Exploring the World

Beautiful Halloween Sunrise UFO Clouds from the Palace Hotel at the Burgenstock Resort above Lucerne Switzerland

Switzerland October 2022

Annual fall trip to Switzerland in October using 4-day Swiss Travel Pass and the Swiss Travel Pass App to show huge savings. Typically in the fall, the SBB offers a Swiss Pass Autumn discount. Standard price for 4-day Swiss Travel Pass for 1st Class is 447 CHF. Discounted price is 317 CHF. For my 4 day journey throughout Switzerland, I was anble to incure 666 CHF of value.

Burgenstock Palace Hotel near Lucerne Switzerland Fall Colors

Lake Lucerne cruise and Vitznauerhof in Vitznau Switzerland

Hyatt Regency The Circle in ZRH and quick visit to Bern Switzerland

Using the Swiss Travel Pass over Four Day SBB Autumn Promotion showing savings using App

Swiss Travel Pass App from Cruising Review

SBB Swiss Travel Pass Info Link to Swiss Train Site


September Lauterbrunnen Valley in Switzerland looking up towards Jungfrau

Switzerland September 2022

Annual fall trip to Switzerland in September using 6-day Swiss Travel Pass and the Swiss Travel Pass App to show huge savings. Beautiful fall weather and even some snow up in Zermatt on 17 September. Beautiful Lauterbrunnen Valley with spectacular views of the alps.

Burgenstock Palace Hotel near Lucerne Switzerland

Riffelalp Resort Suite 203 Zermatt Switzerland

Oberland Hotel 7 in Lauterbrunnen Switzerland

Zermatt to Lauterbrunnen using the Swiss Travel Pass by train and lake boat

Lauterbrunnen to Geneva using the Swiss Travel Pass

Using the Swiss Travel Pass over Six Days showing savings using App

Using the Zermatt Matterhorn Peak Pass over three days showing savings using App

Swiss Travel Pass App


The Swiss Travel Pass App allows you to compare savings versus individual ticket purchases

Swiss Travel Pass App

The Swiss Travel Pass App runs on FilemakerGO (free) for your iPhone.

The purpose of the App is to allow you to keep track of your Swiss Travel Pass savings.

What is a Swiss Travel Pass? It is a pass which allows you to travel the Swiss transportation system (rail, bus, and lake boat), including free admission to many museums and some cablecar rides. The Glacier Express and some other scenic rides require seat reservations (additional purchase) but for the most part, is an incredible access for one price.

This app allows you to compare savings in advance, to see if the pass is worth its weight in gold.

I developed this app for my own use, but quickly found it so useful, that I am making it available for free to my website viewers.

This app is the basis of my HyperTravel, where I try to make out the rail and discounts over the validity of the pass. There are some days where I'm saving hundreds of dollars.

Keep Reading…


Acropolis

Paris and Switzerland then Greek Islands August 2022

Annual July trip to Paris for the Tour de France, then TGV up to Geneva-Villenueve-Zurich-Lucerne, then over to London, and then a flight from Bristol to Venice, Italy for a Celebrity cruise through the Greek Islands. Post cruise Swiss Travel Pass up to Zermatt, Zurich, and Lucerne.

Paris Tour de France 2022 Marriott Courtyard 211 Gare de Lyon

Hotel Warwick Geneva Switzerland

Villeneuve Switzerland

Pre Cruise:

Hilton Bristol Airport

A La Locanda di Orsaria in Venice Italy

Palazzo Bezzi Ravenna

Celebrity Constellation Cruise:

Celebrity Constellation Suite 3014 Embarkation

Celebrity Constellation Full Cruise Photos from Day 1 to 11

Post Cruise:

Riffelalp Resort Suite 501 Zermatt Switzerland

Grischa 216 in Davos Switzerland

Hyatt Regency The Circle Room 709 Switzerland

Lake Lucerne Cruise Down the Magical Valley

Swiss Paddlewheel Boats 2022

Celebrity Constellation Launched in 2002 Old Ship

Review and Photos of Celebrity Constellation Cruise from Ravenna, Italy to the Greek Islands


Matterhorn in Zermatt Switzerland. The Riffelalp is my second favorite resort in the world. A must-see in Europe.

