Cruise Like a Pro: Insider Tips from Royal Caribbean’s Vicki Freed

Start listening

Jump to Transcript

Join us for an insider’s look at cruising with Royal Caribbean’s Vicki Freed! We discuss her travel must-haves, Perfect Day at CocoCay, and the brand’s latest innovations. Hear about Royal Caribbean’s commitment to the environment and get Vicki’s tips for stress-free travel. Plus, we break down the latest airline mileage changes and share hot deals on business-class flights. Don’t miss this information-packed episode – your next vacation awaits!

NTA Instagram

NTA YouTube

NTA Podcast Links

NTA LinkedIn

Transcript

Mike Putman:
[0:00] Good day, everyone. I’m Mike Putman.

James Ferrara:
[0:02] And I’m James Farrar. Welcome to No Tours Allowed.
Mike, we have a very special guest this week.
And so we’ve got a lot to talk about today, but we’re going to jump right in with our special guest because she is a busy lady.
She’s a legend in her own time. And if I do the math correctly, I’ll say that while you and I have a combined 71 years in the industry, Street.
Our guest today puts us over a hundred.
The Senior Vice President of Sales and Trade Support and Service at Royal Caribbean International.
I know our audience knows that brand very well.
And that person is not only an industry legend, but a longtime friend and and a colleague of ours, Vicki Freed.
Welcome, Vicki Freed, to our podcast.

Vicki Freed:
[0:55] Well, thank you, James. Thank you, Mike.

James Ferrara:
[0:57] Thank you. Thank you for taking the time with us, Vicki. We know how busy you are.
You are really the face of this world-famous brand to the travel agency community, and also just to the industry in general.
So there’s so much we want to talk to you about, But you are also personally quite a frequent traveler, one imagines.
So I know Mike would love to jump in with his usual little rapid-fire questions for our frequent traveler guests.

Mike Putman:
[1:31] Yeah, so it really is, listeners, it is an honor to have Vicki.
She has been a leader in the cruise space specifically for quite some time and has been a real true friend of the travel agency distribution arm.
And we’re really appreciative to have Vicki on today.
Now that I’ve got you buttered up, Vicki, I’ve got to ask you some tough questions.
Now, these are not tough. These are just standard questions I’m going to ask you real quickly. We call them rapid-fire questions.
If you can just give us a one-word answer or a short answer, we’ve got about five or six of these.
And this is just so that our listeners can learn a little bit more about how you travel and what your likes and dislikes are. So I’ll start off with what is your favorite hotel brand or an individual property?
And why do you attract to that brand or property?

Vicki Freed:
[2:25] Okay, Mike, I’m going to cheat on this answer. And I’m going to tell you my favorite brand, of course, is Royal Caribbean because we are sort of a hotel at sea.
And I will say that I probably favor the Marriott brands if I had to pick one particular brand because they have a variety of different properties and different brands within their segment.
And so I can always find a brand within the Marriott Corporation that I do enjoy.

James Ferrara:
[2:51] And they do have a great loyalty program across all of those brands, right? So it makes it a great choice.

Mike Putman:
[2:59] And they have really hooked me in. I’ve actually procured two credit cards for the sole purpose of getting this top-elevated experience with Marriott.
So, yes, their loyalty program is truly, truly great.
All right, so next question is, what is your favorite destination?
Destination, and do you have a recommendation in that destination, like a activity or maybe a favorite restaurant that you’ve had there, that you’ve been to there?

Vicki Freed:
[3:30] Okay, so it’s interesting that you’re asking me this question because I was just in the hallway talking to a colleague, and he said, next week I’m going to Turkey.
I said, oh, Turkey is my absolute favorite destination.
I love Istanbul, and I love to shop, and I like to sightsee, and I like to have great food, and so I would tell I tell you, all of the above really fits Istanbul.
A lot of history there, and I do enjoy it as a destination.
As far as properties go, there’s so many beautiful properties there.
There’s a lot of five-star properties, and I’ve seen a variety of them.
So it’s all good when you go to Istanbul.

James Ferrara:
[4:06] And now you’re making me want to go to Turkish food tonight. I love Turkish food.

