Some travel news from my home town: Qantas has released details, and images, of its new business lounge at Brisbane international airport.
The lounge, which will open in October, will be the first of several new facilities the national carrier will open at Brisbane Airport as part of a multi-million dollar upgrade this year, according to Qantas International CEO Gareth Evans.
Macau has become a magnet for mainland Chinese and other gamblers in recent years, but to think of it as the Las Vegas of South East Asia would be doing it a great disservice.
The former Portuguese colony about an hour by boat from Hong Kong has its own unique cultural flavour — a potent blend of East and West that can be alluring even for those who are not interested in playing the tables or the machines. Continue reading Magical, mysterious Macau
The ancient “rose city” of Petra, in Jordan, is on many a bucket list, and for good reason.
The remnants of a 2,300-year-old civilisation include the ornate Treasury (Al Khazneh), which is carved into solid sandstone. Take a moment, or more, to contemplate the artistry and sheer effort involved in achieving that without the machinery or technology we have today.
There is one area where the hospitality industry has struggled (or is unwilling) to keep up and be competitive: the provision of internet services.
It is ridiculous in this day and age that some hotels, airlines and cruise ships offer near-extortionate prices for internet access (which, according to the United Nations, is a basic human right, no less).
Kusadasi is a city on the western Aegean coast of Turkey, perhaps best known to tourists as the gateway to the remarkable Roman ruins at Ephesus.
Sadly, a lot of cruise ships have stopped calling at Turkish ports following political unrest in that country. Hopefully the delights of the city, with its winding passages and interesting shops will be available to travellers again soon.
Like much of the news coming out of America these days, it’s a matter of claim and counter claim.
But respected travel writer Arthur Frommer has joined those who say the “Trump slump” — a large decline in the number of foreign tourists coming to America — is real, and it’s putting the jobs of those in the tourist industry at risk.
Tipping is a way of life in some parts of the world, and something to be avoided in other places. Travellers soon learn whether they need to tip or not.
But it’s on the high seas where things get confusing. Cruise holidays bring together passengers from all parts of the world, and there is often no consensus about how much, or even whether, they should tip.
I wouldn’t normally write about a press release announcing that a cruise line, or other travel company, had won some kind of award or distinction.
However, this is different. Holland America Line has announced that its ms Eurodam has registered a particular achievement for the 11th consecutive time. And that should interest everyone who has ever cruised, or has ever contemplated a cruise holiday.
In the current climate of austerity, many people are thinking twice about paying for business-class airfares.
As I’ve argued before, if you can afford to fly business and you want to, nothing should stop you from treating yourself. However, if it’s going to break the bank, you don’t have to totally slum it in the ever-tighter economy or “basic economy” seats.
I love to cruise. I’ve averaged three cruises a year for the past four years, and I’ve been to some fabulous places on some wonderful ships.
But, as with all experiences in life, things don’t always go smoothly. So, here I’m listing some of the things I wish were different about cruise ships in general and about experiences that I’ve had in particular.
One of my favourite activities onboard a cruise ship is the question-and-answer session with the captain and senior officers. Not every cruise line does it, but Royal Caribbean does on at least some of its ships, and it’s called Captain’s Corner.
On my cruise aboard Vision of the Seas, I learned — or was reminded of — quite a few “fun facts” about that particular ship and cruising in general in a session hosted by Captain Marek Slaby.
I broke one of my own rules. I decided this time that I would not spend money while at sea when I’m cruising.
The idea was to pay for everything in advance — and get the applicable discouts — then pretend to be having a free holiday (Hey, it works for me. I certainly got a good deal on the internet, paying about $5 a day less than I would had I bought it on board).
But I found one thing I couldn’t resist. Well, two actually.