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Old 09-08-2010, 04:09 PM   #101
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The Vatican was closed to the general public and was opened for the cruise ships only.
By the Vatican, I assume you mean the Vatican Museum? I don't recall them ever restricting admission to only include a particular group; is this a new policy that's been instituted?

We've heard very good things from friends who have taken Celebrity. If we ever take a cruise again we'll definitely try and go on Celebrity.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:58 PM   #102
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By the Vatican, I assume you mean the Vatican Museum? I don't recall them ever restricting admission to only include a particular group; is this a new policy that's been instituted?

We've heard very good things from friends who have taken Celebrity. If we ever take a cruise again we'll definitely try and go on Celebrity.

Yes, including the sistine chapel. I really didn't believe them (celebrity) I figured they were just saying it to make sales. But we visited the afternoon of the last sunday of the month. we were told that the museums were open to the general public in the am (free admission) and would normally be closed in the afternoon. When we arrived at the entrance to the vatican museum tour, it was closed. People who were exiting the tour (separate gate to exit) were commenting on how long they waited (2.5 hrs to enter) and that it was worth it. We waited a few minutes for the entrance gate to open and about 6 groups of 50 or so fellow cruisers were allowed in.

I don't know if this is a new policy or not. The only drawback was that the gift shops were closed...
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:59 PM   #103
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Acapulco region. Not on vacation but to provide free healthcare to those in need.

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Just wondering if anyone has any exciting trips coming up that they would like to share. We are about done for this year, so am willing to live vicariously thru the travel plans of others.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:19 PM   #104
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One of my best friends went to high school in Mazatlan and goes down pretty much every year. He often invites me and I've never taken him up on the offer. I went 20+ years ago, and found the place ok but not particularly wonderful, but than I didn't go with somebody who spoke Spanish and knew the area. Of course, I am always spoiled by living in Hawaii, it is got great beaches..doesn't cut it as a reason to go somewhere.

I figured I'd go this year but now I am getting paranoid about the violence in Mexico. Does anybody know are the resort areas Cancun, Acapulco, Mazatlan etc still safe?
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:12 PM   #105
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Wie are going to Thailand for a month. The tour leader reduced her minimum number of people to 4 and she found another couple who wanted to go. Almost a private tour with a Thai cooking and photography expert. She will be ordering all the food and making sure we learn a lot. Since only 4,we can choose some special out of the way places to add.

All inclusive price best we found.

If you want more info, her terrific website is thaifoodandtravel.com
Where we went in Thailand if you brought your own girl you had to pay corkage just like bringing a bottle of wine to a restaurant. Every hotel had a nice big picture window between the bed and the shower
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:14 PM   #106
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Yes, including the sistine chapel. I really didn't believe them (celebrity) I figured they were just saying it to make sales. But we visited the afternoon of the last sunday of the month. we were told that the museums were open to the general public in the am (free admission) and would normally be closed in the afternoon. When we arrived at the entrance to the vatican museum tour, it was closed. People who were exiting the tour (separate gate to exit) were commenting on how long they waited (2.5 hrs to enter) and that it was worth it. We waited a few minutes for the entrance gate to open and about 6 groups of 50 or so fellow cruisers were allowed in.

I don't know if this is a new policy or not. The only drawback was that the gift shops were closed...
We will see how it goes in October. We have an apartment in Rome for 10 days.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:29 PM   #107
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We are going to try and stick it out in Maine till mid-October. DW is a Texas girl, and has never saw (seen?) the NE fall colors.

