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Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, November 2007 Issue

Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 91033
Columbus OH 43209
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright © 2007 
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Purchase the Perfect Pair!Purchase the Perfect Pair!

AAA Jewelry Outlet has the perfect pair for that perfect look. The 16 inch long freshwater pearl drop necklace is enhanced with four cubic zirconia stones. Stones and pearls are enhanced by a sterling silver chain and sterling settings. But that’s not all. You get a matching set of pearl and cubic zirconia earrings for a complete look. Parties, picnics or in public, you can wear this always-in-style set anywhere and look ravishing.

Other stores sell this ensemble for $150 or more. Our price, a mere $75 for both the earrings and necklace. Hurry, we only have a limited supply. AAA Jewelry Outlet.

In This Issue:
Death Not Uncommon on Cruise Ships

cruise ship

  • Shell Vacations “Suite Fall Escapes”
  • Traffic.com Traffic Reports
  • Philly’s More Impressionistic
  • Deals/Discounts from VisitBritain
  • PennDOT Expands BicyclePA Program
  • FAA to Eliminate, Reduce Air Taxes
  • Amadeus Waterways Winter Cruise Specials
  • Rome With Airfare From $469
  • Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em – Caribbean Deals
  • Grand Canyon Lodges Reduced Winter Rates
  • Ski Free in Jackson Hole
  • Kids Fly, Ski & Rent Free
  • Radisson Resort Special Rate
  • Brazil Getaway
  • Oasis Savings of up to 45% in Mexico
  • With Kids Away, Parents Play at Horseshoe Bay Resort
  • Death Not Uncommon on Cruise Ships
  • Super Bowl XLII Sweepstakes
  • Kids Stay, Ski Fre.e at Intrawest Canadian Resorts

  • Shell Vacations “Suite Fall Escapes”

    Shell Vacations Hospitality offers "Suite Fall Escapes," three-day getaways to its hotels and resorts throughout the U.S. and Canada. You can book online at any Shell Vacations Hospitality resort through Dec. 15, 2007 and receive one "Suite Escape" reward and a chance to win a five-day hotel stay on Hawaii's Big Island.

    The "Suite Fall Escapes" offer includes: accommodations from $59 per night, choice of one "Suite Escape" reward including a $25 gift from Harry and David's or Amazon.com and a 10 percent off coupon for your next stay at Shell Vacations Hospitality

    To sweeten this package, Shell Vacations Hospitality launches "Sweet Hawaii Escape" photo contest. Open to anyone who submits a vacation photo of themselves or their "Sweeties," and uploads it to the online image gallery, the submission makes you eligible to win five days’ accommodations at Paniolo Greens Resort in Hawaii's Big Island.

    "Suite Fall Escapes" Special.

    Traffic.com Traffic Reports

    Traffic.com, a provider of personalized traffic information, helps drivers avoid congestion with f.ree solutions to help them get where they're going faster.

    According to the Texas Traffic Institute report, 4.2 billion hours are spent stuck in traffic each year in the U.S., wasting 2.9 billion gallons of fuel at a cost of $78 billion.

    Traffic.com's fr.ee web site and personalized alerting solutions gives you comprehensive city-wide information and detailed traffic condition information. For fr.ee, real-time traffic information on-demand across the country:

    • Call Traffic.com's fr.ee traffic hotline 866/698-7232
    • Text a city code to TRAFC (87232)
    • Access Traffic.com mobile web site with a web-enabled cell phone or mobile device browser.


    Give a Jaguar -- An Amber Jaguar -- The remarkable face of a jaguar is hand-carved onto a lovely piece of cherry amber that's 33x20 mm in size. The dramatic pendent hangs on an ultra-chic 18" natural-colored leather necklace cord with a sterling silver clasp. Boy will this turn heads.

    High-style boutiques and jewelers charge $500 or more for this glam piece. It's yours for only $125 plus shipping & insurance. Click here to order.
    At the home page, click on the amber category.

