I couldn’t get a customs stamp — is a refund out of the question?

A stamp for you. / Photo by Sarah Parrott – Flickr Creative Commons

Note: You’ve probably noticed two things about today’s post. 1) It wasn’t available this morning; and 2) We’re back to Disqus 2012. The two are not related. We had server problems this morning. Disqus removed the ability to view comments on mobile from the “old” version, so we were forced to upgrade. (I am very unhappy with Disqus, but feel I have no choice.)

What’s an immigration stamp worth? If you said $61.55, you must know Nancy Bestor. She’s been fighting with her credit card over a tax refund after a recent trip to Italy, and she wants me to help.
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My cruise line left me stranded in Naples — is this voucher the best they can do?

Judith Abramson’s western Mediterranean cruise on the Oceania Marina last April did not end well. After a sudden illness, the ship’s doctor decided she needed to go to the hospital, and she was unceremoniously disembarked in Naples, Italy, under less than ideal circumstances, she says.
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Do I deserve a refund for a hotel shower that didn’t work?

Showers not included? / Photo by Muig - Flickr
The Hotel Universo in Florence, Italy, describes itself as a “hyper-modern” property where you can be surrounded by “bright colors and pop art-inspired prints.”

Presumably, that also includes working showers.
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Road trip update: All roads lead to Venice

They saved the best for last.

Our Adventures by Disney tour of Italy ended today, but not before hitting several highlights, including:

• A bullet-train ride from Florence to Venice and an unforgettable gondola ride from the train station to the hotel Luna, just around the corner from St. Mark’s square.

• A mask-making class with the same Venetian artisans who created the famous “poker face” mask for Lady Gaga. They were extremely helpful, and the kids loved the masks they made.

• On our own, we had a memorable dinner at the Westin Europa. The canal views were astonishingly beautiful. I highly recommend the traditional Venetian dinner.
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Road trip update: What did you like the most about Florence?

“What did you like best about Italy so far,” I asked as we boarded the bus back to the hotel.

“Florence,” said my nine-year-old son, Aren, without hesitating.

“Why?” I wondered. “What about the Tuscan countryside? Orvieto? Rome? What made you pick Florence?”

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