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princeton123211

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About princeton123211

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    Cool Cruiser

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  • Location
    Philadelphia
  • Interests
    Travelling, fine dining
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Seabourn, Cunard
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Bermuda

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  1. You also have to take into account that there are P&O diehards from the Canberra days, when it was a very different experience, that are lamenting the transition from the older company to the one Carnival has been pushing towards bigger ships. Oriana was supposed to be a half way ship to transition the old school P&Oers to a more modern fleet once Canberra was retired in 97. Cunard has the same group of people that make a stink about the "old days" vs the new and those who were QE2/Vistafjord/Caronia diehards that will never sail on Elizabeth/Victoria but still begrudgingly sneak aboard QM2 every now and then.
  2. It definitely doesn't extend that far-- we were on QM2 in Boston a few years ago and the ships WiFi was the only game in town. You can set up a personal hot spot from your phone though so you don't have to get off the ship. I know they spruced the place up a bit since we were there but it was basically just a warehouse you passed through-- didn't really lend itself to hanging out and working. The cell signal we got on the ship worked well to set up the personal hot spot and we had perfectly adequate internet without having to purchase it from the ship.
  3. You'll enjoy it-- its a nice property. Very grand hotel feel and good location. Still has some of the vestiges of when it was a Four Seasons.
  4. Its going to be just as bad of a deal as anywhere else. Gas in Hawaii is more expensive overall, but the rental car companies just charge more for the gas service as a result. Like others have said-- plenty of places to fill up on the way to the airport.
  5. Theyre both well located. The Fairmont Olympic has always been a favorite in that 4.5 star range-- it has a lot of character, rooms are decent size, and location is equally as good as both Hyatts. It used to be a Four Seasons a while ago (now managed by Fairmont) but still has that grand hotel feel without the FS prices. The Edgewater is another favorite-- its built out on a pier. From what I remember its a little more expensive than the Fairmont or Hyatts will be.
  6. Like Ferry Watcher said-- most will at least take your bags early and a 5 star hotel will also let you have access to their spa to change and freshen up if a room isnt available yet. If you need a room early-- often times elite tiers of loyalty programs will allow you an early check in as part of benefits-- worth checking if you have that as part of your perks. American Express Platinum and Centurion cardholders also get early check in and late check out (with a few exceptions) when booking a hotel part of their Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Outside of these a lot of mid-tier hotels will ask you to book a hotel room for the night before arrival to guarantee that it will be available when you check in early the next day.
  7. The taxi drivers usually have a sort of "best hits" tour that will take you anywhere between 2-4 hours. Some speak English well, some not so well and most in the middle. You can do things further afield like visit Hemingway's home outside the city which you need a driver for and will add some time onto that. If you want something more formal it might be worth prearraging a taxi tour with an english speaking guide. Both the taxi hire and guide are generally very reasonable by US standards and will cost you a couple hundred dollars at most for an entire day of sightseeing-- dont bother with the wildly overpriced ship excursions. Taxi to the Tropicana will be 20-25 CUC each way or less expensive if you arrange a round trip with a driver ahead of time and they'll just be waiting for you outside when its over.
  8. Its allowed but it can be a little awkward-- its not like people are sitting on the street begging for them (they're pretty policed on that) so you're sort of forcing them on them. If you do bring gifts a more appropriate place to give them would be visiting a family's home B&B you're staying in (Casa Particular) or someone whos helped you in some way. The tour guides and taxi drivers make more money than a medical doctor does about 10 times over so they really wouldn't need them. Items that are appreciated from what we saw are things like travel sized toiletries of things they cant get in Cuba or something useful like that-- they dont have much need or want for trickets from the US.
  9. You dont necessarily need to fill up right next to the airport. We've driven from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel on Waikiki with a rental car (Jeep Wrangler), filled it up there, and made it to the airport with it still showing full. Just keep your recent gas receipt for the rental people when you drop it off in case it does move a click down and they wont charge you extra.
  10. If you're covering all the major tourist spots on a tour you could spend the first day walking around and checking out some of Venice's cafe, bars, and restaurants. Harry's is a bit on the touristy side but very fun. The rooftop at the Hotel Danieli is also quite nice for breakfast or dinner. The bar downstairs in the lobby also has alot of character. The Gritti Cafe at the Gritti Palace is a wonderful place for lunch overlooking the canal. I'm sure people will chime in with their favorites but those have been some of our highlights.
  11. Uber all day long there. If you want to get out of the thick of the crush we've also walked a block or two east towards Times Square and got the Uber there. It keeps you out of the throngs if you are getting the Uber when its busy.
  12. Hotels in the immediate vicinity of the Passenger Ship Terminal west of 10th Ave are a little dodgy still. Nothing horrendous but there are far nicer hotels a few blocks east towards Times Square. Its such a broad question-- there are literally hundreds of hotels within walking distance of the pier that range from youth hostels to five star hotels. They offer anything from single rooms to large apartment style suites. As a generality, Manhattan tends to be one of those places that a two bedroom suite is actually more expensive than getting two separate entry level rooms at the same hotel. I'm sure there are exceptions but thats what I've seen there over the years.
  13. The Tropicana is alot more elaborate and iconic than the Parisian show at the Hotel Nacional-- having done both on separate occasions I would pick the Tropicana if I had to do one. If you want to see the Hotel Nacional on the way back after the Tropicana, its super easy to have your cab driver drop you there for a drink. The bar in the gallery is open 24/7.
  14. I agree with Charles-- book a Blue Flag taxi tour and see most of the island. Given that alot of stores will be closed and the ferry wont be running to St Georges, you'd have to get into a cab anyway, might as well see a whole bunch with a knowledgeable guide. You can have them drop you off in Hamilton at the end, spend some time in town and take the ferry back to the Dockyard.
  15. The street food most Cubans in Havana eat is certainly cheap but it takes a bit to get used to. We primarily saw little pizzas and little hamburger like sandwiches (which we later found out were pork, not beef). We did actually try a pizza-- 1 CUC because they technically don't take CUC (I think it was a regular Cuban peso normally)-- it was...interesting. Even if you take away the pizza moniker and go in with an open mind, it was thin, chalky bread with a super sweet tomato paste on it with, not sure what the cheese was exactly but looked like mozzarella but didn't taste like it. And it had ham, pickles, and pineapple on it. Glad we did it, wouldnt go back. But it was cheap. Not sure where you went but we did have a few lunches in tourist areas that came in quite a bit less than what you paid.
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