Wednesday, May 23, 2012

United to drop policy of families board first

Really United, what is the deal? I mean its already bad enough that you charge premiums for the aisle and window seats, meaning that if a family wants to sit together you have to pay some upfront costs in addition to the ticket. See article in USA Today: Which let me remind you is in addition to the luggage fees, which is all in addition to the original ticket cost. Flying in general these days isn't much fun and I'm constantly reminiscing about the old days when it was a luxury to fly - I can remember my mother getting us all dressed up in our Sunday best to go to the airport when the airlines actually served us food with real silverware, not the food for purchase options of today. However, let me not digress.... Unlike other airlines, United is taking away one more small courtesy that actually will affect every passenger on the plane - except for maybe those seated in first class. Today, the airline announced that it was dropping its policy of allowing families with children to board first. Now you may be the ultimate traveler, or the frequent business trip taker or even someone without children of their own and think this isn't going to affect you. But I truly hate to differ. As a frequent business traveler myself, I am constantly wanting things to be efficient - something the airlines aren't the best in accomplishing let alone assisting in these days. My pet peeve is their hurry up just to stand in line and wait policy. Hurry up and board the plane, then hurry up and stand in line on the jetway while you wait for people to be seated. Then the hurry up and take your seat only to wait for others to take their seat, the hurry up so we can push away from the gate and be deemed on time (shocker, what if on-time departure actually meant an on-time departure where the wheels were up and not merely rolling away from the gate). Now United, you are taking the one thing that used to make this boarding process easier away from us?!?! Please can someone explain to me how this makes sense cause I already have logistical issues as to why we have to board in groups not by seat number anymore? By allowing families to board first, it gives them plenty of time to get down the jetway with their 900 pieces of carry-ons, the extra large stroller & matching car seat, and 4 children. It gives them optional time to leave their strollers at the aircraft door, board the aircraft, find their seats, stow their luggage, use the bathroom, make a bottle for the baby, get out the toys for the kiddos - all without backing up the other 133 passengers that need to do the same thing. And as many of you know, there are also other considerations to take into effect especially when you are traveling with a child that has a social or communication disorder like ADD, ADHD, Austism, Aspergers and others. By allowing these kids extra time to board the aircraft, get used to their surroundings and calm themselves in an otherwise very stressful day of traveling - it will not only make that families journey more peaceful but mine as a fellow passenger also that much easier and peaceful. And here I thought United would get better by merging with Continental! For the full article, use this link:

Luxe Openings in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has always been a place of intrigue for incentive and meeting groups from the United States for so many reasons: tropical climate, easy nonstop flights from most major airports, and NO passports required by our citizens which makes logistical travel planning for a group all that much easier. I would say that the St. Regis Bahia Beach kicked off the new luxury hotel and resort opening trend last year, but this year and the next will bring even newer kids on the block. This December will feature the opening of the Ritz Carlton Reserve at Dorado Beach which will feature 100 rooms, 14 suites, four championship golf courses, a five acre spa and beach club on more than 1400 acres. The resort is set in the original RockResort's footprint as developed by famed Laurence Rockfeller more than 50 years ago. Most importantly the Resort renovated the original 1920's plantation hacienda that is a now a five bedroom, private waterfront enclave that can be used for weddings and private events. Next up in 2013, is a 500 room Fairmont at Dorado Beach which will take the place of the original Hyatt Regency Cerromar. More than 20 additional projects are underway from the El San Juan to the El Conquistador and many other hotels. Check out this article in Incentive Weekly for more info:

Adventures by Disney -- Southeast Asia Vacation

Adventures by Disney offers something for every child of all ages. I personally think this is a great concept for families who want to explore the world with their children, no matter of the age, because Disney has thought of everything. It takes all the hassle out of trying to plan a fun, entertaining adventure that is still relaxing and brings you together as a family. And an added bonus in that you get to travel with other families that have children of the same ages.

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Sleep Better at Hotels

There’s a reason why the saying goes, “There’s no place like home.” Although fun and exciting, traveling can also be exhausting, so there’s nothing worse than coming back to your hotel, not being able to fall asleep and just wishing you were back home in your own bed.

