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Host Bonjour

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Everything posted by Host Bonjour

  1. Can't overstate the value of a lightweight waterproof layer that can be easily rolled (or packed into it's own zip case) and popped into day bag/knapsack. For places known to have weather (or quirky weather) it will come in handy more often than not. Add a foldable bucket had if the rain layer doesn't have a hood.
  2. Twice to the Biennale, ok that's soooo exciting (and as insiders!) cool! Equally exciting: a visit to Puglia, so, what a combination. ๐ŸŽ‡ This is what struck me as I'm viewing the selection of images you shared. I'm not sure what I expected but the exhibits were so wonderfully varied in their style, scale, processes and types...but I guess that's why Venice is THE Biennale capital B. Isn't really a better setting for captivating art than a stunning city, is there? ๐Ÿ˜ What type of art does he make? It looks like you're drawn to sculpture and large scale installations, so if I had to guess...but I also do see you included some amazing glass work. My goodness the piece by the campanile, now having seen how it's created I can't imagine. And the bookcase? I will inflict a little punishment on myself I didn't make enough time to take the boat to Murano. (It could still happen if I can ever renew my Irish passport ๐Ÿคฃ) I can't imagine leaving without some sort of major piece of Murano and a lighting fixture would probably be the most practical because it gets used. A vase or other item would be set aside but this...it's kind of like the ones in the Bellagio...maybe it was just me but when I walked into that place I saw two things: flowers and the lighting but lights first up above, Murano...then beautiful flowers. Thanks again for sharing additional images, absolutely loved seeing them. ๐ŸŽจ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น
  3. Did you go to Venice just for the Biennale? Or fly in early before sailing? What an experience it must have been!! I've seen some incredible exhibits on Instagram (www.instagram.com/jr) including a custom designed Venice Simplon rail car by the artist JR. I suppose there were some old cars that were able to be refurbished. Pretty cool but then as your images show, so many interesting things on view every time there's a show. Must be some amazing glass work. I just finished watching the Blown Away series and there was a Murano expert there to judge and several makers used advanced venetian techniques. Gorgeous. Thanks for sharing. Oh and happy today is the first day of Venice day trip fee, to be "gently" enforced I read, and cost more to implement than it will collect, in classic Italian bureaucratic style. Still....have to preserve Venice. ๐Ÿ™‚
  4. What about a prepaid Visa or Mastercard? It's the kind you can buy at Target or Walmart with cash and then works the same as a credit card for purchasing goods and services. You just would need to be sure that there is an adequate amount of money available on the card to cover the cost you plan to spend with the card, but then you would likely have this planned in your budget. The cards are also usually available in places like CVS, Walgreens, and supermarkets. There's usually a small fee to "activate" the card when you buy it. Check to see if or what the international transaction fees might be. You can do a comparison for prepaid card fees (mostly this would be with foreign currency transactions) with a google search. I think this would be a better solution than the debit card (which is usually a VISA) though many states have enacted rules that limit rental car companies from placing excessive holds on debit cards for rental cars. Good luck!
  5. Given the high rate of VAT and or any associated costs associated with alcohol, I could see where NCL might not want to see these costs gobble up the profitability they earn on beverages. Sister lines Oceania and Seven Seas can probably absorb into their bottom lines a bit more comfortably with different fare schedules, but NCL might take this step in port to preserve better rates for passengers. Beverages tend to be highly profitable, but why give away any of that profit when they can offer better value/savings etc to passengers? Plus, it's not merely the amount of the tax, but also the related costs for complying with the taxes will also eat into the bottom line, and each line (including sister lines) will be responsible for its profitability so strategic planning decisions like this make sense from a profit/loss standpoint, however unpopular it might be. If they served, they'd still have to pay the VAT to whichever country because they wouldn't get a waiver for collecting/paying to locality. It's a theory, but since almost everything comes down to money, that's where I'd bet a euro. ๐Ÿค‘
  6. Thanks so much for sharing your passport loss and recovery story. Not only is it a helpful account of the steps to take after the theft of a passport, each step was well described from start to finish. Most helpful of all was that by acknowledging that yes, this is unpleasant, you were then able to move on to problem solving. Part of being able to take the necessary steps comes from being prepared before we arrive (pre-travel stage): read about what, where, how to do stuff when things do go wrong. Trip insurance can help with unexpected costs or losses, but that's gotten even more complicated in recent years, especially postโ€“pandemic, policies/terms have changed. Cruise Critic brings in Trip Insurance experts from time to time to help untangle some of the complexity through Q&As on our forum. So so happy that this had the best possible outcome, but it was largely down to your exceptional efforts! And again, it's not easy to trouble shoot in a country/language that's not your own, I've done it, many of us have, to varying degrees of success for any given reason (especially these days when ID is so critical). Please accept our thanks for sharing your account and update, along with a fancy Cruise Critic badge for your member profile! ๐ŸŽ‰
  7. Which browser do you use? Google will almost always ask if you wish for a page to be translate and/or automatically translate if you check yes when the pop up appears. The browser will auto-translate any page you visit when it detects a language that isn't English. The others (Safari, Firefox, Bing) probably do it but I rarely use themโ€“it might require changing a setting to trigger the translation so I'm not sure. Like many others on this board, I can manage with Italian, but it doesn't go so well in every language so Google translate works wonders! Don't count on it for literary accuracy (yet) but it's generally adequate for travel info.
