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Old July 16th, 2010, 03:54 PM
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Default The Dangers of Cruising!!!

I need your help here. The recent shooting on St. Thomas brings up the question of who is responsible for notifying cruisers about possibly dangerous places or situations on cruise ships and their ports of call.

I am asking you to list certain dangerous aspects of cruising - so we can give readers a legitimate list of the most possibly dangerous places or situations involved in taking a cruise.

For example - most of us know that Jamaica is not an island where you want to go walking on your own - especially in a major city like Ocho Rios or Montego Bay.

Or from a different perspective, we also know it is not a good idea to let a stranger into your stateroom at any time, unless you know them. By that, I mean an uninvited knock on your door in the middle of the night should be ignored, and you should make sure you have the deadbolt on. If anyone legitimately needs to contact you they can use the house phone.


So - can anyone tell me any legitimate dangers of cruise vacations? I am hoping we can compile a complete list of what NOT to do and where NOT to go on any cruise vacation...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 04:16 PM
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I just read the thread about renting scooters. This is exactly the kind of thing I am talking about.

The complainer said he rented a scooter and had a minimal damage, but that a ship's agent (a local person responsible for interfacing between the port and people on the ship) came onboard the ship and demanded $400 from him or else the police would come aboard and arrest him.

He was on a Costa ship stopped in Cozumel.

Never rent scooters! They are very dangerous (crewmembers are forbidden from renting them) but this extortion scheme is yet another wrinkle I had not heard about before.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 05:03 PM
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Paul, this is a good idea, other sites shy away from telling it how it is, I never have myself as I think we ''who know'' should inform those who don't but wish to. Also hiding bad news is irresponsible, threads about a tourist getting beaten to death at Long Bay Barbados were removed by Tripadvisor quite quickly, & even quicker when they reappeared.
PS I think that there are other ways of committing suicide than hiring two wheeled transport in the Caribbean...but none spring to mind as easily!!

Last edited by johnthed0g; July 16th, 2010 at 05:07 PM. Reason: ps...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 05:52 PM
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Good Idea Paul! Here are my favorites, although I personally have not committed any of these.

When a cruiser has a balcony or suite w/balcony stateroom and the cruiser gets extremely drunk and does one of the following 3:

1) Stand on Balcony railing and attempt to "relieve" yourself overboard.
2) Attempt to have "Intimate" relations with your cruisemate on the balcony railing.
or
3) Stand on balcony railing and imitate the scene from "Titanic" and scream "I'm king of the world!!!!!!"

Any one of these three could be dangerous to a cruiser. I believe all three have happened at one time or another on a cruise, but I cannot recall when or on what ships. They all probably sued and got millions for their own stupidity!
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Old July 16th, 2010, 06:43 PM
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Thanks, glad you like the idea...

Here are a few more:

Never try to sit on a railing. I will even admit I once (very absent mindedly) almost stepped up to do it. Of course there were people around I was talking to and it was a small ship. I only got a few inches off the ground before I went "wait - what am I doing?" and stopped, but I can see someone being drunk & alone doing it.

But there is the story of a photog on Carnival who got up high on something to get a better camera shot (a table or something - they never said) and he lost his balance and fell over a railing. He did not make it.

NEVER go shopping alone in Jamaica, or Recife/Bahia.

Never buy drugs in a port, there is a good chance you will get busted and then you could be in bigger trouble than you ever imagined. Do not get into stranger's cars in ports, accept rides or the like. Do not accept drinks from strangers. Do not wear expensive jewelry or carry expensive cameras into quiet back neighborhoods in Caribbean towns.

Always negotiate taxi fares before you get in - if they say "its by meter" then say "about how much is it?" so they won't pull any fast ones.
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Old July 16th, 2010, 07:38 PM
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Don't buy fake "designer goods" in Italy, my wife was handed a handbag to look at in Venice & was pounced on by police while the "vendor'' ran off. I found the whole thing most distressing from my hiding place in a nearby shop, not distressed enough to assist I may add, even after I had stopped laughing....
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Old July 16th, 2010, 09:31 PM
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Someone needs to refresh my memory....a while back, I remember reading about scams in Mexico..something about giving the customer a drink, where something had been slipped in it, the passenger ending up in a poilice siutation,and not having any memory..possibly a robbery involved??