We want to spend a week in the Smokies, and then have to be in Dallas the week of 11/1 for Dr. appointments. While there, I'd like to empty the storage room that we have been paying for since 2006. It has cost more than the value of the items there. It has crossed my mind to get out what we want, then quit paying and let them sell the rest of the contents for past due rent.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:48 PM   #108
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This is good to know. We are taking Celebrity Mercury in Nov. to the Caribbean for 13 days of bliss.
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Old 09-09-2010, 04:31 AM   #109
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We will see how it goes in October. We have an apartment in Rome for 10 days.
Bring a good pair of walking shoes...
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:13 AM   #110
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Motorcycle Roadtrip for 2 weeks. Flying to San Diego at the end of September. We will see the Miramar Air Show then meander to Lake Tahoe via Sequoia National Park. We will return via HWY 1 along the coast. We will be riding a Suzuki 1200 Bandit and Honda Valkyrie.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:36 AM   #111
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Motorcycle Roadtrip for 2 weeks. Flying to San Diego at the end of September. We will see the Miramar Air Show then meander to Lake Tahoe via Sequoia National Park. We will return via HWY 1 along the coast. We will be riding a Suzuki 1200 Bandit and Honda Valkyrie
That sounds really fun. I told my oldest son a few years back that I would take him on a motorcycle cruise when he starts college, and he reminds me of that every once and awhile. We only have one bike right now (small Versys 650) so I guess I'll have to rent something when the time comes.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:49 AM   #112
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Osaka for a long weekend in October - without children

Business trip to Hanoi (also in October) for one day followed by a weekend of no business There are still a few perks to w*rking.
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Old 09-09-2010, 08:39 AM   #113
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I signed up for another cruise, while still on my last one, for this coming Jan/Feb., on Celebrity Century.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:04 AM   #114
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I signed up for another cruise, while still on my last one, for this coming Jan/Feb., on Celebrity Century.
We did as well, however we chose the open sailing option, meaning we can apply our credit to any future sailing when we decide on the dates.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:15 AM   #115
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DW is about to book us on a Princess cruise in May, 2011. It is 11 days leaving from Rome with stops in Florence, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, and finishing in London. We will plan to spend several days in London after the cruise.

I am somewhat surprised that the fares have not come down further due to the soft economy and the overbuilding of cruise ships. An ocean view cabin will run us approx. $2400 pp. with a $75 shipboard credit. We have enough points on our Merrill VISA to cover both airline tickets. So out of pocket should be less than $7500.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:30 AM   #116
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I am somewhat surprised that the fares have not come down further due to the soft economy and the overbuilding of cruise ships. An ocean view cabin will run us approx. $2400 pp. with a $75 shipboard credit. We have enough points on our Merrill VISA to cover both airline tickets. So out of pocket should be less than $7500.
I have seen the cruise fares for a cruise in January 2011 spike rapidly the last month or two. It is up about 30% on a 4 person cabin (from $1000 to $1300). 5 nt from Charleston on Carnival. Not sure if that is due to surging demand (people seeing an economic recovery locally or nationally??) or what.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:44 AM   #117
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DW is about to book us on a Princess cruise in May, 2011. It is 11 days leaving from Rome with stops in Florence, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Lisbon, Paris, and finishing in London. We will plan to spend several days in London after the cruise.

I am somewhat surprised that the fares have not come down further due to the soft economy and the overbuilding of cruise ships. An ocean view cabin will run us approx. $2400 pp. with a $75 shipboard credit. We have enough points on our Merrill VISA to cover both airline tickets. So out of pocket should be less than $7500.
You may want to check out the Ruby Princess departing from Ft Lauderdale. 15 day cruise ending in Barcelona. Looks like it is at least 600 pp less expensive. Itinerary includes Seville, Rome, Florence, Monte Carlo. This is something wife and I are considering for the future because I want to do a transatlantic cruise as well.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:41 PM   #118
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Gerbil Wheel is going to China for two weeks in December.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:32 AM   #119
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Just back from Scotland. Weather cooperated J Touring and street walking was greatly simplified by an investment in a small Garmin with a UK map – wouldn’t have seen of the itinerary without it. Also getting a SIM card with data for my cell phone let me book (via portable web browser) some interim nights at hotels as afternoon approached and the need to decide where we wanted to be that night. Totally stress free (except for refining left hand stick shift skills)
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:13 AM   #120
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I started my retirement on 1st Sept 2010 and DH and I took a trip to Hokkaido, north part of Japan. It is summer there and weather is cool in the morning and slightly warm in the afternoon. Stayed in a resort managed by locals - it is a golf resort in summer and ski resort in winter. Extremely efficient management, comfortable hotel and great food. It has about 10 restaurants not include casual eat outs. We mainly ate Japanese food but did try the French restaurant which was quite good. The resort has massive golf courses - four 18 holes golf courses. Fantastic.
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