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U.S. DIVE TRAVEL NETWORK
TERMS & CONDITIONS for ALL CLIENTS


NORMAL DEPOSIT & PAYMENT SCHEDULE
& PRE-BOOKING INFO REQUEST FORM:
Throughout this document, U.S. Dive Travel hereafter will be referred to as " USDT." Also hereafter in this document, the term "dive trip" will mean all vacation packages (including scuba trips, snorkeling trips, eco-tours & other non-diving side tours) that USDT sells to a client to take on his or her own schedule. "Dive trip" also will mean all vacation packages for which USDT provides a staff guide to accompany the clients overseas on any special group tour.

For all dive trips & vacation packages, USDT requires a minimum non-refundable $900 deposit per person for resort-based vacations, or a minimum non-refundable $1,200 per person deposit for live-aboard vessel trips, plus all tariffs or service fees paid up front. Cancellations are allowed for certain emergencies, only as specified below.

This deposit is to be received by USDT no later than 7 days after the client's written commitment to book the trip. Clients may commit in writing by E-mail. USDT will begin a formal booking, & secure a client’s reservations overseas, only after the client submits a brief written request for the booking, specifying names of all travelers (exactly as written on passports) + dates of travel + services needed + contact phone & fax numbers & e-mail addresses of all clients. USDT has a simple booking-request form for this purpose, to help you organize the facts, which we will e-mail to you any time.

USDT may require land deposits to be higher than the normal $900 per person, or live-aboard deposits to be higher than $1,200 per person, for certain customized, labor-intensive vacation bookings to remote areas, or for other special high-end tours. Examples would be large group expeditions, lengthy itineraries involving 5-star properties, or complex itineraries not listed as normal vacation products on the USDT website. (Normally deposits for lodging & diving packages are about 45% of the total balance due + tariffs, while deposits for live-aboard diving yachts are about 55% of the total balance due + tariffs.)

Resort, eco-tour & air ticket payments-in-full normally must be received by USDT no later than 75 days before departure. Full payment of balance due for live-aboard reservations is required no later than 110 days before departure. We thank you for your considerate cooperation. All terms & conditions in this agreement with each USDT client shall be interpreted, construed & enforced according to the laws of the State of Minnesota, USA.


PAYMENT SCHEDULE WHEN CLIENTS BOOK a USDT VACATION
LESS THAN 75 DAYS BEFORE DEPARTURE for RESORTS & ECO-TOURS, or
LESS THAN 110 DAYS BEFORE DEPARTURE for LIVE-ABOARD VESSELS:
The only exception to this key deadline -- that all final resort & eco-tour payments must be received before 75 days prior to departure, & liveaboard final payments 110 days prior to departure -- occurs when clients, in good faith, start the actual booking process already later than these respective time frames. This is OK as long as one guideline is followed: for those 11th-hour clients, who by happenstance initiate a booking commitment later than 75 or 110 days (respectively) before departure, their full balance for all reservations must be paid to USDT no later than 5 days after commitment. All 11th-hour payments must be made via wire transfer or via FedEx'd cashier's check -- along with all required booking forms.


LATE PAYMENT CHARGES:
Those 11th-hour clients who miss the afore-mentioned 5-day deadline -- plus any other client who misses a conventional payment deadline -- will be assessed a late-payment fee of no less than $35 per person per day, for each day later than the deadline. This admin fee may be slightly higher for some remote overseas resorts or yachts whose late-payment tariffs are exceptional; or if a client's late payment results in significant lost labor costs. Regardless of the date of initial booking, all clients who miss a deposit deadline or final payment deadline will be charged that same late fee of no less than $35 per person per day late, depending on USDT admin/staff labor lost. These deadlines are responsibly enforced, we must respectfully advise you. And no air tickets or lodging vouchers will be mailed to clients until all late fees are paid in full.

USDT sets payment deadlines for a good-faith reason, a compelling reason. As wholesalers, our contracts with service providers (ie. airlines, hotels, lodges, dive shops, live-aboard vessels & tour companies) require that we pay on your behalf well in advance of your departure. We need to honor the service providers’ payment deadlines to secure the lowest net rates possible, & accordingly the best package savings, for our clients. We truly want to avoid ever having to assess a penalty fee, because we value our warm & respectful friendships with clients. However, we are bound by well-defined contract deadlines & therefore there are no exceptions to the rule of timely payments for both initial deposit & final balance. Your kind cooperation is encouraged & also greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time, your goodwill & your business!