I think one of the scariest things, is when there is a sexual offense, or a missing person, and the crusie line closes ranks, as in the missing Amy Bradley. I knew someone who's step daughter was sexually molested,and, they did close ranks..hearing first hand, what happened, was disconserting to say the least. In both these cases it was RCI....


Good thread Paul...
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Old July 16th, 2010, 09:40 PM
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Default Strangers cars

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Motter View Post
Thanks, glad you like the idea...

Here are a few more:

Never try to sit on a railing. I will even admit I once (very absent mindedly) almost stepped up to do it. Of course there were people around I was talking to and it was a small ship. I only got a few inches off the ground before I went "wait - what am I doing?" and stopped, but I can see someone being drunk & alone doing it.

But there is the story of a photog on Carnival who got up high on something to get a better camera shot (a table or something - they never said) and he lost his balance and fell over a railing. He did not make it.

NEVER go shopping alone in Jamaica, or Recife/Bahia.

Never buy drugs in a port, there is a good chance you will get busted and then you could be in bigger trouble than you ever imagined. Do not get into stranger's cars in ports, accept rides or the like. Do not accept drinks from strangers. Do not wear expensive jewelry or carry expensive cameras into quiet back neighborhoods in Caribbean towns.

Always negotiate taxi fares before you get in - if they say "its by meter" then say "about how much is it?" so they won't pull any fast ones.
Friends of ours many years ago were on a cruise .They were exploring an island on their own ,realized the ship was leaving shortly .They flagged down a motorist and asked to be taken to the dock offering to pay him a rather large sum of money .He instead took. them to a desolate area and robbed them .
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Old July 17th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueliner View Post
1) Stand on Balcony railing and attempt to "relieve" yourself overboard.
2) Attempt to have "Intimate" relations with your cruisemate on the balcony railing.
or
3) Stand on balcony railing and imitate the scene from "Titanic" and scream "I'm king of the world!!!!!!"
Darwinism at work.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnthed0g View Post
Don't buy fake "designer goods" in Italy, my wife was handed a handbag to look at in Venice & was pounced on by police while the "vendor'' ran off. I found the whole thing most distressing from my hiding place in a nearby shop, not distressed enough to assist I may add, even after I had stopped laughing....
Hey you took mine.;-) Before I went to Italy I read an article about a tourist that was fined for buying confeit goods in Italy it's a good thing your wife didn't buy that handbag. It's not dangerous, but it could be costly mistake.

Also Italy is know for pick pockets so I suggest you wear a money belt around your waist not around your neck. You can get hurt if a pick pocket on a scooter rips the money purse from around your neck. I tucked a few Euros in my bra for easy spending money. If they are able to pick pocket me from there at least I get a little somthing in return.

One last thing on Italy be certain you are using a licensed tour guide if you use an unlicensed illegal tour guide could be arrested during the tour and you will be left alone in some unknown part of Italy.

BTW Taxi drivers are crazy in Italy if you are in Rome you are better off on the Metro. Are taxi drive also hit a guy in a wheelchair. It was so close even the driver was freaked out.

Here are some articles on Counterfeit products and illegal tour guides.
Italy Fines tourists who buy counterfeits - Venice for Visitors

From the Colosseum to Saint Peter’s Basilica, illegal tour guides plague Rome
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Henry43 View Post
Friends of ours many years ago were on a cruise .They were exploring an island on their own ,realized the ship was leaving shortly .They flagged down a motorist and asked to be taken to the dock offering to pay him a rather large sum of money .He instead took. them to a desolate area and robbed them .
I don't mean to pick on your friends. But would they ever have done that in the USA/Canada? It's funny some people on vacation take risks they would never take in there own country. I lived in a bad area of town for 7 years and I have been robbed at gun point at my former place of employment. Maybe these experience make me more cautious. But I would never go up to a complete strange with a large amount of cash showing and ask for a ride.

