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RayColey last won the day on October 22 2018

RayColey had the most liked content!

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About RayColey

  • Rank
  • Birthday November 28

Personal Info

  • First Name
    Ray Coley
  • Last Name
  • Gender
  • State
  • Country
    United States


  • First Cruise Year
  • Cruises Sailed
  • Days Cruised
  • Favorite Cruise Line
  • Favorite Shipboard Activity
    Ocean watching
  • Favorite Itinerary
    Mediterranean - Eastern
  • Favorite Port of Call
    Kusadasi, Turkey
  • Favorite Port Activity
    Walking & sightseeing
  • Places I've Cruised To
    Belize, Guatemala (first cruise); Stockholm (second cruise, on Baltic); Santorini, Rhodes, Kusadasi, Istanbul (third cruise, on Renaissance - now Oceania); Nassau, Key West (fourth cruise, on Royal Caribbean); New England, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia (fifth cruise, again on RCI); Lisbon, Gibraltar, Cartegena, Malta, Split, Venice (sixth cruise, RCI), Cozumel (seventh cruise, on Carnival); Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia (eighth cruise on Royal Caribbean)
  • Last Cruise Date
  • Next Cruise Date


  • Hobbies & Interests
    Music, Woodcarving, Ballroom Dancing, Church, Outdoors
  • Music
    Almost all classical and jazz. I perform some pop music, but I don't listen to much of it myself
  • Movies
    I'm a Trekkie!
  • TV Shows
    I don't do a lot of TV watching... but I did when the Star Trek series were running!
  • Sports
    Most team sports, but especially Nationals' Baseball!
  • Food
    I dote on great seafood. Other than that, I love middle eastern cuisine.
  • Pets
    3 kitties
  • Books
    History or sci-fi
  • Quotes
    All's well that ends.
  • Occupation
    Entertainer / Teacher

