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Everything posted by em-sk

  1. If your doing the train book from Quebec City (called QUÉBEC GARE DU PALAIS on Via Rails website) to "MONTRÉAL TRUDEAU AIRPORT". That would include the train from Quebec City to Dorval Station. At Dorval Station you transfer onto a shuttle bus for a 5 minute hop to the airport terminal. If you book the train on Via rails website to the airport it include the shuttle as part of the fare.
  2. Yes, bags are going to get tagged to go to Toronto. Once you get off the plane you follow signs for domestic connections. That will take you to the same machines as Toronto, (the machines in Toronto and Vancouver are actually manufactured by a company the Vancouver airport owns). Immigration/Customs officer etc. I have done it in the past where it is segregated and other times where it is the same area. During the COVID period they switched to doing it all downstairs in the main arrival hall due to the low volume. I don't know if they have gone back to segregated already.
  3. I am the same way, I travel all the time between Canada and the US and Canada and Europe. I have my middle name on the passport but not on any of my airline tickets. It is has never been a problem. The issue tends to be if you have a nick name that is different than your passport. Those abbreviated names tend to be specific to some cultures and not all that obvious in other countries.
  4. Yes, to enter Canada by air you need to be vaccinated but do not need to do a COVID test. What they are doing now, if they randomly select people entering Canada to get COVID tests. The tests are not done at the airport of entry. The goal is to get a statistically significant sample size to know if/when tighter controls are required should a new variant appear. That is independent of what is required for the cruise itself.
  5. I think the key difference between a network carrier and a LCC is the network. The Legacy carriers have interline agreement with other airlines and are setup to do connections. The LCC care islands on to themselves. Many are just point to point and if they do support connections it is limited to their own flights. It is possible to buy a ticket that include a flight by Air Canada connecting in Heathrow with a BA where if something is delayed the airlines are responsible for rerouting. For LCC carries that is just not possible. They just don't run the computer systems able to handle these types of connections and don't have the agreements in place to make them work. That removes a lot of cost from their operation. Being a LCC is not about being lower cost for the consumer, it is about reducing your operating cost to be bare minimum.
  6. Sounds like the random testing are doing what they are intended to do. Act as an early warning for new variants entering the country from other parts of the world. The specific results of an individual are not that important, they looking for trends that would justify tightening or loosening controls. Moving them off-site from the airport was an attempt to speed up the entry process. Connecting passengers don't get tested at the entry point into Canada but at their final destination.
  7. chengkp75 in the following thread indicated there are some US specific rules that apply in when using lifeboats as tenders in US waters. It is conceivable that different countries have slightly different rules associated with training and what extra equipment has to be in the lifeboat for it to be used as a tender. https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2870945-another-landslide-in-skagway-anyone-currently-on-the-encore/
  8. Great blog. If your ever at the Library in Vancouver again you will want to take the elevator up to the roof top garden.
  9. I looked it up and it looks like the only non-stop are with easyJet, Vueling, These are discount airlines. You want to book online directly with the airline. They are going to be al a cart. So baggage, seat assignment will not be included at the lowest fare. You need to pick a more expensive package. For example easyJet has "Flex" fares include all of those "extras" such as carry on baggage, checked baggage, priority access through security, a voucher for buy-on-board, early boarding, free changes etc. EastJet and Vueling are not bad or unsafe airlines. They simply price their offering a bit differently. You probably have baggage so your will want to pick one of the more expensive fares upfront when making the booking to avoid being nickel and dimmed at check in and at the gate. Lufthansa (including their subsidiaries Swiss, Air Dolomite, Austrian) is one of the largest airline groups in Europe. They are a traditional airlines, however your going to have to go through on of their hubs. Air France (including their subsidiary KLM) is another large airline group again your going through a hub. I don't like the discount airlines generally but if it was me I would rather go EasyJet or Vueling and buy the upgraded fare than spend an extra few hours on a vacation flying though Munich or Paris. The other thing to mention is in Europe a normal checked bag is 23kg. Above that expect to pay some overage fees.
  10. Agreed, 4G is going to be around for years to come. The issue with 5G near airports is a unique problem in the US. The US sold part of the radio spectrum to their phone operators that is very close to the frequency spectrum used by aviation equipment. Europe, Canada (and likely most of the rest of world) are keeping the two well separated to avoid this problem.
  11. Global problem in many industries. Not certain about the Philippines and other countries where NCL recruits from. Here in Canada we are also hitting the point where many of the baby boomers are hitting the age where early or semi-retirement is a viable option. That is freeing up positions in various industries. Even BC Ferries (the local ferry service) on the west coast of Canada is cancelling sailings left right and center. They claim it is due to difficult recruiting licensed staff. Given PoA is a US flagged ship with US nationals, NCL is drawing from an even smaller pool of people than the other ships. That is going to be challenging.
  12. NCL claims their ships support 3G and 4G. LTE is technology between 3G and 4G. That is not surprising as 1G and 2G is very old and has been turned off in most of the world. 5G selling features is high speed data that would be difficult to sustain on ship satellite connection. https://www.ncl.com/ca/en/about/staying-connected-sea-cellular-phone-service-texting The US carriers are turning off 3G. The Canadian carriers have a smaller customer base so they are less constrained by spectrum, they can leave 3G on for a few more year but most have plans to turn off 3G to free up spectrum space for newer services. When you go from 3G to 4G you need to move the cell towers closer together. In Canada in less populated areas keeping 3G around as long as possible does make sense. The good thing is a new phone can usually operate on the older protocols when the newer ones are not available in a given area so there no technical reason not to upgrade to a new phone.
