Travel News of the Week

Cruise News


Norwegian Cruise Line


Norwegian Cruise Line has released some updates for their return to sailing this year.

  • Norwegian will be returning to Miami with the Norwegian Gem. She is scheduled to cruise seven-day itineraries to the Caribbean each Sunday from August 15 through August 29, 2021, and a four-day voyage to the Bahamas October 17, 2021.

  • The Norwegian Encore will make her debut on the West Coast, replacing the previously announced Norwegian Bliss in Seattle for the 2021 Alaska summer cruise season, calling to the Alaska ports of Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Icy Strait Point, while also offering guests majestic views of Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier or Glacier Bay. She will operate 7-day cruises to Alaska from Seattle, Washington sailing every Saturday from Aug 7, 2021, through Oct 16, 2021.

  • Norwegian Breakaway will operate 7-day cruises to Bermuda from New York, New York sailing every Sunday from September 26, 2021, through October 17, 2021.

  • Norwegian Bliss will operate a 7-day cruise to the Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, California sailing on October 24, 2021.

  • Norwegian Escape will operate a 7-day cruise to the Eastern Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida sailing on November 13, 2021.


For return to sail itineraries, vaccinations are required for all guests sailing on voyages departing through October 31, 2021.


Norwegian Encore


Carnival Cruise Line


Carnival has sent out an update for their July 27, 2021 sailing of the Carnival Miracle from Seattle to Alaska.

  • The cruise will operate with fully vaccinated guests, who will be required to present proof of vaccination at time of check-in. Vaccines must be approved by either the CDC or WHO (World Health Organization).

  • Vaccinated guests will not be required to wear a facemask or maintain physical distancing while on board. Masks will be required in the cruise terminal and guests will have to follow all necessary local guidance at the destinations they visit.

  • Vaccinated guests may participate in Carnival tours or independent activities. They are in the process of finalizing their Alaska tours, and more availability is to be added by the end of the June.

Carnival also provided an update for the Carnival Breeze and Carnival Vista sailings in July from Galveston.

  • The July cruises will operate with at least 95% of fully vaccinated guests, who will be required to present proof of vaccination at time of check-in. Vaccines must be approved by either the CDC or WHO (World Health Organization).

  • Vaccinated guests will not be required to wear a facemask or maintain physical distancing while on board. Guests will have to follow all necessary local guidance at the destinations they visit.

  • All Carnival Vista cruises will operate a Mahogany Bay-Belize-Cozumel itinerary.

  • The CDC’s guidelines for operating a highly vaccinated cruise provide the ability to accommodate a small number of unvaccinated guests (children under 12 who cannot be vaccinated and exemptions as required by federal law) on restricted voyages, based on the total number of vaccinated guests on board. They plan to accommodate a small number of exemptions. Such guests are being asked to put their names on the list (online submissions only) for follow-up communication. There will be testing, mask requirements and other restrictions for unvaccinated guests who are granted an exemption.

  • Guests who determine the time is not right to sail may call Carnival or their travel advisor, by June 14, to help them rebook for a later date.

  • Mardi Gras will start operating her seven-day cruises from Port Canaveral on Saturday, July 31, with pre-inaugural sailings to the eastern and western Caribbean.

  • Carnival Magic will return from her dry dock – and with her new hull design – and homeport from Port Canaveral where she will pick up four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean that were previously scheduled for Carnival Elation, effective August 7 through October 7, 2021. Guests already booked on Carnival Elation will be re-accommodated on Carnival Magic, and because she is a larger ship, additional stateroom inventory is being made available on Carnival.com and other sales channels. Carnival Magic will also operate three new six-day cruises and one new eight-day cruise from Port Canaveral between October 11-31, 2021.

  • Carnival Sunrise will enter service from Miami, effective August 14, 2021 sailing four- and five-day cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean.

  • Carnival Panorama will enter service from Long Beach on August 21, 2021 sailing her seven-day Mexican Riviera cruises.

  • Carnival Horizon sailing from Miami and Carnival Miracle saiiing from Seattle to Alaska will continue with their cruises through August that are part of the line’s restart plans in July.

  • Given the above plans, Carnival has extended its pause for other ships through August 31, 2021, as follows: Carnival Pride (Baltimore), Carnival Sunshine (Charleston), Carnival Dream (Galveston), Carnival Ecstasy (Jacksonville), Carnival Liberty (Port Canaveral), Carnival Conquest (Miami), Carnival Sensation (Mobile) and Carnival Glory (New Orleans).

