Travelers' Intercom

My husband, Norman, and I and a friend of ours were on our way to take a cruise from Copenhagen, Denmark, through the Baltic area on the Norwegian Cruise Line ship Breakaway. We began our trip on May 9, 2018, by flying from New Orleans to Chicago on United Airlines and from Chicago to Copenhagen on SAS Scandinavian Airlines (in a code-share with United). On May 20, we would also fly back on SAS from Copenhagen.

Through our travel agent, JoAnn Nelson of The Travel Professionals (McComb...

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Melanie Branca and Ed Deaton in northern Georgia.

My friend Melanie Branca and I took an inexpensive group tour to the South Caucasus, visiting Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, Sept. 5-23, 2018. It was with Exotour (17 Pavle Ingorokva St., 0108 Tbilisi, Georgia; phone +995 32 291 31 91, www.exotour.travel/en).

The tour consisted mainly of visiting the capitals of the three countries and taking day trips. We had investigated three other companies’ tours and found them to be similar in length and in the sights covered....

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Sandra Yon and a monk at the Donghwasa Temple in Daegu.

After many years of my trying to find a tour to South Korea, Overseas Adventure Travel, or OAT (Boston, MA; 800/955-1925, www.oattravel.com), finally created one. A friend and l departed in October 2017, joining OAT’s 18-day “South Korea & Japan: Temples, Shrines & Seaside Treasures” tour. We added a 6-night (with air, eight days) pre-trip to China because my friend had never been there.

The trip cost about $6,100 per person, including round-trip...

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Royal Palace of Fez. Photos by Dorothy Botnick

While staying in Málaga, Spain, for a month, my husband and I took a short trip to Tangier and Fez, Morocco. We wanted to have a private guide in Fez, so, as usual, I went to ITN’s website and typed “guide in Morocco” in the search bar, then searched through the articles for private guides.

In Liz Stack’s letter “Enjoyed Moroccan Guide” (Aug. ’17, pg. 49), I found Youssef Kharroubi’s name and email address. I sent him a message...

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Gail and the orangutan at the Bali Zoo. Photo by Richard Newlin

My husband, Richard, and I were in Indonesia and needed a car and driver on Aug. 13, 2018, to take us to the Bali Zoo and the Bali Bird Park from our hotel in Sanur.

I had read on TripAdvisor.com about a driver named Made Baragan (phone +6285 237 109 442, WhatsApp +6282 145 299 327 or email made.baragan@yahoo.com), so I contacted him and he agreed to take us to both places and wait for us. We hired him for eight hours at a cost of IDR400,000 (near $28).

Because we...

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Lands’ End (800/963-4816, www.landsend.com) has swim tops for women that are called Rash Guard. If you wear them swimming, they act as a UV protectant. However, these wonderful tops are also great as travel clothing.

I took several with me on a Columbia River cruise in fall 2018. The shirts have long sleeves but aren’t too hot. (I took along a light sweater/jacket for when I needed a little more warmth.) The best part is the shirts roll up quite small for packing, and they...

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Most cruise lines and hotels offer loyalty programs, but with MSC Cruises (Fort Lauderdale, FL; 877/665-4655), you can register the status you have with a competitor's loyalty program, and they'll match it with an equivalent of their own. For example, my Holland America Line 4-star status gets me Gold Status with MSC.

If you go to MSC's website (www.msccruisesusa.com/statusmatch) and provide proof of your status with another loyalty program, they'll match it when you...

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The 5-story pagoda at Sensō-ji Buddhist temple in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. Photos by Bill O'Connell

When you "spring" for Tokyo, the metropolis is full of not only sakura (cherry blossoms) but hordes of people, millions of them. If you can stand the crowds, spring and autumn are the best times to visit.

I may have just missed the cherry blossoms, but by taking my trip to Tokyo from May 1 to May 9, 2018, I was assured a seat on United Airlines and a room at my hotel, as heavy tourist traffic had let up when the last petal fell. The azaleas were in full bloom,...

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