Sunday, 10 January 2016

Summer Holidays

 July 2013, Vol 2, Issue 6  

         Travel & Cruise News and Items of interest
        A Newsletter from Rosswin Travel, 
      Courtenay, Vancouver Island, BC
                       Business Opportunity:
                       A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley Blog:
Table of Contents:
Bits & Pieces
Travel Industry Terminology
Artist of the Month
12 Budget Travel Tips
Become a travel agent

Wishing everyone a Happy Canada Day 
and to our American friends a 
Happy Independence Day on the 4th July

Bits & Pieces of our summer schedule
Summer is finally here and we are expecting some nice warm weather after a lot of rainy and damp days. A nice change and now we will be complaining about the heat. We have not yet put out our patio table and chairs, usually these would have been out a month ago. I guess we are getting lazy in our old age.
Alex won two tickets to the  "Pacific Tattoo" and we will be going to Victoria for the July 13th evening performance. Our summer holiday's will start on the 29th July we will be flying into Ottawa and then driving to Bainsville to visit family in the Glengarry area for a couple of weeks.  While there we will attend the Glengarry Highland Games at Maxville, the Williamstown Fair and a couple of other events while in the area.  It has been two years since we were home. 
As I will not be near my computer while on holiday's there will be no newsletter in July, the next one will be at the end of August. 
I have also put in some additional pictures in my Comox Valley Pictorial blog.
I would like to wish everyone a wonderful & safe summer holiday.

 Everyone got into the parade spirit, Courtenay, BC, July 1st. 2013 parade

 Runners in the 1 mile event, July 1st. 2013, Courtenay, BC

 Old Fire Truck, July 1st. Parade, Courtenay, BC

  The travel season being in full swing 
Here is some travel Industry Terminology  for you.

Tour Conductor .  
1. An employee of or contractor to a tour operator who accompanies and is in overall charge of a tour.
2. A member of a group taking a tour who is designated as that group's leader and who might have played a key role in bringing the group together for the tour.

Tour Conductor Pass A free passage, as on a cruise, awarded for a specific number of bookings. Typically, a tour conductor pass is controlled by the travel agent responsible for the bookings and can be used at the agent's discretion for personal use or for the tour conductor.

Theme cruise. A cruise designed to appeal to a specific clientele with specific interests.

Lido deck. On a cruise ship, the area around the swimming pool.

Cruise to nowhere. A cruise, typically of short duration and with an emphasis on partying and gambling, with no ports of call.

Denied boarding compensation. Payment given passengers who've been bumped from a flight, cruise, or land-tour. May be a free trip, money, or accommodations.

Domestic airline. An air carrier that provides service within its own country. Also called a domestic carrier. 

Affinity group. A group of people linked by a common bond, such as ethnicity or membership in an organization.

Through passenger. Any passenger who is not disembarking at a particular stop.

Through fare. Fare to a foreign destination reached via a gateway city.

Non-transferable. Cannot be used by anyone other than the person to which it was issued, as a ticket.

Open jaw. A trip that has no air travel between two points on the itinerary.  

Open Jaw.  An itinerary in which the traveler flies from point A to point B; travels by another form of transportation (ie car or rail) from B to C; then returns by air from C to A. 

 Non Stop Flight.  A flight that proceeds directly to the final destination without any stops at intermediate points. 

 Code Share.  is an arrangement whereby an airline sells seats, under its own name, on another carrier’s flight (ie you buy a ticket with Air Canada but actually fly with Delta) 

Bait and switch. An illegal sales tactic in which a consumer is lured by a low price only to be told that the "special offer" is no longer available and steered to a higher priced product.

Familiarization trip. A low-cost trip or tour offered to travel agents by a supplier or group of suppliers to familiarize the agents with their destination and services. Example, a resort property or group of hotels and restaurants in Aruba might team up with an airline or tour operator to offer a discount fam trip to the resort or to Aruba. Generally referred to as a "fam trip."

Guarantee .1. n. An assurance that a product or service will be provided at an agreed-upon time and/or meet stated specifications, often with a promise that the purchaser will be reimbursed if the product or service fails to meet the guarantee. 2. v. To answer for a product or service meeting agreed-upon conditions. 3. v. To pay for a guarantee of product or service performance.