My dad was in San Francisco and a homeless person was asking for money he pulled out a wad of bills. We yelled at him later for flashing money around doing that is super dangerous. So I guess I would add this to the list. Always keep a small amount in a different place then the rest of your money that way it never looks like you have a lot of cash.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:43 AM
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Be careful of groups of children in many cities. These children will distract you by mobbing you for candy or money. During this they will bump you numerous times and pickpocket you.

I had this happen in Lisbon. They were unsuccessful but a boy, about 10 years of age, went for my pants pocket while three or four others were mobbing my wife and I. One yell and they took off running.

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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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That's funny - we bought a Coco Chanel purse in Rome two years ago. I ahd never heard the tourist could be fined for buying the stuff. We were near the Pantheon, and I do remember at one point where all of the sidewalk vendors grabbed their goods and ran down an alley, but they were back within five minutes.

I like the story about the driver taking the money, Henry. I hope they still made the ship. I have to admit, that sounds like a stupid thing I might do in a similar emergency situation (what else could you do - if you see someone with a car and you have money and need to get to the ship).
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:48 AM
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Yes - Gypsy's with fake babies. We had one walk into our hotel in Venice and walk up to people and say "want to see my baby" and bend down and put it in their face (no one wanted to see it).

Then her hands would have been in their pocketbooks 0- except that she picked agroup of very savvy travelers who knew exactly what she was up to.

I want to draw some attention to this post I made: http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/cru...se-safety.html

Its about an article called "Cruise Ship Safety - still a long way to go?"

Really? How unsafe do YOU feel on a cruise ship?
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katlady View Post
I don't mean to pick on your friends. But would they ever have done that in the USA/Canada? It's funny some people on vacation take risks they would never take in there own country. I lived in a bad area of town for 7 years and I have been robbed at gun point at my former place of employment. Maybe these experience make me more cautious. But I would never go up to a complete strange with a large amount of cash showing and ask for a ride.

My dad was in San Francisco and a homeless person was asking for money he pulled out a wad of bills. We yelled at him later for flashing money around doing that is super dangerous. So I guess I would add this to the list. Always keep a small amount in a different place then the rest of your money that way it never looks like you have a lot of cash.
This was in the early 70's ,they were in their 20's .They very likely would have done so in this country or Canada .
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:52 AM
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That's funny - we bought a Coco Chanel purse in Rome two years ago. I ahd never heard the tourist could be fined for buying the stuff. We were near the Pantheon, and I do remember at one point where all of the sidewalk vendors grabbed their goods and ran down an alley, but they were back within five minutes.

I like the story about the driver taking the money, Henry. I hope they still made the ship. I have to admit, that sounds like a stupid thing I might do in a similar emergency situation (what else could you do - if you see someone with a car and you have money and need to get to the ship).

They did not make the ship before it sailed .The ship was on its way back to the US ,they had to go home another way after getting funds wired to them
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Old July 17th, 2010, 11:55 AM
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By the way - in South America you also have to watch out for young ladies acting like prostitutes, they will start to touch men's chests and hips, but they are really feeling for wallets.

Not that I would ever even tolerate that, but the thing is that it happens before you even realize what is happening. She can say hi and the next thing you know her hands is on you someplace.

This is like the Gypsy, thing. The idea is to distract you as they take your money. Gypsy kids will also surround you.

The one I hate is where they give you a flower, and then say $1. You try to hand it back and they wont take it, they just keep saying $1. You hate to throw it in the ground (but you can set it down gently on a table).

Theone thing that really gets to me is being touched bya stranger, though. In a public street, if a vendor touches me to try to steer me iinto his stall or whatever, I just freeak out. I will say to them "don't touch me" and if they do it again I say it again, much louder and emphatically.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 12:15 PM
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Katlady...

I admit I was once in Athens with a ferry back to Italy to catch, and it was 5:00 and although there plenty of cabs NONE would pick me up. Finally I flashed a fan of cash at one and he stopped - and I did make my ship.

It is really hard to say what you would do in a similar situation. I dare say most people would NOT rob you.

