Kirk Cassels' Weekly Wrap of User Comments: January 11-15

I'll bet you it would be easier to find more people who have been successful with Traverus than it is to find those who haven't.
I know, I know, it's just marketing right? You pick the hottest topics to try and attract attention to your blog. I should try it sometimes.
Are you a Hater or what, people need income, Corporations are laying off, and you try to come up with the silliest thing you can to try and cause confusion.
What's your suggestion? Got any Job Openings?

Jimmy Plymouth - Travel Agent reader commenting on last week's wrap.

It's been a while since a reader posted a comment directed toward me here at this weekly blog, and I already got one in for 2010! I always appreciate feedback etc so I'd like to respond to Jimmy piece by piece.

I'll bet you it would be easier to find more people who have been successful with Traverus than it is to find those who haven't.
I agree that searching for people who have benefited from working for/with Traverus would produce a good amount to counter those who have not. I don't search for either party but it appears someone from one side came here to talk about it.

I know, I know, it's just marketing right? You pick the hottest topics to try and attract attention to your blog. I should try it sometimes.
You could say marketing is involved. These days, everything needs a little business development to generate extra income in a tough economy. I bring up the hottest topics brought up here at to gauge interest from other readers or interested parties and see if the conversation can become a more developed discussion. If in passing I happen to mention, allude or correlate something I find interesting (be it a sci-fi movie mirroring competition between human travel agents and OTAs or what not) it's all because that's what's on my mind. As far as attracting attention to the blog? Let me just say that I hope everyone has a magnificent weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. day that avoids the current tension between Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno and NBC over "The Tonight Show," the political hubbub of the Massachusetts Senate race, and the drama over Lane Kiffin leaving the University of Tennessee Volunteers football team (once led by Peyton Manning, whose team, the Indianapolis Colts, will play the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL Playoffs with hopes for another Super Bowl). And while you're at it, check out the latest hit to come out of American Idol:


Are you a Hater or what, people need income, Corporations are laying off, and you try to come up with the silliest thing you can to try and cause confusion.
I am certainly not a hater and don't think I came across as one if you look at what I wrote regarding the commentary on Traverus. After a reader named Blake shared his/her experience in leaving Traverus in the comments section of the story, I asked if he/she (or anyone else metaphorically, I guess) could share more for anyone involved with Traverus. Ok, so I did say "It's great to see that [Blake] got out in time," but that's because he/she was glad to be out and I enjoy knowing that readers are happy. I'm not sure where I am trying to be silly regarding Traverus. And when I am being silly, so to speak, I'm not trying to cause confusion. The whole purpose of this weekly column is to get people talking about issues that matter to them. And as for haters, it looks like reader nlj65 is a hater, at least of MLMs, when writing:
Bottom line, the MLM concept sucks... sell a legitimate project and stop looking to build off of the backs of other people with all the empty hype.... I HATE MLM's...

Will you respond to him, Jimmy?

What's your suggestion? Got any Job Openings?
I can see that employment is an issue to you, and I don't blame you and would like to help. The official Questex policy on jobs as of now is

Our open positions can be found on HotJobs, Craigslist, mediabistro, Monster, and many other jobs sites. Please e-mail resume, cover letter, and salary requirements to [email protected]. Due to the large volume of resumes, we cannot take unsolicited phone calls regarding our open positions.

I actually found the description for my current position at one of the above mentioned sites, but found said site by going through If you are looking for a job, I suggest going there as the website is a search engine of job sites. You find jobs, and you find other job sites to search. Best of luck, Jimmy. I'd be glad to take a look at your resume if you want to e-mail me at [email protected] and perhaps I can pass it to the right people. I'm not being silly when I say that.

Speaking of not being silly, I hope everyone has made taken the time to keep Haiti in their thoughts and prayers or, even better, taken action to help. Friends and I have been texting "Haiti" to 9099, which sends $10 worth of Red Cross International relief to the country. You can think of other ways to help by reading Michael Browne's piece on helping Haiti, Joe Pike's call for voluntourism and checking out the links in our initial report on the earthquake.

