Tag Archives: travel

Cruise Ship Health and Safety Website

ID-100156213Nothing beats a summer vacation except a summer vacation on a cruise ship. The cruise ship industry is a multi-billion dollars a year business. African-American spending on leisure travel and hospitality has been estimated from $40 billion to $56 billion. African-American travel in the U.S. is expected to grow 25% over this decade. In addition African-Americans can find cruise ship vacation packages tailored just for us. These cruise ship vacations feature popular black muscians, actors, comedians, athletes and other celebrities. One of the more popular of these cruises is the Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage that is held annually aboard Carnival Cruise Lines.

Arnold Donald, CEO Carnival Cruise Lines

Arnold Donald, CEO Carnival Cruise Lines

In July of 2013 Carnival Cruise Line named Arnold Donald as the first African-American CEO of the company. Carnival Cruise is the worlds largest cruise ship line with more than 120,000 employees and 100 ships for the 10.5 million passengers who sail annually.

But the real issue of cruising has become the safety and health of cruise ship passengers. Cruise ships have become notorious for rapidly spreading illnesses, passenger safety issues, even crime.

Black people, like all cruise passengers, want to know that the ship they are on is clean and safe. If you plan to go on a cruise there are many questions you want to ask and have answered before you pay out your hard earned vacation money.

One place to start doing your research is a website known as Crusie Control. Cruise Control is a research tool for finding issues with individual cruise ships by searching for them by the ship’s name. According to Crusie Control there were over 1,700 passengers stricken by onboard illnesses last year. Other on board incidents include adults and children who have drowned, passsengers falling overboard, rapes and sexual assaults, theft and even murder.  You can read more about cruise ship crime here.

Cruise Control can give you the latest information on the cruise ship you wish to book passage on.  As a potential cruise ship customer you need to do the research to determne if the ship meets your specifications. Crusie Control provides the passenger shopping for a cruise vacation with the following information;

  • The year the ship was built and what company built it.
  • Total capacity.
  • Deck layout.
  • Nation of ship’s registration
  • Its current position and crusie description.
  • Health scores and inspection results with details.
  • Safety reports including serious crime and injuries as reported to the U.S. Coast Guard along with details of the incidents.
  • U.S. Coast Guard inspection with details of the deficiencies found.

Spending money on a crusie ship vacation is like anything else you buy; you have to know what you are getting for your money.  So doing your research before you set foot on board a ship is vital. Millions of passengers set sail on crusie ship vacations every year and they have a safe and enjoyable crusie with no issues whatsoever. But you can take an extra measure of caution by checking out that ship before hand. MarketWatch.com published a list of the cleanest crusie ships of 2014 to help you.

Now you know.

App of the Week -TripIt

TripIt_icon_flatSummer has arrived and people and families all over the country are getting ready for that much needed vacation. The process begins with planning and that is why TripIt is the App of the Week.

A vacation involves planning. Car rentals, hotel reservations, flight plans. All can become an overwhelming task if you are not organized. TripIt brings it all together for you.

To begin with TripIt can organize all your reservations regardless of the airline, hotel or car service.  Once the reservation is made you simply forward the confirmation email to plans@tripit.com and all your reservations are automatically recorded in TripIts’s master itinerary.

TripIt can handle confirmation emails from just about any reservation based service from the moment you leave your home to the moment you return. This includes even railway reservations. Just forward the email and its done. You can also use TripIt on activity planning sites like OpenTable, Evite, Fandango, and StubHub.

You can make changes to any itinerary at will and review your last vacation. TripIt allows you to access your master itinerary on your smartphone, tablet, computer, or other wearable device. Using TripIt you can even access your itinerary offline, while in flight or to avoid roaming charges when traveling abroad.

Other features include:

  • TripIt lets you share all your travel plans with a simple click across social media as well as to the more important people in your life.
  • Sync your travel plans with your personal or private online or mobile calendar automatically. Just sync your trip plans with your calendar of choice. Many different applications support iCal, including Apple iCal (iPhone and iPad), Google Calendar (Android and Gmail), Microsoft Outlook, Sunrise Calendar, and more.
  • Automatically import travel plans from your inbox to your itinerary. No forwarding required.
  • The Traveler Profile remembers everything for you and puts all your important travel documents at your fingertips. The user simply enters all the essential information from your travel documents, like your passport, ID, drivers license, or Global Entry card, for instant access to your documents wherever and whenever your need them.
  • TripIt Traveler Profile centralizes the contacts you need the most like doctors, sitters and other emergency contacts so you can access them while traveling.
  • Traveler Profile lets the user input and store documents for your fellow travelers such as your child’s passport for example. Everyone’s travel information is in one place.
  • All Traveler Profile information is securely encrypted on all devices. A 4-digit PIN is required to access all documents and contacts. More information on TripIt’s security features and policies can be found here.

TripIt is free and available for Apple, Android, Blackberry and Windows platforms



App of the Week – Hopper

icon175x175Nothing is worst than discovering you paid too much for a plane ticket. Airline price models can be all over the place. You might discover you paid more for your seat than the person next to you. That is why Hopper is the App of the Week.

Hopper answers the most aggravating questions like;

  • Is now the best time to book, or is it worth waiting?
  • Which month is it cheapest to travel?
  • Which days are the cheapest to depart and return?
  • Is there a cheaper airport nearby?
  • Is this a good price, or are there better prices out there?

Hopper is an extremely useful app for people who travel or are planning a trip that requires air travel. The app helps you plan ahead on airfare deals, notifies you of price drops and lets you know when to buy.

The app has three important features that help you save money on plane tickets.

  • Price prediction – This feature uses past prices and trends for comparable trips to tell you whether to buy now or wait.
  • Price tracking – The app tracks price drops or predicted price increases and notifies you so that you can decide whether to purchase right away or hold off.
  • Visual reference – For the visual person the Hopper app has a color-coded calendar so you can see which dates are better for  travel.              

According to Hopper they analyze billions of flight prices daily. They claim to have been studying the complexities of flight pricing. Hopper is delivering that expertise to your mobile device to help save you time, cash and headaches of price hunting.

Sometimes the price you find is the best available and Hopper will tell you to grab it. But two-thirds of the time the price for your trip will be lower at some point in the future. According to Hopper in 95 percent of cases the Price Prediction will get you a cheaper flight or at least the same price you found in your initial search.

Hopper states that contrary to what you may believe there’s no best day of the week to buy a plane ticket. Consumers that follow that lose out. Hopper found that through constant monitoring there is often a price 5-10 percent lower even within 24 hours.

Hopper’s Watch a Trip will monitor prices 24/7 for you and alert you of any price change if they drop or are expected to rise. The sooner you start watching airfare prices, the more likely you are to score a deal. On some routes you can save upwards of 40% over the best price from your initial search.

The app also offers tips on how to tweak your travel plans like the dates of travel or airport selections to save you money. After using these adjustments Hopper can show you how much money you saved.  

Hopper is free but only available on Apple.