Disadvantages to Cruise Ship Travel

Cruise ship travel is not for everybody. Although many enjoy cruises, some travelers prefer other types of vacations. Before going on a cruise, take time to consider whether or not this is the best method of travel for you. Be sure to research information about the specific companies you are considering as well as read reviews from other customers. Also consider talking to those you know who have traveled on cruises before and see if it sounds like something you would enjoy. It is important to get more information than just a recommendation from someone. What one person finds fun, you may not, so it is important to find out why a person did or did not enjoy a cruise ship experience.

Some do not enjoy cruises simply because of the nature of traveling on a boat. Those who are prone to motion sickness may not enjoy being on a boat because of the high likelihood of experiencing sea sickness. Severity differs for everybody, and sea sickness usually is not serious, but it can still be an unpleasant experience and can ruin a vacation. Consider whether or not this is something that concerns you. Medications and wrist bands help some who suffer from sea sickness, but they are not effective for everyone. For some people, sea sickness runs its course relatively quickly, but only you can decide whether or not this is a possibility you are willing to face.

Others are afraid to cruise because of the possibility of the boat sinking. Only you can decide whether or not you are a person who worries about this possibility. It may help to do some research. Any type of travel has inherent risks, of course. Some are terrified of airplane travel but sill travel on cruises. Others travel frequently on airplanes but would not consider going on a cruise. It is true that being on a boat is a different kind of experience than any other form of travel. Some are not so worried about the boat sinking but are afraid of being out in open water, unable to see the shoreline. Only you can decide whether or not being on the ocean bothers you.

Perhaps the most common fear of cruises in the last decade has been based on the media coverage of viral outbreaks on cruise ships. In the last couple years, this problem has improved, but most travelers are familiar with outbreaks of viruses such as the Norwalk virus. These viruses run rampant on cruise ships because of the large number of people in close proximity to one another for extended periods of time. Although general precautions can certainly decrease a persons’ chances of catching a virus on a cruise ship, it is true that illnesses are more difficult to avoid on a boat.

Along with viruses, crime on cruise ships has also been widely publicized. It is important to research each cruise line and get accurate statistics. Also, read reviews and information to learn how incidents are handled, and make sure you understand the level of security that will be present on the ship. Fortunately, most crime committed on cruise ships is property crime rather than violent crime, and this is relatively common with any type of travel.

How To Start Investing For Financial Independence, Part 1

Today, I am going to start a multi-part series about how to go from being a beginning investor to being "financially independent" in a steady and predictable way. At our website, we get tons of e-mails about how do I start, how do I start with little $ 's, etc., etc., etc. If you are asking this question, congratulations because you are ahead of most. All of us have been there at some point.

I must warn you …. What I am about to share here for free is what "gurus" across the nation charge thousands of dollars for in weekend seminars. The "secrets" disclosed are going to seem pretty simple because quite frankly, there are no secrets. The methods used here have been done for centuries and there is no real reason to complicate them. Let's apply these principles to see how fast someone might become financially independent without betting the farm.

Realize that everyone has wildly different starting points and different financial goals. For this series of articles, we assume that an individual has access to at least $ 15,000 liquid capital (or home equity) to start, is at least breaking even with their current income income expenses, and has decent credit to obtain financing. Note there yet? …. See the footnote below.

To start, what you need is to make your money grow while keeping your current income stream, and current expense level in place. I can not say this more plainly ….. To change your current financial path, you have to us your money and your time to grow additional income streams that increase wealth. There is many ways to do this but we are going to use investing in real estate as an example.

Now for beginners, here is the really bad news …… As an investor, you reap rewards by placing your money in HARMS WAY. You do everything in your power to minimize your risk but bottom line is that real investors make money by taking CONTROLLED risks. As investors get better, they learn how to make fantastic investment returns doing things that all their friends and relatives thing is crazy ….. However, they know exactly what risks are small in comparison to the potential Rewards.

One reason people really like real estate investing is leaseage; Ie, you can purchase an expensive property using 0-20% of your own money while financing the rest. So if you put 10% down for example, and then the property goes up by 20%, you have made a 200% return (ignoring expenses, taxes, etc. for simplicity). Of course this works in reverse … If the property drops by 20%, you have lost not only your original investment but have to come up with another 10% as well ….. Ouch!

