Cruise News You Can Use

It’s Saturday – time to think about happy things like vacations…..cruise vacations. Mileage programs aren’t the only news in travel this week. Here’s a little cruise news you can use. Royal Caribbean Cancels Dynamic Dining on Oasis-class Ships – Dynamic Dining was met with decidedly mixed reviews upon its introduction on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas. Personally, the MJ on Travel team really enjoyed it, and we were looking forward to seeing it introduced on Oasis-class ships. RCL delayed its rollout on Oasis as it worked to perfect the concept on Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas, ultimately introducing a “classic” concept with fixed tables and times within the rotational restaurants. This seemed like a good…

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On SkyMiles – That Bandage was Hiding Some Ugly Stuff

Months ago I called on Delta to rip the bandage off SkyMiles already. This week, they did, and that bandage was hiding some ugly stuff. Gary just posted some eye-popping mileage requirements for SkyMiles in the new “dynamic” world. His example was for west coast to Australia travel. Being the resident Atlantan on Boardingarea, I thought I’d do a little poking around for trips originating closer to home. Yes, that’s 605,000 miles each or 1.21 million total for MrsMJ and I to fly our hometown airline from our hometown airport to Sydney next summer. Granted, I did find a few other options in the 400K each range, but the million mile award trip is new territory. Needless to say, we won’t be…

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Redeem Rapid Rewards for A-List Status (TARGETED)

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I was reviewing some week old mail earlier today, and stumbled across a flyer from the Rapid Rewards Visa folks that I almost threw out assuming it was just another promo I’d already registered for. I was wrong. I opened the flyer to learn that for redeeming a mere 50,000 Rapid Rewards points I could enjoy the benefits of A-List status with Southwest through the end of the year. A-List status benefits include: Priority Boarding Priority Check-in and Security Lane Access 25% Earning Bonus Standby Priority Dedicated A-List Member Phone Line Things that make me go hmmm. On one hand, I have begun flying Southwest enough to make A-List status useful. On the other, I find 50,000 Rapid Rewards points…

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Arrival Plus Back in Action

I wrote last week that the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, once solidly in the keeper category for me, was at risk. In the end, that remains a “maybe – maybe not” decision for me, but do know the card is available again for new applications. While the 5 percent miles rebate and $100 travel spend minimum make it relatively less desirable in comparison to what it was, the truth is that you still get 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and $400 is still $400. For basic travel needs, this card can be a compelling alternative to the other “must have” credit cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred (for non travel and dining spend) and the…

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Delta Ripped the Bandage Off

Shortly after the disappearance of the SkyMiles award charts a few months ago, I encouraged Delta Air Lines to rip the bandage off SkyMiles already. In that post I said “I believe all of this has been part of a plan to take SkyMiles to a purely revenue-based program, something more like Rapid Rewards than the traditional airline mileage program. I’m not one who religiously believes that one mile flown = one mile earned is the way to reward, and I think the words I’ve shared here on the topic support me on that. At the same time, I think it is incumbent upon any organization, whether they be an airline or a lawn service, to be upfront with its customers. There are…

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A Word on the Latest Delta SkyMiles News

SkyMiles announced the next phase of its journey towards a fully revenue-based loyalty program earlier today. I covered that news here. In summary, the following things are changing, and they aren’t all bad. Better transcontinental upgrades for Diamond and Platinum members – Effective July 21, 2015 you can use Regional Upgrade Certificates (RUCs) in addition to Global Upgrade Certificates for Delta One seats on eligible transcontinental flights between JFK and Los Angeles or San Francisco. (Note: Not so sure this is good news for Diamonds who were eligible for “phantom” upgrades day of departure.) One-way and lower-priced awards – One-way at just 7,500 miles (plus taxes and fees) now through February 2016. To see the best availability and deals, search at least 21 days prior…

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BREAKING: SkyMiles Dynamic Award Pricing and Other Big News

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Big news from Delta SkyMiles today. First, the good news. Effective July 21, 2015, you can use Regional Upgrade Certificates (RUCs) to upgrade eligible transcontinental flights from JFK to LAX and SFO. This is an actual enhancement for Platinum Medallion members who can only earn RUCs. Currently, only Global Upgrade Certificates, available only to Diamond Medallion members, can be used. This is a good thing. There’s another good thing – Effective July 21, 2015, you can now earn Medallion Qualification Dollars (MQDs) when purchasing preferred seats, Delta Comfort+, and paid upgrades to the premium cabin.   Delta also reiterated that it is now offering someone-way award flights for as few as 7,500 miles now through February 2016, and seems to…

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Three Things I’ve Enjoyed Most When Flying American

I’ve written on and off lately about my AAdvantage in Atlanta experiment. In short, I’ve been flying American more. It has more to do with convenience and price than some conscious effort to avoid Delta or Southwest, both of which I booked flights with over the weekend for travel in the next month or so. American has proven to be relatively reliable, the convenience of exclusive use of the T concourse in Atlanta is undeniable, and having an Admirals Club that is not over-subscribed and steps from the gate is great too. That said, those are not the the three things I’ve enjoyed most during my AAdvantage in Atlanta experiment. So what are they? An upgrade system that works – I am…

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Celebrity Cruises Appoints First American Female Captain

Celebrity Cruises announced today that it has appointed Kate McCue as Captain of Celebrity Summit. Captain McCue will join Celebrity from their sister line, Royal Caribbean International. Captain McCue will sign on to Celebrity Summit in August 2015. According to Celebrity, the company “has elevated McCue to the position of Captain based on her 15 years of successful experience and leadership in the maritime industry. During her tenure, McCue has managed ship logistics while sailing worldwide itineraries, including Europe, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, and along the Panama Canal. Captain McCue has also served as a maritime leader while sailing several transatlantic and repositioning cruises, and played a notable role in the revitalization of ships in Singapore. Congratulations to cruising’s newest captain! -MJ,…

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The Weekly Recap – July 11, 2015

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After a great trip to Portland for the July 4th holiday, I’m home for a couple weeks. Our flights on American were mostly uneventful, though we did have to do the hustle between flights in an already tight connection at ORD when our inbound from Atlanta was delayed. Remind me to never book a 43 minute connection in ORD again. Here’s a look at the past week’s posts here at MJ on Travel. Top Posts This Week On Airlines – It’s Time For America to Decide What We Want Carnival Corp. First US Cruise Line to Cuba Why Carnival is Uniquely Positioned to be First in Cuba The Best of the Rest Majesty of the Seas Not Leaving the Royal…

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