Defending your online reputation: Why I hate Internet Crybabies and Liars.

May 4, 2013

In the beginning, there was the Internet, and it was good.  I mean, it was mostly good if you put aside all the scam companies, disorganized startups and miscellaneous charlatans who grabbed land in those early days.  Real companies struggled to understand the landscape, compile technology resources and evolve traditional businesses to fit this new marketplace.  I don’t know anyone that went through this metamorphosis who would question how easy it looked, but how difficult it really was.  Learning was all about trial and error and we quickly learned that any mistake you made will follow you around like scars you accumulate from the battles you been in.    

While that in and of itself isn’t all together a bad thing, what is bad is the scars you accumulate from the tales told by people whose only real claim to knowledge is their vivid imagination of events that have never really transpired.  That is right my friends, many Internet reviews, testimonials and condemnations are full blown, concocted lies, fabricated to support events which have NEVER really transpired.  It seems that people will do and say just about anything to help them in supporting positions of complete and utter illegitimacy.  These Internet consumers seem to feel that character assassination is their legitimate right as long as they end up with the desired result that suits their needs.  I wish I had a dollar for every email I have fielded that said, “if you don’t do this, I will write a negative review on every Internet site I can find”.  Usually, these complaints gravitate around people who through their own actions ended up in a physical place or a financial place they didn’t want to be in.  Is the phrase, “non-refundable and non-changeable really arbitrary”?   Do you really expect compensation when you buy clothes and then don’t like how you look in them?  Would you go to a store and stomp your feet when that box of cornflakes just didn’t blow your mind at breakfast?  Yet, this is what we deal with all the time and to make matters worse these email strong-men freely lie to us, to online complaint sites and to arbitrary, “consumer rights” sites like the BBB.  Like the boy who cried wolf, they have truly destroyed any and all credibility these sites have ever had.  The only word that comes to mind in the way of description is, extortion, holding your very reputation hostage to get something they want when they truly aren’t entitled to it.

The point of my rant isn’t to say that there aren’t legitimate complaints that good people post to help others who will follow in their stead.  There are, and every company, no matter who, makes mistakes and mistreats customers and should be held to a reasonable standard of quality assurance.  It is the job of every commercial company to strive to please customers, communicate clearly and to present an ethical, morally correct policy of simply treating others as they would be treated in their place, in my humble opinion.  It is the obligation of consumers not to buy into the old credo, “the customer is always right”, even if they know they are simply lying to get something they aren’t entitled to.  Don’t feel that lying to get something you want is ever right or fair or legitimate, simply because it is a company you are dealing with.  Treat others as you would have them treat you in their place and you will never go wrong.

I have stack of emails I have compiled over 15 years that I have long threatened to make into a coffee table book of actual, factual statements made to my company that would blow the mind of even the most creative storyteller.  People will say anything to support the end result desired.  I have read about things about people’s personal lives that should never be put in writing and I know things about medical conditions that I didn’t think were physically possible, all in the name of a refund.  Some customers were victimized by fictitious storms and acts of nature, while other have had issues with the fact that there were “too many Latinos” on the island of Puerto Rico.  These customers, disguised behind legitimate registration screen names, have bashed our company on “complaint” sites and with credit card companies telling tales of “misrepresentation” and “services not delivered” while repeatedly warning us of their “campaign of complaint and reputation assassination” if not granted their desire for returned money.   Of course, we always win our battle with credit card companies because we can display every single step taken during the purchase process and we always return funds when we make mistakes, which since we are human beings, does happen from time to time.

Now there are steps companies can take to shield themselves from some of these “negative reviews”, things like purchasing a membership to the BBB, which keeps hidden the number of complaints you receive.  You can also “defend your reputation” by overwriting the negative reviews with a barrage of positive ones which in my opinion is just as illegitimate as customers who lie. You can always tell the honest companies as the ones where the reviews aren’t all positive but continue to do business and aren’t afraid of the comments they receive.

