Carnival Ends Fathom Experiment

adonia123Carnival Corp.’s social-impact brand Fathom will cease operations by the summer of 2017, less than a year after it began operating, and will return its lone ship, the Adonia, to British line P&O Cruises.

The Fathom experience and its socially conscious shore excursions will live on, however. Carnival announced earlier this month that guests on six other Carnival Corp. brands will get the chance to participate in a social-impact excursion.

But the cruise line, the first of its kind, will no longer have its own place in the Carnival fleet, despite “overwhelmingly positive” feedback from Fathom guests and the cruise line’s Dominican partners, according to its president Tara Russell.

“Fathom is continuing, but just in a different form working through all our brands,” Carnival spokesperson Roger Frizzell told TMR. “We are anxious to see it grow and expand in other ways going forward.”

Fathom began operating last April, sailing social-impact cruises to the Dominican Republic. It added Cuba sailings a month later, becoming the first cruise line to sail Cuban sailings from a U.S. port.

While Fathom’s Cuban sailings have been popular—in September, Russell said sailings for the rest of 2016 were almost sold out and there is “extremely strong demand for 2017”—its social-impact branding failed to catch on.

When it was initially launched, Russell said the goal was to provide “meaningful travel” opportunities to people looking for “one of the most powerful life-changing experiences one can ever have.”

During Dominican Republic sailings, guests were brought on excursions to improve homes and common areas in impoverished neighborhoods, work with special-needs rehab therapy patients, support arts and crafts at a women’s cooperative, and visit one-on-one in the homes of Dominican host families.

But Fathom started to shift its shore excursion selection toward a more traditional setting when it added visits to the former home of Ernest Hemingway and tours of the countryside and small towns outside of Havana earlier this year.

Carnival still hopes to continue its presence in Cuba after Fathom’s last sailing; the company has requested permission for its other brands to sail to the island starting June 2017.

“We plan to continue sailing to Cuba for many years to come based on the success of our first cruises to the country, which have proven to extremely successful,” Frizzell said.

Meanwhile, Adonia is now being scheduled to sail in the UK for the summer season for Carnival’s P&O brand.

Taking a different tack on socially-responsible tourism, meanwhile, the Travel Corporation, the parent company of Trafalgar and Uniworld among other brands, last month launched a program of its own.

It partnered with ME to WE, a well-established organization whose founder Craig Kielburger has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, to offer luxury-level “purpose-driven” excursions where guests interact with locals on long-term social-impact projects in Ecuador, India and Kenya. With customers including Madonna and Natalie Portman, Sir Richard Branson and Prince Harry, ME to WE says the right approach is to combine luxury accommodations with high-end accommodations.


Over 800 Flights Canceled As Lufthansa Pilots Plan Strike For Tomorrow

Originally published on Travel Market ReportLusts123.jpg

Lufthansa has cancelled 876 of its flights scheduled for Wednesday because of a planned one-day strike by German pilots union Cockpit (VC).

The union will strike for Lufthansa flights departing Germany on all continental and intercontinental routes. According to the airline, about 100,000 passengers on 876 out of 3,000 scheduled flights will be affected.

No other German airline—including Lufthansa City Line—will be affected.

The airline is warning all passengers to check the status of their flights on before heading to the airport. Lufthansa will notify all passengers who have included their mobile phone number on reservation about cancellations via text message.

The airline is allowing anyone whose flight is cancelled to rebook free of charge or have the ticket refunded.

Lufthansa also is allowing any passenger with a booked Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, SWISS, Edelweiss, Brussels Airlines, Eurowings or Germanwings flight on a Lufthansa document from or to Frankfurt, Munich or Dusseldorf to rebook free of charge.

The pilot union is striking as a result of a long-running dispute over pay. It will be the 14th time that Lufthansa will suffer disruptions and delays because of strikes from the pilots union. Last year, a week-long strike by the Independent Flight Attendant’s Organization, which represented Lufthansa workers, forced the cancellation of almost 5,000 flights and left more than a half a million passengers stranded.

Sports Coverage: WTBUSports

As Season Ends, Future Brighter than Ever for Terriers

By Dan McCarthy
As the women’s basketball season came to an end on Sunday, as the Terriers fell to Vermont, the future of Coach Greenberg’s squad looks brighter than ever. Greenberg will lose two seniors, Aly Hinton (’10) and Maggie McKemie (’10).

“I don’t think I could have had a better four years here,” remarked Hinton, “I feel honored that I have been a part of the Boston University Basketball Program.

Hinton ends her Terrier career eight all time with 692 boards, fifth all-time in career free throw percentage (.789) and ninth in 3-pointers (94). In her rookie season she started all thirty games and was a unanimous pick for America East all rookie team. Throughout her four years she has constantly referred to as a model of consistency by her coach; Hinton has averaged 8 points throughout her four years. She became only the seventh player to reach 600 rebounds and 1,000 points and fell just two rebounds short of 700 for her career.

McKemie’s Terrier career hasn’t been quite as successful but her veteran presence on a team where the leading scorers were underclassmen was intricate. She spent her first two college years at Furman University, leading the team in rebounding, before transferring to BU. She was redshirted her first year in Boston because of transfer regulations but found herself a part of the rotation in her second year. She had a nice two years as a Terrier, coming off the bench and filling minutes with rebounds and steals down low.

As Greenberg watches her two seniors leave when she looks to the future she has to get giddy. Her three leading scorers are underclassmen: Chantell Alford (’13), Alex Young (’12), and Caitlynn Moran (’13). Moran and Young were named to the America East third team, while Moran was also named to the America East All Rookie Team. Alford pulled in big honors, being named the America East rookie of the year and being named to the All Conference First Team.

Another underclassman, Caroline Stewart (’12), has been a leading force on the glass, averaging a team-high 7.2 rebounds per game this season. Kerry Cashman (’11) will return as BU’s only regular starter not in her freshman or sophomore year. Cashman will be relied on more next year, with the losses of forwards Hinton and McKemie.

As a contrast to the Terriers, Vermont will lose four out of five starters to graduation while Hartford (who will face Vermont in the finals) will lose three.

The rest of the conference better watch out as these Terriers will only get better with time. Expect the core of this team to keep BU near the top of the conference for a long time, and with Coach Greenberg at the helm in her sixth season, it’s hard not to be giddy about the future.

Previewing the AE Women’s Tourney: Round 1

by Dan McCarthy

The brackets are set, the teams are ready. The American East Women’s Basketball Championship will kick off on Thursday as #8 Maine will take on #9 UNH. Boston University comes in as the third seed, behind Vermont and Hartford. Look for the first round action to go this way in Hartford.

-Play in Game – #8 Maine v #9 UNH – It’s hard to pick UNH to upset Maine, who has looked decent in their contests against the Terriers. UNH just makes too many mistakes to be picked to beat anyone this weekend.

