Health Vantis Blog
Cruise season is upon us and while cruises are appealing to people because of the cost, things can add up very quickly if you are not careful. Here are some helpful tips to save where you can on your trip so you can use that extra money elsewhere.
1. Book your cruise last-minute
There are many deals out there if you book your trip 3-6 weeks ahead of time. Sites such as Priceline advertise 80% off. Don’t forget to ask for a discount if you are age 55 and older. Cruise lines such as the Royal Caribbean offer a 55-plus rate for accommodations above the inside cabin category.
2. Be flexible in your travel dates
Knowing the peak times can save you a considerable amount if you avoid them. If you are not committed to going during a common time when the schools are out, then your chances of finding a deal are greater. Summers and holiday weeks will have the highest demand and therefore highest prices. You will find lower fares if you are willing to cruise during the the following times:
* January (minus New Years holiday)
* Most of February
* First two weeks of November
* First two weeks of December
3. Downgrade your living quarters
How much time do you really spend in your room when you are on a cruise anyway? All cruise ships have plenty of activities and of course when you in a port, you are not even on the ship. If you’re trying to save money, cabins without windows or balconies or rooms in less-than-ideal locations can be much cheaper.
4. Travel in a pack
If you are traveling in a large group, look for discounts there. This can be achieved by contacting a travel agent or the cruise line directly. You may even earn a free ticket if you book enough other guests.
5. How to save money on board
Most cruise lines are all inclusive, however, you will pay extra for bottled water or premium drinks. Find out what the cruise lines guidelines are in advance on what you can take on the ship. Some will allow you to bring your own bottled water onboard as well as a limited amount of alcohol which usually consists of beer, wine or champagne. If you plan on indulging in the premium drinks, look in to the drink packages but be sure to do the math ahead of time. If you don’t plan on drinking more than the cost of the daily rate, then it may not be worth your money to purchase one. Keep in mind you will be off of the ship in the ports and possibly eating or drinking during those times on your own dime as well.
Be sure to forward this to any of your cruise lovers to help them save in cost as well!
Hurricane Irma UPDATE and Hurricane Jose
The following information is intended for U.S. citizens impacted by Hurricanes Irma and or Jose who are located OUTSIDE of the United States, including outside of Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
For information on how to locate or contact a loved one who is currently INSIDE the United States, including in Florida, Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands – please see the information at the end of this message.
FOR US CITIZENS OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES AND US TERRITORIES:
The Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to The Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and the Eastern Caribbean due to continuing hazardous conditions in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. We continue to monitor the track of Hurricane Jose.
The safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas is a top priority of the Department of State. The hurricanes brought significant rainfall and wind resulting in life-threatening flooding, mudslides, and storm surges. Disruptions to travel and services have been reported throughout the path of the hurricane. U.S. citizens should follow the emergency instructions provided by local authorities.
We urge U.S. citizens in the impacted area who are safe to contact their loved ones directly and/or update their social media status.
We recommend U.S. citizens who were unable to depart in advance of the hurricane’s arrival to shelter in place in a secure location.
If you are in the affected area and need immediate emergency services, please contact local authorities.
Local numbers for police and emergency services:
- Cuba: 106
- Haiti: +509-3838-11 or +509-3733-3640
- The Dominican Republic: 911
- The Bahamas: 919 or 911
- St. Maarten (Dutch side): 911
- St. Martin and St. Barthélemy: The French Ministry of Interior has set up a public line emergency line: Tel: 01 82 71 03 37.
- St. Eustatius: 911 (police) and 910 or 912 (medical)
- Saba: 911 (police) and 912 (medical)
For U.S. Citizens in Dutch St. Maarten: The Department of State is working with the Department of Defense to continue evacuation flights on September 11. U.S. citizens desiring to leave should proceed to the airport to arrive as early as is safe to do so, but no later than noon on Monday carrying their U.S. passport or other proof of U.S. citizenship and identity. Passengers may be allowed carry on one small bag. Medications and any other essential items should be carried on your person.
Communication infrastructure has been heavily damaged. There is no U.S. consular presence on the island. U.S. citizens should follow the instructions provided by local authorities and call 911 locally if they require immediate assistance. Shelters are available at the following locations:
- New Testament Baptist Church in Philipsburg;
- Sister Marie-Laurence Primary School in Middle Region;
- Belvedere Community Center in Belvedere;
- Dutch Quarter Community Center in Dutch Quarter;
- Rupert I Maynard Youth Community Center St. Peters;
- NIPA National Institute for Professional Advancement Cay Hill;
- Christian Fellowship Church Across from Pineapple Pete’s Cole Bay.
For U.S. Citizens in French St. Martin: There is no U.S. consular presence on the island. Communication with St. Martin is slowly being reestablished, and we continue to reach out to French authorities to determine what additional relief and rescue efforts are underway and to identify options for U.S. citizens. Local authorities continue to recommend all affected by the storm to shelter in place. The French Ministry of Interior has set up a public line emergency line (Tel: 01 82 71 03 37) and provided a list of shelters in St. Martin and in St. Barthelemy. As soon as we have more information regarding St. Martin and assistance to U.S. citizens there, we will update this website to keep U.S. citizens affected by the storm informed.