So read on my friends, don’t let the Internet muscles of some stop you from making value judgments based on your own instincts.  Do you really think that even the most legitimate and honest companies don’t have a few pissed customers?  Wouldn’t we all like a means to getting our money back on any purchase for any reason, be it subjective or objective?  All of us would like that option but most would not resort to lies and character assassination to achieve that goal, in fact most people, customers display integrity even when experiencing legitimate problems.  It is those people who give me hope, and keep us going when we suffer the injustice perpetrated by a few, dishonest Internet Crybabies.  

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JFK Airport Terminal 3, a Building Stuck in Time

April 29, 2013

Any way you look at it, JFK Airport in New York is probably one of the most important gateways on earth.  It almost boggles the mind how many millions of people, aircraft, cars, trucks, buses, and subway trains have come and gone successfully from this one point over its long and storied history.  When you think about the scope of this operation it is hard to imagine how it all works so well day after day. 

Over the course of years and with the evolution of Newark Airport I haven’t had much call to fly in and out of JFK as I have had in the past.  The increase in numbers of people traveling, as well as a geographic spread has forced us develop other facilities, but JFK’s importance hasn’t diminished, it has remained the centerpiece of air travel for the entire New York City region.  That is one of the reasons I was so excited recently to take a flight out of JFK, albeit not as convenient as what I am used to traveling from Newark. (Since I live 10 minutes from that airport)  I have fond memories of JFK since my very first international flight originated from this point.  Of course, if I could skip the Verrazano Bridge and Belt Parkway traffic, that would have been best but you can’t have everything.

So much has changed since my days of traveling in and out of JFK.  The Air Train makes this very convenient for travelers going in and out of Manhattan, and also for those, like me, utilizing the long term parking lots.  It simply works really well.  Many of the terminals are shiny and new and bare little to no resemblance of the terminals of the past.  My old stomping grounds T1 or the Eastern Airlines Terminal has been transformed to a modern, quasi-European building that is beautiful and functional.  Of course Eastern is a thing of the past and many of the newer airlines, like Jet Blue have staked a very large claim on this airport territory.  It is healthy, I suppose to change with the times and overall JFK has done a really good job of doing just that.

That brings me to the bad part, the part stuck in a past which was once glorious but now seems in desperate need of a bulldozer.  Pan Am was the airline that put international travel within reach of most Americans.  It’s incredible history of pioneering aviation is widely known and doesn’t require my restatement.  Along the way, however, Pan Am made more than its share of mistakes some financial, some operational and yet others in how it designed its facilities.  JFK terminal 3 is a shining example of how NOT to design an airport terminal.  I was sure that it would have been torn apart by now under the guidance of its new tenant, Delta Airlines.  Its upstairs, downstairs, around stairs gate situation caused miles of needless walking over its long tenure.  With a stupidly designed uphill entrance ramp, and no walkway you need to slink around the side to avoid breaking a sweat just getting into the place.  The checking counters are basically outside with wild birds flying every which way as you stand amazed waiting in line.  Even the professionalism and pleasant nature of the Delta staff is overshadowed by the refurbished conditions they work in.  Once clearing security I was struck by how they have tried to shoe horn in new retail venues into the same old infrastructure which hasn’t handled the years very well.  It is ugly, badly maintained and dirty overall.  It still has its famous long narrow hallways that simple don’t work in today’s carryon world.  Instead of feeling like a visit to an old friend it was like visiting your old school that you hated then, and you hate even more going back to. 

I would gladly use JFK again but please tear down this last mistake that Juan Tripp left behind as a legacy.  Even this titan of aviation is entitled to one mistake, right?

4 Travel Deals: Ah, that Airport Experience

April 15, 2013

One of the fondest memories from my childhood is that of visiting the airport.  That’s right, Newark Airport was close to our home and when I was lucky enough I would be able to go over and visit the terminal where my Dad worked for a few hours.  The airport was a happy place and I always felt was the portal to a world of endless possibilities.  I remember strolling through, watching all of the people, most of whom were well dressed, wondering what great destination they might be visiting.  Europe, Asia, Florida, all seemed far away and their journeys were beginning right here in Newark! 

