Travel News of the Week

In the World News


TSA has extended the requirement for passengers to wear face masks on planes, trains, buses, and all public transportation. The order was due to expire on May 11th, but it is now extended through September 3, 2021. Children under two and passengers with certain disabilities are exempt from the order.


Dominican Republic


Travelers to the Dominican Republic will no longer need to provide a negative PCR COVID-19 test upon arrival. Instead of a PCR test, airports and other ports of entry will perform a quick, aleatory breath test to between 3% and 15% of passengers as well as to anyone with symptoms upon arrival. Passengers under the age of five and crew members are exempt from this procedure. All passengers will also need to perform a temperature check. Passengers with symptoms or whose test results are positive will be isolated and attended at authorized locations.


Royalton Punta Cana, DR photo credit: Blue Diamond Resorts

France


President Emmanuel Macron released a new plan to reopen its borders to Americans and non-European Union visitors starting on June 9th. Travelers will be required to present a health passport that includes proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test taken recently. Also as of June 9th, restaurants will be allowed to resume normal service until 11pm, and events may occur with up to 5,000 attendees. They expect that the nighttime curfew will be lifted June 30th.


St. Kitts & Nevis


As of May 1, 2021, St. Kitts & Nevis will have updated travel requirements for fully vaccinated, international travelers arriving by air.

  • To be considered fully vaccinated, they must have had their final shot at least two weeks prior to arrival. The traveler’s official COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card will be accepted as proof, and it should be submitted when completing their travel authorization.

  • Vaccinated travelers will need to quarantine at a Travel Approved Hotel for only 9 days vs. the current 14 days.

  • Effective May 20, 2021 fully vaccinated air travelers will be allowed to enter the destination’s sporting venues.

  • The Travel Authorization Form must be completed at www.knatravelform.kn and a COVID-19 PCR negative test result from an approved lab taken 72 hours prior to travel should be uploaded with the Form. Travelers should bring a copy of the negative PCR test and their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card as proof of completion of their vaccination. Self-samples, rapid tests, or home tests will be considered invalid.

  • Vaccinated Travelers will have a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire. If the traveler is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 during the health screening, they can be required to undergo a PCR test at the airport at their own cost.

  • Vaccinated travelers are free to move throughout the Travel Approved hotel, interact with other guests and participate in hotel activities.

  • Any vaccinated travelers staying longer than 9 days are required to be tested on day 9 at their cost, and once their test is negative, they may move freely about the country.

All non-vaccinated travelers will continue to follow the current requirements:

  • Complete the Travel Authorization Form

  • Upload a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours prior to travel. They should also bring a copy of the negative test for their trip.

  • Undergo a health screening at the airport which includes a temperature check and a health questionnaire.

  • Visitors staying 1-7 days are free to move about the Travel Approved hotel property, interact with other guests and participate in hotel activities.

  • Visitors staying 8-14 days will undergo a PCR test at the traveler's cost on day 7. If the traveler tests negative, on day 8 they are allowed to book select excursions through hotel’s tour desk and access select destination sites.

  • Visitors staying 14 days or longer will need to take a PCR test at their own cost on day 14, and if they test negative the traveler will be allowed to move freely about the country.

  • All non-vaccinated travelers are required take a PCR test at their cost 48 to 72 hours prior to departure. Travelers staying 72 hours or less, will complete the test upon arrival at RLB International Airport. If positive before departure, the traveler will be required to stay in isolation at their respective hotel at their cost. If the test is negative, then the traveler will depart as scheduled.

Bahamas


The Bahamas has announced that effective May 1, 2021, visitors travelling to The Bahamas from other countries who are fully vaccinated and have passed the two-week immunity period will be exempt from COVID-19 testing requirements for entry and inter-island travel.


Unvaccinated travelers entering The Bahamas and/or those travelling inter-island from Nassau & Paradise Island, Grand Bahama Island, Abaco, Eleuthera or Harbour Island, must obtain a negative COVID-19 PCR (swab) test taken no more than 5 days prior to the date of arrival. Test must return a negative result for entry into The Bahamas.

  • Children 10 and under, and pilots and crew of commercial airlines who remain overnight in The Bahamas are not required to take a test.

  • Negative PCR test results must be uploaded in order to complete a Bahamas Travel Health Visa application, and must be presented upon arrival in The Bahamas.

  • Any person presenting test results older than 5 days will not be allowed entry into The Bahamas.

All persons 18 years of age or older travelling to The Bahamas are required to apply for a Bahamas Travel Health Visa at travel.gov.bs. Bahamas Travel Health Visa applications take up to 48 hours to process and should be completed with adequate lead time.