Mike Putman:
[4:12] So, Vicki, this one may hit close to home. What is your favorite shore experience you’ve ever been on?

Vicki Freed:
[4:18] Well, I’d have to say it’s a perfect day at Coco Cay because there’s so much to do.
You can go to the chill side. You can go to the thrill side.
You can go up on the slides. You can do the zip line.
And now, of course, with Hideaway Beach, and that is truly my favorite spot now. It’s an adults-only area. It’s beautiful.
The over-the-water cabanas are stunning. So it’s really my favorite destination.

Mike Putman:
[4:44] Yes, it is. It is a special place for sure. And when you fly, are you an aisle person or a window person?

Vicki Freed:
[4:51] An aisle.

Mike Putman:
[4:53] Me as well. I think that makes a lot of sense. And do you carry on or do you check your luggage?

Vicki Freed:
[4:59] That’s interesting you’re asking that question because I’m going to Manila next week and it’s for six days and I definitely want to carry on.
And I’m going to go visit our call centers there. And I was like talking to my colleague who’s a guy and usually men can do carry on because, you know, it’s so easy to wear sports coat, flax and change your shirt every day.
And I said to him, I said, John, I hope that you’re bringing carry on because I’m not waiting for you in baggage claim. And he’s doing carry on.

James Ferrara:
[5:26] I can’t believe that you can do carry on for a six day trip.

Vicki Freed:
[5:31] Yeah, you have to be careful on the shoes and the makeup.
So it has to be very condensed and the shoes have to be very simple and they really have to match every outfit.

James Ferrara:
[5:40] Well, and you have to be fair to us. I mean, for men, I wear a size 12 shoe.
So if I bring three or four pairs of shoes, I need a bag just for my shoes.
I can’t carry on. It’s just not in my DNA. I can’t do it.

Mike Putman:
[5:55] Absolutely. I’m in the same boat with you. Pardon the pun, Vicki.
And we don’t call them boats. We call them ships.

James Ferrara:
[6:01] Let’s talk about that, actually, Mike. So thank you for the little peek into who Vicki is.
But an important part of who Vicki is, of course, is this brand that she leads.
And I think just for our listeners, I’m sure everyone is familiar with the brand.
But help us position it. What should we think of when we think of Royal Caribbean?

Vicki Freed:
[6:26] Well, Royal Caribbean is the largest cruise brand.
In the world and so it’s an exciting brand it’s an innovative brand so we do build magnificent ships that really are not me too products look at the ships that we built and it really started with the voyager class and then it you know upgraded to um the freedom class and then from there we went to the oasis class and now we have the icon of the seas which is a new class of ship um it is really the way in which we design and dream about what could be and what is and so when When we start with a blank piece of paper and we just say, what would we want the ship to look like?
And we don’t go out necessarily to build the largest cruise ship in the world. We just want the…
That has the most bells and whistles and the excitement for our guests.
And then to kind of like describe Royal Caribbean as a brand and in a real quick soundbite, it’s that unique combination of quality and energy combined.
So when you think about that, there’s a lot of brands out there that are quality brands, which we own several of them. We own Celebrity Cruises and Silver Sea.
There are other brands out there that have energy, but nobody has that unique combination of quality and energy combined.
So we have the quality aspect of the cruise, but we also have all the energy that goes on for the ships with the ship’s design and then the entertainment and the music, the food and the choices and the accommodation.
So it really is the complete package. package.

James Ferrara:
[7:53] I had the pleasure of being on ICON with you recently.
And of course, everyone talks about the largest ship in the world.
And I get that. But that’s really not what the ship is about.
That’s not what the experience is about.
And I was amazed, actually, that the public spaces were so spacious.
And I never felt crowded. And every elevator that opened was empty, right?
I I mean, it just was, and it was a full, you know, close to full sailing.
So I just felt it’s not about the size.
The good thing about the size is it allows the ship to contain so much to do.
And it was the first time that I ever felt that I was on a cruise ship, let’s say for a week, week and might not be able to do all of the things that there are to do in that week.
In that sense, it’s like going to one of the big famous theme parks, you know, and giving up on the idea that you’re going to do everything in a day or two, right?
There was just so much and so much for so many different types of guests, of passengers, including…

