Tag Archives: cruise

What can You do in Alaska?

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Violist is a chat room regular who has lived all his life in Alaska. Many people think there is nothing to do in this frozen land. Violist has submitted this list of things to do while in Alaska, to help dispel this myth.

  • Camping Alaska is one of the most beautiful places to camp, because of the mass population of wildlife. I love the mountains, and in Alaska there are a lot mountains. On special nights, you can see an Aurora… also known as the Northern lights. The Northern Lights are so beautiful, but it only happens when it is really cold out.
  • Cruise Alaska has a lot of things to see, and a cruise is one of the best things to do if you are visiting us. The cruise lines know when all the wildlife comes out, and they know where the best places to visit are. They also know the history of Alaska, and it is pretty interesting.
  • Kayaking This is a perfect way to explore Alaska’s coves and all the different islands that Alaska has. Popular destinations are Kachemk Bay, Resurrection bay, Glacier Bay National Park, and Kenai Fjords National Park. These are just to name a few.
  • Alaska’s State Parks Alaska has about 100 state parks across Southeastern and Western parts of the state. Denali State Park, to name one, is about 320,000 acres, and has a lot of wildlife. There are also a lot of things to do there, including visiting largest mountain in the U.S… Mount McKinley.
  • River Rafting This is very fun, because you can see Caribou, bears grazing, and a lot of other wildlife. The rivers in Alaska flow pretty fast, so it is kind of dangerous because there are a lot of sharp rocks on the rivers.

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How to Go Whale Watching in Hawaii

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You are seeing the Island of Kona in Hawaii, during our recent cruise. We just finished a whale watching expedition. I thought I’d pass along some tips, in case you ever get the chance to do this. If you do, I definitely recommend it.

  • Bring a pair of binoculars. Pack them at home, so you don’t have to waste time and extra money buying them during the trip. Having them is a good idea in Hawaii, anyway.
  • Take low-dosage Dramamine. You really may need it, even if you think you’re used to the water.
  • Always keep your eyes open, and pay attention. Scan the horizon, etc. You never know when one will “pop up” out of the ocean.
  • Take a digital camera or a camcorder. You really won’t be able to get a good picture. You can, however, get amazing digital movies of these beautiful creatures. Bring multiple memory cards and multiple batteries, as well
  • Note the time of year. If you’re not going to be going to a place where they’re “in season”, don’t waste your time and money.

If you have any other whale watching tips or sites/experiences to share, please pass them on to me!

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Hawaii To Do List

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Ponzi and I just returned from our cruise to Hawaii. We were fortunate to stream live from the ship, thanks to a mobile broadband connection. We wanted to share with you the things we want to make sure you remember to see or do if you ever visit Hawaii.

  • If you visit Maui, make sure you make time to eat at Mama’s Fish House. This is an amazing restraunt. I love raw fish, and theirs was excellent.
  • If you have a chance, take a helicoptor tour. It was unbelievably gorgeous, and an experience we’ll never forget.
  • We haven’t gotten to do this, but it was recommended to us… go to a Luau. My friend says the one at the Polynesian Cultural Center is fun, exciting and educational.
  • Whale watching and snorkeling with the turtles are both truly humbling, and a lot of fun. Try to do anything you can with sea life, even if it’s just watching them, like with the whales.
  • Try a “Discover Scuba” class. You pay a one-time fee, and you don’t have to buy the equipment. They teach you the basics, and you’ll get to go as deep as 40 feet with an instructor.

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Vacation Credit Card Tips

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Ponzi and I just returned from a vacation in Hawaii. Credit cards can be a blessing… or a curse. Here are some tips we came up with when going on vacation, and using your credit card.

  • Check with your Credit Card company for any discounts for travel and accomodations during your planning stages. Many CC companies offer discounts and help with the planning.
  • Bring as few cards as possible. Only bring what you need and know you’ll have to use. We usually bring both MasterCard and American Express… in case one or the other isn’t taken somewhere.
  • Designate a single place for all paperwork and receipts you might have. Everything that you sign or buy, put in that place. At the end of the trip, you have all the paperwork in one place, and it’s easier to reconcile.
  • If you’re traveling out of the country, it’s best to notify your card company ahead of time. They may automatically assume your card is stolen or lost.
  • Write down important numbers, or make copies of the front and back of your credit card… along with your ID and passport. It will have numbers and important information on the copies, in case you lose your credit card.

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Reasons I Might Never Move to Hawaii

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It’s absolutely beautiful here in Hawaii. The weather is great. The scenery is amazing. However, I just don’t think I could live here. Let me tell you why…

  • It’s too touristy. I’m sure there are probably places on the islands that aren’t as touristy. However, much of Hawaii’s economy is supported by tourism. I can’t imagine having to put up with that year-round.
  • I’m not really a water lover. I’m not a sporty kind of guy. Many people are parasailing, kayaking, mountain biking… I just don’t get it.
  • It’s an island here in the middle of the Ocean. There’s virtually no escape route. That just freaks me out.
  • There are limited broadband options here. Being a Geek who makes my living online… I sincerely have to have good Internet connections. That’s just not going to happen in Hawaii.
  • I really don’t like hot weather. I love the weather in Seattle, honestly! I’m not a fan of sun and beaches and heat. It’s just not for me.

I’m actually hoping someone will reply to this video with reasons they WOULD remove to Hawaii. Or, you can list reasons you agree with me, and wouldn’t want to live here. This is a wonderful place to visit, but for me… it’s just not a place to live.

