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Royal A-Holes

January 23rd, 2012

I usually keep this blog quirky or lighthearted, but I’m hot under the collar about an email I received this morning from Royal Caribbean:

Dear Shelley,

All of us at Royal Caribbean International continue to extend our heartfelt sympathies to those affected by Carnival Corporation’s recent tragic incident on the Costa Concordia. As a Crown & Anchor Society member and loyal Royal Caribbean guest, we know you may have some questions as the situation continues to unfold.

At Royal Caribbean International, the safety and security of our guests and crew is our highest priority. It is fundamental to our operations. Our maritime safety record over our 42-year history illustrates our commitment to the safety of the millions of guests and crew that sail on our ships. The measures we take in the interest of safety are many, often exceeding the regulatory requirements – these are all part of our ongoing commitment to innovation and continuous improvement in every aspect of our business.

To address some of your questions and concerns, here is a video that will provide an overview of safety onboard our ships; the training of our crew, officers and captains; and the many regulations that govern our practices. Click here to watch.

As a past cruiser, we know your friends and family may be asking about your own time at sea. We hope that you’ll share this video along with your personal Royal Caribbean experiences with them, and reinforce that cruising continues to maintain the best safety record of any industry in travel.

Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon on one of our ships sailing to 270 destinations worldwide.


Adam Goldstein
President and CEO
Royal Caribbean International

Are you serious, Mr Goldstein?!

If you were sincere in your efforts to comfort your customers and assure them that cruising is safe, you should not have included – in the FIRST SENTENCE of your email – that the Cost Concordia is affiliated with your competitor, Carnival. This is not an incidental mention. It’s an attempt to reassure your clientele that Royal Caribbean ships are safe, while planting the idea that other cruise lines might put their lives at risk.

And what’s worse, you did it before all of the bodies were recovered and identified, while families are still waiting for word on missing loved ones. While this picture is still on people’s screens.

And worst of all, you did it under the guise of soothing people’s potentially worried minds.

That’s bald, smug, vulgar opportunism, and quite transparent to boot.

I’m sure you really do want to reassure people. This was just the wrong way to do it.

Saudi Arabia: Methinks you doth protest too much.

August 2nd, 2011

Revolutions be damned – Saudi Arabia ain’t afraid.  In fact, they’re so not afraid that they’re spending $1.2 Billion dollars to build a giant, vaguely phallic symbol of a tower to indicate just how not afraid they are.


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia unveiled plans Tuesday to build the world’s tallest tower — a mixed-use structure that will rise two-thirds of a mile high — in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah.

“Building this tower in Jeddah sends a financial and economic message that should not be ignored,” Prince Alwaleed told reporters. “It has a political depth to it to tell the world that we Saudis invest in our country despite what is happening around us from events, turmoil and revolutions even.”

That’s right, world! Saudi Arabia isn’t afraid! Look at this giant building! See how it intimidates, and awes! It thrusts majestically upward to the sky! We have nothing to fear! Our leadership has complete confidence in its ability and stability!

Nothing to see here, folks.  Move along.

Jersey Shore & Austin? Say it Ain’t So.

April 26th, 2011

You may have heard some buzz about this. From here:

Lost in Austin | Now Casting

Giddy up Texas, time to show the rest of the country what getting REAL is all about!

When they say Don’t mess with Texas, they’re talking about you. Wherever you go, you make a name for yourself. You’ve always had the personality, the looks, the charm, and the style to stand out.

One of the Executive Producers behind “Jersey Shore” in conjunction with Badaddy Productions is now casting Texans who are at least 21 years old who have moved to Austin (or want to) for the party of a lifetime! We’re rounding up the biggest and baddest personalities to live it up in the ultimate Austin pad for a brand new docu-series.

Do you rule the bar scene, rope in the hottest of the hot, drink anyone under the table? We want to hear from you!

Is everything really bigger in Texas? Prove it. Time to go big, because going home isn’t an option.

Let’s show the country how Texans do it. Are you ready to get Lost in Austin?

NOW CASTING guys and girls who are from TEXAS to live it up in the heart of Downtown Austin!


I have a few thoughts:

1. Oh Dear God.

2. Wait a minute. Why Austin? The whole idea of Jersey Shore is that Jersey is New York’s trashier cousin. The show just won’t work if you’re setting it in the best city around. If we’re looking a casting pool teeming with shallow, douchey Texans, might I suggest looking about 200 miles north of Austin, instead? Especially based on the descriptions. “Wherever you go, you make a name for yourself.”….”Do you rope in the hottest of the hot?”…”Is everything really bigger in Texas?”…hmm.

Now, if the phrasing were more along the lines of “Do you have the tiniest glasses around? Do you listen to bands that don’t even exist yet? Do you enjoy knitting and wearing vegan scarves?”, then Austin’s your town. They could call it…oh wait. Portlandia already exists. NEXT.

3. Backlash. Remember Real World Austin? The film crew tried to bully bars into turning down music/turning up lights to make the production quality better, and were basically told to f*ck off. Austin’s relationship with its celebrities is casual and aloof, not clingy and starry-eyed.

4. Eh, I’ve run out of enthusiasm & outrage for this topic. Film it, don’t film it. Whatever.

Oh, You Shouldn’t Have. Really.

April 26th, 2011

My birthday was a couple of weeks ago, and the week before I received the following in the mail.

Oooh. A fabric pouch from Anthropologie. How sweet!


And look! Wee embroidered stars, and a star button!


More stars! And an astrological suspense builder! What could it be?

A coupon. For 15% off.

I appreciate a coupon as much as the next girl, but I’d like to propose an alternative: next year, dear Anthropologie, please skip the sewn, embroidered, and semi-personalized pouch and coupon, lower your dress prices a bit, and call it a day?