cruise

If you thought that reading the terms and conditions on your next travel purchase is enough to keep you out of trouble, meet Thomas Hanko. The veteran cruiser had booked an air-inclusive cruise to the Western Caribbean on the Holland America Line for himself, his wife, their daughter and son-in-law to celebrate the Hankos’ 50th wedding anniversary. But several months before the trip, Hanko’s wife died.

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What’s worse than being stricken with stomach flu on vacation? Maybe it’s being quarantined on a cruise ship with hundreds of other passengers suffering from the same illness.

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It was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime for Pat and James Frost — a river cruise in France on the Viking Europe, from Avignon to Chalon-sur-Saône. The retired couple from Concord, Ohio, even added three days in Paris to round off their bucket-list getaway. But when they arrived at the port, a cruise line representative informed them of a change in plans. Flooding along the Rhône and Saône rivers had made the waterways impassable, and their cruise tour had turned into a bus tour.

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Are you a US citizen thinking about taking a Caribbean cruise without having a US Passport as identification and proof of citizenship? Ned Levi suggests that would be a mistake, and that you should get a passport, even for a short WHTI country exclusive cruise.

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The remarkable thing about the proposed Cruise Passenger Protection Act is that on its face, it looks entirely unremarkable. The law would require cruise lines to publicly report all alleged crimes on a ship and to disclose their passenger contracts in plain English. But dive into the bill, and it delivers a little shock to both passengers and the cruise industry.

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Don’t lose it this summer. At least not the way Jennifer and Pat Mangold did when they stayed in the Florida Keys last August.

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In the last year, Cruise Lines International Association member ships have instituted substantial changes in their muster drill procedures, which have significantly improved passenger safety. Now that they have accomplished those changes it’s time to maximize muster drill effectiveness to improve cruise ship safety even more.

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Carnival Cruise Lines hasn’t had a great month with the Triumph famously stuck at sea for days, another cruise canceled midway with a generator problem and two delayed with propulsion pod issues. In reality, are these big problems or just part of the normal vacation experience.

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The Carnival Triumph passengers are home from their ordeal, but many unanswered question are still left. It’s possible to learn from the passengers’ experience to become better prepared to handle cruise emergencies. Ned Levi discusses concrete suggestions for cruise ship passengers to help them get through a cruise ship emergency at sea.

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Are you a candidate for expedition cruising? Ned Levi looks at the difference between typical cruising and expedition cruising, examines what kind of travelers might like and not like expedition cruises, and discusses some of the characteristics of expedition cruising.

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