[9:12] There are luxury dining experiences, and there are quiet, adults-only experiences, and there’s all of that.
So I reported about it here, Vicki, on a prior podcast, so I won’t take up the time, but it was really an amazing experience.
And it’s just one of the experiences you can have through Royal Caribbean.
You mentioned Perfect Day as your favorite excursion. This is Perfect Day at Coco Cay, everybody.
And it is a private island owned by Royal Caribbean that has been developed into a destination all its own. Right.
You mentioned the zip lining and some of the beaches and some of the activities and excursions that are available.
For me, it was the private restaurant at Cocoa Beach because that’s how I think.
I thought that was really amazing, too.

Vicki Freed:
[10:19] That’s a luxury experience because there you can have your lobster and you’re overlooking the beautiful ocean and you have the pool, the infinity pool, and you have the over the water cabanas there and you just have the options and it is a really beautiful place to just chill and relax and have a wonderful meal.

James Ferrara:
[10:37] It is, and it’s become important, right, in the experience that Royal Caribbean offers, this idea of a private island, I guess, where the company controls the quality of the experience, which is different than taking people to a port somewhere.
And then they can have a wonderful experience, but they’re off on their own in a sense, or it’s not something that the brand has control over.
Is that why private islands are important?

Vicki Freed:
[11:11] I mean, private islands for us are very important. And if you look at Perfect Day at Coco Cay, you know, with the hundreds and hundreds of ports that we call on throughout the year, because we are a global company, it is our number one rated port of call. And people love it.
They do like the experience. We do make sure that it is a beautiful experience, whether you want lots to do or just sitting on the beach.
We have lifeguards. We have over 100 lifeguards that just do nothing but watch for the safety of all of our guests, not just the children, but all of our guests, because we have the wave pool, we have the water slides, we have so many water attractions that we want to make sure it’s a really safe environment for everybody.
And, you know, we really pride ourselves on what we offer with Perfect Day at Coco Cay.
And we’re going to be developing, we’re in the process of developing the Royal Beach Club, which is going to be in the Bahamas in 2025.
That will start service. And then we’re talking about other Perfect Days. So more to come.

Mike Putman:
[12:09] So that’s, Coco Cay is a really interesting place.
But how do you find yourself, how do you find a real place, a real purpose when you’re on a cruise?

Vicki Freed:
[12:19] Well, I mean, what do you mean by that question, Mike?

Mike Putman:
[12:22] So how do you find the authentic part of travel, right?
You know, how do you find the real things, not the T-shirt shops and the, you know, the pina coladas and things like that.
But like, how do you find real things when you’re traveling on a cruise?

Vicki Freed:
[12:41] Well, I think when you’re on board the ship, the ships are really designed to fit your needs and to fit what you’re looking for in experience.
So if you love entertainment, you are going to have so many options.
You’re going to have the Broadway productions, whether it’s on Icon of the Seas, we have The Wizard of Oz, which is a great show.

[12:59] Or if you like dual pianos and you just like to listen to music or a music hall, or maybe you like jazz, a band, there’s so many options for entertainment, a comedy show.
So that becomes whatever your authentic experience, what you want, becomes what we can offer you.
And if you’re a foodie we have food venues you were talking about like luxury dining before james we have the empire’s uh supper club which is really a throwback to um the 20s and that was so cool that is a beautiful uh dinner experience that’s really just curated for 38 people an evening so it is very special um there’s a three-piece uh band where you have a singer and and two people on instruments, and it’s just a lovely, lovely dinner experience.

[13:51] But then you might want to be dining with your family at Giovanni’s, which is an Italian restaurant, or at our steakhouse, which is on Chops, which is at our neighborhood, our Central Park neighborhood.
So we have a park. So we have so many different activities, and then we have seven pools aboard the Icon of the Seas, for example, one pool for every day of the cruise.
Really what you want in a vacation if you are a sweet kind of person you want that sweet experience and deck 17 and 18 are dedicated to you we have our own private suite restaurant just for the suite guests a beautiful two-story suites with the loft you know upstairs with the bedroom and downstairs is the living room area so two stories and you have beautiful views of the ocean so So there’s so much to offer that can make your experience very authentic to you.