For someone beginning, here is what I would suggest:
1) Look for an opportunity that will return at least 150% in 2 yrs or less;

2) Be mentally and financially prepared if the investment does not work out;

3) Have VERY good reasons why you do not think you will lose money …… You may not make as much as expected but you would rather not lose money at this stage.

4) Be patient. This single result should not either make or break you but it is crucial to a longer term plan.

In our Mastermind Group, we are bringing out a land project (see related article Land Investing that appears to meet these criteria (each investor has to decide for themselves.) So let's say the purchase price is $ 150,000, with 10% down and another $ 3,500 In closing costs. With good credit, then the financing obtained would make the land payments for 2 years while waiting for growth.

Now let's say after you did your analysis, looked at what had happened in the past, looked at why you thought more and more people would want this property, etc., you decide that you think this property will average 20% / Yr escalation over The next 2 years. MORE IMPORTANTLY, you decide that barring a major meltdown in the market, you think there is little chance that you can not at least break even after 2 years.

So if you end up being right about the growth, then you might net a tidy $ 43,000 (before taxes) or so after everything is considered. After long term capital gains at 15% let's say, then you just picked up about $ 36,000 of the "market's money". That is money that if you take a loss on the next investment will not be nearly as painful as if you lost your original money. When you combine this with your original investment amount, you now have around $ 55,000 of operating capital for step 2.

Realistically, you can not predict how much you will make from the investment. When I invest, I try to establish in my mind what is reasonable. Frequently, I have been surprised to the positive and made much more than expected. Sometimes I have made less. The key being put to yourself in a low risk situation where you have a strong reason to believe the market will go in your favor.

To accomplish this first step, let's look at what you really had to do:

1) Had to be willing to put $$ in harm's way;

2) Had to educate yourself enough to evaluate the risk and the opportunity;

3) Had to find the opportunity or be in a position to have the opportunity presented to them;

4) Had to act.

I would like to comment on the education side. As a former professor, I have seen very smart people spend 1,000's of hours and 10,000's of thousands of dollars educating themselves to "earn a living"; This is a great move in many cases. On the other side, I have seen very smart people who want investing to be a major source of income but will not spend any time or any money educating themselves.

To me, this is a recipe for disaster. By the time we finish this series, you will see that with a few simple steps, implemented over time, many people can easily produce more money than their regular job. Tomorrowmore, many people will put 100's of thousands of dollars at risk but know almost nothing about what they are doing. If you chose the path of making your investment dollars grow steadily with time, I hope this does not end up describing you.

** Footnote: If you are not yet at that level, here is what I suggest. First, read Michael Masterson's book called "Automatic Wealth". This is an excellent book on how to quickly change your financial position while staying employed. Next, I would read Van Tharp's new book called "Safe Paths To Financial Freedom". Van uses a very different thought process from many and so adds a great deal of rounding. Like anything else, you will not agree with everything written in these books but they provide some great thought processes. When you have some capital and are cash flow positive, they come back and revisit this article.

Education: The Military's First and Best Line of Defense

The idea now prevalent among some defense officials that formal classroom-based education is either expendable or unnecessary flies in the face of millennia of historical precedent. Brilliant strategists and military leaders not only tend to have had excellent education, but most acknowledge the value and influence of their mentors. The roll call of the intellectual warriors is sometimes the best argument in support of training armies to think: Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Robert E. Lee, Erwin Rommel, George Patton, Chester Nimitz.

In stark contrast we can cite familiar military leaders whose educations were, we say, lackluster: the Duke of Wellington (he beat Napoleon – barely – after a slugging 7-year campaign), Ulysses Grant, George Custer, Adolph Hitler, Hermann Goering, Josef Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Manuel Noriega. For these men, military victories were often a matter of luck over tactics, overwhelming force over innovative planning, and soldiers more fearful than their masters than of the enemy.

