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Posts Tagged ‘baggage’

Royal Caribbean Updates Crown & Anchor Loyalty Program

Posted by thetraveldoctor on January 28, 2011


Royal Caribbean Ship at Anchor

Royal Caribbean Ship at Anchor at Labadee

On January 21, 2011, Royal Caribbean updated and enhanced it cruise Loyalty program. The program called the Crown & Anchor Society gives frequent cruisers the ability to earn point and special benefits on current and future cruises.

The old program counted how many past cruises you sailed on to figure your benefits. The new program now counts how many days you sail. So if you are on a 3 night cruise, you will receive 3 points. If you are on a 10 night cruise, you will receive 10 points. So you now are rewarded based on the number of days you have sailed with Royal Caribbean and not just the number of cruises. Now if you purchase a suite, you get double the points. So if you sail in a suite for 10 nights, you receive 20 points. So you now have an incentive to book a suite as you double your point total on that cruise.

The new program also added two new levels of recognition. Under the old program the levels were Gold, Platinum, Diamond & Diamond Plus. The new program adds the Emerald Level and the Pinnacle Club Level. So the new program is now Gold, Platinum, Emerald, Diamond, Diamond Plus and Pinnacle Club. The number of points needed for each level is as follows

Gold – 3 points   Platinum – 30 points  Emerald – 55 points  Diamond – 80 points  Diamond Plus – 175 points  Pinnacle Club – 700 points

Under the Pinnacle Club they have added a free 7 night cruise when you reach a certain level. This is a great incentive to sail with Royal Caribbean as often as possible.

I am looking forward to checking out the new Crown & Anchor program on my next cruise which is coming up quickly. I will let you know how it was when I return.

Check out the program here http://www.royalcaribbean.com/cas/benefitsLoggedout.do;jsessionid=00009y8VJBAow9ZtIhLR3VFmCjo:15lbbpnkd

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Carnival Splendor Adrift after Engine Room Fire

Posted by thetraveldoctor on November 9, 2010


Carnival Splendor At Sea

Carnival Splendor At Sea

Early in the morning of Monday November 8, the Carnival Splendor experienced an engine room fire. The ship had left the port of Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon headed for a 7 night Mexico cruise.

The fire was contained to the engine room  and extinguished and no passenger or crew members were hurt. But the Splendor lost all power and was adrift in the Pacific about 200 miles south of San Diego off the northern Baja California coast. Currently the ship is running on auxiliary power which allowed the toilets and cold running water to be restored but there is no air conditioning or hot water on the ship.

Two Mexican seagoing tugboats contracted out of the port of Ensenada are expected to reach the cruise ship some time on Tuesday November 9th. The tugs, which will be escorted by a Coast Guard Cutter will tow the ship to the Port of  Ensenada Mexico. The tugs have to move slowly because the Splendor is so large.

Passengers will be taken by bus back to the Port of Los Angeles. Carnival will be offering the passengers a full refund and a voucher for a free future cruise according to a Carnival spokes person.

UPDATE! The Splendor is being towed to the Port Of San Diego in California instead of the Port of Ensenada in Mexico. The ship is expected to arrive in San Diego late afternoon on Thursday, November 11. This will make it easier for the passengers to leave the ship due to custom regulations.

The Carnival Splendor is now docked in San Diego California. The ship was pulled and pushed into the Port of San Diego by six tugboats and escorted by US Coast Guard Cutters. The Splendor reached the dock at approximately 8:30AM PST on Thursday November 11. The first passenger were able to leave the ship at 9:30AM.

The Splendor cruise director, John Heald, posted in his Carnival Blog “While still a day from port, I don’t smell of roses at the best of times but as the laundry is not working and I only have two pairs of  underpants left, I smell like Paris on a hot summer’s day. That’s Paris the city not Paris the person.” Well said John!

And then there is always someone that knows how to make a quick buck. Lissa Letts of Overland, Kansas drove to San Diego to meet the ship to sell passengers T-Shirt that said “I Survived The 2010 Carnival Cruise Spamcation.” Passengers paid $20 for each shirt, and they went like ” A Ship on Fire!”

Posted in Allure Of The Seas, Brilliance of The Seas, caribbean, Carnival, cruise line, cruises, luggage, Oasis of the Seas, royal caribbean, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

That’s The Spirit – Screw Your Customers with Carryon Fees!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on April 29, 2010


Sprit Airlines Aircraft

Sprit Airlines, The All Fee Airline!