  8. Love that you included the Italian translations! Appreciate the post and I think there are two restaurants on this list that are faves of our friends on here, รจ vero? Don't recall seeing Arcangelo or Grappolo mentioned but I'm sure it's come up at some point. Gosh now I'm hungry/ho fame! Hope everyone's year has gotten off to a great start ๐Ÿ™‚
  9. Hi Korimako! We have an entire board dedicated to technology questions re: cruising (and photography/video) but of course you're always welcome to post in any topic. Just sharing here to help you get targeted info. ๐Ÿ™‚ SIM/eSIM Topic on Digital Tech board and there are other topics concerning cell phones, wifi, on board tech use and much more. Hope this helps! Colleen
  10. Yes, so sorry I missed that. How are you uploading the image? Can you copy/past the image into the post? Tap on the three dots in the upper right hand section of the image, click copy on the image you would like to post, then open your browser and navigate to the topic, place the cursor into a new post where you'd like to drop the image and click paste. Since the image is already in jpg format, there shouldn't be an issue and it should work similar to drag and drop. At the moment I can't login with my phone to test anything ๐Ÿ˜‚ but as soon as I'm able I'll try it out too. So if anyone sees a wonky post from me, that's why....
  11. So we have the holiday mingle board open and there's a *chef's kiss* delicious cookie topic (biscuit) recipe exchange underway, so thoughts came to mind of incredible biscuits and desserts/puddings that are traditional this time of year, or maybe all year and extra lovely over the holidays. If anything springs to mind that is a fave, whether it's a national/regional favorite or something you discovered on a cruise or another journey and please consider sharing it with the community in the spirit of the season (or the spirit of your favorite food network show?). There's an adorable gingerbread badge on offer for anyone who contributes. You can almost taste the little hands...ok that's probably weird. ๐Ÿช๐Ÿ˜‚ Hope everyone is well and if traveling over the next few weeks, go safely. Colleen
  12. So we have the holiday mingle board open and there's a *chef's kiss* delicious cookie topic (biscuit) recipe exchange underway, so thoughts came to mind of incredible biscuits and puddings that are traditional this time of year, or maybe all year and extra lovely over the holidays. If anything springs to mind that is a fave, whether it's a national favorite or something you discovered on a cruise or another journey and please consider sharing it with the community in the spirit of the season (or the spirit of your favorite food network show?). There's an adorable gingerbread badge on offer for anyone who contributes. You can almost taste the little hands...ok that's probably weird. ๐Ÿช๐Ÿ˜‚ Hope everyone is well and if traveling over the next few weeks, go safely. Colleen
  13. So we have the holiday mingle board open and there's a *chef's kiss* delicious cookie topic (biscuit) recipe exchange underway, so thoughts came to mind of incredible biscuits and puddings that are traditional this time of year, or maybe all year and extra lovely over the holidays. If anything springs to mind that is a fave, whether it's British or something you discovered on a cruise or another journey and please consider sharing it with the community in the spirit of the season (or the spirit of the Great British Bake Off?). There's an adorable gingerbread badge on offer for anyone who contributes. You can almost taste the little hands...ok that's probably weird. ๐Ÿช๐Ÿ˜‚ Hope everyone is well and if traveling over the next few weeks, go safely. Colleen
  14. Ciao tutti! So we have the holiday mingle board open and there's the beginnings of a *chef's kiss* cookie topic so you know I got to thinking about everyone here. Maybe there's not always a consistent stream of conversations about dolci, there's the gelato chat and the tiramisu chat, so there has to be some holiday cookie chat. That leads me to believe there may be fans of rainbow cookies, pizzelles, pignoli cookies (ok not for everyone), cannoli (not a cookie but not open for debate in this topic ๐Ÿ˜‚ ), the honey balls aka struffoli, (also not a cookie, but you tell that to a Sicilian!). If you have any Italian, American, Polish (don't know how to spell it but they have a classic), Filipino, Dominican, Greek, any type of holiday/seasonal recipe, or restaurant fave/memory, you'd like to share, please do! The festively shaded link โฌ†๏ธ to the topic is available in the first line of this post. There's an adorable gingerbread badge on offer for anyone who contributes. You can almost taste the little hands...ok that's probably weird. ๐Ÿช๐Ÿ˜‚ Hope everyone is well, warm (or cool in the southern hemisphere) and if traveling over the next few weeks, go safely. ๐ŸŽ‡โœจ Colleen