I am a moderate, neither "red" nor "blue," with leanings in both camps. I firmly resist a draft, but support (and was once part of) ROTC. When I read that Columbia University had voted overwhelmingly to ban the Officer Officer Training Corps from returning to the campus, I felt that the concept of academic freedom itself had been violated. It is not the university's place to impute value judgments or decision on moral issues. Instead, universities were intended to be places where minds could visit among a broad range of viewpoints, hopefully to pick and choose the best parts from among them. By banning a campus ROTC contingent, Columbia has denied students that choice, and as an academic I am ashamed for them.

ROTC has much to offer university students, including (sometimes especially) those not enrolled as officer candidates. As a thirty-something graduate student working on my master's degree, I enrolled and participated in two ROTC history classes being taught by a multi-decorated Marine colonel, himself a holder of a master's degree in history. The things I learned about military implications of the battles we studied, the social effects of each decision, and the pains taken by most leaders to secure better materiel and intelligence for their troops far exceeded anything taught in the history department's coverage of the same incidents. It was from that extraordinarily patriotic US Marine career officer that I learned, for example, that during the War of 1812 the US invaded Canada and, when it discovered it could not succeed, burned the national Parliament buildings. It was for that last action that British soldiers later pressed on to Washington and set fire to the US Capitol and White House.

Does any of that make a difference? Indeed, I think it is crucial to national survival that soldiers and the public know the big picture behind events that becoming rallying later later. After 9/11, a precious few people asked the loaded question, "what have we done to incur this attack?" The overwhelming response was to stifle such questions – the US were the good guys, and those religious fanatics were angry because they were jealous of our luxury and wealth – and simply treat the attackers as nameless, inhuman enemies. There was no question allowed as to what the real problem might be, only that the US must attack them and annihilate aggression. But what competent physician, I ask, treats only a symptom but ignores the cause of the disease? According to numerous studies mandated by the UN and other agencies, the most important change that would most work towards eliminating poverty and war would be the universal access of women to an education.

We may "Remember the Alamo," but how many recall that Texas was either part of the US then, nor was it trying to become a state. It was seeking independence as a nation so it could maintain slavery, which Mexico had outlawed. When we "Remember the Maine," do we also recall that the ship was probably sunk by an engineering problem, and not from Spanish sabotage? That the war was pushed by US hawks and newspaper magnate William Randolph Hurst, knowing that a war would greatly boost newspaper sales? We must learn from history, because we are already doomed to repeating it. The 9/11 attack was carried out out predominately by Saudi Arabs, but the US response was to attack Iraq. Despite a preponderance of evidence that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, the American public still preferred the fabrications about anthrax attacks, WMDs, and terrorist training camps.

So what of military plans to merely enlarge the distance learning programs to replace classroom instruction? As a career teacher, I risk sounding like a ludite when I disparage distance learning. In my experience, there can be no substitute for a human-to-human interaction, where ideas can be immediately sorted, argued, and revised. Seeing the emotional expression of classmates when one discusses controversies ranging from "just wars" to the use of nuclear weapons to the pros and cons of a given policy simply can not be part of an electronic lesson. There is simply no substitution, for example, to having a combat veteran point out "I was there" in a class when another student has presented the sanitized version of a controversial event. That level of emotion will not come through a cable modem. We are already becoming extremely dependent upon the impersonal Internet, so how much more non-human contact can possibly be good for our psychological, especially empathic, development.

Historically, one of the first tragedies of war – after truth and diversity of opinion – is basic humanity. In wars, our soldiers do not kill Germans, French, British, Indians, Japanese, or Vietnamese people. Almost from the beginning, they instead fight krauts, frogs, limeys, savages, nips, or gooks. How much more difficult is it for a poorly educated soldier to understand the enemy when the enemy has been made subhuman? How, perfectly, can the war be won and, more important, peace maintained if we can not understand (but not necessarily agree with) the enemy?
It is unfortunate that the senior military officers so often bring the brunt of public hostility for actions made by civil authorities. The present administration is among the most academically impoverished in US history, while the senior officers are among the most highly educated. While it is true that some soldiers actually enjoy combat, the vast majority would welcome, nay embrace, a career of unbroken peace. The intelligent career soldier trains to protect that which he or she most values, knowing that wars are inevitable. Most pray that they need never fight, but stand ready to put their lives on the line should the rest of us need protection. Rather than reduce, compromise, or restrict education to these defenders, I would argue instead that they all receive free access to our universities and colleges. The academic world needs to get behind a unified message: education is not a privilege; It is the first and best line of defense.

