him back at the hotel/find something for him to do.  Strangely most road trips from Denver I see posts about spend more time at Utah parks, which I’m up for but need to figure out some Colorado places that are great in summer too. 

 

I've been in Denver on business, and Colorado, travelling through on vacation and for recreation (a good friend lives not far from Aspen). Off the top of my head there are a number of things to do within Colorado (semi-close to Denver).

  •  For instance, a lot of nice towns to visit, such as Glenwood Springs (go into the Springs; Doc Holiday stayed there and used these springs while trying to recover from his illness - also a lot less touristy than Colorado Springs);
  • Breckinridge is also a beautiful town, which is not too far off;
  • while in the Rockies, find a nice (safe) trail to go hiking;
  • Denver itself is a nice town (if you can, catch a ballgame at Coors - I saw Sammy Sosa hit a long home run there in '98 when in the HR race against McGwire).

If you want to travel further:

  • If you want to go southward, stop at Great Sand Dunes on your way to Mesa Verde (continue going further south and you are in New Mexico - Sante Fe is a nice city (especially Old Town), along the way you can also visit some ghost towns). 
  • Just driving along the Rockies is just amazing - beautiful landscapes at every turn. 
  • As you stated, heading west Utah also has some of the most amazing National Parks.
  • If you want to take a long trip north up to Wyoming, there is Yellowstone, Cody, and Jackson's Hole

I have only been there a few times, but I am sure that there are others from the great state of Colorado that might have better suggestions. I am sure there a few things that I am forgetting. I hope this helps.

Edited by Travel R
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Posted (edited)

September 9, 2021

 

Not good news to begin with. Mom and dad are still both in hospitals/rehabs and I have been travelling going back from NJ to Brooklyn to see both (which, of course are in different end of Brooklyn). I had a few minutes while waiting for some something from a colleague, so I figured I would add an update to this journal, which I have not so for a few weeks.

 

Obviously, research is going very slowly (almost non-existent). Although thoughts of the cruise do provide me some solace, the reality that I am faced with provides little time for respite and when I do have it, it is consumed by exhaustion and sleep.

 

Dress Code (again)

 

Being in my current mood, of course I easily got upset about some posts about the interpretation of the dress code, people giving their own interpretation of the dress code, and telling everyone not to follow them.  So I write as follows . . . .

 

[Update 5/9/22: Reading this over, due to everything going on with my parents, I must have been really in a bad mood when I wrote this. I have removed my long ranting and raving sand have replaced it with following summarization which has been organized in more docile bullet points (which still may get others upset, but hey, these are my thoughts):

 

  • No need to tell people what you think the rules are, this is what the actual RCI rules are . . . . Q&A for dress code on RCI ships
  • The Q&A Does Not state that Formal Nights are “Suggested” – in fact it lists the three different types of dress for the cruise
  • What is “suggested” is what they recommend you to wear, in case you wanted a gauge to go by. They provide this in order to define what they mean by each night’s designation.  It does not mean that a person can interpret it any way they want and wear what they want.
  • It specifically states that Shorts are welcomed for breakfast and lunch,” – I am not sure how people can interpret that as being able to wear shorts for dinner.
  • People, consciously or subconsciously, are judged by how they look, what they wear, and how they act.  This is backed up by psychological studies . . . Psychology Today May 24, 2020.
  • We all get it, and understand, it is your vacation, and you want to dress anyway you want.  But this is not just a vacation, it is a cruise vacation, and on many cruises there is a formal night.   Luckily, there is always an alternative venue to dine in on those evenings. In addition, there are also cruise ships/lines that do not have a formal night.
  • Are there loopholes around the dress and are cruise lines not enforcing their rules, and do people try to push them? Yes.  Hey, they are not my rules, so all the power to you. At one time it was formal night every night, one or two nights over a week is not a huge compromise.
  • What I do not like is when people post that people do not or should not follow these rules, and/or misinterpret what the rules actually are. Yes, they are rules, even if you want to call then guidelines, they can still be broken. 
  • As I have mentioned before, I do not care what you wear. However, please be respectful.  This is not a casual night where passengers are attempting to make it more formal, is an actual designated evening(s) on a cruise, which has been a practice for years. 

