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Royal Caribbean Returns to Labadee Haiti

Posted by thetraveldoctor on January 23, 2010


Royal Caribbean Ship at Labadee, Haiti with beach in foreground.

Royal Caribbean Ship at anchor at Labadee, Haiti

Royal Caribbean returned to Labadee Haiti this past week. It was the first time the Royal Caribbean ships have stopped at Labadee since the devastating earthquake leveled Port au Prince on January 12, 2010.  Labadee is Royal Caribbean’s private resort and is located on the northern coast of Haiti. The Labadee resort area did not sustain any damage from the earthquake and was able to reopen to passengers of Royal Caribbean cruise line this past week.

Royal Caribbean has taken some criticism since returning passengers to the Resort. I for one applaud the company for bringing tourist back to this country that urgently needs the money. Royal Caribbean has pledged one million dollars toward the relief effort in Haiti. And with the return of the ships to Labadee brings urgently needed supplies and food for the people of Haiti. Royal Caribbean is using every ship in it’s fleet that calls on Labadee as a supply ship for the relief effort bringing much needed food, supplies and personnel. Royal Caribbean has contributed the largest proportion of tourist revenue to Haiti since 1986, employing 300 locals and allowing another 200  locals to sell their wares in the native market within the resort. Royal Caribbean pays the Haitian Government $6 (US) per passenger that arrives on their ships to Labadee. This means that a Voyager Class ship that holds 3114 passenger pays a total of $18,684 per visit. There are at least 3 ship visits per week at $18,684 equals $56,052.00 per week. Plus all the money the passengers spend at the native market, Royal Caribbean is pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into Haiti every month. And they have been doing this since 1986!

Zip Line at Labadee

Zip Line at Labadee

More than any other company in the United States, Royal Caribbean has been helping Haiti for over 20 years. So the next time you hear one of these pompous radio talk show host beating up on Royal Caribbean for bringing tourist back to Labadee, ask yourself, what has that talk show host done for the people of Haiti before or even after the earthquake? Some food for thought.

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Posted in Brilliance of The Seas, caribbean, cruise line, cruises, emergency, Haiti, investments, islands, news, royal caribbean, sailing, seniors, ships, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Disney Names New Ships

Posted by thetraveldoctor on April 6, 2009


 

Disney Ship in Port

Disney Ship in Port

Disney Cruise Line has named it’s two new ships. The cruise line began construction on the two new ships in March. The ships are being built at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Germany. The delivery dates for the ships are 2011 and 20012. The new ships will weigh in at 128,000 GRT’s and will have 1,250 staterooms. The new ships will be named The Disney Dream and The Disney Fantasy. A Disney spokesperson called the names “a natural choice for our ships.”

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Bogus Currency Conversion Fee on Bank of America CC

Posted by thetraveldoctor on February 17, 2009


 

Just Waiting for That International Flight

Just Waiting for That International Flight

You think that you have seen everything and then your friend gets hit with a bogus credit card charge for purchasing an Air Canada ticket in the United States. Here is what happened.

My friend purchased a ticket from a travel agent in the Chicago area. The Ticket was purchased  from Chicago to Rome round trip on Air Canada with a connection in Toronto. The ticket was purchased in the United States in US dollars. Now you should know that it is against the law to purchase an international ticket in the United States in a foreign currency, so the ticket must be purchased in US Dollars. My friend used his Bank of America Visa card to purchase the ticket. When the Bank of America Visa statement arrived, there was a 3% currency conversion fee for the ticket which amounted to over $80. Now how do you charge a currency conversion fee for a ticket that was purchased in US dollars? That’s right, you can’t but Bank of America did because they can and there is nothing you can do about it because they tell you it is a fee that cannot be disputed.

We talked with Air Canada and they agreed that the ticket was purchased in US dollars in the US and there was never any currency to convert. We called Bank of America back and they insisted that they were right that there was a currency conversion (yeah right) and that the fee could not be disputed. My friend asked Bank of America for proof. They said they would send proof. I can’t wait to see what they sent. The travel agent has proof that there was never any currency conversion, Air Canada has proof there was never any currency conversion, but Bank of America, they have proof. This is the biggest scam I have seen in the travel industry in years. I cannot imagine how much money is taken in by charging this fee on Air Canada tickets.

If anyone out there has had this happen to them, please reply to this blog. This has got to end and my friend will not let it go.

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, Banks, Business Class, Credit Cards, economy, futures, Government, investments, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Governor Blagojevich Poll

Posted by thetraveldoctor on December 20, 2008


With all that is going on in Illinois Politics, I thought it was time to ask the people if the Governor of Illinois should resign. He serves at the pleasure of the people and we have to tell him if he should stay in office or leave for the good of the state of Illinois. Vote and I will forward the poll results to the Lt. Governor.

