In the World News
The Government of Barbados has updated its protocols for travelers to enter the country as it is continuing to protect its citizens and visitors from Covid-19. In response to the global vaccination process, they have made changes to their testing and quarantine processes.
Effective May 8, 2021, fully vaccinated travelers (completed a full regimen of approved vaccinations more than two weeks prior to entry) must have a Covid-19 PCR test three days prior to arrival, have a 2nd Covid-19 PCR test upon arrival, and depending on test results, they may begin enjoying Barbados the same day or within one to two days once they have a negative test result.
A non-vaccinated visitor must have a Covid-19 PCR test three days prior to arrival, they must quarantine for five days after they arrive until they have a 2nd Covid-19 PCR test, and then must wait for test results. Travelers must spend the duration of their quarantine in an approved accommodation. Unvaccinated travelers are encouraged to reserve at least 7 nights of approved accommodations. After the traveler receives the negative test results from the second test, they may then enjoy the country.
Travelers must bring copies of their test results and proof of vaccination to ensure they will be approved by officials. They must also complete a travel form at least 24 hours prior to arrival.
Travelers under the age of five are not required to have a Covid-19 PCR test unless they are symptomatic or if a member of their travel party tests positive.
Children under 18 who are traveling with fully vaccinated guardians will be allowed to adhere to the fully vaccinated traveler guidelines.
photo credit: Sandals Barbados
The Grantly Adams Airport in Barbados will remain closed due to the continuing cleanup of ash and dust on the roads, runways, approaches, and terminals from the La Soufriere volcano eruption in St. Vincent. They are hoping to reopen in the next week. The regularity and strength of the eruptions have decreased, however they are still subject to the winds continuing to blow ash on the island. Officials are bringing in 1,500 additional workers to supplement their cleanup crews. Barbados has 960 miles of roads, and they must be cleaned and made safe to drive on. They intend to have the island cleaned before the start of hurricane season on June 1st due to the risk of ash clogging drains and causing flooding.
At Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, Disney’s Moana will be making appearances at the resort once again. This beloved character has been a favorite with guests so be on the lookout while visiting the resort.
Aulani Resort is a vacation paradise with a touch of Disney Magic, which is why so many Disney friends love spending time there. Mickey Mouse and his pals, Angel and Stitch and the music-loving ‘Olu Mel are just some of the Disney friends guests can spot as they enjoy some Hawaiian-style fun in the sun.
When guests escape to Aulani Resort, they’ll find a one-of-a-kind Disney experience in Hawai’i with something for everyone.
Reservations for Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa are now available through 2022.
At Disney's Vero Beach Resort, the Tiger Lily Wet Play Area will be closed for refurbishment from September 7 through November 2021. The nearby Vero Beach Feature Pool and Pirate's Plunge Pool Slide will remain open for guests.
Governor Cuomo has updated the protocols for travelers entering New York. With the exception of healthcare workers, there is no longer a Covid-19 testing or quarantine requirement for travelers coming from another US state into New York. However, the state does recommend that unvaccinated domestic travelers get tested within 3 to 5 days after travel unless they have recovered from Covid-19. The state is also recommending that travelers consider self-quarantining for 7 to 10 days.
Anyone entering New York who has spent more than 24 hours in any state, country, or territory except for the border states (New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Vermont) must complete the New York State Traveler Health Form. All travelers must also monitor their symptoms daily for 14 days after their arrival in New York. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, you must immediately self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider.
Sandals Royal Plantation in Ocho Rios, Jamaica has reopened. This is Sandals' only all-butler, all-suite resort, and it features all ocean view suites situated on a bluff along the scenic Northern Coast of Jamaica. Guests may enjoy casual island elegance and feel the Jamaican vibe in this boutique resort, and it is the ultimate retreat for those seeking luxury and tranquility. The resort includes a private beach along a protective coral reef, five extraordinary restaurants, Jamaica’s only caviar and champagne bar, personalized butler service, green fees to nearby Sandals Golf Club, and more.
photo credit: Sandals
Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa has reopened and has welcomed guests once again. It is located on the tranquil Anse Marcel Beach on the French side of the island known for it outdoor markets and French and local cuisine. This beautiful resort has luxurious suites that feature upscale amenities inspired by the island’s radiant surroundings. Guests may enjoy stunning ocean, marina and mountain views, several dining options, the largest infinity pool in the Western Caribbean, and a white sand beach bordering calm water.
Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa will also feature the CleanComplete Verification™ protocols on property. The 360-degree quality, safety and hygiene system takes into account every aspect of resort operations, backed by the highest-level third-party certification.
Theme Park News
Walt Disney World
The Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is featuring an immersive experience area, The Health Full Trail presented by AdventHealth. This area is comprised of three distinct sections along the Health Full Trail: the Play Full Garden, Mind Full Retreat and Flavor Full Kitchen. In the Play Full Garden, families may share some quality time in the play circles which allow for social distancing. Mind Full Retreat is a calm area designed for relaxation. Flavor Full Kitchen features health-inspired dishes.
