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About markeb

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    Northern Virginia
  • Interests
    Watches, Pens, Travel
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  1. You may be a little low on your budget, at least right now. I'd probably look at downtown/financial district. I did a quick look at Marriott, and the best I can find is a Fairfield Inn near City Hall (east side of lower Manhattan) for around $240/night plus tax AAA/CAA. You'd be close to the Statue of Liberty and 9/11 Memorial, and a fairly easy subway ride to the Midtown/Central Park museums. Long Island City is another option that I'll depend on a New Yorker to explain. Some decent prices and nicer hotels, but I simply don't know the subway out there. I don't see any major events (there's a half Marathon that weekend) that would eat hotel rooms. A workable strategy is to find a room you're willing to pay for at a cancellable rate, and then keep looking. Rates fluctuate dramatically in Manhattan. We go up from the DC area several times a year, and I frequently get a decent to major price drop closer to departure (not including September and October). I'd start looking in downtown, but keep an eye out for Midtown.
  2. My wife and I are doing a non-cruise related trip this December. We're spending 7 nights in London, arriving on December 27th and flying home on January 3rd. We're open on our plans, for the most part. We do have Hamilton tickets for the matinee on the 28th (we've seen it in NYC but it's a show you almost have to see twice to follow it, and the London production has a stellar reputation). We're considering another repeat for "Come From Away", possibly my current favorite production, and again, the West End production has a great reputation. If we decide to take in a third show (possible), what would the West End Theatre crowd suggest? I'm certainly not opposed to something truly British, although I admit to mostly going to musicals these days. I could go the obvious route and look to get tickets to the new production of Les Mis at the Sondheim (the first West End show we saw, in 1995, on our first trip to London, was Les Mis at I believe the Palace). There's a longstanding thread on the East Coast Departure board on "What Broadway Play", and there have been various threads here on the same basic topic for the West End, but I haven't seen anything for a while. Would love some suggestions from London theatre goers!
  3. I think those options generally work, and you can work around them. Your first day you're going to be beat, so don't over plan. Your last day you will overplan, so just give yourself time! Get your flights, and adjust your schedule around them. Unless you're going to move to London, you can't see it. Pick some things you want to do, and enjoy them. And build in some time to just get lost. It's an amazing city that I could visit as often as possible.
  4. Cell phones are no problem. What type/size camera are you taking? Is this a cruise stop, or are you staying in Amsterdam? If the latter, where's your hotel? It may be worth taking off without the camera that day and going back to the hotel after visiting. Just a thought. I'm pretty sure I saw people in the Anne Frank house with cameras, just not taking pictures. The cloakroom had attendants. We didn't check anything, so I can't tell you how that worked, but I'm pretty sure they accepted and retrieved your items.
  5. Which HOHO loop are you looking at? The stops along 8th Avenue (and the stops at Central Park) are on the Uptown Loop. The HOHO's typically have an overlap point, usually around Times Square, although these appear to intersect at Radio City/Rockefeller Center. The Uptown Loop will generally have less traffic, and more of the sites are "drive bys". It's probably more predictable for time. The Downtown Loop will go through Midtown to Lower Manhattan. Much more traffic, more places you might want to get off and see, and therefore a much longer trip. In fact, I believe they say 2 1/2 hours plus, and that probably doesn't include getting off much if at all. I'm not sure how long you're in port, but keep that in mind for your timing. If you did both loops and simply rode the bus, you're looking at 4 1/2 to 5 hours. And, it'll likely take you longer to find a cab and get to 8th Avenue than it will take to walk, regardless of weather...
  6. The piers are along 12th Avenue on the west side. 8th Avenue is four blocks east. For reference, the Intrepid is at 46th Street. To catch the HOHO you're considering, it should be four blocks across the street and away from the pier, and possibly left or right once you get to 8th Avenue. No need to hike to the park if your goal is to catch a HOHO along 8th Avenue.
  7. You know, I'd get in the day before, but all the doom and gloom about missing flights... In this day and age, it's entirely possible that your plan to leave a day early will be impacted by a delayed or cancelled flight. There's now a wide body of 200+ passengers to rebook, only the next three days of flights are fully booked. And you're leaving from the US and it was a weather delay. Oops, the airline now has NO responsibility (a major difference for our UK and EU members). You could just as easily miss your cruise under those circumstances as if you're arrived the day of. I'd get there a day early to get a night's sleep. That's my normal MO, even when I'm flying in the front of the plane. But you could just as easily miss the cruise because of problems with a day earlier flight, and little or no slack in the system.
