We shared last week that Princess Cruises/Carnival Corporation sold the Pacific Princess, and I am happy to report that she has found a new home with Azamara Cruises as the fourth ship in their fleet. We also reported that Azamara was sold to Sycamore Partners from Royal Caribbean Group. The Pacific Princess will have an inaugural season in Europe in 2022. Her new name is yet to be announced.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line extends suspension of all departures through April and Select Disney Magic and Disney Wonder Sailings in May. Sailings are cancelled aboard the Disney Fantasy through April 24; the Disney Dream through April 30; the Disney Magic through May 6 and Disney Wonder through May 12.
MSC Grandiosa sailed from the port of Genoa, Italy to resume her seven-night Mediterranean cruises after a short pause during the holidays due to the Italian decree that restricted movement within the country. The ship began welcoming guests back on board in August 2020 and she has received very positive feedback.
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Royal Caribbean has extended their very popular Cruise with Confidence program. When booking on or before April 30, 2021 on a sailing departing through April 30, 2022, guests can make a cruise reservation with the comfort of knowing they can cancel up to 48-hours prior to the sail date in exchange for a 100% Future Cruise Credit. Plus, under this program, guests are eligible to take advantage of the Best Price Guarantee up to 48-hours prior to sailing, ensuring the best deal.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
Regent Seven Seas Cruises has announced a voluntary extended suspension of April 2021 voyages. Regent Reassurance has been extended for bookings made by February 28, 2021 on voyages departing through October 31, 2021.
Celebrity Cruises will have eight ships sailing in the Caribbean this winter and winter 2022, including its newest vessel, the Celebrity Apex. Typically, they would feature six ships in the Caribbean but they are increasing their Caribbean offerings due to increased demand. Celebrity Apex will be joining her sisters, Celebrity Edge, Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Millennium, Celebrity Silhouette, Celebrity Summit, Celebrity Constellation and Celebrity Reflection. The ships will homeport in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa and San Juan.
In the World News
Travelers are banned from all inbound travel from South Africa and Brazil due to COVID-19 concerns. The ban on travel from the United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe’s Schengen countries has also been extended. Travelers from those countries, and even U.S. travelers coming from those countries, would have to get tested for COVID-19 and quarantine for possibly up to 14 days.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced tougher restrictions on both inbound and outbound travelers to Canada. There will be a mandatory hotel quarantine on international visitors to Canada upon arrival, and Canada is discontinuing all airline service to Mexico and the Caribbean through April 30. On top of the pre-travel test that Canada already requires for entry, there will be mandatory PCR testing at airports for returning residents and arrivals. Travelers will have to wait up to three days at an approved hotel to get their test results, and the stays will be at their own expense. Once they receive a negative test result, they will be able to finish their quarantine at home under surveillance and enforcement. It is already a requirement for anyone entering Canada for nonessential purposes to present a negative COVID-19 test taken within the 72 hours prior and to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
AMResorts® branded properties will be extending the recently announced CleanComplete+ program as long as CDC and government travel regulations require COVID-19 testing prior to entrance after returning from international travel until further notice.
As part of CleanComplete+, guests may receive COVID-19 viral antigen testing on-property at no cost when traveling to valid countries including the U.S., U.K., Germany, and Poland. Test results will be received the same day in a format consistent with government requirements. Guests should contact the concierge at each resort upon arrival to schedule departure testing. A minimum 3-night stay is required to qualify.
For guests departing Costa Rica, viral antigen tests are not yet available, and facilitation of PCR tests will be coordinated on-property with additional cost to the guest.
For guests traveling to countries that do not accept the COVID-19 viral antigen test, CleanComplete+ includes facilitation of the required PCR test with an additional cost to the guest.
For guests traveling to ANY country with COVID-19 testing regulations in effect to enter the country after international travel, AMResorts® branded properties are also extending the CleanComplete+ quarantine program. If a guest receives a positive test while on property that prevents departure, the cost of quarantine at the property will be covered for up to 14 days after the original departure date. Extended stay due to quarantine includes the guest plus one travel companion sharing the same room. This program remains valid as long as CDC and government travel regulations are in place.
Theme Park News
Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World will be reopening Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park on March 7, 2021. One Day Disney Water Park tickets are now available for purchase for arrivals beginning March 7.
Like the other areas of Walt Disney World Resort, Guests and Cast Members will be welcomed back to Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park in a responsible way, with a plan focused on health and well-being. When Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park reopens, it will operate in alignment with the health and safety protocols implemented throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, including reduced capacity, temperature screenings, physical distancing markings and face coverings. Face coverings will be required in designated areas for each Guest age 2 and up, including but not limited to the park entrance and exit, retail areas, and food and beverage ordering areas. Face coverings will not be permitted while experiencing water slides or in the water. You may also remove your face covering while actively eating or drinking, but you should be stationary and maintain appropriate physical distancing.
At this time, a park reservation is not required to visit a water park, however, reservation requirements are subject to change. Water parks are subject to rehabilitation, seasonal, weather and capacity closures.
More details have come out for the Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival beginning on March 3rd.
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival 2018
· Throughout the park, guests will see gorgeous topiaries of Disney characters blooming to life in floral sculptures.
· Guests can soak in the sights of spring in 20 different garden areas all across EPCOT, including floating gardens on the waters of Future World, a bamboo garden in China, a tropical rainforest garden in Mexico, and the English Tea Garden Presented by Twinings of London in the United Kingdom (where Guests can also take a Self-Guided Tea Tour). Another picturesque spot is The Goodness Garden Butterfly House Presented by GoGo squeeZ. At Outdoor Escapes Presented by OFF! Repellents in Future World East, guests can unwind in refreshing spaces that show just how easy it is to create an outdoor escape for family and friends.
· Guests can embark on a mouth-watering journey around the park and discover a smorgasbord of options, with more than 20 delectable outdoor kitchens to choose from.
· Entertainment will be featured in World Showcase. Voices of Liberty will perform an all-American a cappella showcase. Mariachi Cobre takes the stage for a performance of world-famous Mexican folk music, and the Jammin’ Gardeners, will perform rhythmic beats with inspired backyard percussion.
· Spike’s Pollen-Nation Exploration Scavenger Hunt will be featured once again.
· As a special treat during the Easter season (March 19 – April 4), guests can also take part in the Egg-stravaganza Scavenger Hunt to find Disney pals and their oversized eggs all around World Showcase.
Kiki Tikis Splash Play Area will be undergoing refurbishment from February through March 2021. This work will require a full downtime of the water feature. During this time, Guests may enjoy the Lava feature pool and slide and the Oasis pool at Disney’s Polynesian Villas & Bungalows.
Last week, we reported that the M&M Store would be opening soon in Disney Springs. Well, soon came quickly because the store did open this weekend.