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Everything posted by Zacharius

  1. My first drink on my last cruise was a Bud Light. I hate Bud Light. I had no intentions of using my drink package on cheap beer. But the first thing I did after getting on the ship was to go for a dip in the pool, and I immediately sprained my thumb getting in. Thought I was going to have to get back off the ship and find an urgent care, but decided it wasn't dislocated or broken...just very, very painful. So, a Bud Light in an aluminum can did a pretty damn good job of acting as an ice pack. I drank it at the same time, might as well, but...it wasn't great. It was the only beer I got all week.
  2. It's easy to say communism is the reason for this. But the truth is, as always, somewhat deeper. I'm not going to get in to all of the details, as that can get political really quickly, but don't fool yourself in to thinking communism is the main reason for this in 2019. It isn't. Also, most countries have a way of changing their tune if it benefits them. In the case of US-Cuba relations, US doesn't really gain much from Cuba...they do, however, from China.
  3. Yeah that was my point earlier...there's only so many places to go in a short time. And a place that someone will like, another will hate. And then factor in places that are already full because other ships don't have to change destinations and have been booked in to there for ages. Nothing about this is ideal, but options are limited for the cruise line at this point.
  4. Every situation is going to be different. Maybe they got lucky and had port availability in the general vicinity of the northern Caribbean for this week, or next week, or the week after, but that doesn't mean they to four weeks from now, or two months from now.
  5. If you do go to St. John, try to stay away from Trunk Bay. It's the busiest beach over there. If you get there early enough, you can camp out far away from others (when we got there just about 9:30am, we were just about the only ones on the beach) but by the time you get there it could be quite busy. There are a myriad of other beaches that a taxi can take you to. Trunk Bay does have the perk of restrooms, showers, chair/equipment rental, and (I believe) recently re-opened food (though I could be wrong)...but of course that's a direct correlation to it being the busiest, so determine your priorities and go from there.
  6. My car doesn't have a key, just a fob, which is both better and worse...better because I can't lock myself out (if the key is inside the car, all I have to do is touch the door handle and it will unlock), but worse because literally anyone can do that too if I leave the key inside (as I have accidentally done twice...luckily not for long periods of time) and drive off in to the sunset.
  7. I cannot address how easy or difficult this would be with special needs, and of course depends on the specific needs, but I have absolutely done this and is my number one recommendation for St Thomas. Here's how we have done it: 1) Get off the ship ASAP, grab the first taxi, take it to the ferry. Know the schedule of the return ferries, and ask your driver to meet you back there so you don't need to wait for any taxi when you get back. Have his number (assuming you're American, most phone companies treat US Virgin Islands like any other state so calling/texting is easy and included) just in case. 2) Ferry across, grab a taxi on the other side to the beach of your choice. 3) Reverse the trip for the way back. Make sure there's at least one more ferry that can get you back to the ship on time in case there's any issue...so for example (just making up times here) if you know you need to be back on the ship by 7:30pm, and there's a ferry that drops you back to your taxi at 6:00pm, leave on the one that gets you there at 5:00pm...knowing the 6:00pm ferry is there, just in case). With a nine-hour port day, we have been able to spend four hours easily on the beach at St. John, plus stopped for lunch and beers before the return ferry, and returned to the ship over an hour before "all aboard".
  8. God that's my nightmare. This happened to my uncle...at a Vegas hotel...at 11pm...on a weekend. Not exactly the quietest time to have to walk down to the lobby in your underwear.
  9. 2000-5000 people Multiple ports each journey Multiple journeys each year Even subtracting out the people who don't leave the ship at any given stop, you still have a lot of people leaving with their cards each day...odds are someone is going to lose one, quite possibly even every day.
  10. Not a cruise, but I definitely went to Florida for a week of vacation and realized I forgot shorts... Back in college, I went to spend a summer in Europe and went to sleep the night before leaving realizing I had forgotten to pack anything at all...for a two month trip.
  11. Think about it this way...yeah, 15 hours seems long. And it is long, especially in economy. But the chance to visit some of these amazing places may be worth one day in economy (15 hours out + 13 hours back, or vice versa depending on where you're going, is just over one day). If you're doing, say, three weeks in New Zealand, that's 504 hours. A 28 hour roundtrip, though long, is a small price for 504 hours of reward IMHO. I practically live out of a suitcase for work. I hit every populated continent at least twice a year, and I am in New Zealand at least 3-4 times a year for work. I've also been lucky enough to vacation twice in New Zealand. As many places as I have been in the world, if I had to choose just one to spent every moment of my life, it would be New Zealand. Get on that plane.