Taste of EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival runs through July 5 and the Health Full Trail is available to guests from park open to dusk.
At Disney's Animal Kingdom, their mandrill family has expanded. First time parents Hazel and Linus welcomed a daughter on April 10, 2021. Cast members named the infant Ivy to fit in with the rest of her colorful family – Olive, Scarlett, and Snow.
Disney shared some interesting facts about these colorful animals. Mandrills typically have a six-month gestation period. In the mandrill social structure, females take on the majority of parental responsibilities, including grooming, nursing, and carrying the young. When guests spot the mandrills, they may see them grooming one another, a behavior that promotes social bonding.
While the new arrival weighed in between 1-2 pounds, mandrills are actually the largest species of monkey. They’re also a vulnerable species found in African rainforests along the equator where their habitat is disappearing because of deforestation and poaching.
photo credit: Disney Destinations
As everyone is eagerly waiting for the big reopening of the Disneyland Parks, Disney has reported some updates to attractions which will greet guests at the end of the month.
King Arthur Carrousel will feature a brightened version of the carrousel, sparkling with 14k gold leaf accents, vibrant details and bold colors. Each steed was hand repainted, and more than 30 colors were used. With each horse slightly different from one another, riders both young and young at heart can look forward to finding their perfect mount among the 68 leaping horses.
Snow White's Enchanted Wish, which has been reimagined from Snow White’s Scary Adventures, will be Disneyland park’s only ride-through princess attraction. Enhanced story details and all-new scenes, combined with state-of-the-art audio and visual technology, help to reimagine how Snow White lives happily ever after.
New Attraction Poster, photo credit: Disney Destinations
As the Disneyland Parks reopen, guests will be able to find many of their food favorites, such as hand-dipped corn dogs at Little Red Wagon and Award Wieners, DOLE Whips at the Tropical Hideaway, and CHURROS! Guests can look for fluffernutter, s’mores, strawberry cheesecake, milk & cookies, and the original cinnamon sugar at various churro carts in both parks. They also kept popular items from A Touch of Disney like the 1/2 Monte Cristo, Brisket Mac ‘n Cheese, and S’mores Shake at Smokejumpers Grill.
For added convenience and to promote contactless payment, guests should download or update the Disneyland mobile app, as this is the primary way to order food and beverages at most quick-service dining locations.
Lamplight Lounge, Café Orleans, and other full-service locations will open with limited seating capacity for guests with confirmed theme park reservations and tickets for the same park on the same date. The Disneyland Resort is now offering mobile check-in and mobile wait-list at select full-service locations, available on the Disneyland mobile app.
Mobile Check-In for Dining Reservations: Guests can maximize their time—and minimize their contact with others—by checking in for dining reservations at select table-service restaurants via the Disneyland mobile app.
Join a Mobile Dine Walk-Up List: Guests now have the opportunity to add their party to the mobile walk-up list at select table-service restaurants (subject to availability)
The Disneyland Resort will reopen dining bookings for select locations on April 22, 2021, with limited capacity. You will be able to book dining reservations 60 days in advance on Disneyland.com or with the Disneyland App, subject to availability.
Disneyland Parks will have several of their dining locations open on April 30th when the park reopens. Here is the current list:
Bengal Barbecue (mobile order available)
French Market Restaurant (mobile order available)
Galactic Grill (mobile order available)
Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor (mobile order available)
Jolly Holliday Bakery Café (mobile order available)
Little Red Wagon (mobile order available)
Milk Stand (mobile order available)
Mint Julep Bar (mobile order available)
Plaza Inn (mobile order available)
Red Rose Taverne (mobile order available)
River Belle Terrace
Ronto Roasters (mobile order available)
Ship to Shore Marketplace
Stage Door Café (mobile order available)
The Tropical Hideaway (mobile order available)
Various vending carts serving ice cream, popcorn, churros, beverages, snacks, and hot foods
Disney California Adventure Park
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats (mobile order available)
Award Wieners (mobile order available)
Cappuccino Cart – Gourmet Coffee (mobile order available)
Carthay Circle Lounge – Alfresco Dining
Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill (mobile order available)
Cozy Cone Motel (mobile order available)
Fiddler, Fifer & Practical
Flo’s V-8 Café (mobile order available)
Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop
Hollywood Lounge (mobile order available)
Pacific Wharf Distribution Co. (mobile order temporarily available through Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill)
Rita’s Baja Blenders (mobile order temporarily available through Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill)
Smokejumpers Grill (mobile order available)
Sonoma Terrace (mobile order available)
Studio Catering Co. (mobile order temporarily available through Hollywood Lounge)
Various vending carts serving ice cream, popcorn, churros, beverages, snacks, and hot foods
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa
Note: Only Guests staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa will be able to dine at these locations..
