Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sweet Costa Rican Layover

Taking upcycling to the extreme, this retired Boeing 727 has been converted into a deluxe two-bedroom accommodation in Costa Rica. Formerly part of South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines, this airplane has received a second life as a luxury suite perched 50 feet above the beach at the edge of Costa Verde II’s National Park.
Stripped of all its former interior components, the two-bedroom suite is now paneled in floor-to-ceiling locally sourced teak, and complete with a kitchenette and dining foyer. Guests can relax on the covered patio while mingling with native wildlife such as sloths, toucans, and monkeys.

And the view…

Not too shabby.

If you’re thinking about traveling to Costa Rica, contact a Professional Travel Team travel agent today! 1-800-788-0829

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Another Crew Member Goes Overboard

On May 24th, a crew member onboard the Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas went overboard.

The ship was forced to cancel its visit to St. Thomas, as it was delayed because of searching for the man. In an effort to locate the missing crew member, closed-circuit video footage was reviewed and then was confirmed that the crew member did in fact go overboard.

The ship's captain made the decision to immediately turn the ship around and retrace its course from Nassau, and also alerted the U.S. Coast Guard as well as the Bahamian Coast Guard of the situation. As of today, the crew member has not yet been located, and the U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to search the area.

The ship is currently sailing a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise that departed from Fort Lauderdale on May 22, it will return on May 29 as scheduled. This is the second time this month a RCCL ship has lost a crew member. On May 5, 2010, a crewmember from Explorer of the Seas also went overboard.

Friday, May 21, 2010

American First Airline to Get Serious About Carry-on Bag Size

On Monday American Airlines issued a notice stating that every carry-on bag, including those of Elite-level fliers and First-class passengers, will have to fit in the airline's bag-sizers.

The notice, labeled "Changes to the Carry-On Baggage Policy'' with and "Effective Date: Immediately May 18, 2010'' even includes a veiled threat at a fine of $25,000 per bag. American has been stepping up enforcement of their carry-on baggage size limits. All bags must now fit in the sizer boxes located at gates and meet also the airline's dimensional limit.

American's policy states that a carry-on bag cannot exceed length, width and height that add up to more than 45 inches. In addition, the bag can't be longer than 22 inches, wider than 14 inches or deeper than 9 inches. Guitars are an exception to this rule. The airline notes that the policy " includes all passengers, regardless or tier status or class of service flown.'' And it includes a warning in red letters: "Failure to comply with the carry-on bag policy (which is approved by the FAA) could result in a civil penalty up to $25,000.00 USD per bag, per flight.''

Since there are fewer flights this summer and most will be full, most likely other airlines will be enforcing bag sizes as well. The airlines are losing revenue when passengers carry too much on board and then end up checking it for free when bins are too full.

It might be a good idea to check your bag for the dimensions when packed, before going to the airport. It may fit easily into the overhead bin but not comply with posted dimensions.

Contact a Professional Travel Agent today to get started booking your next trip!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rome's Colosseum Disintegrating

Last Sunday slabs of ancient plaster crashed through a 30-year-old wire protection net and hit the ground around dawn.

The plaster, which dates from Roman times, fell from a square-meter section of roof in one of the stone entrances through which crowds filed to watch gladiators fight each other, animals and prisoners back in ancient times. Archaeologists said that a disaster had been narrowly averted, and if this would have had happened later in the day, visitors could have been badly hurt or even killed.
Authorities said the loosening of the plaster may have been caused by recent heavy rains, humidity and temperature changes. It is estimated that it will cost some $33 million to restore the Colosseum. A restoration and cleaning project is due to start in the next few weeks but Rome city council is still trying to raise funds from the private sector in Italy and abroad to finance the work.
Archaeologists said the near miss should be a wake-up call for the perilous state of the arena, which was begun in 72AD and has since suffered from earthquakes and centuries of pillaging.
Contact a Professional Travel Agent today to book your trip to Italy!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Strikes in Greece Paralyze Country

Flights to and from Greece were grounded, trains and ferries suspended their routes and public services were paralyzed Wednesday as angry Greek workers went on strike to protest harsh new spending cuts aimed at saving their country from bankruptcy.

Police officers clashed with protesters in central Athens during protests over the government's economic austerity measures. Hooded youths attacked shops and banks with Molotov cocktails and paving stones; one bank along the march route caught fire after being hit with a Molotov cocktail, leaving dozens of people trapped inside. Police officials stated that three people were killed in the fire. At least two other buildings in Athens were also set on fire.
A small group of protesters attempted to storm the parliament building, prompting police officers to fire tear gas to disperse them. An estimated 20,000 people participated in a separate demonstration in Thessaloniki; police officers used tear gas to disperse protesting youths who hurled rocks at shops, restaurants and banks. The strike continues today and is supposed to end tonight.
Because the situation remains somewhat uncertain, those considering travel to Greece over the next several days should follow events in the country closely due to the potential that violent protests could further intensify.