Carnival introduces quicker boarding of ships by kiosk

Carnival Cruise Lines is trying a new, speed-up check-in system at the Port of Miami FL. As in airports, cruise passengers will be able to board their ships by quickly swiping ID cards at an electronic kiosk that replaces the time-consuming live guard station process.

We recently returned from a cruise of the Mexican Riviera, and all facilities and services aboard the ship were easily and conveniently available. However, when boarding at the original Long Beach CA pier and at every port stop along the cruise, passengers  had to wait in hour-long lines for the guards in the terminal to go through the tedious security procedures before they allowed boarding.

Before arriving at the port of embarkation for the cruise at Carnival’s Miami pier, passengers who want to use the quick check-in kiosks are required to pre-register online and must be citizens of the U.S., Canada or other nation that issues visa waivers for US travel. The check-in requires passengers have authorized credit or passport cards to swipe at the kiosk, as is the usual procedures at airports. After passengers clear the security check-in procedure, they will be given their stateroom keys by cruise staffs as they arrive onboard.

If Carnival’s experiment proves effective, plans are in the works for the kiosk check-in procedure to be installed for other Carnival sailings. While we recognize and appreciate the need for tight security, we hope the kiosk check-in procedures will soon become universal for all cruise ships, and eliminate the frustration of long, time-consuming check-in lines.

Nightmare Flight: Screaming Kid Non-Stop For Seven Hours PDF Print E-mail

The recent report about a flight from Germany to Newark wasn’t anything new. All senior air travelers have been disrupted often by uncontrolled kids. And in some unhappy examples, drunken adults acting like kids.

When it happens, there are several options for you. If early in the flight and you fear the crying and screaming will continue throughout, ask the attendant to move you to another seat. If you’re flying coach and all those seats are occupied, ask to be moved to an available upper class seat. There should be no added charge, considering your discomfort. If the attendant balks, keep your temper, but insist on the change.

Another way to escape the noise and disruption is to have the right electronics with you on the flight. It could be a smartphone or other gear that has a video screen, radio, movies, books and other recorded materials. Instead of regular earphones, carry larger, more sophisticated sound-blocking ones. Then, if surrounded by noise, clamp on those big circula pads and enjoy your flight.

Homeless In Hollywood: Inflated Housing Creates Sad Views PDF Print E-mail

When your tourist ventures take you to Hollywood Boulevard, you’ll enjoy all the attractions, including the Walk of Fame, vintage movie theaters, souvenir shops, tours of star homes, costumed characters and all the rest. You may encounter other, less attractive sights.

The street is also a tragic location for many homeless wanderers. When your travel4seniors.com editor worked there in the late 1950s, my one-bedroom apartment rent was $80 a month. In same building it now costs $1,800. With housing grossly expensive and getting worse, the homeless situation throughout the Los Angeles area continues to grow.

The area is still enjoyable to visit, and if a costumed Hollywood character poses with you for a photo, offer a couple of dollars. However, if you don’t want to give money directly to homeless people there, who may be drug and alcohol addicts, you can still help them. Donate to authorized charities, such as Red Cross, Salvation Army and others specializing in offering shelter, rehab and other professional aid to them.

Q: Are Gay Marriages At Sea Available And Legally Accepted? PDF Print E-mail

My partner and I have been living together for several years, and now that it’s legal in our state, we want to enjoy a wedding ceremony. We believe the most romantic location would be aboard an ocean liner at sea. How can we do it? Janet P, Pasadena CA

A: Understand that many cruise ships are not U.S. territory, so when making plans be sure you’ll be in compliance with the applicable international and state laws where your ceremony takes place. And, of course, enjoy your wedded bliss and cruises for many, many years!

Happiest Prices On Earth: Disney Parks Tix Costs Rise Again PDF Print E-mail

As springtime nears and families make their plans to visit the world’s most popular amusement parks, they can expect to be greeted by higher fees. This is getting to be an annual, in-your-face happening, and this year is no exception.

Of course, it isn’t just Disney that does it. Inflation, primarily because of the greedy oil and housing racketeers, has been strangling our economy for each of the past three decades. And Disney must do it to compete in today’s business and entertainment worlds. It all brings back memories of when your travel4seniors.com editor first took his kids to Walt Disney World when it opened in the early 1970s.

Los Angeles CA: Lions, Tigers And Giraffes, Oh My! PDF Print E-mail

Your travel4seniors.com editor recently went neck-in-neck with this tall, friendly zoo resident. Located in Griffith Park, not far from downtown LA, the animal kingdom is worth a visit when you’re in town, especially if there are little ones with you.

Entrance fee for adults is $21, seniors $18 and kids $16. If you want to feed, snuggle and shoot a selfie with a giraffe, it’ll cost another $5. General parking is free. For scheduled events and other info, go to LAZ.org


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