Airport booze now available 'round the clock

It's six a.m., and you’re waiting in your favorite airport. All the shops and restaurants are closed, except the gin joints. They're allowed to be open all night. Now, you can get silly in Philly. If you're waiting there, you can pop the cork in New York or get high in Chi.

The booze rules have been eased. Some airports now allow liquor to be sold 24-7. High in the air has two meanings now, because passengers in flight can enjoy the same privilege. This is great news for those fliers who’ve had loud, drunken seatmates bother them or get sick all over them.

Of course, this new easing of the drinking rules is just another way airlines and airports are seeking to bring in extra income. So now, in addition to paying to check your bags, you’ll be able to drink enough as you fly to add more of those sagging bags under your eyes.

Our only advice we have for travelers is to enjoy yourselves with the booze of your choice anywhere, at any time. Just do it only up to a point where you’re not annoying others.

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.

Airline seats: Would you pay extra to board first? PDF Print E-mail

Cartoon of running passengers

If you hate stomping at the crowded airline gate like horses ready for the race, there’s a way to pay so you can go aboard first. Southwest, the bargain airline with the no-reserve seats, has been doing it for several years. For $10, you can be part of its Early Bird Check-in, go aboard first, get your choice of seats and be first to stash your carry-on in an overhead bin.

Now, some of the reserved-seating airlines are offering the same. American’s Boarding and Flexibility Package permits passengers who buy their tickets online the same privilege. AA charges from $9 to $19 each way for early boarding. Other airlines have similar features. United’s "Premier Line" early boarding service costs $19, and Ryanair’s current early boarding charge is $5.

As with all airlines, the extra payment doesn’t actually mean you’ll be the very first aboard. Passengers with highest class tickets and the handicapped, as with all airlines, still continue to go on ahead of everyone else.

Tip: Take iPad with you on flight, drive, cruise PDF Print E-mail


Apple’s iPad has proven to be a big success for computing, and it can be a great companion for commuting from home to summer vacation destinations. Depending on the model you want and its capabilities, an iPad costs from $150 to $500. It can be a great investment for making your travels easier and more interesting.

Your very portable iPad can be your internet and correspondence connection to your office and/or family back home. a music and DVD movie entertainment center and a GPS electronic map to guide you on the road, in the air and at sea. If you’re in a hotel that offers Wi-Fi in guest rooms, you can use your iPad for dozens of purposes, including movies, music, electronic books and research. For more information, contact your nearest Apple Store or go to www.apple.com/ipad

Las Vegas fun: Look, Ma, I can fly! PDF Print E-mail

Indoor skydiver

If you’re vacationing in Sin City and getting tired of the gambling tables and machines, and need a bit of relief from all the buffets, try Vegas Indoor Skydiving. You need to be in good physical shape and there are health restrictions, but no age limits. People in their 80s have enjoyed the ride and happily returned for more.

For $75, they’ll put you in a puffy flight suit, given some basic flying instructions and guided into the indoor wind tunnel. For about 20 minutes, you’ll have the wonderful sensation of being one of the three flying P’s: Harry Potter, Peter Pan or Mary Poppins. For more information, ask at your hotel front desk or go to www.vegasindoorskydiving.com


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