Friday, 31 January 2014

Wave Season, What is it?

Saturday, Jan 31, 2014
 Newsletter - Jan/Feb.  2014
Vol. 3,  Issue #1

        Travel & Cruise News and Items of Interest
               A Newsletter from Rosswin Travel, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC
                       Business Opportunity: http://rosswintravelthecomoxvalley.blogspot.ca
                       A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley Blog:  http://bit.ly/XPqzmz 

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A new year has began and now is the time to think about your travel plans for 2014 
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Wave Season, What is it? 
How to take advantage of the Wave Season.

Wave Season takes place between January and March each year. This is one of the times when the cruise lines offer deals that that include free upgrades, onboard credit and other great perks. Some offer great sales at this time. At this time of year a large number of travellers book their vacations. The cruise lines take advantage of this to offer the extra incentives. 
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 The following are some tips from Cruise Critic on how to make the most of the Wave Season Deals.

How Do I Get the Best Deal?

Wave Season is not for everyone. If you want a dirt-cheap cruise fare -- perhaps one of those less-than-$75-per-night deals that you can brag about to your friends -- you might be better off waiting for a last-minute sale. Wave Season deals are for travelers who want value for money, such as an upgrade to a nicer cabin or free onboard credit for some guilt-free indulgence at the spa or onboard boutiques. Fares are generally discounted, but they don't hit rock-bottom at this time.

To get the biggest bang for your buck, follow these three steps:

1 -  Figure out the ballpark cost of your cruise: To know if you're getting a deal, you have to know what the average price you'd normally pay is. Do some research on typical fares for the itinerary you have in mind. Remember that a 12-night Mediterranean cruise will have a much higher base price than a five-night Caribbean getaway -- you'll want to compare apples to apples. And don't just look at fares. If you're interested in free upgrades, you'll need to know the price differential between an outside and a balcony cabin; if it's onboard credit you're after, plan out how much you might typically spend on spa treatments, excursions, drinks and souvenirs (IndependentTraveler.com's Travel Budget Calculator is great for tallying extra costs). If you're hoping for free airfare, look up the cost of airfare between your hometown and your homeport. 

2 - Evaluate the sales: As you look for sales through the cruise lines or your favorite travel agency, be an active -- rather than a passive -- deal-hunter. Read the fine print, because sometimes the discount or perk being advertised won't apply to the specific itinerary or cabin category you're interested in. Don't forget to check expiration dates, too; some lines give you only a few weeks to take advantage of their offers, while others give you a couple of months. These steps let you evaluate what this year's promotions are and how good they are. 

Another helpful trick: Always compare cruise line promotions with the same sailings sold through an agent. Often, agencies will offer additional incentives above what the cruise lines are offering. For example, one cruise line might offer two-for-one cruise fares and free airfare on select Europe cruises. But another might throw in perks such as prepaid gratuities, onboard credit, spa credits, shore excursion credits and a welcome bottle of champagne. If you don't see any advertised discounts, call and ask. Sometimes agencies are able to offer better perks and prices than they list on their Web sites and in promotional materials.

3- Compare cost benefits: Now that you've got all the information, compare the offers. Is the free upgrade on one line still more expensive than a regular balcony cabin on another? Would you prefer one agent's onboard credit or another's extra cruise fare discount? Are the deals good enough to make you want to book now, or do you need prices to drop further before you plunk down a deposit? If the numbers work out, congratulations: You've made an informed decision. Now it's time to book that cruise and start dreaming of sightseeing in Europe, sunbathing in the Caribbean or even dog-sledding in Alaska.

And if the Wave Season sales aren't tempting enough, or if you're just not ready to book yet, don't fret. Cruise lines will hold plenty of last-minute, three-day or extra-value sales throughout the year for you to find great deals. But unlike Wave Season, you just won't know when those sales are coming.

