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Everything posted by califsealion

  1. I lived in Scotland for a few years and spent quality time on farms while I was there. I always marked it on my customs form, and only once, they asked if I cleaned by boots before coming home.
  2. I'm stubborn and like using public transportation (and walking) instead of taxis and Uber. I've found Google Maps to be super helpful in finding bus lines and connections and such. If I'm going to be in one city for a few days, I make sure I understand how to pay for fares, if it's easier to get a day pass. I'll buy maps ahead of time that show the underground stops. Sometimes if I'm going to a museum, I'll print a one page map before leaving on the trip, showing streets and the bus/underground stop nearby. Most of the ticket machines include instructions in English. My main advice is read and research ahead of time so you know what to expect.
  3. This phrase sounded so familiar I had to google it. It's from a computer game I probably last played 40 years ago. Why does my brain keep these sorts of things??? I'm enjoying your travelogue! Looking forward to the rest!
  4. I haven't been on a cruise since before the pandemic, but I still fantasize about those cronuts...
  5. I did a few cruises with my mom from when she was 83, then the last one when she was 88. All started in North America, so not quite as long of a flight. The first two cruises were great - she did her own thing, I did my own thing and we met for dinner and the evening shows. By the third cruise she was having some cognitive issues - she got lost twice - so I had to keep a closer eye on her. I almost wish we hadn't done the last trip. I really had to keep tabs on her and with the change of environment, she was forgetting to take her meds and she ended up in the medical center on the last sea day. She's not terribly mobile, but really it was cognitive impairment that made the trip harder for me. I wasn't comfortable leaving her unless she was going to stay in the room. I was worried she'd get lost on the ship. Couple of random tips: -Don't be afraid to ask for wheelchair assistance in the airports, it really makes things easier. -If you are on any medications, make sure your family knows what you take and the doses. The angry German doctor in the medical center on the ship made me feel like a bad daughter for not knowing what medications my mom was on.
  6. Enjoy your cruise! I've found Lindblad cruisers very friendly, whether I traveled with a friend or solo. I'm sure it will be great!
  7. I think determined by conditions and also if they can get the ship parked in a protected area. Hiking is really the main activity offered most days.
  8. The food is good, but I'm not that picky. The food was better on the ships that are on the bigger end (I've been on Orion and Explorer), than the smaller ships (Sea Lion and Sea Bird). I haven't been on a cruise since Covid, but prior to Covid - I believe it was buffet for breakfast, family style for lunch (like salads, sandwiches, soups - brought to the table and served at the table). I believe for dinner, there were 3 choices of entrees, with one being vegetarian. I haven't been on the Resolution, but on the website it says there is a place where they serve a lighter fare for lunch. I have friends that I met on my Antarctica cruise that are tentatively booked on that Svalbard, Greenland, Iceland trip. It looks amazing, but my life is a bit complicated at the moment, and I'm not sure I can be away for that long.
  9. I did a few cruises on Royal Viking as a child, I love those ships!
  10. I have never been on Silversea, but have done five cruises on Lindblad, three of which were solo. My two trips that had younger passengers were the bucket list cruises - Galapagos and Antarctica. I think expedition cruises do skew toward older, just because of price and length. They do tend to be healthy, fit seniors. Kayaking tends to be offered once or twice per trip, if I recall. They have a kayaking orientation and then will have a sign up sheet for the day.
  11. I opted out of physical mailings about a year ago - I did it by an online form on the website. Unfortunately it is an all or none thing. I wouldn't mind the annual catalog to drool over, but the twice weekly mailings was too much. Found it! https://www.rssc.com/change-address/
  12. Lindblad has taken Russia off any itineraries for this year at least. They might be playing it by ear for trips past this year. I'm not seeing any trips going to Russia on their website...
  13. Lindblad/National Geographic is waiving the solo premium on select cruises, must book by 10/31/22: https://www.expeditions.com/plan/solo-travelers/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_term=&utm_content=CTA1.Jpeg.Itinerary.SEE TRIPS&utm_campaign=SOLO.TRAVEL-070422_PG&utm_segment=F
  14. National Geographic Endeavour II and Islander II both have solo cabins. It looks like there is a solo sale on the Islander right now also, but the cruises on the Islander are shorter. https://www.expeditions.com/itineraries/wild-galapagos-escape/
  15. I love Lindblad and have done a couple solo cruises with them. Come visit the Lindblad section of the boards! I sometimes feel like I'm the only person answering questions there, and it's been a few years since I've done a cruise with them. Life circumstances and all that... Doing an Alaska trip with them is definitely on my "to do" list.
  16. Glad they are taking such good care of you! I hope you continue to feel better.
  17. There is a compensation if you get a referral, but they've pretty well discouraged that from happening on these boards anymore, The penthouse does get you a butler, I think that's the main bonus. The concierge suites, which are between the deluxe veranda and the penthouse levels also give you the pre-cruise hotel night.
  18. I went in mid-Septembe 2016. I think summers can be hot in Eastern Washington, so I was trying to avoid that. The weather overall was very pleasant. Temperatures definitely cooled as we headed west toward the coast. Astoria was very rainy. One hitch was that we were unable to stop at The Dalles because of Native American fishing rights, so they had priority using dock. Not sure if this happens every year, or it if just was our week. We didn't find out until we got to the hotel before the cruise. They added an extra day in Vancouver, WA, which did have some great historical sites. Fire season would be hard to predict. They may not have any bad fires up there, it just depends what the rains do in any given year.
  19. If anyone is interested in river cruises in the US, American Queen Voyages has some trips with reduced single supplements this year. Just click on the special offers button on their website. I have taken a couple of these cruises with my mom, and they are very relaxing, very slow pace, if that's what you are looking for.
  20. I'm so sorry for your tragic loss. I hope your trip is relaxing and worth the wait! Looking forward to reading about it!
  21. Thank you for your semi-live! It was fun reading and reliving my trip!
  22. Lindblad is the only expedition cruise line I have been on, so I'm Team Lindblad all the way. I'd love to do a trip on one of their new X-bow ships, but life is complicated and travel is not in the cards for me at the moment. I've heard Silver Sea would be considered more luxury, but I've never researched them. Probably if you went on their boards, they would have reasons they are the best, and same with the other lines.
  23. I'm looking forward to reading your reports! My mom and I did this trip on the Duchess in the opposite direction, pre-Covid, so it will be fun to read about your experience on the bigger boat. Sorry to hear check-in wasn't as smooth as it should have been. I hope things only get better from here!
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