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Our goal of having a website is to make it user friendly and have it filled with information of interest that isn't readily available elsewhere.
CARIBBEAN CLOTHING WARNING
A word of caution -- the wearing of camouflage or military apparel is illegal in Barbados and clothing will be confiscated and persons charged accordingly.
PRINCESS HITS A HOME RUN - MAKES CRUISING EASIER
Princess has announced that they have successfully implemented new and improved disembarkation procedures. In the past, passengers were instructed to wait patiently in public lounges and disembark the ship by designated group colors. With our new procedures, passengers are asked to meet at a host lounge at a certain time and thereafter are promptly escorted by staff to the gangway for disembarkation. The benefit of this is that our atriums are no longer overcrowded and passengers can better plan their last morning on the ship.
The result is a more relaxed, express process with more happy passengers. This has "got" to be a big improvement.
The staggered embarkation times are determined by the flight departures of each passenger. Therefore, the first group to disembark the ship would be passengers with scheduled morning flights and so on.
We are pleased to report that passenger and crew feedback have been very positive. To date, the program has been implemented fleet-wide, with the exception of Diamond Princess where implementation will depend on the assigned pier while in the Port of Los Angeles and Sapphire Princess, who’ll begin their new procedures at the end of the Asia season.
TRAVEL GUARD TO THE RESCUE ON PASSPORT PROBLEMS
Box score based upon an approval rating of 0 to 100:
Clients applied for passports well in advance of published guideline of U.S. Passport Agency. Applications were shown as being processed when status was checked online. 16 days before scheduled departure date of tomorrow clients personally contacted passport agency, but were denied personal access until magical 14th day prior to departure arrived. Repeated contacts followed with each being answered with conflicting data. Assurances were repeatedly made that passports would be received in plenty of time for tomorrow's scheduled Alaska cruise departure. When promised deadlines were not kept by passport agency, our clients reported problems and we immediately contacted our U.S. Congressman's office, Travel Guard Insurance, the passport agency, and the cruise line.
Several things are apparent:
Thanks Travel Guard!
PASSPORTS A PROBLEM
Unprecedented demand has created a very serious problem for any traveler that plans to travel in the next 6 months to a destination requiring a passport. The passport agency really has no clue as to how they are going to solve the problem of getting passports distributed on time. If you do not have a passport, you should make application immediately by expedited application. This will cost extra, but it improves your chances of receiving passport on time. An ounce of prevention is certainly worth a pound of cure. The passport agency has a telephone number you can contact "within 2 weeks" of departure if you do not have a passport. However, this has not been working satisfactorily. If the travel requiring a passport has been purchased from our full time travel professionals, you should feel free to contact us. We make no guarantees, but we do have several methods of overriding the que system of the passport agency that can place you "ahead of the pack" of people waiting for their passports. It's serious -- don't delay -- apply only on expedited basis. Ask questions. We are here to help. To check the status of any pending passport application click here and follow the instructions. You will go to the Travel Resources page of our website. At this page click on "U.S. Passports" and then click on the "online status check" button. Questions?? Ask us!
INTERESTING TRAVEL HAPPENINGS
UPCOMING PRINCESS GODMOTHERS -- Princess' most traveled passenger, Lorraine Artz, will name the Royal Princess on June 14 in Portofino, Italy. Artz spends ten months of every year on Princess vessels; before it was transferred to P&O Cruises, she spent 17 years sailing with the former Royal Princess. "Cruising is my life," she said.
PRINCESS NAMES NEWEST SHIP -- the 116,000-ton, 3,100-passenger Emerald Princess, was named in a ceremony in Piraeus, Greece, near Athens on Mother's Day, May 12. The ship was christened by two onscreen mother-daughter duos, Florence Henderson, best known as Carol Brady on "The Brady Bunch", and her television daughter Susan Olsen, who played Cindy Brady; and Marion Ross, also known as Marion Cunningham on "Happy Days", and her onscreen daughter Erin Moran, who played Joanie Cunningham. Princess executives, local dignitaries and passengers on a 12-day Mediterranean voyage onboard the vessel attended the event.
OUR TRAVELERS' CORNER
TERESA MACY APPEARS IN MARCH/APRIL ISSUE OF AAA MAGAZINE -- The membership magazine of the AAA organization is "Journeys." A special feature is where members have their picture taken while on vacation holding an issue of the publication. Teresa was recently a member of a Please Go Away™ Vacations tour of South Africa and had her picture taken in Shakaland. Her photo appears on page 12 of the issue. Check it out by clicking Photo Gallery.
PAULA NAMED CRUISE COMMODORE -- Representing our entire organization, Paula has recently completed an extensive 6-month course of Princess Cruises enhancing the knowledge our team possesses with the many changes that are currently taking place in the cruise industry. A minimum of 25 separate and intensive classes were taken, tested on, and successfully passed. In addition, a comprehensive and extensive final test also had to be taken and successfully passed. For those few professionals throughout North America that have achieved the successful conclusion of the intensive schooling, a coveted "Commodore" designation was granted by Princess Cruises. This means benefits to you in that our organization has maintained its favored status with the cruise line, and is privy to inside information not available to the general travel industry. These include "first announcement" on such things as: cruise specials, new itinerary announcements, and special benefits available only to our clients.
NEWS YOU CAN USE
PASSPORT LAWS HAVE CHANGED -- For latest updates on this and other travel questions go to our special information section at TRAVEL RESOURCES.
AIRPORT SECURITY UPDATE -- Obtain special free report we have compiled for you. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
INDIVIDUAL TRAVELER OPPORTUNITIES -- We presently have 16 different 2011 tour departures that have individual travelers (persons desiring to share accommodations with person of same gender to save single supplement costs) already reserved. Current listing of destinations and gender openings available at email@example.com
KANSAS BIRTH CERTIFICATES -- To obtain a certified copy of your birth certificate in the quickest possible fashion you may either call Kansas State Department of Health & Environment, Division of Vital Statistics at 785-296-1400; or visit their website at www.kdheks.gov/vital. The website is 24/7, while regular office hours for phone and credit card usage are 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Cost is $12.