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About iancal

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  1. Yes. That is one reason why Cuba does not put a stamp in some passports. They stamp a piece of paper instead. You can do what you want with that paper it when you leave. Some people feel the need to discard it.
  2. Try as one might...you cannot turn the clock back.
  3. .....or visit a shopping center in Arizona. Do people really think that America is much safer than some other countries that are often mentioned? I suspect that those living in other countries may not share that view in it’s entirety.
  4. I think that some people are completely blind as to just how large and how popular, internationally, the Cuban tourist industry is. You really notice it at the airport when you see so many different airlines flying in from other countries.
  5. I find it so strange that a 20 year can get married, have children, enlist in the forces or be stationed in very dangerous war zones. Or even die for his/her country. Not to mention vote and run for public office. Yet her/she cannot get a cold beer on some cruise ships. It is strange for us. Our parents served us wine when they had it at dinner since we were in our early teens. Growing up, if we were with our parents in a restaurant we were always offered some wine.
  6. We do exactly that. Renew our passports so they never expire within six months of a trip. It is a lot easier to do now that our passports can be issued for five or for ten year periods. We sometimes pick up last minute specials so we tend to be ready to go even with a few days notice.
  7. Last time we were there our resort was hosting two plane loads from Belgium who were there for two weeks. It is not just Canadians who flock to Cuba during the winter. Lots of Europeans go for two weeks at a time. Year after year.
  8. The whole thing is nothing but a gong show.
  9. I guess that it really depends on your definition of dressing up.
  10. We rented a car for two days. But two seperate days, we returned them at night. We were staying inside the walls. We rented from SIXT who had an office at the Hilton, just outside the gates. The first day we drove to Kotor. Stopped along the way and had breakfast beside the water. Then took the little boat over to the church and musuem. We enjoyed the day very much. For the second rental we went to Mostar. It was OK but seemed like a long drive. We would not do this again. Dubrovnic is a different city after the ship leave and the lights come on. Much less crowded, much more enjoyable. The worst days were when there were several ships in port. It was a zoo and so crowded that it took away from our enjoyment.
  11. The few times that we have booked outside the final payment window we also monitored the pricing on a few competing ships that we doing the exact same itinerary. On a Med cruise we really could not care if we are on a HAL, Princess, or Celebrity ship. The itinerary is port intensive and depending of the ship, we do no find much difference. We have no problem 'jumping ship' if the fare difference becomes significant.
  12. We view buying a cruise as two stages. The first, the cruise itself, to us, is nothing more than a commodity. Just like a bag of sugar. Does not matter where we buy the cruise or from whom, on boarding the ship the product will be exactly the same. So it comes down to the booking process. Whether or not you do everything yourself and simply use the TA or cruise line agent as a booking agent or data entry clerk/cashier. Or whether you prefer personalized service. We do not need hand holding. So we book with an online TA who gives us a better price than the cruise line will and gives us a level of service that matches our requirements. No doubt everyone has a preference. We prefer not to book with an employee of the cruise line. We do not feel that booking direct will give us one more iota of control over our reservation. This is not, and has never been an issue for us over the years of booing cruises.
  13. I believe that K32682 hit the nail on the head. Cruise lines simply do not want negative press that could tarnish the cruise experience. They act accordingly, and place their corporate interests above all else. The law certainly was not an 'ass'. Spanish courts had no jurisdiction in this case.
  14. We have met a number of people who have booked cruises outside of their own country. Sometimes the currency adjusted price differences can be substantial. We have done this once. We did a late booking with RCI Australia. The price 30 less than the price our US on line TA quoted and on the RCI North American website. We also do a quick check. In most cases we have found our North American pricing to be the same, within a few percentage points, or better. So we typically take a few minutes and do a quick check.
  15. On the last Princess cruise we were on we saw stewards several times during the day and a few times at night going down the halls and knocking on doors that had scooters parked outside. It was good to see this. They are an impediment to other mobility challenged passengers and they very much a hazard in the case of an emergency. We were happy to see that this policy was being actively enforced.
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