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Everything posted by Traveler

  1. In that case you might have a case πŸ™‚ , but still it will take you around 1.5 to two hours just to get to the city. I sometime takes a car and go to some last minutes shooing and eating in NJ , you can also take a shuttle to Elizabeth outlet indoor mall (10 $ return trip from P4) , they have some restaurants around , although not the best but its just 10 minutes from the airport.
  2. This is what you need to take into consideration : 1. you will land most likely in terminal B with 12 more fight from Europe. 2. Most of the flight are with people with the Visa waver program which mean the temp visa being done on the spot , for some flights it takes time , you might have lines between 30 to sometimes 2 hours (depends which flight landed before you). just for immigration 3. As it is your first gate to the US you will need to take you suitcase in EWR and pass custom, for some reason in EWR it takes a while until they bring the suitcases - 15 - 30 minutes 4. You have the custom lines , again , depends on how many flight and if they are looking for something it can be between 5 to 30 minutes. 5. after you drop your suitcase again you will need to take the shuttle to rail station - the train comes every 8 to 15 minutes , the ride takes 10 minutes. 6, you will take the train to PEN station - around 20 -25 minutes 15 $ each way. 7. 15 - 20 minutes using the subway to go were you want to go (or just to walk). 8. 30 minutes back or more depends how long you will wait for the train. 9 15 minutes to terminal C. 10. 30 minutes security. Now that you will do with your carry on , is it worse it , well you will do the calculation.
  3. Passport should be left at the hotel safe , I take cache and credit card , when I travel , I take at least two credit cards , one with me one with the hotel safe , if a credit card being stolen its very easy to block it and I will still have a credit card I can use. You do not even need a passport copy , I do carry driving license , sometime shops will ask a way of identification if you using your credit card , foreign driving license with a picture works perfect. I always carry my wallet in the front pocket , its much harder to take it. Never leave a bags on the floor near you. be careful from the petition scam , where people try to convince you to sign a petition and and ask for money, just ignore or pretend you only speak some rear language (they usually know English , Spanish , Russian, french, German ) . After saying that , which is by the way true for all Europe and many other places, I do not think its that common , I have been to Barcelona many times and traveling almost every second week to Europe , if you keep the basic awareness to you surrounding (same as I guess you do in your home town) you should be OK.
  4. The wine is quite simple , the main thing is not to allow glass touch glass or any hard things in the suitcase . What I do is to wrap each bottle with nylon bag and make sure they are divided (the park west brochures are very good wrap materials). I will put one layer of dirty cloths bag on the bottom of the suitcase , put the bottles with some divider like shoes between them and put another layer of cloth above them , making sure they will not move. Another option is to use a shoe box (you are going to visit Italy , do not tell me you will not buy at least one per πŸ™‚) , here its even simpler , wrap each bottle, put some park west material between each bottle until they can not move and put the shoe box inside the suitcase. if for some reason your bottle has a screw cap make sure you secure it with some tape , the only accident I had until now is leakage from such bottles. from our last cruise we brought 6 bottles of wine , 3 in each suitcase +1 Limonochelo and two vinegar bottles , they all survived.
  5. I use the google photo to backup my pictures from the phone , but you will need WIFI for that. regarding the canon , there is a memory card that comes with internal WIFI if your camera dose not support it already.
  6. As I tend also to over pack I set some rules to myself: 1. Always have a folded duffel bag inside my suitcase so if I want to send extra bag at least I do not need to buy it. 2. Use a travel scale , so at least I know were I am from weight perspective (well at least for the suitcase , my weight just ignore until the end of the cruise).| 3. I always make sure that what I pack minus things I will leave/consume during the travel will be the weight allowance minus at least two bottle of wines which I would like to carry back with me. 4. After I pack I always take out few items. 5. I always use the wash bag at the middle of the cruise. 6. I always pack more underwear than I need , its easier to buy other stuff if needed, I feel much comfortable to wear new shirt which I just bought than new per of underwear ... 7. I try to bring a few white cotton shirts (the simple ones that are being sold in 5-6 shirts per package) , I can wear them under the dress shirt and it will allow me to wear the dress shirt again if needed. 8. Always take allot of extra big garbage bags , use them for : pack things in them ,dirty cloths, wet swimsuit, put them over the shelf and the drawers if they are not looking too clean, wrap bottles of wine before packing them inside the suitcase and many other things. 9. Always take extra zippers bags for small things , I even pack shampoo inside them (always use two just to be on the safe side) , by that I am saving allot of weight . 10. pack a small bag pack for sΧ™ore excursions + folded back pack if I want to buy something.
