Q My family would like to take a cruise out of Baltimore or Norfolk in 2005, but we haven't found many offerings. Can you tell me which lines cruise from those ports?

Tom Atwell


A Norfolk will offer the larger selection of cruises in 2005. Holland America's Maasdam will sail on 10- and 11-day cruises on southern and eastern Caribbean itineraries from January through May and October through December; prices start at about $1,100 per person double. Celebrity's Horizon will do a Bermuda cruise April through June; a seven-night itinerary starts at about $830 per person double. Radisson Seven Seas Navigator will go to Bermuda in May, June and August; fares start at about $2,100 per person double for the seven-night cruise. And Carnival's Triumph will do two six-day Bahamas cruises in June and October, with prices starting at about $650 per person double for the October cruise, and a two-night cruise to nowhere June 11 starting at $329 per person double. For the full schedule, go to Cruise Norfolk, www.cruisenorfolk.org.

It looks as if fewer lines are going to operate out of Baltimore in 2005. This year, five major lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity, offered multiple cruises from Baltimore. But as it stands now, only Royal Caribbean will continue in 2005. From May through November, the line's 2,446-passenger Grandeur of the Seas will offer 33 cruises from Baltimore with a variety of itineraries, including five-day cruises to Bermuda, 10-night voyages to the Bahamas and 11-night Canada cruises; prices start at about $500 per person double for a Bermuda cruise. Details: 800-327-6700, www.royalcaribbean.com.

Two smaller lines will also offer cruises from Baltimore. American Cruise Lines (800-814-6880, www.americancruiselines.com) will have three ships that will offer six- or seven-day cruises around the Chesapeake Bay in May, June and October; prices start at about $2,340 with early-booking discounts. And American Canadian Caribbean Line's Grand Mariner will cruise from Baltimore to Yorktown, Va., returning to Alexandria, in April and May with prices starting at about $2,500 per person double. Info: 800-556-7450, www.accl-smallships.com.

I'd like to attend the 2005 British Open at St. Andrews and have found the planning process daunting. I found one company, Golf International, that has a range of packages. Do you know anything about this company? Are there others?

Virginia Rogers


Golf International (800-833-1389, www.golfinternational.com) is a well-known golf tour operator headquartered in New York that has been in business since 1988. It's a member of the Better Business Bureau in good standing, and of the American Society of Travel Agents and other trade organizations. The company offers many different British Open packages for July 2005, when the tournament will be held at St. Andrews in Scotland; a four-night package, for example, that includes entrance tickets for three days starts at $1,850 per person double, plus airfare.

Other companies offering British Open packages include AGS Golf Vacations (888-529-2448, www.golfvacationonline.com), Golf Vacations UK (888-209-4094, www.golfvacationsuk.com) and Moss Golf Tours (011-44-131-658-1248, www.mossgolftours.com).

We're going to Australia, and my wife needs to take medication requiring refrigeration. Are there refrigerated containers on the market that can be carried in our luggage?

Dan Keaveny

Charles Town, W.Va.

Portable refrigerators use a fan system that would not work properly if placed in luggage. Also, these thermo-electric units are typically powered by a 12-volt system designed to plug into a car battery, so you'd need to find an adapter that would work for Australia's 230-volt electrical current.

Instead I'd purchase a product called Frio, designed to keep medications cold for as long as 45 hours in temperatures as high as 100 degrees. These carrying cases come in various sizes and only require you to immerse them in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes. Crystals inside the cases expand into a gel that stays cool for several days, and you can reuse the same case. According to its manufacturer, Frio is designed for transporting insulin, growth hormone, glaucoma eye drops and other medications requiring refrigeration. Prices start at about $26 for a small pouch. You can purchase Frio products and other carrying cases for transporting medications requiring refrigeration at Medicool (800-433-2469, www.medicool.com).

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