Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Las Vegas (Jan 21-23, 2015) – 1/23/15 Bell Trans

January 26, 2015

We had no problem getting to our hotel, but for the second time we had a very long wait for the shuttle to go to the airport. Our pick-up time was 5:30, with a 15 minute variance. When the shuttle was 10 minutes late (5:55) a shuttle who was dropping off passengers at the hotel took sympathy on us and gave us a ride.
Bell Trans should only be used as a last resort.

Travelodge Clearlake

May 28, 2014

ImageImageImage My husband and I love to travel and normally spend around 30 days a year in various hotels/motels. We have traveled to a number of exotic places, including Rome, Shanghai, Cozumel and the Florida Keys. Never in all our travels have we ever seen a room as dirty and poorly maintained as room 209 at the Clearlake Travelodge.
We had a long drive followed by a very busy, hot day at the Lake Renaissance Fair. We checked in and went to our room just long enough to change clothes and then left to tour the lake area. It wasn’t until after we had dinner and it was getting dark that we were able to spend some time in our room.  At first it seemed the problems were just cosmetic; fresh cigarette burns in the sheet and blanket, a broken security lock on the door, holes in the walls with patches that look like they were done by a 5th grader and not even painted, holes in the curtain lining, a swastika scratched into the night stand. The table lamp on one of the night stands was missing a light bulb. When we replaced the bulb it still didn’t work and my husband discovered that not only was the cord cut, but there wasn’t even an outlet to plug it into.
 It was when I went to take a shower that I got some idea how nasty the place really was. The shower curtain was covered in dirty splashes and the shower wall was almost as bad. The inside of the bathroom door looked like it hadn’t been wiped off in years. If the towels and washcloths had been washed, it wasn’t with any bleach.
Because it was late and we were exhausted, we decided to stay the night. The bed was actually pretty comfortable and we slept well. Unfortunately, the sunlight showed more and more grime and we checked out as soon as we could.
Since room 209 was the only one I saw, I can’t speak for the other rooms. Tripadvisor doesn’t give any indication that other people have had this type of experience, so I would guess that the other rooms are better, but I still can’t recommend this motel.

Panama Canal Cruise – Celebrity Millennium 5/12/12

April 19, 2010


We are huge fans of Celebrity. In fact I may never be able to convince my DH to try another line. This cruse didn’t change his mind. Celebrity lived up to its slogan “Modern Luxury”.


We were lucky to be on the first cruise after the Solictization, but I don’t think we will book another cruise on a ship just out of dry dock. This was our second and, just like before, there were issues that impacted our enjoyment.  There were problems with the air conditioning all over the ship for the first few days. It took 4 or 5 days for our cabin temperature to be comfortable. Fumes, wet paint and dining room confusion all got better as the cruise went on. I’m sure by the second cruise it was all worked out.


The new areas of the Millennium are beautiful. They really improve and update the look of the ship. Once people discover the new areas, they’re going to be very busy.  The older areas of the ship are still showing their age. I had heard that all the soft surfaces were going to be replaced, but we saw frayed and worn carpet in several areas. We were amused to see duct tape being used on the bridge over the Grand Foyer. Michaels Club and Bistro on Five are both great additions. The food in the Bistro was some of the best onboard and the staff in Michaels Club was amazing.  Tommy in Michaels Club was very helpful and knowledgeable. He taught us all kinds of interesting things about both beer and whiskey.


Our cabin was wonderful. This was our first time in Concierge Class and we enjoyed all the special amenities.  Contrary to what we read on Cruise Critic, the canapés were great. We looked forward to them every day.  The other Concierge Class amenities weren’t immediately available; they slowly

showed up over the first few days. The new beds are some of the most confortable that we’ve slept on. DH wanted to buy one for our home until I did some research and found out what they cost. Cruising is cheaper!


The food is greatly improved over our last cruse.  It was all well cooked and any issues we had were personal preference.  We were told the menus were “hybrid”, whatever that means. They had lots of choices and a good variety of foods. There were only two nights out of fifteen that we weren’t

happy with the choices offered. Interestingly, they didn’t display the menu outside the restaurant before dinner on most days. It became a game for us to find and photograph the menu each afternoon. We saw others looking as well. Anytime we asked, we were told they were printing the menu so that may have had something to do with them being new menus. There were some serious issues on the port side, select dining the first few nights. Everything was very rushed.  The next several times, we were on

the starboard side. We ate on the port side a few more time without incident until our last night. That night we got the worst service we’ve ever had on Celebrity. We actually sat with empty glasses and plates in front of us for half an hour before DH grabbed a waiter from another table and asked for service.


The entertainment was excellent.  We enjoyed the comedian and the magician in particular. Jim Reynolds and Lisa Didier were the Celebrity Life speakers and they were both great. We learned a lot from Jim and Lisa managed to fill the theatre twice with her Madames lectures.


I was disappointed with the Captain’s Club wine seminar. This was our first cruise as Select and the wine seminar was the one event I had most looked forward to. Our welcome letter said it was in the 5th floor Main Dining room but when we got there they told us it was in the Olympic. We were one of the last people to get there so we had to wait while they set up places for us. By the time we both had settings and wine, they were on the second of four wines. We ended up seated next to the kitchen and had trouble hearing over the clatter of dishes.  Between the noise from the kitchen and the heavy accent of the speaker, we missed a lot. It was all very disappointing.


I don’t usually read review of ports or excursion, so I hesitate to write one. I’m going to make an exception for Antigua, Guatemala. Guatemala is beautiful and, one of these days, this is going to make a great stop, but it’s not ready yet. Prices are too high for the souvenirs, the street sellers are too pushy, food is expensive, and there is almost nothing written in English. I don’t want to act like an ugly American, but it’s hard to enjoy a place without being able to understand what we’re seeing.

We visited a museum that was interesting, but we couldn’t read any of the signs or exhibits.  We visited several Mexican cities and we thought the timeshare salesmen were pushy, but they are nothing compared to the street sellers in Antigua. At some spots we were swarmed and they didn’t want to

take “no” for an answer. If I wasn’t with DH, I would have been worried.