News for the travel industry


News: Travel news and review links More Info

Resort Reviews: Luxury resort reviews from Bora Bora to Switzerland More Info

Ship Reviews: Cruise Ship reviews More Info

Jet Charter: European charter options More Info

Products: Products and services including Digital Nomad and AirBNB More Info

Travel Tips: Streamline your travel experience. More Info

FileMaker Software Solutions Developing database software for the travel industry More Info

Videos Videos of cruise ships and luxury resorts More Info

Topics Business, Influencer, Cruise, Travel topics and other Articles More Info

Email: greg@cruisingreview.com

TEL: 608-238-6001


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

Instagram Link for Pepe.G6

YouTube Cruising Review Channel

AirBNB Search

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

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.

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.

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.


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.


For More Info…

United Airlines Website

Refund Policy

Email Scott Kirby CEO - Chief Executive Officer

Bora Bora late January and early February 2021

Just returned from a wonderful trip to French Polynesia and the Conrad Bora Bora Nui. As of February 2nd, French Polynesia is closed (at least from what I understand).

The Conrad has closed until 1 April 2021. It was surreal to be at a resort with only 30 guests. On the flight back I had to do a negative Covid test (Antigen or PCR is approved according to the CDC) before boarding one of the last United flights back to SFO from PPT. Luckily, there is a rapid test center at the PPT airport in Tahiti (for about $45 you can get Antigen test results in about 30 minutes). I got a day room at the Intercontinental (ask about day room rates which are about $240 and includes a tax ride back to the airport) which was perfect instead of waiting at the airport.

I booked Economy on United for about $940 RT from Madison (MSN-ORD-SFO-PPT and back), and upgraded for $1,299 from SFO to PPT to Business Class on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. On the way back, they were offering upgrades for $1,299 cash, or $600 plus 60,000 miles (for some reason they were not offering just miles upgrades). So I canceled my ticked United fare, then looked for a miles fare one way. To my surprise, they had a one way far for 70,000 miles plus $6 from PPT-SFO-ORD-MSN all on Business Class. So, for a little bit of work, I was able to score a nice upgrade using points. It was a good work around, and a much better value than the $1,299 upgrade.


Red Light Improves Eyesight

Recent studies (June 2020) confirm that for adults over 40, a red spectrum (LLLT or Low level light therapy) light can help the functioning of mitochondria.

There was a 14 percent improvement in the ability to see colors, or cone color contrast sensitivity, for the entire two dozen participants.

The spectrum for this therapeutic red light is around 660 nm. I have been using the Amzcool device (shown to the left and link below) for almost a year now, and love it. I use it for both my eyes, and for knee pain. It works for both eyes and skin healing (verfied by NASA).

For more details, please follow the link for our detailed review.


For More Info…

Buy Now: Amzcool Red Light Therapy Disc on Amazon (3.4 inch disc)

Email: Red Light Therapy Questions

Red Light Therapy Science Links

Web Engine

Working on a Web Engine which is based on FileMaker database to build comprehensive websites which include QR codes for integration on business interaction (using a scan code for a fix solution, reordering, buying, referring to menus, etc.).

Millenium Web Engine, which is based on using a Filemaker (Claris) database backbone. The primary goal is to build a website using semantics specifically referenced by Google (metatags and proper page building), so that their search spiders and page ranking derive better results.

Part of this initiative is building a business around .pdf documents and QR codes, so that customers can easily reference website pages for additional information, including order products and services.

The strategy is function over form. Using First Principles, we are building a Web Engine that provides useful information quickly, and without a lot of clutter which is found in most pretty websites (i.e. WordPress). Building a website rich in

pdf and QR codes provides the view with a better and faster experience. Making the entire process into a database and AI, makes it even better.

Learn How to Become a Digital Nomad


Sky Princess Cruise with Growing Up Without Borders

Series of videos of our cruise with the YouTuber family Growing Up Without Borders crew.

For More Info…

Growing Up Without Borders YouTube Channel

Growing Up Without Borders Website

Email: chantal@growingupwithoutborders.com
Barcelona to Zurich Switzerland on a Private Jet

Barcelona to Zurich Switzerland on a Private Jet

Barcelona to Zurich on a Private Jet - Then on to the Burgenstock Resort high above Lucerne Switzerland

What do you do when your fantastic cruise is over ? Well charter a jet in Barcelona, and travel to Switzerland of course !