--by Erica Silverstein, Features Editor

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Some interesting Travel Terms
 from http://www.travel-industry-dictionary.com/Recently-Added.html


Pre-reclined Seat
An airline euphemism for an airline seat that is essentially upright and impossible to recline.
Babymoon
A Vacation taken by a couple before their baby is born, Described by travel agents as "your last chance for some pre-baby R & R. 
A La Minute
Fr. Cooked to order, as opposed to being prepared ahead of time for service later.
Box Office
Slang. An all-female cabin crew
Soft adventure
An outdoor or adventure travel experience that is not overly demanding physically.
FBT. Abr
A hotel rate that includes a room with full board plus a spa treatment. 
American Plan
A meal plan at a hotel or resort in which three meals a day are included in the price. Sometimes referred to as Full American Plan.
Judder. 
In the railway industry, the shaking of a passenger train caused by braking.
Flyboy, Slang. 
A male pilot, ofter used in a derogatory sense.
Kippie Bags.
The quart-sized bags used for toiletries when going through airport security: name after former head Kip Hawley
Lav Truck.
At an airport, a vehicle that services the lavatories on the craft.
Towbar, Slang.
In the aviation industry, a mildly derogatory term for an aircraft mechanic.
Slimline seats.
In the airline industry,, lighter seats that allow airlines to save money on fuel and cram more seats into each aircraft while providing inferor (sic) service to their passengers. 
Skrood, Slang.
A person involved in crew scheduling.
Rasul.
A spa treatment using mineral-rich mud and a hot, sometimes steam room.  Increasingly popular in cruise line spas. 
Ramp Rat, Slang
A derogatory term for a baggage handler at an airport. 
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Artist of the month

Gail Neuls Artist Biography

I was born and raised in Grenfell Saskatchewan.  I moved to Courtenay, British Columbia in December 1969.  It was in 1980 I attended my first oil painting class. It stirred up my passion for art making.  After a lapse of time while my busy lifestyle took over I took drawing lessons from Tracey Kobus.  Now I was really ready to enter the art world.

About the Artist

Contemporary fine artist Gail Neul has been recognized for her unique and diverse techniques as well as her incredible use of colour and composition. As a contemporary stylist painter Neuls' images create a story enriched with depth and vision.  Her work is well crafted and compels the viewer to discover something new.


Beautiful British Columbia

























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Booking Travel

1. To book Your own Travel, go to -  http://ytbtravel.com/rosswintravel
2. Become a Free Affiliate and earn 30% of the commission paid by the vendor  
 , (go to upper right hand corner, sign up and you will become an Affiliate of YTB ) 

     Booking Cruises
Cruise line companies are not always the cheapest place to book cruises, after checking out the cruise line pricing, check out our travel site for pricing and/or call us at 1-866-517-2113 or e-mail us at "rosswin@shaw.ca" and we will see if we can match or beat the price as we have access to other bookings engines that have great prices. 

                                         
I will be glad of any comments or corrections or if you wish  to  see something that is of interest to you please let me know. Thanks, Rhoda

If you liked this newsletter please pass it on 

With thanks to the Cruise Critic and Travel Industry Dictionary web pages

Rosswin Travel,  
1 250-338-6334 / 1 866-517-2113
e-mail: rosswin@shaw.ca
420 Harmston Ave, Courtenay, BC, V9N 2X2
 _______________________________________________

If you do not wish to receive these newsletters let me know by e-mail and you will be deleted from my mailing list. Please put in the subject line “delete"

     __________________________________________________



Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas Greetings

 Newsletter - Dec.  2013


Vol. 2,  Issue #8

        Travel & Cruise News and Items of Interest
               A Newsletter from Rosswin Travel, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC
                       Business Opportunity: http://rosswintravelthecomoxvalley.blogspot.ca
                       A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley Blog:  http://bit.ly/XPqzmz 


 Union Bay, BC Winter, by Debbie Salmon


CHRISTMAS GREETINGS TO ALL

May this coming Christmas Season and
  the New Year just around the corner
Bring you Joy, Happiness and Friendship

Best Wishes for a Joyous and Merry Christmas
And a Happy New Year throughout 2014