  15. You need to convert the HEIC files (standard in iPhone) into jpg files in order for them to upload here. To automatically CONVERT existing HEIC images to JPG when transferring/posting images from your iPhone: Launch the Settings app Tap Photos Tap Automatic. This setting is found at the very bottom of the screen under Transfer to Mac or PC This setting is extremely useful as it now means that any time you transfer photos from iPhone to Mac or PC they will automatically send in JPEG rather than HEIC. To automatically FORMAT your photos in JPG (instead of HEIC) as you take them: Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad Tap Camera. You might have to scroll a bit to find this option Tap Formats Tap Most Compatible. If you want to switch back to HEIC, follow these same steps but tap High Efficiency. JPG is the standard file transfer for images and unless you have a particular requirement to keep images in HEIC format, it will be fine to keep the jpg setting on your iPhone. You may always change it back if you wish and use the selective jpg transfer option noted above. Good luck. We hope this helps ๐Ÿ™‚
  16. The Cruise Critic Holiday Jingle & Mingle Board is open once again, and there's a cookie (oops, biscuit!) recipe thread that's off to a decent start. There are also surprise badges available for members (you'll see it on your CC avi) who stop by and say hello, share a virtual toddy with your fellow cruisers. Sorry for shouting in the topic title but wanted to grab the attention of folks who aren't here as often as our ride or die members, who we love and appreciate more than we can express for all the knowledge and wisdom so generously shared with the community! Popular/frequently asked questions include: Getting to/from port to London by car/train/bus (link to pinned topic at top of board) Finding an hotel in London (link to pinned top at top of board) Ho-Ho buses in London (great post by JB on using a Ho-Ho in London) We encourage reading through pinned topics if your question falls into the popular category. The topics are live and updated daily by travelers and by folks living in/around London and the U.K. How lucky are we? You may still have questions, but you'll be able to ask questions that are more specific to your needs, saving time and all the back and forth. Grab the info that's already on offer and then post your specific question to our experienced (and insider) community members. Some members report that the search topic is challenging to use while looking for frequently posted content; here is a link to some info on that subject. A few fixes have been made to the latest update over the summer. Finally, we would say to folks waery of the usual questions, we understand and we appreciate your kindness and patience with members of the community reaching out for information. Any member is may bypass any question at any time and chime in where they feel they may be most helpful and contribute generously, and again, we are truly grateful. Thanks for taking the time to read and to everyone for contributing to Cruise Critic in 2023. It's been such a wonderful year, seeing everyone get back out on the sea again, rescheduling plans that were postponed or cancelled, things feeling kind of normal-ish again. Stay safe and warm ๐Ÿ™‚
  17. I had dinner at an upscale restaurant in Mexico once where the menus for women did not even have the prices listed (they did for men), women were given roses when they arrived, and when the time came for the check, a lavish basket was brought to the woman who was then instructed to hand it over to the man she was dining with. It was the check. Now, taking into account this doesn't account for LGBTQ+ couples or less modern views of women's ability to earn and certainly manage money, at times old world views still may appear on occasion. Italy is probably still a bit more old fashioned in some ways than some other European countries, but they're not entirely backwards either. I think the bartender probably meant no offense and was probably thinking old world ways...in Italy of all places, this would be the default presumption. You still can't go into most churches without proper cover etc etc. so things are still how they are; not for everyone, but for some people. It's always ok to send feedback to a hotel, in a constructive, polite manner. Perhaps it would help them for future guests...maybe they could put better hinges on the furniture, silicone stoppers or whatever so nothing slams shut, just make some slight improvements with hardware so the furniture isn't slammed and maybe that's a fix for less noise? They don't know if they don't know. Changing cultural views via different languages? Either spend a lot of time there and make friends or chalk it up to the experiences of traveling, or even at home. Some folks just see things differently. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ โ˜บ๏ธ
