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About kochleffel

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  1. This summer on the Baltic Sea: Breakfast 8:00-9:30 a.m. (sea day); started and ended earlier on port days Lunch Noon-1:30 p.m. (sea day only) Dinner 5:30-9:30 p.m. (My Time Dining) 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. (fixed seating)
  2. I believe it's immunization for typhoid, not typhus, that the CDC suggests, depending on individual risk. They're not the same disease. Typhoid is spread through contaminated food or water. Typhus is spread by insects (fleas, lice, chiggers, mites).
  3. There is a risk of Hepatitis A everywhere, including wherever you happen to live. The risk is higher where sanitation standards are low, but that can even be in your favorite restaurant near home. Hep A immunizations are routinely given to children now, the first dose between ages 1 and 2 and the second dose six months later. Where I live, it is difficult to find Hep A immunization for adults -- because of low demand, doctors other than pediatricians tend not to keep it on hand, and the same is true for pharmacists who can administer it. I had been to the Caribbean twice without the vaccination, but when I noticed how my travel plans were developing, including more travel to the Caribbean and to eastern Europe, and read the health inspection reports of some local restaurants, I decided to get it. In my area, it is available to adults only at the county health department, where it's $65/dose (you need two), or $80 if you choose the combination Hep A/Hep B vaccine (Twinrix). I chose Twinrix even though my personal risk for Hepatitis B is fairly low. On the subject of hepatitis: if you are in, more or less, the baby-boomer age cohort, you should be tested once for Hepatitis C. It's a devastating disease that is now curable.
  4. For a group of four, a rental car will be the most economical. Picking up a rental at SFB is easy and it's an easy drive, but returning the car, or getting one at Port Canaveral, is not so easy.The drawback I found in renting is that there can be a crowd and long line at the rental agency in Port Canaveral, especially if it's turnaround day for more than one cruise ship, because of the number of people waiting to rent cars that the agency is still waiting for other renters to return. The rental agencies have shuttles to the terminals. Again, there can be a wait if several ships are embarking on the same day. For one or two people, Uber is about the same price as a rental car. For four, you'd probably need Uber XL, which might cost a bit more. In my experience, Uber is more convenient than a rental car if you are only going between the airport and the cruise port, and I imagine that Lyft would be comparable. When I have rented a car, it was because I was arriving early and wanted the car prior to embarkation day. The major airport shuttles, Cortrans and Cocoa Beach Shuttle, pick up from SFB by appointment but you would need to call them to check the price. It could work out well for four. It doesn't for one.
  5. Earlier this year I met someone who was on his fourth Epic cruise in, I think, five weeks. He went to the shows every time, some of them twice in the same week.
  6. My next NCL cruise will be my third on the Epic.* Will Priscilla, Queen of the Desert still be playing in 2021? I liked the show well enough but not so much that I wanted to see it a second time, never mind a third. *This isn't intentional on my part. I think that someone at NCL reads my mind and assigns the Epic to whatever itinerary I want next.
  7. There are 10 kinds of people who can speak binary....
  8. I've just made the final payment on the fare for my cruise on the Nieuw Amsterdam in January, but I've done nothing about internet, beverage, or dining packages, because I need some help understanding them. Internet - I've read the posts about the various internet packages, but "Premium" is the only one listed for my cruise. I won't need streaming capability, but I will use email and web sites. The price is acceptable, but should I also expect any other options to be offered? Beverage - it appears that no beverage package makes any sense for me, since I'll be traveling alone and drink only moderately. Even a 4-bottle wine package is too much for seven days, unless I'm sharing it with someone. But a question: on another cruise line, I've sometimes ordered a bottle of wine and had the waiter or the wine steward tag it for retrieval the next night, usually a better value than ordering by the glass and with more choices.* Does HAL do that? Dining - On other cruise lines I've purchased a specialty dining package about half the time. The price for "Distinctive" (Canaletto, Pinnacle Grill, and Tamarind) is acceptable, and based on reviews I think I might regret not eating once in Tamarind. Buy the package, or just pay the cover charge for Tamarind? *One drawback to this is that, having initially chosen wine to complement the food, the next night one finds oneself choosing food to complement the wine.
  9. Holland America has changed the name to Gala Night. Royal Caribbean still has formal nights, not strictly enforced. This summer on the Baltic Sea, in cool weather and with a high percentage of European passengers, about half the men wore jackets on formal nights, but fewer wore neckties. More than half the women dressed up - not many long gowns, but lots of fancy "cocktail" or party dresses. Two women wore traditional Japanese apparel. I did not see anyone in the MDR in shorts, nor did I see anyone in a tuxedo (dinner jacket, black tie, whatever you call it). Of course I did not see even all the passengers who were in the dining room at the same time as I was, never mind those who ate earlier or later or in the other MDR. For a Holland America cruise this winter, to the Caribbean, I will probably wear a guayabera on the gala nights.
  10. I know that trip delay includes a delay in returning - to use a recent example, when ships could not return on schedule to Florida ports last weekend or, an older example, when a volcanic eruption in Iceland cause transatlantic flights to be cancelled. I'm not sure how it would apply to a delay in the ship's departure, especially if passengers could board the ship on the scheduled day and spend the night in their staterooms, albeit still in port. Even so, I'd expect it only to cover extra costs incurred, not the passenger's choice to cancel altogether.
  11. I've just been reading about this in The Globe and Mail (Toronto). The current path of the hurricane is toward eastern Canada and could affect New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It will probably weaken some more by the time of getting that far north, but even a category 1 hurricane has wind and rain to do substantial damage. It's also possible the path will turn east, taking the storm out to sea, or even west, heading toward the Great Lakes. My area, about 200 miles inland, was devastated by a hurricane in 1972, and last year a tropical storm (not even a hurricane) caused flooding in Pittsburgh. Although cruise lines will keep their ships out of harm's way, there is certainly a chance that changes in itineraries could affect having ships in place for their next sailings. That said, I don't think that it will affect the Zuiderdam's embarking from Quebec City -- that's far enough out to get the ship there even with a changed itinerary.
  12. Twice on cruises I've been the guest in Cagney's of another solo passenger who was Platinum.
  13. When I attended it in July on the Serenade of the Seas, the main courses choices were about evenly split between breakfast and dinner entrees.
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