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Inspections of Cruise Ships Arranged

November 02, 1986|ERIC FRIEDHEIM | Friedheim is editor-publisher of Travel Agent magazine.

Question: Now that the government no longer inspects cruise ships, how can I be assured of sanitary conditions?

Answer: About 70 ship lines operating in North American waters have engaged the National Sanitations Foundation to make twice-yearly surprise inspections. Reports will be given to travel agents to inform their clients.

Q: With some tour firms going bankrupt, am I protected against loss if the trip I bought doesn't take off?

A: Many, but not all, tour operators have cooperative or independent insurance plans to protect the public. Ask your agent if the tour he sells is covered.

Q: Is it illegal to buy or sell frequent-flier bonus coupons?

A: Such trafficking goes on despite airline objections and the practice eventually will be decided in the courts.

Q: When and where are the major art exhibitions being staged in Paris and London?

A: Paris' Musee d'Orsay, a new art center and former railroad station, opens in December with art focusing on 1848-1914. London's Royal Academy of Arts features British art in the 20th Century, Jan. 15-April 5.

Q: Since Lars Eric Lindblad sold his ship line, has he retired?

A: He remains active and will continue leading trips to offbeat destinations. Contact Lindblad Travel, Westport, Conn. 06881.

Q: What's happening to Grossingers, the big old Catskills resort?

A: Sold by the family, it's closed but reopens next year after a multimillion-dollar reconstruction.

Q: Is there a passenger railroad operating in the West Indies?

A: Jamaica has twice daily rail service between Montego Bay and Kingston taking six hours one way and costing $8 round trip in first-class. The Governor's Coach, an excursion train, links Montego Bay and Appleton, site of a rum distillery. The fare, including lunch, is $30.

Q: What's the proper amount to tip at hotels in the United States?

A: The American Automobile Assn. suggests 50 cents a bag to bellhops and up to $1 a day in city hotels for the maid who cleans your room, depending on service.

Q: About how far a drive is Sea World from Disney World in Florida?

A: It is less than three miles away following Interstate 4. It is between Disney World and the city of Orlando.

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