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Jim Avery

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About Jim Avery

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Valley of the Sun, Arizona
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    SeaDream, Viking Oceans
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    A day of cruising anywhere is better than a day at work.

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  1. Photopro, if you think Andy has a good eye for photography, you should see his eye for beer!🍺🍺🍺
  2. Hi Char, I am sure Andy will weigh in but I also operated ships in those areas. As I read the latest Canada ruling on cruise ships, it states that Foreign Flag vessels with over 100 overnight accommodations (passengers and crew) will not be allowed to operate in Canadian waters. So, not only are the ports closed but there will be no transiting of the inside passage or even the outside route in Hecate Strait. If any non Canadian passenger ships want to sail to Alaska from the US they must sail out into the Pacific Ocean and also make another foreign port. In other words, no HAL trips from Seattle to Ketchikan without a stop in Mexico or Japan or, well you get the idea. In short, I would bet Alaska cruises are not happening this year. Sad, but it is what it is.
  3. Photopro, a great tale. And it fits here as you would not believe the subjects I have overheard in Explorers.....😱 Open mic night in Explorers Lounge. 🍸
  4. I certainly get the age factor and not wanting to take public transit. I have used the Tube many times in the past but more recently I have used car services and black cabs as the Tube involves a fair degree of mobility and moving fairly quickly. I have a possible suggestion which might work for y'all. Take a cab from Tilbury docks to Greenwich. This is about 20 miles and should not be as horrible traffic as central London (depending on time, weather, etc.). In Greenwich take the Thames Express boat up to Westminster. This is an interesting ride and gets great views of the bridges and riverside history. From the boat dock in Westminster Parliament, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey are all a very short walk. A bit further on on King Charles Street is the Churchill War Rooms. We find it a very interesting stop. This puts you at the edge of St. James Park and, depending on your walking endurance, it is a really pretty walk through the park to Buckingham Palace. From the Palace a cab back to the Tower of London would rest your feet for a bit. After the Tower you are very close to St. Katherines Dock area with the Dickens Inn for a rest and a pint or two. From there it is easy to catch the boat back to Greenwich and a cab from there back to Tilbury. Greenwich is one of our favorite spots as well with the Royal Naval College, Royal Observatory, Cutty Sark, and several nice pubs. Just a suggestion but modifications for less walking are easy. We love London and hope y'all have a great time. 🍺
  5. We are having serious Jost van Dyke withdrawal. Anyone booked this fall for the BVI? Not sure I want to send SD money yet but hoping it works out for later this year. Happy Memorial Day to all.🍸😎
  6. Great description Photopro. Haha, Viking had us at "No Kids". Actually there was a bit more involved but that was a big reason we noticed Viking. My TA had sent me info on Viking before and we received the description of the Inaugural WC when it was released. We never traveled longer than a couple of weeks as we were parents to the best little dog ever. I know, everyone says that about their dog but with ours it was true. Unfortunately she became ill and we lost her. The forgotten Viking Inaugural came back to the front. Like Andy we had really done our homework as I have been a lifetime Cunard passenger, going back to the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth days as a child and the Cunard World Cruise was listed approximately half the cost of Viking. Really checking all the plusses of Viking made it a wash financially. QE2 was, and still is, my favorite ship ever but ships, like us, have a sell by date🍸. What a feeling to be doing 30+knots in the North Atlantic. Back to Viking. The ship appealed to our tastes as to design and decor. Under 1,000 passengers also a big draw though 500 or so onboard would be perfect.😳 So, after losing our special dog, we just had to get out of the house. As luck would have it, we booked one of the very few remaining cabins on the Inaugural World Cruise about 5 months out. That voyage was so unbelievably spectacular with everyone onboard doing the full WC that two weeks after arriving home 4+ months later we called "our guy" at Viking and started working toward the 2019 WC that ended (for us) in LA this past January. That cruise went on to be the famous Magical Mystery Tour. Part of us regrets getting off in LA but after two WCs in two years we had lots of maintenance type stuff to schedule. So, we have sailed Viking Oceans twice. Almost 9 months on Viking Sun. We sit here missing our pals, the ship, and most of all the crew. We have a Viking River cruise booked in 2021 on the Nile but, as with all of us, we shall see what happens.
  7. Haha, "burn off" $$. Andy just has a way with words. And as to different answers, none of us have figured out the answer to that yet.🍸
  8. Then things have changed in the last 6 months. Again, we might have had it different on a WC but spent OBC at the Jewelry on both trips.
  9. Mmmm. The Bloody Mary really tastes good today. A little too much Torshavn last night.🥃😎
  10. Schwartz’s Deli is still there.😎👍
  11. This screen shot shows the 601 Brickell office open at present and closing at 7pm. Who knows if that is true? seadream yacht club miami office - Google Search.webarchive Ok, screen shot didn't work. Good thing I don't work for Google.....🍸
  12. Haha, right. My DW is a former Chicago Girl. The first time she took me there to meet the family was in January!! As a Southern Boy, I just could not understand how people lived there....... And I have worked in Alaska.😳
  13. This thread has drifted into an area often covered. Traditionally gratuities are extra payment for extra services. Pre paid gratuities are actually a tax or service fee or cover charge. I have said before and say again that Viking needs to include this tax in the cost of the fare. They include so much that this outlier cover charge really sticks out. Even the mass market lines seem to include tips in just about every weekly promotion. Again, this charge are not "gratuities". Especially since conversations with crew indicate they are told gratuities are "part of their salary". Quite a few crew have told me they do not get a separate "bonus" amount based on our gratuity charges. Viking, stop calling it gratuities and further more include it in the fare. You include port charges and lots more so why not??
  14. Trapper and Zimmy, we see it is Spring in Chicago. The snow has turned to rain......😳 Yall need some SeaDream.😎
  15. Im with you. I hope the Palm Beach sailings in 2022 are still possible. 🍸
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