Travel News of the Week

In the World News



The land border between the US and Canada will remain closed for at least another month. Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair stated “...in coordination with the U.S., we are extending restrictions on non-essential international travel and with the United States until July 21st, 2021....”

Globus Family of Brands


Globus Family of Brands, which consists of Cosmos, Monograms Vacation Packages, and Avalon Waterways, has resumed international operation to destinations for fully vaccinated travelers. Globus currently has many tours and dates available for summer and fall travel as European countries and international destinations continue to confirm that U.S. residents can travel freely. And, as more countries open to American travelers, their team will expand operations following their given guidelines. As of now, countries open to American travelers with available Globus tours and 2021 travel dates include:

  • United States (Domestic Tours)

  • Greece

  • Iceland

  • Israel

  • Croatia

  • Spain

  • Portugal

  • Ireland

  • France

  • Jordan

  • Switzerland

  • Plus select Italy departures

This listing of open countries will be expanding in the coming weeks, and they will update this listing of accessible countries and available departures on a regular basis. For 2022 departures for your select destination, simply check their website for available departure dates.


And given that many destinations continue to have restricted access, departures for select destinations will be suspended through July 31, 2021. Also note that the 2021 Edinburgh Military Tattoo has been cancelled, and options are being presented to guests on affected tours. The Globus guest service team will be in contact with guests affected for any tour suspension to review options for future travel.


Portugal


US travelers are now permitted to visit Portugal. Tourists will need to have a negative PCR Covid-19 test within 72 hours or a negative antigen test 24 hours prior to entering the country.


To travel to the Azores or Madeira, anyone age 12 and older must also have a negative Covid test within 72 hours of their departure to the islands, show proof of recovery from the virus, or get tested upon arrival and isolate until a negative result is available. Travelers then have to get tested again on the sixth day of their trip.


It will be assessment every two weeks as to if American tourists may continue to visit Portugal.


Mexico


This Summer 2021, SpongeBob is arriving in Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya, Mexico — as are Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, and many more Nickelodeon friends with signature entertainment, fun in the water at Aqua Nick, themed experiences, and more. Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Riviera Maya is exclusively designed for families who enjoy a premium vacation experience themed to Nickelodeon’s most beloved and imagination-expanding world’s – this is the ultimate beach escape.


  • All 280 suites come with swim-up pools and are oceanfront

  • All suites are designed for a family of 5

  • 20 slides of splashy thrills await at the 6-acre, Aqua Nick®

  • Meet 20 of your favorite Nickelodeon characters

  • Signature Suites: Iconic Pineapple Suite, One-of-a-kind Lair Suite, & Big Kahuna Suite

  • Nickelodeon Fun with World-Class Gourmet Inclusive® Experiences – All-Inclusive, All-Fun

  • Club Nick – a hangout just for kids, Plaza Orange for dance parties, immersive theater experience, Slime! & more

  • Five-star luxury, playfulness and the warm hospitality that makes Mexico such a beloved destination



AMResorts®


AMResorts® announced the newest Secrets® branded properties, Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen and Secrets Impression Moxché Playa del Carmen.


Scheduled to open December 1, 2021, the spectacular adults-only Secrets Moxché Playa del Carmen and Secrets Impression Moxché Playa del Carmen are luxurious adjoined all-suite resorts located on a strip of white sandy beach in the heart of Riviera Maya within Corasol, a gated residential community with an 18-hole golf course designed by PGA-legend and member of the Hall of Fame, Nick Price, and five minutes away from the Mayakoba, an 18-hole golf course designed by Greg Norman.

