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Practical question about longer cruises


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I second the advice of Andee.  We went all over Northern Europe, Greenland, Iceland, Russia for 2 months this summer on Nautica and I rarely had trouble connecting my GoogleFi. 

 

 

Edited by cbb
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On 12/6/2019 at 11:25 AM, hubofhockey said:

We were gone 23 days and, quite honestly, my biggest concern was boarding my dog.  

 

Usually about 10 days before any long cruise I hit PANIC mode about whether or not my pet sitter will have some last minute emergency and have to cancel. There is just nothing you can do on a cancel- for 21 days it's impossible to get a backup sitter for 2 big dogs and four cats one who is diabetic. Recently I had a very well known local sitter with an outstanding reputation flake out on me at the last minute. It was just for a week so was able to get a neighbor to care for the cats and I boarded the dogs last minute- was just fortunate the place could take them.

 

I have no clue what people do because it has to happen with some regularity and there is no default pet sitter insurance.

 

Not looking for answers as there really aren't any, but expressing my nightmare scenario.

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On 12/12/2019 at 2:16 AM, Petoonya said:

 

Usually about 10 days before any long cruise I hit PANIC mode about whether or not my pet sitter will have some last minute emergency and have to cancel. There is just nothing you can do on a cancel- for 21 days it's impossible to get a backup sitter for 2 big dogs and four cats one who is diabetic. Recently I had a very well known local sitter with an outstanding reputation flake out on me at the last minute. It was just for a week so was able to get a neighbor to care for the cats and I boarded the dogs last minute- was just fortunate the place could take them.

 

I have no clue what people do because it has to happen with some regularity and there is no default pet sitter insurance.

 

Not looking for answers as there really aren't any, but expressing my nightmare scenario.

No pets for us.  We just lock the door and go!

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6 hours ago, YoPhilly said:

No pets for us.  We just lock the door and go!

It's a tough one. I don't get to leave on vacation without the anxiety of leaving loved ones possibly unattended. But I'd never give up all the love and joy they bring each day. But pets aren't  for everyone.

Best wishes to you.

Edited by Petoonya
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We worry about our pets when we are away as well.  For a while we had a diabetic cat and fortunately our cat sitter was adept at giving him his insulin shots.  I also have a neighbor who trades cat visits with us -- I feed hers and she feeds ours when necessary.  We've always preferred to keep our cats in our home as opposed to a strange place.  In early days we always were able to find friends and/or acquaintances who were delighted to stay in our apartment in return for caring for the cats, but those contacts are now long gone so we depend on our sitter.

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1 minute ago, Mura said:

We worry about our pets when we are away as well.  For a while we had a diabetic cat and fortunately our cat sitter was adept at giving him his insulin shots.  I also have a neighbor who trades cat visits with us -- I feed hers and she feeds ours when necessary.  We've always preferred to keep our cats in our home as opposed to a strange place.  In early days we always were able to find friends and/or acquaintances who were delighted to stay in our apartment in return for caring for the cats, but those contacts are now long gone so we depend on our sitter.

Ooh, think of us. We met our Manhattan friend through a house exchange but then started petsitting for her Airedale Terriers. We also had a diabetic cat and seems like every animal winds up on some kind of daily med. PS: We love Brooklyn 🙂 Cath

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38 minutes ago, Mura said:

If they live long enough I think you're right!  The white cat in my photo was the diabetic; his friend was hyper-t ... twice!

 

Mura

Kate the Cat was hypO. Over the years we had the diabetic cat, two epileptic dogs and a horse on twice daily meds. Oh, right, and Gypsy first had separation anxiety and then bad shoulder and hips. We say that our animals never die, they just run up large vet bills 🙂 And our vet said he should have named an expensive piece of equipment...or even a wing of the clinic 🙂

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On 12/5/2019 at 8:29 PM, mrs. gee said:

YoPhilly, do you know about Informed Daily Delivery from the US Post Office?  Once you sign up for it, you will get a daily email showing scanned copies of the front of each piece of mail that will be coming to your address each day.  You will receive it even while your mail is being held.  It won't help you with what is inside the piece of mail but at least you will know what mail you are missing.  Hope this helps.  

