Passenger Survey: What’s The Best Cruise Line?

J.D. Power has announced its Cruise Line Satisfaction Report for this year. After questioning thousands of seagoing veteran passengers, the rankings are somewhat expected.

We’ve sailed on dozens of cruises since our retirement 24 years ago, and except for some schedule problems, have never experienced a major gripe. We enjoy cruising, and will continue as long as we can get up the gangway. We’re pretty much in general agreement with the survey choices, although other seniors  may have differing opinions, based on their good and not-so-good cruise experiences.

The grab a bargain trip today ads bother us PDF Print E-mail

Cartoon of pitchman

Unhappy about sign-on-quick pitches for cruises

Q: We’re long-time retirees and love to travel. We plan for a trip weeks or months ahead, and need the time to consider all the prices, destinations and other options. However, we’re getting tired of those ads that offer travel deals if you grab them within 24 or 48 hours.

Many seniors, both retired and still working, don’t want to be conned into booking a so-called bargain trip somewhere right now just because it offers all kinds of alleged discounts. Has the travel industry become one big used car lot, with deals and prices blaring out just to entice you to buy?

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany PDF Print E-mail

Brandenburg Gate

Texas theme park welcomes special needs visitors PDF Print E-mail


A new San Antonio theme park welcomes visitors of all ages with disabilities. Morgan’s Wonderland is designed with their special needs in mind. All of the rides and other features offer easy access that make them both fun and completely safe.

If you’ll be in the San Antonio area with elderly folk, young adults or children who would not normally be able to enjoy regular theme park features, Morgan’s Wonderland would be a great place to take them. The park offers thrill rides, touch sensitive interactive exhibits, kids’ playgrounds, colorful flower gardens, a fishing lake and theater with scheduled music and comedy acts.

To help blind visitors and those with limited sight, all direction signs in the park are also in Braille. For information about Morgan’s Wonderland, check with your favorite online or hometown travel agency, or go to morganswonderland.com

Royal Cribbean now sails from Baltimore PDF Print E-mail

Cruise ship

If you like to cruise and live in New York, Jersey, Philly or Washington DC, the new Royal Caribbean schedule out of Baltimore will make your cruise plans much easier.

No more expensive flights, airport parking and security hassles to Fort Lauderdale or Miami to board ships bound for the Caribbean. A relatively short drive of an hour or two from East Coast cities can get you to the dock in Baltimore, and you’ll be sailing away.

Royal Caribbean's enormous Enchantment of the Seas will be based in Baltimore for sailings year-round from the city. Cruises include five-night Bermuda and nine-night Eastern Caribbean roundtrip schedules. Later in the year, the ship will offer nine-night cruises to Canada and New England destinations and 12-night Southern Caribbean cruises.

The Bermuda cruises will feature a two-day call at Kings Wharf. The Eastern Caribbean itinerary will include calls in San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Samana, Dominican Republic; and Labadee, the cruise line's private beach destination on the northern coast of Haiti.

For more information on Royal Caribbean sailings out of Baltimore or other information, contact your favorite hometown or online travel agency, or go to www.royalcaribbean.com

Armor your home against theft while you're away PDF Print E-mail

Armored knight

It doesn’t happen often, but when news gets out about cruise line employee theft, it should heighten awareness for travelers’ individual security. A cruise line office employee who booked passengers was arrested for using the information to rob homes while travelers were at sea.

Knowing passengers would be away for from one to two weeks, the thief’s gang used pass keys to steal cash, jewelry and other items. It sounds too simple to be believed, but it happened, and would have gone on if the police investigation hadn’t figured it out. The pattern of the crimes were traced back to certain of the cruise line’s sailings and list of passengers who were robbed.


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