Together, these elevated romantic resorts will offer a variety of upscale and contemporary amenities, including:

  • Gourmet cuisine by world-renowned chefs

  • Three man-made cenotes

  • Seven heated pools

  • One interior, beach-inspired pool designed for intimate gatherings

  • Close proximity to snorkeling, diving, and the famous 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen, a 5-mile pedestrian-only walkway dedicated to tourists

  • Breathtaking rooftop sky wedding gazebo overlooking the Caribbean Sea

  • Amphitheater-style indoor theater for entertainment and corporate events with top-notch sound system and digital technology

  • Contemporary sports bar to watch games, unwind and socialize

  • State-of-the-art meeting rooms featuring the most innovative, high-end technology perfect for meetings & incentives with capacity for up to 840 guests banquet style

  • Expansive Spa by Pevonia® with elevated focus on wellness curating innovative and traditional treatments in a natural environment conducive towards self-healing and recovery from daily stress

Additionally, the resorts will follow green practices through the use of solar panels, eolic energy, which is wind energy used to generate mechanical power or electricity, and sound water processing to do their part working towards zero emissions.


Rendering of the Impression Rooftop Restaurant at Secrets Impression Moxché Playa del Carmen, photo credit: AMResorts®


Disneyland Paris


Disneyland Paris has reopened after being closed for for more than 17 months. Josh D’Amaro, Chairman, Disney Parks, Experiences and Products stated, "Today in Paris, our cast members are happily welcoming guests back, with a new attraction in Walt Disney Studios Park: Cars ROAD TRIP. Next week we’ll open Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel. Congratulations to our team, and I can’t wait to visit and walk the parks with you."


Disneyland Paris is the last of the Disney theme parks to reopen after being closed for Covid. Now all of the Disney parks around the world are open again.


Theme Park News


Walt Disney World


Fireworks are returning to Walt Disney World on July 1, 2021! There will be nightly fireworks performances at Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT. “Happily Ever After” will transform Cinderella Castle with lights, projections and pyrotechnics, as moments from favorite Disney stories encourage guests to grab hold of their dreams and make them come true. And as part of the ongoing transformation of EPCOT, “EPCOT Forever” will produce a spectacle of fireworks, music and lighting effects over World Showcase Lagoon, highlighting the themes of innovation, exploration, imagination and celebration at the core of the park’s past, present and future.


More Walt Disney World Resorts are reopening:


  • Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge will be reopening as of August 26, 2021. Reservation are open.

  • Disney’s BoardWalk Inn will welcome arrivals beginning July 2, 2021.

  • Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort will welcome arrivals beginning in late July 2021.


Disneyland Resort


In light of California opening up from Covid, the Disneyland Resort has updated some of their Covid-19 guidelines.


  • Out-of-state guests are welcome as of June 15, 2021, and temperature checks are discontinued. The state has removed the physical distancing requirements with respect to guests, so they will allow guests to self-determine distancing.

  • As of June 15, facial coverings are no longer required for fully vaccinated guests both indoors and outdoors. Guests (ages 2 and up), who are not fully vaccinated, must continue wearing face coverings indoors, except when dining.

  • Guests will not be required to show proof of vaccination, however vaccinated guests will self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry. In addition, all guests will need to attest that they are aware of the State of California’s strong recommendation that guests be fully vaccinated or receive a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the theme parks when making their Disneyland Resort theme park reservations.

  • The Toy Story parking lot reopened on June 18, and all guests (ages 2 and up) regardless of vaccination status will be required to wear an appropriate face covering while on the bus transportation from the lot to the parks.

  • They will continue with the park reservation system, which was implemented due to capacity limits when the parks reopened.

Disneyland will also be presenting nightly performances this summer starting on July 4, 2021. “Mickey’s Mix Magic” will display state-of-the-art projections, show lighting and lasers to transform Main Street, U.S.A., Sleeping Beauty Castle and the façade of “it’s a small world” into a dazzling, family fun dance party that goes sky high with fireworks to celebrate the leader of the club, Mickey Mouse.


Universal Orlando Resort


Halloween Horror Nights 2021 has been announced! It will be held select nights from September 3 through October 31, 2021. Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights, now in its 30th year, brings together terrifying haunted houses, sinister scare zones, outrageous live entertainment and some of the park’s most exhilarating attractions. Jack the Clown will be back as well, lunging from the shadows where guests least expect.


