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 always learn something new when I read your column. 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.
Dear Readers: Here are some interesting facts on our furry feline friends:
▪ Cats don’t have the ability to taste sweetness.
▪ It’s believed that domesticated cats have been with us since 3,600 B.C., which is long before Egypt had pharaohs who worshiped them.
▪ Adult cats are usually lactose-intolerant.
▪ A polydactyl cat is a cat with more than five toes on its front paws and/or more than four toes on its back paws. They’re sometimes called “Hemingway Cats” because the author had several and was very fond of them.
Write to Hints From Heloise, Box 795000, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. Or send a fax to 210-HELOISE; or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hints From Heloise appears Saturdays.
King Features Syndicate Inc.