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MESSAGE CENTER

Sunday, October 17, 2004; Page P04

Driving to Cruise Ports

THE ITEM about cruises to ports within a three-hour drive [Oct. 3] was very informative, but it should have described the parking facilities at Baltimore, Philadelphia and Norfolk. For example, at Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, there is a parking garage with a nominal daily fee. One can walk across the pier to the ship.

It would be great if there were a lobbying effort to secure more major cruise lines to sail out of Baltimore, thus serving the Washington metro area and eliminating a flight to Florida or that long drive down I-95.

Larry Boteler

McLean

Pride of Aloha, Cont'd

YOUR ARTICLE about Norwegian Cruise Lines' Pride of Aloha ["Aloha, Cruise World," Oct. 3] brought out a problem with "free-style dining."

In July 2003, my family and I cruised to Port Canaveral, Miami and the Bahamas on the Norwegian Dawn. Beautiful ship, excellent food. Except that on the Captain's Dinner night, the crowd stormed the main dining room for seating. The wait was at least an hour, and you needed to stay within earshot of the hostess announcing your room number when your table was ready. If you missed the call, you had to wait once again.

On Lobster Tail Night, once again the crowds stormed the main dining room and had an extensive wait. There were lots of loud and angry people during these two events.

The main dining room is more elegant than the other restaurants, especially on these nights. However, the other dining rooms were just as packed.

There needs to be a better system.

Terri Wujick

Sterling, Va.

Fish Story

I READ K.C. Summers's article with great interest ["Learning to Reedville," Sept. 29]. I am from Deltaville, Va., on the Rappahannock. I grew up there and my father was a waterman, so I know about the menhaden fishermen.

I like to see business succeed, but not at the expense of sport fishermen. The problem is that the large menhaden fleet is taking the other fish out of the rivers as well as the menhaden. Just about every Friday you hear the spotter plane go over about the break of day, and then come six or seven large ships up the Rappahannock. The weekend fishermen can forget about catching anything.

Rockfish are starving in the Rappahannock, as well as other fish. I am not a liberal environmentalist, but I do believe in fairness. The menhaden boats should stay out of the rivers. They should fish in the open bay.

Mike Ailsworth

Deltaville, Va.

British Currency, Cont'd

A MESSAGE CENTER contributor recently alerted travelers to be aware that some British currency purchased in the United States might be outdated and no longer accepted for purchases in Great Britain [Sept. 12].

I thought it might be helpful for readers to know which notes are accepted: the 20-pound note with a portrait of Sir Edward Elgar on the reverse; the 10-pound note with Charles Darwin; and the five-pound note with Elizabeth Fry. Merchants will not accept any other notes. Banks will exchange the notes, but they will soon stop doing so.

Also, travelers to the United Kingdom should be aware that Scotland has its own currency, which is no longer accepted in England. However, English currency is accepted in Scotland. Pound coins are not a problem.

Pamela Blevins

Arlington

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