Pardon me, but my cruise ship appears to be on fire


Stuart Miles/Shutterstock
Stuart Miles/Shutterstock
This is the online edition of Elliott’s E-Mail, my free weekly newsletter. Please join me tomorrow morning for #Traveltuesday Live. We’ll be talking about the Grandeur of the Seas fire, cruise disasters and your rights as a passenger. Here’s how to participate.

□ SOCIAL NETWORK OF THE WEEK

Before you do anything else, please “like” my Facebook page. I check it a million times a day, and there’s no faster way of connecting with me and discovering more about the irresistible cases I handle than through Facebook. Oh, did I mention that I’m there, too? (Can’t get enough? Then please follow me on my personal page for the rest of the story. It’ll be fun. Promise.)

□ LIVE EVENTS START NOW!

Please join me tomorrow morning for a live chat with travel agent and cruise industry expert Stewart Chiron, a.k.a. the “Cruise Guy,” about the cruise industry’s proposed new passenger bill of rights. The fun begins at 9 a.m. EDT on Twitter and Google Plus, where we’ll be fielding questions about your cruise rights. Then at 10 a.m., tune in for a live interview with Chiron on YouTube. Here are all the details. Send me your questions for Chiron now. Here’s my email address.

□ WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Do cruise passengers have enough rights?
Do you think cruise passengers have enough rights, particularly in light of the recent, high-profile cruise disaster? Or is this new cruise bill of rights just a PR move? What do you think? Have you ever been on a cruise where you felt you had no rights at all? Please share your thoughts. As always, don’t forget to include your full name, city and daytime occupation. Your response could be used in my story.

Related story:   Have hotel minibars maxed out their welcome?

You’re invited to a big party!
Hey, our next live family travel event is happening on Thursday at 9 a.m. EDT. We’re talking summer travel with our friend, family travel expert Eileen Ogintz. Tune in to Away is Home for more information. In the meantime, you’ve gotta check out our irreverent summer driving advice and vote in our poll on the music that’s been banned in your car. Oh, you know you have a list. We sure do.

Talk to me
The stories you see in this newsletter are just a starting point. I hope you’ll take a minute to leave a comment, whether you agree or disagree with something I’ve written. Let’s continue the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google. I’m listening. And of course, I’m also here if you need me.

□ POSTS YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS

Are you too desperate for an airfare deal?
What would you do for a cheap airfare? If you said “anything” then you’re probably going to love flying in the future. It’s a place that will be filled with steals and deals, and for a lucky few who take their time to study the system, you’ll be able to travel for next to nothing. The rest of us? Not so much. Find out why.

Something’s still “phishy” about vacation rentals
If you think the words “vacation rental” and “phishing” are all but synonymous, you’re not alone. Just talk to Ann Schutte, who recently found a rental villa with a “million-dollar” view in Sedona, Ariz., through the rental Web site VRBO.com. A woman claiming to own the property quoted her a $645 rate for five nights if she wired her the money. Can you guess what happened next?

Related story:   May 23, 2007

Help, my car rental company is charging me for a burnt clutch
When the clutch on his car fails, Hadley Roeltgen is sent an 850 euro bill. But his credit card company says he shouldn’t be responsible, and reverses the charge. Now, a collections agency is after him. What should he do?

An Aeromexico refund runaround with a surprise ending
Extracting a promised refund from an airline can be hard work. At times, it can even be impossible — or close to it. All of which makes Michael Levin’s case so remarkable. He and two friends were scheduled to fly from Sacramento, Calif., to Mexico late last year, and their flight was overbooked. Aeromexico offered them a ticket voucher or a refund, and they chose the refund. What happened next may help you if you ever need to get a refund from an intransigent airline.

□ MY PARTING SHOT

I’m trying to bring you closer to the action with these live events, using various kinds of social media. I hope you’ll give it a try on Tuesday morning. I’ll be reporting live from the Holiday Inn Resort in Panama City Beach, Fla. Come on. It’ll be fun!


Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or check out his adventures on his family adventure travel site. Contact him at chris@elliott.org.

  • Raven_Altosk

    Did you hear about how Di$ney covered up a kid getting molested on their cruiseline? Apparently there’s video of it…but instead of alerting FL authorities while the ship was still in port, they reported it to the Bahamaian authorities (not gonna do anything and less publicity) and then flew the cast member home to India.

    I can’t believe this hasn’t hit mainstream media yet…

    http://www.ksat.com/news/state-of-florida-to-take-over-crimes-on-cruises/-/478452/20264918/-/12yl8ur/-/index.html

  • kmwcary

    I have never used Facebook. I will never use Facebook until it convinces me that it cares about my privacy as much as I do. In other words, likely when hell freezes over. Therefore, I will not participate in any activities you promote that are on Facebook.

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