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  1. Good Morning, Crazies! We've done the doc dance, we've gotten foreign currency (cheaper to get it here) for anything that we can't conveniently charge and we've loaded up on take-along meds; packing starts tomorrow for me, next weekend for Yuki. Looks like spring weather in China and Tibet, so I'm taking only a jacket and a light sweater to protect, plus my absolutely best, most comfortable walking shoes. Jan, if I try baton twirling I'm sure that I'll just manage to hit my punkin' head. Miranda, when we took the Viking cruise to Africa, I counted four specialty restaurants, in addition to the main dining room and the world cafe. The best part is (and we were several days into the cruise before we discovered this) there is no additional charge to dine at the specialty restaurants, and one of them (Chef's Kitchen) was absolutely out of this world, with wine pairings for every course they served. There was even a chef's visit to each table, and he would explain how each course was prepared if you wanted... It's one of the main reasons we choose Viking - there are really no extra charges (unless you want to go further afield than the included excursions, which are offered at every port.) No spa charge; wine, beer, coffee, tea and soft drinks are also free, and in unlimited quantities! On the stop at Santorini, for example, we are taking the included tour just to get ashore and have the free funicular ride to the top of the mountain (then we'll ditch the tour and go off on our own>) Andi, please continue to suggest great places to go in Venice, Montenegro and - wherever! Shari, if you're lurking, we're thinking of you and praying for your full recovery! Be religious in doing the rehab! Jackie, how goes the battle with the doctors? OK, now I have to go prepare a jazz lecture for Monday. Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  2. I may go out and buy a cheerleader's outfit just so I can cheer for you! (May have trouble learning how to handle the pom-poms though...
  3. Super! Andi and I are thinking to do a "post-cruise" in Venice - we'd like to book our own hotels (much cheaper than the Viking post-cruise package) but we'd also like to take advantage of the Viking airfares. Think you can work some magic on those flights again?
  4. Thursday, May 2, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! All the upcoming events are closing in on us like that ship in Jurassic Park II coming into San Diego Harbor! The All-Shore judged event and the year-end recital are less than three weeks away, and the China/Tibet cruise comes just a bit more than a week after that! We bought a VR unit to work with our streaming stuff (all YouTube and Curiosity Stream documentaries) and we're fighting the thing now, to get it to talk properly to the airplay system (presently, it uses only truly bad, foul language - not proper at all.) Jan, the "insider" information that I have is not any more than Andi's - I've been to the Croatian coast, Athens, Santorini and Venice, and she's been to Athens, Venice, Santorini and Montenegro. Put together, that gives us a leg up on what to plan. I do know that Corfu has traditionally been the go-to playground for the rich, but it's reputed to have not much more than beautiful beaches, so I decided to make that a "sea-day port." Both Andi and I have been to Santorini and scoured the island, so we'll probably just take the included tour to town, just to get the funicular ticket and then while away some time at an open-air cafe overlooking the sea... Pretty much the same deal in Athens - stay away from the Acropolis (just in order to avoid eroding the stones, you know...) You got any spring on the horizon up there in Little Rhody? Andi, did I cover the Adriatic well enough? We haven't discussed the right kind of drinks for the various ports yet... Miranda, when are you going to plan a small-ship cruise around the Chesapeake Bay? There are actually a number of interesting places to see along the way... Shari, I hope the rehab is going well, and producing results - it will take time, but since I work in the health care area (true, just the entertainment end of it) I have seen plenty of examples of people getting back to where they left off before the health issues that sent them to rehab. Hang in there... Jackie, I hope that the medicos are able to come up with a viable plan for you (no hope for me - I'm already on hearing aids!!) I hear stirrings from downstairs, so I'd better get down there... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  5. Hello, Crazies! In a month we'll be in Beijing. The Cruise Dox arrived today (Thanks Jan!) and everything seems set. End-of-year recital comes up in three weeks, so I'm ramping up for that - awards to prepare, programs to make up and print, beat on a few students so that they'll be ready... Yuki stays more or less calm through the whole thing. Egad! Jackie, I'm sorry to hear that you're going through all that mess! If it were me, the med I would probably opt for at this juncture would be cocaine. Possibly salty sea air would help clear things up, so a couple of transatlantic cruises might work; perhaps the doctor would prescribe that for you, so you could take it off taxes. Jan, looking over the dox, it looks like everything is in good shape. Another great job you did!! And it sounds like David did a really impressive job of dieting - 95 pounds is a lot of will power. So did you - I find it difficult to drop just ten pounds! Miranda, I am sorry to hear about the passing of your friend. It is so hard to deal with the loss of a friend because each friend owns at least a small slice of ourselves... Andi, it appears that you are making the most out of retirement - I doubt that nothing has time to grow under your feet, even weeds. In one school of thought, if you keep busy enough, you don't have enough time to notice that age keeps on creeping up! LOL I have a bit of insider information on the Adriatic cruise, and we can share info. BTW, Yuki and I will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in '21, and that cruise will be our anniversary present to each other! Time to get myself together for the piano lessons tonight... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  6. Hello, Crazies! There are just 47 days left to get ready for our China cruise. I thought we were ready two weeks ago, but Yuki keeps on finding things that she wants to arrange. I say, go for the cheese, gal! The studio has 17 students now and that, coupled with the ten regular gigs I play plus choir and church council, has me running pretty much all the time. Andi, the cruise (on, as Jan so aptly put it, the Anthem of The River) now looms large on the horizon. I didn't mean to jump on upcoming cruising plans for 2020 - I'm still fine with doing the Adriatic in 2021 (more time to save up for it!) I think the Viking river boats are taking an ancient viking stance toward the competition, and figuring to ram any boat on the river with the wrong marque. I'm not too worried about the problem on the ocean cruiser, since we have done so many RC cruises, and their record is not stellar, either. In any event, nobody can possibly catch up to Carnival when it comes to cruising mishaps... Shari, my church is still praying for your total recovery (and that you'll follow doctor's orders!!!) You have a small army out here cheering for you. Jan, if I wanted to eliminate all worries about incidents at sea, I woldn't cruise at all. All lines experience problems (although it seems like the low-cost lines experience more - then again, they have more ships!) Anyway, I'm not likely to curtail my cruising because my favorite line has a .01% rate of at-sea incidents!! I've put away the sneau blower, which is not just wishful thinking. I do believe we've seen the last of the below-thirty degree days here on the Shore. How's it looking up there in New Inkland? Miranda, it's nice to know that you're totally back in place, keeping the Continent from falling apart (the Brits, well, that's another question.) Jackie, it looks like clear weather in the east, at least until mid-summer. Here, we get about six days of spring. How does it fit together in the Sunshine State? I have a few chores to do before the onslaught of students starting at 4:00, so I'd better get to it... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  7. There is no message that I would rather see on the Dock than a few words from Shari! It's wonderful to see you back with us, Sweetie! God really does answer prayer.
  8. Jackie, our experience with cruising in Asia is that it is mostly Americans and a handful of Europeans that book these cruises. Asian tourists apparently have other options... Jan, I also get tortured by ear wax buildup and have to use my little removal kit (drops and a small "blaster") to get rid of it. If I forget to do this for a few weeks, it's a trip to the doctor's office for the high-powered blast. I've had tinnitus for a long time, and the ear wax makes it worse, of course. Miranda, I have a fear of calling someone and inquiring about the health of that person's spouse, then receiving the reply "She passed away last night" and having that person break down crying on the phone. I know I wouldn't want anyone to call me at a time that I was grieving...
  9. Hi Jan, a tuber is a root vegetable, like potato, onion, carrot and so forth. Northern countries generally have a cuisine that features these veggies because the growing season isn't very long in those places. Ireland qualifies!! No word about Shari, and I hesitate to press the issue ( I have a deathly fear of being considered "too nosy," which is something that Yuiki wants me to change...
  10. Hello, Crazies, We just plain missed St. Paddy's Day, so we made an extra trip to the store to stock up on tubers, cabbage and corned beef. Maybe tonight we'll turn green! We're about ready for the China/Tibet cruise - boy, is it ever expensive! Not just the cruise fare, but tons of inoculations, VERY high visa fee (and we had to renew passports early because China wants the passports to be good for six months AFTER the trip! Two complete sets of photos. And on and on... If the planning turns toward an Adriatic cruise next year, we might be up for that, as long as it isn't on one of the 3,000-passener ships. The one we had mapped out was (as usual) Viking, beginning in Venice and ending in Athens, with stops up and down the sea... We were actually thinking of 2021, but we can move it forward a year... just a thought. Business is booming, which accounts for most of my running hither and thither (church activities account for the yon.) Jan, I'm glad that you got the dinner boiled and had family to share it with! And now, back to work...
