Focus On Cruising

Exploring the Wonderful World of Cruise Ships

Accidents Happen

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MSNBC.com carries an interesting story today.  In a letter to their travel columnist, a reader reports on an unfortunate accident that resulted in the writer and the writer’s partner cancelling their first cruise.  Both travellers, excited by the adventure that lay ahead, arrived in Miami 2 days prior to their ship’s departure.  The first night, the writer fell in a park and suffered several leg fractures.  Immediate surgery was indicated.  The disappointed cruisers flew home.

Once home, they threw themselves on the mercy of Carnival Cruise Lines, at the suggestion of their online travel agency.  Carnival has offered the couple the equivalent of 50% of their cruise fare as on board credit to be used on the next cruise they purchase from the line.  This response, characterized by the letter writer as “utterly unacceptable”, is what elicited the written plea for help.

I have no idea which online agency the writer used, or how prominently the website encourages travel insurance.  I do think it is probably easier to ignore the suggestion on the screen than it is when someone expresses that admonition verbally.  This is, in any case, a painful and disappointing situation that could have been ameliorated to a certain extent by travel insurance.

In 23 years of selling travel, an important point has been hammered home time and time again  –  life happens.  No matter how certain a traveller may be that nothing is going to keep them from their trip, there are no guarantees.  I strongly suggest travel insurance for substantial travel expenses.  I’ve watched too many close calls, significant losses avoided by the simple act of purchasing insurance.  I’ve also sadly watched some clients lose thousands of dollars because they decided travel insurance wasn’t worth the cost.  Spend a little bit more, be prudent, buy insurance.

You can find the article here.

Technorati Tags: cruises, travel insurance

The Challenge

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This post is a bit of a departure.   Instead of writing about cruising, I’m going to write about…writing about cruising.  I started this blog last November for a number of reasons.  I wanted to express the enjoyment I experienced on board cruise ships, and I wanted to share what I’ve learned in over 20 years of advising clients on travel.  These are the outward reasons.  On a personal level, it’s also an opportunity to push the boundaries, to venture outside of my comfort zone.

The process has been enjoyable and rewarding.  I like the idea that someone may stumble upon this blog and, perhaps, enjoy what they read.  Other bloggers have asked permission to reprint my articles on their blogs, not all in English.  It’s exciting to think that something I wrote can be discovered by readers anywhere in the world.

Recently, a rather significant opportunity has been presented to me.  I’ve been asked to write for another travel website, one far larger than my little site.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I find this fairly daunting.  Since I can post directly to the site, there is the concern that I’ll do something wrong and wreak havoc with the site.  Once I decided that I was unlikely to do that, I submitted several news articles.  These articles were straightforward and factual, however, requiring very little writing ability or personal imput.

Eventually, I knew that I had to write an article that expressed something personal.  All the doubts loomed – would they like it?  is this what they want?  am I good enough?  My resistance was palpable.  I dragged my feet, occupying myself with mundane tasks rather than writing.  One of my mentors reminded me that resistance is always greatest just prior to a significant change.  That helped.  I quieted my fears and doubts as well as I could and wrote the article.  You can read it here.  I welcome and encourage your comments.

Technorati Tags: blogs, cruises, writing