 A Christmas Card for You 


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20 Tips For Safe Holiday Travel
Whether you’re flying south for a vacation in the sun or you're off to visit your family, you'll want to arrive safely. Here are some tips for arriving at your destination without mishap.      
By Elizabeth Dunn for readersdigest.ca

  1. If you have diabetes or take medication using a syringe, get a signed letter from your doctor  explaining that your syringes are a medical necessity. 
  2. Know the generic names of your medications so you can replace them if they are lost or stolen. Your medication will have a different brand name in another country. 
  3. If you have any life-threatening allergies, wear a medical alert bracelet and bring an Epi-pen kit. 
  4. Pack presents in carry-on luggage so they can be more easily checked by security. 
  5. Travel light. Take only what you need and no more. 
  6. Get the address of the local Government of Canada office for the country you plan to visit. These offices can assist you in case of emergencies. Find out if there are any travel advisories for your destination at the Foreign Affair’s Voyage Website
  7. Use covered luggage tags with your office address instead of your home address. 
  8. Make sure your children know their home address and telephone number. Show them where to go in the airport if you get separated, and review the procedure for dealing with strangers. 
  9. Give a family member or friend your travel itinerary and the contact information for your hotel. Make sure someone has your email address and the phone number of the local Canadian embassy as well. 
  10. If you are a single parent travelling with your children, make sure you have a signed letter of permission from the other parent. You could be barred from the plane if you are unable to prove you have the right to take your children with you. 
  11. Leave the bling at home and reduce your risk of getting robbed. The same goes for expensive electronics such as iPods and digital cameras. Buy some disposable cameras to use. 
  12. Do you really need your cellphone on vacation? Chances are you won’t get service. Opt for email to stay in touch with people back home. It will be much more economical. 
  13. Make photocopies of your passports, credit cards and other ID. Leave one copy with a relative at home, and keep another copy separate from your originals.
  14. Travel with only one credit card. Bring a combination of traveller’s cheques and cash in small bills (American money is universally accepted). You should be able to use your debit card as long as the machine has the CIRRUS symbol. You will be charged for each transaction. Try to familiarize yourself with the local currency so your first transaction won’t be so confusing. 
  15. Bring an extra pair of glasses or contact lenses as backup. You don’t want your vacation ruined because you can’t see anything. 
  16. Get adequate medical insurance, particularly if you are planning to do any high-risk adventure travel. Check your policy to make sure your medical expenses abroad will be covered as well as emergency evacuations. 
  17. Go easy on the sunbathing. It can be tempting to spend all day in the sun, but you don’t want your vacation ruined by a bad sunburn or sunstroke. 
  18. Motorcycles and scooters may seem like a fun way to travel, but leave them to the locals who are familiar with the streets and traffic rules. 
  19. Rent a car from a reputable company and check the small print on all contracts. Your hotel will probably have a car rental service. 
  20. Check with Be Aware and Declare, hosted by the Canadian government, to find out what you can and can’t bring back with you. You don't want to be slapped with any heavy fines on your way through customs.
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I hope you have enjoyed reading my newsletter this past year and have found some useful information in it. Also a big Thank You for staying on my mailing list. Rhoda
________________________________________

Booking Travel

1. To book Your own Travel, go to -  http://ytbtravel.com/rosswintravel
2. Become a Free Affiliate and earn 30% of the commission paid by the vendor,  (go to upper right hand corner, sign up and you will become an Affiliate of YTB ) 

Booking Cruises
Cruise line companies are not always the cheapest place to book cruises, after checking out the cruise line pricing, check out our travel site for pricing and/or call us at 1-866-517-2113 or e-mail us at "rosswin@shaw.ca" and we will see if we can match or beat the price as we have access to other bookings engines that have great prices. 

