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Cruise ships face weighty problems: Heavier passengers PDF Print E-mail

Fat man

Maybe it’s the all-you-can-eat buffets aboard, but according to the U.S. Coast Guard, cruise passengers today weigh an average of 185 pounds. That’s 25 pounds heavier than those who sailed in the late 1980s.

This may seem to be just a problem for the passengers’ health, but the USCG report says it has more consequences. Larger ships with thousands of passengers may sail with 100,000 pounds of extra weight, affecting fuel costs.

Additionally, there are legal limits to the weight ships can carry, which cuts the number of paying passengers allowed on each cruise. To meet expenses and profit expectations, booking charges have to be increased.

So, if your bathroom scales show an extra 25 pounds or more, and you want to go to sea, consider knocking off the extra weight. Then maybe you can proudly call yourself a biggest cruiser loser.

Las Vegas: Not quite show-it-all swim pools PDF Print E-mail


It couldn’t be more descriptive, but the recently-opened pool at The Artisan Hotel in Vegas called Naked isn’t quite that. Actually, it allows guests, locals and tourists to swim wearing only bottoms.

The Artisan, a non-smoking, non-gambling boutique hotel about a mile from Las Vegas Boulevard, has just one of Sin City’s several topless pools for adult-only swimming. There’s also Bare, the pool at The Mirage on what is now aptly called the Las Vegas Strip.

Also on the Strip, Caesars Palace has the Venus, and in the Beach area at Mandalay Bay is the private Moorea. Additionally, Beach Club 25 is located on the 25th floor of the World Tower at the Stratosphere Hotel.

American Airlines helps GIs, kids and vets PDF Print E-mail

AA aircraft

AA is a solid backer of the U.S. military. The airline is proud that 60 percent of its pilots are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. They include some currently-active duty reservists who are taking a year or more out of their careers to serve in current deployments.

AA is the official airline of the USO, which provides entertainment for our Armed Forces personnel all over the world. AA also participates in various free programs to fly current and retired service veterans to rehab and other destinations.

AA also sponsors Snowball Express, which provides flights to free vacation destinations for young kids of service personnel who’ve lost their lives in Middle East combat.

Get off your a$$ and hike the Grand Canyon trails PDF Print E-mail

Mules at Grand Canyon

The very popular mule rides that transport visitors into the splendid rocky depths of the Grand Canyon in Arizona will be drastically reduced under a new plan by the National Park Service.

According to the NPS announcement, the number of mules allowed on the Bright Angel Trail, the most traveled route into the canyon from the South Rim, will drop from 40 to 10 riders daily.

The NPS reason for the cut-back in mule rides is that the trail over the years has eroded to potentially unsafe conditions, and repairs are getting too expensive. Additionally, hikers are complaining that they must share the ever-narrowing trails with the mules and the inevitable stuff the mules leave behind. NPS also states that it wants to encourage more hikers to use the trail.

There will be mule rides available along the less-spectacular but safer top of the South Rim trails. For those planning Grand Canyon visits, they should know the hugely popular mule rides will become even more difficult to book, and reservations of up to a year in advance are advised.

For more information, go to NPS.org.

Spain: New law bans smoking inside public places PDF Print E-mail


Smoke-filled cafes are no longer the norm for Spain. You can still puff away while sitting outside at cafes or walking on the stradas, but it could cost you mucho pesos if you light up inside. This new law applies to bars, cafes, restaurants, hotel rooms and many business establishments.

Smoking tourists will also see the same kinds of smoking bans at public places in Britain, France, Italy and other European countries.


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