“Why DO I Have to Put My Seat back Up for Takeoff?”

Jayne Waterbury & John Walker - Continental Flight Attendants

So I am sitting on a Continental flight (Love Continental Airlines) and after 30 plus years of flying I just learned something. (I always say you are never old to learn a new trick!)

As a rebel at heart, I always wondered “why do you have to put your seats in an upright position and stow everything under your seat for take off and landing”.  I always got annoyed when they wouldn’t even let me hold my pocketbook on my lap!

Does anyone know the answer to that? I sure didn’t.  Well, NEWSFLASH!  While waiting to take off on my Continental flight to visit parents, I came across the inflight magazine and a pilot’s Q & A answered my question.  I actually felt like an idiot!  It was such an obvious answer…but I had not thought of it…..

ANSWER:

Most flight accidents take place during take off and landing.  In case of emergency, it is extremely important that the aisles are absolutely clear so everyone can evacuate quickly.  I mean, imagine that 100 women have pocket books on their laps..the plane jolts…the pocketbooks go flying…landing in pathways of freedom!  OH… I GET IT NOW!

Considering that, it totally makes sense that the seats be in an upright position too.  Reclined airline seats can definitely impede someone even getting up to go to the bathroom let alone needing to evacuate suddenly!  I can testify to that at this very moment as the woman in front of me has reclined her seat fully and my laptop is currently sitting on my chest! (Try to remember that someone is sitting behind you and be courteous.)

Now I totally understand.  It is all about the escape route and keeping it clear.

Took me 30 plus year…but thank you Captain Mike Bowers.   Now instead of feeling inconvenienced, I will feel like I am doing the responsible thing!  And as usual on a Continental flight, the Flight Attendants are always so nice!  Once again, I’ve encountered professionalism along with friendliness & humor in Jayne Waterbury & John Walker on my Continental Flight # 1845.  I mean, how can I be “a rebel” to such nice people.

Have any other questions?  Write Captain Bowers at askthePilot@united.com .   And be patient…even if you don’t understand the stupid rules!  There is usually an underlying reason…..

My Rebel attitude will have to take a break…I would rather fly safe!

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Guest Post from Girlfriendology.com

All I ever needed to know … Girlfriend Cruise Edition!

Guest post from Girlfriendology.com – Great source for all things “Friends”! 

"Girls on Horseshoe Beach"

Wish you could have joined us on our Girlfriend Cruise to Bermuda with GirlsonaCruise.com!

It was an amazing seven days with fabulous female friends – new and not so new. We sailed to beautiful Bermuda on board the Celebrity Summit. We met wonderful women from all over the U.S. who ‘get’ them importance of getting away with their girlfriends!

Here’s updates on our Girlfriend Cruise travels –

You know how they say: ‘Everything I needed to know, I learned in Kindergarten?’ Well, after spending a week with the wonderful women on our girlfriend cruise to Bermuda, I think there is much to learn from women in our lives. Like these life lessons from the ‘ladies of leisure’ on the Celebrity Summit:

  • Sometimes you just gotta hang out with your girlfriends! Kids, husbands, relationships, jobs, responsibilities and schedules were all left back in the U.S. when we debarked for Bermuda – and it was a very good thing. Quality time with girlfriends, I personally find, and witnessed other women who agree, was an amazing opportunity to ‘get back to our true selves.’ It’s wonderful how the laughter, conversations, smiles and overall happiness just take over your whole outlook on life. We definitely experienced some great ‘girlfriend therapy’ just by spending a little quality time with other women.
  • Girlfriends NEED each other. Two of the women in our group are cancer survivors (who met on a cancer survivor cruise previously). They expressed deep appreciation and even the medicinal value of spending time with their girlfriends. We women don’t just enjoy time with our friends, we NEED them. We need their friendship, support and guidance. Thankfully we’re there for each other.
  • It’s wonderful to feel totally accepted. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t think I’ve been in public in a bathing suit in a decade (seriously!). It was wonderful to feel so totally accepted and comfortable with a group of girlfriends that it didn’t matter if I held in my stomach or had the cutest suit. We just enjoyed each other’s company – as we are.
  • Laughing together is medicinal. The conversations we had, funny secrets we shared, stores we told – all bonded us through our life experiences and lessons. There is nothing like laughing with female friends with whom you feel so comfortable and happy. Laughing, and friendship, is VERY good.
  • A helpful, fabulous girlfriend-in-charge makes traveling even more fun! We were so lucky to travel with a great cruise director (who arranges cruises for girlfriend trips and other groups) – Janet DeVito of GirlsonaCruise.com. From giving us ‘noodles’ to float on in the Atlantic, to hand-written notes on our door, to making sure our happy hour and dinner conversations were always inclusive and amusing, Janet is a pro in making it a great girlfriend cruise! Check out this video she made:

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Girls Getaway to Bermuda – Day 1 thru 3

Girls Cruise – Celebrity Summit to Bermuda

I’m sitting by the pool on the third day of our Girls Getaway Cruise to Bermuda. The weather is what I consider “stunning”! The only complaint is that it is a “bit” warm. But still stunning! I am relaxing and contemplating when it is appropriate to have my first drink for the day…and then I think “It’s noon somewhere!” And for our GirlsonaCruise.com it is always noon!

Day 1:

So 2 days ago we sailed out of Bayonne NJ on the Celebrity Summit and I met the 16 girls who are in our Girls Getaway group. I knew 4 of them before this trip, but hadn’t met the others including Debba from Girlfriendology. I must say, after years of putting these Girls trips together, I have never once met someone who wasn’t nice & fun. Maybe it is because the type of Girl who chooses to travel with a group of other women that they don’t know MUST have a fun, adventurous personality! Whatever the reason…I love that this always holds true! We had a pre-dinner party and had an “ice breaker” type event so everyone could get to know a bit about each other. I always worry that someone will say “OMG, I am NOT doing that!” But as I said, this group always attracts people who actually like to met new people. I would tell you what we did….but I don’t want to spoil the surprise for all “future Girls cruisers!” Just trust me…it was fun! Dinner was delicious. The best item on the menu was the “Mushroom Cappicino” A favorite of mine. Everyone loved the food and the service was also great. I sat with Debba (from Girlfriendology) and other women I had just met but had plenty to talk about and so much in common even though we all just met. Everyone was off to bed early after dinner. I would say the first day was exhausting, exciting and the apprehension of meeting everyone was over. We are off to another great Girls Getaway Cruise!! Whooo Hoooo! Okay, so I admit…Connie and I went to Michaels Club and talked till wee hours over drinks. (Hey, isn’t that what us girls do? Talk, and Talk, and Talk……) 

Day 2:

Pool anyone? Sun anyone? ME ME ME ME!!! Connie and I woke up early to Coffee and tea room service. Did the obligatory walking on the Sunrise Deck (3 laps = 5/8 mile….so we did 6) to get the blood flowing. Although somehow walking around the deck of the ship with the sea breeze and the fresh air doesn’t seem like exercise it clearly is. Walking in the morning is a great way to start the day. After perusing the breakfast buffet and grabbing some lox and a bagel, I headed back to the room to shower and change into my uniform – BATHING SUIT AND COVER UP. Yes, that is my uniform for the next week. I wish it could be my uniform everyday…but then I wouldn’t appreciate the week on a vacation. Then it is out to the pool. I got everything I need – beach bag, sun screen, book, hat and camera (I must have it at all times, you never know what will happen that I need to remember!). And that is where I spent the whole second day. Hanging by the pool with the Girls! And what did we do? Talk, Talk, Talk…Laugh, Laugh, Laugh. Yep, we probably shouldn’t have been so loud in the Thallasso Therapy Spa pool, but how can you stop laughing when we are being tossed around like dolls as the water seems like a wave pool. Oh well… I spent an hour in the iLounge checking emails and writing my hubby and then it was of to shower for our pre-dinner cocktail party. Okay…funny story…I left to go to the party early with Jeananne and we ordered a drink at the Champagne Bar and waited for everyone. An hour later, no one showed. We couldn’t figure it out. We decided to stroll to another lounge and saw everyone else sitting in Michaels club. Of course, I had to laugh because I am the one who set up the party, and there I sat at the wrong place with Jeananne for an hour while everyone else had a blast! Oh well, all is not lost because I got to know Jeanann! Another awesome dinner (everyone at our table got the rack of lamb and it was fabulous!) After dinner…we hit the disco. Danced and laughed until 1 am. What a blast! A definite do-over tonight!! (I will try to get pics too!)

