Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rocky Mountaineer advises to Skip the FIVE $135 Christmas Sweaters and give it to them..... Really. Plan Canada's Gifts of Hope, is our destination!

UPDATE: December 6, 2012  LOL....  Cute? Unorthodox? Play on Words? "UNFARE" says Rocky Mountaineer (RM) which includes the phrase "One of the Top 10 Train Trips in the World" in the bottom left hand corner of their advertisement promoting their Vancouver-Whistler-Vancouver (V2W2V) for $135.

The Award(s), which is not clear to the reader, like how could RM's Vancouver-Whistler trip, of  just over 6 hours with an elevation gain of 700 metres be included in the Top Ten in the World, like, say, a trip to Peru's Machu Picchu where the train, operated by PeruRail, ends at Aguas Calientes, four miles short of Machu Picchu.  Here's a link to a virtual tour of Machu Picchu.  Not exactly like walking around the streets of Spectacular Whistler, but.... here's an "overture" link to Travel + Leisure... (third and second paragraphs from the bottom).

There are several Award issuers out there, maybe a hundred, of who's the best in the land, but there's no real way to compare from the three that we looked at, like World Travel Awards or Travel + Leisure or the Society of American Travel Writers... 2009.   There's probably hundreds of advise givers......

The supposition could be made that if a consumer were to look at all of the Rocky Mountaineer advertisements, they too would include the Award(s).   In fact, it was the trip of Vancouver to Calgary that was recognized by Travel + Leisure  in March of 2010.   There's one glitch, a backgrounder link to the Award(s) is missing in the current Ad in the Vancouver Sun, which is, cleared up in "Travel + Leisure" like this, and it wasn't awarded for V to W to V:

The original Rocky Mountaineer route from Vancouver to Calgary follows the 1885 Canadian Pacific train route through Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies. You’ll see pristine wilderness: black lava cliffs and canyons, glacial lakes, turbulent rivers, bighorn sheep, and maybe even a black or grizzly bear.
 Round-trip tickets from $1,441, including one night in Kamloops.


It's Christmas in nineteen days, so by all means, take in the ride to Whistler, five six months from now, instead of buying a sweater for YOURSELF.  It's all about Giving and Receiving!  Right?


Full Page Advertisements in the Vancouver Sun this week says it all: "Skip the Christmas sweater and give a stunning journey between Vancouver and Whistler".

We've got news for Rocky Mountaineer, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the long -------- drawn ------- out ------ lockout of it's employees.  It does have something to do with the company's contract wording whereby employees are now required to take a small to medium size portion of what they earn in tips, and turn it over to their Supervisors.... as if the Super's are underpaid by ...... Rocky Mountaineer, as well.    Or maybe the contract writing is there to ensure that employees who display the greatest of respect for passengers, work exceedingly long hours for passenger, will generate the greatest of tips, will get to stay employed.

Hypothetically, Supervisors should start a union, get locked out, and  then see how it feels to have Rocky Mountaineer tell them that the Tips that the Supers picked up from the Tips that their employees earned...... will be turned over to Rocky Mountaineer.... .

To travelers on the Vancouver to Whistler rail line run, the tips you are giving looks like that old childhood game of:
Anyone for "Go Fish"?    Like in:        Fish  Fish  Fish    

But that's how things are done in Canada, under Canadian Railway contract negotiations.  It was different when BC Rail owned the railway line operations, which seemed that it would go on forEVER, to now  having been told, by Gordon Campbell that we should look upon ourselves as being "proud parents" of a once noble idea, but like adult children still living at home, it was time for us to downsize.  downsize meant Selling assets.   And that's what the BC Liberals have been doing, selling and telling Crown Corporations to create Billion Dollar Deferral Accounting hijinks, for the past eleven years!

Do you want to put yourself in a proper mood for this topic today????  how about listening to the "Tracks" of music and lyrics via  Steel Rail Blues (Gordon Lightfoot) on YouTube .....


We would have thought that the brighter lights in Gordon Campbells's government, including the current premier Christy Clark, would have insisted on a "toll" for every rail car that rolled past a given point, on a given line, which we own, each way...... but no, they chose to apply a toll on Bridges, probably Tunnels, and Highways that we use.

CN Rail got the line for just under $ 1 Billion and we got the Port Mann Bridge for $3.1 Billion but the kicker to us is that we have to pay the $3.1 Billion back, plus mounting interest rates for the next 100 Years.

CN Rail, no tolls.

ME tolled.

YOU tolled.

BC LIBERAL politicians (Retired) or (Lost) or ( Gave up) NOT TOLLED.


As to the Advertisement, just how much does a sweater cost today?  $139?   The Ad says that readers should "HURRY .... OFFER ENDS SOON"..... and "SPACE IS LIMITED", so why spend all that money on advertising?   Sounds similar to the real estate signs, selling Condos.... 25% Sold!!!! but, technically the Twenty Five per cent were sold, but in reality the deal was that once 60% were really sold, the original 25 percenters with suites never occupied to maintain the freshness, would flip their condos back to the developer, with a nice chunk a change to boot.


The deal from Rocky Mountaineer is that for us, and them-four-other-guests that we provide to Rocky Mountaineer, we HAVE to give up our FIVE sweaters that would have lasted our lifetime, and the memories too of seeing us all wearing matching sweaters on December 25th, for ONE train ride, return of course.   The "Trip" happens between May 17 & September 25, 2013 between the hours of:

11:45am and 2:45pm (Three hours)
 "Whistler Free Time"  2:45pm to 7pm
7pm to an undetermined, not stated time

Just so you know the there is no such thing as FREE TIME in Whistler, and it takes a good half hour, closer to an hours, to run/taxi/cycle/stroll from train station to Whistler and another half hour from Whistler to the Train Station AND load.

The Company reserves the right to enforce designated seating that all passengers can enjoy seeing Howe Sound to the west, a Rock wall to the EAST.


A BBC Post from June of 2011 shows Rocky Mountaineer being right off of the map with their version of an "Enbridge" rendering.   A lot of energy went into the artist's work, under the direction of Mountaineer PR guys....... and got it wrong.  Oh So Terribly Wrong.  The maps have since been pulled.   The maps, once supplied to unsuspecting travelers from around the world, have been deleted.  There is a new heading under Routes, called Destination, which lists off  five lines of thought, but none showing the exact route.   Curious, is it possible to Off-Road on a train.


In closing, with the Thought of Christmas and what means to OUR family, we don't give out large expensive one day of pleasure generators Like that which is being suggested by Rocky Mountaineer, especially with the great unknown is lurking just around the corner.... A made in American Financial Cliff

Enough said, except to say, that for the past Thirty-Eight years we have been buying into Plan Canada  for those overseas who are more in need of our support.   For the last Four years we have forgone the pleasure of spending our money on large ticket items, not rail tickets, and gone back to Plan Canada by purchasing Gifts of Hope.

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