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About TravelerThom

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    VA, MD & FL
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    History, Travel, Exotic locations
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  1. I’m glad you are not overly concerned about the time, because most of what you said is incorrect. You have posted this 27 May 2020. Assuming you are at your stated home location of Raleigh NC you are currently on EDT, not EST. CocoCay is in the Bahamas in Eastern Time Zone and follows the same switch dates to and from EDT as the US, so it is currently on EDT. San Juan and Sint Maarten are indeed on AST and stay there throughout the year. So in all of these locations (EDT and AST) clocks will currently be reading identically. I can take a wild guess and assume that you are scheduled sail when your home location is operating on Standard Time, not Daylight as you have stated. As Stevea36 says “All of the tour operators are fully aware of the actual time the ship will be in port and tailor their tours to the time the ship will be there.” My recommendation is to trust them - they know what they are doing.
  2. Sometimes the grammar police get so noisy me can hardly here my chewing in the dinning room.
  3. Since we are discussing US residents entering Canada: As a general rule Canada will deny entry to anyone who has a felony conviction. Canada considers DUI a felony. If one has a DUI misdemeanor conviction in the US, Canada will still treat that as a felony conviction and deny entry. Canada has access to most US conviction records. After 10 years of clean record one can go through a legal process to be allowed entry to Canada. The conviction is not automatically cleared and people have been denied admission for 30-40 year old DUI misdemeanors.
  4. As long as the rental car company says it’s okay and your contract is written that way, no problem. (Obviously not currently okay, as the the US Canada border is closed for tourists) Whatever company I used (I think Avis) would not authorize an international drop from their downtown Vancouver office, but would from their YVR airport location (YMMV). I probably was doing a return leg on a car that had come up from Seattle. I had an advance reservation and the pick-up, border and drop off all ran smoothly. The Blaine, WA border crossing has been known to have several hour back-ups if the US has heightened alerts for terrorists or drugs, but we were through in less than 5 minutes.
  5. My suggestion on doing the one way trip was to be able to spend 1-2 weeks seeing inland Alaska (and Yukon if time allowed). IF one is able to have the time and money to do inland AND split round trip that should DEFINITELY be considered. Generally air to or from Alaska is a lot more than Seattle, so savings on airfare may cover some of the second cruise fare. Air from the Lower 48 to Vancouver is often much more than air to Seattle. I have arrived in Vancouver by ship and rented a car one way to SEA airport and saved a considerable amount (at the time I could not find a one way drop from central Vancouver, but hopped the Skytrain metro rail from Canada Place cruise terminal to the airport and was good to go). I had allowed time for potential hang ups at the Border crossing, but breezed right through in 5 minutes, so stopped in Everett WA at the Boeing wide body plant and took the tour. And the 3 hour loop on the Washington state ferry from Anacortes out through the San Juan Islands is gorgeous. So many things to see.... ENJOY!
  6. If time is not a problem, you could rent a car for two weeks and catch the ship on its next turn. A week cruise up, two weeks on the road in Alaska and Yukon, and a week cruise back would allow you to see a LOT of the area. A quick check of rental cars in Seward this summer (I couldn’t see prices for next summer) turned up car rentals with unlimited mileage for ~$900 for two weeks. When we flew in years ago (we were in our forties) we brought camping gear and camped most of the time for very little expense, and met lots of Alaskans and lots of travelers and had a great time. Of course I was an experienced camper, but we were camping in formal campgrounds most with hot showers etc, with only minimal experience required.
  7. I have done two Alaskan cruises, neither of which was one way to Alaska. One was inside and one ocean view (not balcony) cabin. I have also flown to Anchorage and done a round trip 16 day self guided 3000 mile driving trip (camped at Wonder Lake in Denali, drove to Arctic Circle, spent time in the Yukon, ferried across Prince William Sound, etc). On board I like to be in the open air on the top deck where I can have a 360 degree view, and I enjoy sharing this with new friends. Personally I save money for the next trips, and truly have few regrets of bypassing a balcony. The money saved has meant I’ve been able to sail to all seven continents. There is no wrong way for an Alaskan trip, but My OPINION: If this is a one time trip to Alaska take a one way trip and also spend time inland either as part of a tour or on your own (or a combination of both). Yes, the air will be more than for a round trip cruise out of Seattle, but Alaska deserves to be seen from both sea and land.
  8. Does anyone know what oasis class square footage of public deck space (which I guess would include the Deck 5 running track) per SOLAS count is? How does that compare to other classes? Obviously Oasis has a lot of public deck space, but they also have a lot of people, some stacked 17 decks high.
  9. I hope there was beer involved; I hate to think that somebody could be this dumb while sober.
  10. I agree the ABC cruise (often with Labadee thrown in) is great. However OP was looking for June, July, August (presumably because of schedule conflicts the rest of the year). Who knows what will happen after the pandemic (or when “after” will be) but RCI normally pulls most of their ships out of the Caribbean from Spring through Autumn, sending them to the Med, Baltic, etc. OP also needs to aware that hurricane season starts in June and probability increases as the summer goes on. While chances that one will encounter a hurricane are relatively low, if one comes in you may end up with an entirely different itinerary than the one you booked.
  11. Has ANYONE lucked out for a higher category than their guarantee since Royal Up came into existence? If RCI can sell an upgrade why are they going to give it to you? Five years ago I had an inside guarantee on a TransAtlantic cruise and ended up in a balcony, but I don’t ever see that happening again.
  12. I know this is quoted directly from RCLcorporate.com, but is that truly accurate or is it rewriting history to conform with current nomenclature? My understanding is that Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was founded as a partnership in Norway in 1968. On 23 Jul 1985 “Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.” was incorporated in Liberia, with its principal asset being Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. In 1997 coincident with Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. acquiring Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line became Royal Caribbean International.
  13. Actually RCCL (whose stock symbol is RCL) is the corporation that owns Celebrity, RCI and other lines. The cruise line has been RCI (Royal Caribbean International) for many years.
  14. The first of my 10 TransAtlantics was in April 2004 on the QE2 Southampton to NY. 3 days of locked off decks, 12 hours of 20 meter (70 foot) waves. Three windows on Deck 8 were broken. Many people the first day were afraid they were going to die, but they quickly got over that when they were so sick they were afraid they weren’t going to die. I had paid for those meals, and damned if I missed any of them. IMO a fun ride. YMMV.
  15. Correct; and if you miss your Miami boarding of a Foreign flagged cruise with a stop in Key West and then Coco Cay (as an example) it is a violation to travel to Key West and get on there, because then the cruise line would be transporting you between two US ports. A US flagged vessel could carry you between any of these ports. Until 2015 Foreign flagged ships did occasional cruises to nowhere typically as introductory cruises for travel agents and VIPs or as a short fill-in for schedule adjustments. Nobody complained. But in 2015 a Bahamian flagged vessel tried to start regular cruise to nowhere gambling trips out of Florida. US gambling cruises complained. CBP ruled improper visas. This then applied to all cruises to nowhere, and that killed that.
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