______________________

I will be glad of any comments or corrections or if you wish  to  see something that is of interest to you please let me know. Thanks, Rhoda

If you liked this newsletter please pass it on 


Rosswin Travel,  
1 250-338-6334 / 1 866-517-2113
e-mail: rosswin@shaw.ca
420 Harmston Ave, Courtenay, BC, V9N 2X2
 _______________________________________________

If you do not wish to receive these newsletters let me know by e-mail and you will be deleted from my mailing list. Please put in the subject line “delete"

                               __________________________________________________



Tuesday, 3 December 2013

15 Day Cruise to Hawaii on the Grand Princess



 Newsletter - Dec.  2013

Vol. 2,  Issue #7

        Travel & Cruise News and Items of Interest
               A Newsletter from Rosswin Travel, Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC
                       Business Opportunity: http://rosswintravelthecomoxvalley.blogspot.ca
                       A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley Blog:  http://bit.ly/XPqzmz 

Hawaii
Hawaii here we come. Hawaii has a been on our bucket list for a couple of years and while studying for my Princess Commodore yearly exams I came across a mention of a 15 day cruse to Hawaii with a visit to each of the four ports that the cruise ships can enter.   It is on the Grand Princess with five sea days going and five sea days coming back, round trip from Vancouver, BC, a distance of 2, 703 miles As we love to just lounge on the ship the sea days will suit us just fine.  The price was great and it did not take us long to secure an interior cabin.  We have been in a balcony cabin on two of our cruises and barely used the balcony, certainly not worth the extra cost, at least for us.  We leave the cabin in the morning and usually only return to change clothes or to sleep.  There are always activities to attend and watch folks having fun doing what we wish were hd the courage to attempt.  We have not been on a cruise for a couple of years and were due to go.  Admittedly the cruise is not until next October but the time will soon pass and we will have something to look forward to. 
We thought about going to one of the islands for a vacation and then decided a cruise would give us an idea of the different areas that comprise Hawaii.  We have a full day at most of the ports. If we like a particular Island then we can always come back for a vacation and spend a few days or a week or more.  
If any one would like more information on this cruise please contact me at rosswin@shaw.ca

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The following information & pictures are from the 
Princess Cruise Line web site.

The 4 ports we will be stopping at:

Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii

The fourth largest island in the Hawaiian group, Kaua'i is known as the "Garden Island." The terrain ranges from the volcanic slopes of Mt. Waialeale and the desert-like beauty of Waimea Canyon to the Wailua River's lush Fern Grotto. Ironically this once isolated island was the site of the first meeting between Europeans and Hawaiians. On January 19, 1778, Captain James Cook anchored his ships off the mouth of the Waimea River, becoming the first in a long line of enthusiastic visitors.

Kaua'i was never conquered by the great warrior King Kamehameha.



Honolulu, Hawaii

Home to nearly half a million people, Honolulu is Hawaii's state capital and only major city. The city of Honolulu and the island of Oahu offer a wealth of historic, cultural and scenic attractions. Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head are two of the city's enduring symbols. Pearl Harbor, site of the USS Arizona Memorial and the "Punchbowl," are haunting reminders of the tragic events of December 7, 1941, when the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor forced America into World War II. Honolulu is also home to the historic Iolani Palace, the official residence of Hawaii's last royals. Beyond the city lie tropical rain forests, the Pali Lookout and the North Shore known for its surfing beaches.

A draw card to visitors of all ages, from all corners of the globe, Honolulu's appeal ranges from it's magnificent beaches, countless well-stocked shops, tempting restaurants and a multitude of historic, cultural and scenic attractions.


Maui (Lahaina), Hawaii
Maui has always occupied a special place in the hearts of Hawaiians. The great warrior King Kamehameha, who united the islands under his rule, chose to make Lahaina his capital and Ka'anapali was once the favorite playground of Hawaiian royalty. And no wonder - Maui boasts stunning landscapes and superb beaches. Mt. Haleakala, a dormant volcano, rises 10,000 feet above the Pacific Ocean. Once hailed as "The Valley of the Kings," Maui's Iao Valley is a tropical paradise dominated by the Needle, a volcanic monolith towering over the valley floor. Then there is Lahaina, once home to a royal court and a raucous port-of-call enjoyed by 19th-century Yankee whalers.

Haleakala means "The House of the Sun." To the Hawaiians, it appeared that the sun both rose from and set in the depths of its massive crater. Today, the centerpiece of Haleakala National Park, it is one of Maui's major attractions.

