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Host Bonjour

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About Host Bonjour

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    Cruise Critic Host

About Me

  • Location
    NYC Metro Area
  • Interests
    Travel, photography, cinema, mixed-media painting, chocolate
  • Favorite Cruise Destination Or Port of Call
    Love new places, returning to favorite places, & going home.

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  1. That's what a family member reported; her first-ever European trip and she was there on a per-diem that was based on the government rate because she worked for a contractor. And she's super frugal, so....a particular challenge! She did buy one of those....what do you call the furry hats with the flaps, I know there's a name for it. Came in handy for another work trip to Moscow, the money went farther there! It wasn't too difficult to find somewhat affordable things in Switzerland, but I was ready for it to be a bit more expensive than the other countries I was visiting on my first-ever European trip. Don't know if I was ready for what the shopping looked like because it made Paris and NYC look...well....nice effort. I don't know, if there aren't diamonds everywhere I look, and watches with difficult to pronounce names, and lots of chocolate, I don't know how keen I am on over-paying for coffee and tea. And yet, only last weekend I spent some time in the Bronx talking with someone who could NOT stop telling me how much she and her ex loved visiting Norway. There may be no escaping it.... 😉
  2. Good times. 😉 I do recommend the Quarantine Station (aka Q Station) as an itinerary stop for those with pre/post cruise or land-only visits. Fascinating historical details, not to mention some wonderful vistas. These places always did seem to be not too far from the sea, though one definitely was not getting a room with a view.
  3. I'm with you there, Hank, knowing full well where I'm typing right now. I don't know how much most ships and boats weigh (or most modes of transit aside from cars because it's typically printed on the registration, otherwise.....) but I'm not against boats or smaller ships and seeing Venice from the sea. The canal should be UNESCO'd too, if possible (by extension to Venice) in order to preserve it. Seriously: since the city is more or less "paved" with canals, not streets, and the water flows in/out daily from the sea, makes sense that preservation of the terrain is directly connected to what's around it. Plenty of ways to see Venice from the water and keep the sea water and canals safe and clean, or other ways to arrive into Venice. The arrival by train is quite iconic too, it's shown in many films and television shows and quite something to seem to be traveling for quite awhile with water all around. You KNOW where you're going to be very soon and it's a unique place in the world. As to the seemy, novelistic vision...this happens with every place. Almost every place in the world has an "icky" spot (cities, can't count remaining natural, unspoiled places) and one can LOVE love love where they come from (I do) and know it has icky spots (I could never deny it anyway) or truths. Perhaps the guide was only worried that other traveler's ideas of dreamy Venice would be spoiled if people were to realize that yes, even Venice had a dark corner, even if it were only uno, due....some tourists (tourists, not travelers) only want the fairytale, not reality. Disney Venice, not actual Venice, which is wonderful, but like many places, complex. The Bridge of Sighs history is rather dark! On my way to the Blue Mountains in Sydney I asked a local about a book I'd read (popular at the time) written by a woman who'd said she'd spent a long time with aborigines, it was fascinating. Some Aussies weren't so sure about its veracity because, and it's true, aborigines do not typically bring outsiders into their company. Can't recall the circumstances of how she said she got with them, and it was incredibly descriptive, detailed. Who knows. It wasn't written as fiction so hopefully the aboriginal details were authentic and none of that was being discounted, and I wasn't about to challenge as a visitor! I'd already been told I couldn't immigrate when I said how much I loved Australia, which was absolutely true, but I hadn't meant it as a declaration of intent to relocate. So I caught on about when to stay quiet about thoughts and feelings.... 😉 Maybe I'll look for those Donna Leon books. She'd have a tough time finding seedy places in Switzerland 🤣 (Well, it is there, less seedy in the traditional sense, more of a hidden underbelly, looks a lot prettier 😱 )
  4. It's quite a patchwork of openings, and it sounds like it will be a know-before-you-go for EU/non-EU continent residents, maybe harkening back to times when there were borders or other eras when moving around was different for the time being. The New York Times article summarizes which countries are open to which and when, what if any quarantine periods there are, and the few countries that are open to international (US) travelers (not many without a 14 day self quarantine period). Europe's Patchwork Reopening The New York Times I won't link to the article about Venice; locals chatted about an eagerness to reclaim it for themselves, and artists, students, and entrepreneurs. There's acknowledgment in the piece about the improbability (or challenge) of that happening 😉
  5. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  6. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  7. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  8. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  9. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  10. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  11. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  12. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  13. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  14. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
  15. Hi Everyone, We hope you are all keeping safe and well and in some places, things may start to begin to feel a bit more like it used to be. Along that line of thinking, we're thinking the same thing you're all thinking: when will cruising begin, what will it look like, and how do I know I'll be safe AND my money? A lot of uncertainty for sure but we have Steve Dasseos, owner of The Trip Insurance Store, back with us for another visit to answer YOUR questions about trip insurance. He was with us last year for a few weeks on the boards, he has a background as a Certified Financial Planner, he's kind and his expertise is in comparing insurance products. Obviously things have changed a great deal and so it's a great time to ask your questions now. Steve is our own insider in the industry, yet he does not work for an insurance company, he has a great deal of knowledge about them and the industry. We are glad to have him back with us at Cruise Critic. Q & A with Steve Dasseos of The Trip Insurance Store Know before you go, stop by and join the conversation. Keep well and stay safe.
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