It is now day 3. I sit in the sun writing this. Connie and I are in the groove. We have our routine down pat! Morning coffee – walking – pool. But the day holds alot of surprises. I will write all about it tomorrow! Oh and Happy Birthday to my Hubby! It is his bday today!

janet

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Weekly Cruise Deals for May 2nd

Great deals this week in Travel!!  Royal Caribbean’s WOW sale and Pandomonium Summer Event!

NCL’s “Kids Cruise Free” sale if booked this week!

Watch video for details and then visit www.jdevito.cruiseone.com to book today!

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Planning a Girls Getaway?

Rules #1 & #2

Rule #1 for a Girls Getaway –

DO NOT invite the Girls who can’t understand the invitation for a “Girls Getaway” (okay…a bit of sarcasm!).  

A classic example of a “Girls Getaway Gone Wrong” happened on the Real Housewives of Orange County when Vicky planned a Girlfriend Getaway to Fort Lauderdale… and most of the women showed up with their husbands!  To top it off, when Vicky got upset, the other women just didn’t get it!  Why?

Seriously, why would Vicky go out of her way to plan a Girls Getaway?  (Think real hard now) The answer is  -” TO GET AWAY WITH THE GIRLS!”  What don’t they get about that?  I thought that statement was completely self-explanatory…and I totally thought that they were rude to just ignore it and bring the GUYS.

I was yelling at the TV screen when I watched that episode.  I totally understood why Vicky was so mad!  There is something very special about “time away with the Girlfriends” that just isn’t the same when half of the group is “couples”.  It would destroy the “girly” atmosphere of any Girls Getaway.  

 Lesson #2 for a Girls Getaway –

Choose the right venue & atmosphere for the Girlfriends Getaway that allows choice, but makes it easy.

The best aspect of Vicky’s Girls Getaway Vicky was that she planned the whole event, day by day, activity by activity…all the way down to dinners.  She could easily get away with that & be in total control as she was paying for everything. But that is usually NOT the case when a group of girls travel.  Everyone has different budgets, desires and ideas of what they want to do, which can lead to catastrophe!

I recently did a Girls getaway to Los Angeles and the 5 days were filled with “Where do you want to have lunch?” “What time do you want to go shopping?”  “We have plans for dinner so you can’t get your hair blown out?”   Of course, I was not “the boss” as everyone was paying for themselves…and that led to half of our time spent discussing / debating all of this.  Don’t get me wrong, I still had a great time…but “ideally” life would have been easier without having to make plans!  AND that could have been accomplished by a change of venue.

The most important factor that goes into selecting the best place to have a Girls Getaway?  Go to a place where everyone can be together yet also have space so each girl can do their own thing. It is essential to take the “thinking & planning” out of the equation once you arrive at your destination.  Choice is essential, but should be a pleasure, not a major decision!  Free time should be spent having fun, relaxing & laughing!

My favorite picks for a Girls Getaway is a Cruise or an All-inclusive Resort. Both offer an easy vacation with a super wide menu of activities all within easy reach.  Shopping, Gym, Spa, Dining Options, Pools, Beach, Entertainment and more!  And the best is that on any particular ship or at any particular resort there are accommodations to suit every budget…and every woman will STILL be able to participate in the same activities!  A cruise has the added feature of being able to satisfy everyone with visits to different ports of call.  That is what it is all about Girls, taking the decisions away from the day to day and making it easy!

Options + Options + Options + Ease = A great “Girls Getaway”!

