Travelers' Intercom

In the letter “Protecting a Bank Account from Theft” (July ’19, pg. 38), a subscriber said that, while traveling, he checks his bank balances online, not by using an unprotected Wi-Fi but using one that requires a password, such as in a hotel.

Avoiding unprotected Wi-Fi is a good idea, but no one should blindly trust a hotel’s computer network.

Different hotels’ Wi-Fi use different security methods, depending on how their networks are set up. Some...


For a local guide or driver in southern Italy, I highly recommend Private Tours of Southern Italy, or PTSI (Via Strettola S. Vincenzo, 80067 Sorrento, Italy; phone, in the US, 516/532-9482 or, in Italy, +39 338 6223980,

Four of us used this company to book a private, full-day tour of the Amalfi Coast. We did this a couple of months ahead of our tour, which started on May 14, 2018. It included stops at Positano, Amalfi and Ravello. The tour was outstanding...


We took a 4-hour private tour of Mallorca, one of Spain’s Balearic Islands, through Nofrills Excursions (Avenida de la Playa, 13 Bajos, 07410 Alcudia, Baleares, Spain; phone +34 971 897 06767, in July 2019.

Our tour guide, Melanie, and our driver, Francisco, were excellent. Melanie had an excellent knowledge of the island, and, with a wonderful sense of humor, she was a pleasure to spend time with. Francisco was a patient, careful driver, especially...


My wife, Bonnie, and I have taken a number of cruises, including going with Princess Cruises to Alaska in 1997 and to New England and Canada in 2008 and with Norwegian Cruise Line around Hawaii in 2005. We particularly enjoy Holland America Line and cruised with them on a 4-month, around-the-world cruise in 2012, for 68 days around South America in 2015, on a 48-day South Pacific cruise in 2016 and on a 28-day transatlantic cruise, including the Norwegian fjords, in 2017. In 2018, we did an...

The <i>Aranui 5</i> anchored off Bounty Bay, Pitcairn Island. Photo by Jim Hamel

My wife, Betsy, and I participated in the initial voyage of the “passenger/freighter” M/V Aranui 5 from Tahiti to Pitcairn Island, Jan. 10-22, 2019.

We saw many interesting cultural, archaeological and geological features on the atolls of Tahanea and Amanu in the Tuamotu archipelago, on the Gambier islands of Mangareva and Aukena and on the Austral islands of Rapa and Raivavae — all part of French Polynesia. Residents of these islands welcomed us with music,...

Philip H. De Turk posing outside of Harrison's Cave, Barbados. Photos by fellow <i>Prinsendam</i> passenger Ronald McDonald

Often, a cruise ship heading to Florida will stop at Barbados, the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. This was the case on my return from an around-the-world cruise in 2009 and again when my “South America Grand Voyage” was returning home on March 18, 2019. I was on the Prinsendam, which was making one of its last cruises as a Holland America Line-owned ship.

In Barbados, I took the “Harrison’s Cave Experience.” While I had signed up for...


After flying from Miami, Florida, to Barcelona, Spain, I headed for the cruise terminal to board the SS Marina, which would be my home for the next two weeks, Nov. 16-28, 2018.

I would travel to Iberia and nearby islands in the Atlantic with Oceania Cruises (855/623-2642, For the cruise, airfare, insurance and transfers, I paid $7,891 as a single.

Following the mandatory boat drill, we sailed that evening for Valencia, Spain, sometimes called the City...

My wife (holding ski poles) at the Ilulissat Icefjord’s viewpoint. Photos by David Selley

My wife and I had a wonderful experience on the “Route of the Vikings” cruise with Seabourn Cruise Line (800/442-4488, We started in Reykjavik, Iceland, on Aug. 6, 2018, and ended in Mont réal, Québec, on Aug. 30.

Carrying up to 450 passengers, the luxury MV Seabourn Quest is a smallish ship. The cost for the two of us was about $35,000, which included six stops in Greenland and time in the Canadian Arctic, including in Newfoundland &...