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About BarbinMich

  • Rank
    3,000+ Club

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. When we stopped in Boston on a cruise, I used the Hop-On, Hop-Off bus to get around to the usual tourist sites. And did some walking in between stops. The HOHO comes out to the dock so that makes it really handy. Within walking distance of the dock is an outstanding aquarium. We had been in Boston for several days years earlier with our kids and had seen most of the must-see places so I just picked out what I wanted to revisit; had lunch at Faneuil Hall.
  2. What cruise line and itinerary will you be doing? The suggestion mentioned above by Named-Tawny would certainly be a comprehensive view of Canada, coast-to-coast. That said, it could be pretty boring riding the train through the "prairie" provinces of eastern Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and most of Ontario away from the Great Lakes. My mother-in-law was from Sask. so we have made numerous auto trips out there from the Detroit MI area. The furthest we went was Jasper Natl Park, which is north of Banff Natl Park (been there several times) in Alberta. Really love Banff, Jasper less so. FWIW the scenery in the US south of Sask and Manitoba is similarly flat and not very interesting. That's why it's called "flyover country" <g>. I think your time would be better spent in eastern Canada flying into Toronto spending some time there, then driving around the west end of Lake Ontario to visit Niagara Falls, then returning to Toronto and heading east on Canada 401 which will take you Kingston, which is an interesting place and close to the Thousand Islands in the western end of the St. Lawrence River. You could then head to Montreal, another large and interesting French/English-speaking city. From there you can drive to Quebec City.
  3. Thanks for the map of the currents off the west coast of the US, Canada! As I believe I said earlier in this thread, when we sailed out of SF to Alaska we went west of Vancouver Island (too far out to be able to see it but could see some islands far to the west) and the water was like glass that late aftn/early evening. I don't think it was very choppy going under the GG Bridge as I was comfortable standing on that "secret" forward outside deck (I believe it's above the bridge). It was windy, though!
  4. So the ED is superior to the CD? I thought it was the other way around or that they were equals with the ED in charge of the entertainment on stage and the CD responsible for daily activities like trivia, etc.
  5. We've experienced less than ideal weather (i.e. more rain) in our one cruise in Sept. Lots of bargains to be had in the shops! Usually we sail if May so that one fall cruise was quite a contrast. Glacier Bay, esp., was less than attractive with most of the snow we've seen in May around the glaciers long gone.
  6. I save patters, but admit I rarely look at them. I decorate my fridge with magnets bought in many ports so every time I open the door I'm reminded of fond times at sea. Also have loads of photos on my computer as well.
  7. FWIW, we've found the most roll calls on longer cruises and not for Alaska or the Caribbean. The longer cruises, such as a TA, usually have at least 5 sea days and thus more interest in onboard activities on the sea days as well as more private excursions to plan for the ports.
  8. Admittedly we haven't been able to cruise for the last several years, but LOTS of new names! Two "old" ones are Lisa Ball and Billy Hygate. Liked them both. I'm just surprised that Lisa is Entertainment Dir., instead of Cruise Dir. as she was when we sailed with her several times.
  9. We have done a number of transatlantic cruises and what has usually happened at the first European port is that local immigration folks come onboard to check everyone's passports, sometimes the day before as I recall. Thus, we never took our passports off the ship, just photocopies as others have said. Don't have to go through all this in the Caribbean.
  10. I think the deck on the Star is quite wide--enough for deck chairs AND still room for the walkers/joggers. We've been on her several times (including Alaska out SF in 2014) and only on the Sapphire in 2005 so I don't remember it as well except that it was a fairly new ship.
  11. We did the Natural History bus tour and were satisfied. We were part of a group which flew to Fairbanks via Anchorage, stayed the first nite at Fairbanks, rode the (HAL) train to near Denali and stayed at a motel outside the park. From there we were bused to the park and did the Nat Hist tour, then rode the (HAL) train to the ship. The cruise was on Celebrity in 1996. Flying from Anch to Fairb was wonderful since we were sitting on the left side of the plane and could see Denali <g>.
  12. On the older ships, we always booked a Plaza outside cabin for its being close to the atrium and the theater without needing an elevator. Unfortunately, they eliminated those with the Royal/Regal. We had an obstructed balcony on our Royal TA cruise and it was only obstructed if you wanted to look straight down to the water--there was a lifeboat just below. We had an inside on a Royal cruise to the Caribbean and it was ok since we didn't have many sea days and I liked sitting on a lounger aft of the buffet which is totally protected from the sun, but has a nice view out the back (not crowded there either). Enjoy!
  13. We haven't been on the Regal, but have been on her slightly older sister, the Royal twice for a total of 24 days (TA, Caribbean). Have been on the Caribbean five times for a total of 59 days. We enjoyed all these cruises. Pluses for the Caribbean IMHO are the promenade deck (Regal doesn't have one), better theater seating layout, Explorer's Club (on the Regal there's the far inferior "Princess Live"), larger casino (I was truly amazed how small the Royal's casino was). Personally I don't like the Royal/Regal buffet--yes it's large and expansive but the food is also more likely to cool off faster compared to that on the Caribbean and the other older ships. A plus for the Royal/Regal if you're doing a warm weather cruise is a covered area aft of the buffet--wonderful view of the wake, lots of loungers and few people, plus bar service. I prefer the spa on the Caribbean to that on the Royal including the former's Thermal Suite. The atrium of the Royal/Regal is truly spectacular with two winding stairways from the floor above. The atrium on the Caribbean is ok, but not spectacular.
  14. We have sailed from Ft. Lauderdale many times and all the places we've stayed (national chains) offered shuttles to the cruise terminal at a reasonable price and in an efficient manner.
  15. Some friends of ours were on the Majestic when it was fairly new and serving the Asian market. The quirkiest thing about the ship was the number of private rooms for poker (I think) as that's apparently very popular in that market.
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