(And please remember the key word –  “GIRLS”!)

For Fun, Carefree Girls Getaway options….go to “GirlsonaCruise.com” 

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Cruise & Travel Deals of the Week!

April 4, 2011 Last Minute Cruise Deals

Confused by all of the offers and websites on the internet?   Sometimes it can be overwhelming!

Just remember…”The internet is for looking, your Travel Specialist is for booking!”

When you are spending money on a vacation, it is important that it is the right “fit” for you.  Every Cruise ship and Resort has a unique personality and it is my job to match your personality up with the perfect vacation!  As a Travel Specialist, I can clear the confusion and make your life easier (and happier!).

Don’t make planning a vacation become a huge headache…

Check here for Weekly deals and then call me to make your life easier!

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Port of Call of the Week – St Martin

A video says a thousand words!!  Need I write more?

Some people say “I have already done that itinerary.  I want to see other islands.”

I say that the great thing about going to the same port many times is knowing exactly “What” you want to do when you get there.  It really is much more enjoyable when you don’t feel pressured to see everything and you can spend all day doing your favorite thing on the island.  In St Martin, our favorite thing to do is spend the day at Orient Beach…more specifically “Coco’s Beach”.   Of course you can go on an excursion to Orient Beach, but then you will be like a herd of cows (not a literal picture!) and not feel special.  Take my advice…take a cab to Coco’s and feel the difference!

Sure…you could go to Kontiki’s, Waikiki (totally expensive!) or Bikini Beach, but you won’t feel the intimate friendly service.  As with any restaurant or resort, service is always key…and at Cocos the employees really care.  You can feel it.  And I attribute that to the owner Sophie.  She is hands on and a part of the experience.  You can always count on the food being fabulous, the service being top notch and the “after lunch specialty rum” being …oh how can I say “rumilicious!” (is that a word?!)

Look for the Periwinkle umbrellas and THAT is Coco’s.  I recommend the lobster salad, the Rigaletto Pizza or the grilled chicken (devito style!).  Ask for Phillipe, Roman and Sophie and tell them Janet & Frank sent you…and don’t forget to say “Bonjour!”

Take a cruise to St Marten, stay at one of our fav hotels (Alamanda or Esmeralda) or renta villa (Casa Lana, Coccinelle or Dolce Vita – depending on your budget)….but just GO!  I have been going there for over 25 years and love it!

For more tips on St marten and booking that special vacationClick Here!

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Flight Attendants Make a Difference

 

Carlos - "What every flight attendant should be"

As an avid traveler for so many years, and then becoming a travel agent…I fly frequently.  I love air travel as a means to reaching destinations rather than auto travel.  On a whole, I think that Airlines attempt to  satisfy customers.  But as they say in life, “You can’t please everybody!”  However, the other rule of business is “The Customer is always right!”  Considering the “things that can go wrong, and the things that will go wrong”..being a flight attendant is a true test of Customer service. After all, even in the worst Customer Service situation, the customer usually storms out of the place….that is not an option on an airplane!

Now, I am not saying that there isn’t anything to complain about on an airplane.Strictly from a passengers view, there is so much to complain about when traveling by plane…

  • The seats are too small
  • We had to sit on the plane for 1 hour before taking off
  • It is so hot!  It is freezing!
  • The passengers in the rear have taken up all the overhead space in the front!
  • The food is worse than TV dinners!   Now you must pay for that bad food!
  • The guy in front of me reclined his seat the whole time!
  • My TV screen doesn’t work.

All of these complaints are valid, and the airline executives are for the most part immune to these daily complaints.  But unfortunately it is the people on the front line (the Cabin Attendants) who are FULLY aware of these inconveniences and problems.  In fact, the airline executives are counting on the Attendents to “fix” it.

