I’m going to file this under “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” For the second time in two months, an Italian cruise ship has suffered an international embarrassment and destroyed the travel plans of thousands of passengers. The Costa Allegra broke down in the Indian Ocean this week after a fire broke out on board this past Monday.  The ship was drifting for three days in the Indian Ocean, before being towed to the Seychelles Islands by a French fishing boat. None of the 1,000 passengers were injured, but they had to endure sweltering heat and major inconvenience.

The incident pales in comparison to January’s capsizing of the Costa Concordia that resulted in the deaths of at least 25 people. However, the two incidents are sure to be linked in the minds of wary would-be cruisers.

There’s a great old hotel in Brussels, Belgium that has a racy past. The Wall Street Journal’s Frances Robinson reports that the Hotel Le Berger, once a favorite rendezvous spot for extracurricular couples, has reopened as a deluxe hideaway.

Virgin Atlantic is an airline that’s obviously willing to try pretty much anything, so how about this? Call him Richard Fitzgerald the “Whisper Whisperer.” USA Today’s Nancy Trejos has the story of the whispering expert that Virgin has hired to teach its crew how to communicate quietly in the First Class cabin.

Also at USA Today, Jayne Clark reports that a new survey says Americans  are the worst behaved travelers.

As Baby Boomers move towards retirement age, they are dreaming of an “expat retirement.” London’s Independent newspaper reports on a new study by Aon Consulting that shows that a large percentage of Europeans want to retire abroad. In particular, nearly half of Britons and Germans say they’d like to spend their golden years as expatriates.

At UK travel site First Choice they’re preparing for the End of the World, Mayan style. Check out their infographic of their end of the world travel bucket list. It’s based on the results of a survey of 2,000 British citizens.  I wonder if they included the just-opened Sky Tree Tower in Tokyo, the new world’s tallest building.

If that’s not enough, Bija Knowles at CNNGO has a list of 50 of the world’s most spectacular scenic wonders.

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About The Author

John Miller is president of ScribeWise. He is an avid traveler and web-surfing junkie. Visit www.scribewise.com.

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