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Everything posted by njhorseman

  1. No doubt because the Bermudian dollar is on par with the US dollar, so there's really no conversion to do.
  2. 55th St. and 12th Ave is just the motor vehicle entrance to the cruise terminal complex . From there your ride will proceed within the cruise terminal complex to the appropriate pier. The check in for Pier 88 is in Pier 88, Pier 90 check in is in Pier 90 (92/94 are almost never used). Sometimes people taking a metered taxi to the cruise terminal don't want the fare to be rolling up while the cab is making its way through traffic to the pier so they ask to be dropped off at the corner of 12th and 48th St. for Pier 88 or 12th Ave and 50th St. for Pier 90 and then cross the street to enter their specific pier. If you are playing a flat rate to a car service or Uber, or a private car is dropping you off then you don't have to worry about the fare running up so your ride can drop you directly at the cruise pier entrance doors. When big ships are in port they commonly want car service pick ups to be done across the street on 12th Ave. or a nearby cross street. The cars that were being ticketed were likely sitting in a taxi stand or a no parking or no standing zone.
  3. Metropol is within walking distance of the Courtyard. I wouldn't call it "great" , but its prices are within reason for a resort area. It features Puerto Rican and Cuban food.
  4. The Ritz Carlton has not reopened after Hurricane Maria....it's been closed for over two years now.
  5. Do you mean Kenepa Beach?
  6. We've driven all over Puerto Rico, although not to Arecibo, for many years. Sometimes people don't drive in as orderly a fashion as I would like, but yes, it's generally safe. It helps to know a little bit of Spanish in order to read the road signs correctly. For example este is east, oeste is west...fairly easy to confuse those two if you're completely unfamiliar with the language. You definitely want to stay away from anything marked "excavacion profunda" . One of the roads we regularly drove on for years had that ominous sign on the shoulder of the road.
  7. The words "pleasant or quick" should never be used in the same sentence as "dmv experience" .
  8. Some AMEX cards have international surcharges.
  9. And they might not know. Once when we were on the Oceania Insignia I realized that the day before disembarkation in Honolulu they had not distributed customs declaration forms to the passengers. I went down and spoke to the guest services manager ( or whatever her title was) who insisted they wouldn't be needed. Guess what...she was wrong and the next morning while the passengers were waiting in line to disembark the crew was handing out customs declaration forms that you had to fill out while standing in line.
  10. I was on that cruise and had no problems. By the way the ship was docked in Manhattan, not Brooklyn, and if your luggage was opened by some government official the TSA lock wouldn't have mattered as TSA is not involved with screening luggage from cruise ships. The only thing I can think of, outside of attempted theft was that a CBP dog alerted to something it thought was suspicious in the luggage causing CBP to open the bags.
  11. Per the most recent in-person reports, including one by a local resident, the trolley is not running.
  12. As of the most recent report, they are not running.
  13. The hotels the posts are discussing, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn, both in Ridgefield Park, NJ, have cruise packages that include round trip transportation to the Manhattan terminal, so none of the posters would have paid anything additional to get to and from the cruise pier. The service would have been provided by whomever the hotels have contracted with to provide the transportation.
  14. A foreign-flagged cruise ship such as Escape can't do a legal repositioning cruise from NY to Miami in three days, so the ship will not be carrying passengers between NY and Miami. This type of repositioning cruise requires a call at a distant foreign port, but the nearest distant foreign ports to the east coast are the ABC islands...Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao, and it takes three days just to get to one of these islands from NY. As a result a minimum of 5 to 6 days would be required to do a repositioning cruise from NY to Miami...3 days from NY to one of the ABCs and then 2 to 3 days from the ABCs to Miami.
  15. The law dictates what circumstances constitute a PVSA violation. Passengers are subject to it and entertainers are not passengers. Here's a link to CBP's compliance document for the PVSA, https://www.cbp.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pvsa_icp_3.pdf . Page 9 defines who is not a passenger, and it lists entertainers as being among the group of individuals who are not passengers . The whole idea of the law is to prohibit transportation of passengers by foreign flagged ships between one US port and another.
  16. The fine for a PVSA violation is $762 per person, and it applies equally to an intentional illegal early disembarkation or an accidental violation caused by someone not making it back to the ship on time . If you have cash account NCL will bill you. If you don't pay they will likely sue you and obtain a judgement .
  17. Not just good for land crossings...It's also good for ports of entry by sea from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda, so it's also good for cruises. However, as already mentioned it's not good for international air travel.
  18. You clear immigration in the first US port but the general practice is that you don't clear customs until your disembarkation port. Clearing customs is easier than it used to be, as you generally don't have to complete a customs declaration form unless you've exceeded your customs allowance and therefore have something to declare. They still retain the right to do random customs checks of disembarking passengers.
  19. Manhattan Cruise Terminal on 12th Ave. Encore being a large ship will always sail from Pier 88, which is at 12th Ave and 48th St. Please note that regardless of which pier, 88, 90 or 92/94, is being used there is only a single motor vehicle entrance, at 12th Ave. and 55th St., to the cruise terminal complex. There are separate pedestrian entrances to each of the piers however, at 48th St., 50th St. and 52nd St., respectively.
  20. My answer assumed, perhaps incorrectly, that the poster was staying at an airport hotel near JFK and was going to Manhattan from there. Airport hotels do have their own shuttles to and from the airport.
  21. In case it isn't clear...you drive on the right in Puerto Rico. The US Virgin Islands are the only places under US jurisdiction where you drive on the left side of the road.
  22. I always eat at Hog Penny when in Hamilton...in fact we were just there for lunch last Wednesday. It has an old English pub-type atmosphere. The menu isn't very good for a young child. I'm not sure I'd go to Woody's for dinner. Reputed to have an excellent fish sandwich if you were going for lunch and drinks. There have been a few incidents there over the years that would make me uncomfortable being there after dark.
  23. Flanagan's Irish Pub on Front St. lists spiny lobster on their menu as being available when in season. Although it's in season now I'm not sure whether they will actually have it available on the day you're there. They have an outdoor dining patio overlooking Hamilton Harbour...of course no guarantee seating will be available there when you arrive. They do have a kid's menu.
  24. But in fairness to the poster, the US Virgin Islands are also part of the US and the signs are in English, but you drive on the left side of the road , so the question was a reasonable one.
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