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Cruise News

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line


Paving the way for the biggest adventure yet, Royal Caribbean International has announced the world’s largest cruise ship, Wonder of the Seas, will debut in the U.S. and Europe. The highly anticipated ship is set to sail from its home in Fort Lauderdale to the Caribbean on March 4, 2022, before making its way to Barcelona and Rome to kick off summer vacations in May. Families and travelers alike have a new wave of possibilities across Wonder’s eight distinct neighborhoods, an Oasis Class first, that include all-new features such as the Suite Neighborhood, a cantilevered pool bar named The Vue, and Wonder Playscape an interactive, open-air kids’ play area with awe-inspiring views. With returning favorites also on deck, like The Ultimate Abyss, the tallest slide at sea; Central Park, the neighborhood filled with real plants from end to end; and the vibrant Caribbean-inspired pool deck experience, the innovative, new ship invites adventurers of all ages to reimagine, explore and make memories once again.


At the heart of every Oasis Class ship is a combination of unmatched signature features and experiences found from one neighborhood to the next, including the tallest slide at sea, The Ultimate Abyss; the newly designed, dedicated kids and teens spaces at Adventure Ocean, Social100 and The Patio; the FlowRider surf simulator, twin rock-climbing walls and the ten-decks-high zip line. From riding the carousel in the family favorite Boardwalk neighborhood – inspired by renowned boardwalks like Coney Island – to fine dining in Central Park, and the variety of restaurants and showstopping entertainment in between, no day on board will be the same.


The action-packed ship will deliver multiple ways to adventure with 7-night sailings to the Eastern and Western Caribbean from Fort Lauderdale, visiting tropical destinations like Cozumel, Mexico; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; San Juan, Puerto Rico, and more. No matter the itinerary guests choose, every sailing will visit Royal Caribbean’s private island destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay, for a day of thrill and chill unlike any other. May will see an early start to summer family vacations when the wondrous Oasis Class ship heads for the Mediterranean to take center stage for its inaugural European season. From Barcelona and Rome on 7-night Western Mediterranean cruises, travelers have memorable vacations in store as they sail to the sparkling shores of Europe’s most iconic and historic destinations, such as Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Capri, Italy.


photo credit: Royal Caribbean International


Carnival Cruise Line


With Carnival Dream and Carnival Glory resuming guest operations on September 19, Carnival Cruise Line now has 11 ships – representing half of its U.S. fleet – sailing again.


Beginning with its return to guest operations on July 3 with Carnival Vista, the line is operating from seven U.S. homeports including Miami, Galveston, Seattle, Port Canaveral, Long Beach, Baltimore and New Orleans, providing guests with a wide range of options to get Back to Fun.


Carnival Dream became the third Carnival ship to operate year-round from Galveston with a six-day Caribbean cruise, while Carnival Glory is the first ship to set sail from the Port of New Orleans, operating a seven-day voyage to The Bahamas.


With 11 ships already in guest operations, including the introduction of Carnival’s newest and most innovative ship, Mardi Gras, additional vessels will resume service throughout the fall and into early 2022 as the line’s successful restart of operations continues.


Princess Cruise


Princess is extending their pause in cruise vacations in Australia/New Zealand to January 27, 2022, due to the uncertainty around the return of cruising in the region. As a result, Royal Princess and Sapphire Princess seasons through to March 2022 are being cancelled.

  • Coral Princess through January 17, 2022

  • Royal Princess through March 9, 2022

  • Sapphire Princess through April 8, 2022

  • April 29, 2022 Pacific Coastal Cruise on Sapphire Princess


Due to operational restrictions they have decided to sail in Hawaii starting in January. Princess has replaced their Hawaii cruises up to and including December 22, 2021 with alternative itineraries sailing from Los Angeles and San Francisco through this period.


American Cruise Lines


American Cruise Lines is pleased to announce the brand new American Symphony, scheduled for its inaugural Mississippi River cruise season in the summer of 2022. This new modern riverboat features a whole new interior aesthetic, celebrating all things American and evoking a sense pride and appreciation for U.S. history and culture.


