Celebrity Caribbean Cruise – Part One: En Route

Celebrity Caribbean Cruise – Part One: En Route

As usual, with pleasure comes a bit of pain. Well, that’s what I hear anyway. In this case, to get to a cruise one must suck it up for the airport/airline experience. We were booked to Ft. Lauderdale on Southwest, mostly because of lower airfare and free bags, of which we had three. But there is the cattle call aspect of the whole thing. If you haven’t flown Southwest, know that there are no reserved seats, just boarding priority groups. You must line up next to numbered posts corresponding to your boarding priority group, i.e., A, B, C, etc. The higher your letter and accompanying number, the farther back in the aircraft you’ll sit and the less likely you’ll sit together if you’re traveling with someone. Of course, Southwest will...

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Ten Tips for Airport Luggage Security

Ten Tips for Airport Luggage Security

If you’re like me, you’ve seen the TV promos for the show on the Travel Channel called Baggage Battles dealing with three teams traveling to lost luggage auctions around the world trying to score bargains. Maybe you’ve even watched the show,  or you can identify with the concept because you’ve lost luggage during an air trip. And maybe you’ve heard of the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Arkansas, where contents of unclaimed luggage is put up for sale. According to their website, only one-half of one percent of luggage checked on domestic airlines doesn’t arrive at the same time as the passenger. And, they also say, ninety-five percent of that misdirected baggage finds its way home within five days. So, even though,...

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Celebrity Constellation Caribbean Cruise Part One January 14, 2012

Celebrity Constellation Caribbean Cruise Part One January 14, 2012

What is it about anticipating a vacation trip that makes you pop awake at an unsuitably early hour and immediately start thinking through a checklist of things to do/pack/take care of before leaving? Having an 8:10 am flight didn’t help any, either. We were mostly packed already and just had to throw in last minute crap, load the car, and flush all the toilets one more time and leave the lids up so the cat would have plenty of water. Yeah, he likes to drink out of the … well, you get it. Security was pretty crowded at the Southwest gates but moved pretty well despite one lane being closed. Most personnel were polite although some acted a bit more ‘important’ than others. This was the first time I had to actually go through one of the...

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Visit to Portland, Oregon August 2011 – Part Two

We arrived at DFW twenty minutes early, yet didn’t have to wait for our assigned parking space at the gate (according to the garrulous captain) because the previous occupant had just pushed back a minute before we arrived. Once inside the terminal, we rode the tram – Sky Link – and found our next gate with no trouble. Ellen had, a few days before, managed to swap a buttload of credit card miles for upgrades to First Class for our DFW to PDX leg. Yay! Four hours of NOT being packed like sardines. Which brings me to a phenomenon I realized on this trip, i.e., when you are ‘pre-boarded’ in First Class, and then subsequently watch all those lower, I mean second, I mean coach class drones file past, you cringe slightly away from them and avoid eye...

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Visit to Portland, Oregon August 2011 – Part One

I haven’t traveled by commercial airline very much lately, so I had my attitude all jacked up tight in anticipation of this cross-country air trip and all the security headaches I knew it would entail. But the TSA ticket checker was pleasant, and I didn’t have to stand like a daVinci drawing in the diabolical backscatter xray machine. Yay! I only had to walk through the old fashioned archway. Nary a beep. So far, so good… The belt scanner personnel were concerned about some powdered medication that Ellen carries, though. They wanted to go through and check it, but soon allowed her to proceed. We’ve heard that it looks a lot like liquid on the scope. And liquids in carry-on luggage are now a bad thing. The older I get, the more things annoy...

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