The ONLY ACCEPTED PAYMENT METHODS:
CASHIER’S CHECK, VISA, MASTERCARD or WIRE TRANSFERS.
The only payment methods accepted by USDT are cashier's checks or certified bank checks in U.S. dollars (made out to "U.S. Dive Travel"), Mastercard & Visa credit cards for published-fare air tickets only, or direct wire transfers into the USDT business account. Brokerage wires from companies such as Fidelity, Schwab, Vanguard, etc. are routinely accepted from our preferred clients. Also bank-to-bank electronic checks or "e-checks" work well. No personal checks are accepted, please, from any clients at any time. USDT will not process personal checks, nor normal business checks, only bank drafts -- no exceptions. Thank you again for your gracious understanding. USDT REQUIRES that ALL CLIENTS WHO ARE NOT RESIDENTS of the UNITED STATES PLEASE PAY via DIRECT WIRE TRANSFER to the USDT ACCOUNT -- in U.S. dollars only.


HOW U.S.D.T. WILL PROCESS a MASTERCARD or VISA:
For U.S. residents & citizens, in most cases after a client mails in hardcopy versions of the signed & notarized credit card authorization form, USDT will accept Mastercard or Visa payments from any client whose credit card carries sufficient reserves -- but for only published-fare FIT air tickets -- not group fares, nor reservations for resorts, live-aboards or side tours. Such credit card payments are accepted only after account-status checks have been completed, & the cardholder's identification is verified.

All credit card payments must be initiated by the client submitting a signed & notarized authorization form -- easily downloaded off the USDT website -- on the "How to Book a Trip" page. This page’s Internet access address is as follows: www.usdivetravel.com/F-Credit_Card_Authoriz.html

This credit card form must be mailed in its original hardcopy version to USDT before the client’s card will be debited. Please DO NOT fax the credit card form; only mailed-in forms will be processed. All credit card authorization forms must be accompanied by a clear photocopy of the client’s credit card, showing the card number legibly. USDT will not accept any credit card payments over the telephone, nor by fax, nor by E-mail, but only by a signed & notarized Credit Card Authorization Form.

The approved authorization form can be mailed to you by USDT; or you may download it off USDT's website. Then this authorization form must be signed, notarized & mailed back to USDT to meet the same payment deadlines as stated in this document above. USDT does not formally process credit card numbers over the phone to protect our clients' card security. Thank you for your understanding.


HOW to PAY via DIRECT WIRE TRANSFER:
All wire transfers will be made directly into the USDT business account & will be assessed a nominal wire-transfer fee, if USDT is required to relay any client funds overseas via wire transfer. If no such relay of funds abroad is required, then all timely wire transfers will be free of wire fees by USDT. For your convenience, the correct ABA Routing Number + the specific number for USDT’s account can be secured by calling 952-953-4124. Please e-mail USDT right after the wire transfer is completed, to alert our staff to the payment time & date, the amount, the bank of origin & the transaction ID number, so we can properly disburse your funds on time. For security reasons, USDT will not convey these account numbers by e-mail; only by telephone for all clients.


STANDARD SERVICE FEES for ALL USDT BOOKINGS:
Clients who pay their full balance due for land & air reservations more than 75 days before departure will be charged USDT's minimum agency service fee -- only $55 per person. Clients who pay their full balance less than 75 days out, but more than 45 days before departure, will be charged a $65-per-person service fee. Clients who pay their full balance less than 45 days out, but more than 15 days before departure, will be charged a $75-per-person service fee. However, clients who complete their full payment less than 15 days before departure will incur the maximum $89-per-person agency service fee. This USDT agency service fee will be levied in addition to the above-stated late booking fees. These agency service fees are applied fairly & equally to all clients, all seasons, regardless of payment method, to cover administrative, staffing & mailing costs & to encourage timely bookings. In contrast, late-booking fees are different; they cover operating losses, which can be serious during peak seasons, such as late-booking penalties levied against USDT by some overseas hotels & vessels, additional overseas phone & fax costs, & staff overtime, all necessary to complete difficult 11th-hour bookings accurately. Further, if a client abruptly changes his/her itinerary after ordering a specific trip plan; or if a client cancels a package after already requiring USDT staffers to expend professional time; or if a client alters complex plans he/she already approved & ordered, after USDT staffers have already expended professional time fulfilling the client request, then additional service fees will be assessed to cover USDT's lost labor costs. These tariffs will be administered fairly & equitably via this formula: USD $100 per hour for labor devoted to solo clients, couples or groups of 3 persons; USD $140 per hour for client groups larger than 3 persons.