Follow us on our journey from warm and tropical Barcelona to snowy Switzerald for a wonderful post-cruise stay at the Burgenstock Resort in Lucerne, Switzerland. Click here for the video on YouTube

Email Pepe: About the private jet experience

Website: Burgenstock Resort

Charter Jets Website


AirBNB Yacht:

Over the past year I’ve been developing a AirBNB renewable powered (solar PV) multihull. The 60 ft. yacht will be a unique trimaran, with three carbon fiber hulls and all-systems and living quarters above the waterline. There will be no bildge (an odd revolutionary concept).

The hulls will be a unique woven air-pocket system which will be extremely durable and solid (but light). The bridgedeck will start at 4 ft (3.1 meter) above the water to prevent any slamming, with a two-deck system. The craft will first be designed for Swiss and Italian river and lake usage, and then adapted for ocean-going service.

The unique design will be a paddle-wheeler, to reflect traditional European lake and river cruisers. More important, the paddle-wheel was chosen over all other designs for ease of build, cost, durable, and dependable service. Built in modules, the vessel will be shippable via ocean freight container. More information can be found at our dedicated E Ship site


Why I left Wordpress and developed my own Web Page Generator

For the past 6 years I've been using WordPress. Initially, I thought it was super easy to build and maintain websites (I had over six), but then quickly realized it was the big Trojan Horse in the room. Basically, they lure you in with flashy sites, then bog you down with Microsoft-like annoyances (uploading plug-ins to fix basic site user experience problems) and other inherencies. One feature I loved was a mobile upload using a smartphone app. It was great until I found out that images were not rotated properly, and yes, you guessed it, there's a plug-in to fix that. So annoying. It got so bad I found myself spending more time trying to fix the base operability than actually building content.

So I decided to rely on what I know best. And that was FileMaker Database. The essence of FileMaker is to storage and manage data, and replicate success, while eliminating having to do things over and over. I used this basic foundation to write a database which stored all my content (text), links, images, and pdfs and then present them in a logical format based on functionality and good content creation tags presented by the search engine Google (most searches are done from their base). This includes tags they consider important, and leaving out the gobbledygook that is not necessary.

Time savings from not dealing with WordPress issues, image management, and basic user experience were quickly realized. While more time is spent on developing a strategy, the huge time savings by eliminating duplication and confusion quickly bubbled to the top.

Now I can build, modify, and create content quickly and easily. The images and pdfs are contained within the app, so I don't have to worry about managing separate folders of each. Keep your images web friendly at around 300kb and pdf documents the same. If you need huge files, then store them remotely (separately) and link to them for speed. For movies, use Vimeo and YouTube as your storage medium and link or embed them. This not only broadens your exposure to the web for visibility, but allows you to build additional SEO and page ranking. This happens intrinsically when you link back.

The basic premise of the Web Engine strategy is to have a web page, which is comprised of blocks of information (similar in nature to WordPress, but delivered much better). Gone or endless options on text type and size and confusion in WordPress. Each page is part of a group of pages for your website. Blocks comprise the content of that page, also part of a database. Each block has options for text only, image only, text and image, or raw data (in case you want to utilize code which already exists in HTML format). Using any of those options gives you complete control of appearance and delivery.

Gone is the contact page. Instead, why not give interested viewers the ability to contact you from the top and bottom

of the page. I've never understood why it has to be an Easter Egg hunt just to send and email or make a call.

First Principles is the living methodology of Nikola Tesla and Elon Musk. Make it yours. That is, functionality over form (purpose vs. flash).

Who is this type of web strategy good for ? Those who want to delivery a message quickly, efficiently, and those who want to deploy information.

We base the business functionality of this strategy incorporating the QR code. The QR code gives quick link access to information. We recommend you put one on each page, which when printed out (each webpage generated can be printed out on standard format paper), gives the reader the ability to point their smartphone at the code and immediately link up to the page, or to order a part, or to reference a fix, or to buy a product. Instantly. Quickly.

Eliminate manual duplication. With WordPress, there was a time when you could duplicate information. For some reason, that was eliminated (of course, unless you search, find, and activate a plug-in). This means that had to manually work around the issue and take time to duplicate a page, a block, or other information. With Web Engine, duplicating pages or blocks is as simple as clicking a button. Because this is a database, you can export lots of pages, blocks, or other information, and then import them back in as new. Simple. Fast.

Make information handling simple. Any website is basically a information management system. The better you can strategize and have that information automatically organized, gives you the leading edge over your competition. Some of my background is developing equipment and systems, which involve lots of parts. My biggest pet peeve was not being able to just click, buy, and ship. The antiquated dealer network, dealer relationship, quotes, and purchase orders were just a waste of time. Give me information to buy, and let me buy. Save my time so I can go have fun or focus on what I actually enjoy doing. No, I don't need to have lunch with my supplier rep, and develop a relationship with a person just to buy a part. What I want is information quickly, accurately, and the ability to act on it. Streamlined. Efficient.

