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About new_cruiser

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    Cool Cruiser

About Me

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    Sacramento, California
  • Interests
    Small ship cruising and small group tours.
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  1. Sorry for the late question, but mention of travel agents on another thread reminded me of it. I read that Windstar has a new travel agency recognition program called Club 180. Is there a way for customers to find travel agencies that are participating since it seems desirable to book through those agencies.
  2. I loved having the local wines when we did Spanish Serenade, saki on the Japan Alaska crossing and the Alaska beers on the May 2018 Alaska cruise. Also, the local food items such as fresh fish and cheeses on Spanish Serenade. Please keep it up with the local options.
  3. I'll second that! The last reservation system transition was pretty painful. Hope this one will be better managed. Also looking forward to Captivating Caribbean on Wind Surf in January.
  4. We have Kaiser Senior Advantage too. The 90-day mail order supply that they send for pills that I take once per day is 100 pills (I guess to allow you to be imperfect and sometimes drop a pill on the floor and discard it). Plus they allow refill a bit earlier than 90 days so it's never been a problem to have enough extra for a trip.
  5. That may be how they get the info for sending the summons for jury duty, but you have to be a citizen to be qualified to serve on a federal jury: https://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/jury-service/juror-qualifications The same is true for California juries - I don't know about other states. https://www.courts.ca.gov/juryservice.htm When you get the a California jury duty summons, there is a form to send back if you don't qualify, have a reason that excuses you from service or need a change of dates. One of the reasons for not qualifying is not being a citizen. I agree that being a citizen doesn't mean you are a good or even a safe person. The ID just provides a (hopefully) hard to falsify way to verify that you are the person you say you are. After that, other measures such as checking against no-fly lists to see if the person with that identity is known to be a risk.
  6. I used to prefer Deck 1 on the sailing ships because it's fine saw no reason to pay more to be on Deck 2, but now that my knees are a bit older, I like the convenience of being on Deck 2. It's nice being one deck closer to dining and the open deck especially at the end of the day. While in theory there will be less motion on Deck 1 than Deck 2, it isn't enough of a difference to be noticeable to me.
  7. It isn't just juries. There are defendants and witnesses -people who may be compelled to be at the courthouse because they are involved in the case but might not have Real ID. At least anyone summoned for a jury should be a citizen and therefore at least able to get a real ID. Defendants and witnesses may not be citizens or legal residents and therefore not able to get a Real ID and they might not have a suitable ID from another country. Not sure how that's going to be handled.
  8. When they run you through alternative screening, that probably will include looking up your DMV record so once they've done that, they will know whether the missing license/ID was a Real-ID license/ID. However, thinking about Day 1 of the requirement - there will be people who flew out-of-state in Sept 2020 so they are out-of-state wanting to fly home on or after Oct 2020. Not sure how that will be handled. Do they have to take the train/bus to get home? My son lost his DL while away at college in another state so we checked and there is no way to even get a replacement license without showing up in person at the DMV. (He either found it and, if he hadn't, could have used his passport.) I hope that most students attending college out of state will realize that they need to get a real-ID license before they leave for school in Fall 2020 if they want to fly home.
  9. Apparently we don't know that yet. The news report I just read said she didn't have ID or a boarding pass when she was on the plane. We don't know if she had an ID and a boarding pass (or alternative) when she was screened. There are some alternatives to a boarding pass that can get you through TSA. E.g. you are standby on a flight so instead of a boarding pass you have something similar that says you are standby. I've had that when a canceled flight meant that I had to stay overnight someplace and try to get on another flight standby the next day. Parents (or other adults) escorting an "unescorted minor" to the gate so they can start their trip or picking up an unescorted minor at the gate. And of course all the airport workers who don't have boarding passes get in without one. I'm surprised that the person got on the plane without a boarding pass. I've boarded a lot of flights, dozens per year, and usually the gate staff is pretty good - you can't walk by them without scanning a boarding pass. I guess anything can happen once.