What can guests expect during Halloween Horror Nights:

  • Feed your fear at select dining locations, some featuring food themed to this year’s haunted houses and specialty drinks concocted just for the event.

  • Wear your terror with themed merchandise available online and at the event. You’ll be able to shop for hats, shirts, hoodies, mugs and more.

  • Lose yourselves in outrageous live entertainment filled with diabolical surprises.

  • Experience some of the park’s most exhilarating rides and attractions, which will be open during the event.

  • Scream-filled Scare Zones - Face nightmarish creatures prowling the streets of Universal Studios Florida, appearing where you least expect.

  • Watch your back as you make your way through terrifying haunted houses inspired by the biggest names in horror, plus Universal’s own twisted creations.

The first house has been announced - Beetlejuice©! Got trouble with the living? You know what to say: Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Beetlejuice. Enter the twisted, terrifying world of the original film, as the infamous Bio-Exorcist haunts you, taunts you and sends you screaming out of the haunted house.


This is a separately ticketed event. This event may be too intense for young children and is not recommended for children under the age of 13. No costumes or costume masks will be allowed.



SeaWorld Orlando


SeaWorld Spooktacular is back to bring Halloween fun for the whole family to Orlando.


Halloween is back with candy, costumes, your favorite Sesame Street® friends, and plenty of spooky surprises. Treat your family to all the festive fun of SeaWorld Spooktacular® this fall!


Kids love trick-or-treating during this daytime event as they explore the decorated trail and meet all sorts of colorful characters. And that’s just the beginning! From spooky stories and a Halloween dance party to moments with furry friends like Count von Count, Elmo, Cookie Monster, and more, this is immersive family fun you’ll only find here. SeaWorld Spooktacular runs weekends September 18 – October 31, 2021 and is included with park admission.


All guests are welcome to dress up in costumes. Guests who are ages 13 and older may not wear costume masks or hoods, and all costumes are subject to the normal dress code for the park. In addition, face painting is not permitted on any guests unless it is done by park artists.


Park reservations are required to visit.

SeaWorld Howl-O-Scream will run from September 10th through October 31, 2021 and is Orlando's newest Halloween event. Prepare yourself for a new terror Fridays and Saturdays from 7:00pm - 2:00am, and Thursdays and Sundays from 7:00pm - 12:00am. When the sun goes down, the terror begins.


Evade angry haunts as they rampage through scare zones. Seek shelter indoors, only to find you’ve entered a house of horrors. Deepen the thrill with a nighttime coaster ride. Quench your thirst for fear at a fiendishly interactive bar. Feel the monstrous electricity of a live show.


Guests can experience....

  • Brave the blood chilling haunted houses

  • There's no where to hide in the scare zones and roaming haunts

  • Celebrate the season in the party zone with DJ's

  • Enjoy the high-energy dance show or witness the outdoor spectacle of the "one who has emerged from the lake...."

  • Experience rides like never before if you dare


Experience 27 nights of fully immersive fear this fall, only at SeaWorld Orlando.


Tickets are available now. Howl-O-Scream is intended for a mature audience. This event contains intense adult content such as violence, gore, and blood. Howl-O-Scream 2021 is a separately-ticketed night event. No costumes are allowed.



Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


Celebrate the season with Busch Gardens Summer Nights held every night through September 6, 2021. For over 100 nights, guests can stay late and safely enjoy world-class coasters, electrifying entertainment throughout the park and more during extended hours at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.


  • NEW nighttime spectacular, “Spark!” can now be enjoyed every night starting Friday, June 11 through Sunday, August 8. As the biggest and brightest show ever to light the park’s sky, “Spark!” features an explosive array of fireworks and exciting effects from dazzling lasers to graceful water elements and dramatic pyrotechnics. After August 8, "Spark!" will continue to light up the sky every Friday - Sunday through September 6, including Labor Day.

