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Everything posted by BarbinMich

  1. Reflection's capacity is 3,046 vs Silhouette's 2,886. The R is slightly larger than the S. It's hard to believe that 160 more pax would have a noticeable difference. We've been on the slightly older, slightly smaller Eclipse and don't recall any of these problems.
  2. We have stayed in Copenhagen for a few days a number of times (we did a lot of TAs), either pre- or post-cruise. We have visited Frederiksborg Castle and really enjoyed seeing it. We did it on our own with a few fellow CCers and had to take the train and then transfer to a bus to complete the journey so would be easier doing it through Princess, but probably more expensive. In Copenhagen itself we have visited Rosenborg Castle which also has lovely gardens. It's on a HOHO route so easily accessible. Haven't visited Christiansborg Palace, but have walked by it--a very massive place! It's the seat of the national government. Another castle my DH and I visited is Kronborg on the coast across from Sweden. Very interesting place and the setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet ("Elsinore"). It's easily reached by train from Copenhagen.
  3. We have done a number of northern WB TAs in the fall and on one, we could sign up to be called in the middle of the night to alert us to good visibility. The capt. even turned off the outside lights on the ship to enhance the experience. The only color was green and we were underwhelmed. From photos I've seen since then, that may be the only color.
  4. There has always been a shuttle bus from the dock to a convenient location downtown on Princess cruises that stop there. The last few times we've been there we've enjoyed walking around different areas.
  5. We had lovely weather in Kristiansand when we were there in Sept. 2013 . Just did our own walking tour. It's a lovely place.
  6. A few years ago we were on a Celebrity ship RT out of the UK to the Med. It had a kettle--only time we've seen one. We usually sail on Princess and have sailed out of Southampton frequently, but usually to the US; never had a kettle. So it looks like cruise lines base this on what they think will be the home (and preferences) of most of the pax.
  7. I think we missed it on our car trip to PEI. We had crossed the Confederation Bridge and were probably headed toward Charlottetown as we began our trip counterclockwise around the island. It was about 20 years ago so my memory of that trip is a bit hazy. Our itinerary included Bar Harbor ME, St. Andrews NB where we went whale watching, St. John NB, Halifax NS, Cape Breton NS (spent a few nights in a cabin with a view of Bras d'Or Lake), PEI, and back home via Quebec City.
  8. We did a 10-day RT cruise from Civitavecchia to Greece, Rhodes and Turkey starting on 10/13 in 2008 and the the weather was warm to hot (latter in Ephesus and Rhodes).
  9. FWIW, passengers are generally not allowed to walk from the ship to the street as the port is an active container port with those those tractors hauling a container always moving around. Every time we've stopped there the cruise line (Princess) or the port provided a free shuttle to the gate at the street.
  10. Curious as to what Victoria has to offer. We've been on PEI twice, first on a car trip and second on a ship. Victoria never came to our attention. On our car trip we pretty much circumnavigated the island over a period of days. Thanks.
  11. I should have added that the driver stopped the car near a park before reaching the port so he had the opportunity to try to rip us off in private, so to speak.
  12. Five years ago we had a mid-cruise stop at Civi and as we'd been in Rome several times, we decided to stay in the port and wander around. Had an enjoyable afternoon with some gelato along the way <g>.
  13. For anyone who docks at Zeebrugge, but who has already been to Bruges, there are a couple of options I've enjoyed. A tram parallels the road outside the dock area. I've ridden it in both directions. To the west is Blankenberge. There is a large dike protecting the old town (dates back to early 1700s or earlier). Atop the dike are a large casino and many hotels/apt bldgs. The beach is beautiful and very deep out to the water line. We've been there in the fall several times when the beach is pretty much deserted. To the east is the very sophisticated town of Knokke. High-end shopping, if that's your thing. I just wandered around downtown and adjacent neighborhoods--lovely place. There's also a very large church near the train station and when I was there someone was playing (practicing?) the organ so a lovely experience. [Note: we enjoyed a day in Bruges and Ghent when we did a river cruise through Holland and Belgium in 2007.]
  14. On a related note, "Downton Abbey," the movie comes out in a few weeks! Our PBS station (and maybe all of them) had a special about the show a few weeks ago during a pledge drive. Had interviews with some of the cast. Some look quite different than they did "in character," notably the actress who played Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan). Unfortunately, the only Crowley family member they had on was "Edith" (Laura Carmichael).