-Quarterfinal One – #2 Vermont v #7 Albany – Albany kept it close against Hartford, taking the loss by six points on February 24th, but Vermont (who at one time ranked 24th in the country) beat Albany twice this year, one time by a whopping forty five points.

-Quarterfinal Two – #3 Boston University v #6 UMBC – UMBC has beaten the Terriers twice this year by only three points combined. The Terriers haven’t seemed energized or prepared both times they took on the Retrievers. Look for Aly Hinton and Maggie McKemie to provide some much needed leadership, and look for the Terriers to come out firing on all cylinders, because they will sure be ready for this game.

-Quarterfinal Three – #1 Hartford v #8 Maine – No question, Hartford wins at home. They haven’t lost a conference game this year and don’t expect them to start with a team ranked seven spots lower than them.

-Quarterfinal Four – #4 Stony Brook v #5 Binghamton – Both teams won their home matchups this year. Binghamton is a team based on size, while Stony Brook is a team full of guards. The Seawolves didn’t look so great at Agganis Arena a few weeks ago, but Binghamton comes into this game limping after losing three out of their last five games. The game will be sloppy and will come down to fouls and free throw shooting. Binghamton is more used to battling out for wins, which is easier when you are relying on forwards. Look for the Bearcats to take the game.

Women’s Basketball Adjusts to Agganis

But Slow Starts Worry-some for Coach Greenberg

by Dan McCarthy

“Four lines, two hoops,” but a heck of a lot different. Despite Head Coach Kelly Greenberg’s assurance that Agganis Arena had little to no effect on her Terriers, it was evident that they needed time to adjust. 

Chantell Alford (’13) called it the biggest arena she had ever played in, “by far.” Agganis Arena has played host to the Boston University’s Women Basketball team eight times since the arena opened in 2005. The Terriers  6-2 after their victory on Wednesday evening. 

Case Gymnasium had served as the home of the Terriers for the first eight games of this regular season. A much smaller and compact gym, Case, often referred to as “The Roof,” was compared to a high school gym in terms of feel by
Alex Young (’12) after the game. “The fans are definitely more on top of us.”

Both Alford and Young went so far as to say they preferred The Roof to the larger Agganis. The major complaint they both had about Agganis was the depth perception behind both backboards; the space behind Agganis’s backboards seems to go on for miles when put next to Case’s. It was definitely something the Terriers had to get used to, as they shot a lowly 26% from the free throw line in the first half, followed by a second half in which they shot 66% from the line (the season average is just under 70%).

Slow Starts Worry Some for Coach Greenberg

Slow starts have become a trend for the Boston University women’s basketball team. On Wednesday evening, the Terriers trailed Stony Brook 20-13 in the first half before storming back to win the game 69-59. Despite the victory, Greenberg made it clear that this has become a disturbing trend for her team.

On January 24th, perhaps the biggest win of the year for the Terriers, Greenberg’s squad needed a 17-3 run to beat Vermont after trailing by 16. And then on January 21st against Hartford, the Terriers fought to overcome an 18 point deficit that they had forced themselves into, only to take the loss. In their next game against UMBC, the Terriers went down by eight in the first half, again having to rally back to win.

Both victories over Albany came as results of going on runs after playing sloppy basketball coming out of the gates. It is good to see this team rally back and show resilience, however when a team comes along that knows how to play with a sizeable lead the Terriers will be unable to come back even though they may be the better team.

On Wednesday, Stony Brook out-rebound the Terriers; in fact, BU is in the negative in rebounding margin during the season. “We have to outplay, we have to out focus,” Greenberg noted. She stressed that even though this year’s squad may be one of the most talented in recent memory, they will not be able to rely on that talent to beat the better teams during the home stretch of the season, which is something they have been doing against teams toward the bottom of the standings.

Women’s Basketball Extends Winning Streak to Three

Hinton’s Milestone Just One Achievement in Statement Win

by Dan McCarthy

In one of the most jam packed games of the year, the Boston University women’s basketball team defeated the visiting Binghamton Bearcats 79-56. Caitlynn Moran (’13) led the Terriers with 21 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and four steals in one of the most impressive games of her young career.

The big story coming into the game on Wednesday night was senior Aly Hinton’s (’10) quest for 1,000 career points. She came into the game 10 shy and, with a layup midway through the second half, she was able reach that milestone. Hinton totaled 11 points and six rebounds before injuring her ankle with about four minutes to go in that second half. Hinton went up for the rebound and fell funny on her ankle; she immediately went to the floor and was helped off by the trainers. Head Coach Kelly Greenberg called it a sprain; she was not worried about Hinton’s return and believes the injury to be minor.

Another huge injury came in the game’s opening minutes. Kerry Cashman (’11) went up for an offensive rebound along with a Binghamton player and injured her shoulder. She was immediately pulled and had her shoulder iced and then in a sling for the rest of the game. Coach Greenberg again wasn’t too worried about Cashman. It appeared Cashman’s shoulder came out of the socket and a confirmation of that came from Greenberg in the post game press conference.

“Good timing for the injuries,” Greenberg said, referring to the week off the Terriers will get before they travel to Vermont next week to take on a Catamounts team that leads the conference standings.

One has to wonder whether this injuries and the amount of playing time that the same seven regulars have received this season are related. Even when up by twenty tonight, Greenberg didn’t choose to sit her starters (meanwhile Binghamton, down by twenty did). She made it clear that she has faith in her bench, particularly Kuczynski but how much faith is really there is unknown.

Play on the court went the Terriers way all night. Moran would not let up all night, as she led the Terriers at both ends of the floor. Moran seemed to be featured more tonight, but Coach Greenberg dismissed any possibility of her game plan causing the offensive outburst. “We don’t game plan for anyone,” she remarked, “We actually thought they we’re going to play zone so we had a game plan for that.” Binghamton came out and went man to man all night, but even a bold move like that couldn’t help out the lowly Bearcats.

Chantell Alford (’13) had another great game. Going 6-9 from the field, 2-4 from three, and 4-4 from the charity stripe, she finished with 20 points. Jacquelin Kuczynski (’13) had the best night of her young career here at BU, netting her first career points at the 12:14 mark of the second half. Kuczynski was featured for the Terriers after Cashman and Hilton, both forwards, went down with their injuries. Greenberg said that Kuczynski “Was a little nervous” at first but that first basket must have taken some pressure off of the rookie.

Alex Young (’12) added 12 points and Caroline Stewart (’12) had ten of her own as the Terriers are now 12-10 overall, and 8-2 in the AE. Next Wednesday’s matchup against Vermont is undoubtedly the biggest game of the year for the Terriers. Vermont was defeated by the Terriers in their matchup earlier this season and should look for some retribution when they face off in the Green Mountain State.

