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About stella53

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    Cool Cruiser
  1. It seems to me after reading throgh this thread that, among other things, DeckhandDoug's remark about hypocrisy was spot on. Woodofpine mocks critics without good reason. Are the saracstic faces supposed to take the place of an intelligent reply?
  2. Thanks for the replies. Of the ton of agencies out there is there any one or two in particular that is recommended?
  3. Either your TA or the cruise line should advise you whether you will need the YF cert or, in lieu thereof, a proper medical excuse document without respect to health considerations, but only as a condition to board and terminate the cruise. It is also true that several countries will require the YF cert if you have recently been in a country where YF is endemic. This will be true even if you have not entered into the endemic zones within a country such as Brasil. After all, how does the custom official of the country requiring the YF cert know where, exactly, you have traveled inside the affected country. If you search here or google you should easily locate the UN or US goverrnment's Health Dept published materials on international travel to various countries and the need for YF cert. If memory serves me right, Uruguay requires a YF cert if you have passed through Brasil, however, I was on such a cruise itinerary and we were not obliged to get YF certs either to board or disembark for the day in Montevideo. Other countries you may choose to visit in the "short term" (consult cited publications for definition of this term) will also require aYF so take into account where you intend to visit in the future to help you decide whether it is advisable to get the certs. Those are the purely technical country-entry issues. Thene there are the health related issues. You will probably want to get the certs if you travel into endemic zones inside any of the countries you visit whether legally required to or not. For example, if you intend to make a side trip to the falls of Iguazu it would be a good idea. Likewise for parts of Argentina, Peru and some other places. The cost and side effects of YF shots are not insignificant for some people especially seniors. if you are not going to endemic zones, are not legally required to get the certs by the cruise line ( make sure your TA's advice to get them is accurate and not simply cautionary), nor going to visit certain foreign places in the future, then it may be wise not to get them. Consult your MD if in doubt.
  4. Would there be an entertainment booking agent that is considered most successful or respectable?
  5. I know a Flamenco song and dance trio that would be ideal entertainment for a luxury line. Does Silversea deal directly with talent/their agents or must one go through a dedicated outside agency?
  6. I know a Flamenco song and dance trio that would be ideal entertainment for a luxury line. Does Seabourn deal directly with talent/their agents or must one go through a dedicated outside agency?
  7. Are you a member of any hotel chain's frequent user program? If so, check into seeing if the local Sheraton, Marriott, Sofitel, etc will extend a courtesy to you. If you plan to have lunch at one of the hotel restaurants you could also see if they will extend you the courtesy of bag storage for the day.
  8. There are duty free stores in the airport when you deplane. Of course, there is no duty on domestic AR wines so the there are no signiicant savings - prices may even be a bit higher in the duty free stores but not much higher if at all. So just stop on your way to customs when you arrive at EZE and stock up on all the normal duty free bargains. (Call or email Nigel for suggestions - I am sure he would be happy to assist you choose wines you would like in your price range.)
  9. Try 0800vino (google it) - Nigel, the owner/sommelier will deliver to you . Good merchant.Good prices.
  10. I know a Flemengo song and dance team that would be ideal as cruise ship performers. How does one go about contacting the various cruiselines to discuss booking. Is it necessary to go through a booking agency specializing in cruise ships? If so, how does one contact such agencies?
  11. I know a Flamenco song and dance team that would be ideal as performers especially aboard Oceania transatlantics from So Am to Europe. How would one contact the appropriate dept/person within Oceania to discuss bookings?
  12. From EZE try taxi Ezeiza which has a booth inside the terminal. They are reliable and not much more expensive than if you called a radio cab to make the port trip. See http://www.taxiezeiza.com.ar/en/tarifas.html . I would guess they will charge 150-170 pesos for the EZE-port trip and they should drop you off at the ship terminal inside the port. It would be cheaper to call a radio cab, but if you don't speak Spanish the hassle may not be worth the savings. I would guess a reg radio cab from EZE to the port would run 130-40 pesos during the day. More at night now that BA cabs have instituted a bifurcated rate (20% higher at night starting in Feb.) When you disembark at the terminal that is not adjacent to the public street , it is not possible to hail a cab (without hoofing it a great distance). You are stuck with scumbags inside the port unless you can call a radio cab. The SCBGs will charge $25 to go to the Hilton when a regular cab fare would be about $5.
  13. I have disembarked in BA a couple/3 times. One pier terminal is located adjacent to a public street. The other is deeper into the port away from street traffic. (Unfortunately, I do not recall the # of each of these two pier terminals.) This is an important distinction because the proximity to the street at the first terminal allows disembarking pax to hail street cabs for the $5 (20 peso) ride to local hotels in Puerto Madero, Barrio Norte or Palermo whereas the second does not. Consequently, pax disembarking at the second terminal are subject to the mercy (:eek:) of the taxi mafia that controls the terminal exit. By law, all taxis must use the meter, but these crooked scum charge 3 or 4 times the legal rates. They are to be avoided both for the sake of one's wallet and on principle. At both terminals the major shopping centers often provide free van rides to disembarking pax. This may be somewhat inconvenient for pax disembarking the ship permanently who have lots of luggage. It is a good way to avoid the mafia taxis if the ship is simply porting for a day or 2 and you are not saddled down with lots of bags. Even if you don't want to visit the shopping centers (Patio Bullrich, Galleria Pacifica, Alto Palermo, etc), hopping aboard a free van is a good way to leave the port area. You can always hail a street cab when you exit the van. The rides from the port to the shopping centers are 15 - 20 minutes so you won't be going out of your way. Cabs in BA are plentiful and relatively inexpensive. Try to hail a cab that is a radio cab (marked and easily visible). Avoid shoddy, rundown looking cabs. Also avoid cabs parked at major tourist areas - these are likely to be pirates/dishonest cabbies who will use counterfeit bills to scam unwary passengers. For those who finally disembarking with lots of luggage the vans are still an option, albeit an awkward one. You can try to call a radio cab from the terminal and the Mafia should permit it to serve you. A tel call to a radio cab would confirm this. Several of the biggest are: Taxi del Plata 4504-7776, 4505-1111, Radio Taxi Pidalo 4932-2222, 4956-1200, Radio Taxi Premium 5238-0000, 4374-6666. A cab should arrive in less than 10 minutes. I encourage all cruise ship passengers to boycott the taxi mafia crooks who prey on the passengers and who are permitted to do so by a corrupt municipal government.
  14. Expect to pay $250 per day for a guide with a car. Half day is likely possible for 150.
  15. I have crused a lot, too, and my experience is different. I find that most often people who complain about bad service have received bad service and that they have done nothing to deserve it. When disappointed with the service, some passengers who lack tact and sophisitcation may subsequently overreact, but it is not the norm. I agree that the Golden Rule is appropriate to define how people should treat each. "Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you" is a good moral code, however it should not be interpreted to mean that people must treat all others with equal deference in all situations. Accordingly, in this context, i.e., reviewing service aboard cruise ships, I would rephrase your message as follows: Treat crew and staff the way you would want to be treated if you were a member of the crew and staff. As a passenger on a cruise ship I do not expect nor do I want to have a relationship with crew/staff wherein we are equals. I am a paying guest. They are employess of my commercial host. Cabin stewards, waiters, reception desk staff are tasked with providing efficient and pleasant service. I do not treat them as slaves just as I do not treat my maids, cook, doorman, employee, etc, as slaves, but I do not think it appropriate to treat them other than as people employed to serve me. That doesn't foreclose good humor and, on rare occasions, even intimacy, but that doesn't alter the fundamental nature of the relationship. We are not on equal footing aboard ship.
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