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About wheezedr

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  1. Well in fact I am a retired physician with over 40 years of practice in pediatrics and immunology (hence my screen name) and I have and will continue to recommend Hepatitis A vaccine to travelers on this and other travel sites. Hepatitis A is endemic through most of the US and outbreaks can occur even in the absence of travel. During my years of practice we saw many cases and a few large outbreaks. The latter were primarily sourced at school and college cafeterias and the result of poor hygiene in food service workers who were asymtomatic carriers. This is a simple vaccination that has been routine in pediatric practice for many years now. There is no downside to someone recommending a course of action, as the person receiving the recommendation still has the ability to pursue whether or not it is appropriate for them. To the OP, if you are still monitoring this thread, I would definitely recommend the Hepatitis A. Typhoid is always a +/- decision, because the frequency is much lower and the vaccine is clearly not as effective nor does the protection persist as long.
  2. The Island gets bad reviews because of the additional 200+ passengers that were added when she was remodeled. That came at the cost of some public space and without any additional dining space. That leaves the Coral as the more popular ship of this class.
  3. The answer is that nobody knows. In over 20 Princess Cruises I have seen times when prices rose after my booking, times when they remained stable and times, like on my Antarctica cruise in December where they have fallen multiple times. I have rebooked it twice. Fare dropped over $1100pp. Yeah I gave up some OBC and free gratuities, but I am way ahead. Book your cruise now if you really want it, and then follow the Princess sales on a regular basis, at least until final payment is due.
  4. On our first nine Princess cruises we sailed on 9 different ships. That was not by plan but just how the itineraries worked out. We have lots of things we especially like about the Royal Class and the lack of a Promenade deck is not a deal breaker for us. On our first sailing the midships stairs were not fully opened but Princess received so many complaints on that issue that they solved it rather quickly. We also really like the Coral, have 16 days scheduled on her in December. That being said we are not fans of what they did to the Island and thus have avoided it. Have never sailed on the Pacific so cannot comment on that.
  5. As Euro points out, it is possible but not easy. Also hope that there are no snags in the transportation system. Last time we had a long delay on the train from Civitavecchia to Rome, so had to adjust our plans on the fly. I usually recommend doing either the Vatican or Ancient Rome if you only have one day but know people fear they may never have the chance to return.
  6. Actually I will take lower price over a promotion any day. Recently refared a booking. Had to give up $125pp OBC and $248pp worth of gratuities to get a $750pp reduction in price. That was after a $400 reduction from my original booking where I held onto the perks. I always do the math and see what works out to the best deal.
  7. Have to agree with Martincath that customs at YVR has become much less onerous since the arrival of the kiosks. Essentially they have added a new set of bodies to the system and this is one place where the new technology has been very effective. Since you will have cleared US customs and immigration preflight, you are now basically flying domestically to the US. You can land at any domestic US terminal , grab your luggage and hit the road
  8. We also had a great check in experience at the Doubletree. Arrived at about 10:30AM after an overnight flight. Hoping to just store my luggage, but front desk clerk found a room that was available and checked us straight in. Very convenient to Central station. Easy access to trams and walkable to many tourist attractions.
  9. You go through customs at your first port of entry. In your case Toronto. Your Toronto to Vancouver flight is a Canadian domestic flight so there would be no need for customs after it.
  10. I recently refared a cruise twice. Was able to keep same cabin. First time I kept my perks as well. Second time the fare dropped almost $750pp but had to give away $373 worth of perks, prepaid gratuities and OBC. Math made that decision very simple. You always have to compare what you gain and lose.
  11. Personal experience is that this is the norm in most airports. Would never say all, as there are still many places I have never been, but I remember noting this issue many years ago and have had to plan for it as well in the past.
  12. Have to agree with Denmarks that it would be hard to establish criteria since each of us have such variable interests and preferences. Travel mags and websites often have “best of” lists, but they are very subjective. I have numerous friends who cruise regularly and when we compare what we like and dislike it is clear that no one line is the best for everything. First time we did HAL we were lots younger than we are today and friends said we would be bored to tears, but the timing and itinerary worked for us and the cruise was quite pleasant. Our usual go to line is Princess but another good friend really didn’t enjoy his only adventure with them and he swears by X. I certainly want to enjoy the ship but my usual driving force is itinerary. I have never sailed Carnival and from my reading I doubt I ever will, but I realize that thousands of people must enjoy them or they would not keep coming back. Another factor is that even within the same cruise line there can be significant differences on a ship to ship basis. Both with respect to size and available amenities.
  13. Why not just go on one of the adults only cruise lines.
  14. There are lots of shops, restaurants near where the tenders dock. Basically it is the southern tip of Los Angeles.😁
  15. One question I have from above is whether you are looking at a full or partial transit. In my experience the full transits generally take at least 2 weeks. I would always recommend a full transit over a partial as you would miss much of the interesting works on a partial from Florida. As a side point, anyone really interested in the Canal history and understanding it’s background should read David McCullough’s “The Path Between the Seas”.
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