USDT BOOKINGS ARE BINDING CONTRACTS WITH CLIENTS:
Once a client has signed a diver registration form & paid the $900 per person resort deposit, or the $1,200 per person live-aboard deposit, or the appropriate air ticket deposit, that signifies his or her full acceptance of all Terms & Conditions of a good-faith contract with U.S. Dive Travel & partner agencies. Paid deposits also mean the client fully & freely gives approval to all provisions of the Liability Release & Waiver, the Travel Insurance Advisory, the Credit Card Authorization form, & all other USDT rules on your Pre-Departure Checklist. Therefore, when you register with USDT & pay your deposit or full balance due, you are signing a legally binding contract, not merely a declaration of intent to possibly buy a vacation package, nor a bid to tentatively hold travel space. The following cancellation & schedule-change fees are firmly enforced. It is not USDT's desire to be punitive with deadlines & late-payment fees. Rather USDT works hard to cut all needless business losses so our trips remain safe, affordable & high quality, for all clients all year long. Thank you for helping us keep our prices as low, & our service quality as high as possible.


VESSEL & RESORT DISCOUNTS ONLY APPLICABLE BEFORE 1st DEPOSIT is SENT.
In this fast-paced e-Business age, where Tweets, texting, e-mails & web ads can convey new specials & new discounts with instantaneous immediacy, there exists potential for media-generated misunderstanding of USDT pricing policies & special discounts. Therefore, to clarify one important point, here is how new specials & new discounts will apply for all clients, all seasons, all vacation properties & all diving yachts -- no exceptions. A client may benefit from discount rates only if discounts are first announced by USDT, then claimed by a client before the first invoice is e-mailed to that client, & before the first deposit is sent to USDT by that client. Any client's payment of first deposit, or final payment all-at-once, signifies full acceptance of the booking terms & package pricing presented by USDT in good faith for client review, at that initial point in time. Therefore, if prices for any vacation package (resort, hotel, live-aboard, etc.) decrease after USDT & a client have agreed to terms & pricing, & after a client already has sent a deposit or final payment by wire, or by mailed-in cashier's check, then any new discounts will not apply to these older bookings. In short, new discounts will apply only to new bookings made after the specials are published & released publicly. This policy holds even if, for example, a mailed-in cashier's check is still in transit to USDT's reservations office at the time a new special discount is released. Prices change frequently, suddenly, randomly at times, all across the world in the adventure travel industry. Therefore, in all fairness, USDT cannot serve as both backstop banker & price-protection insurance company. That means when USDT agrees on a net rate with a foreign vendor, then shares a fair & proper retail rate with a client -- who agrees to that invoiced retail rate & then pays an agreed-upon sum -- the initial price agreed upon at time of invoicing shall hold firmly. The pricing converse will not always hold. For example: if local taxes rise (a governmental matter beyond the control of any vacation vendor or USDT) after a 1st invoice is sent, but before final payment arrives, then fair & appropriate revisions will be made to a client's invoice to reflect those necessary price changes.


PERSONAL LIABILITY FACTORS:
On all USDT dive trips & vacation packages, all diver & non-diver participants alike agree to assume full & absolute responsibility for any & all risks they may encounter on land, above water or underwater. Clients must agree to assume full responsibility for all medical, legal or financial losses that may arise from any activities they undertake on any USDT trip, whether or not a client acts alone, or within a group of tourists.

Furthermore, all clients must agree & affirm that the contract partnership of USDT / Wild Island Expeditions & its owners John Hessburg & Susan Hessburg, plus all USDT contract-associate agencies & all their associates, agents, employees & family members, shall not be legally or financially liable, nor in any way responsible for mishaps at any time, anywhere on the dive trip.

All clients further agree & affirm that these two above-named partner agencies will not be held legally or financially liable for any client's death, nor for any client's losses of money or property, nor for any illnesses, injuries or disabilities, nor for damages to personal property, nor for any delays, expenses or losses that might arise from war, civil insurrection, strikes, crimes against property or persons, or bad weather conditions; nor for bankruptcy or default of a resort or dive vessel or airline; nor for vessel or vehicle breakdowns, other mechanical failures, transportation cancellations or defaults (by aircraft, aquatic vessel or land vehicle companies); nor for government-imposed quarantines or government demands & regulations; nor for epidemics or diseases; nor for any scheduling or lodging errors by overseas service providers, whether foreseeable or not; nor for any acts of omission or defaults by any service providers (ie. hotels & lodges, live-aboard vessel companies, dive operations, side-tour companies, guide services, rental car agencies, third-party vacation wholesalers); nor for any & all acts of God such as harsh weather, storm damage to vessels or hotels & similar unforeseen severe events such as acts of terrorism.


