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Carnival introduces quicker boarding of ships by kiosk PDF Print E-mail

Carnival Cruise Lines is trying a new, speed-up check-in system at the Port of Miami FL. As in airports, cruise passengers will be able to board their ships by quickly swiping ID cards at an electronic kiosk that replaces the time-consuming live guard station process.

We recently returned from a cruise of the Mexican Riviera, and all facilities and services aboard the ship were easily and conveniently available. However, when boarding at the original Long Beach CA pier and at every port stop along the cruise, passengers  had to wait in hour-long lines for the guards in the terminal to go through the tedious security procedures before they allowed boarding. Vintage kiosk

Before arriving at the port of embarkation for the cruise at Carnival’s Miami pier, passengers who want to use the quick check-in kiosks are required to pre-register online and must be citizens of the U.S., Canada or other nation that issues visa waivers for US travel. The check-in requires passengers have authorized credit or passport cards to swipe at the kiosk, as is the usual procedures at airports. After passengers clear the security check-in procedure, they will be given their stateroom keys by cruise staffs as they arrive onboard.

If Carnival’s experiment proves effective, plans are in the works for the kiosk check-in procedure to be installed for other Carnival sailings. While we recognize and appreciate the need for tight security, we hope the kiosk check-in procedures will soon become universal for all cruise ships, and eliminate the frustration of long, time-consuming check-in lines.

QE2 to retire to Dubai, or maybe South Africa PDF Print E-mail

QE2 to retire to Dubai, or maybe South Africa
No, no, not the real QE2, who’s still very active with her corgies in Buckingham Palace. Vacations To Go reports Cunard's legendary ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 was retired from service last fall, and originally scheduled to be permanently settled at a Dubai United Arab Emirates dockside.

As with the old Queen Mary 1 in Long Beach CA, she was to be fitted out as a floating luxury hotel. However, the Cunard executives who make such decisions may change their minds and dock the QE2 in Durban or Cape Town, South Africa, where she’ll be a floating hotel there. South Africa is scheduled to host the World Cup Football (soccer) event next year in Cape Town. Stay tuned to find out what will happen to the old girl. No, no, not THAT old girl.

old cruise ship

Mount Rushmore to be laser imaged PDF Print E-mail

Mount Rushmore

Remember those “Star Trek” scenes where Captain Kirk could talk to a projected three-dimensional image of a nasty Klingon in the Enterprise control room, even though the guy wasn’t actually there in the flesh? Soon, with some expert imaging, from Mount Rushmore, it’ll be, “Beam me up, Scottie, to George, Tom, Teddy and Abe.”

Within the next few months, camera crews will be scanning laser video from all angles of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. Then they’ll put it all together and produce a totally three-dimensional digital visual image of the American landmark.

Tucson AZ Best Retirement City In The USA, Says AARP PDF Print E-mail

According to AARP Magazine, the city of Tucson, Arizona, is the best place for seniors to settle for “simpler retirement living”. Also on the list, in order of AARP’s rating after Tucson are Greenville, SC, Montpelier VT, Logan UT, Ames IO, Northampton MA, Lexington/Fayette KY, Oxford MS and Walla Walla WA. Its #8 is an obscure listing naming just Texas Hill Country, wherever that may be.

Apparently the AARP people who compiled the list never bothered to investigate the more familiar retiree destinations of Miami, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Palm Beach and Orlando. Or maybe it was because they believe housing and other cost-of-living expenses in those places have already escalated out of sight.

New Monument Valley visitor facilities debut PDF Print E-mail

Monument Valley

Arizona’s Monument Valley, magnificent site of many classic Hollywood Western classics, has some of the most fantastic views in he world. Now they’ll be even more convenient for visitors. The View Hotel, the first ever to be built inside the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, which is an enormous vista of nearly 30 thousand acres of government-protected Native American lands.

Alongside The View, and scheduled to open in October, is a new visitors center and museum. They’ll provide visual and sound information about the Monument Valley features. They’ll also house a museum honoring World War II Navajo secret code talkers who, as US Marines, were vital communicators who confused enemy intelligence during the Iwo Jima and Okinawa campaigns.

For more information, go to www.navajonationparks.org


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