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Old 11-29-2002
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Mail Forwarding Services

Can anyone share their experiences or make a recommendation for a reliable and cost-effective mail forwarding service? We''re planning to move from the west coast and live in Norfolk, VA from January to May and then cruise the east coast to Maine and Canada during the summer. In the fall we are planning on going south the the Caribbean for about two years.

I would like to have one forwarding address set up before we uproot in January. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice?

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Old 11-29-2002
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Mail Forwarding Services

Cheetie, you''ll find a lot of varied opinion on forwarding services - I think in part because we all tend to feel some loyalty to the outfit that provides us such an essential service. That is, unless we get burned severely, at which point we are unforgiving, forever!

We used Voyagers for 2+ years while covering all the same ground you plan, from early 2000 thru now. They were acceptable at that time (I hear new voices on the phone and wonder if they''ve changed hands; just my speculation) and we only had a few misunderstandings which left us cooling our heels awaiting our mail.

FWIW we''ve subsequently met the folks who run St. Brendan''s Isle and are in the process of switching over to them. They seem to be growing very steadily, even during a downturn in cruising which is one of their main markets, which is one form of endorsement. We first learned about them while hiding from storms in Trinidad, where one VHF net controller conducted a survey for several weeks, taking all comments about forwarding services from many yachties, tallying them, and then deciding who HE was going to use. (I thought that was pretty clever.<g>) SBI came out way on top, which is why we followed up about them once we returned to the States.

My suggestion would be for you to call Doug or Linda and just talk to them a bit about your plans. See how you feel about them, how they describe their services, what they seem to emphasize...this is one of those areas where the people are *everything* and having a good sense for any vendor''s staff is - IMO - the #1 criterion to use.

Good luck and enjoy; you''ll have a ball.

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