USDT is a TRAVEL WHOLESALER, a VACATION BROKER
& a CONSULTING COMPANY, & THEREFORE WE CHARGE
APPROPRIATE FEES for PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
re' CANCELLATIONS or CUSTOMIZED VACATIONS:

When any client, or client group, submits a deposit to USDT, that deposit is non-refundable. Therefore a client deposit is understood to be a formal & binding commitment to pay for the vacation package in full, & to take the trip that the client requested, & that USDT fulfilled in good faith. When any client orders a trip, & USDT agents commit work hours to organizing & fine-tuning that trip, the fact of any client's arbitrary cancellation for personal reasons does not erase the fact of USDT's time already committed. USDT is not a retail travel agency. We are highly experienced adventure travel brokers, international wholesalers of dive travel, & tropical tour consultants with a national reputation built upon 3+ decades of hands-on experience leading & organizing overseas adventure trips. Just as you see with physicians, attorneys, management consultants & CPAs, when you seek the help of a USDT agent, you are paying for staff hours spent rendering professional services for you. And just as it is standard practice with these other professionals, consulting time is a saleable resource for which fair & appropriate fees are charged. For all bookings that require more than basic phone calls, our staff time is compensated at the rate of USD $100 per hour for solo clients, couples or small groups of 3 persons. That rate rises to USD $140 per hour for special work done on more complex bookings involving groups of more than 3 persons, or custom expeditions, or extended long-range tours with multiple destinations & side tours. Furthermore, submission of a deposit by any client indicates that client's full acceptance of USDT's cancellation policy, & also acceptance of all USDT Terms & Conditions, as detailed in this document you are reading right here. In many cases, USDT managers will waive some service fees when clients are decisive, well-organized & stick to their decisions after ordering a specific trip to be planned. Service fees are assessed when client indecision, disorganization, plan reversals or arbitrary last-minute changes cost USDT measurable labor losses & office time to fix.


GIST of the U.S. DIVE TRAVEL CANCELLATION POLICY --
ONLY APPROVED EMERGENCIES TRIGGER REFUNDS:

If ever USDT deems a client to have a bona fide emergency -- & the only allowable emergencies are death in the immediate family; or serious illness, injury or medical condition of the client -- then all refunds of monies paid to that specific client (not other membes of his/her group) will be administered precisely according to this policy:

• All deposits & service fees will be non-refundable, except if there is a death in the immediate family of a client (defined as death of your spouse, your child or grandchild, your parent, step-parent or foster parent, your sibling or your grandparent) that forces a client to cancel a good-faith booking to attend a family memorial service. Airlines & hotels sometimes require clients in these emergency situations to secure a brief letter from a funeral director, or a death certificate, confirming the death.

• If the client, or the client's spouse or child contracts a serious illness, injury or medical condition that forces the client to cancel. No other situations will trigger refunds. This rule is absolute & final.

• In the case of illness, injury or medical condition forcing a client to cancel reservations after payment, the client must send USDT a formal letter from his or her personal physician (M.D.), on that physician's official stationary, signed & sealed, describing a summary of the medical problem & the need to avoid travel during the precise time of the USDT vacation package the client has already booked.

• No refunds of any kind will be given to any client who tries to start a USDT-booked trip after its scheduled departure date & then backs out, or who abandons a trip before it is completed up to the final date of lodging booked at any hotel, resort, inn, guest house, lodge, or on any live-aboard vessel.

• No refunds of any kind will be given to any client who fails to show up for a scheduled vacation trip without first submitting to USDT a letter from a physician (M.D.), or appropriate funeral official, to explain the emergency in detail before the critical deadlines stated below.

• No refunds of any kind will be given to any client who fails to use lodging, vessel, side tour or diving services included in a paid-for vacation trip, simply because he or she chose not to use said services, which they ordered by free choice from USDT, & which USDT then secured for them in good faith. Examples of such free-choice decisions not to use paid-for vacation services, all such examples of which are excluded from any refunds, are: "I was too tired;" or "I did not have the time," or "I was confused & forgot about it" or "I changed my mind after arriving." Simply put, friends -- use it or lose it. Thank you for your understanding.

