Las Vegas NV: Famed Bellagio Fountains Honored

Whenever we visit Las Vegas, we always make time for a special activity. It’s usually around midnight, and we stroll the sidewalk along the beautiful dancing fountains in front of the Bellagio Resort on the Strip.

As we admire the beautiful designs and colors of the enormous display, hidden speakers along the way play familiar music. Our favorite is Frank Sinatra singing, “Luck Be A Lady” from Broadway’s “Guys And Dolls”. The acoustics are so lifelike, we often stop and imagine Frank is right there singing just for us.

Travel website TripAdvisor apparently agrees with us about the Bellagio fountains. It recently named them the No. 1 landmark in the US. Scholars and historians could argue with the choice, because below the fountains on the list were such historic landmarks as Gettysburg National Military Park, the USS Arizona Memorial in Honolulu and New York City’s Top of the Rock Observation Deck.

Next time you’re in Sin City, add a stroll along the fountains to your itinerary, preferably when Sinatra’s voice fills the night air. Unlike just about everything else in the expensive town, the experience is absolutely free.

No hotel wake-up call & missed my flight! PDF Print E-mail

Old phone

Q: I left a call at the front desk of my hotel for 6 am, so I could get a taxi to the airport for an 8 am flight. The call never happened. I woke up at 7 am, but checking out and getting a cab was already useless.

It cost me extra money to book another flight and I missed an important business meeting. I asked the hotel chain to reimburse me for the trouble and extra expense. I was turned down. What can I do about it?

Jay P., Orlando FL

A: Absolutely nothing! No matter what, you’re responsible to make your flight, not poor service at the hotel. We travel often, and always carry two battery-operated mini-alarm clocks with us. We set one for get-up time and the other to ring 20 minutes later.

Don’t depend on the plug-in alarm clock usually on the night table next to your hotel bed. Too often, it doesn’t work at all or the last guest set it to ring at 2 am, and will blast you out of a deep sleep at the wrong time.

Australia: Beautiful Sydney Harbor PDF Print E-mail

Sydney, Australia

How to save $$$ on your next cruise PDF Print E-mail

Cruise couple

Don’t get us wrong. Cruising is one of the best ways to enjoy a relaxing, exciting vacation. Prices are very reasonable, cabins comfy, food plentiful and onboard activities fun. However, when you go aboard, keep in mind that cruise lines offer the bargain rates because they expect you to spend a lot of money on expensive extras. Here are some suggestions on keeping your bargain cruise a real bargain.

1. Take the smallest, lowest-deck cabin: You may feel you’re in the ship’s brig, with tight space and no porthole, but ask yourself if you expect to do more than sleep there. Otherwise, if you want to see the ocean, go up on deck or sit on a balcony. Your cost for the cabin will be at least double.

2. If you want entertainment, go to the free stuff, including lectures of cooking, movies, floor shows and music by the pool. If you play bingo and casino games, expect to lose money. On many cruises, there are also big sales on souvenirs, clothing and original art. Wait until the last full day before you go home to buy. That’s when prices drop as much as 50 percent.

Carry-ons: The battle for overhead spaces on airplanes PDF Print E-mail


Q: We hate people who stuff big bags into the overhead, making it impossible for passengers with legally-sized carry-ons to get theirs in. We can’t blame them for trying to avoid the high baggage fees, but what’s the alternative when you fly with a lot of stuff?

J.P., Honolulu HI

A: The best way to keep from being an overhead hog is to travel with one carry-on plus an over-the-shoulder tote or small backpack. Put the big bag in the overhead and stash the other under your seat. As for getting overhead space before someone else does, book your flight so that you’re in your seat as early as possible, before others start hogging the space. Of course, this won’t do you any good if you’re making a connecting flight and most of the passengers are already aboard.


American Airlines One-Day Pass: Is it worth $50? PDF Print E-mail


Q: On my last flight with American Airlines, the airport was mobbed, and my flight was delayed by weather, I had to hang around in the crowded sitting area for five hours. The desk clerk suggested an AA One-Day Pass to its chi-chi Admirals Club. The cost is a bit steep, $50. Is it worth it?


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