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Posts posted by Allen2

  1. We have several sets of packing cubes ( all Amazon ) but have starting using a better system: Jumbo slider seal zip lock bags. These are rated 2 1/2 gallon , and measure 14 1/2 by 16 inches. Inexpensive. Easy to bring spares. Pack by category and all visible. To compress, just sit or lean on them and zip up. If bag breaks, replace!  Can pack by day, various trip segments, weather, clothing type, dirty clothes. Used on multiple trips with weather varying from 90 degrees plus to below freezing, and all in one under 50 pound suitcase. Very easy to partially unpack when traveling pre- or post-cruise. We also take plastic clothes pins for overnight laundry; these go in a quart zip-lock bag. 

  2. Ran across an old souvenir cup, listing ships:  Song of Norway, Nordic Prince, Sun Viking, Song of America, Sovereign of the Seas, Viking Serenade, Nordic Empress, Monarch of the Seas, and Majesty of the Seas.  Great memories from most of these ships.  Any stories from the "past"?  We started cruising while sharing my best friend's honeymoon!

  3. Just our "take" on hurricanes: we were on a ship that suffered through serious fringes of a hurricane, and things got very dicey. Hurricanes also cause ships to skip scheduled ports.  Our plans now include not sailing during hurricane season - OR - traveling outside of the hurricane zone.  Think Europe, Alaska, riverboats and so forth.

  4. We are on three spring B2B cruises in the South Pacific - a South Pacific Cruise, a Transpacific Cruise, and Hawaii to Vancouver.  Am having trouble finding answers to a couple of visa questions, including no help at all from RCL.  We know that Australia and New Zealand (starting in October) both require electronic visas (ETAs), but are having trouble finding out about New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Loyalty Islands, and several French Polynesia stops.  Do the other ports require visas, or does a ship's blanket visa cover us? Or no visa required for US citizens?  Also, any comments about tours on the small islands would be GREATLY appreciated!  And, has anyone purchased non-RCL tours, such as those offered by Cruise Excursions and others?  If so, what kind of results and comments?  Thanks in advance for any help!

  5. Would consider length!  We did 54 days/17 countries including some countries that one would now not dare to go to.  It is easy to keep in touch, and electronic bill pay helps.  The biggie is your home/apartment.  If apartment dweller, perhaps could put furniture in storage and have about 3/4 of a year with no rent, insurance, utilities to help offset cost.  Did meet someone who said living on ship competitive with high-end assisted living facility.

  6. Here is a thought: an hour plus/minus to get to airport, and park.  AT LEAST  an hour to check in and clear TSA.  Thirty minutes flight at a minimum.  Baggage pick-up another thirty minutes.  You can drive and be in control using the same amount of time and less money (airport parking in Orlando is not cheap) and a car takes more people than one $150 ticket.  I am a SWA fan, but have been "burned" many times with weather delays in Fort Lauderdale. 

  7. We have done many B2B cruises, and enjoy most of all an end-of-season cruise in an exotic locale, followed by a transatlantic or transpacific.  Downside of doing this: no transportation at one end (port) or the other - or both.  Have three booked together around Australia, crossing to Hawaii, and third to Vancouver.  Highly recommend!!

  8. Reality is that these cost-driven approaches will continue at Royal Caribbean's cost points.   This is unfortunate, but reality.   Alternatives ARE OFFERED - but at higher price points, which may be triple or more than RCL's daily rate.  This has become a case of a consumer making his/her own informed decision.

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