Experts Tips to Start An Internet Home Business

The start up costs for an internet home business are next to nothing compared to the offline world of business start ups.

In fact it is a lot more simple to start and grow a business on the internet.

Of course you need some knowledge to begin your internet home business enterprise. But you do not need a “Bacc” to do business on the web.

All you need is some computer knowledge and some internet marketing basis and a good dose of determination.

Here is some basic tips on how to start an Internet home business.

== 1.Write Your Business Goals ==

It is important to set goals and objectives and then take action to accomplish them. This will be your Business Plan.

Here Are Some questions you should ask yourself:

- Why do I want to start up an Internet Home Business?

- What product or service can I provide?

- Do I have the knowledge and expertise to provide this service?

- Do I know enough about the competition?

- Where will my customers come from?

Take the time to write down your questions and answers and thoroughly research your chosen market.

== 2. Choose A Product or Service To Sell ==

On the internet you can find houndreds of product or services to sell.

You can sell your own product by creating your own, or purchasing resale rights or being an affiliate with a good internet company.

Do not put your personal gains first. Make sure that the product will deliver what it promises. When you promote a product that leaves the buyer dissatisfied, you’ll only be ruining your business. So sell solutions and the money will come.

== 3. Business Domain Name ==

One important first step is to choose the best domain name you can. Keep it as short and simple as possible.

Think of domain name like “Google” or “Yahoo”. They are short and easy to remember.

I know that some people say to use keyword in youre domain name. But if you choose “Internet Business” there is a million of site with this term.

So are you going to use for example “AprofitableInternethomebusiness.com” it might be a nice name but it is too long and not simple.

== 4. Web Site ==

Having A good business website is essential to succeed with an internet home business.

Here is the thing you have to plan to build your website

A) Decide on the website design (color schemes, buttons, special effects etc). However, you may have a preference for a certain color or look. To help you choose a design, you may wish to check out other people’s websites or work with your web designer’s pre-set templates.

(B) The content. There are many items you may wish to include on your website. The most common ones include:

1 Products And Services

2. Contact Information

3. Pricing

4. Testimonials

5. Frequently Asked Questions

6. Resources & Articles

7. Refund Policy

8. Privacy Policy

9. About Us

10. Site Map

11. Useful Links

12. On-line store

== 5. Choose a Web Hosting Company ==

What is a Web hosting Company?

A Web host is a company that provides server space for your website. You can think of a web host as a commercial building. The web host provides space for your website just as a commercial building provides space for your shop or office.

What are some of the things you should look for when choosing a web host? The criteria for choosing a free web host and a commercial web hosting solution are slightly different though they do overlap.

A) Web Space

Does it have enough space for your needs? If you envisage that you will expand your site eventually, you might want to cater for future expansion. Most sites use less than 5MB of web space. Indeed, at one time, one of my other web sites, thefreecountry.com, used less than 5MB of space although it had about 150 pages on the site. Your needs will vary, depending on how many pictures your pages use, whenever you need sound files, video clips, etc.

B) Bandwidth allotment

Nowadays, many free web hosts pose a limit on the amount of traffic your website can use per day and per month. This means that if the pages (and graphic images) on your site is loaded by visitors beyond a certain number of times per day (or per month), the web host will disable your web site (or sometimes send you a bill).

It is difficult to recommend a specific minimum amount of bandwidth, since it depends on how you design your site, your target audience, and the number of visitors you’re able to attract to your site. In general, 100MB traffic per month is too little for anything other than your personal home page and 1-3GB traffic per month is usually adequate for a simple site just starting out. Your mileage, however, will vary.

C) Reliability and speed of access

This is extremely important. A site that is frequently down will lose a lot of visitors. If someone finds your site on the search engine, and he tries to access it but find that it is down, he’ll simply go down the list to find another site. Slow access is also very frustrating for visitors (and for you too, when you upload your site).

