Month: April 2013

My likes and dislikes of cruising

First off, I’ve barely scratched the surface of the cruising world. At this moment, I think I’ve done maybe 6 big ship cruises. Here is a list of some of my personal likes and dislikes. Like: The ease of cruising, no schedules to follow, you can be as active or lazy as you wish. Scheduled for the 6pm dining? You can blow it off and eat at the buffet or take room service anytime you like. There is always plenty to do, but you don’t have to do anything. Dislike: At embarkation there is always about a 2-hour window when passengers are boarding and the cabins are not ready. This makes the public spaces very crowded and on top of that everyone is schlepping around their carry-on luggage. It’s loud, dining area is packed, no place to sit, and dining staff is furiously working to clean up all the dirty dishes and tables. Once everyone is allowed in their cabins….aahhh. Dislike: The loud pounding music at the main pool area. And trying to use your I-pod here is impossible. The loud music forces everyone to yell when talking to one another. I don’t mind passing through this area and hanging out for a little bit, but it’s definitely not my camping out space. Like: Here is my little secret– I like sitting in the lounge chairs on the deck...

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Patagonia: The conclusion

April 6 Disembark Punta Arenas Chile. They scanned our luggage coming through customs, but they never looked at our passports, that’s a first coming into a country. There were problems coming into the port (weather) so the ship had to sit out in the harbor for 3hrs. This killed most of the only day I had there. I basically ate dinner (4pm), picked up some snacks, bought more Sudafed and cough syrup, and back to my hotel. April 7, 2013 Up at 3:50am to catch my 0625 flight to Santiago. LAN airlines- super nice, head phones, movies, great snacks, plus it was a really new plane. I’m not crazy about my Hostel here, my room is super small, kind of dirty, an open window to high to see out of, feels like a jail cell. And it’s on the 4th floor with no elevator to take my luggage up. I like this part of town, one end of the street is the old colonial, cathedrals part of town. The other end is young, trendy, and bohemian type area. April 8, 2013 Up early again for a full-day tour of Valpariso a coastal resort town, more like a city, it’s huge. It’s about 1-1/2 hrs from Santiago. We also stopped and did a winery tour, very interesting, it was an organic winery. There are chickens all over the place, they...

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More Patagonia, part 2

Today I embark, Cruceros Australis. Here is a huge bummer—check out at the hosteria is 10:30am. My ship paperwork says I can check in for the cruise between 12pm-4pm, so I aim for 3pm. I check-in at an office in town, they tell me to show up at the pier at for boarding 5:30 or 6:00. You can only walk the streets of Ushuaia for so long it’s just one main street, it’s really tough trying to kill 6+ hrs. I had thrown everything into my suitcase, I didn’t even have a book to read. I am starting to think that traveling solo is not all that it’s cracked up to be. My dining arrangements on ship is at a table with all French speakers. Wow, this makes dining a little stressful. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do, stare at the ceiling, look around the room and chew my nails, or pretend that I am listening and just smile. They seem nice, but I can’t understand a word. This is where my husband that speaks several languages would come in handy. Then on top of that, they announce at dinner that there are 20 nationalities present on board. They name off each country and people cheer. They say” United States”—the room is silent, I wave my napkin and my table cheers for me. The host announces again...

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Arriving in Patagonia

South America March 31 Buenos Aires My first time flying with AeroMexico, I give them 2 thumbs up! Arrived Buenos Aires, the line going through customs was a mess. It took me almost 1-1/2 hrs to get out of there. I found the Manuel Tienda Leon tranportation desk, I’d pre-paid for a shuttle to their downtown terminal and planned on taking a taxi to my hotel from there. But for 15 pesos more they said they’d take me straight to the hotel. My hotel ended up being more like a B&B or a hostel. No sign out front, I’m dropped off at building in a residential neighborhood with a door buzzer. Bonito Boutique is only 5 rooms on the 3rd floor. A girl gives me a key ring with a key to the front door of the building, and a key to my room. Then the staff leaves. Neat old building, I have a window with old fashion shutters and no screen, it was great, I slept with the window open listening to the street noise. I found a nice Italian restaurant were you could see them making pasta through the window. Of, course I just pointed to things on the menu, it was OK, and it cost me a fortune. I need to remember to bring my Spanish dictionary with me next time, since I have no idea...

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