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About mcmarya

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    Cool Cruiser

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    No. Virginia

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  1. So glad I asked my questions since I had no idea how immigration works in Vancouver. We will probably drop our suitcases off at 10 am and go do what we can't fit in on Friday. We'll come back to the ship no later than 3.
  2. We'll be back in October and will see if this is a permanent change for the worse. In the past we have had great snorkeling at Boca Catalina but were disappointed in April.
  3. mcmarya

    De Palm Island

    You can snorkel from shore at Boca Catalina/Catalina Cove. There are fish to see in the shallow area as well as farther out. We always take the bus to Arashi and ask the driver to let us off at Boca Catalina. The last time we were there the visibility was not as good as it usually is. We'll see if that is a permanent change when we are there next month.
  4. Thanks for the suggestion! Only one ship for our embarkation day. And, fortunately we actually do have a cabin number, a first, so we could drop off our suitcases.
  5. I went to Bertha's Beach in March this year and enjoyed it. There are tons of Gentoo penguins close by. According to the map they gave us there may also be some Magellenic ones but we did not have time to go that far from where we were parked. The setting is very nice and the drive is not bad. Other than at the very end, you are on decent roads.
  6. The bus is very easy to take and worked well for us. There is also a bus to the airport that has a number of pickup points. Santiago is well worth a few hours (or days).
  7. The exchange rate has been fluctuating a lot this year, hence the lack of availability outside Argentina--the rate was around 40 to 1 in March and about 56 to 1 today. ATM's are not great for the reasons mentioned--high fees, low maximum withdrawal, out of cash. I would be surprised if your taxi would refuse USD since the value is not as likely to be lost as the value of pesos. There are lots of exchange places on Florida St. in the microcenter. At the money exchange places, you may have trouble changing less than a crisp, new $50 bill Some require $100. You may want to change at the airport but the lines can be long.
  8. I am afraid our first stop is in a US port--San Francisco. So, It sounds like we would have a difficult time getting off the ship and getting back on again. But, my husband was once on a cruise that came from Victoria, stopped in Vancouver, then went on to Seattle (I had to get off earlier in the trip so I was not there). He does not recall it being a big deal to get off and then back on again. Not sure if does not remember or if things have changed. We have a pre-arranged shuttle getting us to the ship and won't know our cabin number. Since we are not regular passengers (guest presenter), it may be difficult to find our cabin number on a manifest.
  9. We will be departing at 4:45 pm from Vancouver and hope to have a little time to walk around once we have checked in. Can we get off again or do we have to stay on the ship?
  10. Panama raises fees from time to time so that part of taxes and fees can change. In addition to the per berth charges, there are some pretty steep reservation fees that have to be paid in order to guarantee a certain transit time.
  11. Are there USB ports in all the cabins? Anyone know? I thing we'll be in an H Cabin. Thanks
  12. We did a tour to Chan Chan, Trujillo, and the Huacas (sun and moon) a few years ago in a van filled with passengers from our ship, arranged at the pier, not in advance. The transportation was really cheap ($15 each 5 years ago) and we paid admission to the various places we stopped. With tip it was a little over $30/pp. It's hard to tell what would be available now. Our van took us to Chan Chan first, beating the crowds. It was possible to drive there without going through town, avoiding some of the traffic. That meant we only had to go through town once. In April we were in Trujillo again but just took the shuttle to town since we had already seen the best things. The one thing I would have liked to have seen that was not included in our tour is the reed boats at Huacachina.
  13. Some cabs do show up at the port and you may be able to arrange something from there. If not, if your cruise line provides a shuttle to Trujillo you may be able to cab from there. Chan Chan is a ways from the port and traffic can be bad around Trujillo.
  14. We were in Aruba in April and found that the snorkeling was not nearly as good as in the past. There was some brown stuff in the water that reduced visibility. We're stopping again in October so we'll see if it is any better at Boca Catalina/Catalina Cove this time.
  15. They have the capability to record anything and probably do when it is requested. It just isn't shown on TV.
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