I was once stuck at a remote beach in St Martin with no taxis in sight, Fortunately, a couple of Americans who had rented a car were at the same beach and they gave us a ride to where we could get a taxi. Otherwise, I think we would have been stuck - and I was a crewmember at that time.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Someone needs to refresh my memory....a while back, I remember reading about scams in Mexico..something about giving the customer a drink, where something had been slipped in it, the passenger ending up in a poilice siutation,and not having any memory..possibly a robbery involved??
As I recall it was a poster who came to our boards and said this had happened to her. All we had was her version of the story. I do not know what happened to her.

I will admit that Royal Caribbean had more than its share of security problems for the industry, especially before about 2007 when they really upped their onboard security processes.

I was at Seatrade once when soneone asked Richard Fain about George Allen Smith (who disappeared in the Med). Fain said something about "what happened was not our fault." (which it wasn't).

But Bob Dickinson (pres of Carnival at the time) shot back "If it had been on one of our ships, it never would have happened."
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Old July 17th, 2010, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
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This was in the early 70's ,they were in their 20's .They very likely would have done so in this country or Canada .
That makes a difference. People were more trusting in the 70s and we do more dangerous things in general in our 20s. Once we get into are 40s and beyond life experience kicks in and we are more careful. I bet they would not do the same thing now because they had that experience.

Paul I wanted to go to a remote beach in Cabo San Lucas, but I chose not to because I was afraid of getting stuck there. So I guess that is another tip don't put yourself in situations where you can be stuck in a remote area.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 01:41 PM
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Let me ask you this: how do you feel about strangers on cruise ships? Do you openly engage in conversations, or do you only talk to people you have been introduced to?

Here is the background on this question.

I just read another post about "asking people to take pictures" The thread asks if one should be embarrassed about asking people to take your picture with your camera.

One note mentioned that "we were approached by a man on a ship who offered to take our picture with our camera, and my wife started acting threatened. I said to her 'let him take our picture, where is he going to go?" and his wife was then suitably embarassed about her initial reaction.

I admit I also sometimes offer to help strangers, like if I see them trying to read a map, and sometimes I get a rather harsh rebuke - and it always surprises me. I was reminded of something that just happened to me on Epic.

I was traveling solo, so I had been engaging in a lot of conversations with strangers. 99% of people were very happy to chat for a long time. But one quiet afternoon I was strolling in the buffet area. I saw a middle aged woman reading a "Guide to New York City" and writing copious notes. I lived in New York and as Kuki will tell you I have given a few tours of the city, so I just asked her "would you like some help planning your visit in New York?"

She just looked at me and said "No!" in an obvious "end of converation" tone. Okay, no problem, but I admit that is exactly the kind of thing I was referring to when I have said traveling solo on ships can be not fun - especially for single men. People will take very honest ans simple conversation and sometimes turn it into something confrontational. (I am happy to Say Epic was a real departure from that typical scenario - but on my first cruise as a solo back in 1996 I have to say 90% of my conversations went the wrong way, and I really don't know why).

Now, it is not as if she was attractive and my question sounded suggestive. I was just trying to be helpful. But I felt as if I had just been slapped in the face for being too forward.

Here is one caveat, though: Europeans (she was one) are far more threatened by strangers offering to help, because some cities (like Amsterdam) have taught homeless people to help tourists and then ask for a 'donation.'

Obviously, I dont look like I need a donation, and I doubt that woman didn't need a single question answered. but for some reason she obviously felt threatened - hence my original question.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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Default Cruise ship security on the ships

The one thing not discussed so far here is the plain clothes security men walking around the ships (encountered one many years ago going to Bermuda).. and of course the uniformed ones.. A dear friend left expensive sun glasses down..and never saw them again...Can remember vividly a young teenager who was going to "meet" up with a member of the crew until her mother caught wind..
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Old July 17th, 2010, 03:28 PM
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I talk to strangers & offer to help those who look lost or confused, I try to stimulate conversation at dinner, especially the first night. Probably about 20% of the time I speak to a stranger they totally ignore what I have said, as if they didn't hear....their loss.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 04:00 PM
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John - if it was my wife she has a slight hearing problem in one ear right now, so she does the same thing to me.
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Old July 17th, 2010, 04:07 PM
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Let me ask you this: how do you feel about strangers on cruise ships? Do you openly engage in conversations, or do you only talk to people you have been introduced to?

