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About Bimmer09

  • Rank
    5,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Chicago, via NJ, via Miami, via London, via Northern Ireland
  • Interests
    Opera, theater, ships,driving in Germany, all things French including fries,drums,sailing.
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Any line not featuring Joe Farcus "designs"
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Alaska and hopefully the Baltic

Recent Profile Visitors

3,250 profile views
  1. They are a mix of restaurants such as Jasmine, Picasso, Spago and high end shops like Louis Vuitton, which are glitzy and immaculate and mostly unsullied by customers, particularly me and Carol. The south side of Bellagio is given over to the roads up to it while the north side has a long arcade of shops and restaurants leading to the Strip. The restaurants on this arcade (and those at the base of the hotel) face the lake and the fountain show and some have outdoor patios for dining. There are half a dozen or so that are new since we visited 10 years ago. This is LAGO which appears in the exterior photos I walked the arcade each morning to get to the Starbucks at the end of it, at street level. Prices in all Starbucks in Casino Hotels were double what I normally pay ($4.28 for a small plain coffee) The decor theme in most hotels was of the Chinese Lunar New Year. Bellagio no exception. There are some private villas with their own swimming pools and outdoor seating on the roof of the casino but they are really only visible from above. We were on the 10th floor. "Never leave the Bellagio!"
  2. Thanks Trip and Pam! "Getting away" is one of my middle names. Norris
  3. Allison, how nice to see you here! I am not a coaxer. When I suggested Las Vegas to Carol and she said No I dropped the subject. And I booked it for myself. I thought as time went by she would reconsider. Which she did. And in Las Vegas she commended me on my "genius". Very gratifying and to see her spirit light up at our first Cirque du Soleil show was icing on the cake. I first went to LV for work back in 1999 and stayed in a hotel in Henderson (Sunset Station Casino) and worked 12 hour days and then had to attend dinners in Henderson. I could see the Strip lit up at night about 6 miles away before I went to bed. On my last night after work I drove my rental into the city and visited a few hotels. One was the Bellagio and when I got back to Chicago next evening I told Carol about it and within a week or two we were staying there. We visited several hotels for the buffets or entertainment and Carol coined a catch-phrase which she used several times a week ago...."never leave the Bellagio" and we never have stayed anywhere else, nor are likely too. That was 10 visits ago. Thanking you for your kind wishes, Norris, Mr Back-story
  4. Robert-it was unused. But I sent it back. Cost me a fortune in bubble-wrap. Norris
  5. Sharon, thank you for the compliments on my reviews and my apologies for not writing one at this very minute. I look forward to writing them each time, not just as a momento for Carol and I, but to interact with some fine people I don't know, like yourself, in a personal way. Cyberspace can be a cosy place to "talk" to like-minded people only a few of whom I have ever met at sea. In the off-season when not cruising I write TripAdvisor reviews on hotels and restaurants and cool places to visit. Over 200 of those so far with over 1000 photos. So I have a bunch to write from Las Vegas. It's all about sharing and in some way helping others. The surgery should be validated by some post-op tests this Wednesday and we hope for a positive result. Carol is very touched by the many responses we have had. Thanks again, Norris
  6. Rosemary, thanks for bookmarking my Sky Princess review. That's the reason for my post as I thought there would be folks like yourself looking for it around this time-I had promised it for the 26th in fact as we would have arrived home from FLL today. There will be other cruises of course-this October for one and on paper it could be one of our best ever-two favorite cities we long to see again-Rome and Venice. Azamara which is something fine to revisit and some new ports that are eye-candy. Kotor? Hell-yeah! Get the camera! And in the meantime there is the recovering Carol and the thought of Spring and weekly visits to the Chicago Botanical Gardens (Check out my pics from the Flickr link I dropped). It's all good... Norris
  7. Jasperdo, thanks for checking out the Flickr photos and for wishing Carol well. I left Las Vegas later than planned and the mountain road (Route 160) had miles of roadworks to slow me down so I had to make up time later in the afternoon to get through it before sundown as it's not a good place to be in the dark. I had been there with Carol at least 10 years before and had more time then to take detours to some of the sights. This time I went South to North- in the opposite direction. I'm glad I did it though. Cheers! Norris
  8. Thank you. Carol has been touched by all the well-wishes. We will be on the Pursuit in October if all goes well. Much to look forward to there! Norris
