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About BarbinMich

  • Rank
    Cool Cruiser

About Me

  • Location
    Detroit suburbs
  • Interests
    travel, genealogy, photography, gardening
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Princess, Celebrity, HAL
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call

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  1. BarbinMich

    Boston to Montreal or Montreal to Boston

    The itinerary is the same in either direction so it wouldn't make any difference. Either way, you'll have a Canadian port and a US port at beginning or end. We did a 2-week round-trip out of NYC (NJ actually) so air was easier.
  2. BarbinMich

    No northern westbound TA in 2020

    Over the last 10 years we've done 4 WB TAs, 3 from Southampton (northern route) and 1 from Venice. I enjoyed stopping in Iceland and Greenland. I wonder if ships are "avoiding" this route now because the ships are too large to handle for these northern ports. We had bad weather on only one of the four and that was just for one day (so bad, they had to "lock" us inside, i.e. too dangerous to go out on deck; that nearly caused a mutiny).
  3. BarbinMich

    Cruising to Alaska in early June vs mid August

    We've sailed in Alaska 3x in May-June, once in Sept. Would never do it again in Sept.--Glacier Bay mountains were a muddy mess and it was a rainy day. Lots more snow on the mountains everywhere the earlier you go.
  4. BarbinMich

    Emerald Spa HELP!!

    All true, but the spa "wraps" around it on 3 sides and it can be accessed through the spa as well as from the open deck.
  5. BarbinMich

    Mayan Ruins

    We had a great guide at Altun Ha who gave us lots of interesting info. One can climb the pyramids there. The largest has a wooden (?) stairway up to the top, but it was at least 3 or 4 stories--too much for me. As for "climbing" the other smaller pyramids, I tried. But the first step is 18-24" off the ground--hard for a short person to "climb" that. From the guide I found out that the original residents scrambled up the pyramids on all fours!
  6. Ine, thanks for the info re MSC's decision. Sorry that the city council's attitude towards tourists is so bad. Aren't tourists a big boon to the local economy? We've been there 3 times (depart on Viking river cruise, 2 ocean cruises) plus we've had layovers at Schiphol multiple times. Also been in Rotterdam 5 times on cruises and spent a few nights in Delft after that river cruise. I love the Netherlands and their "ABC" islands in the Caribbean! Finally, it's great to have you on this board.
  7. BarbinMich

    Mayan Ruins

    When we stopped at Belize City a few years ago, we took a ship's excursion to Altun Ha, where a number of impressive structures have been excavated (apparently there are many more that could be excavated). We'd been to Tulum, but not Chichen Itza. Altun Ha is much better than Tulum. All depends on where you dock.
  8. BarbinMich

    Iceland in September

    We have cruised to Iceland several times in September and generally find it to be a good time. Have had sunny skies sometimes (2016, port of Isafjoerdoer; 2009--Golden Circle tour), but usually it's been overcast. No rain, however! It'll be cool to cold so pack accordingly as all the attractions are outdoors--landscapes, waterfalls, thermal features (like Yellowstone's), shorelines. We love Iceland!
  9. I'm not sure how you know that's the reason they decided not to sail up river to Amsterdam. We sailed up the river on the HAL Zuiderdam in 2017. However, it's a much smaller ship (82,000 GT, 2,000 pax). The MSC Preziosa is 139,000 GT carrying 4,000 pax. Another reason may be the level of the water in the river; I know that was of concern when we sailed up a different river to Rotterdam a few years ago on the Caribbean Princess.
  10. BarbinMich

    Should I pick...Hubbard Glacier or College Fjord

    We've been to both, possibly on the same cruise (our first to Alaska in 1996). We entered CF at dawn in early June and it was magnificent in that light--mountains are impressive there as well. There are two glaciers entering CF. Hubbard IMHO is pretty ho-hum--just a big wall of snow/ice in a bay (Yukatat) that isn't very interesting (i.e. glacier is fairly close to the open ocean). However, I had done some reading on the native population living at the mouth of that bay so that made it more interesting.
  11. BarbinMich

    Princess Cays

    I'm not sure what you're referring to. Princess Cays is a small stretch of beach on the southeast corner of the fairly large island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas, which is in the Atlantic and is about 50-70 miles southeast of FLL.
  12. BarbinMich

    Regal Princess Library

    Ship libraries have gotten sparser over the years. On the Crown-class ships, the library had its own room. On the newer ships, it shares space with the computers and offers fewer books. I've borrowed a book or two over the years of our cruising. Usually both fiction and non-fiction are available. HAL ships do a better job with their libraries, although still not very extensive.
  13. BarbinMich

    Total Lunar Eclipse while on a Princess ship ....

    Because the Lesser Antilles (Virgin Islands down to Trinidad) are more or less on the same longitude, cruise pax in that area will all be able to witness the full eclipse (max at about 1:10 a.m.; whole process takes about 5 hrs).
  14. BarbinMich

    Panama Canal $$$$$$$

    Ships have to pay quite a bit to go thru the Canal and, of course, that is passed on to the pax in the form of "port fees". It's always been that way since we first did a partial PC cruise in 1999. Now with the new lock, I believe the charge is even greater to go through that lock. Another factor is the relative few number of cruise ships that do partial and even fewer that do the full transit. Thus, high demand and low supply leads to high prices.
  15. BarbinMich


    All I've seen on the Celebrity site the last few days is non-HTML. There are appear to be links, but they don't work. Sounds like others are able to see the HTML version.