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About cft8

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  1. For the two of us, we give about $8 per night to the waiter and about $4 per night to the assistant waiter. (We round this up so for a 7-night Cruise we give $60 to the head waiter and $30 to the assistant.) On our last cruise, we ate a couple of nights in speciality dining and we left $10 for those. We adjusted the amount we gave in the MDR to account for the fact we only ate there 4 nights out of 7.
  2. The appetizers are all just small bites. My DH strongly dislikes avocado, but he ate the one thing that had it since it was just a bite. They will also adapt them to your taste, so if you tell them you don’t eat seafood, they will make substitutions or not bring you those appetizers. I do not eat red meat or pork and so they adapted one thing that had a beef-broth-based sauce and did a different sauce. The server will probably ask if they can be your guide and choose the appetizers for you, but if there is anything you particularly want to try, or don’t want, I’m sure they will accommodate you! Since it’s already included in what you are paying, why not take the opportunity to try something new?
  3. We went to the St Nikolai memorial, and to Miniature Wunderland. I wanted to go to the Opera House, but we spent so much time at Miniature Wunderland that we did not have time to walk over there.
  4. Halifax, Portland, and Bar Harbor all had plenty to do that was walkable from the port. In Bar Harbor if you want to see Acadia National Park you will need transportation.
  5. We just got back from Alaska. We were on Ovation of the Seas and we went to Endicott Arm, but Royal did not offer a small boat excursion. We are fortunate that we got the closest to it of any Ovation sailing. I thought it was amazing! I’m sure being closer in a small vessel would have been even cooler, but I’m glad I got to see what I did. We had a lot of reasons for choosing the itinerary we did. I think whatever you choose you will see something spectacular. Maybe others will have seen something different, but Alaska is so beautiful you really can’t go wrong. Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau was also amazing. Unfortunately we did not get much time there because we prioritized whale watching. It we have the opportunity to go again, I would try to do one of the excursions where you canoe or kayak right up to it.
  6. Great review! I will have to remember it for our Europe trip next year. We are not sure where we are going yet (other than Amsterdam to catch our cruise), but I will definitely use some of your Paris tips if we go there! You also did some great things in London I didn’t know about! I will say for others that might be reading this that not all Tube stations in London have escalators. Many of them do not have elevators either. Anyone with mobility concerns should do plenty of research to become familiar with the system.
  7. We often tack on days in our departure port before the cruise. Like others have said, I do laundry before boarding. We are usually at a hotel, so I have to go to a laundry mat, but I have more control over how it’s done (water temp, being able to hang stuff to dry) than if I sent it out on the ship. I also try to plan to wear my pants or skirts more than once. Right now now we are in Seattle where it’s in the 80s, and we’re heading to Alaska where it’s in the 50s, so I did have to bring some extra stuff, but luckily you get 2 bags free on Southwest, so I didn’t have to worry about bag fees!
  8. Does anyone know if this cabin has the bed by the entrance or by the balcony?
  9. We booked for 9:30. We were not in a hurry, and I like to take my time and have breakfast on the last morning. You’ll never find me in the self-assist line! 🙂 I don’t remember what time we got our departure tags for, but disembarkation was smooth. We had a lot of luggage, so we got a porter and they go to a separate immigration line, so we only had a couple of people in front of us. It was slightly chaotic at the curb, but the driver will have a sign in the window with your name and you just call and tell them what zone you are in. I didn’t look at many reviews, just that they have generally good feedback here. We also used them to get back to EWR at the end of their stay and that trip was just fine as well.
  10. We used Carmel and were happy with it. The only thing that annoyed me was that the driver was really early, and even after his first phone call when I told him we’d be off at the appointed time, he kept calling and texting me to see where we were.
  11. When we had 3 currencies for our European cruise, we got a little of each currency from our local AAA office beforehand. I like to have a bit of cash with me, plus any coins we get in change make great souvenirs for our nieces & nephews when we return!
  12. For Royal Caribbean, you can get to the Air2Sea site through this link: https://www.royalcaribbean.com/plan-a-cruise/transportation I think that $2500 per person is probably more than enough to budget. We flew from Denver to Gatwick on Norwegian for about $1800 per person in their premium class last year. I was seeing fares around $800 for economy class on legacy carriers. We are hoping to book with Norwegian again for 2020, however they are having some financial issues as well as engine issues with their Dreamliner fleet so I'm slightly hesitant.
  13. We considered buying one of the passes for our trip last year, but ultimately decided not to. I'd read several reviews stating that lines were still long, especially in the summer months. For example, at Westminster Abbey, London Pass holders can skip the line to purchase a ticket, but still have to wait in the entrance line. We purchased our tickets online, saved a few pounds, and were able to enter the cathedral directly after security with no waiting. We also were not going to need it on consecutive days, as we had a day trip to Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey) and a day where we were seeing both parts of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which was going to take up the majority of the day. My suggestion would be to think about the places you will use it for, then check the entry specifics of those places, and compare the entry fees for each to the total cost of the pass. I wrote a long post about our trip if you want to get itinerary ideas:
  14. Thank you for posting the daily schedules! They are a little cut off on the edges, so if you have a chance, could you tell me what time the evening North Star rides were on Day 3 (Juneau)? We hope to do it when we return from our excursion while the ship is still in port.
  15. Flights usually become available 330 days out from the travel date, but remember that you need to count that from the date you're returning - earlier this week when I was looking at our 2020 travel dates, some airlines had the flights there already, but we couldn't get back! When we went to London last year, we ordered the visitor Oyster cards in advance, as has been mentioned. It was easy and then we did not have to deal with it when we go there. We did have to top them off several times. We got pounds in advance through our AAA office so we would not have to deal with an ATM immediately upon arrival either. I am just more comfortable having a bit of cash on hand when traveling (although at home I rarely carry it and currently have $1 in my wallet!). Some, or maybe most, post offices in London also have souvenirs - it's not what you'd expect coming from the states, but my husband got a great sweatshirt at one and we picked up some other small things as well. I didn't really shop at the airport, except to get Cadbury and Pimms from the duty free, so I did not compare prices.
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