  13. The two smaller ships. Your likely going to only have one or two ship days. Most days you get into port in the morning and are coming back to the ship in time for dinner. Other than a good dinner and perhaps a show your not going to get a lot out of the ship amenities. Smaller ship means less of a zoo around the shore excursions in most cases.
  14. Sunset in Victoria for Sept 9 is around 7:30, so yes it will be dark. The area near the cruise ship terminal is mostly residential and it is a short 20 minute walk into the inner harbor. It is safe to be out at night and the street are well lit. The parliament building and inner harbor are all lit up at night. Other than restraints and bars there is just not going to be a lot going on at that time of night.
  15. The Radisson is a good choice. If your into the Casino, the River Rock is also an option.
  16. As a Canadian with a Canadian passport, the only ones I have ever had done at an embassy was a Visa for entering Brazil and another for entering China. The Brazil one had my photo on it. China did not. As a Canadian entering Japan I have had a little sticker put into my passport on entry. Not certain if that counts, That did not have a photo. As for foreign passports with Canadian Visas, the NAFTA work Visa issued by Canada at the border does not have a photo on it. At least the ones I have see do not.
  17. WestJet has installed business class 2x2 seats on their 737 and 787 aircraft. Before COVID the still had a few 3x3 with the blocked middle. However those have all be replaced. I do agree having customs at the end instead of doing it in the middle is an improvement.
  18. I frequently use Royal Bank Avion and book through Avion some times using points and sometimes paying in cash. It is usually cheaper that booking direct with AC. The deal the Royal Bank and Air Canada has is none of those tickets earn Aeroplan points regardless of what is in that table. That was not always the case, a few years ago you use to get Aeroplan points based on that table. Each cruise line will have negotiated its own deal with AC.
  19. The fine print is at: https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/aeroplan/partners.html#/terms-and-conditions Specifically: Certain airline tickets are not eligible for earning points credits. These include, but not limited to the following; Refunded, void, or unused tickets, including unused non-refundable tickets Reward travel tickets or free promotional tickets Travel agency/ industry reduced rate tickets Tour conductors, companion tickets, Infant tickets (under age two) Tickets purchased to carry excess baggage or special baggage such as musical instruments or to provide extra space for the primary passenger. Single entity charter flights, unless otherwise specified. Tickets issued at fares with rules that exclude the earning of points credit The last point on the list is the issue. We just don't know. If the cruise line is access some special rates negotiated between the cruise line and the airline. There are no shortage of special unpublished negotiated fares that you and me don't normally have access to. For example the federal government or a major corporation like IBM would have worked out a special deal with AC. They book into special fare rules we just don't have visibility into.
  20. Not certain what the correct answer is. If it were me I would just enter the airport. For the Vancouver Airport that would be: Description: "YVR - Same day departure to US " Street Name: 3211 Grant McConachie Way City Richmond, BC V7B 1Y7
  21. It depends on the type of visa. I think most visas that you apply for at an embassy have photos. I have worked with a few Americans that we had come in under NAFTA work visas. The NAFTA visa is not issued at an embassy ahead of time. It is issued on arrival into Canada at the airport or ground border crossing. The ones I have seen don't have a photo.
  22. Interesting. I googled it and there are a number of articles about the change. https://cruisefever.net/royal-caribbean-stops-downline-embarkation-early-disembarkation/ What is more concerning is that the RCI will not allow you to join the cruise downstream as well if your flight is delayed unless you purchase your flight from RCI. That tells me the reason they give "COVID restrictions" is simply not genuine. If it were joining the cruise late due to airline issues would be treated the same if you booked your flight through the cruise line or not.
  23. What do you like? The mainstream tour in Victoria is a visit to the Butchart Gardens. It is a bit of a drive out into suburban Victoria to get there. Good visit if you like gardens. Ogdon Point (where the cruise ship docks) is a pleasant 20 minute walk into downtown Victoria. By that time of day many museums etc will be closed. Lots of restraints will still be open. There is fairly impressive architecture around the inner harbor. In google maps if you type Odgen Point to Legislate Building it will give you a good fell for what the walk is like.
  24. That is done by the ship purser. When a ship enters a new country and local authorities come abord the ship they meet with the purser and ships port agent who presents all the paper work required to clear the ship and any passports that need to be stamped etc.
  25. I did this a few years ago on NCL. It was a cruise that started in Rome and originally planned to end in Venice. I was then going to fly to Paris for some business meetings. My business meeting were moved up at the last minute. I had to shorten my Vacation. Learned of the change about a week before the trip. Called NCL to ask if I could leave in Istanbul instead of returning back to Italy. NCL rep basically said, they did not know and it was subject to local immigration rules; it is discouraged. They would need to relay the question to the ship pursers office. No one at corporate is going to answer the question, it would need to come from the ship. A few days later NCL got back to me and said it could be done, but I would need to call down to the purser office as soon as I got on the ship. I was traveling on a Canadian passport, Turkey at the time required a visa for Canadian's entering the country unless they are part of an organized group such as a cruise ship. The day before we entered Turkey, I needed to provider the purser with my passport and the $50 visa fee in cash. She indicated they had quite a few people leaving in Istanbul. Some were crew, there was a group from the insurance company on the ship doing a safety inspection and a few passengers. She would be presenting all the passports that required specially processing to the authorities when clearing the ship. I would be able to pick it back up from her office later the following day. Spent the day in Istanbul, came back to the ship before disembarkation to settle the account, pickup my bags and leave the ship. When ship security scanned my room card it showed that I was leaving in Istanbul and they just asked if I had everything and had settled my account. That was it, I was done. P.S. One item to note, is Itineraries are not guaranteed. The start and end port are fixed to the extent they can be, but everything else is subject to last minute adjustment.
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