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About 4ensic

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  • Birthday April 1

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  • Location
    Hinunangan, Southern Leyte, Philippines
  • Interests
    Stage photography, classic rock music, firearms, humor, computer forensics.

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  1. I have a Citibank Black Diamond card and they cover some cancellation/interruptions up to $3,000 per person per trip. Full details at www.cardbenefits.citi.com. Covered Reasons include: Traveler(s) sick and advised to not travel (by licensed medical practitioner) Medical advisory for area traveler is visiting Traveler needs to provide care to family member verified by licensed medical practitioner Traveler's pet is ill (verified by DVM) *Note: SpeedNoodles* Traveler dies Traveler family member dies Traveler or family member called to active military service Traveler's residence is burglarized or declared unfit for habitation within 10 days of trip departure Terrorist act on itinerary Mandatory evacuation on itinerary Natural disaster on itinerary stopping travel for at least 24 hours Citi also offers death/dismemberment for accidents on trips, but no medical/transport/repatriation.
  2. I think it would look like a big USB powerblock on the Xray machines, which is allowable. That said, friends have carried an octopus (non-surge protected extension cord with 8 outlets on their own cords) on Royal, Princess, and Celebrity cruises for 11 years and never had it confiscated. Xray operators would notice that contraption from a mile away - it doesn't look like any other appliance. So I just ordered the Cruise On for my T/A on May 4th. I'll let you know if I'm called to the surge protector/clothes iron/crockpot room.
  3. That was the name! I didn't save my Cruise Compasses then and couldn't think of it. The summary posted outside the theatre was a word salad. Granted, jukebox shows exist as a vehicle for the underlying music, but The Gift was the only musical on Royal I ever considered leaving. It was painful to see actors who shined in the other production show stuck in this one.
  4. Hi @bcarney, Our tour group was disappointed when the guide said the tour was a "historical" one, but the 3 free drinks seemed to put everyone in a better mood. I went to the Mt. Gay Distillery in the early 00's. It was one of the first distilleries I've been to. Smaller tour group and had a formal tasting of all Mt. Gay rums around a big horseshoe bar. You'd enjoy the Philippines - rum is the most popular spirit by far. Too bad Tanduay's US exports are so limited - they turn out a full line from 65 proof budget stuff ($1.60 a 750ml bottle) to 15 year old premium ($18 a bottle) for domestic drinking. In my town, the 65 and Dark (80 proof) are all that's available. Emperador (Spanish Brandy) is also popular and priced about $2.25 a bottle. With San Miguel beer at 60 cents a bottle, rum is actually a budget drink. Hope to get to the distillery on Luzon within the year.
  5. Must agree with skipping the Bacardi Rum tour. Good points: Lots of free rum. Bad points: It's a museum, you don't get to see the production facilities. I've been on tours to distilleries in Scotland, Ireland, and Barbados and a massive brewery in Australia. All included workroom floor access. Sure there was a museum at each, but that wasn't all. If they would have billed this as a museum visit, it would have been honest.
  6. Correct. In the MDR there is a Vegetarian and a meat curry on every Royal ship every night. On the flip side, there are no off menu requests allowed for other Indian food.
  7. After a bridge tour, a passenger asked the Captain if he would wear his Blues instead of the white uniform. She said the blue one made him look more "Captainy". The others on tour all all kind of cocked their heads a little and looked puzzled at the word choice.
  8. Only ate at the Bistro once, but appetizers and dessert were buffet, the entree was made to order.
  9. I take my undercover camera case (Samsonite backpack with padded insert) with all my gear. But it's only undercover until I take a camera out. Yes it's heavy, but missing a shot after paying for a cruise and an excursion is something I did once and learned my lesson. There is also a cellphone for quick snaps. Not a big user of beaches on cruises, but a gallon Ziploc bag is big enough for a full frame body and 24-70 lens or a 70-200 midrange zoom without a body to keep out sand and water if the backpack gets damp. Definitely not fancy, but it's worked well throughout the Philippines and on US/European cruises.
  10. Princess also has laundries. Elites get free pick up/return laundry service, but the actual washer/dryer/ironing laundry is really popular. I think the tokens were $3.50 per load for wash or dry. That's one of the features I prefer about Princess. But 3 hours of free limited menu drinking on Royal is pretty nice, too. Disney may be OK for families but I don't fit in there. Asking one of the character handlers if Sleazy, Drunky and Bubba the dwarves only come out in the evening would either result in a stern talking to by Officer Stick® the security guard or a trip to the Disney Brig (The second happiest place on Earth® ).
  11. Or challenging, two sides of the same coin. More than a few of the bartenders tend to pour heavy if you tip - something to note in case you stand up and have rubber legs after two drinks. I thought I might fall face first into the soup and drown one evening in the MDR. Embarrassing because I needed to be sober to photograph the late show.
  12. Depending on if you travel exclusively outside the US or not, SevenCorners.com 's Wander annual plan is worth a look. $1Mil medical reimbursement and $1Mil air evac, plus they even have "in network" providers in foreign countries (even here in the Philippines) that may accept assignment of claim up front (subject to subrogation from your primary coverage later). The ancillary coverages (lost/late baggage, dental and death/dismemberment) are kind of weak and there is no trip cancellation provision, but for less than $250 a year for trips up to 45 days outside the US, I thought it was decent. It was a tossup between them and Allianz, hopefully I won't have to make a claim to see how good or bad this plan actually is.
  13. With the Royal Up program, upgrades are at your choice/expense. Cruises generally sail at 100% occupancy, so free upgrades are a thing of the past. Actually, that's not bad news. I've been in a single interior room (Harmony) and it wasn't the least bit cramped. Not being able to see the ocean isn't a huge deal - the inside balconies (Promenade and Central Park) kind of made me think of Manhattan apartments all facing each other (With an exhibitionist or two). Other than in port or during an air evacuation I can count on one hand the times I've spent any serious time on the balcony, though some people eat breakfast there every day. There's enough going on to stay busy out of the cabin. And if your're in it, you can develop film it's so dark when you turn out the lights. I'd go with the inside cabin.
  14. Royal's medical services aren't part of any provider network for direct billing, they work on a cash (Seapass) basis. Some US insurance plans in the US will treat them as an out-of-network provider, others won't pay for any coverage outside the US. Check with your individual provider to see which group it falls in. But we're talking reimbursement, after you pay Royal and file a claim. Trip insurance can vary but most of it is secondary coverage, meaning you have to submit your bill from Royal to your primary carrier and let them deny the claim or pay a small amount. Then the travel insurance kicks in and pays according to its' schedule. In short, you're on the hook for whatever Royal bills you - at least until you're reimbursed by your regular insurance or trip insurance. So even if you settle your Seapass account in cash, you'll want to take a credit/debit card just in case you need the ship's doctor. While you're looking at your policy, check to see how much it pays for air-evacuation. It's literally a lifesaver, but the fees are incredible. Trip insurance can cover up to $1Mil USD.
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