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Copyright © January 2003

Table of Contents
  • Are You Prepared for Takeoff?
  • Cruise the Rivers of Europe in Luxury!
  • Cook Your Way Through Europe!
  • Kiss Your Travel Agent Goodbye...
  • Sleep at Kinnitty Castle!
  • Dive Cozumel!

Welcome! to Psssss.....t!—Your Flight To Quality eZine—Your One-Stop Information Center. Here is everything you need!—

Are You Prepared for Takeoff?
by Marilyn King

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began screening all checked bags for explosives on December 31, and is using various methods to screen the bags. Expect delays and confusion in these first days of the inspections.

One of the screening methods—hand searching the checked bags—is causing particular concern. The TSA has issued a controversial list of "tips" for checked bags—Leave bags unlocked! Place "your personal belongings" in clear plastic bags "to reduce chances of a TSA screener having to handle them. Pack footwear on top of other contents. Spread out your packed books, instead of stacking them. Do not pack food or beverages in checked bags. "Leaving bags unlocked will avoid the potential need for them to be opened forcibly," the TSA explains. It doesn't explain who is guarding unlocked bags against theft.

Pack Smart

There are restrictions on what you can pack in your carry-on and checked baggage. All of your baggage will be screened and possibly hand-searched as part of the new security measures. This inspection may include emptying most or all of the articles in your bag.

Following are a some tips for packing your checked baggage that will help to speed your trip and ensure that your checked bag makes the flight with you—

  • Don't put film in your checked baggage, as the screening equipment will damage it.
  • Put personal belongings in clear plastic bags to reduce the chance that a TSA screener will have to handle them.
  • Pack shoes, boots, sneakers, and other footwear on top of other contents in your luggage.
  • Avoid over-packing your bag so that the screener will be able to easily reseal your bag if opened for inspection. If possible, spread your contents over several bags.
  • Avoid packing food and drink items in checked baggage.
  • Don't stack piles of books or documents on top of each other; spread them out within your baggage.
  • Check ahead of time to determine your airline's baggage policy, including number of pieces you can bring and size and weight limitations.
  • Carry-on baggage is limited to one carry-on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. Remember, 1+1.
  • Think carefully about the personal items you place in your carry-on baggage. The screeners may have to open your bag and examine its contents.
  • Wait to wrap your gifts. Wrapped gifts may need to be opened for inspection. This applies to both carry-on and checked baggage.
  • Don't forget to place identification tags with your name, address and phone number on all of your baggage, including your laptop computer. It is a good idea to place an identification tag inside your baggage as well.
  • Avoid overpacking so that your articles don't spill out if your bag is opened for inspection.
Dress the Part

Security does not require any particular style or type of clothing. However, certain clothing and accessories can set off an alarm on the metal detector and slow you down. Here are some tips to help you through the security checkpoint.

Be aware that any metal detected at the checkpoint must be identified. If you set off the alarm, you will be required to undergo a secondary screening, including a hand-wanding and a pat- down inspection.

You can remove metal items at the security checkpoint and place them in the bins provided. The bins will be sent through the X-ray machine. Save time, by not wearing metal items or place such items in your carry-on baggage before you get in line.

TIP: Avoid wearing clothing, jewelry, or other accessories that contain metal when traveling—

  • Jewelry (pins, necklaces, bracelets, rings, watches, earrings, body piercings, cuff links, lanyard or bolo tie)
  • Shoes with steel tips, heels, shanks, buckles or nails
  • Clothing with metal buttons, snaps or studs
  • Metal hair barrettes or other hair decoration
  • Belt buckles
  • Under-wire brassieres
Hidden items such as body piercings may result in a pat-down inspection. You may ask to remove your body piercing in private as an alternative to the pat-down search.

TIP: Avoid placing metal items in your pockets—

  • Keys, loose change, lighters
  • Mobile phones, pagers, and personal data assistants (PDAs)
TIP: Instead, place jewelry and other metal items in your carry-on baggage until you clear security.

TIP: Pack your outer coat or jacket in your baggage when possible.

Outer coats including trench coats, ski jackets, leather jackets, overcoats and parkas must go through the X-ray machine for inspection. If you choose to wear an outer coat to the checkpoint, you will need to either place it in your carry-on or put it in the bin that is provided for you. You will not need to remove suit jackets or blazers unless requested by the screener.