Alaskan Planning and Research

 

Speaking of Alaska . . . . As I have already stated, I have not been performing much research on Alaska these days.  I’ve been crazy busy with work, running to see different schools most weekends with my daughter (and many are 5-6+ hours from where I live), trying to keep up with my blog, and as mentioned, I have been going back and forth to help take care of my parents (not to mention the “almost” flood last week which had us removing and carrying upstairs almost everything up from our basement (some seepage through the walls, but luckily very little water and no damage, and subsequently having to spend time taking everything back down and putting it away neatly and orderly, which took a lot longer). So there has not been much progress made in my research although I am trying to read the book on Alaskan trivia and the Alaskan cruise guidebook when I get a chance.  So far, the cruise book has a lot of information I have gathered on CC and elsewhere, but the trivia book has been interesting with a lot of facts about the state I had not read elsewhere.

 

Although most cruise passengers do not go on Cruise Critic (Some figures I have seen site that only 5 to 10% of all cruisers are on CC), and even a smaller percentage ever go on the Roll Calls, it is interesting that there are very few people on the Roll Call for my cruise. Most of the members are not very active either. From experience, I know that some Roll Calls are very active, and some are not (even popping my head into earlier sailings of the Serenade, comparatively we are much more active than most).  What I am wondering is: if this also has to do with the capacity restrictions on the # of passengers and whether they have released all the cabin inventory for the cruise. For instance, if the ships are currently sailing at 50%, are they only releasing 50% of the cabins for future cruises?

 

If we are not sailing at full capacity, I would not mind. No, not at all.

 

[Update 5/11: Since my next journal entry is not very long, I am going to post it today as well. I apologize for all of the emotional stuff in these posts. When I began writing this journal, it was intended to be solely about cruising, but I guess one's personal life is intertwined in everything we do, especially something like planning a cruise.]

 

 

October 12, 2021

It’s been about a month since I last posted.

 

Still not much going on in regard to the upcoming cruise. I am still spending a lot of my free time driving back and forth to Brooklyn to see mom in the hospital or rehab, and dad at their home. When I can, I am trying to spend time with my wife and daughters (and unfortunately work is getting even busier).

 

I have been keeping a partial eye on the cruise industry and the desire for it to come back to normal.

 

Like many of us, a cruise ship is one of our “happy places” and I wish I was on one right now.

 

Edited by Travel R
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[Today]

 

45 Days to go and you know that that means - Check-in!!!

 

I did not get up at 3 AM (EST) to complete the form when it first went live; but woke at my regular time had the forms completed by 7 am and got my pick of check-in times. I was able to enter the information for my entire family.

 

It was a fairly easy process, except trying to find digital photos of everyone.  If RCI does not like them, I am guessing they will re-take the photos during the check-in?

 

One step closer to Alaska!!!

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I did not know about the check in early to get a good time thing or the photo thing. I think I’m 73 days out. I did receive the Royal up email two days ago. I did put in some minimum bids but when you go to book, the cruise is full other than some insides and the owners suite, so we will see if there is movement or any additional cabins added to capacity. 


Someone posted Sitka pics in a fb group the other day saying something about buying $10 tickets on the shuttle. Trying to figure out what she means as it went to fortress of the bear and raptor center etc. 

 

And I have a triathlon in 6 weeks - been dealing with dizziness/nausea particularly with running, like I’m going through a bouncy castle or really drunk. On a positive it’s only sprint distance but it’s ITU age group world championships and it’s doubtful I’ll get the chance to go again (I was always going to be tail end of my age-group) 
 

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Posted (edited)

 

  

1 hour ago, familycruzinnewbie said:

been dealing with dizziness/nausea particularly with running

 

If you are competing at this level (ITU World Championships - very nice, congrats on qualifying to get there) you are probably already familiar with whatever I am going to write below, but for everyone else out there . . .. 

 

Competing in athletic events (even non-competitive) is a little like cruising. [Trying to make the cruising connection to keep this conversation semi-related.] It takes a bit of research and planning (besides the hours and hours of training).  Planning what you eat and drink before and during the event is just as important as training correctly.

 

First of all - have you talked to your doctor?  Let them know how you are fueling and hydration both before and during exercising, which (in my non-medical opinion) may be a factor.

