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About birdylady

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    Near Charlotte, NC

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  1. We we were there back in the fall. But I have to apologize. In thinking about this I think I was describing Labadee. Sorry. Hit was early and the coffee hadn’t kicked in yet
  2. G-d forbid! We need our double points for our upcoming sailing. That was the reason we booked JS for it. Erika
  3. And it is so nicely done. You go up a little hill with a few steps. They have 'bungaloos' that are private yet still open air. You get to listen to real ocean sounds (and people on the beach too) while you relax and enjoy it. Very nice treat. Erika
  4. Hi there. I can't compare RCI to any other cruise line. BUT I will say we did Grandeur in April and LOVED her. The BEST crew ever. The ship was in good condition and the Cruise Director, Activities Manager and their crew made everything fun. I say give her a try. I would sail her again in a heartbeat. Erika
  5. I completely agree. RCI sailing out of Charleston could do 3 nighters to Bermuda easily. IF Charleston would allow it. They constantly say they don't like all the tourists (seriously?). But Charleston/Bermuda is a due East/West trip and would be perfect. And if/when Bermuda is not in season, could still do Bahamas. Erika
  6. But it was shut both outbound on April 25th (about midnight) and inbound on May 1st about 9pm. Erika
  7. We just got off Grandeur earlier this month. The ship was amazing as was the crew. We made a point of watching as we sailed over the tunnel (both ways). There were no headlights going into the tunnel as there were police cars on each side stopping traffic as we went over the tunnel. Thought that was very interesting. We wondered if they do this for ALL ships or certain ones. We assumed it was for safety sake. Erika
  8. Alaska cruising is only during (roughly) end of May to maybe mid September so your options are somewhat limited. The most expensive/popular times are probably July/August. But it's great no matter which sailing date you pick. We did our first Alaska sailing as a closed loop out of Seattle for the inside passage. That only made us want more. Then about 2 years ago, we did the land and cruise tour. We started in Fairbanks, toured down to Seward and cruised to Vancouver. Ultimately, it comes down to your time and financial options and then your preferences. I will say, if you can afford it, do try to get a balcony so you can see the amazing views as much as possible. And enjoy. Erika
  9. We booked a couple years back for our 2017 Land/sea Alaska trip, just weeks after the sailings opened for booking. When we booked, there were only a handful of balconies left. SO, if location of your cabin is important (and lets be honest, Alaska HAS to have a cabin with a view), then book ASAP. Erika
  10. It would have been nice to have been there for a FULL day. Or better yet 2 full days with the overnight. AND if Hamilton wasn't basically shut down. But it is what it was. Erika
  11. Alas... the end has come. 😞 May 2 – Baltimore - As customs was done in Charleston, this was something that was not needed for here. This made for a VERY expedient disembarkation. It was nice that John & Katrina were there personally wishing the guests farewell. Now, as far as transport goes (remember, I said I would get back to this). One of the couples we had dinner with were also flying out of BWI today (2 hours later than us). I remembered being told on our initial shuttle the price was for up to 4 people. So, I called and confirmed they were good with us bringing another couple. They said yes but changed the price. From $35 to 65. I confirmed total 4 people and changed to $45. No biggie. They told me to call when we were getting off the ship. All good. I did. We got out and waited. About 5 minutes to 9 (p/u time) the driver shows up right near where we’re standing. I’m like how great is this? We head over to the vehicle and he said he wasn’t expecting to pick us up till 9 so he had another passenger to take to a hotel in town and he would be ‘right back’. 9:15, still nothing. I call 9:30, he said he was on his way. 9:50 I call again, and he says he’s just dropping off the luggage and will definitely get us to BWI by 10:30 (boarding for us is 11:30). 10am hits and I decide to grab cabs. $30 to BWI. Each couple grabbed a cab. As soon as the trunk was shut, and we were in the back seat, I could see the shuttle driver pulling in. I texted saying we grabbed a cab. So, tell me. IF you have an appt for a 9am pick up. HOW THE HECK do you have another at 8:55? I just wish hubby let me grab the cabs earlier. This definitely took some of my relaxed mellow away. We got to BWI and went through TSA pre-check. The line actually was longer the regular one, but at least we didn’t have to undress and empty all our bags. When our carry-ons went through the scanner, my carry on with the Berger cookies (and now some Benne wafers from Charleston) got pulled aside for secondary exam (as did the bag of another person behind us). So, we wait, and wait and wait. We see agents coming and going. Finally, I ask another agent about it. He went to the screener and the screener looked and said, ‘I thought someone was there’. DUH! So, the agent I asked was nice enough to look and send us through. Eventually, we made it to our gate just before our plane arrived. Phew. The flight went smoothly, and we arrived back at Charlotte early. Of course, that meant there was no gate ready. Oh well. At least were on the ground safe and sound. The rest of the story is just getting back home and picking up the dog and getting back on track for work (yes, I was stupid enough to plan to work on Friday). If anyone has any questions or wants pictures, I will be happy to answer and see if I can post (for some reason, always a challenge on CC for me). I'll leave you with - If you have a chance to sail Grandeur, do it. She is a great ship and her crew is absolutely amazing. Erika
  12. If they drink a lot of coffee/tea and want it in the cabin, just let your room steward know to bring some extra. You'll never be without. 🙂 Erika
  13. I believe there was a coffee maker & a tea kettle. Whatever they had also had a little tray next to it with the items that were to be used with it (sugar, individual creamers, etc..). The coffee were little pouches, not kcups. We didn't use any of it though so I can't tell you good from bad. I will say I got a cafe latte from DL one morning and something was way wrong with it. It tasted like the sludge from tree bark. Even hubby said it was way wrong. That made the Windjammer coffee taste good in comparison. Erika
  14. May 1 – Sea Day- We always try to get our packing done on the last day early. So after lunch, we packed all we could so we could then go out and enjoy the rest of our trip. They had a Grandeur Fair. We had never experienced anything like this on a cruise before. They had in the Centrum everything from magnetic darts, putt-putt, football throw, limbo, cupcake decorating, t-shirt folding, bed making and who knows what else. For participating you got either a Kat-Buck or Johnnie-Cash slip. If you succeeded in the ‘event’ you got 3 slips. You wrote your name and cabin and it went in for a drawing for RCI swag. Everyone really enjoyed it. The rest of the day we just enjoyed the ship. Interestingly, again, the casino closed early (7ish) since we would be heading into the bay by maybe 9ish. I have to say, I wonder how much revenue they lose on this sailing since the casino is closed as much as it is. To be fair, my pocketbook didn't complain about that. LOL We were back in our cabin at the time we did cross the Chesapeake Bay bridge tunnel so we went out on the balcony to watch the crossing again. And again, the police had traffic stopped. It was a unique experience to see (well, twice, once each way). Erika
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