Travelers' Intercom

The Celebrity Equinox docked in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. Photos by Wanda Bahde

I took the “Ultimate Southern Caribbean Cruise” aboard the Celebrity Equinox of Celebrity Cruises (Miami, FL; 888/751-7804,, Dec. 22, 2021-Jan. 3, 2022.

Initially, I felt safer on board than I did in our local Walmart. All passengers were required to have received COVID vaccinations, test negative no more than 48 hours before departure, answer a pre-boarding health questionnaire and not have a fever when boarding. Masks were not required on board, and...


As a 15-time visitor to India, my favorite place to stay upon arriving in Delhi has been Hotel Saptagiri (L-73/L-322, Mahipalpur Extn., National Highway-8, New Delhi - 110037, India; phone +91 11 4616 0000,

Providing a soft intro to India, this has been a very much OK hotel for one to three acclimating nights. My most recent visits were in 2017, 2018 and 2019, when a mid-range room cost about $50 per night (credit cards accepted) — a low cost for the...


I travel with a carry-on and only enough clothes for three days. One advantage of traveling alone is that no one complains if I wear the same clothes over and over. I don’t consider travel to be a fashion show.

In each city, I stay a minimum of two nights so my clothes have enough time to dry. I hand-wash my quick-drying shirts and quick-drying underwear every night, and they usually dry overnight, unless the humidity happens to be high. My socks can take two nights to dry, so I...

After the Crystal Serenity’s last main show, Cruise Director Rick Spath led the audience in singing “We’ll Meet Again” as all the crew, staff and officers paraded through the theater. Photo by John Leach

My wife, Eileen, and I were sailing on the Crystal Serenity when Crystal Cruises ( emailed on Jan. 19, “Today, Crystal is announcing that it has suspended operations for its Ocean and Expedition ships through April 29, 2022.” Our ship was to prematurely end its voyage in Aruba on Jan. 30.

We had joined Serenity in Miami on Jan. 17 at the start of its “Grand Cruise.” While there were no parties, due to COVID precautions, the majority of...


During three months of heavy travel in late 2021, I experienced difficulties when it came to the COVID-19 testing, tracing and reporting requirements imposed by multiple countries. Here are some choice examples of what a nightmare it was to comply with a few countries’ COVID-entry requirements.

The Kingdom of SAUDI ARABIA required visitors to download an app called Tawakkalna. The app, which also acts as a COVID-contact tracer, provided a...


My wife and I flew to Rome, Italy, Jan. 2, 2022, in order to see the Torlonia Marbles exhibit (ending Feb. 27). We transited through Munich, Germany.

Shortly before we flew to Germany, the country changed its COVID testing requirements for those transiting and required a 24-hour rapid antigen or 48-hour PCR test. (The previous requirement was a PCR test taken within 72 hours.) This caused us to scramble because we had appointments for tests that would not meet the new requirements....

This trailhead sign depicts one of the feral Cretan goats, known as <i>kri-kri</i>, that inhabit the Samaria Gorge. (We did not see any.) Photo by Colleen McClure

Three of us — Doris (75), Colleen (61) and I (79) — were enjoying a visit to the Greek island of Crete in October 2021. After seeing the Palace of Knossos and the excellent Heraklion Archaeological Museum, we decided a hike would be a wonderful outdoor experience.

Searching online, Doris saw that a hike in the Gorge of Samaria National Park, a UNESCO biosphere reserve, was a not-to-be-missed adventure in Crete, so we decided to do it.

We purchased tickets for a...


After reading an article about the Mobile Passport app, I tried it in 2018. Using the app on my cell phone, I loaded my passport information, took a selfie and, on the night before a return flight to Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) from abroad, completed the normal form required for entry to the US.

As soon as I had cell phone service upon landing at DFW, I opened the app and hit “Send.” Within seconds I had approval for entry. I passed by the lines of people at kiosk screens,...