  12. I still don't accept any 90 day rule, personally. I fly 125,000+ BIS miles each year and book flights for even more on behalf of others, and I just still don't see it. But my point here is that a seat map is NOT an accurate reflection of inventory, for several reasons. The flight could be almost completely booked but show endless available seats (because many people, for various reasons, don't or can't select seats), and it could be empty but show very few seats (airlines can save physical seat inventory for various reasons, or they could be allocated to codeshare or other partners). There are (paid) ways to find exactly how many seats are for sale in various fare buckets, but the seat map is not an accurate way to find true inventory.
  13. Not sure I agree with you about the definition of a "tourist trap". There are plenty of places tourists go to in huge numbers because it's a great place to visit. I was under the impression most people referred to tourist traps as overpriced and overrated places that only tourists go to.
  14. Nothing is better than hearing a guy dressed as a pirate talk beer on a pretty decent level. Outside the place, in full pirate attire: "Rrrrr, ye want a beer matey?!" Inside the place, same attire: "Yes, this pale is made with fresh simcoe that was cross-pollinated with a delectable mosaic hop, and our own strain of ale yeast. Very floral, some honey and lavender on the back end." Back outside the place on the way out, same attire: "Rrrrr, get your booty back in here matey, you need some more, rrrrr!" EDIT: Here's the guy! Super friendly. https://www.google.com/maps/place/Pirate+Republic+Brewing/@25.0789483,-77.3420318,3a,75y,90t/data=!3m8!1e2!3m6!1sAF1QipONCi9PcFdjphpEp6e73tVY8Aj1t6n7OGIzmtJ9!2e10!3e12!6shttps:%2F%2Flh5.googleusercontent.com%2Fp%2FAF1QipONCi9PcFdjphpEp6e73tVY8Aj1t6n7OGIzmtJ9%3Dw203-h152-k-no!7i4640!8i3480!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x2f8e8ba0de1de131!8m2!3d25.078799!4d-77.342044
  15. Pirate Republic is a decent brewery within a block or two of the dock in Nassau. It's not spectacular by any means, but it's better than you might think the craft brew scene in The Bahamas might be.
  16. Not that I have come across. On a non-cruise vacation, I have played golf near Nassau and rented clubs whilst there, so that's likely an option.
  17. I personally would never purchase an excursion there. It's so easy to do your own thing, even to go over to St. John depending on how much time you have (With an 8am to 5pm port day, I could justify up to four hours on a beach in St. John with enough buffer to make it back to the ship without concern). Depending on the beach, they may have snorkel equipment to rent (Trunk Bay on St. John, for example, does). It's the United States, they speak the language, they use the currency you're familiar with...easy peasy to do it on your own, in my opinion. (This assumes you're American, of course)
  18. Yeah I think we need more info on what you want out of your stop in Ft Lauderdale. If you have a car (as we do, we always rent one for the day/night when we fly in), you're not limited to any area. We tend to stay 20-30 minutes from port, because hotels are often cheaper and quieter. And since we don't need a shuttle to the port, we don't care where we are. That also opens up a world of hotels if you want to be on the beach, near a mall, near restaurants, whatever.
  19. I wouldn't do much in Nassau if I were going somewhere else vacation-y on the same cruise. Personally, when I was there, we took a few hours to walk around the town, walk up to Queens Staircase and Fort Fincastle, walk around some of the government buildings, grab a local conch lunch, grab a couple beers at the okay brewery, and head back to the ship. A few hours, no money spent aside from food/drink, and then move on to the next port where I spent good money on a great boat/beach day.
  20. To paraphrase one G. Clooney, "Ain't this place some kind of geographical oddity...$20 from everywhere".
  21. Not so easy at a lot of airports, including SJU. It would require a hike down the dedicated terminal road to get off airport property, and then you're just on a highway. Add in to that the luggage and Caribbean humidity just to save a few dollars...no thanks.
  22. BA has been like this for quite some time. Sounds like either an uneducated Air2Sea agent or they were just trying to say whatever it took to get the sale. "Choice of seating when available" is the most generic way of saying "choice of seating when we let you or you pay us extra to let you".
  23. Shanghai is one of the cities that now allows it for 144 hours for many nationalities, though personally I don't have a 100% accurate statement as to if it works on cruises or not...frequent visitor to China, but have a 10-year visa and have never done a cruise, so I can't speak to this with confidence unfortunately.
  24. Most things are "touristy" for a reason - they're worth seeing.
  25. This is where cruise line air causes a lot of confusion - there is a big difference between having a "reservation" for air via the cruise line, and actually having a ticket with the airline. The cruise lines will basically put you in whatever flight works best for them, and that may not be determined until you pay and they actually look at what's available in their stock. It's one of the (rather big) trade offs for the lower price on one-way international flights.
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