  • Guests and travel agents are being advised of the August schedule plans and Carnival will be providing more details directly to soon on guidelines and protocols. Carnival plans to operate these August sailings with vaccinated guests.


Disney Cruise Line


Disney Cruise Line has another update regarding their service:


As you may have heard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved our application to conduct a simulation cruise aboard the Disney Dream on June 29, 2021. This is an important next step toward our gradual and responsible resumption of service in U.S. waters. But we still have work to do, including finalizing our new health and safety protocols, bring crew back onboard and preparing our ships to welcome Guests again. Because of this, it is necessary for us to cancel the following sailings:

  • Disney Dream departures through 8/6/21

  • Disney Fantasy departures through 8/28/21

  • Disney Wonder departures through 9/19/21

  • Disney Magic departures in the U.S. through 11/4/21

We are offering affected Guests that have paid their reservation in full 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. The credit has automatically been added to the Guest’s account and can be applied as a payment option when booking a new reservation online. Guests that have not paid their reservations in full will automatically receive a refund of what they have paid so far.


Disney Fantasy, photo credit: Disney Destinations


MSC Cruises


MSC Cruises will have new cruise itineraries will open on June 16, 2021 for the MSC Meraviglia and MSC Divina for this summer. MSC Meraviglia will kick off MSC Cruises' restart with cruises beginning August 2, 2021, with 3- and 4-night cruises from Miami to The Bahamas featuring their exclusive private island, Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. On September 18, 2021, MSC Meraviglia will add 7-night cruises from Miami to The Bahamas and Caribbean, including Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve. MSC Divina will resume cruising from Orlando (Port Canaveral) on September 16, 2021, offering 3-, 4-, and 7-night cruises to The Bahamas and Caribbean, also including stops at Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve.


Silversea


Silversea is readying their fleet for the return to service beginning this week.

  • SILVER MOON will sail the Greek Islands and Cyrus on June 18, 2021.

  • SILVER ORIGIN will sail the Galapagos Islands on June 19, 2021.

  • SILVER MUSE will resume her sailings and open their Alaska season on July 29, 2021. Silversea will be the only cruise line with a 10-day itinerary, allowing guests to truly explore the Alaska region.

  • SILVER SHADOW will return to the north of Europe from July 30, 2021 with sailing the coasts of Iceland.

  • SILVER SPIRIT will set sail on September 3, 2021 with a Southampton round trip, commencing her season with a rediscovery of Northern Europe.

  • SILVER DAWN will be sailing again November 9, 2021 to start her maiden season in the Mediterranean, before sailing on to the Caribbean.

  • SILVER CLOUD is currently planned to set sail on November 14, 2021from Patagonia’s Punta Arenas to all the way to the Antarctic Peninsula.

  • SILVER WHISPER will commence service once again from November 17, 2021 in the Caribbean.

  • SILVER WIND will sail again on November 20, 2021 with a once in a lifetime solar eclipse cruise in Antarctica.


photo credit: Silversea


Australia


The Australian Government has extended their ban on cruise ships through September 2021.


Theme Park News


Walt Disney World


Walt Disney World has announced an update to their Covid-19 guidelines.

  • FACE COVERINGS

Face coverings will be optional for fully vaccinated Guests in most areas. Face coverings will still be required of all Guests on Disney transportation, including Disney buses, monorails and Disney Skyliner. While we will not require proof of vaccination, we expect Guests who are not fully vaccinated to continue wearing face coverings in all indoor locations, and upon entering and throughout all attractions and transportation. Guests must observe current policies on face coverings until June 15.

  • PHYSICAL DISTANCING

We will be relaxing physical distancing guidelines for Guests. This will be visible in places like queues, shops, restaurants, attraction boarding, transportation and our theaters. It’s important to remember that some experiences and entertainment may still be operating with limited capacity or may remain temporarily unavailable. We’re not quite ready to bring back everything yet, but we are optimistic and look forward to the day when Disney pals and princesses are able to hug once again.

  • CLEANING

We will continue the high standards for cleanliness and sanitation we’ve always set for ourselves. Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer stations will still be available.