Ok, so the airlines started the whole fee deal with charging for food on the airplanes. Then they decided to charge to check a bag. But now one airline has crossed the line. Spirit Airlines has decided that to many people are bringing carry on luggage onto the plane. So to punish these passengers, they are going to charge them up to $45 to carry on a bag. That’s right, you heard me $45 to carry on a bag. What are they smoking over at the Spirit executive offices?

Spirit Airlines really does not understand that they caused the problem of to much carry on luggage in the first place.  This is how it happened. More then a year ago, Spirit decided that checked luggage was costing the airline too much money. So they decided to start charging to check a bag. The first bag would cost $25 to check and $25 for the 2nd bag. So passengers decided to carry on their luggage rather than pay the $25 to check it. Now Spirit feels that too many people are carrying on their bags. HELLO!!!  Are you idiot’s or just plain stupid Spirit! Have you ever heard of “Cause and Effect?”  You caused the passengers to carry on their luggage by charging them $25 to check it. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that one out Einstein!

Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that executives from American, Delta, Jet Blue, United and US Airways called to assure him that they would not follow Spirit’s lead in adopting the new carryon  charges. “we have begun to put the brakes on runaway and out-of-control airline fees,” Schumer said.

Schumer and 11 other senators have introduced legislation called the Block Airlines’ Gratuitous Fees Act (or BAG Fees Act), which would subject any fees charged for carry on baggage to the excise tax imposed on fares. A similar bill was introduced in the House.

Good for the Senators! Thanks for taking the bull by the horn. The airlines deserves what it gets!

I will tell you that I will not be flying Spirit anytime in the near future. Any airline that wants to charge me gratuitous fees will not get my business period!

Let me know how you feel about the subject.

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Grand Hyatt NY Gets An “F” For Accommodations!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on June 6, 2009


 

Grand Hyatt Hotel New York City

Grand Hyatt Hotel New York City

I just returned from a business trip to New York where I gave a presentation to a group of travel industry professionals. The conference went well, but that is not my reason for writing this. The problem was with the Hotel.

The conference hotel was the Grand Hyatt in New York City. This is a very large business hotel located right next to Grand Central Station on 42nd street. I was excited about staying at the hotel as I really enjoy the Hyatt brand. 

 

I arrived at 1250AM in stead of 1030PM as my flight was late from Chicago due to weather in the New York area. So I am now very tired, somewhat wet as it has been pouring rain for the entire trip from Newark Airport to the Grand Hyatt Hotel and I had to wade through the rain to get to the Super Shuttle Bus. I walk into the lobby of the Grand Hyatt and proceed to the Registration Desk. Now remember it is 1250AM on Thursday morning and there are at least 12 people waiting in line to check in. Now that would not be so bad, but there is only one desk clerk handling the check in and to add insult to injury, there are approximately 15 self service check-in kiosk that all say “OUT OF SERVICE – SEE DESK CLERK TO CHECK IN.” So now I am very tired, I have a bad headache and I am standing in a line that is not moving at all. 

 

20 minutes later I make it up to the desk clerk. I give him my name and my reservation number. He types it into the computer and then I see that look on his face that I have seen to many times before. You know the look of bad news at 115 in the morning. So he tells me that the room I reserved was not available. My heart dropped! I said you have to give me a room. He tells me that he has a queen size smoking room. I said to myself, “how bad could a smoking room be?” So I say to the desk clerk, I just need a room to sleep in, I will take the room. 

 

So he gives me the key card and I proceed to the 15th floor room I was assigned. I get to the room and open the door and walk in and then it hit me. This room REAKED of smoke! Oh did it stink, it just knocked you over. It smelled like someone chain smoked no-stop for a week! But again, I was so tired and I had this terrible headache and I just needed so sleep. So I climbed into the bed and fell asleep. 

 

When I woke up, I really look around the room for the first time. The window shade was all stained and looked as if someone threw a cup of coffee on it. The lights on the night stands did not work properly. The Desk lamp shade was broken and had a hole in it.  There was a floor lamp that was leaning over like someone bent the base.  And the final straw, the wifi in the room did not work.

 

I walked into the bathroom to take a shower. The bathroom look pretty good, so I get into the shower, close the curtain and turned on the water. I adjusted the temperature and then the tub started to fill up. Ok, so the drain was running slow. I hit the shower button and the shower turned on. It started to spray nicely around the curtain and on to the floor. I could not get a good flow onto me, but it did a great job of making a puddle on the floor of the bathroom, which I could not stop.

 

I was really frustrated by this time. I got out of the shower and threw two towels on the floor to soak up the water. I then dried myself off with a third towel, at least they gave me 4 towels and they were not the usual fluffy Hyatt towels, they were very scratchy and thin towels.

