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Archive for September, 2008

Art Auctions on Cruise Ships, worth the Time?

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 30, 2008


 

Cruise Ship at Port in Mexico

Cruise Ship at Port in Mexico

If you have traveled on a large cruise ship in the past 10 years, you have probably experienced the Art Auctions at Sea. There has been many articles written on this subject over the past 10 years, some good and some not so good. I have sat in on many of these Art Auctions on cruise ships and I have actually enjoyed it. I have learned some things about the art work and artists and enjoyed the company of the other passengers attending the auction. 

 

Some of the articles that have been written on this subject have taken to task the value of the art work that is up for auction on these ships. One person interviewed said they spent $73,000 on artwork that was later appraised for $10,000. I really have a hard time believing that someone would actually spend that kind of money on an art auction at sea. Who in their right mind would spend that kind of money without doing their homework prior to the auction. It is always buyer beware! Know your product before you buy anything. If you are going on a cruise and want to bid on some art, then make sure you know what that art is currently selling for before you bid on it. If you have no idea what that piece of art is worth, then don’t bid on it. It is that simple. I have no sympathy for anyone that throws money around buying things they know nothing about and then complain about the purchase. 

I know animation art very well. I know what a framed piece cost, so if I were to bid on a piece of animation-art on a cruise ship, I would know what a good price for that piece is and what a ridiculous price is. Plus, I would never buy an expensive piece of animation art on a whim. 

So if you are sailing on a cruise ship in the not to distance future, and you find yourself attending one of the Art Auctions At Sea, sit back and enjoy the view  out the window, enjoy the company and the narrative on the artwork and sometime you many even get free Champaign. But never make an Art  purchase on a whim and if you do bid on something, know what you are doing. And remember to “Have a Great Cruise!”

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The House of Morons – US House Fails to Save Our Economy!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 29, 2008


 

The US House where the Vote Failed!

The US House where the Vote Failed!

I need to take a moment to vent my frustration regarding the failed vote for the US bailout plan today (Monday Sept 29, 2008). I have always had faith in our government that in the end, they would do the right thing. Well, today they didn’t. They let the entire United States and the World down. While they were fighting about a 700 billion bailout package, the market tanked. And because of the drop in the market, instead of the taxpayers shouldering a 700 billion bailout package, they were hit with a LOSS of 1 Trillion dollars. That’s right ONE TRILLION DOLLARS! This effects the elderly, the middle class, the poor, everyone in the United States. 

 

Here is what the Congress did today. They had a train wreck and they showed up at the scene. There were people hurt and dying and instead of treating the people, they decided to let them all die and they walked away. What the Congress in effect did today was kill the economy world wide. What a bunch of Morons. Do they need to get a good slap up the side of the head? What is wrong with them?

What you need to do first thing on Tuesday morning is call your congress person and tell them to get it together and pass the bailout before there is nothing left to bailout! Tell them if they don’t pass it, then you won’t vote for them ever again.

This has really, really, really upset me, because it is going to hurt the very people these congressmen say they want to help. They just DON’T GET IT!!!!!    

GET IT DONE MORONS! AND GET IT DONE NOW!!

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United TED, A Good Idea Gone Bad

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 28, 2008


 

The end of A Good Idea - TED by United

The end of A Good Idea - TED by United

TED, was a great idea. Create an airline built on the Southwest model. One type of aircraft, one class of service. All crews can fly any flights as there is only one type of aircraft to be checked out on. Great Idea right! Wrong! United decided not to differentiate Ted and United and the public was confused. The passengers wanted to know what the difference was between the two airlines? Why should they fly TED? Unlike the Cruise industry, United did not keep the two brands separated, so there was no reason to fly TED instead of United. If United did their homework they would have made TED a separate airline and market it that way. But they didn’t and they drove it into the ground. I liked TED. It was a great idea, with friendly crews, clean late model planes and great fares. But just like the rest of the Higher UP’s in the executive offices at United, they just don’t understand how to run an airline let alone two airlines. I really hope that someday, someone with some business and customer service sense becomes the president of United. Until then, I guess we will just watch this once great airline implode piece by piece.

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Delta to Add First Class to Shuttle Flights

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 27, 2008


Delta will begin adding first class seating on their MD88 Shuttle fleet starting December 1, 2008. The Delta Shuttle flies between Boston, New York LaGuardia and Washington DC. The new two class of service will seat 14 passengers in First Class and 128 in coach. Delta will continue the “Open Seating” policy in both classes on all Shuttle flights. If you decide to buy a First Class ticket, it will cost you $679 as opposed to $164 for coach. Currently The Delta Shuttle offers 30 daily between the three airports. Well, at least Delta still does not charge for your first checked bag.

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Southwest New Boarding System Works Well

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 26, 2008


 

Southwest gate at Louisville Airport

Southwest gate at Louisville Airport

I just returned from a business trip to Louisville Ky on Southwest. I have to say that Southwest has their act together. I love the new boarding process they have instituted. When you check in at home on the web, or at the airport you receive a boarding pass with a letter and a number. The letter is the boarding group and the number is the boarding position within that group. So if you are in group A and position 15, you will board with the first group and you will be the 15th person on the plane. It worked so well and everyone was happy. We boarded quickly and we were closed up and out of the gate and in the air in no time. The plane was full and we were on time!

 

Southwest also does not charge you to check your first or second bag. They do not have any hidden fees. What you see is what you get. I love that. Clean, efficient transportation. I wish the other airlines got it. They should all take a lesson from Southwest. Thank you Herb! You know how to run a great airline!

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Wifi Comes to the Sky on Delta Airlines

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 13, 2008


Delta Airlines will outfit it’s entire fleet of 330 planes with WiFi by the summer of 2009. So you will be able to surf the net, send emails and read the local news at 35,000 feet. Delta is partnering with GoGo Internet service. The cost of surfing on Delta will be $10 on flights 3 hours or less. $13 on flights over 3 hours. The only thing you will not be able to do is make phone calls on the net with a service such as skype.

30,000 feet over the Pacific Northwest

30,000 feet over the Pacific Northwest

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Update on United Customer Service Problem.

Posted by thetraveldoctor on September 1, 2008


 

Sunrise over the west coast

Sunrise over the west coast

Well, I tried to use my FREE denied boarding compensation voucher but it was just such a hassle to get it booked, that I just went ahead the next day and bought a full fare ticket to Las Vegas on the website. That way I did not have to speak to anyone at United. I cannot tell you how frustrated I was and still am at United Airlines. I could not get a reservation agent to help me book this ticket. How can anyone run a business that way. The airlines need all the happy customers they can get. But all they do is Piss People Off on a consistent basis. I will try to use the voucher on my next trip, when I am not working on a deadline and I don’t need to get some where on a particular time and day. But the next time I call United I really want to talk to a person that I can understand and that will not insult me on the phone. Get a Clue United! Hire people that care about your customers! I really liked flying United, I want to like United, but they keep kicking me in the head every time I try to book a flight!

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