The Best Kept Secret in Europe

Welcome to the Riffelalp Resort. With the Best View in the World The Riffelalp Resort at 2222 meters  above Zermatt, Switzerland.

The most amazing view in Europe, of the iconic Matterhorn. Resort is above Zermatt. Located half way up the Gornergrat, it has the best view of the western sky and sunset than anywhere in the region.

The Matterhorn is in the foreground. Please follow the link below to read about this epic resort.

Updated in August 2022 stay in Room 501.

Still the best. Amazing staff, location, and suites.

Most recent visit during August 2022 (Room 501)

Keep Reading…

Riffelalp Resort Website

Riffelalp Room 501 from 2021

Riffelalp Room 102


Rome

Europe Spring 2022

My first spring trip to Europe started in Venice, then continued up to Lake Garda, Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, then over the alps in a private helicopter to Lucerne, another wonderful stay at the Burgenstock Resort, and then a flight from Zurich to Naples, Italy for a MSC Seaview cruise through the Mediterranean. Post cruise and departure from Rome, Italy.

ORD FRA Lufthansa 747 Business Class Spring 2022

Hilton Stucky Hotel in Venice Italy Spring 2022

Venice Day Two Spring 2022

Piccola Vela Hotel and Lake Garda Italy

Desenzano and Lake Garda Spring 2022

Hilton Como and Lake Como Italy

Lake Como Italy and Mandarin Oriental Spring 2022

Eden Roc and Lake Maggiore in Ascona in Ticino Switzerland

Swiss Helicopter over the Alps from Lugano to Lucerne Spring 2022

Radisson Blu and Lake Lucerne Spring 2022

Burgenstock Palace Hotel Suite 2402 Easter Spring 2022

Burgenstock Palace Hotel Suite 2402 Easter Weekend 2022

MSC Seaview Cruise Spring 2022

MSC Seaview Ship Review and Pro Tips

For More Info…

Burgenstock Resort Website

Private Helicopter Charter from Lugano to Lucerne, Switzerland


HyperTravel is the new post-pandemic way to explore quickly and saving money

How to HyperTravel

Have you ever wanted to travel to the max in the shortest amount of time ? We're all limited in time, but with huge price increases in the travel industry, making the most of your travel time has become even more important.

The goal of HyperTravel is to see as much as you can, and then you can revisit the places you like the most when you have more time.

In this case, my first HyperTravel was in Switzerland, where I could take advantage of the amazing Swiss Travel Pass, which allows you to take advantage of unlimited transportation (rail, boat, bus) and many lifts (or at a huge discount) and 500 museums. Events not included are generally at a 50 percent discount.

Day One: Lucerne Home Base to Zermatt Matterhorn

Day Two: Lucerne Home Base area alps and museums

Day Three: Lucerne Home Base to Engelberg and Zurich

More details are at the dedicated HyperTravel page link below.

For More Info…


Burgenstock Resort above Lucerne Switzerland is my Favorite Resort in the World

Top Pick for World's Best: The Burgenstock Resort

This is my all-time favorite resort, located above Lake Lucerne in Switzerland.

After undergoing a multi-hundred-million dollar facelift and renovation, the result is nothing short of spectacular. The staff is the best in the world.

The views, food, atmosphere and wonderful feeling will leave you spellbound. The hiking and views from around the resort are world class and provide stunning vistas of the alps and nature.

Updated after late spring visit at the WaldHotel 2022.

Burgenstock WaldHotel Suite 4512 and 4801 May 2022

Burgenstock Palace Hotel Suite 2402 Easter Spring 2022

Burgenstock Palace Hotel Suite 2202

Burgenstock Palace Hotel Suite 2222

Burgenstock Palace Hotel Suite 2309

Burgenstock Hotel

For More Info…

Burgenstock Resort Website

Private Helicopter Charter from Zermatt Matterhorn to the Burgenstock Resort via Air Zermatt

Bugenstock Booking Tips


London

Switzerland and London May and June 2022

Quick one week in Switzerland to try out the WaldHotel and HyperTravel, then over to the UK to visit London. Spring weather was cool and sometimes rainy in the UK. Exploring Switzerland using HyperTravel and the Swiss Pass was exciting and exhausting at the same time. Tourists are coming back to both locations quickly as prices are also increasing. Staff shortages will be leading to a decrease in service in all sectors. These shoulder seasons are a great time to visit Europe.

Burgenstock WaldHotel

HyperTravel Lucerne base to Zermatt Matterhorn

HyperTravel Klewenalp Weggis Transport Museum Stanserhorn

HyperTravel Engelberg Mt Titlis Lucerne Zurich May 30 2022

Hyatt Zurich The Circle 805

Hilton Heathrow 8017

HyperTravel London 9 June 2022

United Business Class Upgrade from London Heathrow LHR to Chicago Ohare ORD UA 929


Breaking News CDC Drops all Cruise Ship Protocols

As of July 18, 2022, CDC’s COVID-19 Program for Cruise Ships is no longer in effect and this page will no longer be updated. New guidance for cruise ships to mitigate and manage COVID-19 transmission will be available in the coming days. For more information, please see the cruise travel Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

From Cruising Review: This now drops all regulations as far as CDC is concerned, meaning cruise ships can set their own standards and protocols for vaccinations, masks, and more.

CDC Press Release

CDC FAQ: Covid Protocol Dropped


Apple AirTag installed on my luggage

Using Apple AirTag for Travel

The Apple AirTag is a small electronic device which allows you to track where it is. It occurred to me that this would be perfect for luggage, so I bought a set of four with optional holders.

The key features of the AirTag are that if it is paired with your recent iPhone (11 or above) it can give you precision directions to the item using FindMy app, beep on command, or put into Lost mode to allow other iPhones to send you anon updates, or even assign a phone number to it to help locate. The Bluetooth device (5.0) is estimated to have a range of 800 feet.

May 2022: Now traveling to Switzerland and the UK and will update after the trip...

For More Info…

Apple AirTag Website


MSC Seaview

MSC Seaview Spring 2022 Cruise

MSC Seaview cruise through the Mediterranean. Departing from Naples, then to Messina, Malta, day at sea, Barcelona, Marseille, Genoa, and back to Naples. Post cruise and departure from Rome, Italy. This is my first cruise since the MSC Bellissima in December 2019.

MSC Seaview Cruise

MSC Seaview Cruise: Messina

MSC Seaview Cruise: Malta

MSC Seaview Cruise: Barcelona

MSC Seaview Cruise: Marseille

MSC Seaview Cruise: Genoa

MSC Seaview Cruise: Disembarkation Day and Train from Naples to Rome for Evening in Rome and Departure

MSC Seaview Ship Review and Pro Tips

For More Info…

MSC Cruises Website


Charity shaming is the new twist that cruise lines and resorts are billing you for funding their charities

Overbilling and Product Shorting - the new Norm

Overbilling and product shorting is ramped. It has been around for the past decade, but became the norm starting with the pandemic, when suppliers starting losing profits and needed to fill the gap.

I first started noticing this at the Conrad Hilton Maldives, where it was crazy (everything from additional island flight charges to misc fees). After feeling really ripped off in the Maldives, I became much more aware of how overbilling and product shorting is the norm and day-to-day business with many resorts.

Always check your bill. You'll be surprised what shenanigans are going on behind the front desk.

Even the Four Season's has a trumped up charged called Employee Wellness fund, that is tagged on your bill at checkout. I guess they don't pay their employees well, so you have to cover the balance. It's what I call shame overbilling. The same exists with MSC and how they automatically charge you for their charity contribution, and other resorts with Eco funds, etc. Basically, you are paying for their lack of payment.

Keep Reading…


Conrad Bora Bora Nui is the best resort in the Western Hemisphere (and Pacific) and tied for second best resort in the world.

Conrad Bora Bora Resort February 2021

February 2021: Just returned from a wonderful trip to French Polynesia and the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. The Conrad has now reopened as of May 2021 (mostly to Americans who are more free to travel due to the huge drop in Covid cases due to the vaccines).

Bora Bora Travel Review

Conrad Bora Bora Nui Website


July 2021 Sunset from the Riffelalp Resort

Riffelalp Resort July 2021

The most amazing view in Europe, of the iconic Matterhorn. Resort is above Zermatt. Located half way up the Gornergrat, it has the best view of the western sky and sunset than anywhere in the region.

