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JUL-AUG 2016

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Page 46 of 67 47 J U L Y / A U G U S T 2 0 1 6 local area on our menu," said Muskat. "We also provide other dishes familiar to the passengers. If we have North Americans on board, we serve typical North American food so they have that option." P R E P A R E E X P E C TAT I O N S Supplying information beforehand can aid visitors' inter- actions with a disparate culture. Many groups want to wander through a foreign land unguided, which can lead to real interac- tions but also to problems for unprepared visitors. Travel planners should provide plenty of information on lo- cal customs and safety tips for their travelers. MSC Cruises of- fers shopping lectures at each port for those wishing to wander on their own. "It educates people on what to look for," said Muskat. "We want to make sure they aren't being ripped off . We tell them the best places to shop, what items the area is known for and a fair price for those items." Other destinations like Cuba benefi t from a lot of upfront information, since tour operators cannot control some of the amenities the country still lacks. "We stay in the best hotels Cuba has to off er, but even the nicest hotels in Cuba don't always have all the amenities we are used to in America," said Longtin-Saade. "It's really all about setting proper expec- tations for our travelers. So we make sure they understand there may not always be Wi-Fi or hot water even in the nicest hotels. As long as people know what to expect, they love what Cuba has to off er." Cuba's popularity proves groups will brave a little discomfort for exciting cul- tural experiences. C A N C O E X I S T p rovide other r th Americans d so they have v isitors' inter - a nt to wan d er t o rea l interac - s . r mation on lo - SC Cruises of -

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