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Everything posted by Turtles06

  1. Thank you, that's fascinating. I wonder how many guests have ever actually noticed this book, or realized that it contains embassy and consulate information? And query whether that information is up to date (especially regarding consulate locations). Here's what appears to be the relevant section of the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act of 2010 (it's on page 124 Stat. 2246): ‘‘(2) EMBASSY AND CONSULATE LOCATIONS.—The owner of a vessel to which this section applies shall provide in each passenger stateroom, and post in a location readily accessible to all crew and in other places specified by the Secretary, information regarding the locations of the United States embassy and each consulate of the United States for each country the vessel will visit during the course of the voyage." https://www.congress.gov/111/plaws/publ207/PLAW-111publ207.pdf
  2. I've never seen any embassy info on an NCL ship. (I'm not questioning Flip's experience above.) As noted in a prior comment, the port agent and their contact info is listed in the Freestyle Daily. Be sure to take that info ashore with you. Prior to any international travel, I make a list of the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate with their contact info. It's not hard to do. Also, well prior to departure, I register our trip with STEP. (This is most important on a land-based vacation, but it still doesn't hurt to do it for a cruise.) https://step.state.gov/
  3. I’m very sorry this has happened to you and everyone else booked on this cruise. Vigo and Gibraltar are just not in the same league. It’s probably hard right now to think about making lemonade out of lemons, but from Vigo I would suggest a shore excursion or private tour to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Santiago de Compostela. The Cathedral is historically and architecturally very interesting (whatever one’s religious beliefs).
  4. It’s only while on land. As others have said, please be sure your Mom has her phone in airplane mode when she’s on the ship. Once in airplane mode, she can turn WiFi on. I hope she has a great cruise!
  5. Are you saying "besides going [to] the pilgrimage site" because you've already been to Santiago de Compostela, or because it doesn't interest you? If the latter, all I can say is that the Cathedral is quite interesting, historically and architecturally, regardless of one's religious beliefs. (I'm not a Catholic.) We did not find Vigo (where we had a port call on another cruise) to be very interesting.
  6. You were in a CS on an S-class ship and that's what happened? Really, really bad move by Celebrity.
  7. The fact that loungers would be taken off any of the balconies that previously had them is ridiculous. The assertion by Celebrity that this was done for safety reasons is even more ridiculous. The inconsistency now in who has loungers and who doesn't is also ridiculous. The fact that some folks have loungers when they board or get them on request also shows that this isn't about safety. Large balconies were built to have deck furniture on them, not two tiny (and uncomfortable) chairs and a little table.
  8. I'll just offer a few thoughts, having done four full transits of the Canal, all through the original locks -- the same ones the Summit will use (barring a very unusual operational issue in the Canal). I am fascinated by the Canal (obviously), and I think it would be very interesting to visit the Agua Clara Visitors Center. (Take a look at the reviews and photos on Trip Advisor.) You get to see those new locks up close and, if you are lucky in the timing, you'll see a neo-Panamax ship going through. It does seem that the tour you are talking about, however, combines the Agua Clara Locks with a visit to Casco Viejo (Old Panama). We were there last year (having docked at Fuerte Amador, just outside Panama City). We walked around; it's a colorful and interesting bit of the City, and while I don't think your tour would spend seven hours on a bus, I personally would not take a bus ride across the Isthmus to visit Casco Viejo. Just speaking personally. (Others who have driven across from the Atlantic to the Pacific and back hopefully will weigh in on the experience.) Also, please keep in mind that your next day, the day of the full transit, will be a very long, very hot, very humid one. You'll want to be all over the ship, seeing the locks from all different perspectives. Only you can judge whether you want to precede the day of the transit with a full-day tour. I hope that's helpful. Enjoy whatever you decide to do!
  9. Not that this will make you feel better, but this is a very longstanding policy on NCL.
  10. Are you looking for a car service? We’ve used blackberrycars.com in the past to take us from LHR to our London hotel, and from London to Southampton. They were fine. https://www.blackberrycars.com You can also ask in the British Isles ports of call forum, where such transportation questions are regularly discussed. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!
  11. Henry, I’m happy to see this, and glad you enjoyed the tour, as we are looking for something similar out of Southampton at the end of the Bliss TA in January. (SOU to our London hotel, with a tour of Windsor Castle along the way.) How did you happen to hear of these folks? Thanks!
