June 2009

Seabourn Odyssey (Photo Courtesy of the Yachts of Seabourn)The 32,000-ton, 450-passenger Seabourn Odyssey is the first new ship in 15 years for the Yachts of Seabourn and the first luxury vessel launched in 6 years. It’s also the first of three new yachts the line is building. Find out why this luxury yacht is in high demand among the jet set.

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Consolidated Resorts, best known for the Tahiti Village time-shares on Las Vegas Boulevard, has filed for bankruptcy protection.

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A recent Tripso column dealt with passengers who had to pay several hundred dollars at the pier to board their ship. While the story might seem ridiculous, it’s amazing in many ways that it doesn’t happen more often. While there are always sales, and travel agents often have special group rates on some sailings, the cruise industry has now taken discounting to a whole new level.

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Summer travel often includes a museum visit. How do you capture the moment? Ned has some tips for taking better photographs in museums.

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At approximately 5 p.m. on Monday, June 22nd, two trains crashed on the packed commuter metro Red Line near Tacoma Park, Md. The accident is the deadliest in the D.C.’s Metro’s 33-year history. Could it have been avoided?

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The latest cost-cutting move by United Airlines may end up disappearing like many other ill-fated airline trial balloons. Or it may radically change the travel industry.

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According to flight comparison Web site FareCompare, airlines are raising fares again, the second time in two weeks. This could be a sign that fares are nearing the bottom.

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Scott Booker is the chief hotel expert and guest advocate for Hotels.com. I asked him about this summer’s unprecedented crop of hotel bargains and how to take advantage of them in a recessionary economy, plus the outlook for new hotel fees.

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U.S. Department of Transportation just released a list of the 10 U.S. carriers collecting the highest amount in baggage fees. They racked up a total of $566.3 million in the first quarter, more than four times the $122.6 million collected in the year-ago period.

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It looks like a-la-carte pricing is here to stay with the airlines. Reservation technology is beginning to catch up with the airlines’ love of fees — fees for baggage, fees for meals, fees for reservations, fees for pets, fees for pillows, fees for blankets, fees for snacks, fees for drinks and more.

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