Author Topic: The Travel Thread  (Read 1175 times)

AvidReader

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2021, 12:23:26 PM »
A second choice is about the dates. The first would overlap with the exam window. My exam will be online, but I will need to grade some while on the ship.  The other includes New Year's eve, (so it is much more expensive)!  Would either of these give anyone a reason to reconsider?

Is this your first cruise? I've never sailed with Princess, but my experience with ship internet (wifi and labs both) is that it is both expensive and slow. Check package prices before you go. Obviously you could set up the exam ahead of time, but if you need to change the settings, answer emails, or download essays/exams, expect those activities to take 5-10 times as long as usual. Since you would need to grade, you would probably find it less expensive to download the essays in a clump and grade offline. If your ship is stopping in a port that has cafes with internet, you could also plan to visit one of these for the download if your bride didn't mind the delay in sightseeing. The cafe will be jammed with other people also trying to check in online, so I don't know how much faster the internet would be, but it would at least be cheaper.

Personally I would be a bit grumpy if my spouse or I spent much of our honeymoon cruise grading, so I would choose the later trip even with the added expense.

AR.

clean

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #31 on: April 28, 2021, 03:25:10 PM »
Quote
Is this your first cruise? I've never sailed with Princess, but my experience with ship internet (wifi and labs both) is that it is both expensive and slow. Check package prices before you go.

Not my first cruise.  This will be at least my 15th cruise, though most are shorter.  (There was a time I decided that I wanted to be 'elite' on Princess because I really liked sailing to Alaska and qualifying for elite status can be done with either cruise days or cruise numbers.  So I am 'elite' because I have booked enough cruises, and sailed alone for double credit.  With elite status, I get 2 hours of free internet.  As I usually cruise to Alaska, I use my cell phone in port as a hotspot, however, this will be in Mexico, so I dont know what Verizon would charge me for international data!

However, the princess ships, especially the newer ones are supposed to have upgraded internet abilities.  AS it wont be Alaska there should be more access to the satellites that connect the ship's internet to shore.   

Lastly about internet, the current cruise 'sale' offers 'unlimited internet' as part of the package.  So even if it is slower, it would be included in the price. 


Last night, the discussion also swung to November.  There is a 7 day voyage over Thanksgiving that I could take instead of the 2 ten day voyages I was initially considering.  It doesnt go to the same number of ports, but it will hit 2 ports I ve not visited, and she would be happy with that alternative.  It should not conflict with the class schedule, and while Thanksgiving is a holiday, and the cruise is pricier than the week before or after, it is a lot less than the New Year's Eve cruise. 

With the November/Thanksgiving cruise, there wont be any conflicts with Christmas. Either of the 10 day voyages either ended or started within 3 days of Christmas, adding to the stress of the season.  SO IF she is going to be satisfied with a Thanksgiving cruise, that is the direction I am leaning.

However, I am still interested in hearing about anyone's experiences with the Pacific Coast Mexican port cities.  While I LOVE Alaska (In MAY when it is still relatively cool - which I like!!), my bride would probably prefer a warmer cruise location for future cruises when the school calendar permits early December and Spring Break cruises. 


.... Soapbox time for pontificating...
I have been to Alaska on cruises in every month except June (damn summer school!) .  Ive been in May when it is cool and spring is springing, so you can see tree pollen in streaks all over the calm waters (.. ask other passengers if it is 'Whale Pee' and watch their reactions!!), and the flowers are in full bloom in the city gardens... I ve been in July when the salmon runs are in full swing, and Ive been in late August/ Early september when the prices fall again and the fall is starting, and the last salmon species are finishing their runs... blueberries and fire weed are in full force making bear watching a bit easier...  All of it is great!  IF you have not gone but want to, my first suggestion would be the June/early July time to see the salmon runs.  (THe later salmon runs can be a bit more odoriferous as the remains of the earlier runs are still 'ripening' and making their way back down the streams.)  May  and September are cheaper. 
July  has the most sun!  I was in Anchorage for midnight,  July 4th and the fireworks that  were essentially at dusk as it didnt get much darker until much later! 
I did a Land/Sea visit for my parents' 50th anniversary, and enjoyed the land portion of the trip as well!  Princess has several lodges that are great places to stay and visit as well!
IF covid hadnt screwed us all up, I would be very much looking forward to another Alaska trip in just a few weeks!  Not to be this year)

Ive already booked a May 2022 Alaska trip, but that doesnt count as a honeymoon trip as my 'best man' is going too.


"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader

hmaria1609

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #32 on: April 28, 2021, 07:17:02 PM »
Been checking on Avalon Waterways for updates. Guess it'll be next year for me sailing the lower Danube!
« Last Edit: April 28, 2021, 07:19:03 PM by hmaria1609 »

lightning

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #33 on: April 28, 2021, 07:19:38 PM »

Just booked tickets for late July to visit my parents in WA and then we all go together to ID to the family cabin in the Sawtooths, to spend time with my 92 year old grandmother (and mountains, which I have dearly missed). It feels like a big step but we are all or will be soon fully vaccinated. How weird and wonderful to actually have something to look forward to!