 

I have had Runner's Stomach in the past (yes, it's a fairly common thing), and had adjusted my fueling through trial and error to compensate. I have not experienced any dizziness while running, so that is a concern, especially when cycling. [I have lay opinions as to why, but you are better off asking a professional.]

 

As a perpetual over-planner, I carefully plan and strategize what I am going to eat - and usually where.

 

My usual strategy for a big race (longer than a 10K) has evolved into the following:

  • High Carb meal the nigh before while avoiding anything oily or spicy the entire day before;
  • Milk, apple sauce, small banana, and plain bagel (or bread) 2 hours prior to the race;
  • 1/2 bottle of water and 1/2 Protein Bar 30 minutes prior to race;
  • 1/2 Protein Bar a few moments before the race. 
  • During race - alternate between water and Gatorade every other fueling station (which are usually spaced between 1 and 1.5  miles apart)
  • If 10K run or 25 miles cycling or longer I will also take an energy gel (or two) at -pre-determined distances depending on length and type of activity (with energy gels to coincide with the water refueling).
  • For 5Ks and 10Ks, I usually do not worry about what I eat the day before (but usually will have some type of carb-loaded meal).  I will drink water prior to the race, and have the half a protein bar 30 minutes and again just prior to shotgun.  I will hydrate at the fueling stations - but will tend to stick with water instead of Gatorade (unless it is an OCR).

The above is a strategy that works for me (the result of many tweaks over the years). Everyone I know has their own strategy. I run with a woman who hydrates similarly, but very different in her fuel consumption. Your doctor may have other suggestions knowing you best.

 

1 hour ago, familycruzinnewbie said:

Someone posted Sitka pics in a fb group the other day saying something about buying $10 tickets on the shuttle.

 

I had read about a shuttle running years ago all the way to the Fortress, but thought it was discontinued - I could be very wrong on that. If you find out any additional information on it, please share.

 

1 hour ago, familycruzinnewbie said:

I did not know about the check in early to get a good time thing or the photo thing.

 

That is why CruiseCritic is here - so we can help each other to discover these things. Just a note - if you want to do the check-in when it opens, it does so at 12:00 AM PST, so adjust accordingly. As mentioned I logged in about 6:30 AM EST (3:30 PST), and it looked like all of the entry times were available for my sailing. I am up and out by 6 AM every morning to walk my dog, so for me it was not so bad, if I were on the West Coast, I may have set my alarm to wake up earlier - just in case.

 

Also note - I does not look like the photo is required for initial check-in. I uploaded them just in case.

 

If wondering, the check-in does not require you to enter your vaccination or booster information (at this time).

 

Edited by Travel R
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[Today]

 

Oh no!!!!

 

Municipalities in NJ beginning to reinstate mask mandates for certain locations (e.g., schools). There is also an uptick in various areas throughout the country.

 

One of the hottest topics on the RCI boards are the thread where people are providing posts about their daily activities onboard after testing negative.  A hot topic because we are all very interested, anxious, and even a bit worried.  The room looks nice (at least it is an oceanview so you can see outside).  Free WiFi (which does not mean much if you already have the perk), Free movies (which is good to pass the time - although does not balance out not being able to go ashore), Free room service or MDR food (at least you will eat. I wonder if you can order double entrees, appetizers, or desserts?).  It is not the most horrible thing, but, like me, I am sure none of us want to be in that situation or have one a member of our party in that situation - or even people we do not know in that situation.

 

Still a month and a half to go until our cruise.  What, if anything will this all mean to me?

 

Signed, 

 

Worried in New Jersey

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Finally got caught up here!  I feel lucky to be on the same sailing as you - you've done so much of the research for me!  Very much appreciated as a single mom, I do love the planning/research but I only have so much time to do it all.

 

As for cruising in your upper teens to early 20s...  That was when I took my first cruise.  It was on Celebrity with my parents, I was probably 19 or 20.  I LOVED it!  And even then, I'm sure it was an older crowd, but I didn't notice or care.  I was there to hang out with my family, not to mention I'm an introvert so mingling with other passengers my age was NOT on my list of priorities.  Haha.  

