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Everything posted by packercruising

  1. For my wife, it is worth it, but I am a beer drinker. I probably do not break even, but the question was about convenience and I love the convenience of it.
  2. We watch some runners from our balcony once. They were allowed on the ship, but it delayed departure. Hard to feel sorry for someone like that. It might help if the ship time was the same as port time. Last Feb. Ship time was 1 hr different from port time in Belize. Made it confusing for catching our excursion. But what the heck, they have Belikan Beer! If you get to Belize there is an awesome woodcarver there. The best shopping is behind pier 4 where the locals are.
  3. Welcome to cruising and to the forum! Usually I would say that flying in the day of departure is a bad idea, but this is obviously an exception. Considering the distance, it is probably a direct flight? Lots of good ideas here. The carryon only idea is really good, if you pack right. Also, have all your documentation. Someone mentioned a private car. That would be more expensive, but might be worth it for you.
  4. We were on an excursion that included that included a forest and then shopping in a small town. The forest was terrific, but we only got 1/2 hour there. We got to the town and most of the shops were closed. Probably those little towns can't afford to have shops open every day. The ship was supposed to let them know we were coming, but someone dropped the ball. We had a good time, though.
  5. It's their July, so think hot! We were there in March Our favorite port (Other than Sydney), was Adelaide. Beautiful city. They even had a band great us as we came in to port. I became a Adelaide Crows fan during that cruise. Melboure was a disappointment as we were there on a Tuesday and apparently shops like to close on Tuesdays. Poor planning on the ships part.
  6. Can only tell you what we did. We had an 18 day cruise on Radiance that started in Perth, did the Southern coast, Southern New Zealand and ending in Sydney. We spent 2 days in Perth and 3 days in Sydney and did excursions through Shore Tours.
  7. We shared a Towne Car with another couple and were dropped of at the pier.
  8. If you were sailing from Pier 91, is there a reason Uber didn't drop you off there?
  9. The earlier you get there, the sooner your vacation starts. Don't go by what it says on your docs. If you get there by 11:00, you have a good chance of getting on board fairly quickly.
  10. We fly Delta. It is the main airline in our area and we have a rewards card, so we get one free flight a year. We book early, because we want the comfort zone seats. There aren't very many of them, but they have more leg room, have USB outlets and you get free booze.
  11. We did an 11 day Baltic that included 3 days in St. Petersberg. 12 would have been better.
  12. Even if you select My Time Dining, you can eat in the same Dining Room every night. The advantage is, you can change your seating if you want. You might want to check out photos of the 4 dining rooms mentioned and choose you preference based on that.
  13. No. If you want to attach it to a lanyard, you can take it it Guest Services and they will punch a hole in it for you. I just keep it in a pocket.
  14. Just get it and don't worry about it.
  15. We were on NCL Star. It was in 2011, before there was an expansion to the locks. I would suggest a smaller sip so you go through the original locks, but that is just an opinion. Whatever works best for you. It is something you will be really glad you did.
  16. Good list, except we stay on a Labadee. We don't do beaches. #3 goes for all Jamaica ports for us. I agree that getting off the ship doesn't have to include an excursion.
  17. We did a 15 day from Los Angeles to Tampa. If you do one, do the entire route. Some itineraries go half way and then turn back. It was terrific. We lucked out and had port side a balcony, which happened to be the side that allowed us the best view of the locks. Also, do some reading. There is a fascinating book, that is well worth the time. The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough
  18. This is the Windjammer after all. It doesn't get more casual than that. The only place I wear sandals is on a cruise and we eat at the WJ a lot.
  19. Congratulations! you also get a signature lapel pin and an invitation to top tier events.
  20. There may be other restaurants that serve free breakfast too, but I am not familiar with Explorer. We generally end up at WJ. They have a terrific breakfast buffet, so it is quick. There are also stations so you can have omelets or eggs made to order. We eat late too. MDR is often not serving. We have tried it but their service has not been as good, especially if you are a coffee drinker.
  21. If you have cruised the line before, you probably only have to ask. Bribing your cabin steward may not be the best idea. If we are going to tip extra (which we usually do), we tip toward the end. Same with MDR staff and favorite bartenders. Some people tip at the beginning, thinking they will get better service. Maybe they do but service on the ship is usually very good anyway. If you are one of those that wants to tip in advance, that is fine. I just wouldn't do it to try and get him to break the rules.
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