  11. Good Morning, Crazies! Jan, unfortunately it sounds like you got the same thing that Yuki and I suffered through. Our doctor gave us some prednisone and the advice to be patient. Seems like it takes several weeks to get over it... On the large ship front, since we are port-intensive cruisers, we don't like to remain on board when we hit the port (running!) I do want to do another Caribe cruise, but we figure to find a smaller ship (one that can get into the smaller ports that the big ships can't negotiate - Bonnaire comes to mind... Miranda, tragically we won't catch up with you in Shanghai - we're going to be there in early June. 😢 We're off now to Eastonbul for breakfast and gigs... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  12. SNAUX. A lot of things canceled today due to sneau... but my one lone lesson for this evening assures me that she will show up, so I have to go and clear the driveway and the front walk. Good news is that choir rehearsal was canceled this evening, so I'll have some time to lounge... I'm also interested to see how the Celebrity Edge shakes out, but I'm still all in for small ships, mainly due to the hordes of passengers being disgorged in the ports, sometimes up to over half the indigenous population of the port town itself. Everything else is going OK - I've pretty much recovered from whatever upper respiratory ailment was going around during January, but Yuki is still hacking a lot. I know that I owe a review of the Eastern Europe river cruise - I did, as Jan said, go with the flow, but there was a lot of grousing from a handful of passengers, which seriously cut into my flirting time... Have a Great Day, Crazies!
  13. Sunday, 13 January, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! HYuki and I are both battling bronchitis now. We're both into prednisone and I'm additionally on ampicillin. It's beginning to look like we're coming out from under it, but progress is slow. Unfortunately, we did not escape the sneaustorm, so I'm afraid that I have to go out and clean the driveway - hopefully, all the meds will help me through that ordeal. On another topic, I called Shari yesterday and got the answering machine, but Marc called me back in the evening. Sadly, Shari has suffered a massive stroke that has left her without use of her right side, and unable to talk. The stroke required brain surgery to relieve a one-inch diameter clot, and she has been in the hospital recovering from the procedure. Her condition has improved to the point that she has been moved to a rehab wing of the hospital. Shari and Marc are strong in faith, and have put their trust in God and in the medical professionals, and Marc has requested that each one of us turn to God with our prayers for Shari. I have added their names to the prayer list at my church, and I hope that each one of us, whatever our faith happens to be, seeks the help of God for our friend Shari, and for Marc in this trying time. Have A Blessed Day, Crazies.
  14. Thursday, 3 January, 2019 Good Morning, Crazies! Here it is, well into January and I'm just getting around to posting. I've increased the size of the studio from 12 to 16 students (still haven't heard back from 5 more prospects) and I have 1 more regular gig. Doesn't look like I'm going to have much more spare time soon. Good news is that I have a new laptop to help me with composing music, so that should save a few hours each week. Jackie, as much as I would love to jump on board for a Norway/Greenland/Iceland cruise, Yuki is not satisfied with the itinerary (foo!) She wants a day less in Greenland and a day or two more in Iceland. She's looking at the (more expensive) Viking cruise that goes all around Iceland... Jan, great advice on keeping the passport with you on the shore excursions - we haven't done that, but in the future we will. BTW, my favorite shore excursion was the Renaissance excursion to Ephesus from Kusadasi, Turkey. It was truly remarkable with a beautiful outdoor buffet lunch, a visit to the Temple of Zeus along the way, the tour of Ephesus and finally, a walk beside an olive orchard up the Acropolis to the temple of Athena on the way back. Too bad Renaissance is no longer with us (although Oceania picked up a lot of the fleet of small, under-1000-passenger ships...) Shari, I do keep busy, but it keeps me from giving up and becoming a couch potato!!! Kevin and Grace are here with us for a few more days, then back to Mpls to take up the teaching load again. Andi, we're beginning to think about Alaska these days, although the idea of the Adriatic in 2021 is still burning brightly. I know you guys have been there; how many different times, and on different cruise lines, hmmm? Miranda, nice to hear that you got together with Martina again! Maybe she will join you when you get to cruising in Europe again? Kevin and Grace will be leaving on Friday, and we'll take the tree down on Saturday. I've made a New Year's resolution this year - to NOT make any New Year's resolutions! I hope everybody is well and (NOT) keeping out of trouble... Have A Great Day, Crazies!
  15. Hello Crazies! First, I ATEN'T DED YET! I have been bombarded with a totally unexpected number of requests for piano lessons, and I've been trying to fit everything in, alongside the holiday gigs and such. I see that everybody but me has been getting skinny. Congratulations all around, but David seems to deserve the most recognition. We're just bumbling along here, trying not to add excessively to our waistlines. We have the house decorated and the tree up, plus most of the presents wrapped. The kids are coming in on Christmas Day around noon, but I'll be off at some nursing homes dragging around a bunch of people from church to visit patients and residents whose families are too self-absorbed to even visit their "loved" ones. We've finished the bathroom remodel, so at least that's behind us, and I've cut a cord of firewood for the winter. Looks like we're just about ready. The arctic cruise sounds intriguing, and I have a bunch of points saved up on RCI - hmmm... have to see how that shapes up, 'cuz we both loved Iceland and Norway, been to both when it's winter and really liked it; never been to Greenland, though... I probably won't be able to check back in before Christmas; church services alone will take up a few half-days, and my students (for some unknown reason) don't want any time off over the holidays, so I'll wish everyone a Merry Christmas now! Have A Lovely Evening, Crazies.
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