 

Enjoy your cruise and especially your retirement!

Unfortunately informed daily delivery is anything but, that.  You cannot believe the number of mail pieces I get with absolutely no notification.  Almost every day and I'm talking about first class.  mail.  And now they will only hold for 30 days and suggest  forwarding for up to a year except the last time I forwarded the mail it took 2 weeks for them to start forwarding and did such a poor job my son had to come over and empty the mail box at home.  The pile of mail delivered and not forwarded was twice as high a the mail forwarded.  Unfortunately until they get rid of the postal storage non-service and privatize mail, the problems will continue.

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On 12/14/2019 at 1:15 PM, clo said:

Kate the Cat was hypO. Over the years we had the diabetic cat, two epileptic dogs and a horse on twice daily meds. Oh, right, and Gypsy first had separation anxiety and then bad shoulder and hips. We say that our animals never die, they just run up large vet bills 🙂 And our vet said he should have named an expensive piece of equipment...or even a wing of the clinic 🙂

 

Yes, I started the pet diversion. We also have a 21 year old diabetic, Black Cat. and three more cats and two huge dogs- they might as well be horses. The diabetic cat gets insulin twice a day. But you beat us with your crew! Just interviewed an overnight pet sitter today and she was WONDERFUL. (And my husband is silent and says "she's fine.)  I feel good about leaving everyone with her, yet that second voice comes in and makes me wonder "what are you doing?"  !!! 😉  People don't stay at this kind of job for long and we're not traveling till April. l have April 11 to worry. Pay 30-50% more than asked to make it inviting, and just keeping fingers crossed as that's all you can do.

I never left my kids alone unless it was with Granny.

Nancy

Edited by Petoonya
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2 hours ago, rallydave said:

Unfortunately informed daily delivery is anything but, that.  You cannot believe the number of mail pieces I get with absolutely no notification.  Almost every day and I'm talking about first class.  mail.  And now they will only hold for 30 days and suggest  forwarding for up to a year except the last time I forwarded the mail it took 2 weeks for them to start forwarding and did such a poor job my son had to come over and empty the mail box at home.  The pile of mail delivered and not forwarded was twice as high a the mail forwarded.  Unfortunately until they get rid of the postal storage non-service and privatize mail, the problems will continue.

It's worked perfectly for us.

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 If I travel for more than 2 weeks, I call credit card companies and my bank to inform them of my travels. I also ask for outstanding charges and set up payment before I leave home. I also contact utilities and prepay for their services.  The daily email From postal services showing you what is in your mail box is helpful.  Check with your mobile phone carrier for international plans.  

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Just adding to what people have said here.....

If you will be gone for extended periods you might consider signing up for St. Brendans Isle or a similar mail forwarding service.  They will scan envelopes for you and then will open and scan the contents if you ask them to.  Even with almost everything being electronic payments there are still items that you might need to take care of.   I was away for three months, had the USPS forward mail to them and the service worked well.   It does take a bit of time/work to set up (notarized forms, etc.) but I found it worthwhile.

 

Do give a key to a trusted local friend.  If issues come up then having a local contact, with a key, is very helpful.

 

Congratulations on your retirement and I hope you have many fun adventures in the future!

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On 12/5/2019 at 6:01 PM, Rob the Cruiser said:

Automatic bill payments, pay other bills that don't have automatic payment advance, hold mail, forget email, stash laptop in cabin safe. Totally unplug. A few neighbors, friends and relatives know when we will be gone. ADT is activated. We cruise in the winter months so yard issues are of no concern.

 

Enjoy the cruise. That's it.

You got it.....better yer stash the lap top  in the safe at home....Enjoy the cruise   you dont have to manage things back home.. thats why you left on a cruise.     30 days is NOT long...  you will be back all too soon.    Hold the mail, auto pay and deposit, have a Gardner.  Let police know,  shut off utilities like gas and water  no risk of problems.  hire a gardener.  disconnect as many things as you can...