  • Join in the evening excitement on the Festival Pathway. Greeted by glowing lights strung among the trees, live music and more, the stunning visual journey will spark the spirit of summer in everyone.

  • Become awestruck with the dynamic performance of “Cirque Electric”, an all new acrobatic stunt show exclusively produced for Busch Gardens at the Stanleyville Theater. From the daring airborne aerialist to stunning displays of balance and strength and a fascinating act on wheels that cannot be missed, guests will be dazzled by world-class performers each Friday through Monday.

  • The Moroccan Palace Theater will once again be home to Busch Gardens’ spectacular, ice-skating shows, including Turn It Up! This award-winning show vibrantly celebrates skating with contemporary performances, aerial moments and eclectic pop music each Thursday through Monday.

  • As the sun goes down, electric summer vibes amp up on the Festival Field. It’s an open-air dance party with DJs, dancing, and endless energy to build the excitement before “Spark!” ignites the sky.

Park reservations are required to visit.


Cruise News


Royal Caribbean Cruise Line


Royal Caribbean has made the decision to cancel inaugural departures of the new Odyssey of the Seas from July 3 to July 25, 2021. Unfortunately, eight crew members were found to be positive for Covid-19 after having received their vaccination but before it was effective. The affected crew members are being taken care of, and no passengers were on board. All crew will be quarantined for 14 days.

Beginning July 2, 2021, Freedom of the Seas® will begin sailing Short Caribbean getaways from PortMiami. This wow-worthy adventure is sure to thrill guests both onboard and onshore, with a stop at their private destination, Perfect Day at CocoCay.


The following health and safety information only pertains to Freedom of the Seas sailings out of Miami in July 2021.


Pre-Cruise Requirements:


Vaccination

Royal Caribbean strongly recommends all guests 16 years and older be fully vaccinated. To be considered fully vaccinated, the final dose of the vaccine must be completed at least 14 days before sailing. At check-in, guests will be asked to provide documentation of their vaccination, such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. Those who are 16 years and older and do not have or are unable to provide documentation will be considered unvaccinated. Unvaccinated guests must undergo additional COVID-19 testing at their own expense, and follow the health protocols described below, which are based on guidance from the CDC. If you do not wish to undergo or pay for additional testing, or adhere to these health and safety protocols, they are happy to provide you with a refund. They believe that in the coming months, restrictions and requirements will be more accommodating as public health circumstances evolve.


Testing for Unvaccinated Guests

As a requirement to sail with Royal Caribbean, all unvaccinated guests must undergo multiple COVID-19 tests. Testing at the terminal prior to embarkation and onboard prior to disembarkation will be conducted by licensed and accredited third-party testing providers they have contracted. Unvaccinated guests must register for this testing and agree to the third-party testing provider terms and conditions. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.


The total charge from the third-party testing vendor for these tests is $136. This amount will be applied to the guest’s onboard expense account. Royal Caribbean will pay the testing vendor(s) on the guest’s behalf and will not retain any part of the testing costs. For children not yet eligible to be vaccinated, they will cover the cost of any required testing.


The testing required of Unvaccinated guests

  • Pre-Cruise: Unvaccinated guests 16 years of age and older will need to undergo an RT-PCR test administered by an accredited laboratory of the guest’s choice, and taken within three days of sailing. They will require documentation of a negative result for this test prior to embarkation. All costs for this test are the unvaccinated guest’s responsibility.

  • At the Terminal: Unvaccinated guests 2 years of age and older are required to take an RT-PCR test when checking in at the terminal, which will be administered by one of their testing vendors. Registration details will be sent via email in advance.

  • Prior to Disembarking: While onboard, unvaccinated guests 2 years of age and older will be required to undergo antigen testing within 24 hours of disembarking at the end of the voyage. This test will be conducted the day before the cruise ends by one of their testing vendors. Guests will be notified onboard about how to register for this test.