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Oh! Also... forgot to comment on the Covid surge... I have a couple family members in IL with it, and one of my good friends in Dallas has it right now too.  Sigh.  I hope everything will still progress as planned.  As for me, starting about 3 weeks out from the cruise I'm going to start isolating again, going out only if necessary etc.  I won't let Covid take this trip from me!

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On 5/14/2022 at 5:37 PM, texasweather said:

Finally got caught up here!  I feel lucky to be on the same sailing as you - you've done so much of the research for me!  Very much appreciated as a single mom, I do love the planning/research but I only have so much time to do it all.

 

I am glad that I was able to be of help. I have received incredible help from other members and feel that it is only right to return the favor to others.

On 5/14/2022 at 5:37 PM, texasweather said:

As for cruising in your upper teens to early 20s...  That was when I took my first cruise.  It was on Celebrity with my parents, I was probably 19 or 20.  I LOVED it!  And even then, I'm sure it was an older crowd, but I didn't notice or care.  I was there to hang out with my family, not to mention I'm an introvert so mingling with other passengers my age was NOT on my list of priorities.  Haha. 

 

It will be interesting to watch my DD22 on this cruise. During our past few cruises we have had our combination of all-family time and time where we spent apart.  Both of my DD's had always gone to the kid/teen clubs, met up with a group of friends, and had companionship when not with good ole' mom and dad.

 

There is no club for the young adults, but wondering if anyone knows what the Singles Meet-up is about (it is listed in the Compass)?  More specifically - what is the general age group for this meet-up.  Is it for the younger crowd (21-25) or the "older" single and solo cruisers in their 30s to ???? 

 

Cruising is a wonderful venue for those that are either introverted or extroverted - especially since every table is not a top-8 or top-10.  As you have probably figured out from this thread I am the later.  I enjoy sitting at a table with random people at a venue and just talking.

 

 

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On 5/14/2022 at 5:41 PM, texasweather said:

Oh! Also... forgot to comment on the Covid surge... I have a couple family members in IL with it, and one of my good friends in Dallas has it right now too.  Sigh.  I hope everything will still progress as planned.  As for me, starting about 3 weeks out from the cruise I'm going to start isolating again, going out only if necessary etc.  I won't let Covid take this trip from me!

 

One of the reasons we waited to get the booster until now (next week) is because I believe that it will be most effective within the first two moths (I do not know if there is any scientific data to back it up). As you stated, "I won't let Covid take this trip from me!"

 

Although myself and my family will also try to avoid contact with others the two or three weeks prior to travel, it is almost impossible.  My DW commutes into NYC for work passing by thousands of people on the train and walking to her building, my DD goes to school with hundreds of other kids (although they have begun masking up again this week), I go shopping, and the day before we cruise we will be at my DD's graduation with hundreds of other people.

 

The graduation is outdoors, in the blazing sun, and wearing a mask is going to be very uncomfortable.

 

Wishing everyone a healthy cruise!

 

 

 

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[Today]

 

I have only been on CC once the past few days.  My amazing DD22 just graduated from her university.  We spent the time travelling down below the Mason-Dixon line celebrating and enjoying the moment - of course a lot of eating (and no historical side-tours).

 

In the prior post I had spoken of graduation ceremonies.  First of all, out of the 5-6 thousand people there, very very few wore masks (no I did not).  I will not comment further.

 

What I will talk about (again) is dress code.  Obviously, there is no dress code provided for a college graduation ceremony for those that are attending as guests.  I was actually surprised at how casual some people were dressed.  I was one of the very, very few people wearing a full suit and tie (that was not working there) - if anyone wore a suit, it was sans the tie.  Of those even fewer that were wearing a tie, I was probably the only one to wear a Beatles tie.

 

Is getting dressed an old-fashioned idea or am I just old fashioned when it comes to dress.  However, I do not care.  Even knowing and seeing this, I am going to be wearing a suit and tie for their subsequent graduation ceremonies. I do not care what people think of what I wear, and I really did not care what everyone else wore.  Did I notice how people are dressed? Of course, I have eyes. But as I said, I do not care.  [I have never, ever been interested in the red carpet or post-reviews, since I really do not care what celebrities are wearing either.]