Note: Lahaina is an anchorage port. Transportation from ship to shore is via the ship's tender service.


Hilo, Hawaii
Welcome to the Big Island of Hawaii - a paradise of black-sand beaches, tropical rainforest and volcanic mountains. Mauna Loa, the largest mountain on the planet, soars above the bleak lava fields of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. In the heart of the Big Island's lush rainforest lies the remote and stunning Wai'po Valley (Valley of the Kings). Hawaii's history matches its incomparable landscape - it is a saga of mighty Polynesian kings, sugar barons, war and treachery.

The landscape of the Big Island ranges from black-sand beaches to tropical rain forest to the alpine terrain of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. At 13,796 feet above sea level, the summit of Mauna Kea is the highest point in the entire Pacific basin.








________________________________________


Are Travel Agents Useful Anymore?
Posted: 11/18/2013
Up Dates from Grace McClure, Senior Writer, Flightfox

Throughout the changing landscape of all industries, one thing has remained amazingly untouched: the local travel agency. Sun-bleached Bermuda posters still adorn the walls, fax machines carry on purring their tinny tune, and atlases continue to be referenced during flight routing. Seemingly against all odds, these small businesses have remained intact.
Walking to work, I noticed two local agencies within a few short blocks. If these small businesses could survive recessions, overcome a complete industry overhaul by the internet, and still pay rent, they must be on to something.
I decided to construct a mock trip to compare the price and experience when using a travel agent against the high-and-mighty internet -- a multi-city itinerary that could use some human manipulation. Online algorithmic searches often fall short when pulling up multi-city trips, so this is the exact kind of trip I wanted to test.
A Multi-City Experiment
My trip would visit Berlin and Reykjavik from Toronto in the first two weeks of February (dates being pretty flexible). I had smugly decided, in the words of Bob Barker, that if the price was right I'd book the flights, thinking that this would lend some authenticity to my face-to-face interactions.
Before hitting the streets in the hopes of meeting a real-life travel agent, I decided to make some calls. I called 10 travel agents throughout the city, and each time was met with vague questions and unenthused voices.
Regardless of this initial impression, all of the agents assured they would circle back with a quote by the end of the day. So, while waiting for an influx of phone calls and emails, I boldly hit the streets. I envisioned being met by agents with open arms; or at least be given a few travel pamphlets and stale mints.
15% Response Rate
By 6 p.m., I had virtually nothing. I had received only a few superficial quotes and one phone call.
What had gone wrong? Could these agents sense my lack of commitment? Why had the agents who pinky-sweared they would call me back not follow through? Isn't not returning a call completely defiant of the meaning of customer service?
From the few quotes I did receive, the total cost for my Toronto - Berlin - Reykjavik - Toronto trip ranged from $1,400 all the way up $3,000!
With these limited results, I opted to call a few larger travel agencies that have an online presence, but are heavily focused on delivering live customer-friendly service.
My best encounter was with Aussie-accented Luke from Flight Centre. Our conversation was over-floMy best encounter was with Aussie-accented Luke from Flight Centre. Our conversation was over-flowing with "awesomes" and "cools." His reassurance made me feel like yelling out my credit card and passport numbers from the rooftop.
The one thing stoping me: the price. His quote was $1,626.
Dare to Compare?
With a quick Kayak search online, my DIY flight itinerary came out at only $1,251.
This would mean a savings of $375 from Luke's price if I booked on my own. Sorry, but no one is $375 worth of charming. Couldn't there be a happy medium?
Hey, Price. I'd like you to meet someone special, Service.

