Digital Face Recognition To Speed Up Hotel Check-In Times

The process is being introduced at check-in for Marriott International hotels in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The usual minutes-long process at the front desk may be cut down to a few digital seconds. It’s not only more convenient for arriving guests, it also enhances the hotel’s security and safety systems. Of course, what hotel clerk wouldn’t be thrilled to see this handsome senior traveler face checking in?

Ghent, Belgium: Ancient city's busy waterfront PDF Print E-mail

Ghent, Belgium

Norwegian Cruise Line lines up faux superstars PDF Print E-mail

Marilyn Monroe

Straight from Vegas, Norwegian Cruise Line offers theater performances from very familiar looking faces.  The Legends in Concert show from Sin City sends troupes of performers aboard the brand-new Epic to highlight upcoming cruises.

Hey, isn’t that Marilyn Monroe, Brittany Spears, Ron Stewart, and Michael Jackson all up there on stage? Not actually, of course. They’re look-alike performers who sing, dance and speak like the originals.

Along with the look-alikes and also going to sea directly from Vegas to the Epic is the popular Blue Man Group. Those guys perform exciting percussion and special effects routines with faces painted a sea sky hue. For passengers who prefer comedy, the venerable Second City players, originally from Chicago and stars of many popular TV humor shows, will also be featured on the Epic.

For the kids aboard and those who are still kids at heart, an offshoot of the Las Vegas Cirque de Soleil, called Cirque Dreams, will do their daring arobatics specialties.    

For more information and to make reservations, check with your favorite online, hometown travel agency or NCL.com.

Who'da thunk it: Lili and Eleanor in Vegas PDF Print E-mail

Stripper and First Lady

A rare early 1940s photo was recently found among artifacts from the collection of the soon-to-close Liberace museum in Las Vegas (more on that later). The photo shows then-First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt having a smiling chat with Lili St. Cyr, one of the most popular strippers of the time. Wonder what they were talking about? Politics? Fashions? Since both were tireless USO travelers who frequently visited U.S. troops in combat areas during World War II, do you think Lili was saying, "Mrs. Roosevelt, have I got some really great outfits you can wear for the GIs during your next USO trip!"

This is the way we wash our hands .... or not PDF Print E-mail

hand wash

When interviewed by researchers, almost 99 percent of all travelers insisted they washed their hands after visits to public bathrooms. When the researchers then did some spying on several thousand people, the actual percentage was 77 percent of men and 93 percent of women why actually did wash.

Even those real statistics are encouraging and better than statistics of ten years ago. However, the dangers of unwashed hands still cause problems. There are ever-present reasons to wash your hands everywhere you travel. The most evident is that whenever anyone washes hands in a men's room, he can expect that one of four others didn't.

In airports, train stations and restaurants, it’s essential that you wash your hands frequently, especially just before you sit down to eat a meal. Aboard cruise ships, many of the stomach disorders that occur are not from bad food nor heavy seas. They’re because people go to meals after walking along the deck holding on to the railings, bulkheads, bathroom doors or other exposed parts of the ship. Then they eat without first washing their hands.

In honor of our bravest, thank a GI today PDF Print E-mail

Medal of Honor

Of the eight Congressional Medals of Honor awarded so far in the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, only one of the most honored heroes survived the combat action that won him the medal. Army Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta, of Hiawatha, Iowa, has earned the nation's highest award for his heroism in Afghanistan. Giunta will soon receive the medal from the President in a ceremony at the White House.

In your travels, you’re sure to see many camo-clad Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard people in busy airports, as well as at bus and train stations. They’re usually lugging their gear, on the way home or to their next deployment.

Next time you see them, regardless of your politics or thoughts about war, offer a word of thanks. Tell them you appreciate everything Sergeant Giunta and all those other young men and women are doing to protect you.


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