American Symphony will accommodate 175-passengers and will be one of the most sophisticated and elegant riverboats available on U.S. waters. Showcasing a gorgeous sky-lit atrium, multiple indoor and outdoor lounges, a fitness center, grand dining room, casual outdoor cafe, and a dramatic open-air skywalk, American's newest ship will also feature 100% private-balcony staterooms and suites.


photo credit: American Cruise Lines


MSC Cruises


This winter MSC Cruises is offering a rich and varied winter program with a choice of different ships and itineraries and guests can choose a winter holiday with the confidence that MSC Cruises’ industry-leading protocol is in place to safeguard their health. Introduced in August 2020, the protocol has since protected the health of tens of thousands of guests during their cruise holidays on board one of MSC Cruises ships. This winter, MSC Cruises has worked with the authorities in all of the regions and countries in which the ships will operate to ensure its protocol meets and exceed the required health and safety measures.

For the winter program, MSC Cruises will require guests to provide relevant documentation at embarkation in line with the travel requirements such as a negative test result, proof of vaccination and COVID insurance documentation.


Where proof of vaccination is required, this applies to guests aged 12 years and above with a complete set of vaccine shots received more than 14 days before the start of the cruise, with one of the approved vaccinations accepted by the authorities in the different regions. Guests aged from two years to 11 years inclusive, need to provide proof of a negative RT-PCR test.

Many of the destinations that MSC Cruises ships will call require guests to have a COVID-19 insurance policy as such MSC Cruises will require this as a mandatory requirement for all guests. The insurance needs to cover against COVID-19 related risks, i.e. cancellation, interruption, repatriation expenses, quarantine, medical assistance and related expenses, as well as hospitalization and it is important that this includes coverage in the case of being a close contact.


Guests who are fully vaccinated will be able to go ashore independently according to the requirements of the countries they will visit. Those guests who are not fully vaccinated or who have children in their travelling party, will need to go ashore with an MSC Cruises protected shore excursion.


To enable guests to return home in compliance with the various national regulations, it is possible for guests to purchase and perform an RT-PCR or an antigen test during their cruise if this is required for them to return to their home country. This service is booked and paid for on board and is organized through the Medical Centre.


As the situation is dynamic and subject to change by the different countries, it is important that guests carefully check the travel regulations at the time of booking and at the time of travel are according to their country of origin and destination as well as checking with their airline.


MSC Grandiosa, photo credit: MSC Cruises


Disney Cruise Line


The Disney Wonder will resume sailing November 19, 2021, from Galveston, Texas, with a variety of Western Caribbean cruises, including stops in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.


Please note that 6-night sailings on November 23, December 7 and 31, 2021 will now visit Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico instead of Key West, Florida and Disney Castaway Cay.


Additionally, the 6-night sailing on December 21, 2021 will now visit Progreso, Mexico, instead of George Town, Grand Cayman.


Finally, the 6-night sailing on January 14, 2022 will now visit Cozumel, Mexico, and George Town, Grand Cayman, instead of Key West, Florida, and Disney Castaway Cay.


Theme Park News


Walt Disney World


The inaugural voyage of Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser at Walt Disney World Resort will depart March, 1, 2022! General bookings for this immersive adventure in a galaxy far, far away will open less than one month from now, on October 28, 2021.


Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is a first-of-its-kind vacation experience that goes beyond anything Disney has created before. Guests will become the hero of their own Star Wars story during this two-night adventure, traveling the galaxy in style aboard the Halcyon starcruiser and eventually making their way to the Outer Rim for a planetside excursion to Batuu. Guests choose how to make their way in the galaxy – maybe as a member of the Resistance, or by learning the ancient ways of the Jedi lightsaber. Maybe Guests prefer loyalty to the First Order or the excitement of living life like a smuggler? The decisions are up to them.


Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, will debut in Epcot in 2022. Our friends from Xandar will open the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at EPCOT next year, inviting us on an intergalactic chase through space and time!


Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a family-friendly adventure, featuring a totally new type of roller coaster experience they’re developing just for this attraction – it’s a storycoaster that rotates 360 degrees so you’re always focused on all the action as you help the Guardians save the galaxy. Not only that, but Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will also feature the first reverse launch on a coaster in Disney history and is one of the longest enclosed coasters in the world. It’s a massive experience that will match the scale and adventure of the Guardians of the Galaxy films.


photo credit: Disney Destinations


Disney Genie is officially launching on October 19th! Available for all guests right in the My Disney Experience app, the complimentary Disney Genie service offers new features that let guests create their best Disney day. These features include a personalized itinerary creator that effortlessly and smartly maps out an entire day inspired by the things guests love – helping them make the most of their park time so they can have more fun.