If you want to empower yourself, your ideas, and your content, consider Web Engine. It's a choice that gives you the freedom to develop, build, maintain, and deliver.


Inventing and Development Projects:

For 2021, I will circle back to focus on inventing and researching healthy living, and building a cosmetics company for DIY home skin care solutions ( SwissMixIt ). While traveling, I hope to seek out local medicinal plants and anti-aging solutions. Probably the best example is Tamanu oil from French Polynesia. I’ve been using it since 2004, and love how my skin feels rejuvinated. I’ve been experimenting with skin creams since March 2020 with the SwissMixIt induction touch-free magnetic mixer with fantastic results. This one product will turn the cosmetics industry on end, by allowing DIY at-home formulations (saves money and provides a better quality product by using organic ingredients and less processing and less chemicals used in many commercial formulations). I have also been experimenting with anti-aging formulations with Astragalus, Black Seed, Hesperidin, Vitamin E Skin Creams, and Carnosine. These botanicals are great antioxidants, help maintain telomeres, and help with gene expression. Best of all, you can make these skin cream formulations at home. SwissMixIt (link to website)


BORA BORA SUNSET: At the Conrad Bora Bora Nui (#shorts)

August 2020 visit to Conrad Bora Bora Nui in French Polynesia, South Pacific. Dualing time lapse sunsets. YouTube Video

For More Info…

CruisingReview YouTube Channel


Zeppelin Ride over Lake Constance

Friedrichshafen Germany tour over Lake Constance. Zeppelin Ride over Lake Constance (YouTube video)

For More Info…


Pandemic Status:

The most important thing you can do is self-quarantine, take vitamin D3, physical distance from others, and ventilate any indoor room when with others. That strategy will help get you through the pandemic. Vaccines should be available mid 2021. There is increasing science that indicates that hesperidin found in Citrus extracts and Black Seed may be a good prevention and mitigation strategy for Covid. On a personal level, I take a teaspoon of ground Black Seed with honey every day. I predict the huge wave for the USA will peak in January or February, then things will start returning to normal by mid to end of the year. The CDC has given enough regulation to basically prevent the cruise lines from operating in US waters until or after March 2021 (that was the original goal with the CDC no-sail orders, but political pressures forced the CDC to open cruising earlier, which was met with huge regulation hurdles which effectively prevented any cruise line from operating prior March 2021).


Zermatt Switzerland and Helicopter Tour of the Matterhorn

Epic aerial footage of the top of the Matterhorn by helicopter. See the stunning views you can only get from Air Zermatt. If you ever visit the charming Swiss village of Zermatt, we recommend staying at the Riffelalp Resort (high above the village mid way up the Gornergrat) and taking a helicopter tour of the Swiss alps. I have even chartered Air Zermatt to fly me directly to the Burgenstock Resort in Lucerne, Switzerland.

#swiss #matterhorn #helicopter #alps #airzermatt Growing Up Without Borders Zermatt Switzerland (YouTube video)

For More Info…


QR Code Generator

Use this handy QR Code generator based in FileMaker for desktop.

The file is unlocked, so you are free to use the layout, code, etc.

A javascript is in the WebViewer which runs the JS to run the generator. Super simple and fast. It does not work with FileMaker GO (iPhone (IOS), until they provide that functionality in future versions (as of April 2021). QR Code Generator (Filemaker App download)


Work at Home Hydroponic Garden

Pandemic hydroponic garden update… started in October 2020 from seeds. The plants are now flowering and in the fruit stage of the garden, which was started in Mason jars.

The Roma tomatoes took around 5 months to produce fruit, and not good for window growing. I would grow Cherry tomatoes instead (plus the smaller fruit is more nutritious).

The peppers are also doing well, and have already started harvesting them.

This is all done with a south facing window for sunlight, and simple LED grow lights from Amazon.

All plants were started from seed in Mason jars, then moved to 1 or 5 gallon black colored buckets (any light that gets to water will produce algae).

The buckets are filled with filtered water, and have aquarium aerators in them for circulation and plant root health. The buckets sit on inexpensive Amazon heating mats. Plant roots should be around 67-75 F temperature for optimum growth.

When plants get near flowering stage, I put in liquid fertilizer once a week (carefully measured). Hydroponics

CONTACT TEL: 608-238-6001 Email: greg@cruisingreview.com RSS