    Philly’s More Impressionistic

    Fans of Pierre-Auguste Renoir can see two exhibitions of the artist’s works this fall in Philadelphia. You can combine a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s exclusive showing of the Renoir Landscapes exhibition with a stop at the Barnes Foundation, home to the largest collection of the artist’s. Combined, there will be more than 250 Renoir masterpieces on display, and they will be located within a 15-minute drive of one another.

    Renoir Landscapes, an exhibition of approximately 70 of the artist’s landscapes makes its only U.S. stop at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through Jan. 6, 2008.

    Special hotel and travel packages mean you won’t have to miss a single masterpiece. Amtrak offers 50 percent off one companion fare when accompanied by a full paid adult ticket. To reserve a ticket, go to www.amtrak.com or 800/USA-RAIL and refer to code V240.

    A special Renoir Landscapes package that includes preferred admission exhibition tickets is available atRenoir Landscapes package.

    The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation

    Deals/Discounts from VisitBritain

    VisitBritain offers the Great British Heritage Pass providing unlimited entry to around 600 stately homes, castles and properties in England, Scotland and Wales. A four-day pass costs $54; seven-day $75; 15-day $99; and 30-day $133.

    Oyster Cards are the new money-saving answer for using London's buses and subway. The smart card guarantees you will never pay more than the equivalent day TravelCard price.

    Continental Airlines offers discounted BusinessFirst from $510 each way on routes including: New York or Newark to Glasgow, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham. The fare is based on a roundtrip purchase, excluding taxes, for travel Nov. 18 to 24, 2007.

    Big Bus hop-on, hop-off tours in London offer live-guided open- top tours of London. A 24 hour ticket costs £20 and allows unlimited use on a wide variety of routes and entitles you to all five guided Big Bus Walks, a 30 minute river cruise on the Thames and a Big Bus bonus card for discounts at London bars and restaurants. Receive a £2 discount if ticket is purchased online.

    Big Bus also offer a Walking Pass for five guided walking tours of the capital for £10. Valid for two days, pass holders are led on themes including The Beatles, James Bond, movie locations and "ghosts by gaslight."

    Megabus.com, the UK's low-cost motor bus service, offers travel between many of Britain's cities from £1.50 when bookings are made online. Routes include: London to Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Portsmouth and Glasgow; plus Manchester to Leeds.

    National Express, Britain’s national coach and bus operator, offers “funfares” between London and more than 30 cities from £1 each way, with no booking fees.

    The Berkeley, the Connaught and Claridges hotels, 800/637-2869, or visit offers “Great London Weekend” rates for staying three nights. Rates start from £209 per night for two nights and Sunday night is fr.ee. Rates are valid through Dec. 31, 2007 and don’t include taxes and 5 percent discretionary service charge.

    Premier Travel Inn, one of Britain’s budget hotel brands, has rooms from £48 a night. With 480 hotels across the country, Premier Travel Inn’s London locations include the London County Hall beside the River Thames with rooms from £99 a night. The hotel’s “Good Night Guarantee” insures a clean, comfortable room and friendly and efficient service. If they don’t live up to their promise, they will refund your money.

    Travelodge, a budget hotel chain in Britain – claims to have 1,000,000 rooms priced at £26 or less (around $50). These “Saver” rooms can be booked online. Ideal for families, the rooms include TV, tea and coffee-making facilities, and private bathrooms.

    PennDOT Expands BicyclePA Program

    PennDOT encourages bicycling enthusiasts and weekend riders to explore Pennsylvania's fall foliage riding on any one of Pennsylvania's nine BicyclePA routes.

    The recently completed Route V starts at the Ohio border in Lawrence County and travels about 360 miles, nearly paralleling Interstate 80, to the New Jersey border in Northampton County.

    BicyclePA routes are designed by experienced bicyclists associated with PennDOT's Pedacycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, providing bicycling enthusiasts a guide to traveling across the commonwealth. The routes use a combination of lower-traffic volume roads and rail-trails.

    All BicyclePA routes are clearly marked; PennDOT invested more than $200,000 to install and maintain signs along the routes.

    Along with the addition of Route V, Route L in the Allentown area was redesigned. The 225-mile stretch extends from Susquehanna County to Chester County, with a rural setting despite passing close to the major metropolitan areas of Scranton, Allentown and Philadelphia.

