Dispatches From New York City

New York City has often been called the greatest city in the world, even the center of the universe. It’s a cruise port and a major hub for international air travel. Put another way, if you travel, you’ve likely passed through NYC. What’s it like right now? Why is this important? As we come out of the pandemic lockdown, our frame of reference is usually our home town. Here in Bucks County, PA and nearby New Jersey, …

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8 Things I’m Going to Do When We Can Sail Again

Cruising is something I really miss. My wife and I have favorite ships. We are patiently waiting for them to set sail again. When that happens, we are going to make every moment count. Here’s what I have in mind the moment we make our booking. Bring another couple along. For 15 months our friends have heard me moan how much we miss going to sea and being pampered. They hear all about our favorite ships. They …

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How We Keep in Touch With Our Cruising Friends

We make friends easily. On every cruise we meet at least one couple who become long term friends. The pandemic has thrown a monkey wrench into keeping up relationships, but has also opened up lots of opportunities. Editor’s Note: See cruises available for booking now here Our biweekly e-mails. We have about 20+ “cruising friends.” Usually we send a Christmas card and a chatty e-mail every three months. During the pandemic we moved to a biweekly frequency. …

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Ten Practical Lessons I Learned From Decades of Cruising

We are getting close. I’m confident we will all be going back to sea shortly. There might be new procedures, but the best parts should be as good as ever. Based on decades of experience, here are some practical lessons I’ve learned. When departing foreign ports, get into the country a day early. There’s an old saying: “Time to spare, go by air.” When something goes wrong in air travel, it’s often a big problem like bad …

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7 Ways to Have That Unforgettable Port Lunch (Even When Stuck at Home)

We are all patiently waiting to sail again. Officials are starting to talk about relaxing restrictions, but we aren’t there yet. Time again to make the best of the situation. When your ship arrives in port, you rush to get ashore. Having a nice lunch in a sidewalk café is a memorable pleasure. With Memorial Day fast approaching, here’s how to do it at home. 7 Ways to Recreate Your Greatest Port Lunch Experience When you are …

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How Worldly Are You Based on Brand Names?

There’s a bit of “Keeping up with the Jones’s” in our lives. As a person who enjoys cruising, you have extensive foreign travel experience. You might have even sent your passport back to the State Department to get extra pages inserted! You can’t wave your passport around at the supermarket, but there are ways you can signal to friends you are a citizen of the world. Grocery shopping bags. They do a much better job with these …

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What To Do Until You Can Sail Again

It’s very frustrating. Lockdown has eased, but it’s taking forever for foreign travel to open up. On Tuesday, April 20th the BBC ran an article indicating the US State Department is advising against travel to 80% of foreign countries. Even Antarctica only gets Level 2 – “Exercise extreme caution.” What can you do until it’s time to start sailing again? Take stock. You’ve cruised plenty of times. What lines did you like best? Which ships? What are …

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Shopping In Port – What To Buy and What To Miss

Shopping is a big part of traveling on vacation. My wife and I do more than our fair share of supporting local economies. Here’s what comes back with us, along with what doesn’t. Shopping in Port Here are a few things we make it a point to buy: Britain is our shopping paradise. The outdoor antique markets in London and other cities are a favorite. We have brought back china, sterling silver, crystal and linens. I’ve bought …

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How to Bargain When Shopping in Port

Bargaining can be fun. In many cultures, it’s expected. When you visit port cities and shop in local markets, you will likely find yourself in the position where you need to negotiate. Here’ are some pointers. Know when to negotiate. If you are at an antique market, a flea market or a bazaar, you are generally expected to banter back and forth over the price. It’s even been said they have a name for the type of …

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Avoid These Mistakes During Cruise Port Stops … or Anywhere You Travel …

As experienced travelers we still make mistakes. One is assuming all travelers have figured out the same behaviors and precautions we have over the years. Recently hearing some horror stories made us recall others. Don’t take a taxi 10 miles inland when your ship departs the same day. You are making the assumption finding a taxi in a remote village is as easy as finding one at the pier. Not true. If you are stuck in the …

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