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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:07 PM
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Its official now--We have booked and confirmed our Cruise on the Holland America Volendam.---Sailing April 18, 2009 out of Hong Kong for 32 days ending in Vancouver.

We will enjoy this cruise because we will be visiting some ports that we have not been to before. We go up the China coast, over to S Korea, then Japan. Our last port will be in Petropavlovsk, Russia before skipping over to Alaska. We will enjoy this cruise even tho we will be dressing for the cold. Gotta think about heavy jackets etc.

Another subject is Visas. We have to get them for both China and Russia. Looked at the applications and gosh they wont your life history. But we will survive the process. Then the cost for the Visas. China and Russia both want $130 for each of us thats $520 total then we have to pay the processor $45 each so thats another $180. Well so what we gotta have em. Anyone think they know a way you can get around this expense. Oh I forgot the Fed Express bill another $20 each. Ouch.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:29 PM
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Ray,

You can save yourself the visa service expense and apply directly to the Russian and Chinese consulates for your area. You still have to send your passports and applications directly to them but you bypass the middleman.

However; My suggestion is to use the service. They'll expedite and find any problems before they are sent to the consulates. They should be able to do both at one time and only charge you one Fed Ex fee.

BTW: If you do a ship's tour or use a registered guide service in Russia you do not need a visa.

Congratulations on the cruise, you will love China.

Take care,
Mike
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Old May 27th, 2008, 05:39 PM
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Ray..we all want to be you when we grow up:);) You and Helen have packed so many wonderful trips in your lifetime, and the best thing for us is, you always come home and share your memories, and pictures with your Cruisemate pals! xoxoxo
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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Ray you need to write a book of all your travels. I would love to talk to you about them all and would certainly buy the book if it came out.

Enjoy yourselves!!!
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Old May 28th, 2008, 08:20 AM
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Congratulations! What a fantastic cruise you have booked. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around there are some things that you haven't seen. I can't wait to see all the new pictures you will be posting. Good luck with the paperwork.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:07 AM
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Wow, Ray and Helen!! You never cease to amaze me. I hope that trip is wonderful for you both.

Laura
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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It sounds wonderful to me.

Have a great cruise.

Luanne
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:27 AM
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Yay Ray! You and Helen are my heroes!
I can't imagine there are still places you haven't seen, but that's great for all of us because we get to share them with you when you get back!
Will be looking forward to your photos....

donna
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Old May 28th, 2008, 09:54 AM
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Ray and Helen, You guys are our cruising Idols! Can't wait to see and hear all about it. Sure do widsh we could do it too.
Keep on Cruising and enjoy it all.
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Old May 28th, 2008, 10:51 AM
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Congrats Ray........you & Helen will have a great time.......wish we could go........

Enjoy the sights you haven't seen yet........




Sharon
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