There was a definite elegance associated with aviation that I have always admired.  I guess a portion of that effected my personal decision to make a living in the travel business as I grew older.  Airplanes were the key to providing oneself the freedom to move about the world, even from the humblest of starting points.  You could be anyone, but once on a plane you were equal with everyone who was going to the same place you were.  I always liked the feeling I got at the very beginning of a journey by plane, and until this day, it still reminds me of my days as a boy, wandering the airport terminal matching the destination with the faces of all those passing by.

Of course a lot has changed over the years and not just the homogenization of airlines themselves but in the structure that once represented my “portal to the world”.  I now identify airports as imitation shopping malls with the same entry procedure as the county jail.  I don’t believe that law abiding citizens allow their rights of privacy to be violated on this kind of scale at any other venue in our country.  It is a more vigorous process than one you are put through when you visiting a prison, or a courthouse or even a national landmark.  Normal people are x-rayed, and sniffed and felt up in places that you never want anyone but a really close friend to touch you and all in the name of the public good.   Your introduction to this process is cold, hard and impersonal and begins at the end of a long line where young kids, elderly Grandmothers and exotically dressed foreign travelers are essentially treated as equals.  People slowly snake their way thru a rat’s maze of lines all while being warned by a shouting TSA officer about taking out their electronics, pulling off their shoes and belts and, of course don’t dare think of concealing that shampoo.  You and your fellow passengers are now being funneled into just 2 checkpoints, where a generally unpleasant TSA agent wearing rubber gloves reviews your identifying documents while his eyes glance up at you with distrust and wary.  My mind always wanders back to those WWII movies where people crossing the borders in Europe are examined by black uniformed soldiers who hold the fate of their passage in the whim of their observations.  Presenting my “papers” at the airport to me is virtually the same process where if, for any reason, the agent feels you are circumspect you can be treated to a host of additional interrogation, inspection and basically have things done to you that a police officer could not do to a suspected criminal.  It is a lot of power to give to an “agent”.  Fortunately, most people’s papers are in order and they are passed through to the second, physical step of the process, the one where technology and the watchful eye of the TSA professionals will determine if anyone’s baggage represents a further threat to safe travelling. 

On a busy day the distance between the checkpoint for your “papers” and the physical security apparatus isn’t very large and is crammed with travelers in a hurry to get free of this process.  It seems more agents are busy restocking plastic bins, shouting out commands about empting this or that and of course taking out the dreaded gels and shampoos.  As I traveled to my latest flight there must have been 300 people waiting for 2 security machines in a space of about 600 square feet.  We were stacking up like groceries at the end of belt at the grocery store where nothing was making its way into a bag.  TSA agents scrambling everywhere to restock bins and shouting commands to us to move here or there.  People with one shoe, two carryon bags, belts dragging and a laptop in under their arms were hopping and dragging all over the area.  Security tables and belts overflowed with various items as the agents conversed leisurely about this or that amid the fracas.  This obviously was business as usual.  The agent in charge of reviewing the bag x-rays sat behind two large monitors doing his job while engaged in a conversation with another agent about something unrelated to security and seemed to be seriously reviewing each and every item the machine was scanning.  How he could concentrate amidst this chaos and his conversation is totally beyond me.  As my bags entered the tunnel, I stepped shoeless, beltless, pants sagging, pockets empty, shampoo exposed into the body scanning apparatus which in a tenth of a second rendered me to the Promised Land on the other side.

I was happy that on this trip, no further examination of my person or carryon was necessary.  As I scrambled to get on my shoes and belt, I glanced over at the table where a woman’s luggage was being examined and swabbed for whatever reason.  She had that, “I am innocent” look on her face while she tried to quantify why she had been selected for this special examination.  Of course, I laughed because I generally get to enjoy this extra attention but today must be my lucky day!  As I stroll away from the security check point I am struck by the fact that I now have lots of time to kill and a bevy of choices for shopping and eating and purchasing anything from a Hugo Boss leather jacket to a brand new sound system.  Is the TSA working in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce?  Hmmm, that is an interesting thought.

