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Confusing Cruise Prices

February 01, 1987|ERIC FRIEDHEIM | Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine.

Question: I'm confused by all the price categories in cruise brochures. Is there any real difference in service or accommodations?

Answer: Price differences are based on cabin size, amenities and location. Bigger cabins, bathtubs, portholes or windows, higher deck or proximity to public rooms all can add to costs. Use of public facilities and meal services are the same for all.

Q: An airport car rental agency recently canceled my reservation because my flight was late. Don't they protect clients against this?

A: If your confirmation number has been forwarded by an agent or rental company the airport location will hold the car until your flight arrives. Otherwise, cars are held only for several hours.

Q: Can I bring a child's auto safety seat aboard an aircraft?

A: Many, but not all, major carriers permit them but the seat should carry the manufacturer's label that it is certified for use in motor vehicles and airplanes.

Q: We'll be spending several weeks in Austria. Is the Eurailpass good for local trips?

A: This year Austrian railways celebrate their 150th anniversary and offer numerous special services. Unless you're visiting other parts of Europe, it may be cheaper to buy local rail tickets. A round-trip U.S.-Germany Lufthansa ticket gives you a nine-day second-class Germany/Austria rail pass for $49.

Q: Recently while I was at a restaurant my fur coat disappeared from the check room. The proprietors say they are not liable. What are my rights?

A: In some states you can recover the coat's value only if negligence is proved, a checking fee has been charged and you have obtained from the checkroom attendant a written receipt stating the value of the coat. Because liabilities vary here and abroad, it's wise not to check valuable furs.

Q: I want to visit Acapulco during Passover. Is kosher food available?

A: The Mexican Government Tourist Office says some kosher products are imported. There also is a Passover tour available through Atlas Ambassador, 25 West 34th St., New York 10036, phone (212) 730-9333.

Q: Are there youth hostels in South America and where are they?

A: Most countries have these facilities. For information contact American Youth Hostels Council, P.O. Box A, Harbor City, Calif. 90710, phone (213) 831-8846.

Q: Where is the Adams National History site and what's to see there?

A: The home of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams at Quincy, Mass., outside Boston, is maintained by the National Park Service and open daily, free to visitors. Displayed are American antiques, furniture, paintings, porcelains and gardens arranged by Abigail Adams.

Q: Do you have information on an underwater park in Florida where one can snorkel?

A: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park is in Key Largo and is open daily, year-round, for a $1.50 admission charge. It has various reefs, some known for coral, others for caves and cliffs and another for a sunken freighter easily viewable below the surface. The address is Box 487, Key Largo, Fla. 33037, phone (305) 451-1202.

Q: We're visiting Rome and several other European capitals and want to save money by staying in pensions. Our travel agent doesn't seem to be able to arrange reservations in these accommodations. Any suggestions?

A: Unfortunately, few if any of these cheaper facilities deal directly with the U.S. travel trade. However, most larger metropolitan airports and central railway stations have listings of tourist hotels and pensions. The local tourist information bureaus, also centrally located, will help you find lodging.

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