 

The only clothing item I though was inappropriate was being worn by a teen (maybe college age) who was donning a hat from a different university (no, not a rival university, which would have been worse).

 

It was a nice, but very long ceremony (hundreds of names being read off one-by-one as they went across the stage), and a great weekend.

 

This experience has caused me to think about the dress codes on cruise ships.  The world is getting more casual.  Many years ago when I graduated with the dinosaurs roaming outside my college, all the parents were wearing suits (from what I remember). I am wondering if there is a difference in graduations that occur further north.  The historian in me is also wondering why this shift has occurred.  Is it a symptom of a degradation of society, or an evolution in the empowerment of the people?

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1 hour ago, Travel R said:

wondering if anyone knows what the Singles Meet-up is about

 

Correction - it is listed as the Singles Get-Together.

 

But I would still like to be able to tell my DD22 if it is worth her going to meet other passengers her age, if the crowd will be a lot older, or if it will be a meat market.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Travel R said:

Singles Get-Together.

 

Young Adults and Singles Get-Together

 

I figured, while in Rome . . . . . so since I am on these boards, I might as our resident experts about this event.

 

The thread is located at (see below), but the take aways' are:

  • that at least some cruises/ships do have at least a meet-up for 18-20 and 21-25 groups, but not all. 
  • The Singles Get Togethers usually draw an older crowd of mostly women 
  • By the looks of the Compass, there are no specific activities of events for those 18+

[Thanks to all that 

 

 

This topic is not a new one. I found this old thread which covers the need for such activities . . . .

 

https://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/topic/1796800-18-20-year-old-group/

Edited by Travel R
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My daughter’s convocation is at the end of the month. It is indoors, they do different faculties at different days/times. Not sure if my husband will wear a tie. He may wear a jacket but not a suit. Not sure what I’m wearing, depends on what season we get that day. 

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3 hours ago, familycruzinnewbie said:

My daughter’s convocation is at the end of the month. It is indoors, they do different faculties at different days/times. Not sure if my husband will wear a tie. He may wear a jacket but not a suit. Not sure what I’m wearing, depends on what season we get that day. 

 

Congratulations!!

 

Yes, it was the same at my daughter's school. Each discipline had their own separate ceremony. They were spread over 3 days with either 2 or 3 a day.

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Posted (edited)

November 18, 2021

 

Goodbye Dad

 

It’s been a very tough past few weeks.  Besides my mom still transferring back and forth between the hospital and rehab, the following is hard to write, but my dad passed away.  He was a very good father and very good man. I will miss him dearly.

 

Cruising is one of the furthest things from my mind.

 

[In Hindsight 5/16/2022: Since I had posted the eulogy of my mom I have gone back and forth about posting the one for my dad as well.  It’s only been 6 months since his death, so I am still grieving. I have decided that I will post at least part of what I had written not too long ago.  My father gave me my sense of adventure, be it hiking to the top of Mount Marcy or taking a cruise to Alaska. As I had mentioned above, I have organized a charity bike ride in his honor to help fight and find a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. It may be apropos that we are going to Alaska, and maybe we will see a Grizzly Bear on our travels since the moniker he went by and was called by friends and family was Grizzly or just “Griz.”

 

A EULOGY FOR DAD

 

ON MONDAY MORNING I CRIED.

 

On Monday morning I was half-awakened by the phone ringing followed by my wife exclaiming “oh my G-d.”

 

On Monday morning I cried.  I did not shed a tear right away. I was in shock and disbelief.  However, a little while later in my daze and confusion the voice of my angel said the sweetest thing: “your dad waited to see you yesterday before he made his final departure from this world.”

Unbelievably I smiled. 

 

I turned and walked away. 

 

Then the emotions began to swirl in like a turret of all the sands of the earth falling through a gigantic hourglass upon me.  I then cried. I cried for me. I cried for my mom. I cried for everyone that ever knew my dad.

 

ON MONDAY AFTERNOON I KEPT BUSY.

 

On Monday afternoon I took to the business at hand.  There were people to talk to, arrangements to be made, information to be found, and documents to be reviewed. The day seemed to flow forever, like a never-ending river that led to an unknown and distant land.  My sister and I spent the entire exhausting day steering this vessel down the mighty river.  We paddled and we rowed the mighty oars.  We adjusted and readjusted the sails to keep our course steady and true.   

