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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Attention Comcast subscribers--virus warning

Comcast terminated their contract with McAfee and switched to Norton but hasn't informed subscribers yet. As soon as possible, go to the High-Speed Internet (lower right part of page). Follow the instructions to switch to Norton.

I learned the hard way that my McAfee wasn't working. It is supposed to be provided as part of my Comcast subscription.

I got a virus Tuesday night. I ran a McAfee scan to no avail. Seems it hadn't been working for days.

Since McAfee's contract was terminated, McAfee would only help if I paid $89.95. After multiple calls to Comcast, in which Comcast representatives insisted McAfee was in effect and will be phased out gradually by May 12, I was connected with Norton for assistance. I had to pay $99.99 for them to debug my computer and get Norton running.

Finally reached upper level Comcast management today. Apparently this is a big problem now for lots more people than me. Finally got them to credit me the $99.99, etc. Took a lot of calls to straighten this out. Two days wasted and plenty of frustration.But at least they covered the financial cost.

If you get suspicious pop-ups, don't try to click them off with the mouse. Hold down alt and F4. Any click activates the virus, which, I'm told, is designed to get your credit card info.

In any case, if you are a Comcast customer, switch to Norton anti-virus immediately to be sure you are protected.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in Haiti

As the controversy continues regarding the cruise ship stops and partying on Haiti in the midst of the devastation, we wanted to share with our readers a letter from Adam Goldstein, President and CEO of Royal Caribbean International:


Dear Linda,

The devastating earthquake in Haiti has saddened us all at
Royal Caribbean® and our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the people of Haiti. I have heard from so many of you about your concerns and how we together can make a difference. I appreciate the valuable feedback, suggestions and ideas that you, our valued Crown & Anchor® Members, have provided and please know that we've taken them all under consideration.

There has been debate over our decision to continue our calls on Labadee®. This was not an easy decision to make. Government officials, representatives of the United Nations and even taxi drivers asked us to seriously consider maintaining our visits to Labadee® to ensure the economic stability of this unaffected area of the island. In the end, we focused on the fact that we have been doing business on the island for more than 30 years and we were not going to abandon her in her darkest hour. So we have decided to continue to call on Labadee® as scheduled.

All of our ships calling into Labadee® are transporting much needed supplies to Haiti, amounting to over 120 pallets in the first week alone and more is on the way. Our lounge chairs have even become useful as makeshift hospital beds to help treat the injured. Royal Caribbean® has pledged at least $2 million in humanitarian relief including 100% of the net revenue generated during calls to Labadee®. Additionally, guests onboard our ships will have the ability to donate to Food for the Poor's Haiti Relief Fund through their onboard accounts if they elect to do so. In response to numerous suggestions regarding guest participation in the recovery efforts, volunteers on some ships calling into Labadee® can join us in assembling backpacks for kids which we will be donating to the local community.

During this difficult time, it means so much to us to have you standing by our side. As the recovery efforts continue, Royal Caribbean® commits to continue our support for the reconstruction of the nation of Haiti and its people. Please visit RoyalCaribbean.com/Haiti to learn about our latest efforts to provide relief and assistance. I will continue to keep everyone updated on our efforts through my blog.

Sincerely,

Adam Goldstein
President & CEO
Royal Caribbean International®

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Royal Caribbean donates revenues to haitian relief effort.

After the devastating earthquake in Haiti, it's easy to point fingers at those who vacation on its shores in seeming indifference to the tragedy.

The alternative, however, deprives the Haitians of the income so crucial to them.

Royal Caribbean, one of the largest foreign investors in Haiti,is also delivering much-needed supplies on its stops there, has pledged a minimum $1 million in aid, and is donating the destination's net revenues to the relief effort.

Passengers are given an opportunity to donate to the Food for the Poor's Haiti Relief Fund.

USA Today has published the full text of Royal Caribbean's announcement of Haitian aid.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Adventure Travel: You're Only as Old as You Feel

Seems the proverbial rocking chair is going the way of the ice box, Victrola, and LPs.

Travel companies are noticing that the average age of travelers is inching up--right up into the 90s for the increasing number of active seniors with the health and mindset to do so. Read more about the antics of some adventurous octo- and nonagenarians in this New York Times article.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Baggage fees reach the stratosphere

Continental Airlines has matched Delta's increase in the fee to check luggage and is now charging $23 for the first bag and $32 for the second one if you pay online. Paying at the airport bumps it to $25 and $35, respectively.

This applies to tickets bought on or after January 5 on Delta and on or after January 9 on Continental.

Our advice--Don't jump at what appears to be the lowest fare without factoring in these costs. Check and compare with Southwest, which has the best policy--first 2 checked bags are free. And let Southwest know that this is why you choose them. Rumor has it that they are conducting surveys on the effects of jumping on the bandwagon.

For more on this and other airlines' policies see CNN

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Travel Warning: The Sky Is Falling in Florida

Leaping lizards! The temperatures in Florida are so frosty that iguanas are falling from the trees.

Don't assume that the pesky critters are goners. They are merely in a state of suspended animation, according to Fox news.

3 1/2 year old "Iguana Girl" has turned this into a great adventure.


You might want to rethink collecting them as souvenirs. They'll be right back to their pesky selves as soon as they get warmed up.