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Lard Greystoke

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  1. Not quite on topic, but about ten years ago on my flight to Puerto Rico for a cruise I met a high school classmate I hadn't seen for twenty or so years. We chatted for a while, got off the plane and I haven't seen him since. The odds against meeting a person you know in that way are astronomical, but so are the odds against meeting all the people you don't know.
  2. Falmouth is a small town. I don't recommend this to everyone but I got out and walked to a beach and through the town. Apart from a couple of vendors was basically left alone. Everyone friendly. For what it's worth.
  3. That sort of happened to me once. I was scheduled for a table for 6 or 8 and I was the only one. I was traveling solo which made it even better. A couple of nice gals from Chicago invited me to join them. There was a guy from Norway in the same predicament as me so they 'kidnapped' him as well. The 4 of us made a nice table.
  4. Samana is a small private island on the north side of Samana Bay. You will tender to the island. The island itself is tame and Disney-style; the town of Samana on the mainland is real. Attractions in the area are mostly nature-based, i.e. whale watching, horseback riding, etc. There is a national park about a 45-minute boat ride on the south side of the bay.
  5. It's at least 40 minutes. A taxi would be prohibitive.
  6. To further clarify, it's more to do with our fragmented system of jurisdiction. When I was working fraud I did authorize several arrests. This was only with 1) cards issued locally, and 2) crimes occurring locally where we were able to get one of our investigators involved. The trouble is that we, and most call centers, dealt with cards from different issuers all over the US. The card belongs to the issuing bank, not the cardholder, so contacting each issuer for each incident is rather tangled. In order to modify the system to catch criminals you'd basically have to centralize reporting and arrest authorization at the federal level. Too many players, too much inertia. The issuing bank that I worked for was definitely not socially responsible. Morally the worst place I've ever worked. Petty criminals to the core. They deliberately delayed sending out bills, for example, in order to hit cardholders with late fees. Etc.
  7. I worked for a credit card issuer in the early days. If a credit card is stolen during a violent crime theoretically anyone caught using that card would be a suspect for that crime. This tool was not and is not implemented due to the cost/hassle for the credit card issuer. Companies exist purely to make profit. We should not expect any other social function from them. That requires intelligent regulation. As stated, they spend millions of dollars to avoid exactly that. Good luck.
  8. I believe typically they like to have you back on the ship 1/2 hour before the stated departure time. Realistically you probably have about an hour of wiggle room, maybe 90 minutes. I have done the tour privately and did get back on time. Your probability of making it is high; the issue, as you already know, is the consequences of that small chance of something going wrong. Lamanai is a memorable place.
  9. One thing about the water taxi at Grand Anse beach. They wait to fill before setting off, so if you're returning to the ship make sure you have plenty of time.
  10. Hurricanes aren't infinite. If a hurricane comes anywhere near your route (possible but not probable) the captain, being a smart person, will avoid it. At worst you may have to change one port for another.
  11. Magen's is a mile long, half of which (to the left, as mentioned), is basically sand and water. It actually is a park, so it's uncluttered by concrete sprawl.
  12. The trip to Chacchoben doesn't take long. Half hour or so. I enjoyed the ruins.
  13. Not exactly answering your question, but Dominica is virtually the last destination for beaches in the Caribbean. Known more for rainforest and volcanism.
  14. I've walked from the entrance of the park to the port, which was something like 90 minutes. There are better walks. By taxi maybe 20 minutes. Since I didn't take a taxi I can't give any details.
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