  18. They do, it costs about โ‚ฌ10 less than the passport book.
  19. This would be the critical thing: plainclothes police wouldn't be making random pedestrian stops and doing document checks. Undercovers generally do targeted operations when they're out in a designated, probably ordinary place, for a very specific purpose, which is probably not to pick out immigration violations in touristy locations. It's always good to be aware, but other than your hotel or airport, maybe a MAJOR train station window, no one should be asking for your passport in public, unless of course, you're arrested? ๐Ÿ˜‚ But even then probably no documents needed until the station? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ Even the police know what's up. No need to take documents out in public!! ๐Ÿ™‚
  20. Many homeowner's insurance policies will cover this equipment, unless perhaps it is extremely expensive, in which case you can add valuable item coverage to any policy. If you're traveling with rare, unusual, or special equipment, or maybe just an all Leica set up, you want to be sure these devices won't be excluded. Ensure that your insurance has replacement cost coverage. But keeping receipts and serial numbers of equipment will help with claims for insurance. Easiest thing is to snap photos and save them somewhere other than your phone (in the event the phone was also lost) for later retrieval and submission. Other insurances might also augment the homeowners policy, such as certain travel credit cards (Chase Sapphire, Capital One Venture, Amex Gold/Platinum) so look into those details too, as well as any coverages that might be available separately with travel insurance.
  21. Obviously I defer to Leigh and Yarra since they're two of our Aussie residents. My question to you Sand is whether you're a lifelong or long time Texan? If so, you may be more sensitive to cold? Houston gets properly hot, I've been there during the summer! I was in Oz and NZ in April, but did not get up to QLD (sadly) but I'm a four season person. The day time weather was wonderful in Sydney and also in NZ, even down in Dunedin etc. It did get cold at night in Dunedin, but there wasn't any heat either...I wasn't sleeping on a ship. Is this likely to be your only time down under? Which of the port stops have the most appeal? Was one place more of a dream destination than the other? Go with your gut. And, ask more questions here...the Aussie locals and CC community are super helpful. Since it's your first visit to an amazing, indescribably special part of the world, ask questions to be sure you're going where you want to go. The kindness part isn't a myth. You'll see ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ’ฏ
  22. Sorry I asked. And no one is undesirable, not here. The way governments write their statutes, these are variables beyond the scope of the forum. Thanks for the replies. Sending kindness everyone's way today ๐Ÿ™‚
  23. Sono d'accordo! Cruisemom, marazul, bennybear, slidergirl, Hank, JB, euro, fellow Hosts, everyone...(you know I know who you are) new members, incredible community members contributing day in day out, generously sharing their rich knowledge and experience of Italian travel with our community. No one wants to be disappointed with their room, or a dinner, and everyone wants an unforgettable experience on a cruise/trip. When they get info here, the likelihood they'll get exactly that increases significantly thanks to all of YOU. How lucky are we? To be clear, the topic would NOT disappear, it would be linked directly into a new topic, in the very first post of the new one. CC only deletes topics that disregard community standards so of course, the original would always remain and be easily accessible in the new topic (if/when). With that said, maybe it's not yet time to start, and that's cool. Yep, it's easy to jump to last page and click backwards, or jump around. We can revisit, maybe at 50 pages or another point? But since it's you that utilize and power the resource, it only makes sense to check in and get your thoughts. I appreciate your feedback! Grazie mille
  24. Good luck in your new place and all that goes with it ๐Ÿ™‚ It'll be fun for everyone to read and enjoy a while longer with all the helpful info, images, and wonderful details. Looking forward to the next new adventure! Solo travel is amazing, creates unforgettable and unexpected because there's an ability to be spontaneous and no worries about making choices...you do whatever you want. Enjoy being at home and planning the next journey. Thanks again for sharing with us. Colleen
  25. Not to bring up a sore subject, but why would it be needed in the UK? Though I can understand still requiring a visa. Or has it sort of reverted back to a status similar to the old EEC? Sorry if this is a dumb question. I have citizenship in an EU country so would just continue hitting that line when I arrive, but wonder how that would goโ€“if/when it went into effectโ€“in the UK. I guess one just follows whatever instructions and gets in whatever line seems correct at immigration on arrival. It'll be what it'll be. ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™€๏ธ
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