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Posts posted by terry&mike

  1. Hello Caviargirl, I didn't mean to say they would be 2 separate etickets (although sometimes they can be), I said they would be charged as 2 tickets, meaning a higher rate, but still one total fare.

    Here is the difference between a stopover and a layover, and how they can affect the fare, from flyingconsultant.com:


    Generally, if your layover is more than four hours, it is considered a stopover. If you’re flying on an international itinerary, a layover lasting more than 24 hours counts as a stopover.

    Whether you can use a stopover and what it will cost depends on the fare rules of the fare basis you’re using. Generally, this will fall into one of three buckets:

    • One or more stopovers for free
    • One or more stopovers for a charge
    • No stopovers allowed – If you add a stopover, your itinerary will re-price, generally at a higher fare.

    Generally, for discount fares, international airfares are more likely to offer stopovers for free or for a charge, though there are countless exceptions to this rule.

    Also, if you are checking luggage, your luggage will generally be checked to your next stopover, rather than your destination.

  2. Some airlines have a maximum layover time, and when you are wanting to book a flight that exceeds this maximum layover time, they will charge is as 2 separate tickets (more expensive) rather than 1 roundtrip ticket. Check on this, and maybe try to work within the airlines layover limit. Some airlines, such as Icelandair, actually encourage long layovers and will let you do a "free" layover up to three days.

  3. Our style mirrors Rupert. We order cash for the countries we are visiting before we leave, have never visited an ATM while traveling; we also bring some extra US dollars in case we are spending more local cash than anticipated and need to buy more, but this has been rare. Keep daily funds with us, and extra cash in the safe. Use United Presidential Plus through Chase credit card when traveling, for no foreign transaction fees.

  4. rallydave, you mentioned "not sure how other lines handle this" - on Celebrity, the package is by the dollar amount, depending on the package you buy. Such as, all beers up to $XX, and all other beverages up to $XX included. They also offer a discount on bottled wines, if you purchase a beverage package, which I like.

  5. Caviargirl, we're visiting the same area of Italy in April, 2014, staying in a cliffside house in Zoagli, just 3 miles from Rapallo. Would love to hear your impressions from your trip upon your return at terryandmike (at) cox (dot) net, if you'd like to share.

  6. I think the Venice you are seeking is still there, you just need to get away from the central tourist zone to find it. We visited Venice in May, 2012, on a land trip, and rented an apartment in a residential neighborhood, Campo Ruga. We took a taxi boat from the airport directly to the area behind our building, which was located on an old charming, quiet square - when we gave the taxi boat driver our address, and asked if he knew where it was, he said, "of course I do, I live just there". There was a small restaurant, and a grocer for the basics on the square, and just over a bridge that joined us to Via Garibaldi, was a great wine wholesaler who filled up the bottles we brought in with selections of our choosing, and a boat selling produce to the locals; a bit further along were some merchants with specialty offerings.

    Each morning we woke up to neighbors sweeping the stones in front of their homes, greeting each other, laundry being hung out on lines. There were no gondolas here, just small boats that locals used to get around, and a lovely public park with people strolling their dogs or playing with their children. If we crossed the bridge and went right we ended up at a very quiet end of the wide promenade that lead into the tourist zone, about a 15-20 minute walk away; it was interesting to start on this wide promenade with only a handful of people about, and continue into the masses in the distance. If we crossed the bridge and turned left, we went over another bridge to a lovely little island neighborhood. It was a good base to be able to visit the landmarks of Venice, but have a quiet retreat in a local neighborhood that felt more like the heart of Venice.

  7. I usually bring a small blow up foot rest for the floor, as I am short, which helps take the pressure off of my lower back, and makes me much more comfortable. I get an aisle seat, and I get up to take a short walk and stretch approximately once every 1.5 to 2 hours. I watch a couple of movies to occupy my mind. I usually can sleep a bit, more like naps of 30-45 minutes each a few times. I also usually have a good book on my iPad I've been saving for the trip, and some light reading such as a People magazine, to give me some options.


    For a sleep aid, I tend to use something very light, such as Advil PM or Bonine, as these provide just a slight bit of a sleepy feel for me. My experience with Ambien was more disorienting than I was looking for.