Tickets for the new Disney After Hours Boo Bash opened last week for resort guests, and the request for tickets was exceptional. Due to popular demand during the early-purchase period for guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels, Disney is adding five new dates for this spooktacular event:

  • Sunday, September 5, 2021

  • Sunday, September 12, 2021

  • Sunday, September 19, 2021

  • Sunday, October 10, 2021

  • Sunday, October 17, 2021

These dates will be available when general Boo Bash tickets go on sale Tuesday, June 15, 2021.

photo credit: Disney Destinations

Guests can look forward to more property restaurants opening soon.

  • Sebastian’s Bistro at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be opening on June 24 with nightly walk-in availability through July 4, and booking is available as of June 10 for reservations starting July 5.

  • ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort is reopening on July 9, and booking is available now for breakfast and dinner.

  • Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is reopening on June 20, and booking is now available.


Disneyland Resort


Some guest favorite restaurants will also be reopening soon.

  • Oga’s Cantina will open on June 17 with bookings available June 14.

  • Lamplight Lounge Brunch will be opening July 9 with booking available June 14. (Friday, Saturday, Sunday brunch only.)

  • Wine Country Trattoria will open June 17 with bookings available June 14.

  • Tiki Juice Bar (mobile order available) – Opening June 17

  • Docking Bay Food & Cargo (mobile order available) – Opening June 17

  • Alien Pizza Planet (mobile order available) – Opening June 17

  • Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante – Opening June 17

  • Candy Palace is currently making Nuttles (chopped pecan pieces layered with freshly made caramel with a dollop of milk chocolate on top) on Mondays and Fridays. They are also making Rocky Road (mix of milk chocolate, chopped almonds, and house-made marshmallows in a small pie tin) on Saturdays.


Universal Orlando Resort


Jurassic World VelociCoaster, the fastest coaster in any Universal park, is now officially open. With two intense launches and four inversions, it's a new species of roller coaster and unlike anything you've experienced before.


Speeding through the jungle, rising high above the terrain, it’s the apex predator of roller coasters: the Jurassic World VelociCoaster. Now you can board your vehicle for a high-speed dash through the park’s raptor paddock. Feel the rush of the hunt as you race alongside these nimble predators, twisting and soaring above the land and water.

photo credit: Universal Orlando Resort


In the World News


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated their guidelines for fully vaccinated travelers. Now, a traveler that has received their full dose of Covid-19 vaccine will no longer be required to wear a face mask in outdoor areas of transportation conveyances like a ferry deck or on an open-air trolley or while they're outdoors at transportation hubs such as airports, train stations, and bus terminals.


Unvaccinated travelers are still required to wear masks while outdoors on public transportation conveyances or on the premises of transportation hubs.


Conveyance operators must continue to require all people (vaccinated and nonvaccinated) onboard to wear masks when boarding and disembarking, and for the duration of travel, unless they are located in outdoor areas of the conveyance (if such outdoor areas exist on the conveyance). Operators of transportation hubs must require all persons to wear a mask when entering or while located in the indoor premises of a transportation hub.


All passengers on public conveyances (e.g., airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, ride-shares) traveling into, within, or out of the United States (including U.S. territories) as well as conveyance operators (e.g., crew, drivers, conductors, and other workers involved in the operation of conveyances), regardless of their vaccination status, are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth.


Hawaii


Governor of Hawaii, David Ige, stated that he will end travel restrictions to the Hawaiian islands, starting with flights, as Covid vaccination rates in Hawaii continue to rise. Beginning on June 15, 2021, travelers will be able to fly between islands without a prior Covid test or vaccination.


When 60% of residents are vaccinated, then the Safe Travels program will accept vaccination cards from anywhere in the continental US. So vaccinated US travelers will be able to visit Hawaii without a Covid test or the need for quarantine.

When 70% of the residents are vaccinated, then all travel restrictions will be lifted, and the Safe Travels program will be discontinued.

Honolulu's Mayor Rick Blangiardi announced Oahu is at Tier 4 the Reopening Strategy, for which at least 50% of the residents are vaccinated.

  • outdoor social gatherings to include up to 25 people and indoor social gatherings to include at least 10 people.

  • Outdoor weddings may allow up to 200 guests.

  • Indoor sports may be at 33% capacity for spectators.

  • Social establishments may be up to 50% capacity with vaccinated attendees and proof of vaccination is required.