James Ferrara:
[14:44] You know, I think that’s a really great answer, Vicki, and true in so many ways.
Because when we ask about sense of place, we’re typically, maybe we’re thinking of, okay, you arrive in Jamaica.
And so what’s your sense of place of Jamaica? But the place is.

[15:09] In a cruise like this, of this quality, the place is really the ship, you know, and then you also have the ports as places.
But to your answer, just to give a little color, you and I had dinner sitting on the outdoor area of CHOPS, the steakhouse.
And I want you guys to imagine this. We’re surrounded by trees and walkways and twinkling lights.
There’s a beautiful balmy breeze coming through this open area of the ship, right? Open to the sky.
And there was somewhere a jazz guitarist playing.
And so that music was kind of wafting down the pathway through the trees.
And it was a magical moment.
It was a place. We had this beautiful sense of place at that moment.
Or I had dinner in Coastal Kitchen one night with a beautiful duck entree.
I mean, the suites, as you mentioned, the entertainment, there are 100 places on board that ship with Scent of Place.
So I think that’s really a special answer.

Vicki Freed:
[16:36] Yeah, if you look at entertainment, for example, we’re the only cruise brand that offers entertainment across four different stages.
Of course, the main theater and many cruise lines have main theater shows.
And then we have the aerial things that happen in the air.
And if you saw the Wizard of Oz, you saw the Ben flying in the air and you just saw so many beautiful acrobatic performers.
And then we have the ice shows, which are spectacular. And the ice shows are on many of our ships. And then we also have the Aqua Theater shows, which is the aqua dome on the Icon of the Seas.
But on the Oasis class, it’s the Aqua Theater, which is where you have divers and really just beautiful stories.
It’s sort of like at the Bellagio Hotel, you have O.
And that was really the concept early on when we started building the Oasis ships, is to have an Aqua Theater show that just brings you into a different place. And it’s just stunning.

Mike Putman:
[17:30] I got to say, I was lucky enough as a child to grow up sailing on Royal Caribbean back in the days of the Song of Norway, the Sun Viking, the Nordic Prince.
And, you know, the one thing that really impressed me about Royal was the quality from ship to ship, the experience.
Even at that early, that was a very early stage in the cruise industry.
But there was a great deal of consistency, high level product and fabulous service.
And I know that that holds true today, which is really a landmark of Royal Caribbean’s brand.

Vicki Freed:
[18:08] You know, we’ve always had a belief, if you treat the crew right, the crew treats our guests right.
And so we put a lot of emphasis on the crew and their accommodations.
And they have their own neighborhood with their own wind jammer and wonderful cuisines from all around the world.
And they have their own gym and they have their own crew bar and crew lounge.
And you know so they we try to make it as comfortable for them because then in turn it all works out beautifully you take good care of your staff they take good care of everybody else.

Mike Putman:
[18:40] Absolutely. There’s been a lot of talk about cruise lines and the environment.
Do you have any thoughts about, are there things Royal Caribbean’s doing to improve that image?

Vicki Freed:
[18:56] Oh, 100%. I mean, this is, you know, the ocean is our life.
And so we have to take good care of the ocean. And every day we’re talking about what are we going to do to make sure that we are a good citizen of the ocean.
And, you know, our new ships have LNG, which is a different fuel technology that is better than the old ways of doing things.
And so even as we build bigger ships, they’re actually more efficient.
And we have ways that we’re reducing our carbon footprint.
And so we’re paying a lot of attention to this because we want to be the leaders in this area.

James Ferrara:
[19:31] I think that our listeners and travelers in general need to know more about that, need to understand it.
And I know that if you go to the Royal Caribbean website, there’s actually an area on the site that talks a bit about what Royal does.

[19:51] But let’s just say, I don’t think travelers are aware enough of the millions and millions of dollars that are spent by Royal and by your colleagues in the industry to protect the oceans, protect the animal life in the oceans, to give back to the communities that we sail to and so on.
We are often unfairly scapegoated in the cruise industry by the media, who they love a great headline during the pandemic.

