Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Cruise Line Reputation Clean-up After Hurricane Irene

Bad weather comes and goes, but memories of poor cruise experiences live on. Take the case of passengers aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Victory and Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

Both ships were docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico as harbor officials announced the storm’s approach. The cruise lines say the ships were forced to leave early to accommodate port requests and because they needed to get of harm’s way. Hundreds of passengers, unaware and uninformed of the scheduling changes, were left behind

Carnival left 300 passengers in San Juan. Royal Caribbean stranded 145 passengers.

How the cruise lines handled those passengers – left behind in a foreign country ahead of a major storm – says a lot about customer loyalty.

Carnival Cruise Lines made sure every guest that was stuck in San Juan had two nights’ hotel accommodations and arranged to fly all 300 to the next port on the itinerary for pickup. About half of the passengers were able to take advantage of the offer. Others, who did not have passports to enter Barbados, were on their own.

Royal Caribbean left all but 15 passengers without any backup plan. The few passengers who were transferred to the next port on the itinerary – Aruba -- were those who had bought airfare through Royal Caribbean. The rest of the passengers, including those without resources to pay for a connecting flight or travel insurance for back up, were trapped in San Juan during the storm and had to fend for themselves.

Royal Caribbean’s left-behind passengers say they missed the ship because they were not contacted about the schedule change. Officials of the cruise line say that letting all the passengers know the ship was headed out early was not feasible and blames the inconvenience on the port closure for the storm.

This is a PR no-brainer. Royal Caribbean had time to accommodate those passengers who had made special travel arrangements with them, but could not be bothered with those who did not. Carnival made the extra effort to treat all of its inconvenienced guests equally.

Since much of the revenue for cruise ships is based on repeat business, it makes very little sense to damage a hard-built customer service reputation. Royal Caribbean might have lost money putting up more than 100 passengers in hotels and flying them to another port, but that amount is going to be a drop in the bucket compared to the swipe it has taken in public perception.

You could certainly say that all cruise line passengers take weather-related cancellation risks when getting on board. You could also say that those passengers could have purchased travel insurance that would have covered such emergencies.

But…cruise passengers are guests.

Royal Caribbean sent a message of favoritism and neglect when it failed to care for the guests it left behind in a hurricane. Carnival faced the same dilemma with a different attitude. It did not coddle a select few passengers. It bit the bullet and took care of everyone as best as it could under extreme conditions.

Company policies require a flexible human factor. How many of those Royal Caribbean passengers do you think will ever book another cruise with that company? How many of their friends and colleagues will they tell of their experience? How much bad press will spread the news to those who are thinking of booking a cruise?

There’s a difference between doing business and doing the right thing while doing business. For Carnival, the temporary loss caused by having to ensure the welfare of its passengers will mean a long-term reputation gain. Royal Caribbean didn’t have the savvy to see the collateral damage it incurred by turning its back on its most valuable resource – its guests.

Stone Temple Pilots- "Lady Picture Show"

Today's video looks like it was pretty easy to make, with pretty good results.

Take (1) Band. Film them and heavily filter it to give it an "old" feel.

Add in public domain film of ladies.

And you have STP's video for "Lady Picture Show."

Since Atlantic Records doesn't let you embed videos, you'll have to CLICK HERE to watch it.

Underway again

That's just me trying to get out the ladder from the bathing platform so I could take an experimental bath in the ocean during our last (hot) passage..
Now time to move on up North again. There's constantly an ongoing mission here in our lives so we'll continue to zig zag up through the West Indies as we do so well by now. Has been quite slow wind here last couple of days and that is supposed to continue for the rest of the week. Luckily it is at least forecasted to be ESE winds which gives us a good reason to fly the kite that we love so much. Good bye now St Vincent and the Grenadines, it was a pleasure to meet you once more. I'm sure we'll see each other again very soon.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Alone again

Family has gone home and we're all by ourselves again. Always feels kind of strange when people leave us. They're on their way home to the cold, back to work again in a few days as their vacation is finished and here we are ... continuing some kind of vacation-style-life. It almost feels like we're cheating, even if we know we've been working crazy hard to achieve this beautiful lifestyle. We have loads of things to accomplish in the next few months, lots of projects as always but still we're able to do all that while enjoying the sun, the sea, the tranquility and the sailing. Sometimes it is sad to be far from the other ones that we love of course, but most of the times we feel truly blessed for being able to combine a life not so ordinary with all those things that we truthfully love. In a pace and environment that truly is good for ourselves. And to be able to do it all together, as a team.

P.S: Don't forget to check out next months Yachting World btw, there will be six (!) pages of our photos, stories and some of our general tips regarding cruising and enjoying life in the Caribbean. Issue will be out end of October.

Alesana - A Gilded Masquerade

Here's a debut single from the album "A Place Where the Sun is Silence" by Alesana. Besides they have signed to Epitaph Records. Enjoy your new home, guys :D

Rainy days and Mondays

Rainy, stormy, gloomy Monday so enticing to just stay home and play with the dogs, but decided to go to town nonetheless. Marinduque's coastal waters are rough brought about by tropical storm "Pedring" located East Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes.