Breaking News: Aly Hinton Stamps Her Name Into the Record Books

With an inside layup with 11 minutes remaining in the second half Aly Hinton (’10) has joined an exclusive club in the Boston University Basketball Community. Hinton reached 1,000 points and 600 rebounds. She joins only six other Women Terriers in that club, most recently 2005 Graduate Adrienne Norris.

Terriers Nearing Milestones

by Dan McCarthy

Senior Aly Hinton (’10), a forward out of Richboro, Pennsylvania, is nearing a historic milestone for the Terriers. With her five points on Saturday, Hinton moved her career point total up to 986, only fourteen away from a 1,000 point career. Hinton has been a stalwart presence for the Terriers ever since her rookie season back in 2006.

Hinton average 8.8 points a game in her first year with the Terriers, playing in thirty games and starting all of them. She ended up with a total of 264 for that year, fourth on the team. In her sophomore season Hinton say a lot more bench play, only starting three games but still putting up an average of 8.4 points a game which is a testament to her ability to play whether hot or cold.

Hinton average 8.0 for the Terriers last season, with an average of 4.9 rebounds a game to go with that. Hinton has been a stabilizing force for Coach Kelly Greenberg’s bench and in that sense is at some points more important than she was as a starter.

Freshmen Chantell Alford (’13) and Caitlynn Moran (’13) are both pushing themselves up to the top of the list of freshman points in Terrier History. Coming into Saturday’s game Alford was eight and Moran was tenth in the category. Alford is also making news nationally as she is ranked 16th in Division 1 scoring, which is an impressive feat. What makes the numbers from these two players that much more notable is that they are playing with each other, meaning that they take points away from each other in a way; when one player scores that eliminates an opportunity for the other.

Young Leads Women’s Basketball to Victory

by Dan McCarthy

Coming off one of their best halves of the year, the Boston University Women’s Basketball team was able to take down the Black Bears of the University of Maine by a score of 56 to 49. Chantell Alford (’13), had a terrific game as usual, but it was the play of Alex Young (’12) that really shot putted the Terriers to their second straight game.

Slow starts have been the trend for the past few weeks. Saturday afternoon, the Terriers came out looking not quite as sluggish as they have in games past. Besides a few “home-run passes” to Young, the game was slow and ugly – turnovers and travels marked the first ten minutes of play but the game was still shifting the Terriers way.

With 7:31 remaining in the first half and the Terriers leading 13-12, Boston University went on a 19-5 run that separated them from the Black Bears for the first time all afternoon. A late drive led by Young put the Terriers up ten at halftime. Young has been playing well ever since coming back from a sprained ankle against Albany, telling us after the game, “Defense and rebounding were the two major things I had to focus on.” It seems that the ankle is healed and she declared herself almost 100%.

Head Coach Kelly Greenberg must have been happy with the fast start, even against a Maine team that is below .500. However, she made it clear that she, “Never feels comfortable,” with any lead. Her words spoke true going into the second half, as Maine started to pick up their pace and started to capitalize on opportunities that they had. Maine was sparked by freshman guard Amanda Tewksbury, who began to pick apart the Terrier defense. Coach Greenberg remarked that her defense “[Wasn’t] playing aggressive enough,” and that Tewskbury, “Played a nice solid game for them.” Tewksbury started off against Caitlynn Moran (’13) and made quick work of the freshman guard quickly earning baskets and the points after for the Black Bears. Greenburg then made the switch to Young to guard Tewksbury, who was a bit more successful, until Moran checked back in and was able to keep her under control.

With eight minutes remaining in the half, Maine was able to pull within three.  Alford was already having a good game but this is when the freshman guard really made her mark on the game. Alford stole the ball and ran the court for an easy three to up the Terriers lead to five. Then, with five minutes remaining Alford again stole the ball and capitalized on the transition to make it an eight point lead. About a minute after that steal Alford was again able to take the ball from the Black Bears. “I just put my hands up,” Alford said. Coach Greenberg said that those steals pretty much iced the game for BU.

A nice pass from Aly Hinton (’10) to Young made it a six point game with forty seconds remaining, a play that made it a two possession game and forced Maine to foul (something they couldn’t do in a timely fashion thanks to a run by Moran). The Terriers have played three straight halves of great basketball, something that can’t be taken for granted in this Jekyll and Hyde season of theirs. An effort like this won’t cut it against teams like Vermont or Hartford, but Coach Greenburg’s team has time to get fully back on track, a period they must take advantage of.

The Terriers will take on Binghamton, Wednesday at seven at Case before they hit the road for games at Albany and Vermont.

Women’s Basketball Back on Track

by Dan McCarthy

Four days after losing because they couldn’t knock down half of their free throws, the Boston University Women’s Basketball team rebounded in a big way last night in Durham, New Hampshire. The Terriers went into UNH and won a crucial game 66-59. Lead by Freshman Caitlynn Moran (’13), they were able to show their resilience after an uninspired effort in their loss against UMBC last Sunday.

The Terriers again came out slow on Thursday evening, something that is become a bit of a trend in recent weeks. They were not able to figure out a UNH defense that hasn’t been performing in a subpar season for the Wildcats – they came out of the game with a 7-14 overall record and only 2-6 in conference play. The Wildcats and the Terriers stayed close for much of the first half until a string of missed opportunities by the Terriers that UNH took full advantage of. With three minutes remaining in the first half, the Wildcats lead by one, 25-25, and as the first half closed out the Wildcats ran the floor, upped the tempo, and stretched their lead to eight, 35-27.

Halftime in Durham, the Terriers’ output should have been bleak: they had lost two straight home games, one to rival Hartford and another to lowly UMBC. Both losses coming as a result of missed opportunities and the last one coming, in particular, because of failure from the charity stripe. For the last five quarters the Terriers were outscored by eighteen points. However, coming out of halftime Head Coach Kelly Greenberg must have been impressed as her team quickly went on a 15-2 run. During that run all five players on the court were contributing, which is an excellent sign as sometimes they get locked into getting the ball down low to Kerry Cashman (’11), or relying on Chantell Alford (’13) and Moran to create from the perimeter. Even when the Terriers were missing chances, they were earning those second and third opportunities and came storming back, surely taking the Wildcats by surprise.

The Terriers were able to build up a ten point lead in the second half, but the Wildcats showed some heart of their own and cut it to six. With the failure to close out a few games this year, the Terriers needed to capitalize on a chance to stop UNH there and come home with the win. Doing this required that when UNH went to force the Terriers to hit their free throws in the closing minutes, they do just that. Up stepped Moran, who had already had one of her better games of the season, already in double figures in points for the game. Four times she was fouled and four times Moran went to the line and sank both of her shots, ending any hope of a comeback by the Wildcats and earning Boston University’s first win in three games.