• No refunds of any kind will be given to any clients who complain about quality of service, or ambiance, or quality of local amenities, at any hotel, lodge, guest house, inn, dive resort, or on any live-aboard vessel. Service quality, ambiance & local amenities are factors well beyond USDT's ability to control.


APPROVED EMERGENCY CANCELLATIONS
& EXPLANATION of EXIT SERVICE FEES:
Client cancellations are extremely costly & time consuming for USDT & our associate travel professionals to administer correctly. When USDT's business losses rise, so do prices for all our valued clients. Therefore, to maintain USDT's impeccable standard of low discount prices & attentive personal service, USDT long ago enacted a strict policy to discourage casual, willful & needless cancellations. Any client's cancellation of air, lodging, land transportation, side-tour or dive-vessel reservations, or cancellation of any general vacation reservations, is further subject to whatever penalty fees that the airlines, hotels & inns, vessel owners, tour operators & travel wholesalers affiliated with USDT will routinely, by their own internal policy, assess in such situations. These penalty fees are beyond USDT's ability to control. In all cases when a client, of his or her own choice, leaves the vacation trip before its completion, or fails ever to show up for a USDT-booked vacation trip -- for any reason other than the above-specified emergency exceptions -- such action will be deemed a trip cancellation without good cause & that client must forfeit the entire deposit & fee balance already paid to USDT. Here is how USDT will assess exit service fees in all cases of approved emergency cancellation:

• Clients who cancel a dive trip, or any vacation package, in writing more than 200 days before departure, if they qualify for an emergency exception, will be charged only a $400 exit service fee per person, then will be refunded the allowable balance of their paid fees, minus the deposit.

• Clients who cancel a dive trip, or any vacation package, in writing less than 200 days, but more than 100 days before departure, if they qualify for an emergency exception, will be charged a $500 exit service fee per person then will be refunded the allowable balance of their paid fees, minus the deposit.

• Clients who cancel a dive trip, or any vacation package, in writing less than 100 days, but more than 70 days before departure, if they qualify for an emergency exception, will be charged a $700 exit service fee per person before the remainder of their allowable fee balance is refunded, minus the deposit.

• Clients who cancel a dive trip, or any vacation package, in writing less than 70 days before departure, if they qualify for an emergency exception, will be charged a $900 exit service fee per person before the remainder of their allowable fee balance is refunded, minus the deposit.

All client cancellation letters must arrive at USDT no later than 33 days before scheduled departure time, or no refunds of any kind will be given. USDT's approved emergency exceptions for cancellation refunds -- death in immediate family & personal medical emergency -- do not apply once a trip has already started. For these types of dire unforeseen events, travel cancellation insurance is a must, friends.

• All clients will be refunded their fee balance -- minus deposits & tariffs -- if the qualifying emergency is USDT itself (unilaterally) deciding to cancel a dive trip for any good & compelling cause, such as natural or political danger overseas. This provision does NOT apply if the resort or vessel make this closure decision first, or if a compelling act of God such as Hurricane Mitch in October '98, suddenly destroys or renders inoperable a live-aboard or a vacation property. Furthermore, service fees collected at any time during the booking process are fully non-refundable, regardless of a client's emergency cancellation status. There will be other tariffs levied with some of these cancellations.


PENALTY FEES for NON-EMERGENCY CANCELLATION:
• If a client wishes to cancel any vacation booking, yet qualifies for none of the above-listed emergency exceptions, & already has paid all fees in full, & cancels in writing earlier than 100 days before departure, that client will forfeit all deposits paid, but will be refunded the full remaining balance, minus service fees, in form of a credit voucher applied towards the cost of a future trip -- redeemable within one calendar year of the cancellation date.

• If a client who qualifies for no emergency exception seeks to cancel any reservation more than 100 days before departure, & that client already has paid only the land deposit, or the vessel deposit, plus appropriate air ticket deposit, then that client forfeits all of his or her deposits & service fees.

• If a client cancels any vacation reservation less than 100 days but more than 70 days before departure, & already has paid the full fee balance, but qualifies for none of the above-mentioned emergency exceptions, that client will forfeit all deposits & will incur an additional $500 charge per person for administrative costs, then will be refunded the remaining sum already paid, minus all service fees, in form of a credit voucher applied towards the cost of a future trip, redeemable within one calendar year of the cancellation date.

