Disadvantages to Cruise Ship Travel

Cruise ship travel is not for everybody. Although many enjoy cruises, some travelers prefer other types of vacations. Before going on a cruise, take time to consider whether or not this is the best method of travel for you. Be sure to research information about the specific companies you are considering as well as read reviews from other customers. Also consider talking to those you know who have traveled on cruises before and see if it sounds like something you would enjoy. It is important to get more information than just a recommendation from someone. What one person finds fun, you may not, so it is important to find out why a person did or did not enjoy a cruise ship experience.

Some do not enjoy cruises simply because of the nature of traveling on a boat. Those who are prone to motion sickness may not enjoy being on a boat because of the high likelihood of experiencing sea sickness. Severity differs for everybody, and sea sickness usually is not serious, but it can still be an unpleasant experience and can ruin a vacation. Consider whether or not this is something that concerns you. Medications and wrist bands help some who suffer from sea sickness, but they are not effective for everyone. For some people, sea sickness runs its course relatively quickly, but only you can decide whether or not this is a possibility you are willing to face.

Others are afraid to cruise because of the possibility of the boat sinking. Only you can decide whether or not you are a person who worries about this possibility. It may help to do some research. Any type of travel has inherent risks, of course. Some are terrified of airplane travel but sill travel on cruises. Others travel frequently on airplanes but would not consider going on a cruise. It is true that being on a boat is a different kind of experience than any other form of travel. Some are not so worried about the boat sinking but are afraid of being out in open water, unable to see the shoreline. Only you can decide whether or not being on the ocean bothers you.

Perhaps the most common fear of cruises in the last decade has been based on the media coverage of viral outbreaks on cruise ships. In the last couple years, this problem has improved, but most travelers are familiar with outbreaks of viruses such as the Norwalk virus. These viruses run rampant on cruise ships because of the large number of people in close proximity to one another for extended periods of time. Although general precautions can certainly decrease a persons’ chances of catching a virus on a cruise ship, it is true that illnesses are more difficult to avoid on a boat.

Along with viruses, crime on cruise ships has also been widely publicized. It is important to research each cruise line and get accurate statistics. Also, read reviews and information to learn how incidents are handled, and make sure you understand the level of security that will be present on the ship. Fortunately, most crime committed on cruise ships is property crime rather than violent crime, and this is relatively common with any type of travel.

Traditional Marketing – An Introduction to Offline Marketing – Part 1

The Art of Marketing as a whole

Marketing is the process of establishing which products or services that might attract certain customers, and then determining what strategy to use to promote them. This mutual procedure is intended to create value for customers and build strong customer relationships in order to obtain trust and recognition within a business. The main purpose of marketing is “to attract” a target audience or specific individuals who are interested and want your product or service that you offer. That then leads to the primary goal of any business which is to ultimately make sales, or in other words, “to sell”.

While referencing to customers, it can be said that they are the main focus of marketing activities. It is pertinent to ALWAYS do these three key things:

  1. Identify the customer
  2. Maintain the customer
  3. Satisfy the customer

With these key factors in mind and the impact that advertising has on the potential success or failure of a business, it is correct to say that marketing in general is one of the most vital pieces of the business world.

Traditional Marketing

Traditional marketing is also referred to as “offline marketing”. The term traditional simply means the “passing on” of something, such as beliefs, customs, or practices. So when you think of traditional marketing, you should comprehend that it consists of techniques and strategies that have been used for a very long time. In addition, you can think of its relative term, “offline marketing”, as any method or means of promotion that does NOT include the internet.

Traditional marketing mainly focuses on the company and the product, as where online marketing centers on the customer and their interests. So basically, you would use traditional marketing to expand your business and strive to distribute your product through the three main geographical levels (local, regional, national) and ultimately worldwide. There would apparently be less focus on the actual customer and their needs although some might disagree with this logic.

The Four Ps

The four Ps, also known as the “marketing mix”, was developed by Jerome McCarthy after the term became widespread in the early 1960s. The four Ps are the four essential ingredients of marketing. They incorporate the following:

1. Product – All businesses revolve around a product or service. You must first develop a unique and quality product or service that you intend to sell. Here are other aspects:

  • Brand name
  • Purpose
  • Style
  • Safety
  • Packaging
  • Support
  • Warranty

2. Price – Second, you should investigate the price value of your competition (if any), and then determine the cost of your own product or service that’s both affordable and will earn you revenue. Other things to consider are:

  • Discounts
  • Types of payments
  • Seasonal pricing

3. Place – Third, you have to decide how you will distribute your product to the customers or where you will offer your service. More decisions to be made include:

  • Market coverage
  • Inventory management
  • Warehousing
  • Distribution centers
  • Order processing
  • Transportation

4. Promotion – Lastly, the marketing and campaign portion comes into play. You must determine who you will market to and what advertising methods and strategies you will use to acquire potential prospects. This is the most important piece of the marketing mix and can make or beak a business. Additional things to take into account are: 

  • Workforce
  • Publicity
  • Marketing budget

All four elements of the marketing mix must be completed and well thought out before you can think about starting any campaign for your product or service.

