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Shorex

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  1. Hopefully, this means no more "swimming with dolphins" when they are in an enclosure -- or at least not booked through Viator.
  2. Totally personal choice. For domestic travel, I choose to use my real ID drivers license and leave the passport at home. Others choose differently. It matters not to me what others do.
  3. Well, ships that cruise the world instead of repeating the same old, same old itineraries have the more uncommon port stops. Next summer Regent is doing the North Cape, but going over the top of the cape onward to Russia for stops in Murmansk, Archangel, and the Solovetsky Islands. That's pretty cool. Thinking about it. In 2020 we'll be stopping in Manila (doing a Corregidor excursion), and Saipan (hopping a brief flight over to Tinian, 5 miles away). In 2021 our stops include St Helena (Napoleon's last port), Ascension Island, and Namibia and Senegal. Mostly expedition ships port at South Georgia/South Sandwich Islands. Definitely on the wish list. The more remote ports are mostly visited by smaller ships. To send 2,000+ tourists tramping over St Helena would be a travesty. Check out Crystal and Silversea also, they have some great itineraries. Ocean-wide Expeditions is our go-to for penguins and polar bears (obviously, not on the same trip.)
  4. If you know the CDC suggests it, then you have probably visited their Hepatitis A vaccination website page here. That information is more valuable and reliable than opinions (even mine!) on a public cruise forum. Basically, it's a risk analysis decision. Given your age and health, are you willing to tolerate the risk of contracting Hep A? Does your personal physician have any reservations about you being immunized? Hep A is about $60 pp per administration at our Costco (no consultation fee). Whether one dose is valuable as a "booster" is a question for your physician or pharmacist. What other random people on the internet do should have no influence on your decision making process about your health. Timely immunizations for Hep A, Tdap, flu, and a couple others are part of our health maintenance routine. That's us - do what's right for you.
  5. Whoever the "guy" is, he is living the life he wants to live. That most others would choose a different path is irrelevant. Good for him. Hope he happy and fulfilled.
  6. This point was intriguing. Our agency receives our Amex information and uses it immediately to directly pay the cruise line. Thus it is the cruise line that pays the merchant fee to Amex, not the agency. Does your agency hold onto your funds and delay paying the cruise line? It's a question worth asking, IMO.
  7. Shorex

    Insurance

    Not at all. The thing to realize is that travel/cruise insurance is not a simple equation. There are many variables to consider, and there is no one answer that is right for everyone. For most cruises we make an "eyes wide open" decision to self-insure the cost of the cruise itself. Notice I didn't say we are not insured, we are "self-insured". It's the right business decision for us, definitely not for everyone. After 80+ cruises, we are definitely ahead in the game. And I would hazard a guess that our business strategy is a minority choice. The travel/cruise insurance policy simply indemnifies you against certain financial risks that may be incurred and those covered risks are spelled out in detail in the policy. What non-refundable travel expenditures do you want to be covered? Decide and then talk to a reliable agent (such as the agent at tripinsurancestore.com). He/she will guide you through the process and clarify your decision making. The agent also serves as your advocate should you need to file a claim.
  8. We were on a transatlantic cruise on the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Our captain deviated a bit from the course to sail over the wreckage and a brief ceremony of remembrance was held. No, none of the movies about the Titanic were shown.
  9. Shorex

    Air fare sites

    Airfare.com https://www.airfare.com/ Other than that, I am like Sgt Schultz, I know nothing.
  10. Combine jazz and gourmet food on Crystal by booking a Jazzdagen cruise. Or compromise on food, keep the jazz and go on Holland America. A typical Crystal cruise will have one or two classical musicians. In October on a cruise we're looking at, the entertainment lineup includes Gary Arbuthnot (trained by James Galway) and classical pianist Rogerio Tutti. Both are on youtube. When Gary plays Bolero onboard, the screen behind him and the orchestra shows Torvill and Dean skating their famous routine. Magical.
  11. This is very insightful. Right now typhoon Lingling that is battering the Korean peninsula. Here in North America that is worth barely a blip in the news. And typhoon Faxai is headed for eastern Japan and may make landfall tomorrow. It is easy to focus on our own corner of the world and we all tend to do it.
  12. Crystal has a promised new ship coming out in 2022. I would love to be on the inaugural, however, that opportunity will likely be first offered to Crystal regulars who have many more cruises in the bank that we do.
  13. Mine would. But then I would document everything that happened - from police reporting, photos of the ravaged hotel room, copies of the hotel reservation and cruise ticket, attempt to solicit passport replacement from the Canadian embassy, and everything else that would possibly support a claim. Of course they would not be allowed to board without passports. Duh. Of course RC would not give them refunds. Duh. That's the purpose of travel insurance that includes trip disruption.
  14. Sealed adoption records and amended birth certificates cannot come as a surprise to the passport agency. Oh, wait, it's the government. Left hand, right hand. If the information on the passport is correct and somehow the picture was accepted, personally I would treat the document as a valid passport. It certainly was issued by the Department of State.
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