DEAR HELOISE: I’ve served as chaplain on many cruises and recommend four useful hints:
Get to the port city one day ahead of time to avoid travel delays.
Buy the cruise lines’ air package. If there is a problem with a delay at the end of the cruise, the cruise line will help rearrange flights home.
If you want to avoid the expense of excursions, go to one of the taxis lined up at the port; ask what the fee would be for two hours (or whatever time you want) to see the best things in that port city.
Don’t complain! Some people have one foot on the ship and still have one foot on the gangplank, and they already start to complain.
— J.K.C. in Nebraska DEAR J.K.C.: I loved your suggestions, especially the last one. Just sit back and relax on a cruise. Go with the flow and have a great time.
DEAR HELOISE: I have been to many hotel properties through the years, large and small, and most have the same fault: the placement of a full-length mirror opposite the bathroom door. This enables anyone in the room to see some gross images in the bathroom. Wouldn’t it be better to place the mirror on the entrance door to the bathroom? Just wondering.
— William C. DEAR WILLIAM: I spoke to a senior consultant for a major hotel chain, and he said that placing the mirror on the opposite wall allows others in the room to use the mirror if someone else is in the bathroom. He suggested asking the person in the bathroom to please close the door.
DEAR HELOISE: I had no idea that bone china really had bone ash in it. What kinds of bones are used, and where do they get them? Am I the only one who never thought of “bones” when talking about bone china? — Judy C., Orange, Calif. DEAR JUDY: The manufacturers of bone china use finely milled cow bones from slaughterhouses or rendering plants. The best china generally will have between 30 percent and 50 percent bone ash. This is mixed in with the various clays used to make the china, because bone ash helps to prevent the porcelain from developing fine cracks, and to strengthen the dinnerware. Bone china actually is very strong.