I am hard-pressed to understand why this entire process hasn’t been evolving over the past 13 years since 9/11.  I know we must put public safety above our own convenience but I don’t think cramming people into a small area where agents are more engaged in restocking bins offers the best opportunity to observe and protect.  Why are these agents allowed to engage in personal conversations while on duty?  Above all, why not simply register law abiding citizens like me who would gladly give my fingerprints to avoid a good portion of this process?  I am not security expert but I wouldn’t examine a 90 year old Grandmother the same way as a 20 something foreign traveler. (Please forgive me if that is profiling but security is all about profiling threats)  It seems to me that we are interested in being politically correct while we violate everyone’s rights to privacy.  Can someone please inject some common sense?

I guess part of my dismay is that yearning for the days of my youth.  The ones were elegant people strolled to flights with dignity and grace, sparred the indignity of today’s process.  We should expect, no we should demand more.

4 Travel Deals: Buy it or Bid for it? You be the judge.

March 22, 2013

It was not all that long ago that the travel industry was pinned down to one standardized method of distribution. Not that working through travel agencies is a bad thing but the quality of the service varies wildly and without any warning. You have some great industry minds who manage and run agencies and you have a lot of people who think working in travel is a sexy, glamorous way to make a living. (It really isn’t) What you have is a big wide world of possibilities and no one can really expect any agent to know it all, all the time.
Along comes the Internet and prospective travelers can not only do unlimited research they can also work with companies directly whose expertise can be narrowed down to their area of interest. It is safe to say that someone who sells Greece for a living knows a thing or two about it. So consumers, more and more, are purchasing based on their own criteria and not worrying about whether or not their local agent is selling them something simply because they are making some additional money in commission one product or another.
As empowering as it is to have real distribution choices, there are limited choices when it comes to finding the products you want to purchase for less money. If you really want a deal, you simply can’t rely on most of the sites that promise you as much. Daily deal sites are a joke when it comes to their travel offers. Most tour companies have to build in commissions whether or not they are distributed via a travel agent and rock bottom, net price online giants are battling more and more with hotel companies that simply won’t let them discount. So what’s the solution? I think it is auctioning.
For over 14 years we have been offering a wide array of top quality, brand name products at auction each and every day. We have quietly and efficiently saved people tons of money over our tenure. We are considered an “alternate distribution outlet” and hence, are not subjected to some of the rules other distributors find themselves constrained with. It all depends on whether the consumer wants to engage in the purchase process that requires them to study, understand, price and bid for the products they want to buy. I mean, people are saving hundreds on a single trip so, why not?
Check it out for yourself?

4 Travel Deals Observations on Travel Marketing

March 13, 2013

Product, Place, Price and Promotion are the good old 4 “P’s” of marketing.  Many people may not be familiar with this “precept” from working with it in the field, but all are influenced by the strength in the truth it represents every time you purchase something.  Yes, there are a hell of a lot of smart people influencing your every decision by manipulating one or more of the “P’s”.  

An interesting exercise is always to try and understand the relationship between this basic concept and how you make your own purchase decisions.  Some of us are influenced by price, some by pretty ads, and others only by the features and benefits they receive, and still others who want to purchase at their utmost convenience.  That is why when things are eye level at supermarkets they generally are the biggest profit generators. It is also why beautiful ads get our attention and normally create an image of quality or some higher standard in our minds.  Some products and services are created and offered by some very smart marketers who can bring all these elements into clear focus for prospective consumers, wooing them with ads, convincing them on price with an ease of delivery that would engage anyone and everyone.  These guys normally win.  Guys like this in the travel world normally win.  We all are familiar with a few of these companies that have branded themselves so well that over the years we don’t even need to see the product, we can hear a song or a slogan and our minds instantly register who it is, what they do and the value proposition they represent. 