Is traditional marketing beginning to slowly disappear?

Traditional marketing is becoming a lost element in the business world. Many people are now marketing their businesses online as the number of internet users grow substantially every year. To give you a quick insight, there are currently over 1 billion people who use the internet today. I mean how can the offline market even compete with that? But just because a new revolution has arisen doesn’t mean the old ways are no longer effective. Traditional marketing can still produce plenty of customers and lead to major profits if it is used correctly. So don’t think that you should just market your business only on the internet. The idea is to incorporate both online and traditional methods to see maximum results.

Things to remember

The crucial points to keep in mind is that in order to achieve success in the business world, you must always do the key three factors of identifying, maintaining, and satisfying the customer and you have to constantly fulfill the four Ps of the marketing mix. The more often and the more effective you complete these two tasks, the higher amount of profits you will see yourself earning in your business.

About the Author

AC Does not Cool While at a Stop – Air Conditioning Blows Warm at Idle

There are several reasons why a cars AC may not cool when at a stop and blows cool only when moving. The most common reason is the cooling fan for the condenser is not working. It's important to know that many times the cooling fan is shared by the radiator and condenser, other times there are TWO separate ones. The reason why a bad cooling fan can affect the AC so drastically is the fact that heat from refrigerant (Freon) is normally cooled when passing through the condenser. So even if the condenser fan is NOT working, it may not affect the AC while the car is moving at highway speeds . This is because air is passed through the condenser when driving down the road so the fan is not needed. When the car is at a stop, the condenser is totally dependent on the cooling fan to cool it down. Sometimes the cooling fan may be working, but it may be moving too slowly to adequately cool the condenser. To check the motor, a test light can be used to verify that it is getting power and ground to the electrical plug in. If power and ground is present and the motor is not working, the motor has an open circuit. When the cooling fan motor is worn, it may be started sometimes temporarily by lightly tapping on the electric fan motor with a small hammer or wrench. If the fan turns at all when this is done, replacing the motor will be necessary. This is just another way to verify that it is receiving the power it needs to operate. Also keep in mind that a cooling fan may start at any time (some even come on with the engine off) so be careful not to stick your hand in the way of the blades! Note that if the cooling fan motor has designated, it's likely that the fuse has blown also. So if there's no power to the fan and the motor is locked up, a fuse will more than likely need to be replaced at the time of the fan motor replacement.

Other Causes of Car AC Not to Cool at an Idle or a Stop

  1. The car could have overheating – caused by something else other than the cooling fan.
  2. Heat transfer from the radiator to the condenser can alter efficiency, if the car is overheating.
  3. The AC compressor may not be pumping sufficiently at slower RPM's (revolutions per minute).
  4. An expansion valve may not be regulating the refrigerant correctly.
  5. Condenser fins could be bent or the condenser could be constructed by foreign debris.

There are special condenser fin combs to straighten condenser fins. But in my experience, bent condenser fins are not that much of a common problem. A more common problem if you drive in the country, is pollen accumulated over time in between the fins. Trash from the road like a plastic bag or piece of paper obstruction part of the condenser reducing performance can happen anywhere. It's funny to me that during my time as an auto technician, many customers came in worried that the AC was not cooling, but failed to notice that the car was overheating – even if the temperature gauge was pegged!

My Dog Training Squirrels!

I have a person who is masquerading as a dog at my house. His name is Tuxcitto. The reason I say this is that no normal dog can take random information and figure out the things that Tuxcitto does everyday. I have a perfect example in the following story of Tuxcitto and our resident squirrel population. You never know who's doing the dog training around our house.

Before Tuxcitto came along last fall, we had one dog named Spoofy. She's an older dog and has been with us since she was a puppy. Spoofy loves to chase squirrels. Back in her younger days she almost done one or two. But These days the squirrels have their way with her and get just close enough to tease her, and then easily run up the nearest tree.

But that was soon to change when Tuxcitto arrived. I learned in the first few weeks that Tuxcitto was an experienced escape artist. Until we came to an agreement, he would often take off and run through the vicinity heather and yon until he got thirsty, hungry, or I came and caught him. During this period he was usually bound to a long tether tied to our front tree if we were not outside with him.