    More information on Bicycle PA, including maps of all BicyclePA routes, is available at PennDOT.

    Fr-ee Fun San Diego
    This savings-packed FR.EE brochure features almost 40 Fun, Fr-ee Things to do in San Diego. When heading to Southern California, attend concerts or visit a State Historic Park and keep that cash in your pocket.

    To get your Fr-ee Fun San Diego brochure, for a $1 handling fee, click here to send us an email.

    FAA to Eliminate, Reduce Air Taxes

    The Federal Aviation Administration unveiled a future funding proposal that would eliminate the 7.5 percent ticket tax and reduce several other fees by Oct. 2008.

    The plan lets airports raise their passenger facilities charge to $6, currently capped at $4.50.

    The plan eliminates the domestic segment tax, the Alaska/Hawaii tax, the 6.25 percent cargo waybill tax and the 7.5 percent frequent flyer tax. The international arrival and departure tax also decreases from $14.50 per passenger to $6.39. A user fee would not show up on a passenger's ticket.

    The proposed tax restructure is part of the FAA's plan to replace the aviation funding with a user fee from commercial carriers and a fuel tax increase on general aviation aircraft. The FAA wants to shift a greater share of the aviation system's costs to corporate jets and commercial carriers and their passengers will contribute less toward aviation funding than they do under the current system. The plan is part of the FAA's Reauthorization proposal and faces tough going in Congress, which must approve it.

    How much consumers would wind up paying is unknown because airlines can pass along their user fee costs to customers, as they do with many other expenses.

    Amadeus Waterways Winter Cruise Specials

    Amadeus Waterways offers winter river cruise specials on select 2007 departures. Celebrate Europe’s winter season by visiting the charming towns where so many Christmas traditions began. The historic locales have been virtually unchanged by the passage of time.

    Fr.ee roundtrip airfare is available on select “Magnificent Europe” departures. Choose between Christmas Day in Vienna and New Year’s Eve in Würzburg on the Dec. 22 departure, or a New Year’s Eve celebration in Vienna with the December 27 departure, which includes two nights in Budapest.

    Four Christmas cruise departures receive fr.ee companion airfare: Dec. 13, 15, 20 and 27, 2007.

    All departures are onboard the new MS Amalegro or the MS Amadagio. These ships offer state-of-the-art public areas and staterooms equipped with a flat-screen TV and internet access. The upper two decks feature balconies. The ships also have an elevator, a sun deck with walking track, a whirlpool and bicycles to explore on your own.

    Reservations must be paid in full for both passengers at the time of booking to receive the promotional offer. Economy class airfare is based from New York and Boston; air add-on from other U.S. gateways and air taxes are not included. This promotion is not combinable with other offers.

    Amadeus Waterways or 800/626-0126.

    Rome from $469 w/Airfare

    BOOK BY NOV. 15, 2007 - - TourCrafters has a new bargain package to the Eternal City, a “Rome Thanksgiving Special” that lasts until Mar. 14, 2008. The five-day, four-night package must be booked by Nov. 15, 2007, and costs $469 midweek from New York, Boston or Chicago. Prices are per person, based on double occupancy, and are subject to availability. These prices are not valid Dec. 14, 2007 through Jan. 2, 2008. Airport taxes ($100) and fuel surcharge ($150) are not included in the price. A $25 surcharge may apply for weekend departures. Reservations must be paid for within 72 hours of booking.

    The package includes roundtrip transatlantic airfare, accommodations in the three-star Hotel Brasile, daily breakfast, a five euro discount coupon on a city tour, service charges and taxes.

    Hotel upgrades are possible, from the four-star Grand Hotel Beverly Hills which starts at $559, to the deluxe Imperiale Hotel on the Via Veneto, which starts at $705.

    Extensions are available. Three nights’ accommodations and daily breakfast at the three-star Fenice Palace in Florence costs $139; at the Tuscan Badia di Pomaio hotel the price is $192. At the Villa Maria in Ravello the cost is $390; and at the Hotel Hesperia on Venice’s Canareggio Canal, the price is $119. TourCrafters can arrange rental cars for all of these extensions.