On Monday afternoon I had no time to think, so I had no time to cry.

 

ON MONDAY EVENING I SLEPT.

 

The day took its toll on my body, mind, and soul.  Like a zombie, I took care of whatever needed to be done. In a stupor I tried to attend to the needs of my family, but they lovingly took care of me instead. It was not long after the last rays of sun faded from the horizon that sleep greeted me like an old acquaintance. 

 

I cannot call sleep a friend, since she cruelly left me in a lurch not long after the strike of two. On Monday evening I slept, but it was not a comfort for long.

 

ON TUESDAY MORNING I REMEMBERED.

 

I opened my eyes to stare at the darkness and the blackness of the early hours stared back at me. My ears only sensed but a mere suggestion of the world outside.  With sleep no longer in my eyes, and the deafening sounds of silence in my ears, it was the now unrestrained inner thoughts of my subconsciousness that took control. 

 

First there was disbelief. Is this real? Did my father really die?

 

Next there was bitterness and anger. How can my father leave me?

 

Third came acceptance.  I know that he is in a better place now.

 

Finally came the memories.  A flood of happy memories I have of my father.

 

These were the memories of the big strong father that I remember from my youth and looked up to.

 

I REMEMBER THE ADVENTURER.

 

[deleted]

I REMEMBER THE LEADER, TEACHER, AND OUTDOORSMAN.

 

[deleted]

I REMEMBER OUR TIMES TOGETHER.

 

[deleted]

I REMEMBER THE FAMILY TRIPS.

 

[deleted]

I REMEMBER THE PEOPLE PERSON (AND ANIMAL LOVER).

 

[deleted]

I REMEMBER THE ARTIST.

 

[deleted]

I REMEMBER MY DAD.

 

I am going to address the 600-pound gorilla in the room right now; well, this may not exactly be a room, but you get the idea. Sadly, my dad mentally and spiritually, left us years ago. It is hard to say that, but it is true. What lies in this box before us is only the shell of the man we once knew. 

But that is NOT who I remember.  It is NOT who you should remember. The man I remember is the person I have described above. He is the outdoorsman, adventurer, artist, leader, teacher, people person, animal lover, family man, and great father. I believe that he is now up in heaven backpacking, fishing, horseback riding, or maybe just sitting back enjoying a cigar with grandpa XXX looking down on us and smiling.

 

It was also on Tuesday morning that I cried.

 

ON TUESDAY AFTERNOON I WROTE A EULOGY FOR MY DAD.

 

It was also on Tuesday afternoon that I cried.

 

And to be honest, I cried multiple times while setting down the words upon this page.

 

ON WEDNESDAY I SAID FAREWELL.

 

And today we all cry together.

 

But our sorrow should not last for very long. We should soon begin remembering only the good things. The happy things. Besides, my dad would not want us to be sad for long.

Although I say it now, I cannot make it a promise; but tomorrow I will try NOT to cry.

 

I am not saying goodbye, it’s only a farewell. As long as my dad is in our minds and hearts, he will be with us . . .  always.

 

 

Edited by Travel R
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[Today]

 

Almost at an end to last year's journal, then it will all current info and updates from thereon. Today I will post the penultimate entry, then post the final entry on the morrow. . . . .

 

December 20, 2021

 

Holidays

 

It is a tough holiday season without my dad, but I am pulling through.

 

I have contacted a third party for the whale watching.  They are female-owned and have boats that hold 6 passengers (besides crew).  I had previous contacted them with initial questions, now I am contacting them to actually book the excursion.

 

I decided upon them because of reviews of other members that have taken this excursion. I also felt that a small boat would be better to view without continuously knocking into others on a larger crowded ship.  The three “downsides” from taking a smaller ship is (1) the do not travel as fast, (2) if the water is very choppy, you feel it, and (3) sometimes being higher up gives you a better view, which we will not have.  However, I feel it beats having to fight for a “good” spot on a ship overloaded with other tourists – and a women owned company is something myself and my family supports.

 

Happy holidays,

 

Travel R and family

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