Welcome to the February 2009 issue of "Smart Traveler". The newsletter with tips and information to help make your traveling smoother.
Vacations - Top 10 reasons why you might choose cruising!
who has been on a cruise can give you a
hundred reasons for cruising your vacation time away. Once you have
taken a cruise vacation, you'll know why. Cruising has so much to
offer a vacationer its no wonder that cruises have become so very
look into just ten reasons for choosing a cruise vacation. These
may not be your top 10 once you have cruised, but you will certainly
understand why we say there are hundreds of reasons!
There are hundreds of cruise ships
and boats to choose from. Small charter cruisers to the mega ships,
cruising gives you a tremendous number of options. Then you can
look at the destinations and ports-of-call depending on your taste
and desires. From a cruise to nowhere, to a world cruise, you have
almost unlimited options! On the mega ships, you have a variety of
dining venues to enchant with exquisite cuisine. These ships also
offer a wide variety of activities and even evening entertainment.
Choose a cruise vacation for its variety!
A vacation cruise offers tremendous
value. With the price of your cruise ticket, you get your efficient
yet comfortable stateroom with housekeeping that seems to be never
ending. The pampering service that you receive is exceptional in
terms of resorts. You receive all on-board meals. In the case of
the mega ships, this can mean a choice of elegant dining rooms with
mouth-watering presentations. These floating resorts provide a
number of athletic activities that can range from volleyball and
basketball to rock climbing and ice-skating! And when the sun sets,
the ships turn into "entertainment central". From Broadway and
Vegas style shows to intimate lounges to rocking discos, the mega
cruise ships offer it all!
activities while cruising!
What is your idea of vacation
activities? Is it water sports? Cruising certainly has that with
swimming pools and resort beaches. How about sightseeing? Do the
historic cities of Europe intrigue you or would exotic ports of call
be more enticing? Think vacation cruise! How about cultural
lectures and educational tours? What about golfing on a different
island every day in port? Does your vacation include a visit to the
casino? Or, is your idea of vacationing soaking up the sun and
relaxing on the beach or by the pool? You guessed it. You can have
any of these vacation activities by choosing an appropriate cruise
for family vacations!
Cruising is fantastic for family
vacations of all ages! Many of the larger cruise lines and
cruise ships offer special programs for children and teens. Kids
get to get away from mom and dad, and mom and dad get some free time
to relax and enjoy each other’s company. With all of the activities
available on board ship, no one should become bored. Add the
interesting and educations shore excursions at the various
ports-of-call, and everyone gets an appreciation of how others
live. Special menu offerings for children make dining a breeze.
And on some ships, there are 24-hour pizzerias! Ice cream stations
add to the enchantment. Some cruise lines also offer a special
coupon or ticket for soft drinks at a minimal cost. Some ships
offer babysitting as well - but it's best to check first. Choose a
cruise for your next family vacation!
6. Choose a
cruise to experience new horizons!
Unpack your bags when you arrive on
board your cruise ship and that's it! On some itineraries you will
be in a new port-of-call every day. But you won't have to pack...
unpack... pack... unpack... - you get the idea! Experience some of
the best destinations the world has to offer while relaxing and
enjoying your time between ports! No more long waits in airports or
cramped seating on trains or busses. Relax by the pool, workout in
the gym, enjoy some free time gaming, read a good book - you decide
how you use your time between the fascinating and intriguing ports.
Go to sleep in your comfortable stateroom in one port and wake up in
a new port with adventure ahead!
simplicity of cruises for vacationing!
With a little investigation up-front,
your cruise vacation is as simple as booking... then enjoying! Once
on board, your time is your own - no pressure to be here at this
time and they’re at that time. Enjoy your vacation and return from
your cruise refreshed (not needing a vacation from your vacation).
Do as much - or as little - as you like! Nearly all expenses are
paid for with your cruise ticket. A little spending money is about
all you need. Talk about simple - come on board and have everything
looked after for you! Now that's a vacation!
and cruise vacations!
For hundreds of years there has been
a romantic mystique about the seas. What could be more romantic
than sailing off into the sunset while sipping a glass of fine wine
on your private balcony? Perhaps strolling arm in arm on an elegant
formal night with your better half dressed to the nines. What about
a honeymoon to some of the most romantic ports in the world?
