Explorer of the seas cruises are going for just $399 for seven day trip. *Photo supplied
Explorer of the seas cruises are going for just $399 for seven day trip. *Photo supplied

How do you choose which airline you fly?

According to a recent survey by Deloitte, safety is the number one reason overall for travellers. 

Value for money was number two followed by on-time arrivals and departures was number three. Check-in convenience was number four with baggage handling at number five.

The least important of 26 attributes? Access to executive lounges and VIP privileges. Surprisingly, business travellers only rated it slightly better (#25) than leisure travellers.

Carry-ons

Speaking of baggage handling, 2012 was a record year for the airline in collecting fees for luggage. 

But on several of my recent flights, it would be hard-pressed to tell that considering the number of carry-on and personal items people are bringing on board. On three of my flights in August, there were so many carry-on items, that there was no room in the overhead bins and they had to be checked (for free). 

For people who get in the plane last, it’s a constant search to find an overhead bin to hold your luggage, and many times people had to store their bags away from where they were sitting. 

Venice

The Italian city where the streets are paved with water is considering banning cruise ships. 

Several months ago a Carnival Cruise ship unintentionally caused a wake — which is a big problem when many of the buildings are on the water. That fed into the festering resentment over the Costa Concordia. 

In August a German cruise ship passenger died when the gondola he was in was crushed against a building — not the cruise ship’s fault at all, but it has sparked much debate about having cruise ships in the city anymore. 

Alamo 

The car rental giant has a host of last-minute specials for this weekend if you’re travelling to the US. There is limited availability at each location, but here are some deals: Las Vegas (Midsize $20); Miami (Compact $16), Fort Lauderdale (Midsize ($18).

National Car Rental 

The company is offering a One-two-free’ deal where between September 9 and January 31, 2014, members of National’s loyalty programme will earn 600 points for every two rentals of a midsized or larger car for two or more days. That in turn will qualify you for a free rental. You’ll have to register for the programme and your free rental must be used by June 16, 2014. 

Bermuda cruises

It’s the end of the season and cruise prices are fairly low for people who are wanting to cruise here. Cruise.com is offering the Norwegian Breakaway from $499 for an inside cabin. 

Other ship prices for an inside cabin and the starting price: Explorer of the Seas ($399), Granduer of the Seas ($499), Norwegian Dawn ($499) seven days.

What’s surprising is the suite prices for the Breakaway are starting at $999, which is the lowest of the ships cruising here. 

Others are: Explorer ($2,199), Granduer ($1,499) and Dawn ($1,249). 

That probably means the other have less availability and those can charge more for the space they do have less.

Holland America

The heralded debut of renown chef Elizabeth Faulkner’s dishes began being served on the Holland America line this week. In the main dining room. Some of her dishes include Cajun-inspired shrimp, andouille and grits seved with braised okra and roasted poblano peppers or the vegetable curry with forbidden rice and soft shell crab pad thai.