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About chipmaster

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    In the air, new gig & now flying ~ 350K miles/year
  • Interests
    Between honey to do, dad to do, Moore's Law to do, and vacations to do no time for anything else
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Haven't taken a cruise line I didn't like! So many ships so little vacation time :(
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Yet to sample them all, so I can't decide
  • If you have a personal or hobby CRUISE or TRAVEL BLOG, include the url here:

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  1. See Marzul's post above, for what you should consider and what we did. We used RIL a few years ago, actually a decade ago almost. They had a couple van's right at the gangway waiting for us as we got off and off we went. Sadly there is a lot of driving and the traffic can be crazy so you can choose to do Pompeii early and keep it short for buffer for the long drive to and back from the coast, or do the coast first and come back. If I had to do it again, I might consider doing the coast first, but in the summer it is crazy hot so we did Pompeii first. The drive is beautiful, including a wonderful lunch overlooking and then back. It was a lot of driving for a few views and stops to die for. To some this sounds crazy but I'd do it again if I every do this trip.
  2. Not so much a review but a commentary with the iPhone11 release: https://photographylife.com/smartphone-vs-camera-industry The iPhoneX review: https://photographylife.com/reviews/iphone-x-camera
  3. FWIW it's the ocean and weather is unpredictable, I am one who is sensitive to motion and always take meds for smaller excursion boats. The only cruise I and wife ever got sea sick on was Alaska out of Vancouver, hit a storm, the worst experience, YMMV, be prepared.
  4. FWIW I took my parents to Alaska and sadly didn’t force the schedule to do glacier bay, Tracy arm is nice yeah it is pretty and the add on excursion that I did neat, but seriously there is a reason Glacier Bay is a national park and the rest not. Go to Arizona and see some nice tho ha but not Grand Canyon, or LA w/o Disneyland is my analogy
  5. If the ship experience is what you look for then research the image, ship amenities and go for it. Of course all the new ships are competing so show similar amenities and activities but clearly RCCL is a step above Carnival IMHO, and even I'm intrigued to do a RCCL mega ship and make the ship the destination. But for me personally it is always about the ports and the ship is the moving hotel. Similar sometimes I stay at Le Meridien/Westin and many times Marriott, and all about the town the hotel is in, but nice hotel is always nice. I personally would never take the best cruise line perceived ship with no port interest, no way.
  6. No longer have "kids" and cruise, but did cruise when they were young with 2 then 3 and youngest I think was 3 at the time. Very personal as kids and parents expectation and experience with and w/o kids and how the behave / react is very unpredictable. I had two kids never liked the club, and one that loved it. Funny maybe reverse correlation the two that didn't like it spent lots of time in day-care, the one that loved it never did day care in her life. As another wise poster said, assume that kid does NOT spend one minute in the club, still a vacation? That answers all, LOL.
  7. Cruise by definition is port/day and a few ports and possible a few extra days at embarkation / disembarkation, then all standard stuff on the ship shows, set place for meals, pools, music, bowling, ice skating, and every new land based adventure they can put on a ship. Land by can do everything you do on a ship with more work and a lot more flexibility. When I want to turn brain off and have a good time cruise, or do 6-8 places with ports cruise. Many times I like the variety and work and better everything of a land based, only thing I don't get is turn the brain off on making choices and balance choice/$ among so many fun stuff. I enjoy both, but which more, if you asked if I had to give one up, easy, give cruising up. So I guess land wins hands down!
  8. Port to airport, we did 4 people and 4 bags, there are minivans taxis even in Europe, LOL. I guess they are smart enough to know what kind of people roll off cruise ships!
  9. Hire a private car, pricey but then you don't need to run at the pace of the of the slowest bus ship tour, you already seem to know that that is like. As with most cruisers only a day, and another poster said you must make choices. IMHO Pompeii and Amalfi coast are a must. Even though when I went I was with three kids, when I show them the pictures a decade later they admit, wow that was worth it. But while driving and driving they were less appreciative, LOL For me personally so many great museums you simply can't visit the best in each city, and then must choose.
  10. Another data point that say should be possible, there are the ship transfers, but since we were a party of four opted for taxi. We had some concern there would be long queue for the taxis, but the longest and most frustrating queue was NCL terrible disembarkation that made it tight. So the plan accordingly but very doable
  11. I think it is worth calling them, my memory for years ago was in discussion with the vendor they were clear that safety and customer satisfaction are important. We used Temsco years ago. and recalled that was the drift. Also even if you book thru cruiseline they use the same companies, so calling them directly will give you better feel then cruiseline which are always clueless to these things. That being said weather is variable and things like dog sledding and helicopters glacier landings / sight seeing are indeed limited by clouds and hard to believe they'd fly if views are limited, but having done glacier landing during overcast ( NOT low clouds ), it is still pretty good. Of course nothing beats spectacular sunny days, did dog sledding on such a day. As mentioned dog sledding has short season and already closed, crazy expensive for but a short ride. Wife thought I was crazy for doing it but after the experience never discussed the price again, LOL. The memory of holding the "puppies" up on the ice for just a few seconds, priceless.
  12. Bottom line remove anxiety and get your passport renewed, why even the debate. Expedite the new passport, then no worries.
  13. If you know you want to do helicopter tours, book it either thru cruiseline or directly. They vendors are well aware of the weather and should issue refund if it gets canceled. Not sure if the weather forces a schedule change of their choice whether you can get refund or opt out. I would NOT wait, helicopters capacity is very very limited and supply usually far short of demand, I'd not wait till you get to dock to hope to get luck. Maybe others who sailed more recently can chime in if they recalled people touting helicopter tours.
  14. If you on a private tour and includes transportation you likely will be on the first wave off the boat, hopefully tour has it's thing together and transportation is waiting for you at port. When we took our NCL tour ( we were off first / early ), and at port it was chaos with traffic totally jammed top to bottom, but our transportation got there early and was at the base waiting. Enjoy
  15. I guess since I travel so much recently, often do two weeks and do it out of a roller-board and backpack I always go with hand wash and dry, pick stuff like spandex/lycra and othe synthetics they dry so easily, coat hangers with a towel under neath it in bathroom our closet and they dry nicely. Jeans/cotton and others forget it, but so many quick drying high tech wear available that packing light and easy is easy!
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