Wait list, waitlist. 1. n. A roster of names of those wishing passage on a full flight or other trip, usually honored in order in case of cancellations. 2. n. A group of people waiting for cancellations. 3. v. To place someone on such a list.

PAX.  Abbreviation for passenger. 

Hub. An airport or city which serves as a central connecting point for an airline. 

 Direct Flight.  A flight which may make an intermediate stop or stops before reaching its final destination but requires no change of aircraft. 

Lead In. The lowest price available.

Debark. To get off a plane or ship.

Enplane. To board an airplane.

Embark. 1. To board a ship, plane, or other transportation vehicle. 2. To start out. 

FIT.  Free Independent Travel.

GIT.  Group Independent Travel.

Travel Industry Terminology.pdf



Nicole Sussmane has left a new comment on your post "Travel and the Hard of Hearing": 

When taking a trip not designed for the deaf or hard of hearing loop technology can be very helpful. This is being implemented in hotels and public places across America. Loop stands for ampetronic loops, aka audio-frequency introduction loops. These emit electromagnetic signals, conveying sounds of interest to nearby hearing aids. 

For more information on loop technologies and other travel tips for the hard of hearing you can visit the following article: 



Going on a trip doesn’t have to burn a hole in your wallet. You can have a wonderful vacation without breaking the bank.
By Alison Ramsey for
The best way to get the vacation of your dreams is to know exactly what kind of experience you’re seeking.
So before booking, chat up your friends, relatives and travel agents to learn about the destinations that appeal most to you. Once you have an idea of where you want to go, follow these tips to help keep to your budget.
  1. Travel off-season. Check with the local tourism office to find out when their off-season starts.
  2. Travel double occupancy. When travelling with someone, sharing a room will be cheaper than booking two separate rooms.
  3. When flying, either plan well in advance (ideally, 10 months to a year ahead) or at the last minute (two weeks or less before you leave).
  4. Be flexible. You can save on fares by travelling mid-week, or choosing sunny Varadero, Cuba, over sunny Cancun, Mexico.
  5. Check with your credit card company for existing travel or car insurance.
  6. Book a package deal or an all-inclusive trip. (But if you prefer local restaurants to hotel fare, or spur-of-the-moment activities to planned outings, all-inclusives may not be a good idea.)
  7. Brown bag healthy snacks and meals to avoid pricey airport or train food. Book a hotel room with a kitchenette, to save on meals.
  8. Consult with your travel agent to preplan trips; surf the Internet for immediate deals.
  9. Ask your travel agent where to change your money to get the best exchange rate.
  10. Visit Amtrak Hot Deals or  ViaRail Special Deals to get the best prices on North American rail travel.
  11. Visit web sites such as  Eurail or Flightcentre to buy your European rail pass before you leave Canada.
  12. When going by car, use the most fuel-efficient model on hand (subcompact, compact and hybrids are best). To save even more gas, use cruise control, keep to the speed limit, run the air conditioning as little as possible and pack the trunk before loading down the roof.
  13. From -


Are You Interested in Becoming a Travel Agent


Artist of the Month

Eunmi Conacher

 I earned a Bachelor of Fine Art Degree in Seoul, Korea. Post - Graduate studies occurred in Sydney, Australia and Tsukuba, Japan.
I moved to Canada in 1997 and operated a small business in Whistler with my husband, where
we enjoyed mountain life.
After settling in Nanaimo in 2004, I renewed my interest in painting. I have taken several workshops
on Vancouver  Island.I have participated in lots of exhibits and art events.
In my painting, I use depth of colour to capture the mood and the atmosphere of the scene. My focus lately has been on finding a balance between realism and abstract.
I view myself as a contemporary impressionist and expressionist.



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 then please pass it on”
Rosswin Travel, Courtenay, BC
1 250 338 6334 / 1 866 517 2113
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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:
                       A Pictorial View of the Comox Valley Blog: 

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


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.

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:

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
420 Harmston Ave, Courtenay, BC, V9N 2X2

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