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Caribbean Chris

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About Caribbean Chris

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    Osprey, Florida

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  1. Same with Raylene - her original Avid chip inserted by Guide Dogs for the Blind when she was a puppy migrated to her left flank, but still works. To complicate things, another brand chip was implanted by Dogs for the Deaf after her career change, and that one is in her shoulder area. Avid seems to be one of the preferred chips for places like Hawaii, so I am prepared to tell them exactly where it’s located if anybody ever tries to scan it. So far, officials never have.
  2. That’s a better OBC offer than we received when our cruise itinerary was suddenly switched from Caribbean to a Cuba itinerary the year these cruises started. $50 PP period whether you took the new itinerary or switched.
  3. Yes, it was a tongue in cheek comment. My meaning was referencing the question of whether the bags were created to fulfill a promised Club Orange perk for those who paid $50 pp pd for certain benefits, rather than created to make Neptune Suite passengers happy...hence the emoji 😀. Nothing lowly about Neptune suites IMO, either. Wish we could sail in them all the time!
  4. I wondered when it appeared in our room whether it was the tote bag mentioned in the Club Orange promo info I had seen posted on Cruise Critic. Glad we were given one on the Nieuw Stat even though we were lowly Neptune Suite passengers. 😀
  5. There may be confusion created by this discussion, about two kinds of vets that some might refer to as “USDA vets.”There are the hometown licensed vets (who happen to have been accredited by the USDA), and they work in commercial veterinary clinics all over the US. They are ideal vets for people who expect to travel often outside the US. Our USDA-accredited vet signs all our paperwork, and sometimes that’s all we need, such as for cruises to Alaska and Canada. Other “USDA vets” are actual government employees who work in regional service centers to review and countersign (endorse) the papers signed by accredited vets. They are listed on this website: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/endorsement-offices Endorsement is a second step ONLY done by a regional service center when necessary because of foreign countries’ import policies. These policies are listed by country on this website: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/take-pet-to-foreign-country I agree with Dianne that the USDA does NOT endorse paperwork when endorsement is not required. They would not endorse a 7001 health certificate for travel to Alaska and Canada, no matter how much a dog’s handler might want to feel “better safe than sorry.” As the USDA states, “It is APHIS VS’ role to provide endorsement (review and countersignature) of international health certificates after issuance by a USDA Accredited Veterinarian when required by an importing foreign country.” The key words are “when required.” https://www.aphis.usda.gov/pet-travel/letter-to-pet-owners.pdf
  6. This one we received in April on Nieuw Statendam was new to me, but maybe it has been around for a while. (We were in a Neptune Suite, which is not our norm, so have been accustomed to the dark blue thin papery tote since the white and blue canvas ones went away.) It is a faux-canvas sturdy fabric, solid blue on the other side, zipper top, and velcro tab to close the side pocket. I like the capacity, length of the straps, and net pockets for water bottles when I head for exercise classes.
  7. Alaska/Canada and New England/Canada are about the easiest of all cruises, paperwork wise. While it is true that some countries require health certificate endorsement by our governmental authority (the USDA), this is not the case when traveling from other parts of the United States into the state of Alaska, nor from the US to Canada. No need therefore for any service dog partner to overnight the dog’s form 7001 Health Certificate (issued by the dog’s vet) to be signed by a state’s designated USDA APHIS Service Center for these cruises. (Overnighting back & forth is an expensive proposition.) The health certificate should be issued within 30 days of your departure, and you also must travel with your dog’s valid current rabies certificate. Airlines sometimes ask to see your dog’s papers, so keep the originals in your carry-on, and have extra photocopies. The cruise line will expect to see these documents when you check in, or beforehand, along with any service dog form they provide in advance for you to sign.
  8. Our house is having Hearing Doggie summer camp this week while my friend Pat is off hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park. These two are hilarious in action, with 7-year old Raylene the instigator more often than 2.5 year old Firenze, a CCI pup from the Orlando campus. But they’re still doing their jobs. Both heads pop up simulanteously for sounds like the microwave beeps, and they both run to the sound, where Raylene takes charge of the alert business. So far, we’re going through a toy a day. Poor Mr. Squirrel lost his core body strength this morning.
  9. These are the requirements and the current form for St. Maarten. The last time we went, when the certificate went to the APHIS service center for the required endorsement, they commented to my vet regarding the lack of required adenovirus vaccination (which my vet hasn’t stocked in years and we do not plan to administer). We told the government vets that we would simply not disembark the dog there, so they marked up the form to indicate that. But when we’re on the ship, we had a call that we were welcome to take the dog ashore (the authorities had reviewed our papers). It is a very tourist-friendly island, though you will see some free-range dogs wandering about. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/pet-travel/health-certificates/non-eu/st-maarten-dog-cat.pdf Puerto Rico’s requirements (as of April 2019) are found if you click “Travel with a Pet from State to State” from the menu on the left side (Pet Travel page). Note you don’t need the permit, you just need the health certificate (7001) and rabies certificate, and the dog must be microchipped. The state to state section also has U.s. virgiN islands on the dropdown menu. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/animal-and-animal-product-import-information/import-live-animals/ct_puerto_rico_entry_req We did not take the dog ashore on St. Kitts - the cost and aggravation for two titer tests is simply not worth a few hours there. You can take turns going ashore without the dog if you wish. I’ve never been to Grand Turk, but the APHIS dropdown menu lists their requirements (titer test, etc), permit form and contact info.
  10. I somehow missed the title (in one inch tall letters - haHa!) Time to get my eyes checked.🤩
  11. I’d reserve, too, and early if you care about the timing. Many people get free dinners in the PG as perks so it can fill up. We once found that we could only get a very late reservation, and didn’t enjoy such a heavy meal at that hour.
  12. We also had a very good experience with Club Orange on Nieuw Statendam in April, with a similar experience to the others posting here who have actually used this amenity. The staff was excellent, including the wine steward who far exceeded any one we have ever had on HAL ships. (This was been a weak area for years in the main dining room IMHO.) We could not see the chef at work from our regular table, but enjoyed those hot breakfast items and daily specials. Before sailing, I speculated that the atmosphere should be more elegant, similar to some of the Pinnacles’ decor, but I found C.O. much more cheerfully appealing than I expected.
  13. Amazing!! I loved seeing Brenda in action, the dog who started this whole thread! What a sweet girl she was.
  14. Roz, I can only imagine that challenge at your job. The grass delivery service was an amazing solution! There have been a few times we've been in large cities like New York where there was NO grass anywhere except for locked private parks. I just had to look for paved areas with some drainage and give her the command. We stayed at the downtown Seattle Sheraton on a pre-cruise package before an Alaska cruise, and fortunately found a large public park on Google Street View a few blocks from the hotel for daytime. But there were some questionable-looking characters hanging about and there was no way I would have walked up there in the dark. At first light and for "last call" before bed, Raylene had to use the metal grating around the base of trees along the block in front of the hotel while I tried to look inconspicuous.
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