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mom says

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  1. Sailing outside if school holidays and on cruises more than 7 days will help reduce the ankle biters and partiers. But I agree that Celebrity and HAL, as well as Princess may work for you. Some may say to move up the Premium or Luxury ladder, but I doubt they will fall within your budget unless you stumble across a sale or last minute deal
  2. I'm going to take exception to these statements. First of all, it is hardly slave labour. Whether they get a weekly/monthly fixed salary plus auto gratuities, or a higher fixed wage equal to the former ( in the case of lines that rolled the autograts into the cruise price), the crew have agreed to the terms and conditions of their employment. They are not forced to sign their contracts. They are not forced to renew or sign new contracts at the end of their existing one. If the pay and working conditions were as bad as you infer, the cruise lines would not have so many crew members who have stayed with them for years and years. So how about not imposing Your personal value system, which comes from a place of privilege, on the rest of the world? If you have strong "ethical" objections, or are just cheap and stingy, take yourself and your wallet to a line whose tipping policy aligns with your own. But if you insist on sailing on ships who charge autograts, then pay the #@&*/ autograts.
  3. Welcome to Cruise Critic. You'll likely get more informed responses if you post your question on the River Cruising forum: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/115-river-cruising/
  4. Ducklite pointed out the major pitfall of trying to visit Europe for extended periods: the 90 day in 180 limit within the Schengen zone. And exceeding that limit comes with high fines. So you would have to plan on several months of travel outside Schengen countries. This can be problematic if you aren't in good health and/or have a lot of luggage, since trains and buses, even when plentiful, usually means you're responsible for getting yourself and all your stuff on and off under your own steam. The easiest way around that, if you don't want to wait months for a return trip is to use a different ship for one of the TAs. Either do a B2B TA and Med cruise; then the Queen Mary back from Southampton to NYC. OR take the QM2 from NYC, then a B2B Med cruise and TA back to the States.
  5. It could well be that Princess has contracted for private access for the excursion even though it is closed to the public.
  6. So from your posts I think we've established that you have never shared a table on a cruise ship. You order what you want to drink. It's unlikely that anyone at an anytime dining shared table would want to order a bottle of wine for the table. This may well happen in fixed time dining, after a few days and people have gotten to know each other. But even then it would be perfectly fine to politely decline. If you want beer, then have beer. Drinking it from a bottle? My German friends would have something to say about diminishing the taste if it hasn't been properly poured into a glass first, but it won't get you ostracized. And no, it's not proper etiquette, just like it's not proper to chug your wine out of the bottle. If you want another beer when you've finished your first, then just order another one. You're way overthinking this. If you're out with friends for the evening do you wait until everyone has finished their drinks before getting your next? Look, it's obvious that you wouldn't be comfortable at a shared table. It's a pity,because we've had many an enjoyable evening doing just that. Fortunately you can dine by yourself in splendid isolation (or as isolated as a 6 inch separation of tables allows) at a table for 2 since that is your preference. But please stop putting down those who choose to share their table with others. Enjoying conversation with your fellow cruisers is far from bizarre.
  7. I don't see why you can't have your own conversation. You certainly may defer private discussions of a very personal nature when dining in close proximity to another occupied table. But you aren't condemned to eating your meal in silence. Nor are you compelled to converse with those at the table next to you, other than a polite good evening .
  8. OP, if you're that dismayed then by all means stop cruising and find another type of travel that you enjoy. Of course, that means not flying, too. Or using a non electric car. But I'm sure you can find something.
  9. Depends on the mood we're in that evening. Some nights we feel like joining others, other nights, if we're tired, we'll just dine à deux.
  10. Not all cards attached to all banks are the same. Some in the US still require a call or online notification. Others don't.
  11. Not much other than our insulated mugs and our own toiletries.
  12. Our CC companies have told us not to contact them about travel- if we do, they don't make any note on our accounts. With the current activity monitoring, and the fact that cards here are all true chip and PIN, they don't consider it necessary.
  13. Use the search function. Especially on the Disney forum.
  14. Not sure why you are posting about travelling with medications when this thread has been about hot and cold packs aboard ship. However, the recommendations you quoted were regarding food and freezer packs. TSA exempts liquid meds from the usual 311 restrictions. And there are freezer packs that freeze hard and solid that last much, much longer than the more common gel packs. However, since you are using injectables, I'm surprised you continue to use something as archaic as gel packs when Frio wallets have been the go to for travelling with injectables for years.
  15. I've got a plastic envelope for each current/ planning stage trip. Invoices, receipts, reservations, and itineraries, boarding passes, etc, etc go in, in chronological order. These get tossed once used/no longer needed. Receipts received during the trip are added. I keep a travel journal, which I usually write in daily, so the pertinent details are all there. When we get home and the receipts are all verified, everything is shredded into the circular bin. I don't need all the paper taking up room. I have my bookshelf full of travel journals and a computer full of photos to refer to.
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