    I actually find very long flights, 15+ hours, to be easier to settle into, than the shorter long hauls of 8-9 hours.

  8. I'm sure it also depends on the sailing, and how well it is selling. Add perks to make it a bit more enticing, take away perks as it books up.


    We booked our October, 2014 sailing in May, 2013, because we liked the itinerary, and we felt the offer was fair and in line with what we wanted to pay. We were able to get the cabin we wanted, and received several perks.


    In looking at the same sailing today, one of those perks offered in May is no longer being offered. Other than that, everything else is the same. That could change again, with other perks being added or subtracted as load factors change.

    I'll not bother with that, because I'm happy with what we paid, with the perks we received, and with our cabin.

  9. llarsen, I think your current plan of action is a good one for the amount of usage you expect to have.

    As to the text feature on your international phone, you may have to call the service provider and have this feature added for it to work. Even though the phone has text capability, you usually have to establish this service to have it actually send and receive texts.


    Can't speak to Facetime, as I've never tried to use it through a ships wifi service, but it sounds like a great idea. I would think it would work, but if they are blocking similar services, such as Skype, it may be blocked; I'm sure someone will have your answer. Keep in mind, you'll need to be calling another Apple device to use it.

  10. Yes, I would purchase the internet package from O, so that I could access wifi on my iPad. For my usage, I would choose the unlimited package so that I did not have to worry about minutes, but you may only need to purchase a few minutes.

    If you are connecting through wifi, their will not be a roaming charge.

    If you are connecting through your service provider (your own cell phone company), to make a call, check your voice mail, etc, then there may be a roaming charge each time you connect. If you add an international plan for the period you are out of the country, you may experience roaming charges each time you connect, or once a day when you connect, or just one roaming charge the very first time you connect in the new country, depending on your plan.

  11. llarsen,

    Rallydave covered it. Texts are part of messaging in your plan, not data.


    Think of your plan as three different components - voice for calls, voice mail; messaging for texts; data for internet related items such as surfing the web, emails, apps that need an internet connection.


    The data plan you are thinking of purchasing would easily cover a few emails, and then some. Where your problem could come in would be incoming emails eating up your data. For example, you open your email program, for the first time in 4 days, so you can send a quick email to a family member. In opening your email program it automatically begins to download the 72 emails that you have received in the past 4 days, this could be a lot of data. I don't know how many emails you typically receive, but something to consider.

    Another source of data usage is not fully closing out an app, before you put your device to bed. Some apps, such as a map app that is tracking your location, is continually searching and setting. If you have this running in the background, it will be using data continually.

    Before you buy any plan, be sure it is for the Cellular at Sea program, because you certainly don't want to buy an international plan, think you are covered, and be accessing the network through Cellular at Sea rates.


    My usage is high, as I have to work a bit each day while traveling. The best option for me financially is to start an international plan just before I leave for both voice and data on my phone; you need to remember to cancel the plan when you return home, as most auto renew month after month. I don't do the text plan, as I just limit texts and go with the 50 cents each way charge.

    Just before my international flight departs, I close out all my apps, and turn my phone off. I have a voice mail directing people to email me, or who to call in an emergency. When I get where I am going, hotel or ship, I get their wifi service, and access my emails through my iPad via wifi. I will usually cut my phone on once per day to see if anyone left a voice mail, or sent a text.

    I keep my phone with me as I'm touring around during the day, and can use the apps for maps, services, restaurants, etc. I limit my use, so as not to exceed my data purchased, and am sure to fully close out all apps when done, and shut my phone off. If I have some important business items going on, I keep my phone on.

    If I have a lengthy call to make, I will use a phone app via wifi on my iPad or cell phone; I use both Skype and Truphone, in case one is having issues.


    This method usually runs me extra about $30 for data plan, $30 for phone plan (sometimes a bit more), maybe 10 texts at 50 cents each, plus whatever I spend on wifi services wherever I am staying. I generally only add plans to my phone, and generally do not add plans to my iPad, using wifi with my iPad.