Some of these companies deliver on the promises they make in their marketing.  Disney might be the prime example at the top of the travel pyramid.  They are who they are because their product is unique, it is priced right because they basically can get almost any price they charge, and in the world of attraction venues they do it all right.  Few who spend their hard earned money on a Disney product walk away feeling like they didn’t get value for their travel dollar.  The same can’t be said for many other products that tend to over compensate for market trends by applying the 4 P’s in unequal and disproportionate amounts.  Low prices can offset weak products and slick, well placed advertising can offset disproportionately high prices.  In my experience many of the best represented mega brands tend to use their promotion to engineer price more than to simply inform and entice potential consumers.  I remember working for a very large British airline where the CEO told me, “If you tell them you are good long enough, they will believe it, if you tell them your cheap, that is all they will ever remember”.  That could potentially sum up the universal marketing strategy of about 85% of the travel industry.  Some feel they are good and worth more, and some are cheap and can deliver less.  They have convinced themselves that consumers are lemmings and won’t examine the value proposition beyond the information they provide in their marketing.  

My experience tells me that for the most part, they are right.  Travel consumers have convinced themselves that there is little relationship between their physiographic profile (personal passions and preferences) and obtaining value when purchasing travel.  People are giving up their ability to study and understand products beyond the glossy ads and glowing “objective” reviews they receive, and are simply equating that slick promotion with higher value.  Do you really need that private Jacuzzi?  Moreover, would you pay a lot more to have that private Jacuzzi and is the resort earning the money they charge by providing it?  People will spend hours picking out new pillows for their living room and for the most part, sacrifice material construction for cosmetics or fabric quality for lower pricing but when it comes to travel the logic seems completely different.  As travel consumers we want low prices for airline tickets and aren’t all that concerned about little things like, safety.  Seldom does anyone question the credentials of those who man the cockpits and they are almost never aware of the maintenance violations an airline might have unless it hits the six o’clock news.  Of course, we want safety but would you pay more to get it when you could buy the same transportation for less?  It is an interesting question I have often pondered.

It all leads me back to the topic of the 4 P’s and some reminders for would-be travel purchasers.  I recommend you know what you feel is important and purchase that which meets your needs, desires or wishes.  Don’t buy anything based on nice advertising.  The world is a beautiful place and there are some amazing photographers in it that can convince you that staying in a tent on the beach is worth huge sums of money.  Remember to directly equate value for the money you spend.  If you want a Jacuzzi in your room and it costs an extra $150 per night, make sure it is worth that much to you.  If you buy cheap products ensure your expectations are also cheap.  You are way more likely to get what you pay for when you don’t pay all that much than you are when you pay a lot more.  It is most important to remember that travel is an individual experience, like a meal, some would sacrifice anything to have a slice of bread to eat, while most of us would consider that experience mundane.  Above all don’t listen to strangers.  Whether they are the strangers that run big ad agencies or the invisible online authors who don’t know you or what you like or don’t like. 

Make up your own mind.

4 Travel Deals to Oasis Resorts

March 11, 2013

Can I pay a bigger compliment to a hotel than gracing them with my own vacation?  While I am not sure that everyone would think so, I do believe, at the very least my family has always been quite satisfied.  Mexico, despite the constant bad news and horrible press it has gotten is one of the very best destinations for you vacation dollars, in my humble opinion.  I would never take my family to a place that I felt is extremely dangerous or even dangerous beyond other comparable destinations.  You can stay home, watch the cable news networks and literally become so scared and paranoid that you would never venture out of your front door.  The key to traveling safely is awareness and preparation and some of the other well placed commandments I mention in an older blog piece.  Shall I quote?