Looking at the game by the numbers, they don’t overwhelm you: 35% from both downtown and the field, 27 first half points, and five points of the bench. But the numbers that really impress is the ones from the charity stripe. Boston University went four for five in the first half, and an outstanding twelve for sixteen in that crucial second half. The Terriers also outrebounded the Wildcats by six, 41-35 lead by forwards Caroline Stewart (’12), who had nine, and Cashman who finished with seven – Alex Young (’12) also added six of her own.

It will be interesting to see if the Terriers can build on their impressive finish. Results have seen to carry into the next games whether good or bad and Coach Greenburg must find a way to harness the momentum from this game. A win is a win, even when it’s against a team with a record like UNH, but a loss would have been devastating here.

Next up for the Terriers: they will meet Maine at Case Gym on Saturday, January 30th. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.

Women’s Basketball Falls to UMBC

by Dan McCarthy

The Boston University Terriers dropped their second straight game on Sunday. After falling to Hartford on Thursday BU couldn’t get past the Retrievers of University of Maryland Baltimore County, losing 65-63. The game went down to the wire as the Terriers let UMBC hang around for too long, and it came back to bite them in the end.

After a few games where the Terriers looked slow coming out of the gates, Boston University started out with a little more energy than in those previous games, as they took a 9-6 lead at around the four minute mark of the first half. They were outplaying the Retrievers but the three ball was able to keep UMBC in the game long enough for them to set up an offense that would work against a tough BU defense. UMBC went 8-17 from behind the arc in the first half, lead by number five Carlee Cassidy who hit five of eleven for the game.

For about the first seven minutes of the first half the pace of the game was dragging on, and much to UMBC’s credit they took full advantage of it. Lining up and finding their open shots, the Retrievers were able to hang right with the Terriers. As the half went on the pace pickup it and it was very much an up and down level of play; as one team pushed the pace the other did it right back and while both offenses were enjoying success, the defenses were on their heels and uncomfortable.

The teams came out of the halftime tied up at 37, and once play resumed BU was able to race out to their largest lead of the afternoon, quickly going up 54-47 lead by junior Kat Briggs(’11) off the bench. Briggs enjoyed one of her best games of the year, putting up seventeen minutes and nine points. She let it be known that even thought she hasn’t seen action in the previous two games that she was “Always ready.”

BU’s seven point lead was short lived as they couldn’t capitalize on chances. After a basket by Aly Hilton (’10) to make it 55-49, the Terriers went cold from everywhere it seemed; coming up empty on the next six possessions including misses by Hilton, Chantell Alford (’13), Kerry Cashman (’11), and Caitlynn Moran (’13). Despite the missed opportunities BU still found themselves in the game with about two minutes remaining but both teams were having trouble putting the ball in the basket, as neither were able to take advantage of opportunities from both beyond the arc and in the paint.

Boston University’s best chance to tie the game up came at the :24 second mark. With some good ball movement the Terriers were able to get the ball down low to Cashman as she was then fouled on the attempt and went to the line for two shots. The first attempt was good but then with timeouts remaining, UMBC head coach Phil Stern decided to call a timeout to essentially “ice” Cashman like a kicker in a football game. Cashman said she “tried not to think about it” but this move from Stern had to of had some effect on Cashman’s next attempt as it rimmed out and kept the Terriers trailing. After a foul on UMBC, freshman guard Caitlynn Moran (’13) then had the opportunity to tie it with a three, but her attempt was off and essentially ended the game for the terriers.

Alford had a terrific first half, totaling sixteen points but then struggled in the second half. She couldn’t come up with a reason for the drop off but she wasn’t the only Terrier to go cold in the second half.

Head coach Kelly Greenberg called it a “disappointing loss” and a “bad day for Boston University Basketball.” She mentioned how the Vermont win, a win against a ranked opponent, could have affected the Terriers mindset going into Thursday’s game and then today’s game and she questioned whether that win “Got us thinking that we were better than we are.”

The Terriers will travel to New Hampshire on Thursday to take on UNH and then have a quick turnaround as they will meet Maine at Case on Saturday at two o’clock. The importance of Thursday’s game cannot be stressed enough, not only for the record but for the mindset of these women. After a winning streak of five games, dropping two straight (and one to a team below .500) must be devastating. It will be interesting to see how they rebound on Thursday.

Women’s Basketball Falls Short vs. Hartford; Winning Streak Snapped at Five

by Dan McCarthy

Coming off of an emotional win against a ranked opponent in the University of Vermont, the Boston University Terriers Women’s basketball team failed to keep their undefeated record in the America East Conference intact. The Terriers fell to the Hawks of the University of Hartford by a score of 52-44. The Terriers fell behind quickly and despite attempts to mount a comeback, they were unable to bring themselves all the way back.

The Terriers began the game looking slow and lethargic. Within a span of two minutes and fourteen seconds they were behind by twelve and have already committed three turnovers. Head coach Kelly Greenburg called it a “tough loss” but was pleased the way her team battled back despite going down early. Hartford was out-rebounding the Terriers, getting second and third chances on almost every possession and sometimes even third or fourth chances. The Terriers could not hit an outside shot and could not get into rhythm against Hartford’s press. But still, after having to endure an opening 12-0 run, the Terriers stopped the bleeding and kept themselves within striking distance. Junior Kerry Cashman’s (‘11) twelve first half points prevented Hartford from pulling away but still the Terriers were getting outhustled and most evidently outrebounded. Hartford’s defense was stifling the Terriers who found themselves unable to get the ball down low to their inside threats, and when they tried to set up from the outside the Hawks were forcing rushed shots and turnovers. Going into halftime the Hawks held a 35-20 lead and were domination almost every aspect of the game.

Coming out at halftime, Boston University slowly came back into the game cutting the Hawks’ lead from fifteen to twelve before the five minute mark. The Terriers were able to do so by playing strong defense and again relying on a strong inside game. Despite struggling in the first half, freshman sensation Chantell Alford (‘13) was able to lead the Terriers’ defense, “I felt that was the best way I could help the team.” The Terriers fought back, getting back to within six after a slick pass from guard Caitlynn Moran (’13) inside to Caroline Stewart (’12). After a steal by Alford on the ensuing possession Moran seemed to be getting hot, hitting a jumper that cut the Hawks’ lead to four. But four is the closest the Terriers would get; despite having time on the clock and chances to come back they just failed to execute and would see their twenty five game winning streak in the America East come to an end. “I never used it as motivation, the players did. The players like and respect Case [Gym].”

Defense was not the problem tonight as the Terriers held the Hawks to 52 points but the Hawks were able to shutdown a Terriers offense that had average 72 points its last three games and was on a roll. Hartford definitely deserves a lot of credit for the way they handled themselves against the attempted comeback by the Terriers.