  10. I've never gone through them personally, but from what others have experienced, the alternative procedures are very time consuming. There has to be some way for a person to board if, for example, they are away from home and their wallet gets stolen so they have no ID, but in that case, the person can realize that they need to show up to the airport early for an extended procedure. If someone showed up without a RealID or passport because they didn't know that the old type of driver's license wasn't going to cut it anymore, they probably wouldn't have enough time to make their flight with the alternative process. From people who have been through it, I've heard it can take like an hour (off in a side interview room, not in the regular line). It can involve the kind of questions where some service supplies facts about you and you have to supply the answers (similar to verifying who you are for some kinds of on-line services). Basically, they go through alternative ways of verifying that you are who you say you are. It isn't something that any one with any sense would do just for the heck of it. Edited to add, I don't know if they'd even allow the alternative procedure to be used for someone who didn't bring the right ID because they hadn't gotten the right kind of license. That's not the same as the hardship reason of being away from home and having a lost/stolen ID.
  11. Enjoy your trip! For the benefit of other readers or other trips, a week or two before travel is rather late to start considering what vaccines to get. There is usually some delay between vaccination and effective protection. For example, the CDC website says the typhoid immunization should be taken two weeks to before travel. If using the oral vaccine, it needs a week after the last dose and the doses are spread over 7 days so it is also 2 weeks from when you start. Some vaccines take longer like 30 days. According to the CDC website, it isn't but there is another vaccine, Vaxchora, that is approved. https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/vaccines.html Both Vaxchora and Dukoral are apparently give short term protection. CDC says Vaxchora reduces the chance of severe diarrhea by 90% at 1 week after dropping to 80% protection at 3 months after.
  12. On Wind Star Adventures in Panama and Costa Rica, we didn't have a long wait to get off the ship. They run at least two zodiacs and we were moored close enough that it was a pretty short turn around time. The exception was the beach BBQ day in Isla Parida - the itinerary says 7 AM to 6 PM which reflects the time the ship is anchored, but the first passenger tender was much later after they had transferred all the chairs, food, etc to the island. In that case, its a small island and one isn't likely to have an independent tour set up there, but it might be similar if there are other itineraries with a beach BBQ wet landing day.
  13. I've never heard of any vaccine for general "stomach issues resulting in diarrhea." Typhoid is one kind of infection that can cause diarrhea and has a vaccine, but there is no vaccine for other potential food borne bugs like e-coli and salmonella. I have had Typhoid vaccine for land trips in countries where it is recommended by CDC. When I've taken it, I've taken the oral version for the same reason as Sanger - it lasts 5 years rather than 2 for the shot so has more chance to cover multiple trips. You still have to be careful to eat in places that look like they have good hygiene, avoid raw foods and untreated water, etc because Typhoid isn't the only risk. Just like you have to do what you can to avoid mosquito bites where that applies even if taking anti-malarial drugs because mosquitoes can carry other things like Dengue fever. Also, you need to be aware about what you eat because Typhoid vaccine is only moderately effective (estimated 50 to 80%). I probably wouldn't take Typhoid vaccine for a cruise where most food and drink will be consumed on the ship. If your doctor has some reason why you should be particularly taking it, if you plan to eat a lot of street food or if you will be doing a stay on land in addition to the cruise, you might want to get it.
  14. That and to get to kayaks for kayak tours so that the kayaking distances are kept reasonable. On the kayak tours, you transfer from the ship to the zodiac just as you do for the zodiac tours. Then you transfer from the zodiac to the kayak mid-water - the kayak is held tightly to the side of the zodiac so you can swing your legs over the side of the zodiac into the kayak and then slide into the seat. There is plenty of help doing the transfer. After kayaking, you go from the kayak to the zodiac and ride the zodiac back to the ship. Windstar provides waterproof pants and gloves for the zodiac and kayak tours. Windstar doesn't do wet landings in Alaska. There are some small ship lines in Alaska, that do wet landings (e.g. Uncruise, Alaska Dream, Linblad) but they provide waterproof boots so one can do it without getting soaked by the very cold water.
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