• If a client who already has paid in full cancels any booking less than 70 days before departure, & has no qualifying emergency, that client not only forfeits all deposits, but will be charged a $900 fee per person before being refunded the remaining sum already paid, minus all service fees, in form of a credit voucher applied towards the cost of a future trip, redeemable within one calendar year of the cancellation date.

Non-approved cancellations, with no emergency factors whatsoever, which occur less than 33 days out, will incur forfeit of all monies paid. No exceptions. Said client will lose all payments for all services.


REFUNDS AFTER APPROVED EMERGENCY CANCELLATIONS:
In most cases, cash refunds will never be made to clients who cancel. Instead, approved emergency refunds to clients for lodging, dive trips, live-aboard vessels, side tours, all forms of land transportation & any other pre-paid land or water services will be administered in this following manner. First, approved refunds to clients will be minus all USDT service fees already paid, & minus the deposits already paid. In nearly all cases, these refunds will be granted by overseas service providers (ie. airlines, hotels, vessels, travel wholesalers & tour operators) only in the form of a credit voucher -- never by cash or credit card charge reversals. This credit voucher allows the cancelling client to repeat his or her originally planned vacation -- the identical package -- at a later more convenient date. This make-up vacation date must start no later than one calendar year after the client's cancellation date. Since most refunds under this provision will be credit vouchers for less than the total sum originally paid by the cancelling client, that means when the client reinstates new reservations, they will be assessed the remaining balance due, to ensure full payment to overseas service providers.

• Airline ticket refunds will be subject to the standard cancellation fees that airlines apply according to their official fare rules for that specific class of service the client has booked. These airline cancellation penalties may be substantial, sometimes in excess of 50 percent of the ticket price, sometimes even 100 percent, depending on the carrier's fare rules for that specific cancelled ticket. The airlines have full authority over cancellation refunds. USDT is allowed only to administer their final ruling. Once the airline deducts their own penalty fees for ticket cancellation, then USDT reserves the right to deduct additional service fees, as needed, to cover all administrative costs, & airline-imposed contract debits that accrue from the client's cancellation, before any final refund is delivered to the client.


NO EXTRAORDINARY REFUNDS ARE ALLOWED:
If USDT books airline tickets or lodging or side tours in good faith for any client, after the client orders a specific set of vacation services & travel dates, & then the client pays either deposit or full balance, & then the client later books a similar trip with another travel agency, or directly with vacation service providers, then demands a refund for whatever reason, all monies paid to USDT will be retained & the client forever forfeits all rights to claim any refunds.

Once a dive trip has been booked & the deposit &/or full balance is paid for, USDT will not allow any client to make unilaterally planned changes to the schedule (apart from USDT), or to accommodations or itinerary of any vacation trip, unless the client agrees to pay all necessary penalty fees & service fees that are required by this agreement. These penalty fees will be assessed to cover any & all USDT costs & losses, as well as all costs & losses incurred by vacation service providers, including but not limited to hotels, lodges, resorts, dive operations, tour companies, rental car agencies & airlines.

USDT & all of their agents, contract associates & representatives reserve the right to make any last-minute modifications necessary in a client's vacation schedule, itinerary, lodging or side tours -- either before or after the departure date -- to adjust to sudden & unexpectedly serious changes in overseas conditions that directly affect the safety or feasibility of the client's trip. Such last-minute modifications will be made only with the utmost care for the client's welfare; & may involve cancellation of the client's entire trip, with appropriate refunds, due to unforeseen emergencies or natural disasters.


NO POST-DEPARTURE CHANGES to ITINERARIES ALLOWED:
Once any USDT client has departed on his or her vacation trip, then that client may not make any unilateral changes to the lodging, meal plan, dive vessel schedule, side tours, land transport, international air transport, nor foreign commuter air transport components of the vacation package, unless the client assumes complete financial & legal responsibility for any & all costs stemming from such travel changes.

Therefore, if any client unilaterally after departure, when abroad or on a domestic U.S. portion of a vacation itinerary, decides to cancel any portion of the vacation package already booked through USDT & paid for, then that client must agree to forfeit all monies already paid to USDT for said cancelled services. Said client shall also forever waive any right to level claims for any manner of refund -- for any unused services paid for before departure. The reasoning behind this rule is not punitive, but it is only an effort to protect the USDT partnership from clients who book a package without giving full thought to their vacation needs before departure. Once USDT has committed staff time, phone & fax resources & mailings to secure any portion of a client’s reservation, if the client chooses not to use these services, he or she will lose them. USDT spends hours completing the preparations for even a conventional one-week vacation for a couple. When a client commits to a booking, USDT in turn commits to many hours of planning work. Those hours cannot go uncompensated for reasons of personal whim, or an arbitrary change of mind. Thank you for your understanding.