    Most of my trips are land based, international, 3 to 4 times a year, running 12-16 days, and I usually spend between $100-$300 extra per trip on communications, the wide variance depends on how much I have to pay for wifi access; as I often rent apartments where wifi is included, I'm more often near the $100 extra amount. I cruise less often than land trips, and usually spend more to the higher end of that spectrum when cruising.


    But again, you'll want to check with your provider. Most have extensive information online as to what you can expect.

  12. When you are incurring roaming charges, you are accessing your email through your service provider (your plan), and yes, there will be fees associated with it based on your plans international/cruise rates.

    You'll want to cut the roaming off and access your email, and other features, through wifi. To do this on Oceania, you will need to purchase their internet package.

  13. Other data services are email, surfing the net (Safari, etc), running your apps that require data, and so on. Yes, you can use them, but you will be billed via your cell service provider.

    Go to your carrier and check their international rates and plans page, they will have a section for cruises, it will give you the amounts you will be charged for calls, texts, emails.

    My cruise rate with my company is $2.99 usd per minute, .50 per text incoming or outgoing, and I don't remember the data rates, but they are high so I limit my usage.

    As my phone is my business, I turn mine off, let calls go to voice mail asking folks to email me (or direct them to call another person in an emergency). I then use the ship wifi service plan to check my email's a few times a day, and I check my voice mail on my cell phone when I am onshore (rates are still high, but a bit better)

    It will be much cheaper to buy the ship's plan, than to use your home provider.

  14. Cuba?

    There was a cruise line, Tropicana Cruises, until recently that was calling on Cuba, it stopped within the past 6 months or so due to financial issues, but is trying to reorganize. It's certainly not a line like Oceania, or even close, more like ship transportation with a room and some food, decent but not luxurious. Most of their clientele is Russian, but they are quite diverse; and a few Americans had figured it out and were using it. The ship they use is Adriana or Ariana, something like that.

    Their usual itinerary is to sail back and forth from Puerto Morelos, which is a couple of miles south of Cancun, to Cuba, and back; this takes an overnight sail. You could buy a round trip, and spend a couple of nights with the ship docked in Cuba, and then sail back; or you could buy a one way, stay a few nights independently in Cuba, and then return to Puerto Morelos on another one way cruise.

    Sometimes they switched up their itineraries and visited Jamaica too, and on occasion Campeche or Progreso, Mexico.

  15. Although Jancruz said it, it's what I was thinking too. Move on. Take the positive memories from the trip and focus on them, take the negative memories and move them on and out. If it were bad enough, then don't sail that line again.

    Ports get skipped, communications get dropped, buses don't arrive... things happen. O did not set out to give you a bad experience.

    Things can go wrong in independent travel, tour travel, cruise travel, at any price point. Best to have a sense of humor, a positive outlook, and a Plan B (or C or D, or whatever is called for).

    Sometimes bad things happen, sometimes they can't be helped, and this making someone have to pay every time the sun doesn't shine philosophy feels like a path to unhappiness to me.

    I'm sure there were many good things from your journey, and these could most likely overshadow the negative if given a chance. All the best to you.

  16. I have a PACKING problem

    I don't consider the SHOPPING a problem. LOL

    Now that was funny!


    I think it's a personal preference. For me, I don't like to be burdened down with too much stuff, so enjoy packing as light as possible, but I understand the other side of the coin too. I take my Mom on a trip once a year, and she is the Queen of over packing - goodness, that lady can bring a lot of stuff, and buy even more! I used to have the thought process of "I did not pack light so that I could help you haul your stuff across the globe! I did not pack light so that I could put your extra purchases in my bag and get them home for you!" I always told her, "You bring it, you sling it." Somewhere over time I realized that bringing so many things provides a certain comfort for her, it's what she needs to make her trip pleasant, the same as someone else may need music, or the way I need a cocktail.

    At this point in her life, as she is advanced in years and has Parkinson's, I'm happy she is still up for my travel plans no matter how much stuff she wants to bring along. In January she allowed me to drag her across India so that I could see the funeral pyres at Varanasi, when I'm sure all she really wanted to do was sit by a beach somewhere.

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