  7. I also use this one , It allow to resize batch of pictures also and very easy to use.
  8. I experienced the same when we cruised from HK but then HK is not really China , but if you say the same was Ok from Shanghai I am very happy and sad . on one hand I will be able to connect and work on the other hand I will be able to connect and work during my vacation πŸ™‚
  9. Might be although I believe RCL will try to be very careful around such things. I just hope my work VPN will work well there.
  10. Well , we will check in 105 days from now πŸ™‚ will use one of the diamond free internet day to try the high speed for 60 minutes beside the regular internet I will have for the full week.
  11. I must say that I did start to look on the way people dress for during official nights but that only so I will be able to answer questions in this blog on how people dress during official nights in European/far east cruises πŸ™‚
  12. For the research I will take the regular Stream one and will buy one hour of the high speed to check the differences
  13. I can see in Spectrum of the seas , Best of Japan cruise out of China .
  14. I was just looking on My cruise planner for Spectrum of the Seas and I found three levels of internet : 1. Voom Surf Voyage - 12.79 $ PD 2. Voom Surf + Stream - 15.99 $ PD 3. Voom High Speed - 18 $ PD Now I wonder if the high speed is one level up and real faster than the regular surf + stream we all know or it is just a marketing thing and they created another level by limiting the surf + stream. Interesting
  15. I used to take sport jacket with me but gave it up as it takes too much space and whatever I can save in weight is going out (now days with the extra payment for suitcase if flying). I will take with me dress pants and few dress shirts for official night. Just came back from a cruise in Europe , short pants were very common .
  16. I tend to agree with you and have been told by a policeman that many criminals using it as a tool. Maybe creating an alternate profile can help here.
  17. Day 8 - back to Barcelona 😞 We woke up at 5:30 am , much to early but we had a flight to catch at 9:25 and we wanted to play it safe. quick breakfast and WJ (which was open from 5:30 AM) and a coffee from the coffee machine in the diamond club. we finish to pack the leftovers and started our way with the suitcases to the embarkation gate.from the time we left the room to the time we took the taxi it was less ten minutes, another 20 minutes and we were at the airport just to find that check in counters were not even open (yes , we could spend another hour sleeping). Check in was done 30 minutes after and we waited to catch our flight for our connection. Connection was way too long , but we decided we both will work during the connection time so we can catch before coming to office. at 2 am we landed back home , tired but happy to return home. Few things we learned during this cruise : 1. Even if it is the fifth time we are doing this route there is always something else to see. 2. No need to be afraid taking a cruise for a ship that is due to refurbished , the ship looked great. 3. If you know what you want to do in port you can save allot of money doing it without RCL, we done the Cinque Tere by our own which cost us 38$ comparing to 120-130 RCL wanted , we went to Rome using a bus and a train which cost us around 30 $ comparing to 60$ RCL wanted for transfer , we could even made it 20$ if we did not missed the train. There is a free shuttle in Marseilles port gate comparing to the 20 $ shuttle that RCL is offering. Many other examples , One exception will be if you want to see Florence, its just too far to take any risk. 4. No issue to take early flight from Barcelona , the ship most of the time arrives way before the official time. 5. It was the first time we have done self embarkation , it was very easy and smooth and we will try it again. 6. Its bad tell people at work you will be available if needed , people do not know to decide what is real emergency ... 7.We need at least one more sea days to enjoy the ship. 8. We love Oasis class , can not wait for the new Oasis ship. 9. Cats is not becoming better when you watch it for the second time. 10. Drinking package dose not make much sense with Med cruises without sea days. 11. Always do a WJ recon , you never know what you will find. 12. 7 days is not enough , 10 days or B2B should be considered πŸ™‚ It was another fun experience , thank you for following. See you next time over Rhapsody at the end of August and Spectrum of the Seas during October.
