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Everything posted by Philob

  1. San Francisco has required this for a while also.
  2. Always in the top 3 donut shops in the city: Bob's Donuts. Open 24/7, line is sometimes 6-8 deep after last call (2am); everyone needing carbs and coffee before going home.
  3. We got a great deal at the Prince: free parking! Enough to pay for a rental for the time we were there.
  4. 1) Use taxi or Uber to hotel/cruise terminal. No hotel shuttles to the city, mainly for hotels in the vicinity of the airport. 1b) If you don't mind wheeling your luggage around you can to the International Terminal and take BART (subway) to Embarcadero Station. At street level is the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero. 2) Look for hotels in or near Fisherman's Wharf.
  5. San Francisco isn't a "base" cruise port like LA/San Pedro or Miami, it's a destination port. I think Princess only bases one ship there for the Alaska season. The city is on a peninsula and it's about as built out as it can get, plus it has a mission statement to reduce automobile traffic as much as possible, so anything that'll increase parking will not be approved.
  6. If not already mentioned, wear knee-high compression socks on the plane.
  7. Born & Raised here; the areas you plan to be are fine. In fact I think your SF friend has a higher chance of her car being broken into. Like any big city it has its good and bad, stay away from the Tenderloin, South of Market areas and you should be good. Unfortunately those areas also border some "good" areas too. Situation awareness, anywhere, is required. YMMV. Enjoy your stay.
  8. Welp, the San Francisco City Attorney filed a lawsuit against the Port of Oakland across the bay because they renamed their airport "San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport".
  9. Pier 80 is in a industrial area. I drive by it twice a week. There is NO parking unless your vehicle is a semi waiting to be loaded. Local transit stops are blocks away. Pier 80 is leased by an auto transport company and used as a roll-on-roll-off pier. IMO take the Princess transfer from SFO. Some taxis/ride share drivers don't go to that area since it's "that part of town".
  10. Flying on one of the Asian airlines will provide the best experience in any class. Singapore is probably the top, with any of the Japanese airlines. Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong) used to be on par with Singapore, but they've been on a downward spiral lately. EVA (Taiwanese) is the up and coming. Asiana (Korean) and Korean Air comes next. Skip China Airlines(Taiwanese) and any of the Chinese ones unless you're going to Shanghai or Beijing and the price is right. YMMV.
  11. Look at your ATM/Debit card, if it has any MasterCard/Visa/Cirrus/Plus, whatever logos, then you can technically use an ATM that displays the logo. Be mindful of the fees that may be charged.
  12. Philob

    Hong Kong DIY

    If you take the subway under the harbor, try to sit in the front or the back and look towards the other end. You'll see the other cars "snake" or whip around as it travels under the harbor.
  13. Airport Express. It's HK's subway service from the airport to Kowloon Station or Hong Kong (Central) Station. These are dedicated trains that service the airport. You should be in Kowloon in 25 minutes. A taxi or private car will take about 45 minutes plus any traffic. Go here for information about transport: https://www.hongkongairport.com/en/transport/to-from-airport/airport-express.page
  14. IMO it's best to contact a local brick and mortar travel agent to handle this. Each party will have different needs, better to let the pro handle it, especially the $$$:
  15. My uncle passed away while on a land vacation overseas. Hospital admin wanted their bill settled before they would release him to the mortuary. Mortuary took advantage and did the same before they would release him to the airline. Aunt was a total mess since uncle handles the money.
  16. Times are a changing... https://www.berkeleyscanner.com/2024/02/23/crime/north-berkeley-bart-auto-break-ins/
  17. On our last NCL cruise the Captain sat down at the table behind us with another officer. We exchanged hellos, he said he loves curry pointing to his heaping plate of curry over rice. Guessing it was a work dinner, the Executive Chef showed up later.
  18. The only requirements of citizenship is jury duty and the privilege of paying taxes 😉
  19. Transit through Narita (NRT) several times in the past to change planes (one ticket). Each time I had to go through security. You get off the plane on the lower arrival level, security, and escalator to the upper departure level. The closest was 45 minutes on JAL; they were "last call" when we got to the departure gate.
  20. Better check the terms of your healthcare plan. Back in the 90s a friend of mine had to be air-ambulanced from Anchorage to Seattle. It was a non-emergency transport and the co-pay was pretty hefty.
  21. Philob


    Don't forget in certain Bay Area cities there's the employee health insurance surcharge, soda tax, take out container surcharge, and lest we forget the auto glass surcharge 😉
  22. NCL would have a pp fee that'll cover most items on the menu or if you order 3,4... extra desserts or entrees.
  23. Best to have a copy of the policy coverage page and telephone numbers handy. "it's back on the ship. I'll go get it," may not work some times 😎
  24. On that note, airports will x-ray international luggage before it's loaded on the plane. Your luggage with the cookie sheets will be diverted to secondary screening...they're going to open them up for a look see.
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