As a passenger I have seen it all.  I have seen passengers & Flight attendents act rudely.  I have actually been a bit offended by many flight attendants reactions to passengers.  But as in any other profession, it is always that one person that stands out in the crowd and truely does his best.  On Continental flight #1867 from Newark to LA there was a serious issue with a passenger that was irrupting quickly.  Flight attendant Carlos went above and beyond what training could have ever taught him.  He resolved the issue without making the passenger angrier and actually calmed him down.  There were other incidences on the plane that were verging on volitile and he handled with grace and strength.

I do appreciate that in stressful situations (and most people are stressed when they fly) it is important to have people like Carlos in charge.  I would like to say Thank You to Carlos.  I only hope that on my future flights, Carlos is waiting to greet me when I board my next Continental flight!

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The Bachelor “Fantasy Suite”

The Bachelor's "Fantasy Suite"

"Where is the bathroom"?

“Am I nuts or does this look like the one place I would NOT want to spend the night”?!

I was watching the Bachelor on CBS last night (okay, I admit it!) and it was the night that the Bachelor Brad takes the 3 remaining women to a “fantasy Destination” to spend time with them before he chooses which 2 girls he would like to bring home to Mama.  Before I start, I would like to say…I know this show has critics, because I am one of them.  As much as I love to watch this show…I also criticize the heck out of it!  It is fun, It is entertainment!  And it is sooooo easy!

So last night the show took the Bachelor and the 3 girls to South Africa.  His first date was with Chantal on a safari.  It was awesome to see the wild animals and how close they were in their Safari Jeep.  It looked like such an exotic fun experience.  After dinner, Brad the Bachelor had a surprise for her.  He delivered her the invitation to a “Fantasy Suite” where they could spend the night alone without the cameras, relax and “really” get to know each other  (hey, get your minds out of the gutter!).

I have watched this show for years and each Fantasy Suite is better than the next.  Seriously top notch rooms.  Super impressive.  On this season of the Bachelor, Brad took Chantal to the middle of a field and proceeded to show her the Fantasy Suite..a Tree House.  YEP, that’s right.  A Tree House. The Chalkley Treehouse at the Lion Sands Resort.

The Lion Sands website says –

“Guests are taken to the treehouse at sunset, where drinks and a delicious picnic dinner await them. They then enjoy the hours of African dusk relaxing and absorbing the beauty and sounds of the bushveld as it transforms from day to night, before turning in for slumber beneath the stars. As dawn breaks, guests are collected by their ranger for a morning game drive, followed by a delicious bush breakfast at one of the many animal and bird hides.”

Now in many circumstances this could be very romantic.  A Tree House could set the mood for adventure.  In fact, the bedding was gorgeous and the colors blended right into nature…BECAUSE IT WAS IN THE NATURE!  THERE WERE NO WALLS AT ALL!   TOTALLY in nature.  My first thought….”WHERE DO I PEE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!?”

Then the thoughts started rolling in….

 

I am pretty sure these pretty little things climb!

Do Cheetahs climb trees?  Can the Giraffes reach this far?  Do Bats eat mesh? DO monkeys get tangled the mesh?  OMG!  Are they kidding!  And it all comes back to “Where do I brush my teeth and pee?”   SO they drop you off at sunset and leave you there all night until someone comes to get you at dawn?  Okay…NOT HAPPENING!  Romance is not how I would describe that.  To me that would be torture.  Waiting for the next sound, thump that makes the ground shake or buzzz that threatens to suck my blood.  Relaxation is definitely not the word I would use to describe a night in the jungle.  Terror would be a better description!

When I visited the website to try and find out where the bathroom would be (answer – there is a toilet bowl and bath sink!) I did see the main lodge and accommodations and they seemed more my speed.

 

My Style of Fantasy Suite!

But I still do have to ask one question….”If they have such a big mosquito net over a bed that is INDOORS…how is that flimsy little net in the Treehouse supposed to help at all?”

For more information on the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve click here!

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Celebrity Eclipse Update! “Who are those Mysterious Bathrobe people?” I will tell you…they are people who know HOW TO START A RELAXING VACATION! That could be YOU!

Call today 732-577-9150 to plan your Celebrity Cruise!

Go to www.jdevito.cruiseone.com for great last minute deals!

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