With this launch, they’ll also be introducing the Lightning Lane entrance. Available for purchase through Disney Genie+ add-on at more than 40 attractions – or individually, “a la carte” at some of the most highly demanded attractions – the Lightning Lane entrance can save guests time waiting in line.


* For the full article on Disney Genie, check out my blog on http:www.mainstreettotheworld.com.


Disneyland Resort


A special new shop will be opening soon at Disneyland park! It’s an all-new holiday store called Plaza Point, coming to the corner of Main Street, U.S.A., and East Plaza Street.


This Victorian-era space will envelop Guests in the warmth of the holidays as soon as they step into the wood-paneled space decorated with garlands, nutcrackers and festive décor! Careful observers will notice displays that reflect seasonal holidays around the world and their ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Once the store opens, Guests will see a variety of holiday goods available to purchase for themselves or as gifts for family and friends including ornaments, housewares, linens and accessories. And Guests will want to visit throughout the year because other holidays like Hanukkah, Lunar New Year, Spring and Easter, and Fall and Halloween will be reflected in merchandise and store decor at appropriate times, along with Christmas-themed merchandise year-round.


photo credit: Disney Destinations

Through November 2nd, guests of the Disneyland Resort can celebrate Dia de los Muertos.


In Disney California Adventure Park, Plaza de la Familia is an immersive homage to the celebration. Here Guests will enjoy live entertainment with storytelling, folklórico dancers, Mariachi musicians, and delicious Mexican fare.


In Disneyland Park, be sure to visit the traditional Día de los Muertos display at El Zócalo Park in Frontierland. This colorful display features marigolds and banners of papel picado, along with two traditional “ofrendas,” sugar skulls known as “cavaleras” and an iconic figure of La Catrina.


Universal Studios Orlando


Holidays at Universal will be beginning November 13th through January 2nd.


Catch larger-than-life balloons floating through the streets of Universal Studios Florida, along with appearances by the Minions from Illumination’s Despicable Me and some of your favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation’s Shrek and Madagascar films.


During the holiday season, Seuss Landing™ is decorated with the holiday charm and cheer of Dr. Seuss's Who-ville. Get together with the resident Whos and put a little snark in your holiday spirit with The Grinch™. Enjoy the music and fun of The Grinchmas™ Who-liday Spectacular, plus meet the maven of mischief himself for a photo opportunity at All The Books You Can Read Bookstore.


Join the celebration as Hogwarts™ castle lights up for the holidays and festive decor brightens up the streets of Hogsmeade™ in Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Diagon Alley™ in Universal Studios Florida. Enjoy a hot Butterbeer™ while both the Frog Choir and Celestina Warbeck and the Banshees put a holiday spin on their performances.


Prices, times, dates, entertainment, event and/or experience details are subject to changes and/or cancellation without notice.




Universal Studios Hollywood


Beginning October 7, all persons ages 12+ must be prepared to show proof of full FDA or WHO approved COVID-19 vaccination (a full 14 days after final dose was administered), or a negative test taken within 72 hours of visit, prior to entry to the theme park. Persons ages 18+ must also show photo ID. Verification will take place when required based on theme park attendance.


Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings are required to be worn at all times, both indoors and outdoors, when visiting the theme park. At Universal CityWalk, face coverings are required to be worn indoors.


Guests under the age of 12 are not required to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, but, like all attendees ages 2+, will be required to wear a mask at all times inside the theme park.


In the World News


Dominican Republic


The all-new Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana, in the Dominican Republic will be fully open November 1, 2021. In addition to enjoying unparalleled access to one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful beaches, guests can also look forward to world-class cuisine, top-notch cocktails and activities the whole family will enjoy.


Guests’ experience is their top priority. That’s why, as part of their Book with Confidence Opening Guarantee, in the event the hotel does not open as scheduled on November 1, 2021, guests will have the opportunity to choose from any of the following options:

  • Keep their original dates of travel, protect their stay at Azul Beach Resort Punta Cana and, receive a return stay certificate at Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana, equal to their original reservation.

  • Rebook for a later arrival date at Margaritaville Island Reserve Cap Cana.

