This podcast is probably the least professional of several that I’ve listened to. The two hosts are a husband and wife team, Bruce and Yaling Fischer, the owners of Hawaii-Aloha Travel. The podcast is essentially an advertisement for their agency, not that I have a problem with them wanting to promote their company, but often they spend much of the time on advertising and not on more useful content. A podcast will typically be 2 or so minutes of introduction/advertising, 10 minutes of “content”, finished with 8 minutes of reviewing recently booked trips through their agency (which Bruce tries to talk up as a really fun game!). The review time is very self serving, as Bruce is always amazed how “great” the deals are.
Ya Ling speaks broken English, which is very difficult to understand including for Bruce who often is lost at her weak attempts at jokes. When Bruce is talking, she’ll often make comments in the background which she’ll laugh at with her piercing laugh. When she is talking, Bruce will often have to stop her to clarify or restate what she said so that it can be understood and so that it is accurate information. She often mispronounces words, and shows that 15+ years in America haven’t helped her learn to add an ‘s’ at the end of plural nouns. Though, for as long a Bruce has lived in Hawai’i, one would expect him to be a bit better with his Hawaiian pronunciations, which are incorrect at times. I am not bigoted, I simply want to listen to correct pronunciations and voices more suitable for podcasting.
Bruce can be very condescending with his commentary. He mocks questions people ask (I’m sure he hears some questions repeatedly, and I’m sure some are off the wall, but is fairly intolerant of ignorance). They mentioned a question on air about whether it was possible to visit Pearl Harbor and the Dole Plantation using public transportation. A polite response would be to say that it is possible, but explain that it would take a long time and inconvenient. Instead the response was initially laughter and then to “spring a little bit” “it’s Christmas…dig a little deeper” and “no wonder they want to go to Pearl Harbor, it’s free.” Nice and judgmental. They continued to scoff at their hotel preferences, saying that those were cheap. He was probably upset that his commission would be smaller. Maybe not everyone can afford a 5 star vacation and want to save money. Just a thought. Speaking of star ratings, they often add a star to the ratings saying that a certain property is rated better than it really is. They talk up many less than exciting properties due to deals that they have as travel agents with those properties. They are a business and are trying to inflate their bottom line, but at times it is beyond excessive.
They are rather easily distracted and end up on tangents. The tangents are rarely informative; usually they revolve around what their plans are when they are done with the podcast (“should we go to the gym? I’m feeling fat…[insert two minute conversation about whether they are fat.])
Perhaps the most entertaining aspect of the podcast is how impressed with themselves they are. They mock attractions and celebrities as if someone who cares is listening. They have talked about Donald Trump and William Shatner as if those two listen to the podcast and will somehow be affected by the criticism of two travel agents. But maybe Bruce is a big deal. After all, he is so important that he doesn’t have to be concerned with the contact information of his staff of agents, frequently requiring Yaling to provide him with the right information.
I did not want to judge this podcast on only one or two episodes, so I suffered through several of them, which I feel has given me a more accurate view of the true quality of this podcast. If you are looking for a travel agent, they may provide good service, but if you are looking for a good podcast, keep looking.