    TourCrafters or 800/482-5995.

    Face-It Luggage Tags -- Your Face on Your Luggage
    There's no mistaking your luggage with the Face-It Luggage Tag. The durable, laminated tag displays your face and the phrase "This Face Belongs With This Luggage."

    A Face-It Luggage tag makes it less likely for a stranger or thief to walk off with your luggage and helps you recognize your luggage at a glance in hotels or airports. Face-It Tags are also available for briefcases, portfolio books, backpacks, sporting equipment, musical instruments, bicycles and more. Face-It Luggage Tags.

    Use ‘Em or Lose ‘Em – Caribbean Deals

    With the year-end deadline to use vacation days fast approaching, the Caribbean is meeting the demand for last-minute travel with value-added escape packages.

    In the coming months, offers and events in the Caribbean include:

    Club Peace and Plenty, 800/525-2210, overlooking Elizabeth Harbour on Great Exuma Island in The Bahamas, offers the fourth night fr.ee in January 2008 to celebrate the resort’s 50 anniversary.

    Happy Holiday Homes offers the Bonaire Family Special package through Dec. 15, 2007. For $936 with taxes, the package includes a seven-night stay in a two bedroom bungalow with kitchen, car rental with car seat, baby crib, baby chair, child safe furnishing, and private fenced tropical garden.

    RE/MAX Paradise Homes, 866/611-7362, in Bonaire offers a selection of vacation rentals for 10 percent off through Dec. 15, 2007.

    Castle Comfort Lodge, 767/448-2188, in Dominica offers the “Seven Night Dive Adventure” package with accommodations, breakfast, welcome drink, roundtrip airport transfers, five days of two tank morning boat dives, unlimited shore diving, use of sea kayaks, whale watching trip, land adventure trip, taxes and service charges. The package is available through Apr. 1, 2008, and starts from $1,150 per person, double occupancy.

    SuperClubs, 800/GO-SUPER, offers savings at its Jamaican resorts through Dec. 20, 2007 with its “High-Voltage” Super Sale. Rates at Breezes Montego Bay start at $104 and rates at the Starfish Resort in Trelawny start at $81. The Grand Lido Braco Resort and Spa offers rooms from $199. The Grand Lido Negril Resort and Spa offers SuperSelect suites from $211. All rates are per person, per night, based on double occupancy.

    Grand Canyon Lodges Reduced Winter Rates

    The room rates at select lodges drop for packages at the South Rim for the 2007-2008 winter season. Some winter-season rates are up to 28 percent lower than summer rates.

    Winter rates and packages include:

    The Winter Value rate at Maswik and Yavapai Lodges, two off-rim locations, is $78 per night plus tax at Maswik South and Yavapai West, and $94 per night plus tax at Maswik North and Yavapai East Lodges. The Winter Value rate is available Nov. 25, 2007, through March 6, 2008, excluding Dec. 21, 2007, through Jan. 5, 2008, and Feb. 15 through Feb. 17, 2008.

    The rates are for single or double occupancy. The cost for each additional person in the room is $9. Children 16 and under stay at no extra charge. Lodge and room type are subject to availability and seasonal closures. Summer rates at these hotels range from $78 to $139 per night.

    The El Tovar Romance package at the national historic landmark includes one night in a standard queen room, a bottle of California sparkling wine and fruit basket and dinner for two in the El Tovar dining room. The base package cost is $299 plus tax, subject to availability. You can upgrade to a deluxe room or suite for an additional charge. The package is available Nov. 25, 2007, through Jan. 31, 2008, excluding the holiday periods noted above.

    In addition to discounted room rates at off-rim lodges, it is easier to find rooms at the four properties on the rim - El Tovar, Bright Angel, Kachina and Thunderbird Lodges.

    Grand Canyon Lodges or 888/297-2757.