 

The service was just fair throughout the hotel. The public areas were very nice, but the service was poor at best. I stay in lots of hotel rooms during the year and this was a stay that I want to forget. I cannot recommend the Grand Hyatt in New York until they do something to improve the quality control of the rooms and the attitude of the staff.

Posted in bags, Credit Cards, economy, first class, food, Hotels, luggage, lunch, news, options, PC, pillows, restaurant, seniors, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 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.”

Posted in airlines, Art Auctions at Sea, cancun, caribbean, cruise line, cruises, disabilities, economy, food, Hotels, investments, islands, luggage, Med, Mexico, news, Panama Canal, restaurant, sailing, ships, tickets, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Vacations, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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!

Posted in airlines, airports, bags, Business Class, caribbean, Coach, cruise line, disabilities, free, futures, Hotels, investments, Las Vegas, luggage, news, pillows, seniors, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations, Wifi | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Delta goes to $50 on Second Checked Bag!!

Posted by thetraveldoctor on July 29, 2008


 

Delta aircraft taking off

Delta aircraft taking off

Delta Airlines announced today that they are increasing the fee from $25 to $50 for a second checked bag. 

I have to give credit to Delta for not charging for the first bag. American, United and US Airways are charging $15 for the first checked bag.

Delta states that the fee increase is essential to generate the necessary revenues to offset record fuel prices. What they don’t get is that people will just stop flying or cut back on how much they fly. This is not the answer, it is just a ban-aid.

I don’t know when all of this airline fee nonsence will end, but it has to end soon or soon there will only be 2 or 3 airlines left. Until then, hold on to your wallets….it’s going to be a bumpy ride!

Posted in airlines, auto, bags, car, futures, gas, Hotels, investments, Las Vegas, luggage, options, tickets, tours, Transportation, Travel, travel agents, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Open Letter to United Airlines CEO on Checked Baggage

Posted by thetraveldoctor on June 18, 2008


                                                                            I sent this letter to Glenn Tilton, President and CEO of United Airlines. I guess the Airlines just don’t get it!Flying over America

Dear Mr. Tilton,

I am a loyal fan of United Airlines. I just completed a wonderful flight from Seattle to Chicago on United. Everyone from the gate agent in Seattle to the flight crew on the aircraft, were just great. It was the best flying experience I have had in months and I want to thank you for that.

And now for the main reason for this letter. I just received an email regarding United’s new baggage policy. I have to tell you that I am appalled. This is no way to run an airline. I have been in the travel industry for 37 years and I am currently a consultant to the travel industry. I wrote a piece on American’s $15 baggage charge where I questioned the policy and wondered if in fact the management at American were trying to put the airline in bankruptcy. The cold hard fact is $15 for a checked bag is a way to nickel and dime your customers away from your airline. This does not address the real problem, which is the escalating cost of running an airline. Fuel is now a major concern, but $15 per bag is not the answer. You have to price your product correctly. Charge your passenger what it costs to transport them from point A to point B and include the costs associated with that transportation, which includes at least one checked bag. You understand that you are forcing more and more people to carry on more luggage. A carryon suitcase clobbered me 2 weeks ago by a passenger that did not want to check her bag. She hoisted it up into the overhead and then it fell out and hit me in the head. With this additional carryon luggage, the boarding process will be slowed and there will be gate delays. It just does not make sense.

 I will give you some free advice. Don’t implement your $15 baggage charge, just raise your fares to cover your costs and make a profit. You will then have a profitable airline and you will have happy passengers, happy employees and happy investors. People will pay the price for a “Great Product” so make your airline a great airline by delivering a great customer experience. Try it, it works.  If you don’t, you will drive your customers away from your airline and then everyone loses.

I really hope that you, Mr. Tilton reads this letter and not one of your assistants because I would like to hear back from you, as you are the driving force behind this airline. Looking forward to your reply.

Posted in airlines, bags, Hotels, investments, Las Vegas, luggage, tickets, Transportation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vacations | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

$15 to check a bag on your flight? What’s Wrong with this picture?

Posted by thetraveldoctor on May 21, 2008


This is getting ridiculous. American Airlines stated today, May 21, 2008 that it is going to start charging $15 to let you check one bag on your flight. How nuts is that. First they tell you that you cannot carryon items and they make you put them in your checked baggage. Now they tell you that you have to pay to check that bag that you can’t carryon! What is wrong with these airlines. If you need to increase your fares to cover your costs, then raise the fare, but don’t nickel and dime the customers to death. This is an insult to the intelligence of the everyday traveler.

I sure hope that no other airline follows American’s lead.  Let me know what you think.

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