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Picking A Cruise By Shore Savings


Two years ago, the U.S. and Canadian dollars were at par. According to yesterday’s exchange rates, $1.00 U.S. was worth $1.22 Canadian. That kind of gap usually means an exodus of tourists in the direction of better deals, and apparently that’s what is happening in conjunction with Alaska cruises originating in Vancouver.

According to a report by Canada’s national broadcaster, CBC, the falling Canadian dollar is encouraging more Americans to cruise out of Vancouver this summer…perhaps combining a cruise with a Canadian vacation. The report estimates that 70 per cent of passengers boarding ships bound for Alaska in the Port of Vancouver are Americans.

It’s not so much that cruises are better deals — Americans booking cruises from Vancouver pay in U.S. dollars — as it is that everything else around the departure and return is a deal. Hotels, restaurants, tours, taxis…the whole enchilada.

The number of cruise visitors this year is expected to be about 800,000, on par with last year. That’s from 227 visits on 32 cruise ships. However, tourism analysts say Americans are likely to stay longer before or after the cruise, and spend more because of the currency bargains.

This foreign currency concept is foreign to us. Everybody likes a deal but our choices in picking a cruise would be more inclined to focus on whether the cruise is a deal, not whether the hotel before leaving was.

What about you?

In the news…

• Costa Deliziosa to sail from Fort Lauderdale starting in December
• Norwegian Dawn passengers anticipating compensation for delay
• Luxury cruise market expecting 53 per cent jump by 2018
• Azamara launches ‘Cruise Global, Eat Local’ dining program

Today at portsandbows.comA $90-million terminal upgrade for Quebec

Royal Caribbean Adventure of the Seas
7 nights
September 20, 2015
San Juan (return): St. Croix, St. Maarten, Antigua, St. Lucia
Inside: $489
Cost per day: $69

Euros for Europe an Experience

LEAVING VENICE — If you're planning a cruise in Europe this year, or any year, one of the questions you're likely to have is:

What do I do about euros?

Prior to leaving to board the Oceania Riviera for nine days, sailing from Monte Carlo to Venice, we had the same question…and many different answers (i.e., don't count on the Internet).

Maybe it will help you to know how and where we bought euros:

1. At the bank before leaving North America…each euro cost $1.38 and there was no service charge. For each 100 euros: $138.

2. On the Riviera…each euro cost $1.41 plus a service charge of 5%. For each 100 euros: $146.

3. At a "change" (as in currency exchange) window in St. Mark's Square in Venice…each euro cost $1.29, but the service charge was a whopping 15% (that's not advertised until you're given the bill). For each 100 euros: $144.

4. At a bank in Venice…each euro cost $1.29, with a fixed fee of 8.5 euros no matter how much currency you exchanged. For the first 100 euros: $140. For 200 euros: $135 per 100.

While you have to factor in day-to-day currency fluctuations, our conclusion is that for whatever spending you don't put on a credit card, don't buy euros on the ship or at a currency exchange shop, and you can take that to the bank…any bank!

Royal Caribbean Navigator of the Seas
7 nights
June 24, 2012
Rome (return): Messina, Ephesus, Athens, Crete
Inside: $499
Cost per day: $72

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