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capriccio

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  1. Are you making fun of a typo (when the ship's name was spelled correctly two more times)? If not I totally missed the intent of the Wow comment. OP says both cruises have a similar price, but the Crown Princess is a 10 day cruise in a obstructed view cabin while the Nieuw Amsterdam is a 7 day cruise in a guaranteed balcony:
  2. There are four storage options that I can think of: If your cruise line has a luggage valet program (luggage picked up the night before as usual and not seen again until you land at your home airport), check into the pricing while on board (they will probably distribute an informational/sign up form a few days before disembarkation.. Each Fort Lauderdale Airport terminal has a Bags to Go (www.bagstogo.net) storage facility in the luggage carousel area. One or two of your group could cab it to the airport, store the luggage and then meet up with the rest of your party. Rent a car/van (if you would all fit in a single vehicle) and store the luggage in the trunk while sightseeing. This too would require the driver to pick up the car and then return to the port to pick up the other passengers. If your flight is in the mid to late afternoon, check out cruise line excursions that will drop you off at the airport (your luggage travels in the bus with you).
  3. The Crown Princess itinerary is much better, especially the fact that 2 out of 3 of the A(ruba) B(onaire) C(uracao) islands are included. In my mind a 10 day cruise always beats a 7 day cruise especially if the price is similar!
  4. So no original terminal! OP - ask at the passenger services desk and good luck! Good luck disembarking on schedule too. TAs are subject to various government inspections that can delay disembarkation and there can be longer waits (at least in our experience) getting a cab since almost everyone getting off the ship needs independent transportation.
  5. If the Regal is returning to a different terminal than it left from there will be a free shuttle to the parking area closest to the original terminal. Given that the Regal currently gets priority at terminal 2 and, I presume, that honor will go to the brand new Sky it may work out for you. If the Regal is returning to the same terminal it departed from a shuttle will be less likely. As others have said, check at passenger services. Worst comes to worst, take a taxi.
  6. We were on the Caribbean Princess on our BI cruise and docked in Greenock. We had probably our longest excursion day of any cruise ever. It was exhausting but one of our favorite days. Various members of our very active roll call (over 121 pages long and 3,000+ postings) arranged an incredible day: pick up in small vans (Timberbush Tours) for a day of sightseeing en route to Edinburgh with stops at Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle and drop off around 4 pm in Edinburgh. The driver told us where to meet our new driver for the return to the ship. couple hours of free time to investigate the city (didn't go to the castle at that time because later in the cruise we had a full day in Edinburgh) and take in lots of the free acts at the Fringe Festival (https://www.edfringe.com/) we all met for a Scottish dinner at the Cafe Hub (at the foot of the street to the Tattoo) around 6 pm. we had individually bought tickets to the Tattoo on their website the previous December so we split up again after dinner. as I said before the 90 minute Tattoo was incredible (music, marching, light show, fire works and a finale that should not be missed). after the Tattoo we met our van and new driver in the agreed upon meeting place and returned to the ship around 1 am - before any of the Princess buses arrived. Departure was scheduled for 2 am IIRC (I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow).
  7. Katonburg - yes we are just north of Woodstock/south of Strasburg (at I-81 exit 291). For us, the 81S to 77 to 95 is the shortest route. You will definitely have a couple of hours shorter drive! We've been doing this route for more than 6 years and that entire time I-77 well before Charlotte has been under construction and a guaranteed slowdown. When we came north in mid-April they had made some visible progress but I think it will be years before it is done.
  8. When in doubt, go the US State Department's website and see what they have to say: How long is a passport valid and is it true that it needs to have at least 6 months of validity remaining? "Some countries require that your passport be valid at least six months beyond the dates of your trip. Some airlines will not allow you to board if this requirement is not met. Consider the following scenario: A country requires that you have at least six months of validity on your passport. You currently have seven months of validity on your passport. However, your trip is two months from now. At that point, you will only have five months of validity remaining on your passport which is not enough to satisfy that country's entry requirements. In this situation, you would need to renew your passport before you can make your trip. Check our Country Information to learn about entry and exit requirements for the country or countries in which you are traveling." (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/faqs.html) The website also has an entire long page on Travelers with Special Considerations >Cruise Ship Passengers (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/cruise-ship-passengers.html) that contain lots of interesting and germane information for US cruise passengers including: "Always bring your passport in case of an emergency, such as an unexpected medical air evacuation or the ship docking at an alternate port in an emergency, even if your cruise says you won’t need it." "Apply early for your passport, or make sure your current one will be valid at least six months beyond your travel dates and has two or more blank pages.. Your cruise company may also require you to have a passport even if U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) does not." "Make color copies of your passport photo page, foreign visas, and itinerary. Leave one copy with a trusted family member or friend and carry one separately from your actual documents." "If you lose your passport, report it immediately to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and make arrangements to get a replacement passport, for a fee." I am taking a cruise. Do I need a passport? "We recommend that everyone taking a cruise from the United States have a passport book. Though some “closed-loop” cruises may not require a U.S. passport, we recommend bringing yours in case of an emergency, such as an unexpected medical air evacuation or the ship docking at an alternate port. Also, your cruise company may require you to have a passport, even if U.S. Customs and Border Protection does not."
  9. This past June instead of taking the dinner time flight from the East Coast that arrives at Heathrow around 6:30 am we took a flight that departed at 10:30 pm and arrived at 10:30 am that worked out perfectly. Compared with the early morning rush there were relatively few plane loads of passengers being processed by immigration and the e-passport gates were incredibly quick (quicker than Global Entry in the US since there aren't a handful of questions to answer). It was a welcomed surprise. We did have to wait for our driver for about 10 minutes because he got stuck in traffic dropping off disembarking cruise passengers in the city and because we were processed so quickly.
  10. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/386-florida-departures/
  11. In addition to posting this on the Disabled Cruise Travel board, make sure you post it on the Princess board too: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/forum/119-princess-cruises/
  12. Check with the bank issuing your card(s). We were able to add a PIN on-line (very simple process) to our USAA Visa card before going to Europe this summer (and then we didn't need it anywhere).
  13. A lost or stolen passport is not one of those very, very limited circumstances (my DH was stationed at 4 different US embassies most in cities with a high volume of US tourists). The funding for destitute US citizens has been historically very small. The State Department website (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/emergencies/emergency-financial-assistance.html) has an extensive list of options for getting funds from home. I don’t think anyone traveling on a cruise ship would be considered truly destitute.
  14. You are penalizing ship staff for a problem you have with headquarters? It seems to me you are just trying to justify not paying the auto-gratuities.
  15. Why? Many of the ports on an SA cruise are great distances apart necessitating a flight between them.
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