Posted in economy, emergency, Government, Illinois, investments, news, options, State house, Uncategorized, US House | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Royal Caribbean New Ad Campaign A Real “Dud”

Posted by thetraveldoctor on December 13, 2008


 

At Sea on Royal Caribbean

At Sea on Royal Caribbean

You have probably seen the new Royal Caribbean commercial called the “Nation of Why Not?”  This is the new ad campaign for Royal Caribbean. I cannot tell you that who ever came up with this campaign should be FIRED! What a DUD! It is so bad that I have to change the channel every time it comes up on my TV. It looks like a really bad Magic Kingdom commercial. If this what Royal Caribbean thinks will get people to sail on their ships, well they have another thing coming. 

The past campaign was “Get Out There!” Now that was a great campaign as it showed that you could do anything on a cruise vacation. A real upbeat campaign. It made you say “That looks like FUN!” 

But now the powers that be have come up with this terrible campaign that is driving people away from the brand. My advise to Royal Caribbean, dump this campaign and regroup and come up with something GOOD! After 37 years in the travel industry, I think I know what I am talking about.

Posted in airplane, Art Auctions at Sea, Brilliance of The Seas, cancun, caribbean, cruise line, disabilities, Europe, first class, investments, luggage, Med, Mexico, news, Panama Canal, royal caribbean, sailing, seniors, ships, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations, Wifi | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

American Airlines to buy up to 100 Boeing 787’s

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 28, 2008


 

787 Dreamliner

787 Dreamliner

American Airlines announced this past week that they plan on purchasing up to 100 Boeing 787 Dreamliners at a cost of $15 billion dollars. This purchase could make American the largest operator of the new Boeing aircraft.

 

“This state-of-the-art aircraft will offer many cost and environmental benefits, particularly fuel efficiency and customer friendly attributes and comforts” said Thomas Horton, executive vice president and CFO during the airlines October 15 conference call with financial analysts.

American plans to buy 42 of the 787 Dreamliners for delivery between 2012 and 2018, with an option for 58 more for delivery between 2015 and 2020.

The first 787 flight was scheduled for August of 2007, with deliveries to begin in May of 2008. But due to delays and a strike at Boeing, the first flight is now planned for the fourth quarter of 2008 and initial deliveries slated for the third quarter of 2009.

The new 787-9 is designed to carry up to 290 passengers, with at range of up to 8,500 nautical mailes. The 787-9 is a stretch version of the 787-8 and will use 20% less fuel then current aircraft flying today.

These are some of the airlines that have ordered the 787 Dreamliner. 

  1. Qantas – 65 planes
  2. All Nippon Airways – 50 planes
  3. Air Canada – 37 planes
  4. Japan Airlines – 35 planes
  5. Etihad Airways – 35 planes
  6. LAN Airlines – 26 planes
  7. Continental – 25 planes
  8. Aeroflot – 22 planes

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, bags, Business Class, caribbean, Coach, disabilities, economy, first class, gas, investments, luggage, Mexico, news, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Travel Agents, Worth their weight in GOLD!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on October 6, 2008


 

Alan On Tour In The Pacific Northwest.

Alan On Tour In The Pacific Northwest.

Have you tried to make any travel plans lately? If you have, you probably have searched and searched the web till your head was spinning. What you need to do is find a good professional consultant. A good travel consultant can find you deals that are not available on the web and can save you hundreds of dollars on cruises and tours. They can also give you great advice for your trip, such as little known places to visit at your destination. 

There has been lots of talk as of late that Travel Agents are a dying breed. Not so, they are not only alive and kicking, but more and more travelers are turing to them for help in booking their vacation travel. So a tip to the savvy traveler or the novice traveler, use a travel agent and save lots of time and money!

Posted in airlines, airports, auto, bags, Business Class, cancun, caribbean, Coach, cruise line, cruises, economy, Europe, first class, gas, Hotels, investments, islands, Las Vegas, luggage, Med, Mexico, news, pillows, sailing, seniors, ships, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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!”

Posted in art, Art Auctions at Sea, Business Class, caribbean, cruise line, cruises, economy, Europe, futures, investments, islands, luggage, news, options, sailing, ships, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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!!

Posted in airlines, Business Class, car, Computers, disabilities, economy, emergency, first class, futures, investments, Las Vegas, options, PC, politics, seniors, stock crash, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, US House | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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.

Posted in airlines, airplane, airports, Business Class, Coach, first class, gas, investments, Las Vegas, luggage, news, pillows, seniors, ships, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »