Posts Tagged With: Point-to-Point

There are 12 articles tagged with “Point-to-Point” published on this site.


If you’ve ever used a Kodak Retina folding camera or a Rolleiflex twin-reflex, you’ve been obsessed with photography for a long time.

Retinas were to Eastman Kodak what Cadillac was to General Motors. For 55 years, from 1934 to 1969, these German-made 35mm folding bellows cameras were at the top of the camera food chain. They had f2.8 or f3.5 50mm lenses—just like many cameras made today—and were the ultimate choice for vacationers seeking a camera they could take to Europe or the family cottage. Retinas could fold up to fit in a jacket pocket or purse. Models in good condition can take great photos today with 35mm film. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Ever Dreamed of Running Away to Sea?

If you want to spend much of your life cruising on small ships (less than 1500 passengers), it helps to be very old or wealthy. At least, this is common wisdom, but some investment syndicates are trying to level the playing field by making frequent cruises available to many of us.

Right now, the residential cruise ship called The World seems to be the only proven model for people making their homes at sea on a small ship. The World was commissioned about 20 years ago by Canadian hotel investors. The original idea was to combine high-end condos and luxurious hotel suites onboard a vessel that would circle the globe. The hotel revenues would offset the ship’s operating costs, making the residences more affordable.

According to stories written at the time, the project failed. Some say it was because the expectations of the condo owners weren’t Read the rest of this entry »

Coastal Cruises Become a More Attractive Option

As a veteran of more than 40 international cruises, I used to turn up my nose whenever someone suggested that I sail from domestic ports. The only exceptions I ever made were a cruise to Iceland from New York City; a repositioning cruise to Japan that left from Seattle; one to South America that departed from Los Angeles; and two from Miami that sailed to Europe.

I reasoned that, if I was going to kill a night flying from LAX to a departure port and have an after-dinner drink and a Zolpidem tablet after dessert, I could just as easily wake up in Europe, Asia, or Australia as on the east coast of the US. Honestly, you don’t notice the difference—especially if you fly Business or Premium Economy.

After having two international jaunts canceled last year, and considering the possibility of the military crises in Europe broadening before I could sail again, I rethought these views. I booked a Fall Foliage Cruise from NYC to New England, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Montreal for a client and us. It’s only 12 nights, but with overnight stays in NYC and Montreal, the trip will be nearly the Read the rest of this entry »

In 30 years of involvement with the travel industry, I thought travel insurance was one product on which I could always count. My awakening occurred last year when one of my clients and I canceled a repositioning cruise from Japan to Alaska by way of Siberia.

Although Japan was closed entirely to cruisers, and the CDC said visiting Japan was unsafe, the cruise line wouldn’t officially cancel the cruise. This enabled them to defer providing refunds and permitted them to keep the $200 penalty guests had to pay if they canceled the cruise themselves. The $200 penalty caused our insurance company (one of the leading travel insurers sold by travel advisors) to deny our request to “roll” our insurance payments to a future cruise. The cruise line eventually returned our deposit, less the $200 fee, but the insurance company was adamant about keeping our entire deposits.

The insurance company representative argued that the $200 penalty exposed their firm to future claims I might make. I replied that neither my client nor I sought a refund on the insurance. I even said I would waive my rights to make future claims.

Everyone on this cruise who had bought insurance through this company and canceled the voyage had been charged the $200 fee. All those cruisers were being ruled Read the rest of this entry »

Two Disruptions for the Cruise Industry

When the curtain comes down on the 2022-2023 cruise season, the two most influential cruises lines for the rest of the decade may be Azamara and American Cruise Lines. Azamara has been leading the charge towards port-intensive cruising, and American Cruise Lines is introducing a dozen new ships that may change cruising forever.

Azamara’s Port-Intensive Cruising Experiences

Even when owned by Royal Caribbean, what set Azamara apart from the other premium ship brands was its emphasis on what it called “port-intensive cruising.” This means scheduling one or more overnight stops in nearly all their cruises. By typically scheduling at least 36 hours ashore for these intensive port stops, guests can often schedule as many as five Read the rest of this entry »

Elevate every sense at the magical Six Senses Zil Pasyon. The only property on Félicité Island it offers the ultimate in privacy, luxury and wellness. Sitting amid massive granite rocks and coral beaches with 28 one-bedroom pool villas and three to four bedroom residences all with inspiring design and ultra sleek finishes.

The Pasyon pool villa sized at 2,150 square feet comes with private infinity pools with a sunken inside bed. The large outside deck with a sunbed and dining table is the ideal space to lounge while in your own sanctuary. The villas are located on both sides of the resort offering sunrise or sunset views from Read the rest of this entry »

The picture isn’t bright for travel advisors selling small luxury cruises on brands such as Regent, Seabourn, Crystal, Silversea, Viking Ocean, Oceania, Ponant, and Windstar. Most haven’t seen a decent payday in the past two years. Many have gone into debt trying to keep the doors open by spending countless unpaid hours processing cancellations, rebooking, and trying to attract new clients when they have little to sell.

The cruise industry sages predicted that Asia, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Canada would open to cruise ships carrying fewer than 1300 guests long before now. Then, along came omicron and problems with the domestic airlines. Recent reports of hundreds of infected crew members from the resort ships in the Caribbean being warehoused on other cruise vessels refute the cruise lines’ contention that cruising is now safe. Read the rest of this entry »

This week, I was able to go into a local pharmacy in West Los Angeles and walk out with a half-dozen Flowflex COVID-19 Antigen Home Tests for $98.00. The staff in the pharmacy had stacked the tests near the register in plain sight, and the pharmacists asked people to buy no more than six tests at a time. There were no lines to purchase the kits, and the staff had not taken special precautions to prevent them from being stolen.

Yesterday, as another indicator of a better future, a healthcare executive we know walked into a pharmacy and got a fourth vaccine shot. He’s well informed about COVID-19 and is following the Israeli regimen that was implemented this week of providing a second booster four months after the first one. The Israelis make the second booster available for anyone who is over 60 or immune-compromised Read the rest of this entry »

Triple-Vaxxed Is the New Standard for Many Travelers

On Friday, one of my doctors asked me, during a regular video appointment, “Have you gotten your third shot?” I replied, “No, I didn’t think I was eligible yet.” He told me that the latest CDC recommendation to doctors states:

People with weakened immune systems are more likely to get COVID-19 than people with normal immune systems. And if they get infected, they are more likely to get seriously ill and spread the virus to other people in their homes.

The CDC is pushing the notion that only “immunocompromised” people are eligible for a third shot right now Read the rest of this entry »

​Last week, the CEO of American Airlines, Doug Parker said that checking passengers for proof of vaccination wouldn’t be physically possible on domestic flights without causing enormous delays to the airline system.

It’s tempting to compare Mr. Parker’s statements to similar ones made by tobacco and asbestos CEOs, who insisted that health authorities should not regulate their products. What he probably should have said was,“Without some form of proof that a person is vaxxed, and streamlined airport procedures, it isn’t physically possible for domestic flights to check passengers for proof of vaccination.”

Many of the problems airlines and airports encounter involving COVID-19 could be prevented if passengers couldn’t enter either without verified vaccination credentials and a one-minute COVID antigen swab test, or a breath analyzer test at a TSA security portal. Read the rest of this entry »

Last week, I flew roundtrip from Los Angeles to Oakland to see my grandson and his parents. It was my first time in the air in more than a year. Here’s a report card on how everyone did.

Southwest Airlines: Grade B-

Southwest was nearly the same as it was pre-pandemic. Fast on-time flights, courteous service by flight attendants with a sense of humor, and reasonable prices. Except for wearing masks on the flights, it was like the Delta variant of COVID-19 didn’t exist.

Because my wife and I are both fully vaxxed, but are “Infected Flier Hesitant,” we took an aisle and window seat in the front of the plane and put this sign on the middle seat between us. Read the rest of this entry »

 

For at least the last decade, most cruise lines have devoted themselves to nurturing a younger clientele. The dream has been to capture cruisers in midlife and hold on to them for the next 30-40 years. Now, COVID-19 is turning this strategy on its head.

Most international ports are on the verge of welcoming Americans warmly, if everyone on the ships (crew members and guests alike) are vaccinated and eager to spend money on meals, excursions and hotels. As an essential plus, most seniors are already vaxed and—according to several recent surveys—want to sail on ships on which everyone is vaxed. The following statistics were based on data reported last week by The New York Times. Read the rest of this entry »