_DM36153

Kongo had a pleasant surprise when he left his cruise ship, Viking Star, and checked into his hotel in Barcelona for three days.  He got a MAJOR UPGRADE!

Advertisements

_MG_9182

Kongo just finished a week aboard the Celebrity Cruise ship Xpedition for a trip to the Galapagos.  This is a review of that trip and he’s writing it before the memories fade.  If the Galapagos is on your bucket list I hope you read the review.  Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section.

monkey

Early in Kongo’s blogging career he published a few posts about getting through airports and being “plane stupid” (see related articles at the end of this post).  After spending several days on the road last week flying to and from Philadelphia from the West Coast, Kongo has a few additional observations about objectionable monkey behavior when traveling.  Kongo realizes of course that cultured monkeys are supposed to pretend not to see bad behavior on the part of simian strangers and assume that they’re just having a bad day in the jungle.  But there’s something about Spring Break in the air that amplifies bad behavior and Kongo can no longer remain silent.  Please bear with him.

IMG_3672-2Location, location, location.  Add in a lot of class, over-the-top amenities, art, excellent service, and some bling and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what this great hotel in the middle of the Big Apple has to offer.  Kongo and Mrs. Kongo stayed here five nights the week after Thanksgiving and met up with Mrs. Kongo’s brother and sister-in-law who stayed at a nearby hotel.  This was their first visit to New York so everything had to be perfect.  Which, of course, it was.

During Kongo’s recent visit to Kiev and the Ukraine, he took the time to engage a dedicated professional tour guide and it was one of the smartest things he’s done.  When you visit a new place for the first time and you don’t have a lot of time there is no better way to gain insights into the culture, local perspective, and the best attractions to see.  Kongo had two full days of meetings that included business dinners in the evenings with local customers and partners.  There was no time to actually get out and see anything other than the inside of an office building or restaurant.  Setting aside a day to tour turned out to be the only way Kongo could see what he wanted to see.

Kongo travels more than 200,000 miles on domestic flights within the USA along with a few passport-stamping expeditions overseas each year.  As a very frequent flier, recurrent car renter, and serial hotel guest he has picked up a few useful tips and pet peeves about navigating airports, airplanes, rental car counters, hotel check-ins, and getting around in strange places.