[20:27] Same thing, you know, the media tried to blame cruise lines for the pandemic or to say that it was somehow more risky to be on a cruise.
And now we know that’s not true.
I mean, the industry has come through the pandemic with flying colors.
And I was interviewed a couple of times on television and got some attention for having said that a cruise was actually safer than a hotel room or an Uber ride, right?
Cruise lines have always paid more attention to cleanliness and sanitation than anyone else.
So this is another area. Now we’re talking about environment.
Environment, it’s another area where people just need to be educated.
So guys, go out there and educate yourselves.
You will feel good about taking a cruise vacation as it relates to environmental responsibility.

Mike Putman:
[21:26] So Vicki, are there any ideas or travel hacks that you might have that you found while you’re traveling to maybe make your life or your travel experience experience uh easier through an airport or on a cruise ship or at a hotel.

Vicki Freed:
[21:40] Uh always take your passport i i have a tsa pre-check i also have clear i try to find the fastest way to maneuver through an airport um but one of the things that i it’s my little secret i don’t know if it’s a big secret but one of the things i like a bar of soap and when you go to hotels nowadays they have only And.

Mike Putman:
[22:03] There’s no washcloths hardly anywhere. I mean, in Europe, you can forget about having a washcloth.
But even in the U.S., there’s very few hotels that are providing washcloths.

James Ferrara:
[22:12] Well, I checked into a hotel that shall remain nameless. Very nice hotel recently.
And I opened up the hand towel and there was a big hole in the middle.
I mean, a hole the size of a baseball in the middle of my hand towel.
But Vicki, I don’t think we’ve heard the bar of soap before. That’s a great one.

Mike Putman:
[22:34] That is a good one. Absolutely.

James Ferrara:
[22:37] Well, listen, we want to thank you very much for being with us.
I know our listeners found a lot of good advice here and a lot to be interested in.
So thank you for taking the time. And it’s great to see you.

Vicki Freed:
[22:51] Well, thank you, James. Thank you, Mike. It’s been a pleasure to be on your show.

Mike Putman:
[22:55] You’re welcome back anytime. Thank you so much, Vicki. That was a lot of fun talking to Vicki.
Many, many memories with her in the past. I’m sure you have too as well, James.
But what an icon in the industry to have on No Tourist Allowed.

James Ferrara:
[23:09] Yes, sir.

Mike Putman:
[23:10] And we have a great giveaway that we are putting together for one lucky winner and a guest of their choice.
We’ve got a fabulous vacation giveaway, and many of the rules will be, or the rules will be shared with you, our listeners, next week as we put the final touches on this promotion. But stay tuned.
Listen to the podcast next week. Go to the website, notouristallowed.com, and you’ll find more information there. But this is going to be a season-long giveaway, much like our last season had a nice trip.
And one of our lucky winners will win a fabulous trip for two.
So, on to the news. There’s a couple of things that are kind of newsworthy this week, James, I wanted to share with our listeners.
And one has to do with a new policy that American Airlines actually just announced today.
And this new policy is a little bit predatory towards some other distribution channels.

James Ferrara:
[24:18] Oh, an airline being predatory? Is it mandatory and unfair? How could this be, Mike?

Mike Putman:
[24:26] But things are getting tougher and tougher in this space.
And again, I think it has to do with these airlines having their own space.
You know, if you live in Dallas, you’re going to fly American or Southwest, you know, because that’s who has the nonstop flights. If you live in Atlanta, you’re going to fly Delta.
Maybe there’s some sprinkling of Spirit and Frontier in there, but you don’t have much of a choice. And it’s not a true monopoly.
But again, like I’ve said before on the podcast, if you had Bill Gates’s money, you could not start a competitive airline tomorrow because there are restrictive things that the government has in place, landing slots, approvals, etc.
Et cetera, that prohibit what I call free trade or where people can really get in and start up another business and be competitive.
So it’s really anti-competitive. But here’s what American has done.

