A roundup of the latest travel news.
AT SEA: All-inclusive on the ocean
Many cruise lines now charge for amenities once provided for free. But Crystal Cruises is moving in the opposite direction. Starting in spring, 2012, the Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity will be marketed as "all-inclusive." For passengers, that means free fine wines and premium spirits throughout the ship, open bar service in all lounges and prepaid gratuities. Crystal already stands out from many competitors by not charging for non-alcoholic drinks and meals in its premium restaurants.
IN THE AIR: Anything to get your attention
Have airlines gone too far in spicing up safety demonstrations to get passengers' attention? China's Capital Airlines now follows Cebu Pacific Air of the Philippines by having attendants demonstrate life vests, masks and exits while gyrating to Lady Gaga's Just Dance. Blame Air New Zealand, which introduced a safety video in 2009 starring employees who were nude except for body paint. Meanwhile, pilots and flight attendants at Qantas are unhappy that the airline's safety video features an earnest John Travolta in a pilot uniform, who implies that he's one of the "team." They have described the video as "cringe-worthy" and "inappropriate."
IN THE ROOM: The auberge average
Surprise, surprise. The average cost of a hotel room around the world is roughly the same as it was seven years ago, according to the hotel price index at Hotels.com. While there was a modest 2-per-cent increase in 2010, it was overshadowed by a 13-per-cent drop the previous year. Hotels.com based the findings on bookings through its Internet site, using real prices paid, as opposed to advertised rates, for 110,000 hotels in 18,000 locations.
Sources: Shanghailist.com. Sunday Times (Perth), Canada NewsWire, PR Newswire
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