So this type of weather will probably prevail during the next fews days. Jeepneys were not full, the commuters as sleepy as I was, it seemed. I was only perked up finding this sign in front of me...


Ah so that's why the lady passenger made sure she left it vacant pala before dozing off.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

How many shades of blue exist

I know, how boring with all these paradise pictures one after another but this is how our world looks like at the moment. Blue skies, crystal clear water in a kaleidoscope of blue, fine white sand beaches, lush green hills, a fresh breeze. Sometimes the world doesn't seem much more complicated than that.

Krishna Mandapam, Mahabalipuram

Krishna Mandapam at Mahabalipuram is one of the interesting place. This is a cave temple.

It has a huge bas-relief carved out of a single rock. This carving is done some time in the middle of 7th century.

In Hindu culture, cows have great importance, and their association with Krishna during his life among the milkmaids. A calf is kept beside the cow to encourage her milk production, a practice which has been followed in most parts of the World.

The carvings on the panel depicts one of the stories of Lord Krishna. It mainly has the story of Krishna Govardhana, in which Krishna lifts up the mountain to shelter his followers from a storm.

There is also a cow at the top in one of the corner, overlooking the entire scene. This can be seen in the first image at the top.

For more visit Our World

Matina Town Square

Dubbed as the entertainment hub of Davao City, Matina Town Square, or simply called "MTS" by the locals, is a popular venue for nightly live band performances of homegrown musical artists particularly on weekends where this small complex is filled with people looking to have a good time or hang-out with friends and meet new acquaintances. It also plays host to several of the city's yearly festivities such as the Kadayawan Festival in August and the Araw ng Davao celebration every March, and other sponsored events such as, modeling shows, trade shows, and bazaars. 

Nightly performances

Live Bands playing

A favorite hang-out of friends

The stage where nightly performances are played nightly

There are many Bars, Restaurants and Coffee Shops at MTS

Where modeling shows, trade shows and bazaars are held

MTS is filled with people nightly

A great place to meet new friends

Nightly entertainment in Al fresco setting

Several food outlets on each side

Parking spaces

Parking filled with motorcycles

Several tables and chairs line up along the sidewalk

The Facade

MTS is an open complex of several commercial shops, restaurants, bars, a coffee shop.  There is also a playground for children, a mini-garden with benches, and a Police Outpost at its main entrance which is available 24/7 to ensure public safety. MTS is open daily from 8 AM to 2 AM

Along the MTS complex

Commercial shops

And other establishments

A restaurant

Wide pathways

Clean surrounding, almost a park ambiance at MTS

How to get to Matina Town Square

Matina Town Square is just a jeepney ride from downtown Davao City, and is located along the MacArthur Highway in Matina right across Ateneo de Davao Grade School.

Contact Information

Matina Town Square
MacArthur Highway, Matina, Davao City
Tels (082) 297-1780, (082) 300-1780
Fax (082) 297-1780

The Plot In You - Miscarriage

Here's a debut single from "The Plot in You". Enjoy and keep rocking :)

That's Outrageous - Teenage Scream

A new band which has signed to Rise Records "That's Outrageous!". Their music is combined with post-hardcore and dubstep. Hope you guys love it.

My Genuine Find - Always You

YAY! This cute guy "Bobby Mares" made an official video :) I love his lyrics :D Hope you guys fall in love with him.

Cobra Starship - Fool Like Me

I'm in a mood of dancing :) Ya know, Cobra Starship is awesome :)

Cobra Starship - #1nite

Hey guys, let's dance with Cobra Starship. Here's a lyric video from them. Enjoy with lights and effects :)

Avenged Sevenfold - Not Ready to Die

Here's a single for "Call of Duty: Black Ops" which is performed by Avenged Sevenfold and written by M. Shadows. For those who love A7X, you guys will love this song :)

Florence and the Machine - What the Water Gave Me

This indie woman is back with her new single called "What the Water Gave Me". The album "Ceremonials" will be in stores on October 28th.

Kelly Clarkson - Mr Know It All

Here's a video by Kelly Clarkson performing Mr Know It All. The whole album "Stronger" will be released on October 21st.

Patrick Stump - This City (Feat. Lupe Fiasco)

Do you remember this guy? Yeah, it's Patrick Stump who is a vocalist of Fall Out Boy. He has a new project. Hope you like this stuff :)

Five Finger Death Punch - Under and Over It

This is the new single of Five Finger Death Punch. This is taken from "American Capitalist" which will be released on October 11th.

Mayday Parade - When You See My Friends

Here's the second single from Mayday Parade which took from their self-titled album. In stores October 4th!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lights - Toes

Awwww my cutie Lights :) This is her official music video of "Toes" which took from "Siberia" album. It will be released on October 4th. Enjoy xx