Since we now agree that he will not run around the neighborhood he gets to go out with Spoofy and our two cats, Blackie and Baby with out being tethered. During the time that he was tethered, he often watched a little game play out with Spoofy and our local squirrels. He was always interested but never really participated since he knew the 30 feet of tether limited him. Or at least that's what I believe now in hindsight.

Our resident squirrels do not needlessly come by everyday. They come pretty often since they love to rob our birdfeeders and tease Spoofy. But there are plenty of dogs and birdfeeders to visit in our neighborhood so they feel obliged to give all some attention. So the first few times that Tuxcitto was free to roam there were no squirrels in the area.

Now Tuxcitto is a Border Collie who has tremendous speed and agility, since the breed is a natural at herding animals. I have seen Tuxcitto clear a 5 foot fence with room to spare. These are popular dogs for freebie competitions. So he has a lot of natural talent. But beyond that, this dog is smarter than a lot of people I know and enjoys demonstrating this on any occasion.

So one morning I go to let the dogs and cats for their midmorning break. My neighbor happened to be out working in the yard so all four animals had to trot over over to see what he was doing. I traveled and followed the crowd. As I was talking to my neighbor, the animals lost interest and wandered back into our yard.

I am so grateful that I had a witness for what followed. As my neighbor and I talked I noticed the squirrels working their way way over to my yard through the trees. As soon as they got close they started chattering at Spoofy. Spoofy's ears perked up, she jumped up and was ready for the game to begin. But little did the squirrels know that the rules were about to be drastically changed.

The squirrels talked to each other and scampered down a nearby tree. Not all the way to the ground, just to the bottom of the trunk. As they were eyeing Spoofy, and looking to another tree about 40 feet away they ignored Tuxcitto laying just to the right of Spoofy. I'm sure they never considered him a threat since he had never joined in the game before.

I think they were very confident that they could reach the next tree before that old fat Spoofy could even get within 15 feet. And that was probably true, no doubt about it since I had seen this played out many times. So the squirrels got ready to jump, and Spoofy was ready to lunge after them. And Tuxcitto was just watching as usual.

The squirrels leaped down and started to scamper across the 40 feet of grass separating the trees. Spoofy lunged after them coming up on their rear. But what caught my eye was an explosion of Tuxcitto leaping off the ground, not chasing after the squirrels as Spoofy was but going directly for the tree to cut them off.

And he got there in about 3 or 4 seconds, far ahead of the squirrels. In fact the squirrels about went into a train wreck trying to stop their forward momentum towards the tree. In about 5 seconds this had turned from familiar game to their biggest nightmare. A dog was blocking each tree and there was nowhere to go.

And Tuxcitto stand in front of them like a coiled spring waiting to see which way they were going to go. And good old Spoofy, finally seeing that there was a real opportunity here to finally catch these little devils, was running full speed towards them from the rear.

The squirrels decided that they did not want anything to do with Tuxcitto and turned to run back to the original tree. As soon as they moved Tuxcitto burst into action and actually caught up with them as they all got to the tree. Spoofy was a little late since she had to do a full stop and then turn around to head in the opposite direction.

I do not think Tuxcitto was even trying to catch the squirrels, he just wanted to beat them to the tree. I'm not sure who got there first, it was a tight finish. My neighbor turned to me and said "it's a good thing Tuxcitto was just playing or there would have been two less squirrels in the neighborhood". Both dogs sat there for a while looking up at the squirrels but lost interest in a few minutes.

The amazing thing about this little adventure was the fact that Tuxcitto had watched Spoofy and the squirrels perform this little game several times. Tuxcitto had learned from Spoofy that just chasing the squirrels was not the best strategy. Between watching Spoofy and his natural herding instincts, Tuxcitto had figured out the best way to beat those squirrels. And he knew exactly what both Spoofy and the squirrels were going to do and so when he got the opportunity, he was ready.

That's a good way to train a young dog, put them with an older dog that knows what to do and let them learn from the more experienced animal. Of course in this case Tuxcitto learned what not to do, but the same principal applies. Tuxcitto has learned a lot from watching Spoofy since he joined the family. And he also learned from the squirrels, since they repeatedly did the same thing. So dog training around this house is up for grabs.

The epilog to this story is that the squirrels never get out of the trees now. They still come over and chatter at the dogs but they know better than to try and make a break for the nearby tree on the ground. But they still have a few birdfeeders to rob so our yard still gets frequent visits.