  9. Hi, and thanks for responding. The Silhouette cruise is in my signature but if you have those turned off then follow this link.... Norris
  10. MJ, nice to see you here! Carol's need for surgery was a bolt from the blue and canceling the cruise was indeed deflating as I was on a mental countdown to stepping foot on a new Princess ship, which would have been a first. I came up with an alternative that helped Carol forget the surgery for a weekend at least, and a weekend of nice weather (mid 60's) in a place that she finds invigorating-Bellagio, not so much schlepping the super-long Strip which is my jam. The one car trip she took with me to the Valley of Fire was a trip down memory lane and a reminder of our road trips in the Western USA before cruising took hold in 2011. A picnic looking down over Lake Mead without wearing overcoat and gloves was a treat. We could hear a pin drop in this setting... Carol passed on a drive to Death Valley which is just as well as I was gone for 8 hours and drove 120 miles in the dark to get back to the hotel. She was already home in Chicago petting the cat. Deck Chair Queen thanks you as do I. Cheers MJ! Norris
  11. Thanks Joe, I know you and Pat have had your share of changing plans due to illness too. We have always been in the habit of buying the platinum insurance and have only had to use it just this once (touch wood!). We were close enough to sailing that we only qualified for 50% back from Princess but the insurance company, once provided with info from the surgeon, paid the rest. I assume our 2 FCCs are still in our account for use on our next Princess which I hope will be next January to keep the tradition alive. I haven't looked at the Princess offerings but now would be a good time. Cheers! Norris
  12. Keith, thanks for the kind thoughts. Norris
  13. Thank you! Las Vegas took care of my burning desire to get out with the camera and Carol insisted we see a couple of Cirque du Soleil shows that we last saw 10 years ago ("O" and "Love"-the Beatles). The word "cruise" wasn't uttered once which was good and the next is far enough away not to need a lot of heavy research just now, although I have bookmarked tour operators and excursions that appeal in the Adriatic. We are already receiving "we're dropping our pants" offers from Bellagio (not that we have ever considered staying anywhere else) so I am jonesing for another long weekend there in May to bridge the gap until October. My Las Vegas photos are going up each day on my Flickr page and if anyone wants to see them, and LV as it is today, here's the link https://www.flickr.com/photos/136363678@N03/albums/with/72157712831020698 I have passed on your good wishes to Carol. Norris
  14. Thanks Mike! She is encouraged to walk and so is on her feet since her first day home. She's not allowed to operate heavy machinery so the combine harvester I bought her for Christmas will have to be returned. I kept the receipt. Enjoy the Sky in March! Norris
  15. Hello shipmates. Even the best laid plans.... I was going to start another Gentleman's Seafaring Journal today after we disembarked the Sky Princess January 18-25 following a winter getaway cruise to the Western Caribbean. On December 18 with just a month to wait and our Medallions in the mail, Carol was discovered to need surgery and an operation was scheduled for January 22, this past Wednesday when we would have been at sea. We had to cancel the cruise and luckily had Platinum insurance. I suggested a quick getaway as a consolation. We had been anticipating this cruise on a beautiful new ship since we had stepped off Celebrity Silhouette following a Norwegian Fjords cruise. I needed somewhere warm to escape Chicago's winter cold and already had vacation time booked. So I suggested going here.... Carol didn't think she would enjoy it in her present mood. It had been ten years since we last stayed at the Bellagio in Las Vegas but we had stayed there about ten times before. I went ahead and booked a solo trip that would get me back to Chicago the day before surgery. I booked my airfare and Hertz rental as we always take long drives from the city into the stunning State and National Parks of Nevada and California.... (Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada) (Death Valley, California) I was all booked up by Christmas Day and Carol changed her mind after the New Year celebrations and flew out with me on the 17th. She returned on the 20th to prep for her surgery and I stayed a day longer to visit Death Valley. The surgery went as planned and Carol was home that same evening and is doing well in her recovery. Her brother, Dr. Bob flew in from San Francisco to lend support in the hospital. The Las Vegas visit gave Carol a boost and took her mind off her health issues. She was glad she came. Our next cruise is way off in October-Azamara Pursuit from Rome to Venice October 3 to 10 so I will do a review/GSJ on the Celebrity board at that time. Meantime we'll look at Princess cruises for January 2021... Cheers! Norris and Carol
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