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Everything posted by Zacharius

  1. You will encounter very few people who aren't at least conversational, if not fully fluent, in English. There are plenty of people in Quebec who do only speak French, but you're unlikely to encounter many or any in your relatively short visit to the two largest cities in the province. If you make stops in between the two, it's possible but it won't be a big deal. Road signs will all be in French, but they'll be pretty self-explanatory (for example, the stop sign won't say "Stop", but you'll know it's a stop sign).
  2. Meh, my French is not great but it's really not hard to just brush up on the (fairly minimal) differences in Montreal and/or Quebec driving laws. I wouldn't say that alone is a reason to not drive.
  3. If you don't absolutely need to leave the same day you arrive, do also consider spending a night in Montreal. It's always a good time and would cut back on the stress of needing to "rush" to YUL for your flight.
  4. I have a lot of experience in some of these locations, but not on a cruise. Here's my thoughts: Sydney - if it's your first time there, don't do an excursion. Just walk around, hit the highlights (Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Botanic Garden, The Rocks, food and drink). Picton - if you're in to wine, find a half-day wine tour in the nearby Marlborough region. Lots of good wineries there. You may not have enough time, but the Mail Boat tours in Picton are fantastic (https://www.beachcombercruises.co.nz/scenic-cruises/mailboat-cruises/Mail-Boat-Cruise/). Wellington - you mention something already, but Wellington is another one of those "just walk around" places. Botanic Garden, Mount Victoria Lookout, Cable Car, Parliament, Te Papa Museum, Cuba Street, food and drink.
  5. Renting a car may work best. As far as YQB airport - United flies year-round from Newark; American flies seasonally from Chicago and Philly. Not sure where you live, but you can also get via Toronto or Montreal on Air Canada.
  6. Driving is about three hours. You can google "Montreal car service" and there are plenty of options to take you even as far as Quebec (or, in this case, a pickup in Quebec), but since it is a three hour drive, expect it to me...expensive. No idea what exactly, but I imagine several hundred dollars each way. There is a bus that can get you from Quebec city center to Montreal airport with a change of bus in Montreal city center. Much cheaper, but of course it's a bus so...not as comfortable. I have no experience with it personally. Also no personal experience with the train between those two cities. I think this is a case where you need to analyze which is more important - loyalty to Delta, or ease of flying out of Quebec. No right or wrong answer, but only you can determine. I have a massive loyalty to American Airlines/OneWorld, but there are some times where I just need to suck it up and fly someone else once in a while for ease.
  7. Train schedules are pretty easily available either through the Trenitalia website, or through Google Maps where you can type in your origin and destination and it'll give you a good list of transit options with times/connections.
  8. Smokeybandit is spot on - Israel is not the place to try and cut it short, because security can be fast or it can be painstakingly slow. And even "fast" isn't the same as Heathrow or JFK or somewhere else's "fast".
  9. That is a good point. There are countries that are very much "have you passport with you at all times, by law" kinds of places. Definitely good to know which ones those are and follow the laws as needed.
  10. As mentioned, the Turkish economy can use any dollar (er, lira) it could get now. The biggest thing cruise lines could due is continue visiting as long as they're able to, and I don't see any reason they can't. The damage is still quite a way from any port, and will likely have little impact on the people in western Turkey and Istanbul. Diyarbakir, for example, is roughly the same distance from Istanbul and Bodrum as Boston is from Detroit, or Seattle from Salt Lake City. Even if Boston was completely destroyed by an earthquake, I don't think many people would say there would be a huge, lasting impact on Detroit.
  11. The earthquake was really quite a long way from any of the ports that I know Royal Caribbean to use in Turkey. While I am sure the ports in western Turkey lightly felt the earthquake, I would be shocked if there was even minor damage there. I doubt it would have an impact on any cruise operations/stops.
  12. In this case, I would bring a copy of the passport info page plus a drivers license or other government issued photo ID while leaving the full passport on the ship. I have shown up at an embassy with those two things and been let in when I needed to be, though as always YMMV.
  13. While the alert seems to focus on Port-au-Prince (though does mention all of Haiti), I would argue that Labadee isn't exactly remote. It's not near Port-au-Prince, but it is only about a 20 minute drive from Cap-Haitien, a city of a quarter million people and one of the largest in the country. I am also not sure if the "border" is a wall or a fence, or both, but I feel like an armed gang hell-bent on chaos could probably get through it pretty easily if they wanted to.