I was planning on riding my bicycle across the state in June. But a sudden inheritance means we are going to Cape Cod instead, which is not so bad.

Oh poor you, how will you ever survive?

I would take the cabin in the Sawtooths over Cape Cod.

Vkw10

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2021, 11:52:29 PM »
I’ll be driving from TX to SC next month, to spend a week at Fripp Island. Sit on the deck, watch the sun rise and the alligators slither into the lagoon, stroll a half mile to the beach, spend weekend with my brother’s family. We will have two households together, but all of us are vaccinated.

We thought about flying, but Partner and I prefer the two-day drive to the day spent in airports and planes. We usually drove before we had to think about wearing masks for 6-8 hours.

Maybe next year we’ll finally make our South Dakota road trip. We’re just not ready to sightsee among strangers this year.

Returned from Fripp a week ago. Enjoyed the long drive, but at least 50% of people we saw at each stop weren’t wearing masks or had them dangling under chin instead of covering mouth/nose. At Fripp, we had windows open, wore masks, and kept our distance from each other. Great trip, even though I did have to log in for my classes. It’s been years since I’ve seen azaleas and daffodils and crepe myrtle blooming in spring.

Now that we’ve done one road trip, I’m feeling better about scheduling a few shorter road trips this summer. Maybe a mixture of hiking and small museums, within a few hours drive?
Enthusiasm is not a skill set. (MH)

AvidReader

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #35 on: April 29, 2021, 05:05:15 AM »
clean, the Alaska cruises sound glorious, and it sounds like your internet would not be the problem I envision. Hope other folks can answer Mexico questions!

AR.

Puget

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #36 on: April 29, 2021, 06:13:42 AM »

Just booked tickets for late July to visit my parents in WA and then we all go together to ID to the family cabin in the Sawtooths, to spend time with my 92 year old grandmother (and mountains, which I have dearly missed). It feels like a big step but we are all or will be soon fully vaccinated. How weird and wonderful to actually have something to look forward to!

I was planning on riding my bicycle across the state in June. But a sudden inheritance means we are going to Cape Cod instead, which is not so bad.

Oh poor you, how will you ever survive?

I would take the cabin in the Sawtooths over Cape Cod.

Me too, though I suspect us "mountain people" are outnumbered by the "beach people". Nonetheless I wouldn't say no to a week on the cape with a good book and a cold drink.
"Never get separated from your lunch. Never get separated from your friends. Never climb up anything you can't climb down."
–Best Colorado Peak Hikes

Puget

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #37 on: April 29, 2021, 06:17:42 AM »
I dont know what Verizon would charge me for international data!

Double posting to say-- Clean, just switch to T-Mobile and you will have free international data and texting (I believe Canada and Mexico also have free voice). It is also less expensive. There was a time when Verizon had the better network but I think that time has past.
"Never get separated from your lunch. Never get separated from your friends. Never climb up anything you can't climb down."
–Best Colorado Peak Hikes

lightning

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #38 on: April 29, 2021, 09:12:26 AM »

Just booked tickets for late July to visit my parents in WA and then we all go together to ID to the family cabin in the Sawtooths, to spend time with my 92 year old grandmother (and mountains, which I have dearly missed). It feels like a big step but we are all or will be soon fully vaccinated. How weird and wonderful to actually have something to look forward to!

I was planning on riding my bicycle across the state in June. But a sudden inheritance means we are going to Cape Cod instead, which is not so bad.

Oh poor you, how will you ever survive?

I would take the cabin in the Sawtooths over Cape Cod.

Me too, though I suspect us "mountain people" are outnumbered by the "beach people". Nonetheless I wouldn't say no to a week on the cape with a good book and a cold drink.

I like beaches, too, but I still want to socially distance, this summer. I would have a hard time with social distancing at a beach.

I suppose if more people would prefer to go to a crowded beach, even in a pandemic, that's great, because that might mean less people in the mountains, for the "mountain people" who are in places like the Sawtooths for a socially distanced vacation.

apl68

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #39 on: April 29, 2021, 09:26:43 AM »
I'm more of a mountain fancier myself.  We have mountains in-state.  I unfortunately don't live near them.  My parents do, so maybe we'll be able to get a glimpse of them over Mother's Day weekend.
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spork

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #40 on: April 29, 2021, 10:44:51 AM »
Serious question: what do people find attractive about cruises? I'm curious; I've never been on one and have no urge to do so.

