Cruise Lines And Vegas: Once Foes, Now Friends

cruise lines

In the past, cruise lines would recoil at being compared to a floating ’70s Las Vegas, even with their ships complemented with neon lights and production shows that featured plumed fan dancers. That belly-up-to-the-buffet stereotype was a bad rap that cruise lines tried to shake for decades.

But that was before both the world of Vegas and the world of cruise vacations survived the worst economic period since the Great Depression, grew up and figured out that they could help each other. Formerly seen as foes, competing for the same polyester-clad vacationer, the two popular travel options are now working together.

Royal Caribbean International and MGM Resorts International have announced an unprecedented strategic relationship that will allow members of both companies loyalty programs to share benefits. Beginning in January 2013, members of Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society and MGM’s M life will receive top-shelf offers and benefits, growing as they prove loyalty by giving either company more business.”Whether on land or at sea, Crown & Anchor Society and M life members will enjoy unprecedented recognition for their dedication to our brands,” said Lisa Bauer, executive vice president of Global Sales and Marketing for Royal Caribbean International in a Miami Herald report. “We are delighted to be an M life preferred partner and welcome M life members aboard to experience our world-renowned Gold Anchor Service, innovative cruise ships, unexpected onboard amenities, and unforgettable itineraries to exciting destinations.”

MGM’s M life members will receive offers with a range of benefits when sailing with Royal Caribbean. As members advance to the next M life Tier Level, their cruise offers and benefits will grow. International and domestic cruises will be awarded during special MGM Resorts’ promotions and slot tournaments.

Royal Caribbean’s Crown & Anchor Society members will receive M life offers and benefits including pre-sale access to tickets for A-list concerts and championship boxing matches, priority reservations, priority hotel check-in, room upgrades, VIP services and more, based on their Royal Caribbean loyalty level.




[Photo Credit: Flickr user disneybrent]

New airport terminals, once delayed, prep for opening this year

new airport terminalsNew airport terminals can add time-saving features to existing facilities, bringing the latest in technology and security. If and when they open. Local and worldwide economic conditions caused projects to be delayed or shelved for a while. Now, several new facilities are preparing to open and new projects are being approved, signaling a brighter future to come.

The long anticipated and twice delayed inauguration of a new terminal at the Daniel Oduber International Airport (LIR) in Liberia, capital of the northwest province of Guanacaste, is happening this week.

“Costa Rica will be in a very advantageous situation, since we will have the best secondary airport in all of Central America, and perhaps one of the best in Latin America,” Transport Minister Francisco Jiménez told Ticotimes. “This will be a very important part of the development of the northern Pacific region.”

The airport will have the capacity to provide service to 1,500 passengers during peak hours and boasts security upgrades, temporary holding rooms for detained passengers, and dormitories for people in the process of being deported. Said to be the answer to notorious Liberia airport lines that sometimes stretch outside of the terminal, the new facility will be a welcome addition.

Coming up in Las Vegas this June, McCarran International Airport (LAS) opens new $2.4 billion Terminal 3, primarily to serve international and domestic long-haul flights. The new terminal will have 14 gates, a baggage handling system and parking garage and will feature an underground shuttle to the D gates and two floors of security checkpoints. When the new terminal opens, Terminal 2, an eight-gate charter on the airport’s north side, will be torn down.

Miami International Airport‘s (MIA) North Terminal Development Program is quickly nearing completion in 2012. Only three gates remain to be opened in the 50-gate “super concourse,” which is used by American Airlines as its hub for Latin America and the Caribbean to serve more than 20 million passengers annually and provide more than 300 daily flights.

Noted as one of the top ten airports for shopping in the world by Cheapflights.ca, the “terminals feel more like shopping malls than airports” reports the Miami Herald.

Indeed, to make airports work in today’s economy, they are becoming much more than just a place where planes take off and land. In addition to destination-like features, community leaders are pushing airport construction and expansion as a way land on sound economic ground.

“We need a healthy economy to thrive as a community. And transportation infrastructure is absolutely a part of this,” said Supervisor Shirlee Zane, chairwoman, when the Sonoma County California Board of Supervisors unanimously endorsed an $84 million project to expand Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS) to enable more daily commercial flights this week.

“In this economy, this is as close to an economic home run as we’re going to get,” said Jonathan Coe, of the Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce.

In Vermont, construction on a new terminal building at Vermont’s Newport State Airport (UUU) could begin as early as this summer. That would be a big step in a $12.8 million expansion project that officials say is designed to boost the area’s economy.

“This 9-year project has put a focus on utilizing our existing airports to mark Vermont not only a destination for vacationers, but also a viable economic force in the Northeast region,” said Guy Rouelle, aviation director for the Vermont Transportation Agency in BusinessWeek.

Utilizing existing airports, remodeling and upgrading facilities to address security concerns and improve the process for passengers has been a long time coming. Signs like these indicate overdue projects will be getting back on track and point to a bright future for American aviation.

But new airports are not popular everywhere as we see in this video.


Chile Clashes Over Airport Construction

Flickr photo by gTarded


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/11/2585180/mia-a-top-international-shopping.html#storylink=cpy

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