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About geoherb

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    10,000+ Club

About Me

  • Location
    Raleigh, N.C.
  • Interests
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Holland America, Celebrity
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. I'll be back, I hope. None of the reasons listed will keep me from taking another cruise once they start back up.
  2. We were in a similar suite on the Aloha Deck on the Royal Princess. The balcony is narrow, but we still had plenty of room to enjoy an Ultimate Balcony Dinner as well as a couple of breakfasts. Most days, though, we went to the dining room for breakfast to enjoy the service and mimosas. Suite passengers on the Royal and Regal don't enjoy access to the Enclave. The front window is great. We asked our cabin steward to leave the shade open the whole time instead of putting it down each night. We're both tall, so we did have to learn to duck when we went near the sloped ceiling.
  3. I'd always recommend as much time as possible before your cruise. But I realize some people can't do more. When I took back-to-back cruises last summer from Vancouver to Whittier and back, I was amazed at the number of people I met both ways who did not plan for any time in Alaska before or after their cruises. I loved taking the 26 glaciers excursion on my turn-around day. It was the highlight of my cruise.
  4. Yes, it was. DH went with me on a transatlantic in the fall, but then he had to work the rest of the year. I went without him on a partial Panama Canal cruise in December. In addition to a great price for a solo cabin, Princess offered free airfare too.
  5. I purchased an FCD for me and one for DH in February 2017. They expire in February 2021. Has anyone had success in getting them extended? I know we won't be sailing by then, but it is possible that we'll book a cruise for later in the year. Back when Carnival had a similar program, they did not disclose plainly that the credit expired without a refund after two years. We have two FCDs with Carnival that I may never use unless I find a great bargain. The amount can be applied, but I won't get any on-board credit for using them.
  6. I like both but prefer Princess for the amount of activities and better entertainment. HAL has really cut back on both. The one advantage is the culinary hosts on HAL. I really enjoy the programs they do. I guess they still have them. Our last HAL cruise was February 2017--my retirement cruise, a partial to the Panama Canal. For us, one deciding factor on a 28-day cruise would be getting free laundry on Princess. We are just 2-star Mariners on HAL after five cruises.
  7. Yes. They usually start decorating the cruise after Thanksgiving. I was on the Caribbean Princess last December (10-20). I did not take a lot of photos of the decorations, but here's one of the piazza showing a few of them. We have taken several Christmas cruises on Princess, Celebrity, Royal Caribbean, and Holland America. They sort of blur together. But they've always had a special menu for dinner one night, either Christmas Eve or Christmas. The gingerbread display comes out for just the Christmas cruise. We've seen them preparing for it on cruises that have ended the one before Christmas when taking the galley tour. We've seen the performers do special shows of Christmas music. Princess had singers dressed in Victorian garb performing carols in the atrium for the afternoon of embarkation the last time we took a Christmas cruise. Our New Year's cruise on Princess was a shorty. I think it was 4 nights long. We did it back-to-back with a 3-night one. We ate dinner on New Year's Eve at the Crown Grill. We skipped most of the celebrations and just enjoyed New Year's by ourselves. Our last Christmas cruise was in 2010. We have not gone the past 10 years because DH's father died, and he doesn't want to leave his mother alone at Christmas.
  8. I went last-minute solo last year for a great price on back-to-back cruises. I booked less than three weeks before leaving. I know a lot of people who were disappointed by canceled cruises this year, but I was waiting until the last minute again. I was hoping to take another European cruise in the fall this year as well.
  9. I've gone with Princess for all my Alaskan cruises. I had one booked on HAL that I had to cancel a few years ago. I wish I could have gone, and I haven't been able to find another bargain since on HAL to Alaska. For me, price is a big consideration. We met a couple on our cruise tour who didn't have such constraints. They were doing Alaska first class. For them, it was a bucket list trip. They spent more on excursions on just the land portion than we did for our entire cruise. For me, I want to go back again and again, discovering new things each time as well as revisiting favorites from past trips.
  10. That's a lot to try to cram into one day. I would suggest leaving off the London portion that day and extend your stay in London a few days to see what you want on your own. I wonder how much it would save if you took the train on your own from Canterbury instead of having the driver. When we toured the Churchill War Rooms, we were there two and a half hours. We could have stayed longer except for wanting to catch a concert at St Martin-in-the-Fields. We attended an evensong service at Westminster Abbey when we stayed in London before our British Isles cruise. And if you're there when Buckingham Palace is open for tours, you should book tickets for that as well. We did the additional garden tour, which was fabulous.
  11. geoherb

    Food Memories

    I have lots of food memories from my Alaskan cruises. One from last summer was a seafood chowder at Olivia's in Skagway. They dusted it with garam masala. I've made it a couple of times at home. This past weekend I recreated the flavor combination with homemade tagliatelle in lobster sauce with scallops and shrimp and a light dusting of garam masala.
  12. I took the 26 glaciers tour last summer on my turn-around day in Whittier. It was great to the glaciers so close.
  13. geoherb

    Research time!

    It's sounds like you did great if those are the things you want to do. It's a nice mix of activities. Have you heard of Murray's Guide? I found it a great buy when we rented a car to drive in Skagway. Search for Murray's Guide to the South Klondike Highway. For some reason, I can't post the link here. It's $5.95 for the PDF. Have you planned what you'll do in Juneau the rest of the time? Depending on when your helicopter and dog sled excursion is, you should have time to do something else, even if it's just walking through the downtown area and eating some good food. Or you could take the tram to the top of Mt. Roberts and hike around there. It's something you don't have to book in advance.
  14. Right now, the Sun, Sea, Sapphire, and Majestic are scheduled to resume cruises around Australia in November.
  15. My favorite was our transatlantic cruise on the Royal a couple of years ago. The ship had to change itinerary due to storms in the northern Atlantic. We had unexpected stops in Vigo and Ponta Delgada instead of Bergen and Belfast. But the ship treated us well, giving us both OBC credit and future cruise credit (25 percent of our fare). The biggest positive was having Matt O' as cruise director for all those wonderful days at sea. Last year's transatlantic on the Crown was a close second. We had unexpected changes on that one, skipping two ports but no compensation for it. But we had a great Cruise Critic group. I particularly enjoyed the books someone chose for us to read and discuss (Dan Brown's Origin and Where the Crawdads Sing). I also loved our British Isles cruise. And I would love to go back to Alaska every year if possible. Last year's back-to-back cruises--my first time traveling solo--were great.
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