GCH Craftsman Bar
GCH Craftsman Grill (mobile order available)
Hearthstone Lounge (mobile order available)
Universal Orlando Resort
Universal Orlando Resort has sent out an update to impacted guests that Universal’s Endless Summer Resort – Surfside Inn and Suites has extended their suspension of business through May 31, 2021. Guests are being given the option to modify their reservation to the new Universal's Endless Summer Resort – Dockside Inn and Suites.
Universal Parks & Resorts
Universal Parks & Resorts has taken on a new project, beyond the theme parks, with the goal to help members of the community in Orlando. Universal has had a long belief in giving back to the community and in supporting their team members and their families. So they have created a first-of-its kind initiative to helping people by providing more affordable housing for those who need it. Universal Parks & Resorts has pledged 20 acres of land to be used exclusively for an affordable housing community that will feature approximately 1,000 high-quality apartments.
Universal’s Housing for Tomorrow initiative will provide economically diverse housing options as part of their commitment to healthy communities. Affordable housing is one of the community’s most significant challenges, and Universal Parks & Resorts is working to be part of the solution.
Universal will donate the land to a not-for-profit entity set up for building this housing, and that entity will work with the developer to ensure the property is used for affordable housing in perpetuity. Universal has managed the developer selection process, and they have selected a developer to design, build and manage an affordable housing community near the International Drive corridor, which is an area identified as high priority by Orange County’s Housing for All Task Force. Wendover Housing Partners, based in Altamonte Springs, has been selected after a months-long search, and they will work directly with Housing for Tomorrow, which will retain ownership of the site and serve as Master Developer. The two organizations have entered an agreement for a $10-a-year/55-year lease for the property. Housing for Tomorrow’s charter states its mission is: “Providing and preserving housing for low- and moderate-income people that is safe, secure and affordable in perpetuity.”
Universal Creative, which is the group within Universal Parks & Resorts that builds theme parks, attractions, and resorts, will work with Wendover on the overall plan for the development.
The site is approximately 20 acres and is located just east of the Orange County Convention Center and the International Drive area. It will be located in the heart of the tourist corridor, provide lake-front views, and have easy access to the airport, I-4, and area businesses. The goal is to break ground in 2022.
For more information, go to www.housingfortomorrow.com.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line has announced another sailing suspension. They have canceled all Disney Magic sailings departing from U.S. ports through October 9, 2021. Any guests impacted by this cancellation will have the choice of a 125% future cruise credit to be used for a future sailing on or before September 30, 2022, or a full refund of fares paid. The future cruise credit is subject to specific qualifications, and restrictions and exceptions may apply.
As a result of continued restricted access to worldwide destinations, Avalon Waterways has continued suspension of operations through June 15, 2021 for guests from the United States.
Given these circumstances, Avalon Waterways continues their program designed to give their travelers flexibility when considering their travel plans. Through this program, Avalon is allowing guests with bookings on any suspended travel dates to move dates easily.
Guests are free to move their booking on any suspended cruise to any Globus family of brands (Globus, Cosmos, Monograms or Avalon Waterways) vacation for any destination. If they are not ready to choose a new vacation, the full value paid will be provided via a Letter of Credit, redeemable for any future departure through 2022, and is transferrable.
To make the transition easier, this program includes an additional bonus credit of up to $200 per person in addition to the Letter of Credit, redeemable for any future travel through 2022:
Bonus credit of $200 for Avalon Waterways
Bonus credit of $100 for Globus
Bonus credit of $50 for Cosmos, Escapes by Globus & Monograms
To decline this offer and cancel, those with departures June 1-15, 2021 must advise Avalon Waterways by May 5, 2021.
For added flexibility for future travel plans, they are also offering a Peace of Mind Travel Plan, allowing guests to move their 2021 or 2022 booking to any other date, departure or brand up until the final payment date.
Peace of Mind Travel Plan offer valid for suspended departures through June 15, 2021. Refund in the form of a Letter of Credit, redeemable for travel departing by December 31, 2022. The new booking bonus will be in addition to the Letter of Credit amount. Letters of Credit not redeemable for cash and bonus amount not transferrable. Only one booking bonus per person can be applied per reservation. Suspended departures through June 15 may retain past promotional offers if rebooked by May, 5, 2021. Changes in airfare may apply, and the new booking is subject to any increase in vacation price for 2021 and 2022 travel. Offer may be withdrawn at any time and other restrictions may apply.
Cancellation refund for departures June 1-15, 2021 follow the trip cancellation procedure, including refund of monies paid to the Globus family of brands equal to the amount paid on the original booking. Departures June 1-15, 2021 must be advised by May 5, 2021 to receive a refund. Refunds may take up to 6 weeks for processing.
Avalon Envision, photo credit: Globus Family of Brands