Freshmen Moran and Stewart were coming off a performance for the ages against UVM, totaling 48 points between them but weren’t as effective today only with only 19 points, but Coach Greenburg hasn’t lost faith in either of them, “I’d go into battle with either of them every game.” The two lead the Terriers with thirty nine minutes a piece and lead the Terriers in steals with five a piece. Both Moran, or “Mo” as she’s known, and Stewart have to continue to lead the Terriers on both the defensive and offensive ends if they want to rebound from this tough loss.

Despite the loss, Coach Greenburg explained that something good can come out of the game. The Terriers showed real resilience coming back from the cellar to cut the lead to four in the second half, something that could prove helpful if they find themselves in a similar situation down the late stretch of the season.

Up next for the Terriers is UMBC on Sunday at Case Gym. Tipoff is set for 2:00 p.m.

Swimming & Diving Continue to Roll

by Dan McCarthy

Boston University’s swimmers and divers continued to roll this weekend in the competition pool at FitRec, defeating the visiting Brown Bears of Brown University by a combined 162 points. The women of BU remained undefeated while the men were able to make it three dual meets straight – their last loss coming on November 14th against Texas A&M. Out of thirty two events the Terriers – including diving – only dropped six, a good sign for a team heading into the ladder part of the season.

It was much of the same from the Terrier women. Having not lost since October of 2008, the Terrier women started off strong and finished strong, something that became a trend for the Terriers very early in the season. Winning the first relay with a team of junior Maria McIntyre (’11), sophomore Kristen Connors (’12), senior Emily Munday (’10), and junior Kirsten Tullis (’11) the Terriers didn’t let up the pressure on the Brown Bears, who were coming off a pair of losses at the hands of Penn and Princeton. Connors went on to add two additional individual victories in the 100 and 200 yard breastrokes. Amanda Schmitz was also able to add to victories, showing her versatility she took the top spot in the 100 Butterfly and the 500 freestyle. Other winners for the women included freshmen Lauren Drake (’13) and Katie Radin (’13) along with senior Brigette O’Shaughnessy (’10), who has compiled quite a four year career with the Terriers.

Ever since the Terrier Invitational back on the weekend of November 20th, the men have been rolling. Beating the Seawolves of Stony Brook University and edging out a talented Dartmouth team, the men Terriers seem to have put things together, finally having talent translate into wins in the pool. Much like the women, the Terrier men had very little trouble handling Brown. Winning the first relay of the day, they refused to stop and were able to total 175 points, their third highest of the year. Wins came from everywhere for the terriers – Individual victories from senior Arik Seiler (’10), juniors Bryon Kallert (’11) and Kyle Ernst (’11), and sophomore Jackson Hill (’12) highlighted the day. As the year goes on, it’s becoming evident that these swimmers are growing together and will be hard to bet against at the American East Championships – a little over a month away.

Freshman Diver Melinda Matyas (’13) has to be having one of the most impressive rookie seasons of all time. Doing what she has been doing all year, Matyas was able to sweep both the one meter and three meter dives again. Junior Tanner Knorr (’11) was able to win the three meter dive for the men, while taking second in the one meter.

Looking ahead, the Terriers have two meets until they will meet the other teams in the AE conference starting on February 25th at FitRec. Before that, they will go head to head with UNH/NE and then Boston College – two teams that are good matchups for the Terriers. Looking ahead to those championships, the biggest competition seems to be UMBC who will be coming back to Boston looking for to repeat as Men Champions and somehow take the Women’s away from the Terriers.

Swimming Shines at Terrier Invitational

by Dan McCarthy

It was a weekend of records, wins, and confidence for the Boston University swimming and diving community. Both the men’s and women’s teams came away with this at the Terrier Invitational this weekend. For the women it was more of the usual but for the men this weekend could prove to be the turning point of what has so far been a mediocre season.

The women’s team has been perfect thus far and on Tuesday, were the top ranked American East team by the CSCAA Mid-Major Division I Poll. Despite a perfect season and a top ranking, the swimmers seamed loose and relaxed going into the invitational; they showed the poise and the swagger of a top ranked team. It was more of the same in the pool for them, winning most of the eighteen events over the three days and placing at least one swimmer in the top three of seventeen of the events. This team just continues to impress not just in the context of the current season but historically as well; the women broke seven records over the weekend. Junior Maria McIntyre (’11) claimed the school record in the fifty free – an event that BU has dominated all season – with a time of 23.0 but she also was able to break the American East record and put her into the top ten in the nation with that time. Sophomore Amanda Schmitz (’12) was had perhaps the most impressive performance of the weekend, breaking three school records (500 Free, 400 IM, 200 Fly) and establishing herself not only as one of the best swimmers in the conference but also establishing her versatility being able to break those records using all four strokes. Senior Emily Mundane (’10) was able to improve on her own school record in the 100 fly but had to settle for a second place finish behind Alex Forrester of Yale by a margin of .98 seconds.

Senior Brigette O’Shaugnhnessy (’10), like she has done all year, never let up in the 1650 free, creating another new record for this team with a time of 2:01.56. Of the nine teams that participated in the weekend’s events, Yale proved to be the toughest competition for the Terriers; Yale finished second by a margin of a mere forty points and providing probably the most exciting race of the weekend in the 200 Medley Relay, being touched out by BU with a margin of .47 seconds. Seven records were broken this weekend and the Terriers dominated from start to finish, proving that even during the grind of a long season, or even during the grind of a long meet, they won’t let up.

Even though the women’s team was extremely impressive during the invitational, the men’s success could prove to be more important than any of those seven records that the women were able to break. Coming off of a tough loss against Texas A&M last week and bringing a 3-2 record into this weekend, it seemed the Terriers were able to gain some confidence with their success. The first day seemed crucial to a team who wasn’t living up to lofty expectations; they were able to win four out of the five events on Friday capped off by a 400 Medley Relay win with a time of 3:23.10. Junior Kyle Ernst (’11) was extremely impressive on Saturday. Ernst swam the second leg of the 200 Medley relay and was able to make a quick turnaround (he got a break of about twenty minutes) and swim the 400 IM, one of the most demanding events in swimming. The 200 Medley Relay placed first and Ernst was able to earn a second place finish in the 400. Ernst also was able to claim victories in the 100 and 200 backstrokes with a school record coming in the latter. Closing out the invitational was the quartet of Kempf, Rickett, Kallert and Hill; finishing with a win in the 400 freestyle relay.

Both teams will have about two weeks until they see their next competition when Stony Brook will travel up from Long Island, NY to take on the Terriers at FitRec. During that meet we will be able to see whether or not the Men’s team can really build on the confidence they received from their 136 point victory over the weekend. For the women, it will just be whether or not they let up a little bit against Stony Brook – something they have yet to do all season.