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We have found that the length of the cruise isn't really relevant; as we've increased from 14 to 19 to 26 to 28 to 35 days, we always find ourselves both sorry it's coming to and end and also feeling ready to get home a few days ahead of embarkation--no matter how long the cruise. Thank goodness for BillPay!

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2 hours ago, Hawaiidan said:

You got it.....better yer stash the lap top  in the safe at home....Enjoy the cruise   you dont have to manage things back home.. thats why you left on a cruise.     30 days is NOT long...  you will be back all too soon.    Hold the mail, auto pay and deposit, have a Gardner.  Let police know,  shut off utilities like gas and water  no risk of problems.  hire a gardener.  disconnect as many things as you can...

I never thought of shutting off utilities....any problems with doing that?

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On 12/13/2019 at 11:25 PM, mort&fran said:

I unplug all electronics - TVs, computers, printers... Power surges are rare, but they do happen.

 

Also, I sign up for our police department's "Vacation Watch" program

Good ideas!

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1 minute ago, YoPhilly said:

I never thought of shutting off utilities....any problems with doing that?

We religiously turn off our water at the Main whenever we plan to be away for more than a week (Stans' father had a horror story about returning to a basement swimming pool when a washing machine hose burst), and we always turn off the circuit breaker for  the hot water heater  when leaving for more than a weekend.

 

When our present heater goes, we are shifting to tankless, so that will make life easier.

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On 12/16/2019 at 1:14 AM, Redtravel said:

 If I travel for more than 2 weeks, I call credit card companies and my bank to inform them of my travels. I also ask for outstanding charges and set up payment before I leave home. I also contact utilities and prepay for their services.  The daily email From postal services showing you what is in your mail box is helpful.  Check with your mobile phone carrier for international plans.  

Can't you access all your accounts online? We can. And what can't be charged to our cc we can bill pay online. Anything that can be auto-payed is long since set up for that. For travel we don't need to do really anything.  

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On 12/17/2019 at 6:10 PM, clo said:

Can't you access all your accounts online? We can. And what can't be charged to our cc we can bill pay online. Anything that can be auto-payed is long since set up for that. For travel we don't need to do really anything.  

 

My concern is as much for charges that I have not made being posted to one of my credit or debit cards. So, for all of our cards, I let them know what days we will be where.

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15 hours ago, mort&fran said:

 

My concern is as much for charges that I have not made being posted to one of my credit or debit cards. So, for all of our cards, I let them know what days we will be where.

When we've had fraudulent use made of a card it was nowhere near where we and the card were. The two I can remember were thousands of miles from where we were.

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16 hours ago, mort&fran said:

 

My concern is as much for charges that I have not made being posted to one of my credit or debit cards. So, for all of our cards, I let them know what days we will be where.

Many credit cards (banks) allow you to be notified about any purchases made on that card - you can set the parameters for what type of charges or amounts you want to be notified.

95% of my charges are made on the same card (Chase Reserve) and after each charge I get an INSTANT notification of the amount and the name of the company making the charge.

If it were to be a charge I did not make I can notify the bank within minutes and this gives me a great deal of comfort about my card not being abused without my knowledge.

Edited by Paulchili
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Our Credit Union requires that we notify them of any foreign travel to prevent any potential denial when using our ATM card for foreign currency.  Some of or credit cards (not all) request advance notification of such travel also.

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10 minutes ago, Paulchili said:

If it were to be a charge I did not make I can notify the bank within minutes and this gives me a great deal of comfort about my card not being abused without my knowledge.

The problem Paul is that you cannot file a fraud case or dispute a charge until the charge actually posts which is one to three days after the card is charged.  And yes this is Chase or Amex which are the two types of cards I use most.  Have called with pending charges that I know are fraudulent and told I have to wait until there is an actual charge posted.  And both Chase and Amex cover all costs not just those over $50 per Federal Law.

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