I am new to this board and somewhat active on one of the other boards. To weigh in on this question...IMHO! The fear of being flamed of being seen as a cruise "newbie" can be very hard. Those of us who have cruised a number of times need to remember that when someone has never cruised before even just making that first decision to cruise is a very big step and there are a lot of questions that you want answered before you put so many $$$ down. Sail, we met very briefly in Panama before boarding the train. I still email Doone, hope to meet with her again on another HAL trip!