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About ShopperfiendTO

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    Cool Cruiser

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    Oceania, Azamara
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    All over!

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  1. The port, while quite close to the city, is still in a pretty isolated area and it would be disappointing if they did not provide shuttles. On our cruise with Oceania a few years back, a shuttle bus was provided. It stopped near the General San Martin Plaza (a park, near Retiro train station), on the south/east side of the park. Not sure if you consider that to be in the "city centre" but it was convenient enough for us. The bright side is that if shuttles are not provided, taxi fare would be quite inexpensive compared to North America, although you have to be careful/alert somewhat not to be scammed by routing and/or fare charge/change. Try to have smaller bills so that you don't get back large value counterfeit bills as change. Buenos Aires was super interesting, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
  2. There was a healthy taxi stand without much of a wait when we disembarked on the later side of the disembarkation process. Unfortunately for us, we caught a grumpy driver who was hoping for a fare to Heathrow when we just wanted to get to the train station but we chalk this up to our bad luck.
  3. Good to know, thanks. 3 hours is a bit short though. How much would it be for a full day excursion, say 6 hour wait? Actually, how much would it be to take a taxi from the port in Vigo to Santiago and grabbing a different taxi from Santiago back to the port (i.e., two completely separate taxi rides)? Would it be more than 100 Euros each direction?
  4. Just curious, I assume that the taxis would take the toll roads, so would the tolls be extra or are they included in the excursion rate?
  5. This is great information: There are two functioning train stations in Vigo that both go to Santiago with Urziaz being the faster, generally more frequent station (but is uphill and slightly further away from the port). Just to add to this that the Santiago train station is about 1 km or so away from the old town area where the Cathedral is located so there's that to consider as well (gradual incline from train station to old town).
  6. Is the flight you're getting on at BCN going over the Atlantic Ocean or is it going somewhere else in Europe first, such as CDG, AMS, LHR (maybe no longer in June 2019?), FRA? If it is a flight getting you to a connecting flight in EU, then it's a domestic flight and you have more time to check in before the gate closes. The cab ride from the Barcelona cruise port to BCN is about a half hour in good traffic. If you're connecting in Europe, you are at the edge of the comfort zone - assuming you're mobile - but you are going to need to take a private transfer and will have an early morning and a quick breakfast. If it's going over the Atlantic, I'd take another flight.
  7. On our Samba Serenade cruise we made it to Rio Grande on an R ship. IMO you didn't miss much, very little tourist infrastructure but perhaps they are improving with the stops that O/NCL seems to always make on this routing. We made it to La Gomera (bit of a scare getting out however but we did make it) on another R ship and it was the highlight of our Canary Islands cruise. I hope you do make it there eventually, easier to do from England than North America! As for OP, yes, we've missed a handful of ports (sailed only O and Az and only ports missed have been on O, though we've taken twice the number of O cruises), the most recent being to Waterford last year which was due to weather. Not on our must-see list so we weren't too fussed over it. I think if you go on longer cruises (e.g., say over 14 night), you're going to hit statistics where it is going to be more likely that you're going to have a missed port due to a medical health issue/emergency.
  8. Not sure if there is a shuttle for Messina port, but even if there is one, it won't be taking you to Taormina.
  9. Just because you weren't stopped doesn't mean that it's not required. Car rental agencies probably don't ask to see the IDP because it's not their problem that you can't drive the car that you rented from them. On our recent trip to Spain, we rented our car and got our IDP for it. The car rental company didn't ask to see the IDP but we know that it is required for Spain. We didn't want to risk the headaches, fines and penalties that might apply if we were stopped randomly and checked and did not have it on us. IMHO the IDP is a rip-off in that it is valid for only a year rather than until the driver's licence expires (because it's really just translating your driver's licence in a uniform manner for the foreign country to understand), but what can you do. As to OP's issue, the son has an IDP; he just doesn't have it on him (yet). I'd send it electronically and courier to follow-up. Hopefully it is a non-issue for the time he has only the electronic copy. Edit: It seems that the original copy of the IDP is required by car rental agencies: https://www.japan-experience.com/car-rental/common-questions/driving-licence https://www.otsinternational.jp/otsrentacar/en/guide/license/
  10. Right, I was asking why the luggage would be in SAS' unclaimed luggage room at LAX if the luggage tag had the California lady's flight info.
  11. I have a question: If the lady in California took the luggage, unless OP printed out and attached the luggage tag onboard, how would the luggage have SAS tags on it? Wouldn't that luggage tag have OP's flight info and so basically it is "her" luggage that is left at the airport unclaimed? If OP had her ownership information on the luggage as well, then after a set period of being unclaimed, wouldn't the airport contact both the old lady and the OP as well?
  12. We were in Flam and took a (super) ship excursion that included the railway ride. There were train cars specifically reserved for people on Az excursions so you should not be too worried about not having seats on the apparently sold-out train. However, if the docking time changes so that there is no train back before the ship leaves, then there seems to be a risk that the excursion might be cancelled. I think the risk would be low though given that excursions are a revenue generator for Az and docking times are generally within Az's control for less-visited ports like Flam - i.e., the port operators should be fairly flexible with the time of departure unless there is a ship scheduled to arrive later in the day (but how likely is that)? Is your excursion just for the return ride on the railway or is it a combination tour where you ride it up/down one way and get bused in the other direction? The latter is the excursion we took with Az and what they did was split those who signed up for the excursion into two groups, one group starting with the train ride up and the other group ending with the train ride down (i.e., same tour, reverse itineraries). In the end, I think you alerting Az of this issue was helpful as it will allow Az time to sort this out: You want to buy/take the excursion, Az wants to sell/provide you the excursion, and the railway (presumably) wants to sell Az/you a ticket for the train.
  13. Re: Sintra to Lisbon I can imagine the stress of the uncertainty and time ticking away and so glad that it worked out for you! I know hindsight is 20/20 but did you know that Oriente is the main train station for Lisbon and so there would have likely been a connecting train going directly to Santa Apolonia station very shortly after your train from Sintra arrived at Oriente? In case you end up there, this situation is similar for Porto as well, with its Sao Bento (analogous to Santa Apolonia) and Camphana (analogous to Oriente) stations.
  14. Yes, please make sure you read or get and understand the tour operator's cancellation policy before deciding booking with them. They are all different and this way you know what you're getting into if the unfortunate situation does arise. This is another "peace of mind" benefit of booking through the cruise line directly. For the Mediterranean ports the operators are usually very good with not charging you if the ship does not call, but it is different for the other ports in the world. Re: missed ports, it is random depending on the weather but certain ports are more prone to being missed than others due to the very nature of the location of the port, so you would have to weigh that as well.
  15. The standard configuration is the beds are together with the heads against the neighbor wall, not the window/outside wall: https://www.oceaniacruises.com/ships/insignia/suites-staterooms/deluxe-ocean-view-stateroom/ If splitting, they usually just put an aisle between the beds, so one bed is moved under the window and the other stays where it started. I've never seen the T-bone configuration and I don't think they can split the beds against both walls because there is a sofa or desk fixture in the way. All of the beds we've had are "twins" (combined they make a queen so they are actually narrower than a standard twin) stuck together and aren't that heavy to move around so you might have some flexibility to try and ask for something that works for you. If T-bone doesn't work, I suppose you might be able to try swapping one bed with where the sofa is along the wall and then either remove the sofa or put it on the same wall as the desk?
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