  1. Know where you are and stay where you belong:  roaming outside of those areas with infrastructure for tourism is risky in Mexico, just as it is in Chicago so don’t go looking for adventure or you might find more than you want.
  2. Don’t buy Drugs:  Yes, don’t buy drugs because usually the people selling them aren’t really the kind of people you want to hang out with and flash money and valuables around.  Many Americans are victims due to their attempts to purchase illegal drugs.
  3. Don’t let the party get out of control:  Getting drunk is bad.  Getting drunk in a foreign place is worse so if you have to party out of control do it in your hotel room not in a public place where others are scouting out potential victims.
  4. Don’t use ATM’s in public places:  Hello, hang a sign on your neck that you have money.
  5. Chill with a group of people:  People that are by themselves, especially at night are more likely to be prospective victims than people in large groups.  This is especially true for women.  Don’t go for long walks alone at night unless you are Chuck Norris.
  6. Spring Break:  Yes, a lot of the crime and deaths in the Cancun area arise from out of control young people who forget life is long, and the party a marathon, not a sprint, so be cool.
  7. Don’t go anywhere with people you don’t know:  Like your Mom told you, strangers can hurt you, better not to trust them then to make a regrettable mistake.
  8. Things are different here:  Everything from the money, to the roads is different than you are used to.  You can’t just expect everyone to abide by rules you are used to so adapt, be alert and be advised that you should expect the unexpected in the streets and on the road.

Sorry to be redundant, I just thought it was worth mentioning again.

 

With the uncleanliness out of the way, let’s talk about a group of hotels in Mexico that I believe offer you an opportunity to have a great trip at a great price, Oasis Resorts.  These hotels are well run and recently revamped, not just in the bed linens and paint department, but in the very spirit of the resorts themselves.  Grand Oasis Cancun has been transformed into a quasi-Vegas style resort, with a Mexican twist.  They have gone from sleepy, seaside mega hotel to the very pinnacle of entertainment for the entire area.  They are bringing in top name entertainers of all types and they have nightly shows that turn the giant pyramid shaped atrium into a choreographed, acrobatic hot spot.  Big names like “Snoop Lion” and DJ Paulie D are rocking this place right now!  So if you’re up for a party, this is the place to be.

Oh yeah, the beach is great, the service is in the upper range of Cancun resorts and the value for the money you spend to get there is phenomenal. 

So if you want to party Oasis style check out some deals that can get you there for less!ImageImageImageM

4 Travel Deals Sivory Punta Cana

March 11, 2013

Just a few words about a great deal on one of my top picks for a quick getaway or a long week on the beach! The Sivory in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic offers traveler the ability to lounge on a fantastic stretch of white beach and enjoy a piece of heaven in the Dominican Republic.

With only 55 suites the Sivory is one of the few boutique hotels amongst the mega resorts in the DR. I have heard nothing but high praise for their service, accommodations, and cuisine. Considering the amount of customers we send there each year it has one of the best reputations and it comes highly recommended by all who have visited.

So if you want to get away, and you’re willing to sacrifice and take some time off work and away from this longer than usual winter then perhaps, just perhaps you should check this place out.
sivory_puj
Of course we have offers that can save you money, but no matter what you spend, I am sure you will be satisfied by this resort.