USDT'S RIGHT TO REFUSE ANY BOOKING:
USDT reserves the absolute right to refuse to book any person as a vacation client -- for any good & just cause -- such as USDT deeming that the applicant's health, conditioning, attitude, temperament, diving qualifications, preparedness (or any other factors) make him or her unfit for an overseas adventure experience -- especially if that unfit applicant might be a hazard to the safety, comfort, enjoyment or peace of mind of any other dive-trip participants. USDT expresses full respect for persons of all races, religions, minority groups & nationalities. Therefore any USDT decision to reject a trip applicant never will be based upon considerations of race, religion, nationality or minority status, but will be based solely upon weighing possible detriments of the unfit applicant to the general well-being & safety of himself or other clients.


TERMS & CONDITIONS APPLY EQUALLY
to DIVING & NON-DIVING CLIENTS:
Just as all USDT diving clients do, all other travelers who accompany a USDT client on a dive trip as a non-diving participant on the same travel package (& also all non-diving clients who book regular vacation packages) must agree in full with, & give their formal approval to, this prime USDT policy: that USDT clients are subject to & contractually bound by all Terms & Conditions of this agreement, & subject to all provisions of the Liability Release & Waiver, & subject to all provisions of the Travel Insurance Advisory, & also subject to all provisions of the other USDT booking policies listed on the Pre-Departure Checklist.


LUGGAGE LIMITATIONS:
All airlines have their own particular regulations for luggage limitations & excess baggage fees for international flights. Please note: it is the client's sole & complete responsibility to call the airline well in advance of his or her dive trip to determine what luggage rules apply. USDT therefore will not be held responsible in any way for excess baggage fees assessed to clients by any airline booked via USDT.


PRE-DEPARTURE CHECKLIST:
To ensure maximum safety, comfort, enjoyment & healthy group dynamics, as well as maximum travel efficiency for all persons on USDT dive trips, completion of all appropriate items on the checklist is recommended for all clients, without exception. Items listed as optional are up to the client's own discretion.


PASSPORT & VISA REQUIREMENTS: (BE CAREFUL & CHECK
WHETHER a VISA is NEEDED for YOUR DESTINATION !)
National government requirements for tourist entry vary from one country to another. All USDT clients are solely responsible for securing their own valid passport & proper entry visa, if visas are required in the country of your chosen destination. Feel free to call USDT any time for advice on passports & visas. Friendly hint: all U.S. citizens traveling to Australia need a visa. Please check with your airline well in advance of departure to determine whether securing a visa is required before you leave the U.S., or whether your vacation host country will automatically issue a visa upon arrival. Understand that USDT will grant no refunds whatsoever to clients who arrive overseas & are denied entry to any country because they failed to secure a proper passport or visa beforehand. Please double-check the validity of your passport before you board the plane! It is a very wise idea to ensure that at least six months buffer time is left on your passport, in case you experience any unforeseen medical or legal emergency that might force you to overstay your normal tourist visa. Getting stuck in a Third World country with an expired passport can be a nightmare. Be prudent.


HOTEL & LODGING SUBSTITUTIONS:
USDT reserves the continuing right, at any time for good & just cause -- such as an act of God, an emergency or an on-site facility problem overseas -- to substitute different lodging for our advertised hotels & resorts. Any substitute hotel or accommodation will be of equal or better quality. We take pride in always serving you with top-quality & economical accommodations at all of our vacation destinations.


VACATION SERVICES & AMENITIES NOT INCLUDED:
All services & benefits that are built into any USDT dive trip, or regular vacation package, are advertised clearly & completely in the fliers or brochures for all of our destinations. For the prices stated therein, only the specified goods & services listed in these fliers & brochures will be provided, without exception. Clients, therefore, are cautioned against assuming that any unspecified services will be provided on their dive trip, or on their non-diving vacation package. Among normal overseas (or stateside) travel expenses not included in your vacation package are the following (there may be others as well): passport fees; postal charges; customs fees or airport departure taxes; transport in the U.S. to the airport; local on-island taxis; personal expenses such as laundry, gifts, handicrafts, alcoholic beverages & entertainment; tips of any kind; the cost & sales tax for sundry purchases from notions to souvenirs; extra bed or maid charges at hotels, inns or resorts; extra gasoline or fuel costs for rental vehicles or to cover tour guide costs; collision insurance, comprehensive vehicle insurance & personal liability insurance for drivers & passengers of rental vehicles; rental of diving or sporting gear of any kind; side trips or tours not specified in your personal itinerary; excess luggage weight penalties; cost of immunizations; any special permit fees required overseas for side activities such as fishing & hunting; all kinds of sporting licenses; & all other personal costs.


