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About Ryten

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    Cool Cruiser

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    New Jersey
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Funchal, Tangiers, Sydney

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  1. At the risk of being flamed for even bringing it up, and I start by saying that I'm not particularly in favor of it but, How long do you think it would take the industry to consider commencing the Caribbean season (albeit a short one) in a non-US port. Nassau is less than an hour flight, The D.R. now has some decent piers, and who knows where else within a short flight from Florida. There would seem to be a certain bias of the CDC and other U.S. governmental agencies against non-US flagged ships which drag out any regulatory approval. Does anyone think that this is even a consideration? I could see cash strapped, tourist dependent countries being interested taking on the risk. Just a thought.
  2. Thank you all. I'll just keep looking and dreaming!
  3. As I keep dreaming of booking the next cruise, I came across this trans-pac that includes a significant stopover in Hawaii. I know HAL has cancelled their other Circle Hawaii cruises for the year but this one still remains. I was wondering if anyone has been notified of a change of ports, for example Mexico or Central America in lieu of the Hawaiin Islands? Additionally, has anyone ever done a partial cruise within a transoceanic? For example, would HAL permit you to travel from San Diego to Papeete at a reduced rate? While I would love to do the full cruise, work is still in my future, so my time is limited. Thanks
  4. Great footing though. Look at that beautiful teak deck!
  5. I can only respond using our personal experience. We also did the 11 day wayfarer last year and the two Gala nights were on the first sea day and the next to last night of the cruise. My understanding is that each ship decides the actual schedule. Hope this helps. Enjoy your cruise.
  6. Had a Vista on the Volendam last month. Seven days after the cruise my Mariner account showed double days for the 9 day cruise. We were happy to keep working more quickly to five star.
  7. We were on the Volendam last month and can report that is still had a substantial library that included a very good assortment of reference books that dealt with South America and Antartica. If you read German there was an unusually large number of books in the non-fiction area. If you are addicted to spy/police fiction, the assortment is somewhat lacking but probably enough for the 30 day cruise. Hope you enjoy it all. Crossing my fingers that we'll be able todo this one next year.
  8. Our family four took a private tour in June 2016 through Trip Advisor who sent us off with OTTI Travel on a small bus that could hold up to 12. We were the only passengers so we got a very personal tour of Ephesus and the Terrace Houses with a woman who was fluent in English and had her husband driving the bus. Can't say enough about her professionalism and historical knowledge of the site. We were given the option of the rug factory or returning to the ship. Since it was late June and we were already out we opted to see the rugs and the lunch which was included with wine. The presentation wasn't awful and the prices were cheap as tourism was tanking (Istanbul airport bombing). We now have a small throw rug gracing our stairwell which reminds us daily of the wonderful trip. Hoping you find your own wonderful memories on your cruise.
  9. Thank you all who have taken the time to give great insight into this cruise and shared adventures and incredible photographs. It's amazing to have you all as a resource when trying to make these (tongue in cheek, first world problem) decisions. When ultimately decide what to do, it will have been with much consideration given to your responses. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all.
  10. DW and I are seriously looking at a 2021 Antarctic cruise and looking for opinions as the the necessity of having a balcony for the cruise. As we will likely be looking at the Westerdam (with a lot more veranda/suites available than the S class) we are wondering if the balcony is a necessity or strictly a luxury. Is it worth almost double the fare of a inside or outside? And before I get some of the " only you can make that termination" replies which I truly understand, I guess that I'm looking for your personal opinions and experiences of the positives and negatives that went into your selection. Thank you all in advance for your experience and learned opinions.
  11. Just off the Volendam today. We were the sixth of six ships arriving in the morning, including Zuiderdam and Veendam along a very large Princess and Royal Caribbean ship. We had a 10:30 flight to make. We were cleared to disembark around 8:15 and were in a taxi by 8:25. We were able to get through customs very quickly only because we had our Global Entry cards, otherwise there was a significant line through the process which would likely have added an additional 20-30 minutes. Hope this helps with figuring out the timing. You really should check out how many ships will be arriving on your return so there are no surprises. Enjoy your cruise.
  12. 1969 on the Franconia, New York to Bermuda, 7 days. $79.00 for a C deck berth with a group of Boy Scouts. Ah the good old days.
  13. I'm pretty sure the real problem is that Mr. Green has tied up Colonel Mustard with his own rope in the soon to be missing library HAL will be removing and can't decide to do with the soon to be empty spaces to bring in new revenue.
  14. Can't speak specifically the Westerdam, but on a trans-pac on the Noordam last year there was a dedicated pickle ball court with dedicated times for playing listed in the daily program. As a confirmed rookie ( and that is being kind) the first day consisted of 3 of us playing/hitting/chasing. ( and I use the term liberally). The second day it was advertised as a tournament and about a dozen people showed up ( many who were better than competent) and great fun was had by all. Subsequent days varied in participation but games continued on a daily basis. As to equipment, there were 4 paddles located in the playing area, all day long together with 6-8 balls. Paddles were wood and I am told beginner quality. Hope this helps.
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