    Protect Luggage with Baggage Guard Seals

    The pre-numbered, one-time use plastic padlocks are the perfect way to protect your luggage since they cannot be reinstalled once removed. That feature lets you instantly know if someone tampered with your luggage. Yet when TSAs at airports need to inspect your luggage, Baggage Guard Seals can be easily removed. A package of 10 Baggage Guard Seals is still only $9.95.

    Click Here to Order from On The Go Publishing.

    Ski Fr.ee in Jackson Hole

    Spring Creek Ranch, in Jackson Hole, WY, gives you the chance to ski the Grand Teton range with its "Ski Fr.ee" package. You have the option of hitting the slopes at Grand Targhee Resort or Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

    Available late November to Dec. 17, 2007, the "Ski Fr.ee" package is priced at $250 per room, per night, based on double occupancy, a savings of more than 40 percent. The price does not include tax and gratuities and a two night minimum applies.

    The package includes: Lift tickets to Grand Targhee Resort or Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (limit two per day); accommodations in a two-bedroom condominium with kitchen, washer/dryer unit, daily maid service, and fireplace; fr.ee breakfast for two daily; and fr.ee shuttle service to town and to the ski areas .

    The "Ski Fr.ee" package is also available at Spring Creek's four-bedroom mountain villas. The package costs $1,600 per night, based on double occupancy, and include a limit of six lift tickets per day.

    For added flexibility, you can create a personalized package by choosing your length of stay and ski areas with Spring Creek Ranch's “Build Your Own” program.

    For the earliest snowbirds, Grand Targhee opens Nov. 16, 2007. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, home of the Rendezvous and Après-Vous Peaks, is scheduled to open Dec. 1, 2007.

    Spring Creek Ranch or 800/443-6139.

    Kids Fly, Ski & Rent F.ree

    Ski.com and United Airlines offer fre.e air for children (one fre.e children’s ticket per paying adult) ages 12 and under to Vail, Steamboat Springs, Jackson Hole and Crested Butte. Additionally, Ski.com offers kids fre.e lift tickets and fre.e ski and snowboard equipment rentals.

    Eligibility for kids skiing fre.e and fre.e equipment rental varies by resort. Blackout dates apply and packages are subject to availability.

    The offer is limited to reservations for travel Nov. 28, and Dec. 13, 2007. At Eagle County Airport the offer for reservations is Jan. 4, and Feb. 14, 2008.

    Resort destinations where kids ski fre.e include Beaver Creek, Mont Tremblant, Big Sky, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Vail, Keystone, Whistler Blackcomb and Moonlight Basin.

    Resort destinations where kids can use ski and snowboard equipment for fre.e include: Aspen/Snowmass, Lake Tahoe, Banff / Lake Louise / Jasper, Park City, Beaver Creek, Snowbird, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, The Canyons, Sun Valley, Crested Butte, Telluride, Deer Valley, Vail, Jackson Hole, Whistler Blackcomb, Keystone and Winter Park.

    Sample package Steamboat Springs available Jan. 6 to Feb. 12, 2008: From $629 per person based on two adults and two children 12 and under (actual price adults $915 / child $338), six nights in a two-bedroom condo at Ski Time Square, five-day adult lift tickets - kids ski fr.ee, five-day adult sport ski rental - kids rent fr.ee, roundtrip ground transfers from Hayden Airport.

    Sample package Beaver Creek available Jan. 6 to Feb. 12, 2008: From $869 per person based on two adults and two children 12 and under (actual price adults $1,145 / child $591), six nights in a two-bedroom condo at Arrowhead Village, five-day adult lift ticket - kids ski fr.ee, five-day adult sport ski rental - kids rent fr.ee, roundtrip ground transfers from Eagle County Airport.

    Ski.com or 800/916-9463.

    Radisson Resort Special Rate

    Radisson Resort at the Port, in Cape Canaveral, FL, offers a special $109 per night rate for a standard deluxe room with breakfast. The special rate is valid through Dec. 30, 2007.

    Hotel amenities include tropical gardens and waterfalls that surround the swimming pool, whirlpool and tennis court, children's pool, fitness center, laundry services and fr.ee shuttle service to the Port Canaveral cruise ships. This hotel offers easy access to Cocoa Beach and the Kennedy Space Center.

