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Buying an Air Ticket for a Cruise?

August 09, 1987|ERIC FRIEDHEIM | Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine

Question: Some cruise prices include air transportation to the port. Is it cheaper to buy the air ticket separately?

Answer: Often there is no price advantage to buying separately, but there may be a saving in having air included. Also, the ship line may make concessions if the airline it's using misses the departure time but might not do so if you use another airline to the port. Have your travel agent explain all fare options.

Q: Where in New England is the Pilgrim museum and what does it exhibit?

A: Plimoth Plantation, in Plymouth, Mass., features a Colonial village, circa 1627, with a costumed staff, an Indian encampment and a full-size replica of the Mayflower. Adult admission is $9.50; children $6.50.

Q: We're planning to use our trailer for traveling more than six months a year. Do we need special licenses in various states and does it qualify as a second home for tax purposes?

A: While the new tax laws indicate that you can use it as a second home, better check with your accountant. So far no special licenses are required. For comprehensive information on trailer living and driving, consult Full-Time RVing, (TL Enterprises, Box 500, Agoura, Calif. 91301, $16.90).

Q: Is it advisable to reserve a rental car before departure from the United States or can I get equally good rates abroad?

A: By reserving here, there's a better chance of getting the type you want, particularly during the busy season. In many cases it also may be cheaper.

Q: We want to marry and honeymoon in the Caribbean. What are the regulations and waiting period for U.S. citizens?

A: It's three days or less in Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico; five days in the U.S. Virgin Islands; seven days in Belize; 14 days in the Cayman Islands and St. Lucia; 15 days in Dominica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis. Proof of citizenship and divorce (if applicable) are usually required. Contact Caribbean Tourist Assn., 20 East 46th St., New York 10017. Telephone (212) 682-0435.

Q: Do European countries offer senior citizen discounts this summer to offset the lower dollar?

A: Most make concessions to mature travelers, particularly for train and bus transportation and for admission to museums and attractions. Some also have special hotel rates. For example, nearly 400 Swiss hotels have lower tariffs for women 62 and over and men 65 and over. Contact your travel agent or write the European Travel Commission, 630 Fifth Ave., New York 10011.

Q: I'm interested in Alaska fishing. How late into the fall are facilities available?

A: Some lodges remain open until early October. Late summer and autumn fishing is good for salmon. Bush pilots can take you to wilderness waters where the fish may be biting. Your travel agent should have details about lodges and camps. For literature, write to the Alaska Division of Tourism, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, P.O. Box E, Juneau, Alaska, 99811; phone (907) 465-2010.

Q: I recently had to pay $15 when I ordered a prepaid ticket from my agency for pickup that evening at the airport. Is this legal?

A: The charge is a service fee imposed by the airlines, not the travel agent, for issuing a prepaid ticket. Your agent had to collect this for the airline along with payment for the ticket. Airlines don't charge the passenger who books directly.

Q: Are there any cruises off New England this year?

A: Seven-day sailings between Haddam, Conn., and various islands including Nantucket, and between Boston and Maine, are scheduled aboard the 130-passenger ships Savannah and Charleston; fares start at $1,400. Contact your travel agent or American Cruise Lines at (800) 243-6755.

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