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JLMoran

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JLMoran last won the day on October 25

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About JLMoran

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    Just not as much as Twangster
  • Birthday 01/23/1970

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    Northern NJ

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  1. Following this with interest. This is an itinerary I'd like to do one year once both kids are out of the house and school schedules are no longer an issue.
  2. That's a nice itinerary! Is that an April / May transatlantic? I remember seeing the one from Brilliance for 2020 and being disappointed because it was in that time frame and didn't line up with any kind of break weeks for my kids. If I had to guess, the final port in the US is Boston; only because that seems to be where all of these recent northern TAs that cover the Norway / Iceland / Greenland route seem to end up. Only other place that's "in range" from Greenland is Quebec, but I imagine then it would say Canada or North America rather than USA.
  3. Hi there @pnyxprss. Yes, you absolutely can get a chocolate martini with your drink package as long as the ship offers it at one of the bars. Most likely it will be at the max price covered by your package, but if they happen to charge more than that you will only pay for the difference (plus 18% gratuity). E.g., if they charge $14 and your package covers up to $13, you'll pay $1.18 for the difference plus tip. Not sure what other chocolate-based drinks they have on offer, but there are a lot of folks here with experience with Royal's bars who I'm sure can answer that part of the question. 😁
  4. I did the over-the-water cabana at Nellie's Beach last year and my family and I all loved it! Keep in mind that only one person actually puts their name on the reservation, you don't select every passenger from every reservation who will be staying in it with you. Otherwise you'll be massively overpaying! More general info can be found here. When you show up, have your party with you and let the cabana attendant know they're all going to be in your assigned cabana. You'll all get wrist bands and then can come and go as you like. I even told the attendant that two people we'd made friends with on board would be coming later in the day, and they were fine with it; just took their names so they knew who to expect. The stairs going into the water can be slippery, and some of those stairways don't have even a single-rail handhold to use, so if you get one of those cabanas be mindful of that when getting in and out. I will say that pricing has gone way up on the cabanas since when I went. Your prices are double what I paid.
  5. New Zealand has been on my bucket list since before LOTR was filmed there. My dad would regularly fly there for business and had a few friends from there via work. I've wanted to see it (and Australia) since I was a teenager. Not going to find me changing my mind over this or any other incident there, short of all-out war breaking out.
  6. This is the card I plan to apply for and switch to as primary once I'm retired and I'm traveling more frequently. The annual fee can be offset pretty nicely if you take advantage of the travel-related perks it comes with, but you definitely have to travel regularly and (IMO) at least a couple times a year to really maximize the benefits it offers.
  7. Thanks for all these suggestions, everyone! Some good ones in here I definitely didn't remember / think of... My cell phone is already unlocked, and I'm on Verizon's PAYG international plan -- for $10 a day, I have full access to my regular 4G voice and data plan; I've already verified it works in all of the countries I'm visiting. If Dublin were our starting point I'd probably do as @Ray suggested and get a local SIM card, but it's actually the end of our trip (we start in NJ). I may still get one so that we have good cell access for the four days we're there, but it would depend on the cost vs my $10 daily rate. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to take my phone out of airplane mode while I'm in Iceland, but I don't think there's any point; I'll be doing excursions both days that have me wandering all over the place, and I don't see myself calling anyone or Periscoping or anything like that. I'll still look at the cost of getting a card in Iceland and whether that card will also work in Ireland, but unless it's cheaper overall than my current daily rate would be (and I know how expensive Iceland is!) I doubt I'll go that route. Due to the length of this cruise, the weather is almost impossible to plan for beyond a vague guess. I've looked at the average temperature range and rainfall in Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and Ireland in August and will be making packing plans based on that, along with some contingency planning based on the reported weather in the days leading up to departure. We can definitely plan against the weather forecast in Halifax and Sydney, as we'll be there in the first few days of the trip. But we don't arrive in Greenland until the end of our first week on the ship; Iceland is days 10 through 12; and Ireland isn't until two weeks after we've left home. Weather forecasts still aren't accurate more than 4 or 5 days out, so we'll just make our best guesses for what we'll need and what will fit in our luggage, and hope for the best! Layers, layers, layers, layers! 