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About SRF

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About Me

  • Location
    United States
  • Favorite Cruise Line(s)
    Royal Carib

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  1. Wow, I did not know that reducing the number of Consulates in one country had "greatly reduced" the number of Consulates. The US is still the only country to have a diplomatic presence in almost every country it has diplomatic relationships with. The only ones where there is not an Embassy (with consular section) are some of the smaller islands or island nations. BTW, according to Newsweek, 42% of Americans have passports now. So about 137 million people have passports. So the "253,037 lost passports and 60,984 stolen worldwide" Works out to be about 0.04% stolen each year and 0.18% lost. And I suspect most of the lost ones were lost a home. I think a 4 in 10,000 chance of a passport being stolen also falls in the "very rare" category.
  2. I have not had mine leak. But I am careful about closing them when I am carrying something that would be harmed by them leaking. But what about a phone? Most of the people saying to not carry their passport, also say to contact the port agent. Hmm, how? When was the last time you saw a pay phone? And if in a foreign country, do you have coins for it? Both sides have pluses and minuses. And both sides have their stories. I just want to try to make sure new people hear both sides. That couple would have had a totally different take if they had missed the ship, and had their passports with them.
  3. Because most times the idiots are comparing 100+ "dry heat" to much lower, but more humid temps. And trying to imply that it is perfectly comfortable. Yes, it is more comfortable, but 110+ is HOT no matter how dry it is. Yes, I know the difference. I spent a summer in Del Rio, TX. Where I had to wear a Nomex (does NOT breath) coveralls all day, almost every day.
  4. You need to check your map. Djibouti is a seaport city. So 49C and HUMID. But not sure if that is worse than the trip I was in India at around 35C and flew to Astana (no longer called that) and got off the plane (same day) at -30C.
  5. What onboard activities? There are plenty of things to do, that do not cost money. And there are a number of things to do, that do cost extra. We sail on RCI, so I know of their things. For free, there are trivia games, dance lessons (last cruise had session to learn the Thriller zombie dance), dance parties, music events, karaoke, game show type things, rock climbing wall, crazy events at the pool, more music, art auctions (free if you don't bid, and free champagne), people watching, meeting people and talking to them, eating, and more eating, then eating some more. For fee, there are things like cupcake decorating and sushi making (you get to eat your efforts), shopping, the casino (although free to watch others gamble). The mega ships have other activities that may cost extra (not sure which ones, as we have avoided these ships).
  6. The problem with taking cruises, if you leave a port in Shengen area, and the next port is also Schengen, then the whole time is considered in Schengen. The Schengen agreement is the agreement that allows people to travel around parts of Europe without official border crossing. Like traveling from state to state in the US. Many people mistakenly thing that the EU is what allows the passportless travel, but there are EU countries that are not Schengen (so you have to go through immigration and passport check crossing the border, such as UK, at least for now, Bulgaria and Romania) and there are Schengen countries that are not in the EU (such as Switzerland and Lichtenstein).
  7. FYI, Switzerland is Schengen, but not EU. Slovenia is also Schengen. And some of the ones you are forgetting include, Ukraine, Russia, Belarus.
  8. I travel a lot for work internationally also. I have had a couple of cards flagged for actual fraudulent charges. And once, it did not get flagged, but I happened to check online. I don't notify any of the card companies about travel. I have a couple of alerts when I tried to do an online purchase while traveling, but just had to respond to allow it. I get both text (if phone is on) and email alerts. Funniest one was, my WORK travel card got suspended. For traveling. 😄 I checked out a hotel, went to the airport, took a 3.5 hour flight, and then went to check into the hotel. Card bounced. So I checked in with one of my personal cards, and then called the card company. The agent tells me, they suspended the card due to suspicious activity. I asked what activity. Well, your card was using in X country in the morning and attempted to be used in Y country later that same day. I asked him, 'have you every heard of a thing called and AIRPLANE?' He didn't get it, so I told him that I FLEW from one country to the other. All he could say was 'Oh, so it wasn't fraud." Nope, just an every day thing. They unsuspended my card. BTW, for those who call and tell the card company, even though they say to not bother, what are you accomplishing? They are not taking down that info, as they have no way to deal with it. It will not stop them from holding a charge. And you will still have to call them.
  9. Legally, I have to be able to produce them on demand for up to 5 years. Even though they are scanned for submittal. Rules. Both work and tax rules.
  10. I have never heard of a Navy ship being at sea a full 8 months. If no other reason, maintenance issues. Not saying it did not happen, just saying never heard of it. And in port, you would get liberty, which is not charged as leave.
  11. Are you sure? For us, every time, it seemed to be everyone who had lounge access. So would include D+ This is what we do now. No waiting is better than nice waiting. 😄
  12. Yeah, they did that to us, and I did not realize. But that meant we boarded about 15 minutes later. 😄
  13. Yeah, I did oversimplify a bit. And I know the difference from having owned a sailboat and dealing with the USCG requirements. 😄
  14. Possibly. Might also be close enough to hit the milestone on the same cruise, but different days. Or could be far enough apart to get one on the same cruise, possibly the same day.
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