[25:27] They have come out with a policy kind of choking the distribution, as I would call it. And they are now taking into consideration where you buy your airline tickets.
So today they announced that you will only earn miles and loyalty points on American Airlines when you book directly with American or their other eligible partner airlines.
They’re part of One World, so I’m assuming it’s those airlines. airlines.
And again, the reason they do that, it makes their cost of distribution lower and they have more control over somebody that’s going to American to buy a ticket rather than going to a travel agent.
Because if you go to a travel agent, the travel agent may tell you about a less expensive flight on Delta or Frontier.
But if you go to AA.com, you’re buying American Airlines tickets, right? Or one of their partners.
The second condition is if you are an Advantage business member, or you are a contracted corporate traveler.
So if you have a contract with American or you’re part of their Advantage Business Program, then you can get loyalty points and mileage.

[26:38] And then the third category is if you book through their preferred travel agencies.
So there’s not a lot of detail about this, but we’re assuming that these preferred travel agencies are travel agencies who have their NDC content, which we’ve talked about before.
And there’s a lot of major travel agencies and a vast, I would assume, vast majority of smaller travel agencies that are not going to be considered a preferred travel agency with Americans.
So your choice is if you’re an American flyer, and this is really disappointing, too, because right now they’re just rolling over into their new year of eligibility for the elite status, which starts May 1st.
So you had up until February or you have up until February 29th of 2024 to qualify.
And people like myself have been working really hard trying to give American market share where it made sense.
And then to find out, you know, right after you achieve this status, that now they’re going to tell you where you have to buy your tickets if you want points and if you want to qualify.
Very disappointing. And I think a really bad business.

James Ferrara:
[27:51] Yeah. And I think we should talk about what it means for our listeners, what it means for customers, travelers.
And I’m going to say what I think it is, guys, is it’s anti-competitive, right? Right.
So it means that if American can force you to buy only through American, then American does not have to necessarily compete with pricing and availability in the same way they do now in an open marketplace. place.
You go to a travel agent now, or you go to a booking engine now, and you’ve got all the available flights put next to each other, and you can compare schedules and pricing and seating availability and so on.
The more information you have as a consumer, as a traveler, the more The more powerful you are.
Right. And this is a move by airlines to make you less powerful. That’s my belief.

Mike Putman:
[28:56] And more dependent on them, too. Right. And it was I will tell you, a use case for me personally.
I had looked up a flight on American recently, found the flight that I wanted.
I have an American Express point, so I called American Express, and they convert points into dollars.
And I said, you know, I would like these flights, and it should be $400 or whatever the price was, because I saw it on the American airline site, and they said, no, we don’t have that price.
And it made me wonder, because we’ve always had like a level playing ground when it came to flight distribution. or flight prices.
And so I asked for a supervisor, and someone at American Express said, we don’t have NDC content, so we’re not going to get the better pricing that you find on American.
You’re going to have to go to American or some other booking engine, which this has not happened before in the history of air travel.
So more news on that as it comes about, but very disappointing news from American Airlines.
And you frequent flyers may, if you agree with me, You may want to share your opinion as well with American and let them know how you feel about it.

[30:11] On the good news side, and there is some good news in the travel business, which there always is, the airlines, a lot of the airlines, have reduced business class trips.
To Europe and points behind. In a recent move, many of the carriers have released very, very low-cost prices in business class to Europe from several points of interest.

[30:42] So if you live in Phoenix, Orlando, Chicago, LA, New York, Dallas, Vegas, Seattle, if you’re in those markets, There are some exceptional deals.
Now, there are round-trip deals as low as $600 round-trip from Phoenix to Madrid in business class.

[31:02] This requires a 14-day advance purchase. Excuse me.
It requires a 150-day advance purchase, so you’ve got to be willing to plan well in advance.
This is negating most business travelers out of this offer, and you have to stay at least 14 days. But if you can do those things and kind of work your schedule around these prices, these are some tremendous prices.
Now, these prices are prices before taxes and fuel surcharges and things like that are added.
And these prices can change at any time, as always, with airline tickets.
But to give you an idea, that ticket fully loaded with taxes and fees would be around $2,300 compared to about $9,000, which is the normal price for a business class ticket.
So there’s lots of great deals to be had in business class if you can plan in advance and stay at least two weeks and go to certain markets.
So one thing I’d do if I was going to take advantage of a deal like this is I would look and find the fares and then try to move my travel schedule around so that I could fly and meet the requirements, plan in advance, stay at least 14 days and meet those requirements to take advantage of the deal.

