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The Case of the Missing Gift Certificate: Flying in the Age of Monopolies

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/15/2017, 1:15 AM

An airplane aisle separated the haves from the have nots. I’m not writing about the aisle separating business class and economy. No, in this case, the left-side of the plane, on a six hour flight from San Francisco to New York City, was in a 21st century crisis: our seatback monitors were on the fritz. The right hand side passengers were lulled into a stupor by visions of Americans who supposedly h...

The New Cruise Ship with a Go-Kart Track on Top

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/14/2017, 10:00 AM

In case there was any doubt left that the cruise industry is turning away from retirees and toward Millennials, make way for the Norwegian Bliss. This cruise ship continues the long industry drift away from shuffleboard and a good book and toward adrenaline sports and pants-wetting thrills: Its signature feature, as seen in the rendering above, will be a twisting go-kart track plopped on a portion...

NAACP Issues Stunning Warning Against Travel to Missouri

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/10/2017, 12:00 AM

The NAACP has announced it is advising all African Americans to avoid travel to and through the entire state of Missouri. Its reason? The dubious safety of African Americans traveling in that increasingly conservative state.  According to this long-established organization for people of color, numerous small towns in Missouri—especially suburbs of St. Louis and Kansas City—have adopted the atti...

Replacing Maho Bay, Newly Expanded Cinnamon Bay Provides Affordable Digs in the U.S. Virgin Islands

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 08/08/2017, 12:00 AM

For many years, a collection of tented bungalows called Maho Bay, on the quiet island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was the world’s best-kept budget secret. Sensitive, intelligent Americans flocked to stay in these primitive digs, and thus enjoyed the cheapest tropical vacation on earth. It was a fabulous place. But Maho Bay’s lease ran out, it was forced to close, and its owners are ...

New York Attempts to Put Airbnb Out of Business

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/20/2016, 7:30 PM

The big news in travel has been the signing, by the Governor of New York State, of a law passed by the state legislature that is deliberately designed to put Airbnb out of business—at least in the city and state of New York.  Although, according to Airbnb, New York accounts for only 2% of its worldwide business, the effect of this dramatic development should be devastating to that apartment-rental ...

Ocean Cruises Have Developed a Set of Uniform Characteristics That Will Attract or Repel You

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/19/2016, 11:45 PM

After three years of failing to go on an ocean cruise, I recently returned to one aboard a popularly priced ship (but not one of the monstrous, 5,000-passenger variety). Here are some characteristics that I truly believe are found on all similar ships, and some tactics for enjoying the experience: EVERYTHING IS EXTRA. The cruise lines seem to have developed a policy of relying heavily on ...

British Vacations Are Increasingly Affordable for the American Traveler

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/19/2016, 11:30 PM

The big travel news of the current fall/winter season is the drop in the value of the British pound. As we go to press, the pound is selling for only $1.21.  It used to sell at $1.60, and the new value is claimed by some analysts to be the lowest in 30 years. For most American tourists, the cost of hotels, meals, theater tickets, and the like has been decreased by close to 30%. The result,...

Families With Children Are Now Being Welcomed Aboard (Some) River Cruise Ships

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/19/2016, 11:30 PM

The evidence is fast accumulating that the number of river cruiseships is now more than equal to the demand for river cruises. Accordingly, several of the river cruiselines are devising new lures to fill their ships, and one such tactic is to throw overboard the once-widely-held belief that families with children would not be permitted on river cruiseships. Certainly, families traveling wi...

The Strange Case of the Expired Passport....

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/19/2016, 11:15 PM

There was once a time when Americans traveling to and from Canada could do so with little advance preparation other than a hotel reservation. Almost any form of identification would be sufficient to cross the border into Canada and then later to return to the United States. So it was with upset and anxiety that my wife and I recently learned we might not be able to board a cruise ship leav...

Gigantic Cruise Ships Need a Different Approach

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 10/19/2016, 11:15 PM

(photo: Royal Caribbean) The constant growth in the size of cruise ships—of which some now carry 6,000 passengers—has forced the cruise lines (and not simply the cruise passengers) to adopt a wholly different set of tactics and policies.  And sometimes, these new experiments in cruising have failed miserably—as Royal Caribbean Cruisline recently discovered.   When Royal Caribbean...

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