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About torybruno

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Canton, MI

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  1. Thanks JennyB! What did you particularly love about these 3 islands?
  2. Thanks everyone for all the replies, tips and thoughts. We have spent time twice in San Juan as cruise ports, 2 years ago on Christmas Day, and most businesses, restaurants and bars were open. I realize this would not be the case in St. Thomas, but the beaches will always be open! We have been to the A and C islands on a previous 8 day southern Caribbean on the Carnival Breeze. Our reasoning for picking these particular cruises is to see more of the world that we have not seen yet! As you can see, we are not Cruise Line Loyal, although we do prefer some lines over others, we always pick cruises first by sailing date, then itinerary.
  3. We have done a number of cruises, but never a Southern out of San Juan. We will be traveling with extended family over Christmas, ages ranging from 16 to 82. Choice 1... Celebrity Summit. Tortola, St. Maarten, Dominica, Barbados, Grenada, and at Sea Christmas Day. Choice 2... Royal Caribbean Enchantment of the Seas. Grenada, Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, and in St. Thomas on Christmas Day. Choice 3. Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas. St. Thomas, Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Christmas Day at Sea, St. Kitts. Of all the ports listed, we have only been to St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and St. Kitts, so this is really giving us the chance to see some wonderful new ports. Any thoughts on ports, ships, appreciated. Our first shocker is the airfare to San Juan, is three times the price to Ft. Lauderdale or Miami!!
  4. Three years ago We hired a private driver for the day. Did a downtown tour through different neighborhoods, spent a good chunk of time at the suspension park, also visited a dam and gardens, and Stanley park. I think it would be cheaper to do a Lyft or Uber tour at a couple places you really want to visit, and use a luggage service so you’re not carting them all day.
  5. Love Christmas cruising! We sailed with 25 family and friends one Christmas. No cooking, shopping, wrapping, entertaining!! We did have a small gift exchange within our group.
  6. torybruno

    MUST DO's

    Which ports are you visiting? We just did a float plane excursion in Ketchikan with Island Wings, I would highly recommend. Juneau is usually whale watching or Mendenhall Glacier, we did them on two separate trips to Alaska, but they do offer them together if you think this is your only visit to Alaska.... your time at the glacier maybe limited. In Haines or Skagway, they offer a tour that goes to Davidson Glacier, second favorite excursion in Alaska. I know most take a train tour in Skagway, sitting for hours on a train didn’t interest us (especially because we did this Anchorage to Denali), but if you’re less active you may enjoy it. It all depends your interests, activity level and $$$!
  7. We rented a car and spent a night at Majestic Valley Wilderness Lodge (beautiful!), and did a glacier trek with Mica Guides. Best tour of our cruise, and not expensive because you’re not taking a helicopter to the glacier. We spent two or three nights in Denali, best excursion there was a Wilderness bus tour, and don’t miss the free dog sled and kennel tour there.
  8. Ask for the Indian Vegetarian menu, different from the Vegetarian men.
  9. We just got back from the Misty Fjords Island Wings with Michelle. OMG, amazing. We landed on a lake, it was breathtaking! Not Misty however, we had complete sunshine!! Would have loved to do her hiking tour, time did not permit on our short docking time, we did the two hour tour.
  10. In Juneau we ate at the top of Roberts Tramway, split the half order of crabmeat nachos, and a wonderful hike at the top.
  11. So we're back! Personally, I enjoy the one piano player format, it was more of an intimate experience on our Zaandam cruise three years ago with a great accomplished piano player. Not saying this was bad, we did go 5 out of 7 nights. Sometimes, they would come up with what I thought were very strange songs for piano bars... These were very young men, and one did seem to be a stronger singer/player than the other. There was more interaction among themselves than with the crowd. As far as dueling pianos, I would not call it dueling. One was more accompanying the other? Sorry, I'm not a musician and my terms may be off!
  12. We are just back, and I thought I would follow up. We ate in the main dining room every night, except the Pinnacle one night. There was always at least one choice on the regular main dining menu that was vegetarian. There IS a separate vegetarian menu, but my husband would have to preorder it the night before for the following night. When Sanjay, the director was walking around one night, he approached our table and asked how everything was. It was then, on the third night, my husband found out there is a whole other Indian vegetarian menu! He was in heaven for the rest of the cruise! Breakfast he almost always had steel cut oats, souped up with nuts, nutella, berries, etc. Lunch options he did have the mushroom burger from Dive In, but mostly salads. They also had almond milk for his coffee, and were bringing him olive oil for his bread by the third night. Pinnacle was his least favorite night, he ordered two entrees, (mac and cheese and an eggplant dish), those, as well as my halibut were cold. Sides were piping hot, but all three entrees cold. Would not recommend the halibut in Pinnacle, but it was great in MDR.
  13. We just had surf and turf our 2nd Gala night last week.
  14. A HUGE Thank You to GardyLoo! Your detailed day planning helped us so much. We actually decided to flip the days. Flew in Friday night and had a relaxing dinner close to the hotel. Saturday morning we rented a car and did just about EVERYTHING you suggested! Started at Fishermen's Terminal and had breakfast at the Bay Cafe (crab benedict!), walked the piers, saw the Freemont Troll, had a fantastic few hours at Chateau Ste. Michelle, went down Novelty Hill rd and bought cherries at a roadside stand, sat outside Carnation milk for a little snack of scones and our cherries, (we skipped the cherry pie, but we had cherries!), went to Snoqualmie Falls and did the hike down, and back up, visited the Chihuly Bridge of Glass and the Museum of Glass, and had dinner at Salty's. It was an amazing day, beautiful weather. Dropped the rental after hours and walked a block back to the hotel. Post cruise, we sent our luggage on ahead to SeaTac, and took a Lyft to Pike Market for a few hours there (great crumpet place) and made a few purchases, walked through bubble gum alley down to the ferris wheel and took a ride. From there we Lyfted to Chihuly and did the museum and garden, decided against the Space Needle because it was pretty foggy, and we felt we had a great view OF the space needle from the ferris wheel. We ate lunch at a local dive, Tavern 5 Point Cafe, good food and great local company. From there we decided to do an underground Seattle tour becausee we had a few more hours to kill before our red eye flight last night. We ubered to the airport a bit early and had a relaxing dinner. Again... thank you so much for all the suggestions. Especially your rental car day, we couldn't have planned a better day. This is why I love cruise critic!!!
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