  • Change the destination and rebook to Margaritaville Island Reserve Riviera Cancun in Mexico for the original travel dates and original length of stay.

photo credit: Karisma Hotels & Resorts


Globus Family of Brands


The Globus family of brands – consisting of Globus, Cosmos, Avalon Waterways and Monograms – announced that it will extend its pre-trip Health & Safety Protocols, including requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to join any vacation in its portfolio, for travel through March 2022.


Moving forward, the Globus family of brands will advise all travelers of vaccine implications or changes with advance notice. For the current policy – in place through March 2022 – all Globus, Cosmos, Avalon Waterways and Monograms travelers need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, completed at least 14-days prior to embarkation.

The Globus family of brands accepts vaccines authorized or approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC) or an official government body.


Playa Hotels & Resorts


Playa Hotels & Resorts has officially entered a strategic alliance agreement with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts to create a dedicated all-inclusive brand focused on the midscale to upper-midscale segment, Wyndham Alltra.


The new brand’s name “Alltra” is born from the brand promise of “All-Inclusive Travel for All,” keeping with Wyndham’s mission of delivering exceptional experiences to the everyday traveler. Wyndham Alltra creates an all-inclusive resort experience that is distinct to the upper-midscale segment, offering upscale food and beverage, services, amenities and activities with an expressive local flavor at an exceptional value. The brand will feature both family-friendly and adults-only resorts in the Caribbean and other resort destinations.


The first two resorts set to debut in December 2021 under the Wyndham Alltra brand are Playa’s 458 room Wyndham Alltra Cancun located in the heart of the Hotel zone with its 10 upscale restaurants, bars, lounges and pools, and the 287 room Wyndham Alltra Playa del Carmen in the heart of Playa Del Carmen featuring unlimited gourmet dining just steps from Fifth Avenue with its bars, restaurants and high-end shops.



Mexico


Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Playa Hotels & Resorts N.V. announced the opening of Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun, an all-inclusive family-friendly resort. Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun is the newest addition to the award-winning Hyatt Ziva portfolio, growing its footprint of effortless, all-inclusive experiences in Mexico. Playa Hotels & Resorts will operate the new resort to deliver a new level of sophistication and service from the heart to the destination’s all-inclusive market.


Situated near the world-famous Cancun Hotel Zone, the 438-room Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun resort is nestled between the crystalline waters of the Caribbean Sea and the lagoon of Bahia Petempich. The new resort invites guests of all ages to connect with one another and ignite their senses with dramatic ambiance, vibrant cuisine, local culture, and state-of-the-art amenities amid an elevated resort atmosphere.


- Unique room accommodations: The resort boasts luxurious and spacious suites with private balconies featuring stunning ocean views and special touches, including spa-like bathrooms with rainfall showers, hot tubs, turndown service, high-tech entertainment and complimentary minibars.

- Expansive food and beverage offerings: Hyatt Ziva Riviera Cancun offers a variety of amenities including 17 globally inspired and locally authentic restaurants, bars, and lounges.

- Water fun for everyone: Enjoy nine swimming pools including an ocean-view pool and a sprawling water park with tall slides and a kid's pool.

- Wellbeing experiences: The resort also features a fitness center with state-of-the-art amenities, and a two-story Zen Spa inspired by pre-Hispanic Mayan culture with 13 indoor and eight outdoor treatment rooms designed to reflect the breathtaking, natural scenery.

photo credit: Playa Hotels & Resorts


Antigua


Antigua recently announced new travel restrictions on U.S. travelers.


Starting October 1, all passengers age 18 and over must be fully vaccinated or have at least one dose of an approved two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Children under the age of 18 years are exempt from this requirement.


In addition, all arriving travelers must present a negative PCR test taken within four days of arrival. Children under five are exempt. Fully vaccinated passengers who present verifiable documentation of their vaccination and/or test can stay at certified accommodations. At least two weeks must have passed since the administration of the full vaccine dosage. Partially vaccinated travelers will only be allowed to stay at COVID-19 certified accommodations.


Partially vaccinated travelers are required to quarantine for 14 days. Travelers who arrive without a COVID-19 test result or incorrect test results will be charged for the cost of a PCR test.


All arriving travelers must complete a Health Declaration form, which will be distributed on the plane, and submit to a temperature check.








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