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Cruise Ship Internet

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I’m sorry about the bad image and sound quality. We are on a cruise ship in Hawaii right now. I’m using the Internet via a connection provided to me from Ustream.tv. This is, of course, a mobile broadband connection. I came up with some tips to help you deal with this type of connection, if you ever happen to be on a cruise.

  • Buy larger packages of time. Most cruise ships have Internet available. The company will have packages available for sale. Always go with more minutes.
  • Find a friendly cruise ship. All companies work differently with their connectivity. This company was pricey, so I’m not using their connection.
  • Get a sponsor if you can. I was lucky to have Ustream.tv sponsor me for this connection.
  • Turn it into a business expense. This will minimize the impact of the out-of-pocket cost. So long as I stream live from the ship and do some videos like always… it’s a business expense.
  • Do what you can do offline. Write the blog post out offline, then post it once you get online. Or… get your emails ready to send, then get online. This will save you a lot of time and expense.
  • If you can, rely on your existing phone for your connectivity. Some devices do work as a modem, and will work very well.

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Packing Tips

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As you know by now, Ponzi and I are on our cruise through Hawaii this week. Since we’ve taken so many trips and cruises together, we have become pros at packing. We thought we’d share some tips with you all.

  • Make a list It sounds simple, but in the weeks leading up to your departure date you should write up a list. This way you don’t forget things on the fly… and can make sure you pack everything to take home at the end of the vacation. Also, if your luggage gets lost, you’ll have a list of everything you had packed.
  • Ziplock baggies If you have anything that could possibly leak, such as shampoo or soap, place them into a Ziplock baggie. This will help keep any liquids from spilling out all over your other items.
  • Tape your toiletries Anything with a lid or cap on it, tape the lids shut to prevent leakage. Don’t forget to tape the hairspray lid, as well.
  • Tags inside the bag, not just outside If you place a luggage tag on the inside also, you’ll have that extra identification if your outside tag falls off.
  • Put something unique on your bag Everyone is using ribbons on the handle now. Try putting a unique sticker on it, buying a unique color, or even adding some paint to the luggage. This will keep yours easily identifiable from everyone else’s!

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Hawaii

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Yes, it’s true. Ponzi and I are on vacation in Hawaii this week, via a cruise ship. Check out this view! How amazing is that? Don’t you wish you were here?

I know I’m dark in the foreground, but that’s because in the background is the amazing Pacific Ocean. I apologize for the audio and video quality. I’m using a Spring broadband
modem. I plan to try and do some live streaming, as well as record some videos, each day of this cruise. It will depend on my connection.

The view you are looking at is from our small private deck, off of our room. You can see our deck chairs and table. This gives us extra privacy, and allows me to stream to you easier. We’d better head out now, or we’ll be late for our Ring of Fire Helicopter Tour. Hopefully I’ll be able to get some video during it, or at least some photos!

E ya later!

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Cruise Tips

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Ponzi and I are on a Hawaii Cruise this week. We both truly love to go on a cruise. We love it because it’s so flexible. You can be leisurely or adventurous. You can go enjoy things on the Mainlands or on the ship itself… and return to your room with ease. Here are some tips we came up with to help you enjoy your next cruise.

  • Dine late or early if you can. If you go during peak hours, it’s going to be insanely busy on the ship. On this particular cruise, if you dine late you don’t pay the normal rate. You can find specials that they normally won’t have.
  • Casual vs Formal: There’s usually a formal night in most restraunts on the cruise. They require you to dress up, and I’m just not comfortable with that. Be prepared, and bring at least one dressy outfit with you. Check to see how the particular cruise you are going on handles dining before you sign up.
  • Book excursions early. The whole idea of cruises is to go many different places. Booking early guarantees that you get the trips and times you want. We’ve learned over time not to over-book. We’re taking things nice and casual this time. In the past we’ve over-booked… and it made things hectic.
  • If you can, get a room with a view! Rooms on the interior are cheaper, yes. However, if you’re going to go… save the extra money to get a room with a deck with an amazing view. It’s definitely worth the extra expenditure. We eat our breakfast on our private patio, while watching the ocean.
  • I’m not wearing the band on my wrist because I need it… I wanted to show you. It’s a band that sends out electrical pulses at timed intervals that will keep you from being seasick. If you know you may suffer from motion sickness, you should think about picking one of these up. The power and settings are adjustable. If you don’t want one of these, at least pick up some Dramamine or motion-sickness patches. Even if you normally don’t get motion sickness symptoms, it’s still a good idea to be prepared with the Dramamine.

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Macworld or Hawaii?


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Yes, I’m in Hawaii right now, enjoying the sunny weather. I thought I’d share with everyone the five reasons I’d rather be here in Hawaii, instead of at Macworld.

  • If I need to update my iPhone, I can do that from anywhere. I don’t need to be at Macworld to upgrade something. I’m sitting here using my wireless broadband connection right from the cruise ship. So, I’ll be able to download any updates!
  • In Hawaii, there are no smelly Mac geeks. This is true! I’ve read it in Wikipedia! Mac and PC Geeks alike have a “bouquet” about them. Have you ever left eggs out too long? Well, that’s the Mac geek smell. That’s not here in Hawaii.
  • A Mac Pro wouldn’t fit inside my luggage. I’m planning to get one, but don’t want to buy it from Macworld. I wouldn’t be able to take it with me.
  • There are no Pina Coladas at Macworld. Pina Coladas… or Macworld? You decide.
  • You can’t beat the view here in Hawaii. It’s amazing, and absolutely gorgeous. Later today, I’ll be climbing a mountain… or not.

Would you rather be at Macworld with the other geeks… or here in Hawaii with Ponzi and me?

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