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Bonded Cruise Ships : U.S. Cruise Ships Must Be Bonded

February 05, 1989|ERIC FRIEDHEIM | Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine.

Question: Does the government require cruise ships to be bonded to protect passengers if sailings are canceled?

Answer: The Federal Maritime Administration requires ships departing an American port to carry such a bond. Because we have no jurisdiction over foreign vessels sailing from a foreign port, even if the voyage includes American destinations, the law doesn't apply there. Usually these cruise lines have a bond, however. In any case, it's wise to have your agent check.

Q: I know it's not always safe to drink water in tropical and less-developed areas. How about the water on airplanes flying through these regions?

A: Generally, international airlines have effective purification systems. To be absolutely safe, some travelers carry small portable tumblers with an iodine resin base and filter. Adding five drops of tincture of iodine to a quart of tap water also will do the trick.

Q: Is it possible to obtain travel documents and air tickets via facsimile machines?

A: Hotelcopy and Hotelticket, a company with installations in 1,600 hotels nationwide, plus Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean, provides 24-hour fax service to travelers. It also arranges air ticketing after business hours if local booking agencies are unavailable. Call toll-free (800) 322-4448.

Q: On our foreign trip we'd like to visit famous Jewish shrines and synagogues. Where can we obtain a listing?

A: A worldwide directory of these and other points of interest is in the "Jewish Travel Guide 1989," available from Sepher-Hermon Press, 1265 46th St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11219 ($12.75, postpaid). The Jewish Traveler, Hadassah magazine's guide to the world's Jewish communities and sights, covers major cities (Doubleday: $10.95).

Q: What facilities are available at Isola, the French ski resort?

A: Isola 2000, one of the largest ski centers in the French Maritime Alps, two hours by car and 20 minutes by helicopter from Nice, has 70 miles of slopes. At 7,000 feet it's the highest resort close to the Riviera with luxury accommodations, a ski school and a children's village. It has eight advanced and 15 intermediate runs during the February-April ski season.

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