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Floridiana

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  1. Large ships don't fit under the bridge, that's why they get the prime spot. The terminal at Sydney's Rocks is too small for the number of passengers on large ships. When they built it, they did not anticipate the increase in the cruise business. We embarked there many years ago and had to wait in line outside for a ~ 2000 passengers Princess ship. Maybe they have made improvements in the meantime, but there is not much space around it.
  2. Find your cruise's roll call. Go to Princess Cruises roll calls here on cruise critic, find the Crown Princess and the date.
  3. Good advice not to wear anything gold/silver or their imitations in ALL South American ports. Some ports are ok that way, but a casual visitor doesn't know beforehand.
  4. There are small islands near Nuku'alofa. It's been years since I have been there, google for them. I was on one and there was another one with a resort.They were also the only places where you could swim on Sundays. The locals go to church, plenty of churches.
  5. Other cruise lines have already reduced the use of single use plastic bottles by providing refillable glass bottles or they have specific water bottle refill stations. They still permit plastic bottles, but they don't provide them. Some still provide them at the exit when you go on excursions. I don't think that poor countries have recycling facilities. We asked in Cambodia and the guide told us that one (1) company collects recyclables.
  6. As to Ponant, I liked the Austral. Haven't been on Silversea, isn't' it more formal than Ponant?
  7. I think they also do 'real' cruises with their new ships and Arctic expeditions. As to the question whether passengers can do easy hop-on, hop off, it probably depends whether it's a high frequency port or some small village hidden away. You would have to check their schedules. I noticed that they always have the better pier, closer to town or village than the cruise ships.
  8. We always book based on itinerary and that has led us back to Holland America ships for their interesting itineraries. The problem with Neptune suites is that we don't want to book less expensive cabins any more. The concierges in the Neptune lounge are worth their weight in gold.
  9. The river is too wide up to Manaus, after all you will be on an oceangoing ship. For vistas like you imagine, you need to take a river boat tour or stay in a lodge where they take you on canoes into narrow water ways. We saw the most animals when the Napo Wildlife Center lodge in Ecuador provided us with an Indian guide. We would have walked by the anaconda without seeing a thing and I even missed a rare animal while I was fiddling with my camera, but I have pictures of a giant river otter popping up next to the canoe. The ocean going ships are not always in the middle of the Amazon. The banks are mostly forested. Bring binoculars. Most jungle animals are elusive, but I saw flocks of birds.
  10. Napo Wildlife Center in Ecuador? That was one of our best trips and we are not avid birders. Like you I like to watch the river traffic and forest go by, did it on the Danube and the Mekong.
  11. The Rolex did it! While I can't comment on the ship, I will say something about the ports. The Boi Bumba show is extraordinary. Not to be missed. The dancers do a small part of the actual big festival in Parintins. "Petty" crime in most South American countries includes ripping jewelry off people, just don't wear anything gold, silver, precious or imitations on shore. I thought every traveler knew that, but obviously many don't and seem also unaware of the extreme poverty. It helps to come prepared with some background knowledge from books, documentaries, and a good enrichment speaker on the ship. We will travel to the Amazon basin for the third time.
  12. I lik the idea of having Africa on the itinerary. Most go up through the Suez canal and that's if for Africa.
  13. I think you get answers on the forum for the cruise line offering your cruisetour.
  14. Your husband may need proof of the titer levels for Fiji. Information from HAL passengers who recently had trouble going ashore in Fiji.
  15. As Aquadesiac wrote, Brits are probably on Cunard and P&0 ships that start in the UK. Wendy, I haven't been on MSC. Ships are too large. I am amazed they take such a large ship on a world cruise. Their yacht club is supposed to be really nice, but the Magnifica doesn't have one.
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