Would anyone like to make a prediction on when the U.S.-Canada border will reopen to tourists? The ban on cross-border transit was renewed yet again, until May 21.
It's terrible writing, used to obfuscate the fact that the authors actually have nothing to say.

clean

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #41 on: April 29, 2021, 11:25:46 AM »
As I have indicated, my preferred destination is Alaska.  Not just any Alaska cruises, but ones that include Glacier Bay National Park.  You will see several glaciers on a few different days.  You can also, from the ship, see whales, otters, seals, bears, and eagles.  The Glacier Bay day includes a park ranger coming on board and discussing the sights.  I enjoy watching the glacier calving and hearing all of the creaks, cracks and groans that the glacier makes. 

In addition, there is top notch entertainment!  From comedians to musicals.  There are other entertainment options as well, from the piano bar, dance lessons, trivia games, to "voice of the ocean" where very talented passengers are selected through the week (tryouts are open and pretty damn good) and then those selected work on their number for several days and there is a final show of them performing their song. 

Of course there are plenty of food offerings. If you eat at the buffet, you may have an opportunity to try things that you have never seen or tried before, and whether you prefer 'anytime dining' where you are mixed with different people every night at dinner or a fixed table of people, there is usually plenty to talk about with other passengers!  And this may be an even better way to try different foods that you have not tried before as the serving staff are very helpful and knowledgeable about the menu items. 

You visit different ports with different excursion opportunities.  You are not forced to select those offered by the cruise line, but there are some benefits to doing so.  (IF something happens on a cruise purchased one, the ship will not leave you!) .  IF you prefer to just walk the town, you are free to do so and you may have a different experience! 

(Except for the excursions, which are extra, and some add ons that are available on board), all of this is available for the price of the cruise, which can be less than $100 a day per person! 

I have only sailed with Princess, and would not sail with some of the other lines owned by that corporation (namely Carnaval).  Some lines cater to different crowds/clientelle, so it may take the help of a travel agent to get the right fit for you, but the experiences are reasonably priced!
"The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am"  Darth Vader

Puget

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #42 on: April 29, 2021, 11:35:44 AM »

Just booked tickets for late July to visit my parents in WA and then we all go together to ID to the family cabin in the Sawtooths, to spend time with my 92 year old grandmother (and mountains, which I have dearly missed). It feels like a big step but we are all or will be soon fully vaccinated. How weird and wonderful to actually have something to look forward to!

I was planning on riding my bicycle across the state in June. But a sudden inheritance means we are going to Cape Cod instead, which is not so bad.

Oh poor you, how will you ever survive?

I would take the cabin in the Sawtooths over Cape Cod.

Me too, though I suspect us "mountain people" are outnumbered by the "beach people". Nonetheless I wouldn't say no to a week on the cape with a good book and a cold drink.

I like beaches, too, but I still want to socially distance, this summer. I would have a hard time with social distancing at a beach.

I suppose if more people would prefer to go to a crowded beach, even in a pandemic, that's great, because that might mean less people in the mountains, for the "mountain people" who are in places like the Sawtooths for a socially distanced vacation.

All the data indicate that outdoors fully vaccinated is very, very safe, even without social distancing, so I'm not too worried about that (I understand risk tolerance differs though- you do what is comfortable for you).

I don't like crowds period though, especially not in the wilderness. The Sawtooths are largely saved from the hoards by being fairly inconvenient for most people to get to.
"Never get separated from your lunch. Never get separated from your friends. Never climb up anything you can't climb down."
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mamselle

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2021, 12:09:37 PM »
I need to finish visiting Hereford and Rouen (online), so I can get on over to Salisbury and Worcester (which I visited for a day each, and worked in their libraries, but might still like to wander around in more, and eat food in and buy scarves and other gifts in, and...).

Rouen is especially compelling...I already know I want to return to Hereford sometime, but (despite the awful time I had finding my apartment when I was there in Dec/2019) I'm seeing more to like about Rouen and thinking of using it as a hub to visit other parts of Normand (maybe a day to Le Havre, to contemplate the English Channel from that side of things, and a 2-day trip to Mont-St.-Michel, to allow for tides and things)...

Reims seems interesting, too, but I haven't had much time to work there yet. It could serve as a center from which to look up Isbergues (where my grandfather was born) and look up more on manuscript production in Arras; maybe I'd make a loop and come back through Rouen before going to Paris next time.

Or I could continue up to Bruxelles via Tournai and go to Liege that way, then back the long way to Paris via Luxembourg and maybe Strasbourg (more friends to see).

Oh, the places we'll go!

;-}

M.

* Clearly I'm not a cruise person. I'd want a rowboat so I could get off and visit all the little port cities every time we docked, and I get bored (and severely sunburnt) lying around pools. And I like eating at different places, so, not even differently-themed restaurants on a big ship would satisfy my culinary wanderlust...

And it would be hard to find a place where I could vocalize and practice the accordion without being heard, and... - M.
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hmaria1609

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Re: The Travel Thread
« Reply #44 on: April 29, 2021, 07:32:56 PM »
Got an e-mail blast from the Travel & Adventure Show about upcoming events. I went to its annual DC exhibit some years ago and have stayed on the mailing list since then. The event schedule is up on the homepage:
https://travelshows.com