4 Travel Deals, you have to really want it!

March 9, 2013

Travel Relevance in the face of total Travel Irrelevance

How can anyone make a determination on what is a good deal anymore when purchasing travel? The noise is deafening! So many web marketing companies are mining for gold in the travel space that they have completely bleached the word “deal” into something less that white, it is nearly invisible! Even the savviest in the crowd can’t get a firm handle on where, when and under what restrictions you can gain access to a good place to go, at a good price. The web went from wonderful to wondrous, as you stare wide-eyed into a glaze of deals, deals, deals. I meet and speak to people every day who wouldn’t know a real bargain if it bit them in the butt!
You need to stop, get away from the groups and the people living socially and make up your own mind. There are some really great sites for research and photos and descriptions on just about every destination on earth. Get a feel for what you want to do and how much you would like to spend. With that said, here is my paramount piece of advice: DON’T BE A JERK! Sorry if that was rude but you don’t know how many people I run into that want to buy 6 star luxury for 2 star prices. Yep, they go and come back and rant about how they usually stay here or there, but decided to go for a deal and found it wasn’t here or there, it was somewhere completely different! What a shock.
So if you are realistic, and you can narrow down your choices to a few regions you can go out and shop your deal dreams on a few very powerful websites. This doesn’t mean these are the big, big guys alone, but a few that are in business to deliver high value for money spent.
That is where we come in, we make deals, that is all we do. We live to secure and deliver good deals to the people we do business with. Sure we offer some buy it now type stuff for those who won’t ever understand that in order to get real savings, the process might require a bit more “inconvenience” than on other sites. You might have to wait a while for a confirmation but you really have to understand that our unusual process saves you money at the end of the day. So if you really want something extraordinary, and you are willing to invest a bit more time, then you may be worthy of working with us. If you want to pay more to be with the group, then go right ahead.

4 Travel Deals on Cruises

March 8, 2013

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Ok, so the cruise industry has taken a bit of a public beating lately.  Yeah, we all know that spending time on your vacation marooned on a ship without even the most basic of services isn’t all that much fun and no one wants to be there when something like this happens.  I don’t believe however, that this is the worst thing in the world to have ever happened to a traveler and we have to put some perspective on how many cruise ships there are sailing, every single day, and how many negative incidents are really reported as a result. 

It seems we have to start with the most basic element when it comes to travel, safety.  A fire on a ship is something that should strike fear into the hearts of even the most intrepid amongst us.  It is a very bad thing to have happen.  When you consider that these ships are holding thousands of people, accidents seem to be more of an eventual happening than something that should shock us.  Ovens are going night and day, lights, miles of electrical wires, stages, you name it, and it’s all on a cruise ship.  Like a neighborhood of homes, something is bound to go wrong sometime particularly with all those people milling about, all charged up night and day.  It is literally 5,000 people riding around in a big machine in unpredictable conditions where at any time things can change pretty extremely.  With all of that understood I feel the amount of real incidents has been relatively small.  I personally have been on many, many cruises all without even and insignificant incident.  That doesn’t mean that can’t all change in one second, but that could happen on an airplane, or in a hotel as well.  It seems to me that this latest cruise “catastrophe” did more damage to cruising and the Carnival brand, than to any one, single person on that ship.  If you ask me it could have been way, way worse considering it was a “fire on a cruise ship”!

Well, all of industry insiders know what this means, a new round of price lowering for the cruise industry.  Since Carnival controls about 50% of all cabins globally their attempts to woo back customers with low prices will definitely impact the balance of 2013 and perhaps beyond.  Americans are wonderfully predictable in that they don’t mind endangering themselves as long as they get a really, really good price to do it.  Airlines have recovered from worse catastrophes by using low fares, hotel brands recovered from fatal fires, publicized crimes and other incidents using the same tactics.  So why should cruise lines be any different.  The bottom line is this, things happen when you travel so suck it up, and don’t claim ignorance when something goes wrong. If you ride in a machine, car, plane, boat, whatever, they break down just be happy if it doesn’t happen when you are going 75 MPH on the highway and it’s your brakes, not the toilet in your cabin.

4 Travel Deals Vacation Rentals

March 7, 2013

We know that Vacation Rentals offers travelers some of the best values on accommodations to be found anywhere. With spring and summer coming and so many families looking to “hit the road” we want to make sure you get the most for your money so you can bring along the whole gang and not go broke just paying for hotel rooms. There are thousands of low cost vacation rentals waiting for you in most of the popular destinations, not just in the US but all over the world. These accommodations can range in number of bedrooms and kitchen sizes so you can get as much or as little room as you might need. In destinations like Orlando there are so many locations to choose from at prices that are sure to fit any budget. So if you are looking to save money on your next family getaway, make sure you take a look at all that vacation rentals have to offer before staying anywhere else.Image