Monthly Archives: August 2010

Who says "Bigger is Better"?

Bigger is not always Better!
Americans tend to want everything BIG! Big houses, big cars, big sandwiches….(Okay, get your mind out of the gutter!) …and big cruise ships. But is “Bigger really Better?” I think when people put an emphasis on wanting something “Bigger”, they loose sight of the special qualities that make “smaller” things amazing. For example:
Expedition vs Porsche
Mansion vs Small Cottage by the sea
Boeing 747 vs Brazillian Jet
Big Mac vs Sliders
Hot Dog w/the Works vs the Cocktail Weenie

Get my point? Small things are just as special (if not MORE) than Bigger things…it just depends on what you want to get out of it. Cruise Ships are the same. Sure, GINORMOUS Cruise Ships such as Royal Caribbean’s “Oasis of the Seas”, Celebrity’s Solstice or NCL’s “Epic” do offer amazing options. The size of the ship is enticing, and they really are incredible.

I have often said to friends that “If someone goes on a Super Size Cruise Ship and doesn’t have a good time, they must be a drag… because there is something to please everyone”. Entertainment, dining, sports, shopping, gambling, spa & more! So easy to have fun, relax and do whatever you want. The Newest, Biggest Cruise Ships are definitely awesome. But what about the smaller ships?

At one time, THEY were the Biggest & Best. Now considered “Small” and “Older”, do they stand up to the task of impressing guests? (Again, Keep that mind out of the gutter!) I say “Absolutely!” Smaller ships offer the same activities that Bigger ships offer & many attributes that larger ships don’t. In fact, smaller ships actually go overboard (no pun intended) to impress guests. One big plus – Service tends to be a bit more intimate (bartenders & waiters know your name & your favorites!) and special. And Cruise Lines do pamper the “Old Girls” with facelifts to keep them young and fresh, while retaining the classic style we know and love. Some of my favorites – “The Celebrity Century”, Royal Caribbean’s “Majesty of the Seas” & “Grandeur of the Seas” & The “Sun Princess”. I have sailed on these ships many times before and each time more impressive then the last!

So, don’t be fooled by the size of the ship, after all, Small Ships stand right up to the Big Ships, offering a slightly different, but equally impressive vacation experience!

Want to compare ships? Click HERE!

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Filed under Celebrity Cruises, Cruise, luxury cruise, Majesty of the Seas, Oasis, Oasis of the Seas, royal caribbean, small ships, travel

The Angry Steward & the Carry-on Luggage

“I’ve Had Enough of Carry-on Luggage!”
In case you are one of the 10 people in America that hasn’t heard of the Flight Attendant who just “Had Enough”, let me update…

Steven Slater, a 38 year old Jet Blue flight attendant, decided “enough is enough” after his flight landed at JFK Airport on Monday. Slater cursed the passenger (dropping the “F bomb” 3 times) over the intercom, grabbed beers from the galley, deployed the emergency slide and walked away from the plane!

Although stories about exactly what happened change by the minute ( 2 women fought over storage bins space resulting in Slater getting hit on the head & a woman passenger who was forced to check her bag was enraged upon landing that her bag was not immediately available and proceeded to curse him)… I can just imagine what happened, because I have seen it hundreds of times! It all comes down to CARRY-ON LUGGAGE!

Air travel has changed. Years ago everyone checked their bags and overhead space was used for blankets and pillows (luxuries long forgotten on planes) and the occasional SMALL carry-on bag used by the consummate business traveler. I believe that passengers began carrying on ALL of their luggage in an effort to shorten travel experience (not having to wait for the baggage handlers to deliver the baggage in typical union style “snail delivery”).

The amount of luggage brought aboard planes has created many issues, along with a lot of stress. Ridiculously long boarding times add to the frustration. (I would rather wait at the baggage terminal then have to board a plane and sit for an extra 45 minutes!)

I have sat on planes as many flights board and watched how passengers behave as they heave luggage and squeeze the bags into the overhead bins. One thing I have noticed is that passengers in the rear often store their luggage in the bins in the front of the plane (for ease when they exit). Common sense will tell you that this will inevitably cause an issue when the passengers who are sitting in the front actually board last and there is no room for their carry-on and they are forced to check their bag.

I have often mentioned it to the flight attendants, who could easily solve the issue by making sure that everyone stores bags above their own seat. But I have never had a flight attendant actually make that effort. So, I watch and wait for the inevitable angry passenger.

Let’s face it, we are not all friends on that plane. Each passenger is only interested in making their own life easier. Like a bunch of children in a classroom. But kids have rules in class. They cannot just drop their backpacks anywhere, they cannot just skip the line, they cannot speak rudely to the teacher and they have to be respectful of each other. Like teachers, flight attendants should be there to make sure that the rules are followed that best benefit the whole group. I know it is more work for them, but in the end would make everything much more pleasant if we KNEW the rules and HAD to follow them.

I understand Slaters frustration. I have met those obnoxious, angry passengers. I have often wanted to stand up and drop the “F bomb” at them and I would have loved to actually hear a flight attendant do it over the intercom! (I actually applaud Slater for not opening the emergency slide and pushing the woman down it!)

But in the end, the Carry-on Luggage is the culprit, the stressor. If the attendants don’t make the rules and enforce them rigidly, there will always be stressful situations. I say, either enforce the rules or ban carry-on luggage. It is that simple.

Oh…and by the way, next time passengers are held captive on the tarmac for hours & are enduring extreme frustration…maybe WE should grab a beer and slide off the plane!

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Filed under Cruise, flight attendant, Girls Travel, jet blue, jfk, luggage, slater, steve slater