MJ on Travel

Marshall Jackson is an aviation enthusiast and avid cruiser. Throughout high school and college he continued to pursue his dream of becoming a commercial airline pilot obtaining his commercial pilot’s license at age 19. After college Marshall started his professional flying career as a Jetstream, and later Saab first officer with a regional airline. Grounded by Type 1 Diabetes in 1996, Marshall transitioned into operations management at one of the world’s largest airlines performing safety and compliance audits at airline and vendor facilities worldwide. Applying the skills gained in that position, Marshall moved into airport operations management at one of his airline’s busiest airports. After 10 years in the airline business, Marshall moved on to a new career that includes plenty of travel and plenty of cruises, and that’s just the way he likes it.

How Do You Fall Off a Cruise Ship?

Short answer – you don’t. Now if one is standing on the guard rail, leaning over from the waist so you can get that perfect shot, and/or intoxicated, then you may find yourself going for a swim. Further, if you have the good fortune to survive the “fall,” the likelihood that you’ll be recovered is pretty low. It appears that a Chinese tourist aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas has defied all the odds. According to crew-center.com, Chinese tourist Wang Si went overboard on August 10. “First to notice her disappearance was her family who informed the ships...

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Royal Caribbean Dropping Crown and Anchor Balcony Discount for Close-in Bookings

Much to the chagrin of Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society members, the cruise line has announced that it is dropping the popular balcony and suite discounts as of September 1, 2016, for its loyalty program participants unless they book more than 6 months in advance. The change was rolled out on a promotional flyer recently and reads: “Encourage your clients to book now! As of September 1, 2016 balcony and suite discounts will only apply to sailings booked more than six months out.” The balcony discount is one of the most valuable perks of being loyal to Royal,...

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Summer Travel Tips Work When Airline Computers Attack Too

Well, the last few weeks have been interesting from an information technology perspective. One could be forgiven for asking “what can I do” in this kind of situation. Not that much, but my “Summer Travel Tips from an ex-Airline Guy” post contains a few nuggets that apply here to. Of course, “flying early” would not have helped today, but these tips are still worth a review. So here’s a “Best of” post from way back in 2013. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. What can I possibly be talking about? Summer travel season,...

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10 Years of Blogging, Drink Package Discounts, and a CLEAR Vision

I’m finally spending a week at home and at the office, and I’m not unhappy about that at all. Lots going on and I need to catch up at the day job and the job of blogging. While I’m looking at another month or so before things settle down, I did manage to say a few words here on the blog over the last week or so. Let’s take a look. Happy Birthday to MJ on Travel – 10 Years of Blogging….WOW! My First CLEAR Experience in Years Royal Caribbean Discounting Drink Packages SS United States Not Returning to...

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SS United States Will Not Return to Sea

In February, Crystal Cruises disclosed that it was exploring the possibility of restoring the iconic oceanliner, SS United States, to seagoing service. Crystal undertook an extensive technical feasibility study to ascertain whether or not the ship could be brought into compliance with current regulatory requirements and start sailing regular cruises again. After a 6-month study, the company determined that the investments needed to modernize the ship were not commercially viable. According to a press release from the SS United States Conservancy “Following an intensive, six-month evaluation, Crystal Cruises today determined that while the SS United States is structurally sound, the technical...

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American Commits to Charlotte

I was always entertained at all the predictions about American’s Charlotte hub “going away” once AA and US were fully integrated. I mean….the original AA couldn’t make it in Raleigh, so Charlotte had to go, right? Not really. Many armchair CEOs liked to hang their hat on a little nugget of information – Raleigh produces more “local” traffic than Charlotte….or at least it has, even though Charlotte’s metro area is larger. There are a few reasons for that little anomaly, in my opinion, that I won’t get into here. For sure, the nature of the CLT hub has changed...

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10 Years, 2735 Posts, Immeasurable Memories

Ten years ago Wednesday, I wrote my first blog post. Some 2,734 posts would follow that one. Daily page views have ranged from 1 to over 6,000. Not surprisingly, I suppose, my most read topics have been cruise reviews, cruise line drink packages (what does that say about me? 🙂 ), Delta Air Lines, SkyMiles, and my overall thoughts on the new loyalty paradigm….not necessarily in that order, and not always popular. I’ve been posting less lately, and that’s no one’s fault but my own. Blogging is not a career for me, and my actual job is taking increasing amounts of...

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Two FREE Uber Rides for Hotel Stays

Uber and Booking.com are out with an interesting promotion. According to the email I received, book a hotel stay with Booking.com and you’ll receive two promotion codes good for free rides up to $15 in value. Not a bad deal if you plan on booking a hotel anyway. The offer is valid once per customer and the hotel stay must be completed by October 31, 2016. After your stay, Booking.com will send the promotion codes to you via email, with their exact value to be detailed in the email. Rides need to be completed by December 31, 2016. It is not clear to me...

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Royal Caribbean Discounting Beverage Packages

I’ve blogged on the virtues of cruise line drink packages before. While they are very much a YMMV situation depending on your habits, they are worth a few minutes of consideration in your cruise vacation planning. At best, they really can save you money. At worst, you know most of the cost of your cruise in advance and don’t have to worry about blowing your budget. Royal Caribbean is running a promotion right now the offers 20 percent off the cost of your beverage package. I can’t guarantee it is available on every sailing, but reports are widespread that...

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My First CLEAR Experience in Years

As I wrote a while ago, Delta has partnered with CLEAR to enhance the security experience for its customers. I was a member of the original CLEAR a few years ago. With their recent appearance at one of my most frequented airports, DCA, I decided to re-up my membership, especially with discounts for Delta’s frequent flyer members. As it turns out, I had 3 months remaining on my previous membership, and CLEAR gave me 3 months free. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to give the new CLEAR a try since they recently opened at DCA. The verdict: I liked...

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