  14. I mean, this board isn't an email to Royal Caribbean...but here's a map of the Caribbean: https://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/carib.htm
  15. Not just any old cruise insurance that may have some medical benefits, but some legit, well researched, possible expensive international medical insurance with good evacuation coverage.
  16. I pretty much live out of a suitcase, so having travel medical insurance is not an option in my opinion. I've used it several times for minor illnesses or issues, but luckily (knock on wood) I haven't had to use it for major/evacuation purposes. I keep an annual policy through HTH Worldwide/GeoBlue. They have been pretty responsive and easy to work with when I needed them, whether it was an $80 visit to a doctor in Auckland (including meds) when I got conjunctivitis, or my $750 visit to a doctor in Marrakech when I broke a bone. I also make sure my policy includes evacuation coverage.
  17. And that's one often ignored perk of the drink package - bottled waters. They'll usually throw one to you for free, if you ask, when you order an alcoholic beverage using the package. It's a good way to load up on bottled waters for port days rather than having to worry about procuring them later, and is something people don't factor in enough when running the budget on the drink package.
  18. It's going to seem a lot more expensive when you get there and find out it doesn't exist
  19. Neither airline operates 767s anymore, perhaps you're thinking of 787s? Royal Air Maroc can be really hit or miss. I've flown them both longhaul and shorthaul (my wife's family is in Morocco, so we get there often) and have had really nice experiences and really...uh, bad...experiences. Both with soft and hard products. But my favorite experience on RAM was in 2015ish flying MAD-RAK and they just played Donald Duck cartoons with no sound for the entire flight. Funny enough, I was also on an Austrian Airlines flight back in 2004ish, VIE-BRU, that also played Donald Duck cartoons with no sound for the entire flight. This has no bearing on your trip but I always think of it now when I think of Royal Air Maroc.
  20. But so many do, too. People on here and other sites are constantly stating how it's nice to stay on the ship in Nassau because it's quiet...meaning a lot of people are still leaving, and I imagine it's both first time and return passengers. I think it's both. It is an easy stop for a 3-4 day cruise, but I have been on 7-day Caribbean cruises that stopped there.
  21. There are about 5,810,559 hotels in London, and the ones offered before me in this thread are all pretty solid. As a Hilton regular (but not exclusive), I feel like I have stayed in most London area Hilton brand hotels. Of those, I often find myself returning most to the Conrad St. James (on the expensive end) or the Hilton London Bridge (mid-range). Someone before me mentioned the Premier Inn brand and they're usually pretty solid and affordable. I have never had a bad experience at any of them around the UK. I'm by no means an expert on their London area locations, but can assure you that if you find any of them in London with a good rate and good location, you'll have an enjoyable stay. There is a tiny, pretty cheap hotel behind Victoria Station (walking distance to Buckingham Palace) called the Cherry Court Hotel that I have stayed at a few times and recommend it highly. It's a small, 10-12 room, family run place on a quiet side street but only a few minutes walk to the massive Victoria Station, and it's very cheap by London standards. BUT, the rooms are very small, and there aren't elevators...things to consider, but for the price, it's awesome if you don't plan to spend much time in the room. But again...small, and no elevators (and some rooms are three floors up).
  22. How "nearby" is the hotel? I only ask because the Port is so close to the Airport that many hotels around there are "airport" hotels, and they should have airport shuttles. If not, it may be worth looking in to an "airport hotel" that does have a shuttle, even if it's slightly more expensive. There is always the caveat of one not being available. It actually has happened to me twice where I booked it the night before and then I didn't actually get one in the morning. Both were in decent sized cities (San Juan and San Diego) at about 4am.
  23. Even that statement contradicts itself - "guarantee to get you to the ship" vs "do everything possible to get you to your cruise". Will they do everything possible? Probably...whatever that really means. But there's no total guarantee they can get you to the ship. They can't add seats, or flights, and often times Air2Sea tickets have special terms and conditions versus "normal" tickets so you may not be a priority to the airlines even if Air2Sea wishes you were. When it's a Caribbean cruise, which often visit islands with fairly limited flights, it starts becoming clearer and clearer that it may not be as easy as they want you to believe.
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