The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Columbus Ohio's Great American Travel Expo

The AAA Ohio Auto Club is gearing up for the fifth annual Great Vacations Travel EXPO, presented by AAA, slated for January 18-20, 2013.  Held at Franklin County Veterans Memorial in Downtown Columbus, the EXPO is a one-stop shop for everything related to travel.  The event offers central Ohio consumers information and EXPO-only deals and the best travel values on everything, from exotic cruises and European vacations to affordable escapes that are close to home.

EXPO hours are Friday 12 p.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or at any AAA Ohio Auto Club store, beginning December 3, for $9 or $6 for AAA members. Children ages 16 and under are admitted at no charge.  For additional event details or to purchase tickets in advance, visit

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cruise Lines New Harmonization of Bridge Procedures policy

The new Harmonization of Bridge Procedures policy helps to enhance operational safety within CLIA and ECC oceangoing member lines by achieving consistency in operating procedures within individual companies and among brands within a commonly owned and operated fleet. As members of a ship's bridge team often rotate among different ships, the use of consistent bridge procedures will improve communications, not only on board the ship but within each company and thereby provide for enhanced operational safety.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

New Cruise Lines Securing Heavy Objects policy

The Securing Heavy Objects policy provides that oceangoing member lines of CLIA and the ECC have procedures in their safety management systems to secure heavy objects either permanently, when not in use, or during severe weather. Heavy objects, if not properly secured, have the potential to cause injury. This policy was developed to further safeguard passenger and crew well being.  Member lines are to perform ship-wide inspections to ensure heavy objects are properly secured.  For example, heavy objects include items such as pianos, televisions, treadmills and laundry equipment. Full implementation of this policy is underway and is to be completed in the coming months.

Friday, November 23, 2012

New Cruise Lines Saftey policy

The Location of Life Jacket Stowage policy complements the existing Excess Life jackets policy under which oceangoing cruise lines of CLIA and the ECC carry additional adult life jackets on board so that the number of life jackets carried far exceeds the number of persons actually on board the ship. Under the new policy life jackets equal to or greater than the number required by international regulations and the ship's flag state are to be stowed in close proximity to either muster stations or lifeboat embarkations points on newly-constructed ships. Consequently, life jackets will be readily accessible by crew members for distribution to passengers in the event of an emergency. This policy further enhances shipboard safety as passengers will have even greater access to life jackets in the event of an emergency.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CLIA Unveils More New Safety Policies for Global Cruise Industry

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the European Cruise Council (ECC) unveiled three additional cruise safety policies to address issues related to lifejacket stowage on newly-constructed ships, the securing of heavy objects onboard ships, and the synchronization of bridge operating procedures within commonly owned and operated fleets. The two cruise organizations claim these policies exceed current international regulatory requirements and are further outcomes of the Cruise Industry Operational Safety Review, which was launched in January 2012, immediately after the sinking of Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tex-a-ribbean Cruises!

Norwegian Cruise Line and Princess Cruises on Thursday both announced plans to begin voyages out of Houston's Bayport Cruise Terminal, which has been mostly vacant since being completed in 2008.

Princess says the 3,080-passenger Caribbean Princess will offer seven-night sailings to the Western Caribbean out of the terminal starting in November 2013.

Norwegian says the 2,374-passenger Norwegian Jewel will begin seven-night sailings to the Western Caribbean out of the terminal starting in the fall of 2014.

This is a great alternative to sailing out of Florida. It’s not as crowded and airfares may be lower in both of Houston’s airports. 

If you are a pre and post hotel type sailor there’s plenty of sightseeing options here. 

I’ve cruised out of Houston and will do it again!