As part of the Bahamas Travel Health Visa application, travelers will be required to opt-in to COVID-19 health insurance that covers them for the duration of their stay in The Bahamas. The cost of insurance is included in the Bahamas Travel Health Visa application fee. The cost of the Bahamas Travel Health Visa is dependent on length of stay and vaccination status. Persons seventeen (17) years and younger are to add a profile within the Bahamas Travel Visa account of their parent or guardian.


Grenada


The Government of Grenada has announced an update to their travel requirements for fully vaccinated visitors as of May 1st. People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Travelers who provide proof of full vaccination will only be required to quarantine for up to 48 hours in an approved accommodation, pending a negative result from a PCR test administered upon entry. So vaccinated travelers should pre-book quarantine reservations for a minimum of two nights. Once negative test results are received and the visitor has been medically cleared by the Ministry of Health, the vaccinated visitor is free to enjoy Grenada.


  • All travelers over the age of 5 are required to have a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel to Grenada as well as a Covid PCR test upon arrival in Grenada. The arrival PCR test must be paid for prior to this application. Payments are accepted online via the government’s payment portal at www.pay.gov.gd.

  • All travelers must apply for a Pure Safe Travel Certificate which grants the approved applicant authorization to travel to Grenada via www.travelauth.health.gov.gd

  • Travelers should show Travel Authorization Certificate and copy of negative PCR test before boarding a flight.

  • Travelers should show a copy of the vaccination card and the negative PCR test upon arrival

  • Unvaccinated travelers or those who are unable to provide proof of their vaccination will be required to quarantine for up to seven days with a PCR test being administered on the fifth day.

Sandals Grenada photo credit: Sandals Resorts International

Las Vegas


Cirque du Soleil will resume performances in Las Vegas beginning in June. Shows include "O" at Bellagio Hotel & Casino, Mystere at Treasure Island, and Blue Man Group at Luxor Hotel & Casino which will resume for guests.



Cruise News


A letter was sent to members of the cruise industry by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to further discuss the potential of reinstating sailing from US ports. CDC subject matter experts have reviewed potential public health challenges of cruising safely, such as ensuring passengers, crew, and port personnel are protected. The letter stated "We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity and that the goal of the CSO's phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of Covid-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities. We remain committed to the resumption of passenger operations in the United States following the requirements in the CSO by mid-summer...."


The letter further states that "in lieu of conducting a simulated voyage, cruise ship operator responsible officials, at their discretion, may sign and submit to CDC an attestation...that 98 percent of crew are fully vaccinated and submit to the CDC a clear and specific vaccination plan and timeline to limit cruise ship sailings to 95 percent of passengers who have been verified...as fully vaccinated prior to sailing."


The letter further clarifies some of the points of the recent Phase 2A announcement.

  • A cruise line has 30 calendar day timeframe to submit to the CDC the cruise ship operator's notice for conducting a simulated voyage and 60 calendar day timeframe for the cruise ship operator's Covid-19 Conditional Sailing Certificate application.

  • Finalization of port agreements is encouraged to allow for cruise ships to embark non-essential crew for simulated and restricted voyages. Prior to the finalization of agreements, cruise ships may embark with 50 percent of non-essential crew to sail on the first restricted voyage.

  • Cruise ship operators need to provide a plan and timeline for vaccination of crew prior to resuming passenger sailings. They must also disclose current plans to vaccinate crew.

  • Agreements should determine the housing needs of travelers for isolation or quarantine, if they are able to return to their residence via a personal vehicle or if they are unable to return to their residence or board a flight.

  • The CDC will update testing and quarantine requirements for passengers and crew to closely align with CDC guidance for fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated persons.

Oceania Cruises


Oceania Cruises has extended their suspension of voyages to include all scheduled departures aboard Marina through and including August 19, 2021. Marina returns to her previously published schedule of departures beginning with the August 29, 2021 sailing from Copenhagen. All departures through September 30, 2021 aboard Riviera, Regatta, Insignia, Nautica and Sirena are cancelled. Additional ship restart dates will be communicated in the future.


All reservations under deposit or final payment with a credit card, check, or bank wire will automatically receive a 100% refund of all funds that have been applied to the reservation.


If the reservation has been deposited or paid in full utilizing a previously issued Future Cruise Credit, your Future Cruise Credit will be re-issued for the amount that was applied. Future Cruise Credits are not redeemable for cash refunds.


If you wish to book a similar or identical itinerary for 2022, you can reserve the dream voyage of your choosing with total peace of mind and confidence knowing that every sailing is covered by their Best Price Guarantee. Should a better public promotion or price become available, up to the date of sailing, you may take advantage of it.


Ancillary items and packages, etc. purchased through Oceania will be automatically refunded, and any travel protection purchased through Oceania will also be refunded.