HARVARD INVITATIONAL NOTES: While the swimmers were able to show off at Fitrec this weekend, the Boston University divers traveled up to Cambridge to take part in the Harvard Invitational. The legend of Freshman Melinda Matyas, from Budapest, continues to grow. No doubt she has had one of the most impressive freshman performances Boston University has seen, and continued that dominance in Cambridge this weekend. Matyas was able to win the one meter dive this weekend while taking third in the three meter, an event stiff on competition. The men’s top performer form the weekend was Junior Tanner Knorr (’11), from San Diego, who placed second on the one meter board. If these two divers continue to improve and continue to see the results that they have been providing, it will be interesting to see if they can both make runs at the top spot at the American East championships at the end of February.

Women Swim to Victory While Men Tread in the Water

by Dan McCarthy

The women of Boston University continued their dominance in the water, but the men were unable to follow suit. In a split meet of sorts the women defeated the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State University 157-77 while the men fell to Big 12 powerhouse Texas A&M.

The women, like they have done in so many past meets, were able to dominate from the start. The Terriers took the opening 400 Medley relay with a quartet consisting of sophomore Francesca Ferrante (‘12), Senior Emily Munday (’10), Junior Kirsten Tullis (’11), and Freshman Liz Floyd (’13). The Terriers continued to show their strength in the sprints with a repeat performance of last week’s sweep of the 50 Freestyle. Floyd (’13) and Ferrante (’12), back in the water, went 2-3, as Freshman Kara Zebrowski (’13) added a win. The Terriers just wouldn’t let up all day with back-back-back sweeps in the 100 Fly, 400 IM, and 100 Free. Tullis (’11) added another win the 100 Free with a time of 51.84. The Terriers undoubtedly displayed their incredible depth today dropping only four of the eleven events. With the exception of a six point victory over Binghamton, the Terriers haven’t been tested by an opponent winning each meet by a minimum of fifty two points.

The men weren’t as fortunate. Going up again Texas A&M, who had previously defeated a solid Harvard squad, the Terriers found themselves lined up against a more talented team. The Aggies were able to take nine individual victories over the Terriers on Saturday. One of the few bright spots for the Terriers was Senior Ben Kaiser’s (’10) 1000 freestyle, which was the highlight of the Terriers day. Showing his leadership in the pool, Kaiser (’10), swimming in lane five, and Aggie Jensen Reid, in lane four, dueled it out and were separated by less than a second for most of the forty laps. Kaiser took about a second lead at the thirty four lap mark and didn’t give back any time to the Junior from Cypress, Texas. Kaiser hit the wall with a time of 9:48.21 while Reid came in a second and a half later at 9:50.69. Sophomore Jackson Hill (’12) and Junior Bryon Kallert (’11) were able to win back to back events in the one hundred yards freestyle and backstroke but still the Terriers found themselves outmatched and out of luck.

Maria Matyas (’13), like she did last week, was able to win both the one and three meter dives. Matyas (’13), a freshman from Budapest, Hungary picked up the American East Diver of the Week award from the week ending November 8th and can seemingly do no wrong on the boards. Sarah Colton and Bailey O’Brien finished 2-3, respectively, behind Matyas in both diving events. Texas A&M sophomore Grant Nel, from Melbourne, Australia swept the men’s one and three meter dives today with BU standout Tanner Knorr coming in behind two Aggies in the three meter dive.

FitRec will be the host to the Terrier Invitational next weekend, with a number of teams coming down to compete. Both the men and the women swimmers will be competing in the competition, one aimed more towards individual goals than team wins. The divers will be traveling to Cambridge to take part in the Harvard Invitational at Harvard University.

Poolside Notes: Bill Smyth, head coach of Boston University swimming, was able to land a top recruit during the week. Jeffrey Thomas, a senior a Bishop Feehan high school and a resident of Foxboro, committed to the Terriers. Thomas, who swims for Bluefish Swim Club will certainly add a lot of talent to the men’s squad. His 500 Free and 200 free times would be Best BU Dual Meet performances and his 100 time would put him in second in the same category.

BU Swimming Raids Colgate

by Dan McCarthy

The Boston University Terriers once again dominated at their home pool in what turned out to be a lopsided victory. The Terriers, coming off of a women’s win and men’s loss and Binghamton last weekend, swept the Red Raiders of Colgate on Sunday by a combined 151 points.

The men had no problem with their latest opponent and after coming off of a loss last week, they were able to show their resilience. The win was highlighted by BU Dual Meet records with senior Tyson Slesnick (’10) and junior Kyle Ernst (’11) putting their names into the record books. Junior Matt Rickett (’11) won the hundred fly with a time of 50.99 five hundredths of the BU Dual meet record which he already owns and Junior Mark Nakanishi (’11) took the 200 Free with a time of 1:46.6.

The Terriers started strong and finished strong; something that they have failed to do in prior meets, which is a good sign for the preseason American East favorites.
While the men were able to take the lead and keep their distance from the start, the Boston University Terrier women had their first scare of the year as the women of Colgate were able to hang around until the 50 Free which was unquestionably the turning point of the meet. Going into that race the women were holding on to an 18 point lead and led by Maria McIntyre, Emily Munday, and Kirsten Tullis. The Terriers finished one, two, three to extend their lead to thirty one points and effectively end the meet. Both McIntyre and Munday were able to add wins later in the meet with McIntyre adding a meet record in the 100 freestyle with a time of 51.29 and Munday taking the 100 fly with a time of 54.97. Sophomore Kristen Connors (’12) took the 200 breast with a time of 2:18.46.

On the diving side, Junior Tanner Knorr (’11) once again showed his prowess on the diving board today winning both the one meter and three meter dives, while freshman Melinda Matyas (’13) continued her strong rookie performance also winning both the one and three meter dives for the women.

Looking ahead, the Terriers will host the Blue Devils of Central Connecticut State University and the Reveilles of Texas A&M University next Saturday the 14th at the FitRec Competition Pool. The Terriers have been excellent at home this year winning both meets in dominating fashion. The season will hinge on whether or not the Terrier men can turn their home success into road wins.

LaGuardia Set For “Long Overdue” Facelift

Originally published on Travel Market Report.LaGUARD.png

Two years after he called New York’s LaGuardia Airport a “third world facility,” Vice President Joe Biden was at the airport on Tuesday to break ground on a $4 billion renovation designed to finally bring LaGuardia into the 21st century.

“The greatest city in the world—and New York is—needs and deserves the greatest infrastructure in the world,” he said.

Biden joined N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo, Port Authority executive director Pat Foye, and representatives from American Airlines, JetBlue, United, Southwest, Air Canada, and Delta.

“This is not just going to be rebuilding of what was; it’s going to be a whole new airport—one unified, contiguous state-of-the-art airport,” Cuomo said.

Terminals A and B will be completely demolished and rebuilt as “state of the art” facilities, Cuomo said. The airport will be moved closer to the Grand Central Parkway, which will increase flight operations by 240%, and a new roadway network, a 3,000-space parking garage, AirTran and ferry service, and a central terminal building will be added.