😁 We have a universal adapter we got for my daughter when she went to Ghana last year, but I'll have to find that. We'll probably want one or two more for while we're in Dublin, though. Added to the list! Passports are all good. Mine is the oldest and doesn't expire until summer of 2022. None of my credit cards charge an exchange fee, so I plan to use that for as much as possible. If I need to get cash for some reason, I'll do it in the country at an ATM; my credit union refunds all ATM fees for me as part of my checking account perks. I've spoken with @Ray about the Dublin and Reykjavik airports and how to plan for them, and if I remember right they both take cards as well as cash. But Ray also warned me to try and have as full a stomach as possible before entering the Reykjavik airport because it's hella expensive! We're departing from Cape Liberty cruise port, just 45 minutes from my home, so getting the wine is no problem. I have the neoprene carry bags and will throw it into my travel backpack. Which leads me to... You know, I used to have a pair of binoculars but they were the huge variety that wouldn't be travel-friendly. Not sure if I'll make that investment, but I'll ask my wife since she and my older daughter won't have a camera / camcorder plastered to their face and might like have a pair of travel binocs on hand. Added to the list! And I got a nice compact travel backpack when I did my first cruise last year. Was recommended by @DocLC and has been great on every trip I've brought it! It's my go-to for carrying the wine, camera accessories, water shoes, and other odds and ends either when boarding the plane (as my secondary under-the-seat personal item) or while out on an excursion. No alarm system, but I will be letting our neighbors know we'll be away and to keep an eye on the place as they're able. Never thought of also notifying the police, but that's a good idea. Our home is on a main road and police regularly go by anyway, so hopefully they can just pay a little more attention while doing their regular patrol routes. And no newspaper subscriptions any more (all digital), but I do already have a mail hold notification in my list. As mentioned above, I don't really plan to use cash at all. But if needed, I'll get some at the airport ATM or even an ATM in town (which will probably be a better option for both fees and exchange rate). While we do all take prescription meds, it's just one or at most two. I had asked about whether it was necessary / worthwhile to bring the bottles or pictures of them in case TSA or other airport security asked any questions about the daily pill containers, and was reassured by all it's not necessary. I may still take a photo of our various bottles, though, just in case the worst happens and someone loses their pill container and needs an emergency refill while we're still abroad. Added to the list! I have the information for all of our passports recorded in secure entries in 1Password, along with my driver's license. Not a photo, but it's as useful as a photo since it's really just the serial numbers and things like issue / expiration date that matter. No one will accept a photo of a passport or DL as official documentation anyway. Thanks again for all these tips, everyone! I'll keep an eye out for any others you might have!
  8. OK, you all know I'm a big planner and like to have everything ready by the time I'm boarding the ship. But this Iceland & Greenland cruise next year is a bit overwhelming with the need to arrange international travel, extended stay at our destination port, figuring out the packing while knowing we're doing laundry, figuring out what clothing items we might need to purchase,... So here's the checklist I've made so far. This is for a trip that's a little under 3 weeks long. Experienced international / long-time-away-from-home travelers, what am I missing from here that's obvious to you? Cruise Checklist Book the Cruise ✅ Purchase Premium Non-Alcoholic Beverage Package Purchase Internet package(?? It's so expensive, and internet that far north so unreliable, I may skip this) Purchase any specialty dining we decide to do Book Return Flight ✅ Continue checking flight prices Book Hotel in Dublin ✅ Continue checking for better hotel rates / new options Buy travel insurance!!!! ✅ Research Halifax Excursions Book Halifax Excursion Research Sydney Excursions Book Sydney Excursion Research Qaqortoq Excursions Book Qaqortoq Excursion Book Reykjavik Day 1 Excursion ✅ Book Reykjavik Day 2 Excursion Book Akureyri Excursion (Looking at Private Journeys for this due to limited time in port and no good options in the Cruise Planner) Book day trip to Cliffs of Moher (Premium / Small-Group Version) Book VIP lounge at Dublin Airport (thanks for the tip on this, @Ray!) Arrange limo / private transport to cruise port / back home from airport Buy Packing Cubes for everyone Figure out Iceland / Greenland / Dublin layers to pack Buy any necessary thermal layers / other clothes Get my suit checked by the tailor (I've gotten a bit bigger over the last year 😉) Get passports from safe deposit box (none will require renewal ahead of this trip) Call credit card banks and provide travel notification Set up mail stop with pickup on return Re-Confirm hotel booking Check all camera gear (still and video) Pack up!! Buy 4 bottles of wine to bring on board (2 cabins x 2 bottles each) Get the pets to their temporary caregivers Get to the port and board the ship!! 😁 Make lots of new memories Get boarding passes for flight home (not until we're in Dublin)
  9. @JetlaggedAgain, hope your wife is doing OK now! Did this force you to cancel the cruise due to her going to the hospital, or were you able to return to the ship in time? I hope the latter, and that your wife was treated well by the crew during the rest of the sailing!
  10. @spiralqueen, that was some pretty impressive roll you had going there on Grandeur. No wonder you woke up feeling off! That's about the same level of horizon bouncing that I observed on Anthem this past October, can't imagine how much more you were feeling that on a smaller ship with older stabilizer tech. 🤢
  11. @WAAAYTOOO, did you happen to find / meet @CHRIS WONG while in the casino?
  12. Variation on a Dark & Stormy. I like your choices in cocktails! 😁
  13. The best one is the one going to the ports I want to visit. 😁
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