  • Indoor events, such as concerts, meetings and conventions may be up to 50% percent capacity with vaccinated attendees and proof of vaccination is required.

  • Restaurants, bars, attractions, tours, and transportation may have up to 25 people outdoors and 10 people indoors.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa announced that their spa, Laniwai - A Disney Spa will reopen on June 15.


The Hawaiian word “laniwai” (pronounced lah-nee-vai) means “freshwater heaven.” Starting June 15, Guests can reserve spa services including new added options such as foot massage, intense hydration facial, anti-aging LED mask, and more!

A visit to the Kula Wai, an outdoor hydrotherapy garden can be reserved with any spa service. The 5,000 square-foot garden retreat includes private vitality pools, a reflexology path, six rain-style showers, whirlpool jet spas and more.


And after a day of pampering, it’s time for Guests to prepare for their big night out! To help Guests get ready, Laniwai’s full-service salon will be available for manicures, pedicures and hair services. The kids – or keiki – can also get ready for an epic adventure with salon services and makeovers exclusive to children ages 3 to 12.


If Guests enjoy a good workout before or after pampering, they should be sure to also visit the Mikimiki fitness center which will also reopen for limited hours for all Aulani Guests, and has added new equipment to the state-of-the-art fitness facility.


Reservations for Laniwai, A Disney Spa open on June 15 and can be made online at DisneyAulani.com, on the Aulani App, or by calling Laniwai Spa at (808) 674-6300.


Kula Wai: A Hydrotherapy Garden, photo credit: Disney Destinations


Curaçao


Curaçao has reported that the US is on their low risk country list. All US travelers visiting Curaçao will still need to complete four steps:

  1. Complete the digital immigration card online before departure.

  2. Digitally fill out the Passenger Locator Card (PLC) 48 hours prior to your departure and carry a printed document of proof with you.

  3. Each visitor entering Curaçao will need to show a negative result from a certified COVID-19 PCR-test taken at most 72 hours before your flight to Curaçao or a negative result from an antigen test taken at most 24 hours before your flight to Curaçao. You will need to carry a printed document of proof with you. You will be required to upload the negative test results of the COVID-19 PCR-test on dicardcuracao.com before departure.

  4. 3rd day on-island Antigen test. All passengers departing from the US are required to undergo an Antigen test at a local laboratory on the 3rd day in Curaçao. The reservation and payment of the 3rd day antigen test is part of the PLC process.

For more information, go to https://www.curacao.com/en/article/travel-updates.

Las Vegas


Las Vegas has returned to pre-pandemic guidelines, including removing all restrictions involving capacity limits, large gatherings, and more. Following CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask in any setting except where required by federal, state, local, tribal or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local business and workplace guidelines. Masks will still be required on public transportation and transportation hubs per CDC guidance, and it is recommended that those who are not vaccinated continue wearing masks and following social distancing and other precautions until fully vaccinated.

To celebrate America's birthday, Las Vegas will be putting on a big show. This year, the destination will launch a themed coordinated fireworks spectacular from the rooftops of ARIA Resort & Casino, Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Resorts World Las Vegas, The STRAT Hotel, Casino & SkyPod, Treasure Island Las Vegas and The Venetian Resort Las Vegas.


Live entertainment is also returning to the city to celebrate. Since it’s summertime, expect just about every resort to have weekend long July Fourth pool parties, chock full of music from celebrity DJs, frozen drink specials and tons of sun. You’ll even find celebrity DJs spinning the hottest tracks all day. Nightclubs are turning the party up for the weekend as well, with plenty of performances from resident DJs up and down the Strip.

Encore at Wynn Las Vegas has begun a new service for guests with the addition of a new dog friendly program. Guests may stay in any room or suite with up to two dogs and enjoy exclusive amenities for their best friends.


Dominican Republic


Club Med Miches Playa Esmeralda will be reopening June 19, 2021. The resort features 335 rooms and four boutique villages. Each of the four boutique villages presents its own unique environment, activities and accommodations.


Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda will follow the European Union’s reopening guidelines, as well as recommendations from the CDC, by requiring all travelers aged 11 or older to show proof of complete vaccination upon arrival or a negative PCR or Antigen test, taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. Should guests be unable to meet these requirements, a rapid Antigen test will be administered on-site upon arrival at no additional cost.


photo credit: Club Med



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