    The special rate is subject to availability and is not available with any other coupons or discounts. Tax is not included. When booking use promo code: VISITF.

    Radisson Resort at the Port or 800/333-3333.

    Buy Tickets at a Discount -- Special ticket outlets sell discounted day-of-performance tickets to theater productions, films, and sporting events. Discounts can be 50 percent or more. On The Go Publishing’s Cheap Tix Chart, still only $14, lists outlets in the U.S. and eight foreign cities that sell discounted, day-of-performance tickets. Click here to order the Cheap Tix Chart from On The Go Publishing.

    Brazil Getaway

    Latour, an Isram World Company, has a seven-day, six-night Brazil Getaway package from $1,555 per person, based on double occupancy. The offer is valid until Dec. 8, 2007.

    The tour includes roundtrip airfare from Miami to Brazil on TAM Brazilian Airlines, domestic flights within Brazil, two nights in Rio de Janeiro at your choice of hotel, four nights in Florianopolis at the Costão do Santinho Resort, 10 meals with daily breakfast and four dinners, a private Corcovado Mountain tour in Rio; a spa treatment or horseback riding in Florianopolis, plus hotel taxes and airport/hotel transfers.

    The gold level package is $1,919 per person based on double occupancy with stays at the Sofitel in Rio and Costão do Santinho Vila in Florianopolis . The platinum option at $2,195 p.p.d.o., offers a stay at the Copacabana Palace in Rio and a junior suite at the Costão do Santinho in Florianopolis.

    Latour or 800/825-0825.

    Oasis Savings up to 45% in Mexico

    Oasis Hotels & Resorts offers savings at six of its all-inclusive properties in Mexico through Dec. 20, 2007.

    The Oasis Fall rates start from $50 per person, per night, based on double occupancy and reflect a savings of up to 45 percent off published rates. The rates include all meals, drinks, many activities, and live entertainment.

    Grand Oasis Cancun, from $99 per person, per night -- regular rates range from $133 - $212 per night.

    Grand Oasis Playa, from $75 per person, per night - regular rates range from $130 - $203. An adults-only resort a short distance from downtown Cancun. The resort offers a two-for-one spa special.

    Grand Oasis Riviera Maya, from $75 per person, per night - regular rates range from $133 - $212. The secluded Grand Oasis Riviera Maya is located in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, 10 miles from the Mayan ruins of Tulum and close to the eco-parks of Xel-Ha and Xcaret. The 303-room beachfront resort features two spas, a pool, seven restaurants and eight bars, tennis courts, and nearby golf.

    Oasis Cancun, from $63 per person, per night - regular room rates range from $88 - $168.

    Oasis Palm Beach, from $60 per adult, per night - for two adults - up to three children can share a room with two paying adults.

    Oasis America, from $50 per person, per night -regular room rates range from $63 - $91.

    All-inclusive features include all meals and drinks from any bars, lounges or restaurants on the properties. Unlimited access to tennis courts (where available). Lights for night play are an additional fee. Planned activities by the entertainment staffs throughout the day. Nightly entertainment with two live shows weekly, onsite discos, live bands and musicians. Non-motorized water activities including kayaks, paddleboats, and surfboards. Unlimited golf on executive 9-hole Par 3 course at the Grand Oasis Cancun. The Clubhouse is available to store or rent equipment (rental clubs and balls available at additional fee). All gratuities and parking is included.

    Oasis Hotels & Resorts or 800/44-OASIS.

    With Kids Away, Parents Play at Horseshoe Bay Resort

    With college freshmen settled into their dorms, parents can celebrate their fre.edom at Horseshoe Bay Resort in Horseshoe Bay, TX.

    Valid through Dec. 31, 2007, the Waters at Horseshoe Bay Resort offers special rates from $159 per night for a one-bedroom villa, 20 percent off one round of golf or one spa treatment, and a 10 percent discount at the property’s four dining outlets. A minimum two-night stay is required. Rates are based on availability and do not include tax and service.

    This special offers a 60 percent savings on accommodations.