  8. Was there any context? It's a great number, but it occurs within a certain context in the play. And, it's one of my favorite numbers (and one of the easiest to remember!).
  9. Yes. $224 each from WAS to NYP on Acela. Should be about $272. Your normal saver is showing $108 (checked a random date next May). $78 looks to be the promo. The discount just just shows up. No regular fare/savings indicated.
  10. Some of the airport hotels (just checked the Westin and it's still good) have park, stay, and fly packages. None of those show up as redemption offers. You'd probably have to get yourself to the cruise port and back, so I'm guessing the cab would come close to making it a wash on a 7 day cruise versus the hotel plus paying for parking at the port. If you're going to do a redemption, you'll probably have to call the hotel and see if you can add on the parking, and what it would cost, and then decide if it's worth it.
  11. Sad to say I've never actually stayed at the Marriott Waterfront, but I love the location. From the looks of it, the hotel has been updated, has what looks to be a very nice bar, and a concierge lounge, although it appears to be closed on the weekends. You're close to Little Italy, Fells Point, and in Harbor East, so finding a place to eat should be easy, and a drink onsite. I've stayed at the Renaissance a number of times. It's close to where things used to happen, if you will. It looks like it's still in the "old" Marriott style and format. Fewer things in the immediate area. If you're coming in after a long drive, a wild card would be to stay at the Residence Inn Downtown Inner Harbor. It's away from the harbor and the views of the harbor, but it's a little over a block walk to the Hotel Monaco. The B&O American Brasserie (pending negative reports from someone who's been recently) is a kind of cool restaurant, but a VERY nice bar. Not sure about the current staff, but they've had some really nice mixologists in the past. So, yeah, I think most of us would tell you the Waterfront is our first choice. The Marriott and Sheraton down by Camden Yards are probably my last choice. The airport Marriott is fine if you're driving in from VA, but there isn't much there. The Westin at the airport would be a better choice if you're staying out there.
  12. I can't help out with the pricing either. I've tried growing a beard a couple of times in my life. When I was younger, it grew in in patches. Now it grows in as salt and red pepper, heavy on the salt... Once upon a time, RCI had the equivalent of an old mainstreet barbershop on the Royal Promenade of the Freedom Class. It wasn't stuck in the spa, the folks pretty much dressed like an old school barber, and they were very good. They also didn't upsell. At the time I tended to shave every day, and I'd get a professional shave on the last afternoon. It was an amazingly relaxing experience. It wasn't cheap, but it also wasn't horrible. RCI replaced that venue with the cupcake shop and moved the men's haircuts and shaves into the spa. Did that once. Never again...
  13. Only that they'd do the R&D and product development work for this lens. This appears to be a pretty high quality lens aimed at a crop body, and I've not seen that from Canon or Nikon, for instance. That's where I'm a little baffled, pleasantly. It suggests strongly that Sony plans to continue to develop their APS-C line, and improve it pretty dramatically. My experience with Canon was that they didn't develop and produce "L" lenses for crop bodies; investing in "G" lenses for the a6XXX line is a good sign. Now, because of an interest in low light and macro work, I may yet look at a Sony full frame, but the 16-55 and the 70-350 are major shots into the serious enthusiast/near-professional (maybe even professional?) market that with the investment in full frame I wasn't expecting. I'll have to check out both lenses the next time I'm at B&H after they're released...
  14. A little bit. In some ways, it seems “unnecessary”. Its a nod to the APS-C I suppose. In fact, that’s also true of the 16-55. Two “G” lenses aimed at crop cameras. It at least suggests Sony wants to expand the quality of the crop market, right when they’ve made major inroads into FF. Fascinating.
  15. Does it matter what the "rules" say? Your wife said slacks and a collared shirt. I'm coming up on 28 years and learned long ago not to disagree... (And, no, shorts are on the "no" list for dinner; breakfast and lunch are OK. You lose twice on this one, I'm afraid.)
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