Final Checklist

You're dressed, packed and ready to go. Or are you? Here is a pre-flight checklist to help you Prepare for Takeoff—

Check with your airline or travel agent—

  • To determine how early to arrive at the airport. Recommended check-in times differ by airline and airport.
  • To determine whether you should go to the ticket counter or checked-baggage screening area first. Not all airports are the same since the addition of checked-baggage screening. Curbside check-in may also be available.
  • If you do not have checked baggage and you already have a boarding pass, ticket or ticket confirmation, you can proceed directly to your gate through the security checkpoint. Please note that certain airlines do not offer gate check-in.
Check with your airport—
  • To confirm which parking lots are open if you will be parking at the airport. Some lots may be closed for security reasons. Be sure to allow extra time for parking and shuttle transportation.
Check to make sure you—
  • Bring a boarding pass, ticket, or ticket confirmation, such as a printed itinerary and a government-issued photo ID. Children under the age of 18 do not require an ID.
  • Bring evidence verifying you have a medical implant or other device if it is likely to set off the alarm on the metal detector, bring evidence verifying this condition. Although this is not a requirement, it may help to expedite the screening process.
  • Have removed prohibited items such as pocketknives, scissors, and tools from your carry- on baggage.
Have a safe trip and enjoy your flight!

For a Complete list of—

Can I Take It With Me? - Permitted and Prohibited Items...Click here!

This file is in Adobe PDF format. If you want your FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader, download it now—
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River Ship

Cruise the Rivers of Europe in Luxury!

       Taking European river cruises to a higher level of luxury and service, the brand-new and most modern river cruise ship, Amadeus Symphony, begins sailing in March, 2003. See Europe's most treasured landmarks from the comfort and tranquility of your floating hotel!
       Amadeus Symphony offers a long list of amenities which no other river cruise ship in Europe matches. The ship accommodates 146 passengers in 73 deluxe outside staterooms. Public areas include the Grand Panorama Lounge for daily onboard activities during the cruise such as—presentations, lectures or wine tasting, exciting after-dinner musical and folkloric performances or dance lessons, followed by nightly piano music and dancing.
       The intimate Club Lounge with comfortable leather sofas and its own bar is ideal for group meetings of up to 45 guests. The Sun Deck offers early morning exercise activities, a 100-meter walking track, fun pool, Lido bar and comfortable lounge chairs. The exquisite Panorama Restaurant features unique panoramic views, open single-seating dining, a "hot station" with rich buffet breakfast and gourmet cuisine. Selected local wines are included with every dinner. The Amadeus Symphony has a beauty salon, manicure and pedicure, souvenir shop, fitness center with massage, as well as an onboard physician.
       All itineraries are designed to allow for fascinating views during meal times; views which few other restaurants in the world can match. Four different itineraries are offered. Click your pick(s)—

Cook Your Way Through Europe
by Marilyn King

We adventure! Spain introduced us to the Mediterranean Diet! What is the "Mediterranean" diet?

There's no one, typical, "Mediterranean" diet. Over 16 countries border the Mediterranean Sea. Diets vary between these countries. And between regions within a country. Cultural differences, ethnic backgrounds, religions, economies, and agricultural production result in different diets. The Mediterranean dietary pattern has these characteristics—

  • high in fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
  • includes olive oil as an important, mono-unsaturated fat source
  • dairy products, fish and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts, little red meat
  • eggs consumed zero to four times weekly
  • wine consumed in low to moderate amounts
The Mediterranean diet has many healthful benefits. It is high in fish, fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and fiber. The "secret" is to eat those foods which have the highest nutritional content and the lowest amount of calories. Prepare these traditional ingredients!—devour with gusto!—feel full and satisfied!

Now you can experience the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet! Learn how they cook in Europe. Be there! Immerse yourself in the pleasures of European cuisine. Pick your culinary excursion(s) from he following special programs. Enhance your health with the Mediterranean Diet!—

1—Learn to Cook the Italian Way in a Rustic, Romantic Countryside Villa
2—Learn to Cook the Provence Way in an Old Ivy-Covered Stone Country House
3—Learn to Cook Traditional Meals of Andalusia in a Spanish Hacienda
...Click here!

Special Note: the above link takes you to an Acrobat PDF file. It's a big one (1.7 MegaBytes), will take about 3 minutes to load, but is delicious when done.

Make your reservation now—

If you want your FREE Adobe Acrobat Reader, download it now—

Download FREE Acrobat Reader

Kiss Your Travel Agent Goodbye!
but stay in touch—just in case...

The airline companies have destroyed us travel agents? Commission caps? Eroding commissions? No commissions?

No! Instead they have made my life much easier—and I can still "make the rent."

You now book your own air travel over the Internet. You might be using Expedia (who pays gobs of cash for their "top sponsor" ad on Google). Maybe Travelocity or Orbitz?