Thankfully, the article, “33 Ways to Sleep Better at a Hotel,” from’s Travel Section, provides some great tips on how to catch some precious zzz’s when you’re away from home sweet home.

Here’s some of our favorite tips, but be sure to check out the comprehensive list here.

2. Book a room midway along a hallway. This is generally the quietest part of the floor, away from the ice and vending machines, guest laundry facilities, exits, etc.

13-16. Pack earplugs, eyeshades and your own sheets (or at least your own pillowcase). The first two items will help block out noise and light to help you fall asleep. Your own sheets will give a homey feel because you’re already used to their feel and scent.

18. Don’t read, eat or work in bed. This way, you’re in a sleep-only mindset that will help you when trying to fall asleep.

23. Find a way to mask outside sounds. Commonly referred to as white noise, sound masking involves adding a non-intrusive artificial sound to your sleep environment in order to drown our other noise. Ask the front desk if they have a sound machine (I pack my own on almost every trip I go on!), download a white noise app onto your smartphone or stream white noise from your laptop (try If none of these are options, run the ventilation fan in the bathroom.

31. Don’t wait to report noise coming from noisy neighbors.

33. Get out of bed if you can’t sleep! Rather than tossing and turning, get out of bed, turn on a low light and read a mindless magazine.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Motivate. Reward. Recognize. Thank.

If you’re looking for a way to motivate your employees, reward your outstanding sales rep, recognize your most important client or thank your top customer, look no further.

Royal Caribbean International now offers a new kind of incentive reward: the Individual Incentive Cruise Certificate Program. Unlike group incentive travel, this individual incentive program grants the recipient the power to choose when, where and how he/she would like to vacation. The wide variety of competitively priced certificates allows endless choices for departure ports, ships, itineraries, nights and accommodations. Additionally, these certificates are fully upgradable and transferable, don’t expire and have limited blackout dates. Plus, with its Turn Key Program, Royal handles the fulfillment, redemption and booking process so you don’t have to.

Certificates for two start at only $583 per certificate! To purchase yours, call the Royal Incentive Rewards Sales Desk at 888.305.4549.

For additional information on Royal Caribbean Incentive Rewards, click here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Luxury Hotel in Los Angeles

Luxe Worldwide Hotels is probably one of our most favorite Hotel groups that we work with in the industry. We can't say enough about their selection of hotels, especially the Sunset and Rodeo Drive properties! Even better, we are thrilled with the great email we just received from Luxe Hotel Group about their newest offering in Los Angeles. If its anything like their others we know it will be awesome! Check out what they are saying about this hot great property!

“The World-famous Wilshire Boulevard has a new addition! The Hotel Wilshire, a stylish, LEED certified, 74-room boutique hotel designed by award-winning Killefer Flammang Architects, and KNA Design. The hotel is located just blocks from the city's best shopping on Rodeo Drive, The Grove/Farmers Market, Melrose Avenue, and Robertson Boulevard, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, entertainment venues and Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Our guests will enjoy their stay with an emphasis on comfort, convenience, and attentive service with in-room, and open air dining, concierge services, complimentary high speed internet access and WiFi, an executive boardroom and business center.

All of the thoughtfully designed and well appointed 55 guestrooms and 19 suites feature: flat screen HD LCD TVs, media hubs that support cell phones, laptops and personal devices, Lather™ brand spa bath products, laptop-compatible safes, mini-bars and luxurious beddings. Complementing the chic and contemporary vibe of its host city, The Hotel Wilshire provides plush accommodations highlighted by a private-access, top floor, Penthouse Suite that offers 1,100 square feet of living and entertaining space, custom designed furnishings, state of the art audio and video systems and much more.

Beautifully landscaped and with 360-degree views spanning the L.A. skyline and Hollywood Hills, “The Roof on Wilshire” restaurant will serve creative Californian/French cuisine al fresco by celebrity Chef Eric Greenspan, as well as specialty libations that can be savored in the warmth of the intimate fire pit or under the protective shade of the poolside cabanas.

Whether you are in L.A. for business, or leisure, The Hotel Wilshire is your gateway to Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Hollywood.”