How do you know if a host is reliable or fast? If you can not get feedback from anyone, one way is to try it out yourself over a period of time, both during peak as well as non-peak hours. After all, it is free, so you can always experiment with it.

== 6. Shopping Cart ==

No e-commerce website is complete without a secure shopping cart. There are many shopping cart options. Many e-commerce business owners make the mistake of using Pay Pal to accept payments, which immediately tells visitors that their company is very small and not professional.

A good alternative to Pay Pal is a remotely rented shopping cart. Remote shopping carts take the burden of maintaining security and credit card numbers off your shoulder and places the responsibility on another company. Remote shopping carts can usually be configured to look similar to your website.

In fact, your customers may not realize that they have left your website to place an order. The remote shopping cart provider will give you the HTML to add to your website. When your potential customer clicks on the Buy button, he or she is taken to the remote shopping cart to enter the personal information and payment details.

Depending on your choice of a shopping cart, you may or may not need a merchant account to process transactions. Some shopping cart services allow you to use their merchant accounts for a slightly higher fee.

== 7. How To Promote Your Business Website ==

Write An Article: Write an article promoting your site or product. Write an article on a hot topic many people would like more information on and submit it to various e-zines. How do you find out what’s hot? Visit a few of the message boards and see what questions are raised often.
Search Engines: Thousand of search engines exist on the Internet. But, you should only be concerned with the top eight or ten. You should manually submit to the top eight: Alta Vista, Excite, Yahoo, Hotbot, Lycos, Northern Light, Infoseek, Webcrawler, and use one of the FREE automatic submission services like * SubmitPlus * to handle the smaller search engines.

Directories: List your site here too. Directories organize sites into categories. Good examples of Directories: Yahoo, Magellan.

Ezine Listings: If you have an e-zine to promote along with your site. Why not list it with one of the many e-zine services on the Internet. E-zine Library is a good one to start with.

Free Classifieds: You will have to submit to a ton of FREE classifieds to get any significant traffic. Why? You are competing with thousands of other Ads. Remember to work on your Ad copy and make it attention grabbing. Go to one of the popular search engines, type in Free Classifieds, and surf to the top 20 classified sites for beginners.

Often, these sites will lead you to several other Free Classified Sites. In response you’ll get a stack of e-mail thanking you for listing your site while barking their promo. Best to get one of those free email accounts. Hot mail is a good one. So is Yahoo mail.

FFA Pages. Free For All’s are worth a try. Be prepared for a avalanche of e-mails from FFA web site owners. If your title is attention grabbing you will get a few clicks. Good Attention grabbing headlines, FREE, Limited Time, Limited Offer, Proven, Secrets, and many more if you brainstorm. Check out the sales literature delivered to you by regular mail. Check and see what headlines grab your attention. And why? Incorporate them into your Online Ads.

Tell Friends And Family: If your friends, family, acquaintances, have an Internet Connection, e-mail them telling them about your new website, and ask them to visit often. Offer a FREE incentive if they tell a few friends to surf over. Perhaps, a FREE Ad in your e-zine.

Leave Business Cards or Flyers: Leave these promo pieces with small businesses in your community. All relevant contact information; Email address, URL, telephone number, should be included. Offer a freebie to anyone who visits your site. A free e-book, report.

== 8. IN CONCLUSION ==

Think of your first six months primarily as a training period. Do not expect large earnings until after you’ve educated yourself.

Even the most dynamic, highest-earning entrepreneurs in the industry took MONTHS to begin seeing an income of any real significance with their internet home business.

Do not be a negative thinker and do not let the negative attitudes of others (even if they’re family members, friends, or peers) influence you.

All the great men and women in history had to welcome the naysayers who said it could not be done – and then went out and did it. Think for yourself!

As long as you think positive and focused on your internet home business target you’re on the right way to a rich life, which is directed by you and it will lead you to tremendous success and personnal satisfaction.

Copyright © Michel Richer, The Internet Home Business Specialist

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PERMISSIONS TO REPUBLISH: This business article may be republished in its own free of charge, electronically or in print, provided it appears with the included copyright and author’s resource box with live website link.

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