Do you know that my FareBeater engine is just as easy to use? Do you know it gives you the same flight(s) at usually a lower fare than the other engines? That—occasionally booking directly with the airline will match my usually lower fare? AND...when this happens, if my wholesaler(s) have seats available, I can even beat fares offered by my own FareBeater engine?

Recently I was asked for a quote. My wholesaler had a lower fare than the airline offered. I emailed him and found he had already purchased his ticket from the airline—for $126 more than I quoted him.

Ask yourself, "Is it in the best interest of society, to pay higher fares to the airlines? When you can pay lower fares and support small business!"

I find fares on my FareBeater engine that are $100-$200 lower for domestic flights than those offered by Orbitz, Travelocity and Expedia. My FareBeater engine usually provides quotes lower than what airlines offer.

When you research your next flight, visit me and see if I offer your lowest fare. Visit me now—

Find My Lowest Air Fare on FareBeater!

Sleep at Kinnitty Castle!

       Kinnitty Castle is a gothic revival Castle located at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains in County Offaly. About one and a half hours drive from Dublin, Limerick and Galway, it is easily accessible from all airports. The castle's location makes it an excellent base for touring the midlands. Birr Castle, Clonmacnoise, Slieve Bloom Mountains, River Shannon, and Ireland's most haunted castle, Leap Castle, are all nearby.

For your 3 nights accommodations, Full Irish breakfast daily, and more...
Deluxe Stay at Kinnitty Castle—for only *$275
Dec. 2002 issue of Psssss.....t!

*Price is per person, based on double occupancy. Prices are valid from 1/2003 thru 3/2003.

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Soft Scuba
Soft Scuba
"The Soft Scuba Adventurer"

Diving Two-by-Two It's taken over a year to refocus our dive adventure travel operation. We sent many of you directly to our suppliers. I look forward to working with my clients and you who have contacted me over the years.

As you know, I specialize in the Caribbean and South Pacific destinations. At this time I am extending my research to include the Mediterranean. I hope you will enjoy the following URL regarding dive adventure opportunities in Spain's Costa Blanca waters—

Cabo San Antonio Marine Reserve


Dive Cozumel!

Photo by: Fred Altrieth–12/2001
Angelfish Cozumel, the largest island in Mexico—33 miles long and 8 miles wide, is located 12 miles off the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. A rare paradise playground, it has a laid back relaxed pace and distinctive Mexican culture. But it also has—shopping, restaurants, nightlife, beaches, watersports, and world-class diving!
DivingDivers travel from around the world to enjoy Cozumel's most valuable's coral reefs and spectacular walls. Cozumel is constantly nurtured by the south-to-north flow of the Yucatan current. Visibility often exceeds 100 feet. The continuous food supply supports the great variety of sea life. Gentle drift diving reveals a fantastic underwater landscape—majestic cliffs, canyons, tunnels, cathedrals overgrown with black coral, sponges, giant sea fans and walls dropping to dizzying depths. This natural environment supports a wide variety of fish, from juvenile to pelagic—giant grouper, angelfish, various moray eels, lobster, octopus, several varieties of turtles.
Weather & WaterDuring July, August and September, air temperatures range 80–90deg. F. Typical December and January temps are in the mid-70's. The rainy season, with light showers mostly in the afternoon or evening, occurs May–October. Occasional fronts do blow through creating cloudy and windy weather. Water temperature is usually in the low-80's, seasonally dropping to ~78deg. F.
Plaza Las Glorias—deluxe oceanfront hotel! This world-class resort boasts luxurious, air conditioned rooms and junior suites. The sunken living area leads to your balcony overlooking the Caribbean. Suites are decorated with cool Mexican tile, marble floors, marble baths, and stucco walls. Rooms have refrigerators and satellite TV. Enjoy the sandy beach, beautiful, refreshing pool with swim-up bar, and outdoor dining in fine restaurants—


Plaza Las Glorias

* Ocean view junior suites
* Private balcony or terrace
* Sunken living area
* 6 blocks walk to town square
* In-room refrigerator
* Grocery store across the street
5 two-tank a.m. boat dives
4 single-tank 3 pm boat dives*
3 two-tank a.m. boat dives
2 single-tank 3 pm boat dives*
2 two-tank a.m. boat dives
1/3/03 to 1/30/03 $799 special! $479 $339
1/31/03 to 4/30/03 $879 special! $499 $369
5/1/03 to 6/12/03 $629 special! $359 $259
6/13/03 to 8/21/03 $629 special! $369 $269
8/22/03 to 12/18/03 $629 special! $359 $259



Tell me more about Cozumel Dive Adventures!

Soft Scuba
Voice: (941) 331-2086
Fax: (208) 955-7705
Email us now:

We offer you more Dive Adventure Destinations.
Visit us now!— Soft Scuba

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