    The resort offers lakefront villas with private balconies, three Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf courses, an 18-hole Bermuda grass putting course, three swimming pools, 12 adult tennis courts, and a spa and fitness facility.

    The Waters at Horseshoe Bay Resort or 877/611-0112.

    Silky Travel Jewelry Roll
    A must have for travelers. Our silky travel jewelry roll comes in a random assortment of single-color jacquards, solid colors and two-color brocades. This handy travel jewelry roll measures 8 1/2 x 11 inches when open and closes to a compact 8 1/2 x 4 inches. Our exclusive design offers a place for everything with one deep pocket, a ring bar and three zippered compartments. Price $40. Click here to order from On The Go Publishing.

    Death Not Uncommon on Cruise Ships - - by Nicki Chodnoff

    cruise shipInjury and death on cruise ships has been the focus of recent media attention and a hot topic in court.

    Even when you are on the vacation of a lifetime such as a cruise, something unexpected can happen. After a great night, your partner may have a heart attack and die - a word the cruise lines don’t like to use.

    This may sound morbid but it's not uncommon. One indication of the number of people that die on cruise ships comes from the coroners’ offices of major port cities.

    Between 1999 and 2007 the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office in Florida reported 97 cruise ship deaths.

    The Miami Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office in Florida recorded 33 cruise ship deaths since 2004.

    Partial data from the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office reported more than 25 cruise ship deaths between 1991 and 2004.

    Because of the large number of older people traveling, cruise ships have procedures for unforeseen circumstances, such as illness or death.

    Most ships have doctors and nurses on board and an area that can be used as a morgue. There is no law that a ship has to provide a morgue. Some ships use their refrigerated areas, which may not be large enough if more than two people die during a cruise.

    In the morgue or designated area, bodies are preserved until the ship arrives in port where the body is generally taken off the ship and kept until it can be flown home, or “expatriated.” Most ships are in port regularly, so a body can be removed from the ship a day or two after death, or as soon as possible. A survey of the major cruise lines indicates death from natural causes is fairly common aboard cruise ships.

    A Holland America Line spokeman said most cruise lines check out a port’s facilities before they drop a body off. “If it’s 95 degrees and there’s no morgue, we won’t take the body off,” he said. “We look at places and ask, “Do they have a morgue? Do they have the capacity to transport the body without damaging it?” The last thing you want to do is upset the loved ones. We’re not going to leave the body somewhere where they will never know when they’ll see it again.”

    A Carnival spokesperson said it is up to family members to decide whether to disembark with the body or stay on board until the ship returns home. “We encourage people to leave it on board,” she said. “It’s “easier than taking the body off in foreign ports.”

    Once in port, the cruise line informs the consulate and repatriation arrangements are made. If the person had travel insurance, the insurance company makes the travel arrangements home. If there is no travel insurance, the body is returned at the at the passenger's expense or the expense of the passenger's family.

    Some cruise lines notify the flagship company which sends an onboard chaplain to counsel the family. Apostleship of the Sea is the Catholic ministry for passenger and cargo ships. The group cooperates with Celebrity, Holland America and Norwegian cruise lines to place an ordained Catholic priest on every ship as well as a Protestant minister and Jewish rabbis during certain holidays.

    A spokeswoman for P&O shipping line says they follow the above listed procedures on their ships, with medical centers on board. "We have comprehensive medical centers and morgue facilities on board because ships are at sea for such long periods and carry passengers across all age groups," she says. "That's standard for our cruise ships.”

    But the ordeal can get murky when it comes to the international repatriation of bodies. It's hard to say what the legal requirements are when a citizen dies where there are no consular facilities from the citizen’s homeland, or when the ship is in international waters.

    If there is suspicion around a death, then an autopsy may be necessary and a coroner’s inquest may be held. It may be up to the ship's captain or the company which owns the ship to make a decision to whom to report the death.

    Apostleship aside, another issue is the lack of counselors for the bereaved partner or family who may have to continue traveling as it can take several days for a ship to reach port. Ships don't employ full time counselors and a ship's doctor may not always be available.

