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Cruise Critic ranked as top cruise blog

(Cruise) Permanent link
Miami maritime lawyer James Walker has ranked the 10 top cruise blogs by readership, according to the Alexa website ranking system, which tracks over 30 million sites.

The cruise site with by far the most readership in 2013, according to Alexa, is Cruise Critic.

Walker’s CruiseLawNews.com ranks second, according to Alexa’s metrics. Third, fourth and fifth place went to Cruise Mates, Cruise Currents and CLIA’s "Cruising. It’s All About You,” blog.

Rounding out the top 10 were Cruise industry News, Cruise Fever, Cruise Addicts, RCL Blog (an unofficial fan blog) and Maritime Matters.

Walker said he excluded general interest publications with popular cruise sub-pages, such as USA Today’s Cruise Log, and cruise articles published by general travel sites (such as Travel Weekly).

— Tom Stieghorst

Travel pro is Olympic judge

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One of the judges for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, also just happens to be a travel agent — as well as an award-winning figure skater and international skating judge.

That would be Rob Rosenbluth, an account executive for Protravel International, who will be one of 19 people in the U.S. qualified to judge the Olympics, Protravel parent Travel Leaders Group said.

Rosenbluth has been pursuing parallel tracks in his personal and professional lives. On ice skating: his mother enrolled him in skating lessons when he was 3 years old "as a form of babysitting." By the age of 18, in 1981, he received his first judging appointment; he became an international judge in 1997 and an International Skating Union judge in 2001. On travel: he joined the family business, Rosenbluth International, in 1986 (he joined Protravel in 2009 as an account manager after several years of consulting work).

And, on occasion, his passions intersect. For example, Travel Leaders said, in 1998 he traveled as a judge with the first U.S. figure skating team to visit China. He was specifically selected to participate because Rosenbluth International had just opened an office there, and he was able to assist in facilitating logistics for the team.

Rosenbluth said he always used skating events to broaden his firsthand knowledge of hotels, often staying in multiple properties during an event as opposed to staying in the "official" competition hotel. "This has enabled me to build strong, long-lasting relationships within the travel industry that ultimately benefit my customers," he said.

His skating schedule has taken him to Sochi, Moscow, Tokyo, Osaka, Paris, Mexico City and cities throughout the U.S., said Priscilla Alexander, president of Protravel. "It's no wonder Rob has built a very loyal clientele that's appreciative of his counsel and highly informed recommendations."

Alexander said: "While everyone will certainly be cheering the figure skating competition at this year's games, all of us at Protravel will be eagerly anticipating the scores from our very own Rob Rosenbluth."

— Kate Rice

JetBlue repurposes a Christmas classic

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Poets and singers often reinvent well-known holiday verses and carols. Such is the case with JetBlue, which took some liberties with "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" (aka "'Twas the night before a JetBlue flight"). 

The story line revolves around a family settling down for a cozy pre-flight evening. Upon hearing a TV news flash of crowds at the airport, they made a mad dash, went through security and finally boarded their flight.

"The plane took off and soared thousands of feet,
Then came unlimited snacks, including holiday treats!
EatUp boxes looked tempting, so that's what they chose,
They sat back and relaxed and watched all of their shows."

And then Santa, er the captain, came over the intercom, and said with much might, "Happy holidays to all, and to all a good flight."

— Gay Nagle Myers

Enormous Louis Vuitton suitcase in Moscow not welcomed

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One unwelcome visitor has been booted from Moscow's Red Square. Nope, not a fanatic or a dissident but a gigantic Louis Vuitton suitcase set up to house an exhibit called "The Soul of Travel" about the travels and possessions of the rich and famous.

 

The Louis Vuitton company built the suitcase for a six-week exhibit of its line of luggage, as part of its 150th anniversary celebration.

The suitcase-shaped pavilion, 100 feet long and 30 feet high, was placed a stone's throw from the Kremlin and the tomb of Lenin. Its placement caused an uproar among politicians, who denounced the defacing of Moscow's Red Square, calling it a sacred area.

The public called it an eyesore.

A spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin said the problem was with the size of the suitcase, not the exhibit itself.

Protests appeared to work. A sign on the fence late last week said it would be dismantled.

— Gay Nagle Myers 

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