Please allow up to 60 days for refunds to be processed.


Disney Cruise Line


Disney Cruise Line has extended their temporary final payment deadline and their cruise cancellation fee schedule for sailings through October 31, 2021. To give guests more peace of mind, Disney Cruise Line has also extended their temporary Cruise Date Flexibility option. With this option, guests may change their sail date up to 15 days prior to their cruise for any new or existing cruises reserved by May 31, 2021.


When Disney Cruise Line begins sailing again, they will be offering some new dining options at Palo and Remy. There will be two options for guests: an a la carte menu and a prix fixe menu.

  • At Palo, guests may order from the prix fixe menu which includes four courses from a selected menu, or they may order a la carte.

  • At Remy, guests may choose between the Saveur or Gout tasting prix fixe menus, or they may order individual items a la carte.

Brunch and dessert experiences at Palo and Remy will continue to be offered as a per person cover charge.


The prix fixe menu will be priced at $45 for Palo, and $125 for Remy, a la carte items will be priced individually. The brunch experience at Palo will be $45.


Platinum Castaway Club guests and those adults in their stateroom will continue to be offered one complimentary meal at Palo, either brunch or dinner; at dinner, the prix fixe menu will be included (regular price of $45 per person). Additional items beyond the prix fixe menu may be added at an additional charge.


Adult-exclusive dining, and other premium activities, experiences that are not included in the cruise fare, can be reserved online or through the Disney Cruise Line Navigator app. The booking window is based on the guests’ Castaway Club membership level. Platinum Castaway is 120 days prior to sailing. Gold Castaway is 105 days prior to sailing. Silver Castaway is 90 days prior to sailing, and first-timers are 75 days prior to sailing. Cruise reservations must be paid in full in order to book premium activities. Keep in mind, new inventory may become available at any time. Be sure to check online or on the app for the latest updates.

More details have been released for the newest member of the Disney Cruise Line fleet, the Disney Wish.

  • There will be a new family water attraction, the AquaMouse, which will feature "The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse." The AquaMouse will have show scenes, special effects, lighting, and "splashtacular surprises." Everyone in the family will be delighted to zoom through 760 ft. of winding tubes suspended above the upper decks.

photo credit: Disney Destinations

  • Joining the AquaMouse in the new Mickey and friends themed district will be six pools that are staggered on tiered decks. The Toy Story themed district will entertain toddlers and younger children with a splash zone, wading pool, family waterslide and smoothie bar.

  • The Quiet Cove is just for adults to provide them with peace and tranquility under the sun. It will feature a luxurious infinity pool, poolside bar and chic cafe.

There will be some exciting dining options as well:

  • Arendelle: A Frozen Dining Adventure is Disney’s first “Frozen”-themed theatrical dining experience. Guests will be immersed in the world of Arendelle with characters from the favorite movie and world-class cuisine infused with Nordic influences.

  • Worlds of Marvel is the first-ever Marvel cinematic dining adventure, where guests will play an interactive role in an action-packed Avengers mission that unfolds around them, complete with a worldly menu inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

  • 1923, named for the year The Walt Disney Company was founded, is an elegant celebration of the company’s legacy, paying homage to the golden age of animation and offering a tasteful tribute to its Californian heritage with dishes inspired by the state’s unique fusion of cultural flavors.

There will be new family entertainment on the Disney Wish:

  • The Grand Hall will feature dedicated shows and interactive entertainment to put guests in the middle of the magic.

  • Luna is a brand-new entertainment hub that will transition from a daytime setting for family fun into an elegant evening venue for adult-exclusive entertainment, offering a variety of live shows and interactive programming throughout the day.

  • Hero Zone is a futuristic sports arena to offer guests action-packed challenges and game show like competitions for the whole family.

  • The Walt Disney Theatre will host original Broadway-style stage productions developed exclusively for Disney Cruise Line.

  • The Wonderland and Never Land Cinemas are intimate screening rooms where guests may watch classic and first-run films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm and more.

There will be special spaces to entertain kids of all ages.

  • Disney's Oceaneer Club is for children ages 3 to 12 to bring them into some of their favorite Disney stories.

  • Marvel Super Hero Academy is a high-tech Avengers headquarters where young “recruits” will train to be the next generation of Super Heroes with the help of their own heroes, like Spider-Man, Black Panther, Ant-Man and the Wasp.

  • Fairytale Hall is a royal trio of activity rooms where princesses and princes will let their creativity shine at Rapunzel’s Art Studio, read and act out stories at Belle’s Library, and test newfound icy powers at Anna and Elsa’s Sommerhus.

  • Walt Disney Imagineering Lab is a first-of-its-kind opportunity for kids to discover the secrets of Disney Imagineers with hands-on activities and inventive experiments.