For U.S. Citizens in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, and St. Barthelemy: Communication with these islands is slowly being reestablished, and we continue to reach out to the British and French authorities to determine what additional relief and rescue efforts are underway. Local authorities continue to recommend all affected by the storm to shelter in place. If you need food or water, you should seek local assistance where possible.
You can inform the Department of State about U.S. citizens affected by the hurricane who require emergency assistance through the following ways:
o If you are entering information about a U.S. citizen in Dutch St. Maarten, Anguilla, Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, or St. Eustatius use “Netherlands” as the Last Known Country.
o If you are entering information about a U.S. citizen in the British Virgin Islands, French St. Martin, Montserrat, St. Barthélemy, or St. Kitts and Nevis, use “Barbados” as the Last Known Country.
o If you are entering information about a U.S. citizen in Turks and Caicos, use “The Bahamas” as the Last Known Country.
o If you have difficulty using Task Force Alert, please email IrmaEmergencyUSC@state.gov and provide as much information as possible about your loved one.
Email IrmaEmergencyUSC@state.gov and provide as much information as possible (at a minimum, please provide their full name, gender, and last known location within country, if known).
Call us at 1-888-407-4747 (from the U.S. & Canada), +1-202-501-4444 (from Overseas). If you are concerned about non-U.S. citizens in Saba, St Eustatius, and St Maarten, please see the Netherlands Red Cross Safe and Well website.
We advise U.S. citizens to read and follow Department of State Travel Warnings:
Current and anticipated operational status of associated U.S. embassies:
- Cuba: Consular operations at U.S. Embassy Havana remain open for limited services at this time.
- Haiti: Consular operations at U.S. Embassy Port-au-Prince remain open for limited services at this time.
- Dominican Republic: Consular operations at U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo remain open for limited services at this time.
- The Bahamas: Consular operations at the U.S. Embassy in Nassau will remain open for emergency services. U.S. citizens should contact the U.S. Embassy or Department of State in Washington for emergency services.
Please see the latest Emergency Message on the applicable U.S. Embassy websites for additional information about this event:
- Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean: https://bb.usembassy.gov/ Emergency After-Hours Telephone: (246) 227-4000
- Cuba: https://cu.usembassy.gov/ Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(53)(7)839-4100
- Haiti: https://ht.usembassy.gov/ Emergency After-Hours Telephone + (509) 2229-8000
- Dominican Republic: https://do.usembassy.gov/ Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(809) 368-7777
- The Bahamas: https://bs.usembassy.gov/ Emergency After-Hours Telephone +(242)357-7004
U.S. citizens traveling and residing abroad are encouraged to enroll their travel plans on our website, travel.state.gov, using the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), and to read the Country Specific Information also found on the site.
INSIDE THE UNITED STATES
** FOR NON-US CITIZENS**
If you are a citizen or a national of another country (NOT the United States), please contact your country’s nearest Embassy or Consulate in the United States for information on assistance with locating a non-US citizen loved one.
** FOR ALL INQURIES WITHIN THE UNITED STATES REGARDLESS OF NATIONALITY**
Additionally, the following links provide information on how to locate a loved one – regardless of nationality – impacted by Hurricane Irma who is currently INSIDE the United States, including Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
Please contact State and Territorial Emergency Management or Police at the following links:
Florida Emergency Management Organization
Government of Puerto Rico
Government of the U.S. Virgin Islands
For U.S. Red Cross Emergency Response and Shelter Information in the United States, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, please visit the following sites:
U.S. Virgin Islands
Red Cross Safe and Well
Additional information can be found at the U.S Federal Emergency Management Agency web site:
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration just approved Nerlynx (neratinib) for the extended adjuvant treatment of early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. For patients with this type of cancer, Nerlynx is the first extended adjuvant therapy, a form of therapy that is taken after an initial treatment to further lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Nerlynx is for adult patients who have been previously treated with a regimen that includes the drug trastuzumab.
HER2-positive breast cancers are aggressive tumors and can spread to other parts of the body, making adjuvant therapy an important part of the treatment plan. Now these patients have an option to prevent this from happening.
Below are stats taken from the Canadian Cancer Society:
It is estimated that in 2017:
- 26,300 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This represents 25% of all new cancer cases in women in 2017.
- 5,000 women will die from breast cancer. This represents 13% of all cancer deaths in women in 2017.
- On average, 72 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day.
- On average, 14 Canadian women will die from breast cancer every day.
- 230 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and 60 will die from breast cancer.
Nerlynx is a kinase inhibitor that works by blocking several enzymes that promote cell growth. After two years of doing the study for Nerlynx, 94.2 percent of patients treated had not experienced cancer recurrence or death.