Keep Reading…

Riffelalp Resort Website

Riffelalp Room 501

Riffelalp Room 102


Rigi Cablecar

Tour of Weggis and Vitznau Switzerland Area

Currently my favorite area in Switzerland is what I term the magical valley. Extending on the north eastern portions of Lake Lucerne, this area extends from Weggis down to Sisikon. From wonderful sunsets, cloud formations, rainbows, and peering Swiss mountains, this area is stunning. Hiking trails abound, along with cogwheel rail, cablecar, and lake boats to see some of the most beautiful sights in this little known part of Switzerland.

Vitznau is near Weggis, and at the base of the queen of mountains, Mount Rigi. Vitznau is where you can take a train up to the mounting, but also on lovely Lake Lucerne (Vierwaldstrattersee). It is also the gateway to what I term the enchanted valley part of the Canton of Lucerne and on the edge of Schwyz and Nidwalden. The lake winds around the beautiful terrain with many instagram villages like Sisikon and Fluelen. This is nestled around Stoos, Rigi, and Fulen. Some of the prettiest mountains in Switzerland.

Keep Reading…


Burgenstock Resort in Winter

Burgenstock Resort November 2021

The Burgenstock Resort above Lake Lucerne, Switzerland remains my favorite desination in the world. This near holiday visit brought out the snowy outdoors and the wintry beauty in the region.

While the Felsenweg hiking trail was closed due to ice and snow (it is closed in the winter), other trails were open displaying the incredible winter wonderland.

Keep Reading…

Burgenstock Resort Website


Air Zermatt offers sightseeing and charter flights for the Matterhorn and transfers to other airports and resorts

Air Zermatt Fall Tour 2021

After staying at the wonderfull Riffelalp Resort at 2222 Gornergrat above Zermatt, Switzerland we decided to do a fall tour from the helicopter. Our original goal was a transfer directly to the Burgenstock Resort above Lucerne, but they were in a cloud that day, so we did a quick tour of the Matterhorn and surrounding alps, then over to Visp, where we landeded and took the train for the rest of the journey.

For More Info…

Riffelalp Resort and Spa

Air Zermatt Helicopter Flights and Charter

Burgenstock Resort and Spa (including the Burgenstock Hotel, Palace Hotel, Waldhotel, and Taverne 1898)


Quick Links

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Email: greg@cruisingreview.com

TEL: 608-238-6001


My Experience With Covid

I got it. Not traveling, but by staying at home.

Hard to believe, but true when you live in a high-rise condo building.

Read more about my experience below.

For More Info…


Beautiful Lake Como Italy

Fall Travel 2021 Including Lake Como

Tour of Lake Como, Italy.

Hilton Lake Como Itlay

Lake Como Italy

Luxurious Chedi Resort in Andermatt Switzerland

Beau Rivage in Weggis Switzerland

Vitznauerhof Hotel in Switzerland

Radisson Blu in Andermatt Switzerland

Hotel Zermama in Zermatt Switzerland

Hilton Como Itlay

Keep Reading…


MSC Bellissima Persian Gulf Cruise

Cruise News

This section will be for current travels, upcoming flights and cruises.

The big news of the day is moving the website from WordPress to our own proprietary web site generation program we developed using FileMaker database, which allows us to use all of our past cruise ship reviews from 2001 onwards.

Trip Advisor

For More Info…

Instagram Link for Pepe.G6

YouTube Cruising Review Channel

Chase Bank United Visa I used for Awards Travel


Swiss flight from Zurich to Chicago

Zurich to Chicago aboard Swiss B777 Business Class 12D Flight LX008 September 2021

The Swiss flight from Zurich to Chicago went smoothly with incredible Business Class food service and really good menu choices and quality.

The check-in process was awkward. I tried to pay for a upgrade from Economy to Business, but was informed that a ticket purchased using miles was ineligible. I was directed to the Swiss customer service desk where I was able to purchase an upgrade for around $1,200. During check-in, I was asked for a passport, and Covid test result (entire pdf or paper form) for either PCR or antigen. With two carry-ons, I was informed that if my small wheeled carry-on was more than 5 kg (about 10 lbs), it would have to be checked. I quickly scrambled to remove my MacBookPro and keys, then checked the bag to Chicago. That is a first.

