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  1. Our kids take the grandkids to SF a few times a year (we live about 90 min). The kids like the Exploratorium and it's very close to the pier. https://www.exploratorium.edu/ Also the Steinhart Aquarium: https://www.calacademy.org/exhibits/steinhart-aquarium
  2. Somebody sent a link that makes it pretty clear unless you are coming from a few select countries you don't need it.
  3. VPN people will tell you all sorts of stuff. I even called while in MX and they told me to connect to another server (didn't work). I never got any VPN to work on my FireTV stick to stream video, in MX. I see some three year old stuff about XM had been geo-blocking. But more recent stuff seems to indicate they stopped it. I don't have an international cel plan as I'm not paying data for XM and certainly not using ship cellular for data. I only stream XM if connected to WiFi either on the ships or condo's. I have streamed XM in the Maldives (Nov 2017) and twice on RCCL Allure and Oasis, in the last two years. It's always worked using the XM app.
  4. It's way complicated but yes I have streamed Sirius outside the country and on cruise ships. Obviously, you have to use the Sirius app and not the satellite receiver. Funny you should mention geo-blocking as I'm dealing with that currently for our condo we are building in Baja, MX. Most of the TV streaming services Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime all geo-block their US content. I have tried various VPN's (Vanish, Express) and they don't work. Last time we were in MX they all came up geo-blocked if I tried to stream Netflix, Hulu, etc. But my Sirius app worked just fine. I'm headed to Europe in two days I will give it a try just to be sure. But in January my XM app worked just fine in MX.
  5. Why do you need a VPN for Sirius? I have streamed Sirius on my IPhone and IPad to my BT speakers without any problem on Royal. Only reason to use a VPN is for a secure connection or to hide what you are doing. I would just connect to the ships WiFi and stream away.
  6. Just checked our Turkish Air flights for yesterday and today on Flight Tracker. Yesterday left 20 min late and today left on time. Happy Dance!!
  7. BTW: Cable Cars will be off line for the next ten days for repairs.
  8. We stopped in the fortune cookie factory when we did our Wild San Francisco walking tour. It is interesting and has a lot of history. It will take you all of 10 minutes that includes if you buy something. We bought a bag of rejects.
  9. I'm a little worried about SFO also we fly Wednesday for Istanbul and then on to Zurich. Luckily we have a three hour layover at Istanbul. Isn't the construction suppose to be over by end of this month?
  10. And CA charges me State income tax all though I don't live here most of the year. To each his own.
  11. Santa Catalina Island for a couple of nights. The full 4-5 nights might get boring unless the kids are really into the beach. If all you want to do is relax then Catalina is the place. Newport Beach would be good. You might want to look at a VRBO there rather than a hotel it might be more cost effective. We also like Dana Point. If you like Dana Point there is a ferry from there that will take you out to Catalina Island as well as the ferry from Long Beach.
  12. That time shouldn't be an issue for a normal departure. Absent any unusual traffic crashes. You will be in that "Golden Hour" leaving the City when traffic actually moves pretty quick. Once you get across the bridge there are all sorts of surface streets to get you to the airport if there's a crash on the 880.
  13. I find it impossible that ports in CA will charge State sales tax. Sales tax in CA can vary from place to place. Sales tax in San Diego is different that LA or Santa Barbara or San Francisco. There is no way the ships going to keep track and be able to charge the different rates. Bruin Steve explained it perfectly regarding the federal and state excise tax, which is actually collected at the brewery for beer. My BFF worked for AB and InBev in charge of major accounts and there is a meter at the brewery as the beer comes out of the tank that calculates the federal and state tax. That's paid by the brewer. Obviously built into the price of the beer, but not charged directly to the consumer. I haven't sailed from a CA port in a long time so I can't really speak from personal experience. But doubt anybody has paid CA sales tax on a beverage. If they did then it would be on all beverages not just booze. Additionally, what happens in FL or TX or anyplace else has no relevance to CA. As we all know liquor laws are strange, weird, and make no sense. I just spent the weekend in Utah so just ask me. I know the last time we sailed from Galveston they could only serve the Carnival draft beer for some strange reason before we sailed.
  14. On our booking invoice from our TA just below the itinerary it says "Speciality Dinning" and shows our reservations open October 14, 2019 for our December 28, 2019 sailing. We haven't made final payment yet only a deposit for a PH3.
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