RESPONSIBILITY OF AIRLINES:
No airlines that transport USDT clients to & from vacation destinations, or overseas at those destinations, will be held legally or financially liable for any acts, errors, omissions or mishaps that may occur during any time a USDT client passenger is not on board their planes or transport vehicles. The airline ticket each client holds shall constitute a formal passage contract with that airline, & shall be the sole contract in effect between a client & the airline that is used for any USDT vacations.


PRICES OF DIVE TOURS & VACATION TRIPS:
All prices & schedules advertised in USDT fliers & on this website are subject to possible changes without prior notice, in case of sudden or unexpected cost increases in the U.S. or abroad. If a client wishes to use frequent flier miles or discount coupons for air travel, this may increase the prices of the land & water portions of any vacation that is designed as a package. USDT prices do not include possible fuel surcharges, or unforeseen taxes, or other charges that foreign governments or service providers may impose without prior notification to USDT. Therefore, USDT will not be held responsible for such fees.


WAIVER & RELEASE PACKET REQUIRED of ALL CLIENTS;
NO ALTERATIONS, CROSS-OUTS or AMENDMENTS PERMITTED:
Completion of the registration, liability release & waiver packet that accompanies your vacation receipt is mandatory for all clients, for all USDT dive trips or other adventure trips -- both "do-it-yourself" & guided vacations. The U. S. Dive Travel partnership can allow no exceptions to this important rule. Thank you for your goodwill & your understanding. Reasons for this policy are explained below.

No airline tickets, nor vouchers for lodging, vessels, diving or any side tours will be delivered to any USDT client until the full three-part waiver packet is filled out, signed, notarized & air-mailed or sent by courier back to USDT. No alterations, additions, cross-outs, amendments or inserts of any kind will be permitted on any portion of this liability release & waiver packet. No person may sign another client’s liability release, nor travel insurance advisory, nor registration form -- just for convenience -- except parents signing for their minor children.

When one adult signs another's liability forms, this constitutes a fraudulent & invalid signature & therefore places the client at risk of having his or her trip cancelled for due cause. This policy is absolute & final. Failure to sign these waivers, & any alterations of these waivers, & any forgery of signatures, may be deemed a cancellation of the vacation trip & appropriate cancellation penalty fees will be levied. Thank you for your understanding & cooperation.


WHY ARE LIABILITY WAIVERS NECESSARY ?
The USDT partnership has instituted this liability waiver policy to help reduce liability exposure to a bare minimum, & thereby keep insurance costs as low as possible. This policy therefore ensures that you, our esteemed client, get the lowest prices possible for all facets of your vacation package, as well as the highest level of personalized client service available in the adventure-travel industry. USDT has been forced by an environment of attorneys & insurance officials, who regulate vast sectors of our industry in this litigation-saturated era, to adopt this waiver & release policy for the mutual protection of the USDT partnership as well as the protection of our good clients. Therefore, the three U.S. Dive Travel forms which much be completed then signed by all clients are: the Registration Form, the Travel Insurance Advisory, & the Liability Waiver & Release. Please make sure that your signature on the liability form is verified by a notary public. Thank you again for your goodwill. Your signing these forms helps us keep your package prices as low as possible. All our diving clients benefit, when each person signs these releases.


ALERT to ALL PARENTS TRAVELING WITH MINOR CHILDREN:
Please be forewarned that airline officials & U.S. government authorities at all major gateway airports in the United States -- where passengers board for flights to Hawaii or foreign countries – will prevent a solo parent or guardian from boarding their plane with an underaged child, unless that adult has a signed & notarized letter of permission, clearly written, from both of the child’s biological parents. That is, if both birth parents of any child under the age of 18 are not on the plane with that child, then the traveling adult responsible for that child MUST have that signed & notarized letter of permission, allowing the minor to travel, from the birth parent who is not present -- before the airline & immigration officials will allow you to board your flight overseas. This rule is strictly enforced at most airports & should not be taken lightly. The reasoning behind the law, of course, is to prevent parents from kidnapping or hiding children from the other parent in situations of disputed divorces or separations, where the child may become a political pawn.



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Email: divetrip@bitstream.net



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