Travel Blog - Morris Murdock Travel - Cruises, Vacations, Tours & More

My husband and I recently returned from a fantastic Viking River cruise on the Rhone River in the South of France. The area is known as “France’s Hidden Corner” and is full if hidden treasures and breath-taking Scenery. It is pretty serious Wine country, but I was pleasantly surprised to find there was so much more to this region. We found Roman ruins, castles and fortresses to explore everywhere we went. Art and culture is important to the locals and plenty of it to enjoy. The cities and towns were charming and had great shopping…and did I mention the food? The food was fantastic…both on the ship and off. We loved the small Bakery’s on every corner…and didn’t pass up many of them.

I have had the opportunity to cruise with 3 River cruise Companies: Viking River Cruises: (Rhone River in France, Lyon to Avignon), Uniworld River Cruise: (Netherlands, Antwerp to Amsterdam) AMA Waterways: (Danube, Vilshofen Germany to Budapest). All 3 companies were awesome and I would recommend them.

Here are some of my favorite and least favorite things about each.

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Over the course of our history, our Company has welcomed several new Family Members, with AirTran Airways being the most recent.  In 1994, a similar integration took place when Morris Air of Salt Lake City became part of the Southwest system.  With the addition of Morris Air, Southwest was able to enter 20 new markets in seven states.  This represented the largest growth of its kind in our Company’s 22-year history.

2_0Morris Air originally started as a charter airline in 1984 and was founded by travel agency owner June Morris.  The travel agency (Morris Travel) saw tremendous growth in the 1970s in the wake of airline deregulation, as the airlines were able to slash fares and make deals with high volume travel agencies.  Morris saw an opportunity to enter the leisure travel market as a charter flight operator.  Doing business as Morris Air Service, the first charter flight was from Salt Lake City to Hawaii.  The company quickly expanded to 14 flights a week to six destinations such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, and Anchorage. At a time when the cost of air travel in the region started to soar, Morris helped keep airfare in check.  An example of this was the Anchorage–Seattle Market, where other carriers’ fares ranged between $418 and $741.  Morris’ highest fare was $399 for a walk-up ticket.

3 smallerIn 1992, Morris began to take steps towards exiting the charter market and starting a scheduled airline service when it pursued financing to purchase its first 737-300s.  Flights prior to that often utilized aircraft operated by Sierra Pacific, Ryan, and Continental Airlines.  The company officially took to the skies as its own airline on December 2 that year as Morris Air, following a successful run of eight years as a charter operator.  With a business model very similar to that of Southwest, Morris Air continued to be successful as a low-cost, “no-frills” airline.  The airline’s first president was David Neeleman, who also went on to be the founder of a number of other airlines, such as JetBlue and Azul.  June Morris served as CEO.  Morris Air initially provided service to 25 western cities with 1,200 employees.

In late 1993, Morris Air continued to grow throughout the west with service to 22 markets.  With ambitions of expanding our network, Southwest announced an 4 smaller_0acquisition of Morris on December 13, 1993.  Following Department of Justice approval, the acquisition was completed only 18 days later on New Year’s Eve.  In classic Southwest style, a “wedding” in Las Vegas was officiated by “Elvis” himself on February 17, 1994, forever joining the two companies.

Morris Air continued to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary for much of 1994.  June Morris joined Southwest Airlines as a Board Member, where she remained until her retirement in 2006.  The integration was completed on October 4, 1994 when Boise, Tucson, and Salt Lake City were converted to Southwest cities.  The merger was viewed by many as one of the most successful in the history of the industry.

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Article originally posted on SouthWestAirCommunity.com on January 1, 2017.

Being a mother of 3 in a chaotic household sometimes you just need to get away from the constant meal prep, never ending pile of laundry and the nonstop need of 3 great kids. What better way to get away than 7 days of sailing the Pacific Ocean on the beautiful Ruby Princess. Imagine having your meals prepared for you, laundry service, and some relaxing time reading that book you never seem to get to. My Husband and I decided that was exactly what the both of us needed, dropped the kids with Grandma and flew to LAX to board our ship.

Our trip began as we landed in LAX and the Princess Representatives was there to greet us. As we boarded the bus that would take us to the ship we worried that maybe we were a little young for the cruising demographic. It didn’t take long after we got on the ship to realize we would fit in just fine and there were plenty of people of all ages.

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My husband I decided to celebrate our 30 year anniversary in Hawaii. He had never been and I have been to Oahu and Maui so we decided on Kauai. Over the years I have sent many, many clients to Kauai and have a few favorite resorts.

I decided on the Kauai Marriott Resort on Kalapaki Bay. The Marriott is a first class resort set on a beautiful beach right where the cruise ships dock. The rooms are very large and the service and amenities are second to none. Kauai is a very lush and tropical island with many beautiful beaches. Some of the highlights while touring the island were Anini Beach on the North shore, the boat ride through the Fern Grotto, absolutely stunning and of course Waimea Canyon, a must see. We are hoping to return to Kauai again soon.