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On Recouping Deposits

<i> Friedheim is editor/publisher of Travel Agent magazine. </i>

Question: I recently canceled a cruise because of illness, but the cruise line hasn’t returned my deposit even though I notified them before the penalty deadline stated in its brochure. Where can I get satisfaction, since I don’t want to spend the time or money to sue?

Answer: If your travel agent can’t get it or you booked direct, you should send your complaint with photocopies of your documents to Department of Justice, Office of Attorney General, Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, Calif. 94244-2550. Or call toll-free (800) 952-5225. When calling, be patient; the line is extremely busy.

Q: Is it still possible to sightsee by air over the Grand Canyon?

A: Several helicopter services fly below rim levels, offering good close-up views. Contact your agent or call Grand Canyon Helicopter toll-free at (800) 528-2418.

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Q: Is there a directory of tour operators showing details about their experience, time in business, whether they’re bonded, references, etc.?

A: Such a register will be published soon. Meanwhile, you should have travel agents check this important information for you before booking a tour.

Q: Is it possible to participate in the annual Greek Marathon that takes the original Olympic route?

A: The Marathon to Athens Run on Oct. 23 is free and open to all. For registration details, contact the Greek National Tourist Office, 611 W. 6th St., Suite 1998, Los Angeles 90017, (213) 626-6696.

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Q: Four of us want to share a cruise cabin. Are there special rates for this number of passengers?

A: Have your agent check those lines that feature quad cabins and who have third- and fourth-person fares. These are lower than the two-person tariffs, and can be divided to save money for the entire group.

Q: We’re interested in renting a motor home. Is there an organization specializing in such vehicles? If so, what are the costs?

A: Numerous local agencies rent these vehicles. GO Vacations is probably the biggest company, with numerous branches. For information call (800) 387-3998. Vehicle size and season determine daily rates, which are from $16 to $82 a day, plus mileage.

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