Travelers' Intercom

I would like to assure world traveler Albert Podell, whose letter “Longtime Traveler’s Reactions to His First Cruise” appeared in the May 2018 issue (page 24), that not all cruises are equal.

Naturally, there are variously priced cruises, and the one my husband, Peter, and I recently took, on a route similar to the one Mr. Podell took, was quite different than his cruise, on which, he wrote, “there was a relentless, never-ending...


Three months before a solo trip to Saudi Arabia that I was taking with Spiekermann Travel Service (Eastpoint, MI; 800/645-3233, in January-February 2018, my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. She would still be undergoing chemotherapy on the dates of my trip, so I canceled it.

I had purchased my flights on Emirates (New York-Dubai-Jeddah and Damman-Dubai-New York) through Spiekermann, who...


When traveling, I take time each night to edit my photos on Facebook and create a posting of five to 40 photos with captions.

I abandoned making scrapbooks years ago. I then tried making custom photo books after trips, but it took lots of time to look through photos and layouts. My big discovery was that I can use my Facebook postings to easily create a quality photo book.

To set up a...


In my experience, most cruise passengers fall into two categories: those who cruise primarily to enjoy the ship and shipboard activities and those whose focus is on the cruise’s destinations. My wife and I fall into the latter category.

On June 30, 2017, we booked the Jan. 18, 2018, sailing of Viking Ocean Cruises’ “Southern Mediterranean Discovery” itinerary. This cruise was to begin in Rome (...


My husband, Gery, and I were quite taken with the lead article in the November 2017 issue of ITN about an 8-day “Southern Mediterranean Discovery” cruise with Viking Ocean Cruises that featured Tunis and Algiers as ports of call.

We booked the March 1, 2018, sailing — the last of the season — on Oct. 25, 2017. The cruise we booked differed from the one in the article in that it eliminated the port in...


For a trip to Greece that my husband and I took from March 25 to April 16, 2018, we had our arrangements made by a travel agency based in Athens, Fantasy Travel (19 Filellinon St., 105 57 Athens, GREECE; phone +30 210 3310530,, working with Litsa Christou (

Fantasy Travel arranges group travel as well as cruises, but what we wanted was a private trip, including several...

The Leisner family in Haiti.

My family and I had been to a dozen Caribbean nations. We were thinking about Haiti but were unable to decide how best to have a positive impact on its people. There is no shortage of religious and charitable organizations operating there, but just sending one of them some money seemed hollow to us. We wanted to see, feel and touch the country and, yet, travel in relative comfort.

As a place to base, we chose...


An 85-year-old on a solo trip around the world, I left Dallas on Jan. 4, 2017, and returned Jan. 28. I traveled 30,000 miles, spent 100 hours in airplanes and visited eight new countries.

I took 11 different flights, one of which was with Buddha Air over the Himalayas, including a look at Mount Everest.

I flew with some of the top airlines: Emirates, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines. I didn’t have extra knee room, but I did have...