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About ColdCruise

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Horses, gardens, reading, travel (of course)
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  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Off the beaten path

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  1. Are sloths native to Roatan island? If not, how did they get there and where did they come from? How long do they thrive, or even live, in captivity? I thought they are nocturnal (active at night) animals? something to think about https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/2018/12/22-wild-animals-rescued-from-tourism-trade-on-amazon-river/ https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2019/06/global-wildlife-tourism-social-media-causes-animal-suffering/ The 2nd NatGeo article really got me to thinking about something I was vaguely uncomfortable with, but the first one made me change my plans for my upcoming stop in Roatan.
  2. @camilla21 - I have to agree with @Britboys. We really enjoyed a 21 day cruise to Greenland a couple years ago and would gladly sail on Marco Polo again....perhaps not on a 78 day cruise,though. I think it would have to be a port- intensive trip if it was more than a week ? The Marco Polo is older and smaller, so perfect to go to out of the way places. But due to size (and possibly majority of regular clientele) the onboard activity is rather sedate. This was wearing a little thin due to repetitiveness of the afternoons towards the end of our 21 days when we had a few consecutive sea days. The evening programs remained varied but afternoons were long - all my books were read (I’m fast) and I was running our of reading material for the long afternoons of lounging. I don’t play bridge and the trivia games were geared towards British pop culture (understandably), which had little context in my American brain.
  3. Hi @mss22859 I haven’t STAYED there but lived nearby and attended a training course there a few years ago. Personally if I was driving in and looking forastay&park, I’d look towards the hotels near BWI or Arundel Mills mall - they’re about 10 min apart and right off MD295 (hi way), but I’m not sure if any of them shuttle to the port, in which case Glen Burnie’s a better choice.
  4. Getting the Columbus club card seems more problematic from North America. We cruised a 21 day Greenland in 2017 (Marco Polo - great experience) and never received anything from CMV after the cruise about the Columbus Club. To the OP @BlueLadyBlue , I use “expressVPN” which is a VPN product & what I think your referred to. This company has a reasonable cost, comes with an app, easy to install, and best of all let’s me connect to a server in many interesting countries and browse their sites. The U.K. CMV site is more informative than the US site, esp for looking at excursions and details about the general conditions of the cruises. BTW, I saw in another thread that you’re on Marco Polo’s long cruise. Very jealous - really like the ship but, alas, I’m still Working with a yearly vacation limit.
  5. Sorry, I got busy and didn’t notice this. Here’s a central listing: https://www.msccruises.com/en-gl/Contact/Corporate-Contact-Us.aspx I extracted some key addresses since you might not be able to access that link, depending on where you are. 🇺🇸 USA 6750 N. Andrews Ave, Suite 100 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309 🇬🇧 UK Queens House, 55/56 Lincolns Inn FieldsLondonWC2A3LJ UK 🇮🇹 Italy MSC Crociere Customer Service Via A. Depretis, 31 80133 Napoli Italia
  6. @mss22859 if your driving in, Glen Burnie is convenient. It’s basically a bedroom community, with several ok to rundown strip malls and restaurants, but by La Quinta there is really nothing to do other than go out to eat and walk around Walmart or similar, no real shopping center or mall. If you drive north on Ritchie Hwy (MD Rte 2), it gets a bit grittier. I used to live on the other end of Glen Burnie (good suburban bedroom community) but now stay by the airport if I’m looking for a stay and park place with free/low cost parking & shuttle while I’m away. Just more options there. The hotel itself is OK, basic La Quinta. Haven’t stayed there but went to an event a couple years ago. Nothing to do at night for tourists or visitors,,however you’ll be right next to “the Beltway”, ie I-695 around Baltimore. Should be ok to leave your car there, but I’d recommend checking over by BWI for the same price range.
  7. We had excellent help from the Italian office last winter. We also had great help from the MSC US booking number when we needed to contact the ship from shore. If the rates are good, I’d try calling at different times to try to get another TA or MSC staff who might be more helpful.
  8. Why would you ask the server (waiter/waitress) how much of a tip to leave? If my boss asked me how much of a pay rise I want/deserve (maybe not the same thing 😏), of course I would state a higher amount. And always pretax - the server (or even the business) is not providing you anything with the tax, they are just acting as the governments’ tax collector. However, as tipping is a personal choice, reasonable people can agree to disagree. I just would not not like to give non-US based people the idea that they need to tip anything additional when an automatic tip or gratuity has been added to their bill, not that anyone would expect to receive more than 20% (esp not 18%+15%!). This could be confusing ...especially when a visitor’s home country pays wait staff a living salary and they don’t rely on tips for their pay. The really liked the principle of “just round up”, or leave a few extra Euro for great service. Then again, I also liked having the VAT included in the posted price in stores (not saying I liked paying stiff taxes, just liked having it rolled in), Btw we do eat out quite a lot where we live in the greater DC area, in a lot of different (mom-n-pop to chi-chi chef table) types of restaurants and seldom have seen any suggestion of a 20% tip.
  9. Thank you for the blazing fast response! We’re Americans so I am definitely (hopefully?) looking forward to that fast getaway and will check with guest services to request an early disembarkation group. (not using ship’s excursion here). Thanks again!
  10. @OceansOfTravels How long was the immigration processing on board in Key West? We are planning a morning snorkel trip and trying to calculate when we’ll be ashore. We did something similar on an NCL at Bar Harbor and the processing was horrendously slow 😣 Thanks!
  11. Did you try contacting the Italian office?
  12. I am in the US and have lived in Germany. In the US, you typically tip between 15-18% of the pre-tax bill, 20% for exceptional service maybe. I’m in Maryland and our state sales tax is 6% for everything except alcohol, which is 9%. Unless it’s poor service, I tip 18% - so easy to calculate since its either 3x or 2x the sales tax. Usually an automatic tip (typically 18%) is only added to the bill for large groups (usually 8+,sometimes 6) or for special events. If that is added automatically, no one pays an additional percent, although people sometimes round up. If I can get the auto tip taken off, because they often try to charge it on the entire bill, including the tax ... which is illogical and greedy. If the server removes the auto tip, I tend to be generous.
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