  12. Assuming that you will be entering the Canal from the Atlantic, Princess is referring to the shore excursions that depart from Gatun Lake after the ship has gone through the locks on the Atlantic side. And yes, you must be on a ship-sponsored tour. This is true for all mainstream cruise lines. I’ve done four full transits of the Canal, but never a partial, so I can’t advise you on the specific excursions, but the Canal of course is not far from the Equator, and it will typically be a hot and humid day.
  13. I agree with you. And Princess is not the only cruise line doing this. NCL, for example, has several September 2025 cruises on the Getaway that it is marketing as visiting Bar Harbor. I’m booked on one of those cruises. But since I’m here on CC and am not the average “Jane Passenger,” I do know that it is highly unlikely that we will call at Bar Harbor. But I’ll bet most folks booked on that cruise do not.
  14. The same itinerary question is being discussed in another thread just a bit higher up in the forum, at this link:
  15. Thank you again to @mking8288 for sharing this adventure with us, and to everyone else on the Prima who contributed as well. To all of you, safe travels home or to wherever you are heading.
  16. So happy you were all in the right place at the right time. Thanks for sharing those great photos.
  17. Folks, check the skies tonight — a very strong geomagnetic storm has hit the earth today, which will make the Aurora Borealis visible (weather permitting) further south than usual, including down into Northern Europe. Even if you just see a patch of dark sky, take a photo with your cellphone or other camera. Cameras capture light that our eyes can’t see, and you may be surprised. https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2024/05/10/northern-lights-solar-storm-where-to-watch/ Good luck!
  18. One suggestion in Southampton: the Sea City Museum. It has a very interesting exhibit called "Southampton's Titanic Story." As you may know, many people from Southampton worked on the ship, and so the disaster was especially devastating for the city. The Museum is very walkable through the center of town from wherever you are likely to be staying https://seacitymuseum.co.uk/exhibitions/southamptons-titanic-story/
  19. I don't agree. I don't think of a cruise ship as just a floating hotel or resort. I think of it first and foremost as a ship; a key reason for me to be on it is to be on the water, feel like I'm on the water, and see the water. The trend with newer builds (and it's not just Celebrity) is to disconnect guests from the water. You feel differently, that's fine.
  20. Thanks, that’s very helpful. We are looking at International Friends. Enjoy your trip!
  21. Thanks very much. I do know about International Friends and I’m glad to know you’ll be a repeat customer. We’ve been to Salisbury and Stonehenge before, but not Windsor, so we just want to visit that on the transfer from Southampton to London. That would also give us more time there. It might require a private transfer/tour with them, and I plan to inquire about that. Have fun planning your trip!
  22. @kflietst Do you mind sharing the name/website/contact info for this guide? We may be interested in doing the reverse at the end of a transatlantic cruise arriving in Southampton. Thank you!
  23. As others have noted, you have a chock full itinerary, even without the British Museum. I'm not trying to add to it, I just wanted to suggest something you may not have considered, perhaps in lieu of something else (maybe Buckingham Palace), and that's a guided tour of the Palace of Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament). We did this in 2018; the tour is about 90 minutes long, and it was one of the best tours we've ever taken, anywhere. The Palace has incredibly opulent rooms, and you walk through many of them, learning about history and about what you are seeing. And then, a major highlight, we visited the Chamber of the House of Commons. We got to stand in the rows of seats (only elected Members may sit in those seats, as we learned) while the guide discusses what happens in the Chamber, who sits where, the history of the Chamber, etc. It was a "pinch me" moment to actually be inside such an iconic place that I'd only seen on TV. (And I say that as an American.) Just throwing that out there (especially since your hotel is so convenient to Parliament). https://www.parliament.uk/visiting/visiting-and-tours/
  24. On another thread you'd started, I posted about doing exactly that (so perhaps it was me 🙂). Arrived at the Abbey at 9:30, immediately went to the desk to book the Verger Tour for a time after our visit to the Diamond Jubilee Galleries (per our pre-booked timed ticket). That was all fabulous and took up the entire morning. Walked toward the Churchill War Rooms (had a 3pm booking) and had lunch at some pub along the way. Might have been able to make an earlier time for the War Rooms but we of course didn't know in advance exactly how long we would spend in the Abbey and definitely did not want to feel rushed for time. And I totally agree with @markeb that you can (and we did) spend hours in the Churchill War Rooms. It depends on your interest in the subjects. I found the entire place fascinating and probably stopped to read just about every exhibit sign.
  25. Very glad you were able to see Keukenhof just before they closed for the season. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.
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