  • It's a Small World Nursery is for children ages 6 months to three years to offer babysitting services so parents may enjoy some adult time.

  • Edge (ages 11 to 14) and Vibe (ages 14 to 17) are places for older kids can hang out and enjoy dedicated programming and activities.


There will new special areas just for adults as well.

  • Star Wars: Hyperspace Lounge, a high-end bar styled as a luxurious yacht-class spaceship. Guests can experience interactive tastings and signature beverages inspired by destinations such as Batuu, Tatooine and Mustafar.

  • Palo Steakhouse is an evolution of the cruiser favorite, Palo Restaurant. It will combine authentic Italian cuisine with the refinement of a modern steakhouse in a setting inspired by Cogsworth from "Beauty and the Beast."

  • Enchanté by Chef Arnaud Lallement will offer the most luxurious dining experience on board, featuring a gourmet menu and set in an intimate venue featuring the film’s candelabra maitre d’, Lumiere.

  • The Rose is a chic lounge at the entrance of Palo Steakhouse and Enchanté. Inspired by the fateful flower at the heart of the story, The Rose will be an idyllic setting for a pre-dinner aperitif or after-dinner cocktail.

  • Senses Spa will offer a tranquil setting for guests to pamper themselves in private treatment rooms, lavish spa villas, and steam and aromatherapy rooms, while the reimagined Senses Fitness will offer state-of-the-art exercise and wellness facilities.

The Disney Wish will have 1,254 staterooms which will feature an all-new look inspired by Disney stories. Guests will be treated to a "luxurious, peaceful retreat designed with ample room for families, plenty of storage and upscale amenities." Most of the rooms will feature the signature split-bathroom concept, and 877 cabins will have a spacious verandah. For larger families, there will be 451 connecting doors that adjoin rooms.


The Disney Wish will offer more premium concierge staterooms and suites, including some located above the bridge that have floor-to-ceiling windows to "reveal breathtaking ocean views overlooking the bow of the ship." There will be an exclusive lounge with a private sun deck with dedicated service for concierge guests.


The Disney Wish will also offer four royal suites, which are "richly adorned, lavishly appointed suites that accommodate up to six guests and feature extravagant details and first-class amenities." Two of the royal suites are a brand new accommodation option, two-story suites. These suites will feature an elegant spiral staircase and a spectacular two-deck-high stained-glass frieze.

The Disney Wish will have its maiden voyage, a five night cruise to Nassau and Disney's private island, Castaway Cay on June 9, 2022. Its inaugural season will feature three and four night sailings from Port Canaveral to Nassau and Castaway Cay. Bookings open to the general public on May 27, 2021.


Due to the anticipated demand for the Maiden Voyage of Disney Wish, there will be some unique Terms and Conditions for this sailing only. Note that these do not apply to other Inaugural Season sailings – just the Maiden Voyage.

  • A 20%, non-refundable deposit must be paid by 11:59 p.m. the day of booking.

  • Even though the Maiden Voyage will be five nights, final payment will follow the existing policy for sailings of six nights or more: final payment for suites and concierge staterooms is due 150 days prior to departure; for all other stateroom categories, final payment is due 120 days prior.

  • The cancellation-fee schedule, however, will follow the policy for 1- to 5-night sailings. This means a 50% cancellation fee 44-30 days out; a 75% cancellation fee 29-15 days out, and a 100% cancellation fee 14 days or fewer from departure.

There are other restrictions on the Maiden Voyage to be aware of. No date changes will be allowed. Guests must cancel and rebook. For early bookings, the Castaway Club member must remain on the reservation. There are no discounts, and guests may not use future cruise credits or onboard offers as payment for this sailing.


Disney Wish photo credit: Disney Destinations



Theme Park News


Busch Gardens Tampa & SeaWorld Orlando


As a token of gratitude to all US military veterans and active duty service members. Service men and women are being offered four free tickets for themselves and guests to Busch Gardens Tampa or SeaWorld Orlando. To obtain tickets, go to https://seaworld.com/orlando or https://buschgardens.com/tampa to verify status through ID.me for military status verification before May 16, 2021. As an added thank you, veterans and active military service members can also purchase up to six additional tickets at 50% off. All tickets must be used before June 27, 2021 and reservations must be made prior to your visit date.


With limited capacity, physical distancing, and enhanced cleaning and sanitization, it’s a great time to get back to fun in their spacious outdoor theme parks.


Walt Disney World


The fan favorite attraction, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, is once again taking guests around Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom. The ride has been shut down since the parks closed last March due to Covid. The PeopleMover takes guests on a 10 minute, narrated tour around Tomorrowland and through Space Mountain.



The photo was taken prior to Covid-19 so it may not reflect current requirements.



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