Thursday, February 11, 2016

Beware the Bumps

If you have been following the news you have probably seen the story about the rough voyage experienced by passengers of the Royal Caribbean Line's ( Anthem of the Seas. The megaship, which can carry more than 6,000 people, hit a storm in the Atlantic while on a cruise from New Jersey to the Bahamas.

The line has offered passengers a full refund on the cost of their trip, plus 50 per cent off a future cruise. This strikes me as a pretty generous deal, but I suspect many litigious passengers will still sue. A few passengers were injured, and the ship sustained substantial damage.

Unfortunately, storms at sea are not unknown. Every form of transportation carries risk, and while cruises can be relaxing and inexpensive vacations, there are no guarantees. A bad storm can be both dangerous and unpleasant. I once encountered a major storm crossing the Atlantic in summer, and would definitely think twice before crossing that ocean in winter.

In these situations, the cruise line owes affected passengers little or nothing, so it is good to know this before you sail.

On a happier note, Air Canada (,) has a Valentine's Day sale in effect until Feb. 15. Some of the round trip fares are very reasonable--Montreal to Dublin for $666, Montreal to Copenhagen for $819, Montreal to Dubai for $825. Similar fares are available from other Canadian gateways, and they are in Canadian dollars, now worth just under 72 cents U.S.

For years Canadian air travellers have been flying from U.S. airports to save money with budget airlines, but perhaps now the trend will reverse with the low loonie. Americans may choose to fly from Canada to overseas destinations if they live near the border.


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