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Posts posted by Zacharius

  1. Most of the violent crime in Jamaica is centered around locals and the cities (especially Kingston). Even then, the vast majority of visits will be fine, though you would likely feel uncomfortable if you're not used to it. For someone who is just going on a cruise excursion, your number one concern will be to just keep an eye on your belongings and use your head. 

  2. I think it depends on where you are flying in to, and what you want to see. If you are flying in to LGA or JFK, I personally would just stay in the city and have some time to explore, eat, and drink. If you are flying in to EWR, then going in to the city just to come back out may or may not be worth it...again, depending on what you want to do. If it's not worth it to you, Matt's link on area hotels is perfect. 

  3. 50 minutes ago, Biaggio said:

    What’s the hurry to get back to the states? Spend a day or two in Barcelona and enjoy the city before heading home. 

    Or anywhere else, for that matter. Even if OP has visited Barcelona before, there are so many nice places to spend a couple of days within a (relatively) short distance of Barcelona. Madrid is a criminally underrated city, and in my opinion is more enjoyable to visit than Barcelona (especially when paired with Toledo and/or El Escorial). Hiking in the various national parks near the French border is truly magnificent and peaceful, especially after spending time with thousands of "friends" on the ship. Valencia is a great mix of city, water, modern Spain, and old Spain (like Barcelona, but slightly smaller and quieter). Curveball for the small country of Andorra, just a couple of hours drive from Barcelona, for being an amazingly beautiful place that most Americans haven't heard of, let alone visited. 

  4. 4 minutes ago, KristiZ said:

    If last summer was any indication of the crowds at Schiphol, there is zero chance you will make that flight. We were in business class and one of our party was in a wheelchair (so expedited security) and it took us nearly two hours to get through to the gate. 

    Last summer was different. Europe was an absolute mess when it came to staffing at airports, and it has improved. Having flown out of AMS both last summer and over the last couple of months, it's much better. 

    THAT BEING SAID...I would not be comfortable with a 10:35am departure to the US. Seeing as Amsterdam is almost a hub for Delta (not quite true, but it's a big outstation considering their partnership with KLM), there are a lot of Delta flights and I would personally be trying to find something a bit later. 

  5. 7 hours ago, CrimsonCruiser said:

    As far as I understand it, even excursions that leave the port (boat tours or the like) area of Labadee don't go beyond the town of Labadee.

    I remember back in 2018, we did an excursion that went to a small island that was practically St. Michel, which is quite a ways west of the town of Labadee. Obviously that was a few years ago now, but we were quite a long way from the cruise port and quite a long way, relatively, from the town of Labadee. 

  6. 31 minutes ago, Ditchdoc said:

    I would think these newer drivers license with "real ID" would be good. 

    It is not. DS-11 does not allow for a "Real ID" to take the place of a birth certificate or other citizenship documentation. This is because the Real ID does not prove citizenship, because lawful permanent residents can get one (whereas they cannot get a passport unless they become citizens). 

  7. 30 minutes ago, Psycho and Barb said:

    If anyone is looking to buy cigars...Learn how to spot the fakes...They are everywhere in the Caribbean and Mexico.   There are many great YouTube videos on how to spot fake Cubans.  We have only found a few real Cubans over the years...It's fun to point out they are selling fakes...Also, it's funny how the price drops after they realize we know how to spot a real Cuban.  Last year in Mexico, we saw some that had almost had perfect Cohiba bands...Which is the easiest way to spot a fake.

    I once found a clearly fake Cuban cigar...in Cuba. Nowhere is safe haha. 

  8. 1 hour ago, Bob Burd said:

    We were thinking of going a week beforehand to visit Italy and possibly another country or 2 as this is a once in a lifetime probably kind of trip.  Any suggestions for that time of the year? 

    One great thing about Italy is that it is almost two countries in once. The mountainous north (South Tyrol) is very Austrian/Swiss (down to German language and food), and then as you go south it becomes the Italy most people think of. So one option may be to fly in to somewhere up north like Bolzano (or Milan, Munich, or Zurich which have longhaul flights), explore South Tyrol, then work your way south through places like Bologna/Emilia-Romagna, Florence/Tuscany, and even a sidetrack to San Marino (an obscure but delightful country) before making your way to Rome. 

  9. 3 hours ago, bobroo said:

    I think you need a much earlier flight or a hotel room and a flight the next day.


    It's a vacation, not the army.

    Redeyes are there for a reason. Yes, they're there to benefit the airlines and increase their utilization rate...but they're also there because people take them. While I am not a fan (they're too short for a US domestic flight, in my opinion) and only take them when my schedule requires it, the ones I take out of Los Angeles are always full and are often cheaper for the passenger. 

  10. 39 minutes ago, Wheeler825 said:

    Normally I'd consider this a very good suggestion, but I'm perhaps overly paranoid about traffic? I don't want to regret my life choices by sitting in a traffic jam for hours.

    Well, think about it this way...if you're taking a bus, you're going to be stuck in the same traffic jam, but without the opportunity to change routes or plans or say "screw it, I'm going to stop for lunch right now while it's slow". Plus it won't be hours...traffic moves, just slowly. And sometimes it moves fast. 

  11. I am not familiar with either of those tours, but I might recommend looking at the price of renting a car. There are several rental car places around the port (both in Long Beach and San Pedro), and you might want to look at the cost of picking a car up there and dropping it at LAX. You then have access to the entire LA area, going to the place you want, on your own time, with a place to put your luggage. 

    Los Angeles gets a bad rap, but being a fairly frequent visitor to the area, I really like it. You have ocean, mountains (or at least tall hills), desert, and city all within like 60-90 minutes of the city, so there's endless things to do as well as tons of great places to eat and drink, and good museums and cultural sites. Yes, traffic can be awful, but you have tons of time if you don't leave until 11:20pm. 

  12. 29 minutes ago, ZBrady said:

    Not going to lie, somehow did not even consider those implications at the time. Feel silly now 🤦‍♂️

    No worries, I don't think most people think about it. And, like I said, it's not usually going to be an issue. But I think a lot of cruises (especially Caribbean) put off a feeling that you're just visiting some islands, not independent countries with their own customs laws, and it's at least something to be aware of. 

  13. It's almost never going to be an issue, but keep in mind that in most cases you're now carrying alcohol in to another country and are subject to any customs rules about that. Again, 99% of the time it won't be an issue, but it is something to technically be aware of. 

    (Sorry to be Buzz Killington, I just travel internationally for a living and customs always pops in to my head first. As someone who is also a bartender at a brewery on the side, I'm all for it from a personal standpoint haha.) 

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