Delta, which owns and operates terminals B and C, said it also is in advance discussions with the Port Authority to redevelop its terminals.

The project will also increase the passenger capacity of Terminal B from 14 million to 17.5 million.

Biden acknowledged his negative comments back in January 2014 were “not very popular with anyone,” and lauded Cuomo and the Port Authority for working to make things right.

The project, which will provide 18,000 direct and indirect jobs to New York, is the largest public-private partnership in the history of the United States. Two-thirds of the work will be financed by the private sector—lead by the LaGuardia Gateway Partners group.

First U.S. Commercial Flight To Cuba In Decades Lands

JetBLue12123Originally published on Travel Market Report.

JetBlue flight 387 took off from Terminal 3 of Fort Lauderdale’s Hollywood International Airport at 10:06 a.m. on Wednesday morning—and when its wheels touched the ground a little under an hour later, it officially made history. Flight 387 is the first direct U.S. commercial flight to touch down in Cuba in more than 50 years.

Backed by a salsa band, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes and Cuban ambassador José Ramón Cabañas were on hand to mark the occasion. “Today is another historic day,” Cabañas said. “And we have been saying that phrase many times during the last months.”

In a statement, American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) president and CEO Zane Kerby congratulated all U.S. airlines making their inaugural flights to Cuba this week, calling the news “a significant step in the right direction that will benefit American consumers and the ASTA travel agents who serve them.”

ASTA’s travel agent members “believe that Americans ought to be allowed to travel across the globe without restriction, allowing them to act as ambassadors of freedom and American values abroad,” he said.

JetBlue will fly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through this month, and then change to a daily schedule on October 1. Soon, 10 other U.S. airlines will join it, with more than 100 flights per day.

Americans ought to be allowed to travel across the globe without restriction, allowing them to act as ambassadors of freedom and American values abroad.

Diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba were officially restored last year when Secretary of State John Kerry and a group that included ASTA’s Kerby and senior vice president of government and industry affairs Eben Peck attended the historic raising of an American flag over the embassy in Havana in September, 2015.

The countries then signed an agreement to restore scheduled airline service in February, 2016. Most major American airlines applied for Cuba slots; American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines were approved to fly to nine Cuban cities, other than Havana, starting in the fall. The DOT later approved eight airlines to fly to Havana—JetBlue, American, Delta, Alaska, United, Frontier, Southwest and Spirit.

American travelers are required to get visas before traveling to Cuba, though all 10 airlines approved for travel provide them for a price.

Almost 150,000 Americans traveled to Cuba in 2015, a 60% increase over the 90,000 in 2014.

Travel Industry Scurries In Wake Of Yet Another Attack

One of the top tourist destinations in the world, Nice sits on the French Riviera, just under 600 miles from Paris, which is still recovering from its own attack last November. French president François Hollande extended the country’s state of emergency, which had been in place since the Paris attack, for another three months.

“France is in tears… but it’s strong and will always be stronger than the fanatics who seek to attack it,” Hollande said.

Travel professionals and suppliers are dealing with the immediate fallout of the attack which grabbed headlines across the globe.

Tourico Holidays had two staff members and more than 100 clients in Nice during the attacks, EVP of global sales Lauren Volcheff Atlass told TMR, with 25 more scheduled to arrive today. While all are safe, the company has issued cancellation and change waivers to all its clients and guests scheduled for check-in in surrounding areas.

“Airlines will be flexible, so it’s important you change your flight immediately, but if you can afford the few days to allow the crowds at the airport to calm down, or take a train to another city near by to fly out of instead, it is highly recommended,” she said. “Tourico Holidays truly mourns these lost lives.”

In a letter to agents penned late last night, Ovation Vacations president Jack S. Ezon outlined—again—what agents should do in the wake of the attack.

Reaching out to all clients on the Cote d’Azur or anywhere in Europe, Ezon said the most important thing is to “reassure them that you are at their disposal and just sound concerned for them. Keep checking up on them, offering to help them in any way possible.”

We must lead through our words and our actions, reminding our clients that their travel is not simply for their own pleasure but contributes to the greater good of so many others and collectively us all.

He cautioned against specifically telling clients that any place is safe, noting that no one can “predict safety anywhere.”

Instead, “your job is to accurately paint the picture and put things into perspective. Nothing else,” he said.

In Nice, meanwhile, Travel Professional International vice president Tim Morgan posted on Facebook that the city is calm but “palpable shock and sadness” is apparent this morning.

“Nowhere is our travel advocacy more important,” he wrote. “We must lead through our words and our actions, reminding our clients that their travel is not simply for their own pleasure but contributes to the greater good of so many others and collectively us all.”

Passengers at Nice airport who had been evacuated after the attack were allowed back in the airport to pick up their bags on Thursday evening. Flights were landing and departing as usual only a few hours after the attack.

“Despite the dreadful events that occurred, access to the airport and air traffic won’t be disrupted,” the airport said in a statement.

Some European airlines are still giving travelers the opportunity to change or cancel flights in wake of the attack.

Easyjet and British Airways are allowing passengers scheduled to travel to and from Nice this weekend to cancel their flight or change their date or destination without penalty. “We’ll continue to be as flexible as possible to help our customers,” BA said.

In a statement to TMR, Cruise Lines International Assocation said its priority is to provide for the safety of passengers and crew at all times.

“Port and onshore facilities, infrastructure, and passenger security and services in destinations are strictly scrutinized.  In the event of any safety concerns, cruise ships have the flexibility to alter their itineraries as needed to avoid areas of higher risk,” it said.

Ferry and Eurostar service are still operating normally.

Agents can also let clients know that the French government has launched a free smartphone app to alert users about possible security incidents, including all major natural, technological and terrorist-related risks, in up to eight geographical areas. Called SAIP (Système d’alerte et d’information des populations), it is available in English and French.

U.S. Rejects Calls From Big Three, Won’t Freeze Open Skies

Gulf carriers Emirates, Ethiad and Qatar will be able to continue operations uninterrupted while the U.S. State Department will reach out to the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to informally discuss state subsidies later this summer.

In a statement on Monday, the three big U.S. carriers—in a lobbying group called Partnership for Open and Fair Skies—didn’t call the news a loss. Rather, the group said it appreciates “how seriously the U.S. government has taken the issue of massive subsidization of the Gulf carriers” and that “discussions between our governments are an important step forward.”

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow called the decision an “unequivocal victory for the U.S. economy, U.S. workers and travelers all over the world.”

“The Big 3 airlines and their union allies asked for two things that would have dramatically harmed fliers and the economy—one, enter formal consultations to renegotiate specific Open Skies agreements; and two, freeze air service from those countries—and they were thankfully granted neither,” he wrote in a statement.

