2006 - 2008

« November 2011 | Main | January 2012 »

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Orleans requires tour guides be licensed

Shame on you city of New Orleans.
New Orleans city officials there are now requiring that every tour guide undergo an FBI criminal background check every two years, pass a history exam, and undergo a drug test in order to talk about the town. Those guides who give tours without going through these steps to get a license wll get fines of up to $300 per instance plus five months in jail.
New Orleans needs all the promoters it can get in telling about how special the heritage and uniqueness is to visiting tourists.
Watch the video and sign up with the Institute for Justice in protesting this affront to their Constitutional freedom of speech rights.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 12:05 PM
Categories: Destinations, Travel News

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Pearl Harbor Survivor Recounts Japanese Attack

National Museum of the Pacific War, Fredericksburg, Texas

Situated over 9 acres, this museum tells the riveting account of the Pacific War, it's hardships, and how we fought the Japanese: one island at a time.

The highlight of our tour when we last visited a few years ago was hearing two WWII veterans recount their experiences in battle who were volunteering their time to help teach our youth about this important time of our history. I talked with Quinton Pyle, who saw up close as the USS Arizona exploded as it was hit by Japanese torpedos 70 years ago today.
Quinton Pyle WWII veteran
Quinton Pyle

Mr. Pyle pointed on the Pearl Harbor photo where his ship, the USS Bagley, was nearby in the Navy Yard, and was the first ship to return fire and shoot down a Japanese plane. The crew were commended for fast thinking, especially since many of the crew had just entered service. He showed me his left arm where it had been injured during the Pearl Harbor attack while cutting gromets from 5" shells. Although walking with a cane, he appeared to be in good health, and remembered the fateful day clearly.
USS Bagley, the first ship to return enemy fire at Pearl Harbor
USS Bagley
Mr. Pyle went on to serve aboard the Destroyer, including at Wake Island, Guadalcanal, Savo Island, and Saipan. I was fortunate to be able to meet and talk with him. As the WWII veterans dwindle rapidly in numbers, it is important that their stories be told.

Numerous exhibits include significant period artifacts and war memorabilia for the Allies and the Japanese. A portion of the museum is housed in the old Nimitz Hotel, which was owned by the Nimitz family, and commemorates Admiral Chester Nimitz who served over the naval operations in the Pacific. I recommend a visit to the museum when in the area. Plan to spend about 3 hours to have time to visit all the exhibits.
Posted by Carl Burnham at 12:35 PM
Categories: Attractions, Videos

Saturday, December 03, 2011

The evolving cruise market

According to Cruise Market Watch, the cruise industry now accounts for a $34.1 billion market worldwide.

For 2012, those going on a cruise are expected to increase by 5.6% over this year. As part of this growth and our own research, we are planning more features on cruising and the most popular places to cruise to. Read about our recent cruise to Cozumel aboard the Carnival Elation.
Taken a cruise recently? Let us know about your cruise experience via our Facebook page.
Visit our Cruise section for affordable cruise getaways.
Posted by Carl Burnham at 9:06 PM
Edited on: Monday, January 09, 2012 1:03 PM
Categories: Cruises, Travel News

Hotel Key Cards A Thing of the Past?

A new technology being tested at a Stockholm hotel allow guests to go straight to their rooms without checking in with the hotel front desk.

Developed by Near Field Communication (NFC), a guest's room at the Clarion Hotel Stockholm is unlocked simply by the guest swiping their cell phone in front of their room door. When checking out, the guest swipes their cell phone at a designated point in the lobby before exiting. Don't expect it to become available by next year, as the technology currently requires specialty phones to use. Still, I expect something similar to this to be available in the next few years as hotels experiment with new technologies to further enhance the travel experience.

View a video of the technology in action here -

Posted by Carl Burnham at 12:36 PM
Edited on: Saturday, December 03, 2011 12:46 PM
Categories: Accommodations, Travel News