What to Expect Onboard:


Face Masks

At this time, vaccinated and unvaccinated guests are required to wear masks indoors unless seated and actively eating or drinking. Masks are not required in your stateroom when you are with your traveling party, outdoors, or at Perfect Day at CocoCay, unless in a crowded setting. Guests under the age of 2 years do not need to wear a mask. Masks won’t be required for vaccinated guests when in venues (bars, lounges, restaurants and entertainment) or at events designated for vaccinated guests only. In the coming days, they are expecting updated guidance from the CDC on mask policies for vaccinated guests and will update you at that time.


Physical Distancing

Venues will be set up with proper spacing and they ask guests to abide by physical distancing, especially when interacting with those outside of your traveling party.


Onboard Experience

They will sail with fewer guests onboard, letting them ease back into vacation mode. Guests will also notice some other changes. Since the majority of guests will be vaccinated, there will be venues restricted to vaccinated guests only. They will do their best to create opportunities for all guests to enjoy their time. Please note, the SeaPass card will be required to access lounges, shows and dining venues, so keep it handy at all times during the cruise.


Dining & Lounges

All dining venues will offer spaced seating. It is strongly encouraged that guests make dining reservations via Cruise Planner before their cruise or the Royal Caribbean app onboard. In the Main Dining Room, they will designate areas for vaccinated and unvaccinated reservations to dine separately. Unfortunately, My Time Dining will not be available to unvaccinated guests. In addition, while Windjammer will be open, the food will be served by the crew.


Entertainment

Venues will offer spaced seating and more showtimes throughout your sailing. Select showtimes will be for vaccinated guests and others for vaccinated and unvaccinated guests. More information will be provided onboard. Be sure to make show reservations once onboard using the Royal Caribbean app.


Going Ashore

All guests are subject to restrictions and requirements as defined by local authorities in the ports they visit. Details will be provided onboard. It is reasonable to expect that unvaccinated guests will be subject to stricter protocols than vaccinated guests.


All guests will need to complete a Health Questionnaire via the Royal Caribbean App prior to boarding.



Cunard


Due to the number of affected international ports of call, and uncertainty as to when restrictions in each will be lifted, it is highly unlikely that they will be able to deliver their forthcoming Cunard World Voyage experience. Therefore they have made the decision to cancel the 2022 World Voyages on both Queen Mary 2® and Queen Victoria.®

  • Queen Mary 2's 2022 World Voyage sailings from January 3, 2022 up to and including April 4, 2022 are canceled.

  • Queen Mary 2’s season of voyages sailing from November 14, 2021 up to and including January 3, 2022 remain scheduled to sail.

  • Guests booked on the canceled 2022 Full World Voyages will be offered the best available matched stateroom on their 2023 Centenary Full World Voyages.

After completing her series of UK Staycation holidays in October, Queen Elizabeth was scheduled to return to Australia for a prolonged series of voyages. However, with the current forecasts for the lifting of restrictions in Australia, this will not be feasible. Therefore, they have made the decision to cancel all previously scheduled sailings on Queen Elizabeth between October 18, 2021 and March 9, 2022.


Due to the practicalities involved in returning the full Cunard fleet to service, they have made the decision to cancel Queen Victoria’s current scheduled 2021 voyages. Queen Victoria will remain out of service until late April 2022. However, with her sister ship Queen Elizabeth resuming sailing from July 2021 for her UK Summer at Sea program, they can confirm that after this she will now adopt a number of Queen Victoria’s itineraries. Guests originally on the affected Queen Victoria voyages will be transferred to the equivalent sailings on Queen Elizabeth. Cunard will automatically arrange this transfer, you do not need to do anything.


Queen Victoria, photo credit: Cunard


Princess Cruises


Princess Cruises will have eight ships that will be sailing this fall along the West Coast and to the Caribbean and Panama Canal.