Without having much travel agent success, I asked one of the most seasoned experts at Flightfox, a human-powered travel hacking platform, to take a look at my itinerary. After answering a few questions, she quickly came up with an itinerary.
Finding My Itinerary for 40% Cheaper
Her itinerary was the only one that deviated from the others. Instead of first flying into Berlin, her itinerary would take me straight to Iceland, then onto Berlin. After a week in Berlin, I would return back to Reykjavik for a few more days, and then catch my return flight back to Toronto. The Flightfox Hacker total came to just $855.
This is $545, or 40 percent cheaper than the best price I received from a travel agent, and $396 or 30 percent cheaper than my DIY itinerary.
What Does it All Mean?
According to Kelly Monaghan, long-time travel expert and author of Home-Based Travel Agents, "booking airline tickets is one of a travel agent's most difficult jobs." In fact, in his chapter "Booking Airlines," he actually uses the word "hassle" 10 times (not including synonyms).
The general gist: independent travel agents do not make enough money booking flights.
Instead, agents have carved out a place for themselves in booking package vacations, cruises, and luxury and VIP getaways. These bookings generally serve a smaller, but loyal niche group of customers.
In short, traditional agencies are still very much alive -- I saw them. However, they just aren't interested in me, or my petty flight itinerary.
Perhaps the answer to confidently booking travel lies in a hybrid system; a system that requires "man" to properly and creatively guide the "machine." In a contemporary setting, the operator of this machine may no longer be the travel agent, but the hacker.
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Comment
  After reading the above article  I thought how a Home Based Travel Agent is going to be the way of booking travel in the future. A home based agent can book on the same travel sites as other travel agents.  
There are two ways of booking travel through my host company YTB Travel of Canada.  If you are interested in booking travel for relatives and friends and yourself you can join the company (called a host company) and once you have taken your TICO exam it allows you to book from the many different travel booking engines.  It is mandatory in Ontario and BC to take your TICO Certification before you can book travel.     
 There is a small free to join YTB Travel of Canada or the American branch of the YTB Travel Company and a monthly fee for your web site. 
If you are interested in just booking your own travel then why not join as a Affiliate, which is free to join, no training required and book your own travel on their site. You then receive 30% of the commission that is paid by the vender after the travel is completed.  The YTB travel booking site has prices much the same as the other travel sites and sometimes better.  
To book your travel through my web site:  http://ytbtravel.com/rosswintravel

Become a Free Affiliate of YTB Travel and earn 30% of the commission paid by the vender when booking your own travel go to:
(go to upper right hand corner, create account and follow the steps to become an Affiliate of YTB
 Need help call me:1- 866 517 2113

Check out these Videos at 

If you would like more information contact me at rosswintravel@gmail.com or 1-866 517 2113

_______________________________
Artist of the Month
Welcome to Brenda Calhoun Artworks
Quote for today:  “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Pablo Picasso

















Hello and welcome to my art blog…Brenda Calhoun Artworks
I am a realist painter (a wanna be impressionist – not easy for a detail oriented former bookkeeper) with over twenty years of painting experience. I paint still lifes, florals and tranquil scenes in acrylics, and occasionally in mixed media and watercolours. I like to experiment with attaching various papers – mulberry (rice) paper, kuji paper, etc. – on my painting surface to create texture.
  • See more at: http://www.brendacalhounartworks.com/#sthash.iu0iKmo1.dpuf
__________________________________

Booking Travel

1. To book Your own Travel, go to -  http://ytbtravel.com/rosswintravel
2. Become a Free Affiliate and earn 30% of the commission paid by the vendor  
 , (go to upper right hand corner, sign up and you will become an Affiliate of YTB ) 

     Booking Cruises
Cruise line companies are not always the cheapest place to book cruises, after checking out the cruise line pricing, check out our travel site for pricing and/or call us at 1-866-517-2113 or e-mail us at "rosswin@shaw.ca" and we will see if we can match or beat the price as we have access to other bookings engines that have great prices. 

                                         
I will be glad of any comments or corrections or if you wish  to  see something that is of interest to you please let me know. Thanks, Rhoda

If you liked this newsletter please pass it on 


Rosswin Travel,  
1 250-338-6334 / 1 866-517-2113
e-mail: rosswin@shaw.ca
420 Harmston Ave, Courtenay, BC, V9N 2X2
 _______________________________________________

If you do not wish to receive these newsletters let me know by e-mail and you will be deleted from my mailing list. Please put in the subject line “delete"

     __________________________________________________