Perhaps a quiet secluded cove with white sandy beach. Enjoy each
other’s company at a quiet table in one of the intimate lounges. Or
dance into the night under the stars. Take a while and lose
yourselves while utilizing the spa services for two. Nothing could
be more romantic than a cruise vacation!
cruises' pampering service!
For many people, nothing is more
important for enjoyment while vacationing than service. If you
receive good service, you are content. Be prepared to have your
socks blown off! Most cruise lines train their staff in the fine
art of customer service. Your room steward or stewardess will do
their absolute utmost to ensure that your stateroom is kept just the
way you like. From the bartenders to the wait staff to the
activities staff, each cruise staff member's aim is to please. On
our last cruise, our wine steward and the table staff in the dining
room were absolutely wonderful. When you board your cruise ship be
prepared to be pampered!
Many people will tell you that this
is the number one reason for taking a cruise. The fabulous menu
options have your mouth watering. Then the presentation arrives and
you are certainly not disappointed. The main dining rooms are
places of elegance and formality. Most ships have alternate dining
options as well - some with a small cover charge. There are usually
casual dining options as well. Some ships have poolside grilles and
some even have 24-hour pizzerias as mentioned earlier. Most offer
24-hour in-suite dining as well. And don't miss out on the midnight
buffet! Special menus can - in most cases - be provided with
advance notice. Pack a pair of stretchy pants or slacks - just in
YOU deserve it!
The number on reason for taking a
cruise vacation is because you deserve it! You work hard all year
long for your vacation time and money. Vacation cruises provide you
with tremendous value, variety, comfort and enjoyment. There are
itineraries that will elate almost any vacation traveler. Whether
your cruise vacation is a romantic getaway, a family vacation or a
break from the hustle and bustle of every day life, you deserve this
Los Angeles To Get Easier?
Flying from Los Angeles to smaller communities west of the
Mississippi may get a little easier and cheaper later this
Low-fare Allegiant Air said today it will begin offering nonstop
service from Los Angeles International Airport to a dozen small
cities, including Monterey, Calif., with one-way fares as low as
The Las Vegas-based carrier said it will begin rolling out LAX
service on May 1 with nonstop flights to Medford, Ore. with
fares starting at $69 one-way. Other destinations that will be
added in May include Billings, Mont.; Des Moines, Iowa; Fargo,
N.D.; and Grand Junction, Colo.
Introductory one-way ticket prices for these destinations will
range from $59 to $99, the airline said.
While the start of LAX service will target leisure travelers
flying from small cities that have limited regular passenger air
service, Southern California travelers visiting family and
friends are also expected to benefit with cheaper nonstop
service. Flying to smaller communities has often required
multiple stopovers and higher fares than flights to larger
cities that have several competing airlines.
Allegiant Air said it will operate out of Terminal 6 at LAX with
MD-80 jets that have seating for 150 passengers.
Allegiant Air is one of the nation's most profitable carriers
and has been expanding while most other airlines have been
retrenching because of the recession. The airline provides
inexpensive air service to leisure travelers typically from
smaller communities in the Midwest flying to Sun Belt
destinations such as Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; and Las Vegas.
Other destinations from LAX will include Wichita, Kan.;
Springfield, Mo.; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Missoula, Mont.; McAllen,
Tex.; and Bellingham, Wash.
Saving Business Travel Tips
10 Ways to Shave
Time Off Your Trip
You can't help
being on the road for work, but you can do something about how long
your trip has to take. Check out these 10 time saving tips for
business travelers, so you can spend less time on the travel, and
more time on the business.
1. Keep a Packed Bag
Even if you don't know when your next business trip will be, get in
the habit of re-packing your carry-on bag with fresh clothing and
essentials when you return from being on the road. It may seem like
an annoyance, but this step will save you valuable minutes the next
time your alarm goes off at 4 a.m. for an early morning flight and
all you have to do is reach for a bag and go.
2. Fly Regional Airports
Your travel agent may steer you towards the big hubs, where there
are more flight choices, but flying out of smaller airports can save
you time and hassle. Security lines, traffic, parking, and the
check-in process are often easier and quicker at smaller or regional
airports, so be sure to consider all of your options before booking.