Here is the background on this question.

I just read another post about "asking people to take pictures" The thread asks if one should be embarrassed about asking people to take your picture with your camera.

One note mentioned that "we were approached by a man on a ship who offered to take our picture with our camera, and my wife started acting threatened. I said to her 'let him take our picture, where is he going to go?" and his wife was then suitably embarassed about her initial reaction.

I admit I also sometimes offer to help strangers, like if I see them trying to read a map, and sometimes I get a rather harsh rebuke - and it always surprises me. I was reminded of something that just happened to me on Epic.

I was traveling solo, so I had been engaging in a lot of conversations with strangers. 99% of people were very happy to chat for a long time. But one quiet afternoon I was strolling in the buffet area. I saw a middle aged woman reading a "Guide to New York City" and writing copious notes. I lived in New York and as Kuki will tell you I have given a few tours of the city, so I just asked her "would you like some help planning your visit in New York?"

She just looked at me and said "No!" in an obvious "end of converation" tone. Okay, no problem, but I admit that is exactly the kind of thing I was referring to when I have said traveling solo on ships can be not fun - especially for single men. People will take very honest ans simple conversation and sometimes turn it into something confrontational. (I am happy to Say Epic was a real departure from that typical scenario - but on my first cruise as a solo back in 1996 I have to say 90% of my conversations went the wrong way, and I really don't know why).

Now, it is not as if she was attractive and my question sounded suggestive. I was just trying to be helpful. But I felt as if I had just been slapped in the face for being too forward.

Here is one caveat, though: Europeans (she was one) are far more threatened by strangers offering to help, because some cities (like Amsterdam) have taught homeless people to help tourists and then ask for a 'donation.'

Obviously, I dont look like I need a donation, and I doubt that woman didn't need a single question answered. but for some reason she obviously felt threatened - hence my original question.
On a sunny afternoon in Washington Square Park in NYC one will always see tourists . I have been there many times where a tourist will ask someone to take a picture of them .More than likely people have fled with the camera .On a ship ,however ,its rather hard to do so .
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Old July 17th, 2010, 04:08 PM
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Oh those that ignore hear OK, the dirty look explains that, "how dare you talk to me"...
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Old July 17th, 2010, 04:59 PM
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Yeah, well Washington Square Park is not exactly middle america - from the guys playing chess for money to the one man bands - and the fact that it is only about three blocks from the Bowery.

I was in Israel with the first digital Fuji camera, and back them people would stop and stare at me every time I even took a picture.

We were in the Armenian Section where a guy working a booth kept asking me if he could "show it to his brother," I said "yeah, tell him to come out here." I never took it out of my hand.

I could just picture me "lending it" to him and him walking back and saying "he took it to show my uncle, he'll be right back" and then three hours later.. "I don't know where he went" and finally "He just called, he got robbed! I am so sorry."
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:05 PM
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I'm a talker so on the ship,in the dining room, in the tender, and in line I will chat with you if you are near to me. I have never had an issue I think because I'm a woman. My hubby won't trust his camera to anyone to take a picture. I will if it's on ship or staff on a shore excursion I figure they can't go anywhere. Actually I was in Cabo San Lucas in the sea of cortez and I saw my head waiter. He offered to take my picture with my underwater camera and I agreed. Here is the picture I think there is something wrong with the camera however, because I look fat and old stupid camera it has a plot with my mirror. ;-)
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:14 PM
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I have a similar problem with photographs, especially ships one's, I get all spruced up & when I see the pics they are of a old bald fat guy.....
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Old July 17th, 2010, 05:21 PM
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Trip - there was a long thread on the Carnival board about a year ago. A couple had some tequila at a jewelry store in Cozumel and woke up bloodied in their stateroom. Allegedly they were banned from cruising on Carnival again.
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