Egress through the Zurich airport was smooth, and exit immigration was smooth.

Briefly visited the Swiss Business Class lounge (which is so much more amazing than the United lounge experience), and then proceeded to the gate.

At the gate, documents were again checked, and a entry form was also requested (see end of this post) for entry into the USA.

Boarding the flight was orderly and fast.

The seating area was comfortable, until about 2 hours into the flight when my foot recline and seat cushion inflation comfort level stopped working. Annoying, but not a disaster.

The food was the true gem of the flight, with excellent service.

Bistro Menu for the Swiss Flight

For More Info…


United Airlines is now demonetizing your flight credit to half value by doubling the fare when you try to use that unused ticket.

What Happened United Airlines Demonetizing flight credits and impossible to get refunds. July 2021.

I recently booked a trip to Paris in July 2021 with unused flight credits from last year during the pandemic. Remember when United canceled their change fees ? Well they have something better up their sleeve.

If I did a search for a standard economy fare (basic or standard) my fare was $1,300. But when I tried to use my $2,800 (Business Class fare) unused ticket to Europe from last year when the flight was canceled, the fare that pops up is $2,600. So basically United has decided to use a pricing model that demonetizes your paid fare by half. That's 100 percent profit. Upgrades have similar issues.

Even worse, last year the original fare was for Business Class. Now I can barely get Economy. So they did not honor the class booked. Now Business Class is $5,000-$10,000.

Clever.

To make matters worse, United offers a cabin upgrade offer, for 20,000 miles and $421 from Chicago to Paris. When I took the offer, United deducted 40,000 miles and $421, and did not even declare the miles deduced on the receipt. Go to the website (after waiting 1.5 hours on hold with United customer service) and the agent suggested to go to United/Refunds on the website. Unfortunately, you can't even file a complaint or refund request until the flight has already passed. I tried calling again today and after another hour on hold, I gave up.

Feeling screwed yet ? Yup.

I love United (pre-pandemic). The new United puts profits ahead of customer experience and has now gone down the rabbit hole of deceit.

The pandemic has spawned a littany of trumped up fees, and other expenses which they pass on to the customer, but which is pure profit to the company.

Remember that fuel surcharge ? How about employee wellness programs ? How about add on fees after you have shipped something ? Or better yet, how about that nice tip you charged on your bill for the fantastic spa massage or other experience (like drink tips). Yep, you guessed it, it goes directly to the owner or company. It's all profit mongering and greed. Next time ask where the tip goes, and you'll be surprised.

United, time to step up to the plate and treat your customers better. We love travel, let us spend money and travel, without the hassle of trying to figure out how you're demonetizing our hard earned money. We want you to thrive, but now at the expense of greed and deceit.

@unitedairlines

For More Info…

United Airlines Website

Refund Policy

Email Scott Kirby CEO - Chief Executive Officer


Travel Blogger Software

Need to get organized ?

We are now making available our software apps to travel bloggers. Based on Filemaker platform (Mac, Windows, and Mac IOS Filemaker Go), we have developed some industry specific apps that will increase your efficiency, reduce time, and give you valuable heads-up time while doing reviews, blogs, and video blogs.

Travel Blogger Software Page

Digital Nomad Course offered by Chantal Patton


Charter Jet from Barcelona to Zurich OKJFA

Why Charter A Jet

On a recent cruise, our group chartered a small business jet from Barcelona to Zurich.

Not only was it super convenience, but an amazing experience.

Most locations in Europe are an easy 1.5 hour flight or less point to point. Chartering a jet provides a very economical way for 6 people to travel First Class, avoiding airport hassle of long lines and waits. It also provides a customized service to your destination direct. In this case, we were leaving the cruise ship on a Sunday, and wanted to spend a few days at the Burgenstock Resort near Lucerne, Switzerland. There is actually an airport next to the resort, but unfortunately closed on the weekends, so we had to fly into Zurich, then take a van (weather was not good enough for a helicopter transfer) to the resort.

For More Info…


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