3. Book Direct Flights
This sounds simple, but your company travel agent will likely book
you on the cheapest (and often longest) flight. Do some research
ahead of time so you'll be armed with alternatives to suggested
itineraries. Taking direct flights to and from your destination can
often mean savings beyond just your time. You may, for example, be
able to avoid overnight stays, which will save on potential hotel,
car and meal expenses
4. Check In Online
As the airlines continue to cut staff, check-in lines at the airport
will only continue to get worse. Checking in online will allow you
to bypass this step and proceed directly to security.
Note: Checking in online will have been in vain if you have luggage
to check - always travel with carry-on sized bags!
5. Select Your Seat
Ask that your travel agent seat you near the front of the plane
whenever possible (this is after you have requested your first class
upgrade, of course!). You can check your seat assignment as you
check in online, and make changes if seats have become available
further to the front. Being able to hop off the plane quickly - and
avoid throngs of amateur travelers in the aisles - will save time
and your sanity.
6. Sign Up for a Clear Security Pass
Available at a number of the nation's most-traveled airports (and
growing), the new Clear security pass is a high-tech card that
allows pre-screened travelers to bypass long airport security lines.
Initial enrollment is $128 for one year. An online application and
in-person appointment are necessary for card activation, but the
hours you will save over a lifetime of travel make it well worth the
initial time and effort invested.
7. Sign Up for Frequent Flier Programs
Members of frequent flier programs - particularly fliers with status
- can gain access to designated security and check-in lines, which
are always shorter and faster.
8. Program Your GPS Unit
Program the addresses for all of the stops you'll be making on your
trip (including airports, hotels, meetings and restaurants) into the
"favorites" section of your GPS unit. This will eliminate the need
to fumble with maps or ask for, and look up, directions on the road.
9. Park Smarter
One of the biggest time wasters for business travelers is the hassle
of parking. Sign up for monthly parking passes wherever they are
available to avoid waiting in long pay lines. Try to always park in
the same lot to lesson your chances of a lengthy search when you get
home. At the very least, don't forget to write your car location
down on one of your business cards.
The fastest way to get in and out of an airport is to use valet
parking, but you'll pay a premium for this service. When you're
running late for a flight, this option can be the difference between
missing or catching your flight.
10. Rental Car Tips
Members of auto loyalty programs face a much shorter wait when both
picking up and dropping off cars. Research which rental company has
the most convenient pick up and drop off location - many facilities
are off of airport grounds, requiring additional travel by bus or
train. Lastly, sign up for e-receipts (if available through the
carrier), as this will save you time at drop-off as well as when you
are doing your expenses
How to Take On Travel Trouble
It's unfair -- your plane could be hours late, and you get no
apology, discount or explanation. But if you are three
minutes late, running to the gate just as boarding ends, you're
pretty much (pardon our French) screwed.
If you always arrive at the airport three hours before your flight
and think that only last-minute Larry's miss their flights, don't
skip this section -- it could happen to you too. Events beyond your
control, from problems at the security checkpoint to stormy weather,
may mar even the best-planned itinerary.
What to Do
Has your plane taken off without you? Immediately go to your
airline's desk. It is possible that your airline can get you on the
next flight. Whether or not they will charge you will vary depending
on which airline is involved and if the missed flight was your
fault. If there are no other flights or the next flight is booked,
try for the next day, or inquire about any available flights from
your airline's partner airlines.
If your airline refuses to offer a voucher for another flight, get
ready to pay up. Passengers who miss their flights sometimes must
pay full price for a new ticket -- and prices are steep when it's
the day of or the day before your departure. Take this as a warning
to always arrive at the airport with plenty of time to spare,
especially around the holidays.
If you have missed a connecting flight and your luggage has been
checked, it will most likely go on without you -- so your suitcase
may be en route to the Bahamas while you're stuck in a chilly
airport in Chicago. Go to your airline's ticket counter and ask if
they can locate your bags. The airline may be able to hold your bags
until you arrive in your destination. This is just one of many
reasons (including lost luggage or spilt coffee) why you should pack
a change of clothes in your carry-on when you fly.
How to Be Prepared
Get to the airport early! Check out your airport's Web site for
recommended arrival times -- some airports have historically longer
check-in and security lines than others. If you want to be extra
careful, go online before your trip and look up what other flights
are going to your destination on your departure date. Jot down the
flight numbers so you know your alternatives if your plane leaves
Remember: Without a travel agent you're on
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