  18. I found out that lately you find more activity in the Facebook group for a cruise than on the role call.
  19. Here you .for 5 to 6 Hamburgers : 2 Lb of ground beef , it should have some fat , but you can decide how much. 3 spoons of brad cramps. 3-5 spoons of Mozzarella shredded cheese , that will add both flavor and also will keep the burger not too dense. Dash of salt and paper One or two spoon of cold sparkling water (not a must) , that is it. Put all the ingredient in one bawl and start to knead for a minutes , not too much but enough for the the ingredient to bland together. Use a form or a burger presser , if you do not have one you can use your hands to shape the patty. On a hot pan , cook each side for 4-5 minutes , the last minute each side cover the pan for evenly cook. much better than JR πŸ™‚
  20. Day 7 - Sea day (and the last day). We had plans to sleep later today as we came back to the room around 2:30 am the day before. Well it was a good plan until the Captain used the in room announcement system at 8 AM , he apologized and ask some lady to call guess services , I guess she did not came back to her room and the team wanted to make sure she is OK. Since the captain did not looked for her again I guess she was found and everything was OK , I am sure she was happy that cruises do not go with name tags as many wanted to know who is the lady who woke them up. As we could not go back to sleep we decide to try breakfast at the MDR, apparently many other thought the same as the lines were quite big , specially to the a la Carte option. We went to the buffet side , it was nice with some order to cook omelets. At 9:30 am there was the meet and mingle meeting but it did not make much sense to do it on the last day so we decided to skip it. We did went to WJ just to take a mimosa (there is a limit to how many times we can eat breakfast). we tour the ship although it was quite cold and windy outside. I went back to the room to complete some work and got a mail saying I need to go to Italy this week again and another email saying I need to go to Australia ASAP so i need to figure out what to do considering we already plan a few days vacation Greece with my father, lets see how I would be able to do it this time. lunch was JR as it was the last day we could use the boardwalk balcony perk, oh well , it was eatable but could not find much different to the one you can get in the WJ without extra payment. at the end of this post I will add my do it yourself burger option , its so easy to do and much better. We took some needed coffee and gave cats one extra chance , have not changed my mind about it. Next we so the splash aqua show , as always its enjoyable , finally I used the balcony for something else beside freshen my Jeans. I must say the balcony soundproof door is really working. Some bar drinks (it was happy hour) and a quick recon to the WJ to find the lobster claws, always check the WJ , I wonder were the rest of the lobster gone , as I did not saw any lobster in the MDR menu , maybe CK ?. We tried our luck in the Casino, somehow one of the slots machines was nice to us , but all in all most of them were the typical "you have no where else to run , we can give you bad odds" , same for most of the times I tried the table game s oh well at least the drinks were "free" πŸ™‚ Back to the room again to start and pack our belongings, around 10 PM we decide to call it for the night as our flight leave Barcelona at 9:30 am . Last days of the Dazlles This guy was watching us for the last few days JR ]d
  21. Sometimes it's good to check the WJ , you never know what you will find And it's the real ones @twangster πŸ™‚
  22. Day 6 Naples. This is the easiest port as it's located very near the city , just a convenient walking distance. We actually slept a while during the morning , I guess all the wine from Chef table helped πŸ˜‰. We skipped breakfast as even the WJ was already closed and we did our way to the city. It was again a very hot day so after a while (and the must coffee in Naples) we went to find a good Pizza. I checked the app (the fork) for what is around and found a nice restaurant which offered 50% discount for all the items in the menue and got good reviews (most in Italian). The restaurant was less than 400 meters from us so we got there quite fast. It's located inside a very narrow old street but the restaurant itself quite modern with a big pizza oven. The most important thing they had air conditioning. They gave us a tablet for order whatever we wanted, very traditional I must say. We ordered two pizzas, water , diet soda (no they are not accepting the soda packages) and waited for the food. The pizzas arrived after 10 or 15 minutes then we understood the big mistake we have done again , we should have ordered only one to share , they were quite big (maybe we thought about Sorento) after fighting with the pizzas (which were very good) we order a traditional Naples cake and two coffees . All in all after 50% off and service charge it was 16 Euros, added some tip and we went away to walk some more in the city before heading back to the ship after buying some balsamic vinegar to take back home. Quick beer at the diamond club , and a fruit dinner in WJ (could eat anything else , too much food). We went to see the "come fly with me show" the acrobatics act was very good , the singers on the other hand could practice some more. We spent some time at the casino and went to see the quest , this time it was in Blaze and not studio B which made it hard to track what happened but still nice with decent amount of participants.
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