The agreements, which the U.S. started to sign with countries around the world in 1979, were designed to eliminate government interference in commercial airline routes, capacity and pricing.

Open Skies allows airlines to cross land borders and territorial waters without prior consent from the individual nations over which they fly. Today, the United States has agreements with more than 100 countries and more than 70% of international flights from the U.S. fly to countries under Open Skies.

But because Gulf carriers—most notably Emirates, Qatar and Etihad airlines—are receiving $42 billion in state subsidies, Delta, American and United have all petitioned the U.S. government to freeze routes to the U.A.E. and Qatar until they correct alleged violations of the agreements.

Air Canada also took a stand against the policy, saying it would oppose any more flights by Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways to Toronto in November.

Gulf carriers responded that those airlines were mostly upset about losing their share in the market.

“We are concerned to see the Big Three seek to change the rules of the game as soon as they see U.S. consumers respond well to the services offered by a competitor,” said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker last year.

Fathom May Delay Cuba Sailing Because Of Discriminatory Policy


Carnival Corp. may delay the first Cuba sailings of its Fathom brand because of a rule preventing any Cuban-born Americans from returning to Cuba.

News broke last week that Fathom had come under scrutiny for not allowing Cuba-born Americans to book cabins on their Cuban sailings. But the cruise line responded, saying that it wasn’t a policy of Carnival that was preventing it from happening, but rather it was coming from the Cuban government.

On Monday, Carnival took a stand. It said that not only would it begin accepting bookings from passengers born in Cuba, but if the rule isn’t changed, it would delay its first Cuban sailings.

Last week, a lawsuit claimed Carnival was discriminating against two Cuban-Americans who were turned away by a Fathom booking agent.

In response, Carnival spokesman Roger Frizzell said in a statement that the company has “requested a change in the regulation and [is] actively working on the issue. It is our hope and intention that everyone can travel and we will continue to pursue a change in the regulation that puts cruising on the same footing as aircraft travel is today in Cuba.”

The lawsuit was followed by protests outside of Carnival’s headquarters in Doral, a suburb of Miami.

Fathom’s statements on Monday pits the cruise line firmly against Cuba’s decade-old policy of not letting ex-pats, many of whom fled the Communist regime, return home.

Meanwhile, after a false start last week, Fathom has finally seen its first sailing hit the open water.

Fathom’s Adonia successfully sailed out of Port Miami on Sunday, departing on a week-long itinerary to the Dominican Republican.

Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald was on hand to toast to Fathom president Tara Russell and the entire Fathom team.

“We’re about the change the world,” he said.

The multiple “sliding fire screen doors” problems found by the Coast Guard that had forced Fathom to cancel its first sailing last week have been fixed. During the whole process, Fathom maintained that its April 17 sailing will go ahead as planned.

At the ceremony in Miami, Russell said that while the process of building the cruise brand wasn’t easy, it was “the time for Fathom.”

“Most people tell you you’re crazy, trust me. Most people don’t believe it can happen, trust me,” she said.

Islip MacArthur Airport Gets a New Tenant

Originally published on Travel Market Report.

A third airline is moving into one of New York’s almost-forgotten airports.

National Airlines announced last week that it will be flying daily between Islip (ISP) and Puerto Rico. Starting in July, National will fly from Islip to Puerto Rico’s two most popular airports—Rafael Hernández Airport (BQN) in Aguadilla and Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan.

“The City of Islip is a wonderful and engaging community, and Long Island MacArthur Airport offers both outstanding service and convenience for our customers. National Airlines believes there is demand for our unique brand of exclusive service at inclusive fares between Islip, San Juan and Aguadilla,” Edward Davidson, National’s president and COO, told TMR.

National Airlines is an Orlando-based carrier with a fleet of only six aircraft as of November 2015. With the addition of Islip, it serves just six North American destinations besides Orlando—San Juan and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico; Islip, New York; Windsor, Ontario; and, St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Its new Islip-to-San-Juan routes will leave Islip at 9 a.m. on Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday and return from San Juan at 2:30 p.m. Its Islip Aguadilla routes will operate at the same times, leaving Islip at 9 a.m. and returning at 2:30 p.m., on Monday and Friday each week.

A little history
A 2001 NY Times article lauded MacArthur as an airport with significant advantages over the other closest New York domestic airport—LaGuardia—because of its lack of delays and location outside of New York City restrictions.

“The Islip airport is looking better and better to business and pleasure travelers willing to settle for fewer direct flights and remoteness from Manhattan in exchange for delay-free, minimum-hassle departures and landings at MacArthur, which is 42 miles east of La Guardia,” the article said.

But times have changed in Suffolk County.

Islip has always been a small airport, but its number of departures has decreased steadily in the past 10 years—to a low of 602,000 in 2015—as Southwest acquired more gates at LaGuardia and moved more flights there, and as travelers came to understand that “just 42 miles” can be a very long way in rush-hour traffic.

At the moment, the only airlines to operate daily, direct flights from Islip are Southwest, which flies to Baltimore, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tampa, and West Palm Beach, and American Airlines’ regional branch American Eagle, which flies to Philadelphia.

The new National route provides some optimism for the airport’s future. It comes as the Town of Islip is in talks to add a customs facility, which would make international flights possible.

RCCL’s CEO On Travel Agents And A Royal Expansion

RCCLPicOriginally published on Travel Market Report.

For Royal Caribbean and its CEO and president Michael Bayley, there is no more important partner than the travel-agent community. And while Royal wants guests to book their cruises however they feel most comfortable, most are still doing so through a travel professional.

“We love travel agents, we will always be loyal to our travel agents,” Bayley told Travel Market Report. “They are our true partners.”

Travel professionals are Royal Caribbean’s “most critical sales channel,” Bayley said, accounting for “a huge percentage” of all bookings. “Agents are by far our most dominant channel.”

The largest cruise line in the market has run into some hard times on the PR side recently, with the Oasis of the Seas—its largest cruise ship—being hit with 30-foot-high waves and hurricane-force winds on the first day of its journey, a touch of norovirus, and a corporate decision to tighten its cancellation policy.

But Bayley remains optimistic about where Royal is headed.

Perhaps the most exciting growth should come in China, he said, where Royal Caribbean soon will be the largest single cruise line in the Asian market. It has three ships—Mariner of the Seas, Voyager of the Seas, and Legend of the Seas—homeported in China, and will add another in April when the Ovation of the Seas debuts.

Still, “the U.S. will always be our top market,” he said. By November in Florida alone Royal Caribbean will be cruising 15,000 guests at a time, with the Oasis of the Seas, the Allure of the Seas, and the Harmony of the Seas all homeporting in Florida ports.

The Harmony, which  just successfully completed its first sea trials on Monday, will be the largest ship in the world when it debuts in Southampton, England, in May. It will be so large that its 6,000guests will be issued wristbands with GPSs so they won’t get lost.