When you're done (take your time), please continue reading to see the wrap of this week's user comments:


Crazy for Cougars

The new and exciting cougar cruise was our biggest story of 2009, and it's on track to maintain the title for 2010. After Carnival  decided not to carry on the trend after its ground-breaking, first-ever international cougar cruise took place last summer, Royal Caribbean came along to pick it up fast. While some cats may be excited about this news, some of our readers are offended and/or disheartened. Take Jerry Vaughn, for example, who wrote:
What a blatant display of hypocrisy. If someone organized cruises for older men looking to hook up with younger women and called it "Lions Cruise" and called the younger women "kittens" (i.e. Cougars and Cubs), the outrage would be enormous and feminists would be howling to no end. For Royal Caribbean to put its stamp of approval on "Cougars" cruises so older ladies can prowl for younger men is offensive.

Meanwhile, justin is a tad more concise yet as profound, saying:
Sad. Whatever happened to couples growing old... TOGETHER?

Commenting on the initial report on the matter, jeff added a noteworthy two cents, stating:
There is a much older name for Cougar; not fit for print; but they have always existed. The older name fits them better.

I see Jerry's point on the hypocrisy and don't disagree about there being a double standard. Still, sex sells. No matter how much outrage there may be over it, I don't think this trend is going away anytime soon. Justin, I hope to tell you decades from now about the old and gray adventures me and my wife are having. She's an older woman, too. But four months my senior certainly doesn't qualify her as a cougar. As for Jeff, I know what old word you are referring to: sabertooth!

More Tourism, More Problems?

While attending the 2010 Caribbean Marketplace this week, Joe Pike broke the news that Bonaire will open its first U.S. brand hotel and is planning some more flights to the island. That's good news for agents, right? It's not for RandyP, who wrote:
First it was too many cruise ships for the ecosystem and non-existent waste handling. Now a big-box hotel and more pollution.
It won't be much longer before "Diver's Paradise" becomes yet another third world toilet that hosts the pod people.
It is truly a shame.

Paul half-agrees with RandyP, saying
I look at the addition of a new direct flight as good news. The addition of a 120-room Hilton, not so much. An island that has no formal sewage solution does not need another big complex.

As an travel professional, what are your thoughts on new properties in and flights to Bonaire?

Your Weekly YTB Fix

Maybe I was wrong earlier when I wrote that the cougar cruise is on track to be the biggest story of 2010. I forgot about YTB. The rage goes on over this company. I need not explain. Just tank a gander at the comments below, posted on George Dooley's piece about the company's latest trouble, and all directed at a reader named Peter:

Peter is typical of those in YTB. Call everyone names. Deflect from the real debate. This is part of the reason why TTA's are upset with YTB. They can't play nice. They tell us we're jealous and call us dinosaurs. They tell us they are taking over & putting us out of business. They name call. They can't debate the issues at all. SEC filings don't lie. Personally, I would like to see them go away. They have conned way too many people out of their hard earned money.

You're the idiot Peter because you just don't get it. They can't run too much longer fool!
Your Six-Figure Ring Earners have either left or the ones who stayed incomes are 1/5 of what they where..meaning your 500k earners are at $100k or less and haven't left because their loyal which is a great quality but costly when you're just blind.
Travel is a highly duplicable industry therefore COMPETITION is high and PROFITS are low! The trillions are there but will be spread amongst millions which gives you pennies!

While I appreciate your passion and I understand your frustration that regardless of how many times Council has been thrown out regarding this case they nevertheless feel the need to "defend their position over and over again" (And over - and over - a-a-and over.)
Please just stick with the facts - and refrain from the name calling.
Your voice would have been much better served (and understood) about selling $425 million in Travel as apposed to $122 million in Internet Business Centers in 2008 if the words "idiots" and "dolts" were removed from comment.
I do however agree...this third attempt to move back into proceedings it's a real stretch - especially after reading all the filings in their entirety along with the response from the Court. After having an "ungainly monster" rolled up and whacked over my head I would be far more cautious about submitting current arguments that "don't pass muster".]

(...silenty eating potato chips and watching in amusement...)

As Peter, JJ and company continue their dialogue, why not join in yourself on YTB or maybe something different here at, or get more involved with other agents at AgentNation, the only social community online for all types of travel agents. We've alrady been off to a busy start for 2010. Don't feel like talking there? That's fine. You can always tweet us at our Twitter page or post something on our Facebook page. We'll connect. Until then...