James Ferrara:
[32:23] So I just got one of these fares myself, Mike, on United to London.
And I thought what was really interesting about it was it was only a couple of hundred dollars.
Business class was only a couple hundred dollars more than economy.
So keep your eyes open, guys. It really pays to work with the travel agent.
Of course, that’s my best advice, a professional travel advisor.
And if not, then you’ve got to do the work yourself. But you’ve got to search, you’ve got to look carefully, you’ve got to understand what you’re looking at, and you can really find some deals.

Mike Putman:
[32:58] There’s also deals to India, Bangkok, and Singapore as well, and then also to South America.
Not quite as good, but more than 50% off the fare.
So some great opportunities for those of you who like to get in the lie-flat seat and relax on the way on your long-haul trip.

James Ferrara:
[33:18] Listen, it isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
It’s a little bit like a coffin for me. Now, the way they’ve designed these new seating configurations, you know, like half your body is in this hole and I get a little claustrophobic.
It’s also because I’m bigger than the normal person. So, you know, to me, it feels a little constricting. thing.
So it beats the old fashioned kind of seating, but I still have a hard time sleeping on a plane. Do you sleep on a plane, Mike?

Mike Putman:
[33:49] Absolutely. Even if I’m in economy, I’ll sleep and I’ll sleep, but it’s certainly much more comfortable sleeping in business class in a flat seat.
And I’ll tell you, you know, it is more expensive and it’s, it seems hard to justify if you don’t get one of these deals, but you’re basically picking up a day of your life because if you fly in coach, even if you sleep three or four hours, you just feel like you’ve been run over by a train the next day.
I mean, even if you don’t drink or do anything else, I mean, if you’re even living healthy, you just feel like you’ve been run over by a train.
And then when you come back, it’s not as bad when you’re coming back westbound from Europe, but it still takes take some time and listen business class doesn’t solve that but it makes it a heck of a lot easier if you can get on the plane you know have a quick meal get five or six hours of sleep and um it it makes for a different a different experience i agree.

James Ferrara:
[34:49] But you know they wake you up for meals the whole time and i i never put the do not disturb thing because i don’t want to miss a meal But I don’t think they have the meal times right.
Like, if I’m flying over to Europe, you should serve me breakfast when it’s breakfast time where I’m going.
And they don’t always get that right. Sometimes I find the mealtimes are very confused.

Mike Putman:
[35:19] They seem to, I don’t know, I haven’t had that experience. But one of the tips you can do is you can ask for an express meal.
So when you board the plane and, you know, they pass out champagne or sparkling wine or whatever, you can just say, listen, I like the express meal.
And you don’t get them walking by you three times, giving you an appetizer, giving you a salad, you know, and all that. that they just bring it all at once and you eat you’re done and then you can go to sleep that’s what i do.

James Ferrara:
[35:48] You can also pre-order what you like now so um you don’t have to worry about them running out of anything or not having the choice that that you like you can tell them in advance that um you want the salmon or whatever it is um okay mike well look a lot of good stuff on this episode a lot of value here for a traveler and of course our giveaway right so we want you guys listening in and watching the website we’re going to give you different ways you can get multiple entries into the drawing for this and increase your chances for our free vacation giveaway it’s going to include a lot of good stuff but you need to do a few things in order to get Get your name in there.

Mike Putman:
[36:41] Absolutely. Well, thanks so much for listening, folks. And we look forward to coming to you next week.
And in the meanwhile, feel free to send any comments that you have, as many of you have done, to the No Tourists Allowed website.
And we’ll be happy to answer questions and maybe even talk about a topic that might be of interest to you on one of our future episodes.

James Ferrara:
[37:03] Absolutely. Or even if you have a guest in mind that you think we should invite to talk with you, we’d be happy to do that, too.
So get on the website, correspond with us, get interactive with us, engage like some of you have, and it makes this time we have together even more fun.
Thank you so much for being with us, guys. Thank you for joining Notetouristalab.com. We’ll see you next week.

Mike Putman:
[37:28] Bye-bye.

Join the discussion