    Passengers - especially older ones - should read the fine print on their travel insurance policies carefully to make sure they are covered for repatriation of bodies. They should also ask cruise lines about their policies in the event of death.

    Deaths on aircraft are less common but travel blogs have commented on dead passengers "upgraded" to empty first-class seats where are less visible and living passengers are less likely to complain about dead travelers in the next seat with a blanket tossed over them. Others reported that complaints about this revealed a lack of compassion.

    A Qantas spokeswoman says deaths on board planes are extremely rare. "Only a legally qualified medical practitioner can declare a person is dead," she said. "To ensure the comfort of our passengers, provisions are made to store a body. For example, using a crew rest area or a row of spare seats."

    A Virgin spokeswoman said the airline's policy is to secure the body for landing where it is and if possible move the passengers seated nearby to other seats. Virgin has no policy on whether the person is covered, that would be at the discretion of the cabin crew and captain.

    Super Bowl XLII Sweepstakes

    Visa and Courtyard by Marriott team up with Jerome "The Bus" Bettis for the "Visa Road to the Super Bowl XLII Challenge at Courtyard." Stay at Courtyard and pay with a Visa card and you are automatically entered for a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl XLII. Other prizes include a Samsung 40" flat screen TV and 10,000 instant and consolation Prizes. No purchase or obligation necessary to enter or win.

    Here's how to play automatically: Use your Visa card to book and pay for a stay at a Courtyard by Marriott. You'll be automatically entered for a chance to win. Scratch-off cards at check out reveal instant prizes including NFL merchandise, $50 Visa and Marriott gift cards and Courtyard Bonus Bucks coupons as consolation prices.

    When you call Courtyard reservations, you will hear a special message by former running back Jerome Bettis that says, "For me, getting to the Super Bowl took years of hard work and dedication. For Visa card holders it's much easier."

    The grand prize trip to Super Bowl XLII includes meeting an NFL player and an invitation to an exclusive NFL party. The "Visa Road to Super Bowl XLII Challenge at Courtyard" is only available at U.S. hotels through Dec. 15, 2007. No purchase or obligation is necessary to enter or win. Non-purchase entries and purchase entries have an equal chance of winning. The sweepstakes is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, 18 years of age and older as of Sep. 15, 2007. Void where prohibited.

    For details on non-purchase entries, including Official Rules, click here.

    Kids Stay, Ski Fre.e at Intrawest Canadian Resorts

    BOOK BY NOV. 15 - - Early season "Destination: Snow" packages are available if you book by Nov. 15, 2007, at Intrawest’s Whistler Blackcomb, Blue Mountain or Panorama Mountain Village. Discounts are up to 44 percent and kids aged 12 and under stay and ski for fre.e.

    The deals extend to Mont Tremblant where "Destination: Snow" pre-season savings offer value with fre.e accommodation for kids aged 17 and under. At Whistler Blackcomb, kids under 12 can rent ski equipment for fre.e when accompanied by an adult.

    Intrawest Canadian Resorts include Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Blue Mountain in Ontario and Panorama in British Columbia.

    This winter, Tremblant is easier to get to with Porter Airlines new direct flights from Toronto City Centre Airport. Ultimate Travel's Excite Flights provide direct service from Toronto's Pearson International Airport. With these flights, you can depart from Toronto and land at Tremblant's International Airport in 90 minutes.

    Destination: Snow rates range from $94 per person, per night at Blue Mountain; $82 per person, per night at Panorama; $98 per person, per night at Tremblant and $80 per person, per night at Whistler Blackcomb. Rates are subject to availability, blackout dates, and are based on minimum night stays.

    Intrawest Central Reservations 866/787-1977.

    Had a good experience on a plane recently? Stumbled across the perfect place to stay, eat or drink? Tell us about it, email us here.

    PLEASE NOTE: All links are sent as clickable links. Some email programs such as AOL, Yahoo, & Hotmail change the links so that they are not clickable. If you have problems clicking on a link, just copy and paste the link into your browser.

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    Information & Credits

    The Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, P.O. Box 91033, Columbus OH 43209, edited by Nicki Chodnoff, is published monthly.

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