  15. We stopped at Trinidad on the Grand Princess in 2010. I made arrangements for a private tour to take us to the Asa Wright Nature Centre with another couple. Both of us gals are birder enthusiasts and photographers. It was a wonderful place. The driver then took us to a beach on the north shore where we could buy some lunch from a barbeque place where he helped us pick out what to eat. We all enjoyed this excursion very much. However, when it was time to leave the vehicle and pay the driver, the driver wanted more money than we had been told it would cost. The other gal and I left the scene to let the fellas work things out and I don't remember how much they ended up paying him. This nasty experience led us to never return and I'm not sure Princess has gone there in recent years.
  16. When I posted, I forgot that we did do a land tour pre-cruise in Alaska when on a "group" cruise (i.e. booked thru my husband's professional assn and I assume they arranged it). The cruise was on the Celebrity Horizon and I guess the cruise line arranged it although we stayed at Princess hotel in Fairbanks and a small hotel south of there from where we could see Denali in the distance. Traveled on Princess or HAL train from Fairbanks to Seward. Details are a bit foggy since this was in 1996 <g>. On at least one HAL Alaska cruise on our own, we did our own pre-cruise arrangements in Anchorage in 2004. I do distinctly remember a flight from Anchorage to Fairbanks since we could see Denali out our window--more or less on eye level with the summit 😊; just not sure which cruise was involved.
  17. Interesting to know this re land tours since we've never done one. Something of a disincentive to do one since their cost is on the high side, compared to the cruise itself (cost/day). Plus, prior to our cruising more often after retirement (3/year), we did a number of one-week land tours to interior of Europe (usually involved only one or two countries) so little incentive/need to add such a tour to a cruise. My husband's a retired attorney and the state bar assn. had a wonderful travel program geared to working folks, hence the one-week tours (actually 9 days) counting flights. We were able to visit Switzerland (and southern Germany, Liechtenstein), Austria (and Hungary), Italy (Florence, Siena, Rome), and Austria (and the Czech Republic) this way.
  18. Princess ships generally carry more pax than HAL ships so I don't know about the increased cost in providing "quality" food (obviously they can't change the bathrooms on existing ships). HAL's rates are generally higher than those on Princess. We've done 31 cruises (347 days) on Princess and 8 (71 days) on HAL (most recent cruise was on the Zuiderdam). Personally, I think the food is better on Princess than HAL (at least in the buffet), the cabins are roomier on HAL than on Princess, and the ambience is different (but not a major concern for us).
  19. I agree that the lack of a true promenade deck is big "minus" on the Royal/Regal. I guess the recent thinking on ship design has more of a "keep them inside" attitude. We've been on the Royal twice: for a TA when this wasn't a problem and for a Caribbean cruise when it was an aggravation. I did enjoy sitting out on the Horizon Terrace several times on the Caribbean itinerary--totally shaded and not at all crowded, with drinks near at hand.
  20. I can't answer your question but since you cruised to Alaska in 1976 on a much smaller ship than those now in service, the ship probably didn't move at today's speed. So I don't imagine there were any other stops than those you mentioned as it may have taken 2 days each out of and back to San Francisco, plus it now takes one day between Vancouver and Ketchikan. If there was another port or scenic sailing, one possibility would be College Fjord and/or Hubbard Glacier. We visited both for the first and only time on our first Alaska cruise in 1996.
  21. Glad to hear your experience with Wilma went well. Stay safe!
  22. We flew in for a cruise just a few days after Wilma struck; having always lived in the Great Lakes area, we had never seen anything like that. Hope you didn't incur too much damage. Our cruise took us to Cozumel etc. It was also severely battered by Wilma--the ship had to tender because of severe damage to the pier.
  23. If you put your mouse on a cabin on a given ship's deck plans on the Princess site, a pop-up shows you the sq footage. On the older ships most of the inside cabins appear to be 162 sq ft while the OV cabins across the hall on Plaza are larger at 179 sq ft (this is on the Crown, assume it's the same on all Crown-class ships).
  24. We've been on the Royal twice for a total of 24 days and I was "blown away" by its Atrium when I first saw it. Also am something of a fan of the British royals so enjoyed the display they had from Princess Kate's christening the ship (may not still be there). Generally liked the buffet except that "hot" food was often tepid at best. Main thing we disliked is their eliminating OV cabins on Plaza deck (as on all the older ships)--it's our favorite location due to location and price. We're not into balconies as we mostly do TAs with lots of sea days across the Atlantic and balconies aren't very usable on those days. The casino is miniscule compared to that on the pre-Royal ships (there was a lot of waste space in those casinos). Game tables are scrunched together on one side and slots are scrunched together a few feet away. I was surprised by this layout since it's not terribly comfortable/inviting and I thought the casino was supposedly a big profit center on any ship. On our cruise on her to the Caribbean, I really enjoyed the pool area.
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