There was the 15-year-old girl who was refused boarding on a ship set to sail from Puerto Rico. She admitted to a slight cough, a ship doctor found her temperature slightly elevated, and she and her father incurred thousands of dollars in expenses to stay in San Juan and fly back home.
There are many things that can lead you to be denied boarding. If you don’t have a visa for some of the places where the ship will make port calls, you may be barred from sailing. Make sure you have a passport and appropriate visas.
Carnival won’t allow anyone under 21 aboard if they’re not accompanied by someone at least 25 years old. A married minor couple must show up with proof of marriage. If you’re a divorced parent with a child, make sure you have a letter of permission to travel with that child from the other parent. If you’re more than 24 weeks pregnant, you also may be barred.
Here’s a link to Paul’s most informative article.
(This commentary was originally broadcast Feb. 8, 2013.)
Well, in some cases, you can.
For example, Celebrity Cruises will let you bring two bottles of wine or Champagne per stateroom aboard. But if you want to open it at dinner, you’ll be charged a $25 corkage fee. Consume it in your stateroom, and there’s no charge.
Carnival allows one bottle and levies a $10 corkage fee. Norwegian allows you to bring wine and Champagne aboard but charges $15 a bottle. No boxed wine allowed.
In most cases, had liquor is not allowed. And any bottles you buy on board or during stops at port will be held by the ship until the end of the cruise. My advice: Call your cruise line ahead of a trip and learn the rules.
By the way, Carnival Cruise Lines has expanded the number of ships offering all-you-can-drink packages. Pay $42.95 a day plus a 15 per cent gratuity and you and can drink up to 15 drinks a day.
Think about that for a minute.
Thirteen Carnival ships offer the package deal. Here’s the good news: You also get a 25% discount on bottled water.
Kathy McCabe is an American who lives, works, and breathes Italy. She publishes a monthly newsletter called “Dream of Italy,” and she recently came on my weekend show to discuss the “Ten Commandments of Planning a Trip to Italy.”
Let me see if I can give them to you in 50 seconds.
First, practice acceptance—admit you’ll only be able to see one region well in a week-long trip.
Second, buy your plane ticket now. There’s limited lift to Italy, and if you don’t act now, you may not get the dates you want.
Remember September is high season. Personally, I love the Amalfi Coast in early October, and the swimming is still just fine.
Stay at least two nights in each hotel. Don’t rush. With travel time, two nights is a minimum.
Pre-book train, museum and opera tickets, and maybe even restaurant reservations if you’re considering a Michelin-starred restaurant during prime summer months.
Plan travel around special events and festivals.
Get a tour guide, get to know the locals, and accept the fact you’re going to get lost from time to time.
Check out Kathy’s web site for advice on visiting Italy and her events calendar and tips on how to get to know locals.
It happened to my daughter and her family who were flying from London to Spain two weeks ago on holiday. My five-year-old granddaughter’s passport was due to expire in about three days shy of three months.
The family couldn’t board because you can’t go from the UK to Spain and return if you’re passport is only valid for less than three months. Fortunately they were able to get an emergency passport from the US Embassy in London so they could travel the next day, but you may not be that lucky.
US travelers to Europe need a passport with more than three months of life left, and many countries around the world require more than a six-month window.
So look at your passport. If it’s seven or eight months away from expiring, it’s time to renew. Don’t let a vacation be ruined because you’re not paying attention.
Try to leave early in the morning. That holds true not only for folks driving to their destination. It’s also true if you’re flying–flights can get backed up in the course of a day.
If you’re flying, try to make do with carry on only. Why risk your luggage going awry? Why pay for a bag? Work hard—you can do four days of clothes in a carry-on bag. Mail or send by ground shipping anything else if you need to. It’ll probably be less than the $25 it’ll cost you to check a bag each way.
Bring your own food for a long drive or flight or train ride. It’s almot always going to be better than whatever you get while traveling, especially when flying.
If you’re flying, know what flights on all airlines go to your destination in case your flight is severely delayed.
Start setting aside now all the chargers you need for your electronic devices or toys that might help keep kids amused. Avoid last-minute, panicked packing when we all tend to forgot crucial items.