Travel News of the Week

Cruise News


Celebrity Cruises


Celebrity Cruises will be relocating Celebrity Infinity® from Europe to the Caribbean. As a result, they will be canceling all Celebrity Infinity Mediterranean sailings currently scheduled to depart April 15 through November 28, 2022. This will allow them to open new 7-night Caribbean cruises for sale in the Summer and Fall months.



 

Carnival Cruise Line


Carnival Cruise Line said that it will be the largest cruise line to use the VeriFLY solution for its operations from U.S. homeports, with a pilot program that will start January 22 for guests boarding Mardi Gras at Port Canaveral, in addition to finalizing plans to expand in-terminal testing capabilities for vaccinated guests prior to embarkation, specifically for short itineraries of 3- and 4-day voyages. Carnival also said it will continue to operate under its current protocols, sailing vaccinated voyages, requiring pre-embarkation testing and following onboard indoor mask requirements until further notice.


VeriFLY by Daon is now widely used in the airline industry, and it will allow Carnival guests to upload their proof of vaccination and testing information so that it can be verified in advance of the sailing – resulting in a streamlined embarkation experience at the terminal. Once the pilot at Port Canaveral is complete, Carnival intends to move quickly to implement the solution across its fleet.


Carnival is also working to expand testing capabilities at the terminal for vaccinated guests, specifically for short itineraries (3- and 4-day voyages). Once implemented, vaccinated guests will be able to meet the pre-cruise testing requirement as part of the embarkation process. Pre-registration will be required, and there will be capacity limits based on the resources of testing providers. Testing sites to support short itinerary cruises will be phased in and announced by the end of January.


Carnival also said it intends to follow its Have Fun. Be Safe. operating protocols until further notice.


 

Carnival Cruise Line's new Carnival Jubilee, the most-anticipated new ship coming to the Port of Galveston – is now accepting reservations for its inaugural 2023 and 2024 schedule.


Carnival Jubilee, the cruise line’s third Excel-class ship featuring all the fun already wowing guests aboard its sister Mardi Gras, will offer seven-day Western Caribbean itineraries from its homeport of Galveston, Texas beginning November 18, 2023 with stops in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico, as well as Mahogany Bay (Isla Roatan), Honduras.


Before settling into its new home, Carnival Jubilee will depart on October 30, 2023 from London (Southampton) on an 18-day transatlantic voyage. The ship will visit the Port of Vigo in Spain, Las Palmas and Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Funchal in Portugal and Grand Turk, before arriving in Texas.



Carnival Jubilee rendering, photo credit: Carnival Cruise Line


 

MSC Cruises


Flexible booking changes have been extended. With Flexible Booking Changes, guests can easily change their cruise date, free of charge, up to 48 hours prior to sail date. This policy has been extended for bookings made through March 31, 2022 and departing through March 31, 2023.


They have extended their Healthcare Heroes promotion of up to a 50% discount on cruise fares for them and their families. This offer has been extended for all new bookings confirmed by March 31, 2022 for any cruise departing through December 31, 2022, excluding MSC World Cruises, and is subject to availability at the time of reservation.


 

MSC's newest ship, MSC Seascape, is now open for reservations. She will call Miami home when she debuts in December to sail 7-night cruises through April 2023.


MSC Divina, photo credit: MSC Cruises


 

Crystal Cruises


Crystal announced that it has suspended operations for its Ocean and Expedition ships through April 29, 2022, with River cruises suspended through the end of May 2022. Suspending operations will provide Crystal’s management team with an opportunity to evaluate the current state of business and examine various options moving forward.


Crystal’s three ships currently in operation – Crystal Serenity and Crystal Symphony sailing in the Caribbean and Crystal Endeavor in Antarctica – will complete their current voyages. Crystal Symphony’s current voyage ends in Miami on January 22, Crystal Serenity in Aruba on January 30 and Crystal Endeavor in Ushuaia, Argentina, on February 4.


“This was an extremely difficult decision but a prudent one given the current business environment and recent developments with our parent company, Genting Hong Kong,” said Jack Anderson, Crystal’s president. “Crystal has been synonymous with luxury cruising for more than 30 years and we look forward to welcoming back our valued guests when we resume operations. We wish to thank our guests and travel advisors for their incredible support during these ongoing challenging times.”


Guests and their travel partners are currently being notified. Crystal will provide a full refund of cruise fare paid, which will be processed automatically to the original form of payment so there is no further action on the guest’s part. If the cruise was paid via a Future Cruise Payment or Credit, the full value will be returned to their Crystal Society profile account.

 

Further updates to the situation have been released. U.S. Federal District Court Judge Darrin Gayles approved the order issuing a warrant for the “arrest” of Crystal Symphony when the ship was due to arrive in Miami on January 22. The order approved liens against the vessel and its engines, machinery, tools, boats, anchors, navigational equipment, and everything aboard, including furnishings. Peninsula Petroleum Far East is owed nearly $5 million for fuel deliveries.


Crystal Symphony did not arrive in Miami as was expected, but instead diverted to Bimini, Bahamas where guests were let off the ship. Guests were then ferried back to Florida.


 

Theme Park News


Walt Disney World


Yee-haw, attention all honorary toys! After enjoying a rollicking ride through Toy Story Mania!, Guests will soon be treated to a new experience that is filled to the brim with fun. Andy discovered Jessie’s Trading Post playset tucked away in the attic, and is bringing it downstairs to set up shop—full of the coolest toys and finest souvenirs handpicked by the rootinest, tootinest cowgirl.


photo credit: Disney Destinations


Also coming in 2022 to Andy’s backyard is the previously announced Roundup Rodeo BBQ restaurant! In this unique, fun, family-friendly dining experience, Guests will enjoy delicious barbecue fare while surrounded by a kaleidoscope of toys, games, and playsets that Andy has brought together to create his one-of-a-kind rodeo.


Stepping into the lobby and waiting area, Guests experience first-hand what it feels like to be one of Andy’s honorary toys, before progressing into two larger dining room spaces where Andy’s rodeo takes place. Here, the rodeo will be in full swing, with western town and train station playsets mixing with surprising, playful details, like some fan-favorite Pixar characters as they’ve never been seen before!


 

In an effort to continually enhance the Guest experience here at Walt Disney World, Disney will refresh their offerings from time to time. As previously announced in May 2021, Disney Skyliner transportation between EPCOT International Gateway, Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort will be unavailable from Sunday, January 23 through Friday, January 28.


Alternate transportation will be available to help Guests reach their destination during this refurbishment.


 

Disneyland Resort


Disneyland Resort is ringing in the Year of the Tiger during the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure Park.


This limited-time event – which runs through February 13, 2022 – is a joyous tribute to Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean cultures with a touch of Disney magic, featuring Asian-inspired food and drinks, vibrant décor, keepsake merchandise and exciting entertainment!


Lunar New Year celebrates the celestial journey of the sun and the moon on their voyage toward another year. This special festival invites Guests to make memories with their family and friends while sharing wishes for good health, luck and prosperity throughout the year to come.


photo credit: Disney Destinations


 

Busch Gardens Tampa Bay


The moment you’ve been waiting for is almost here. Iron Gwazi—North America’s tallest and the world’s fastest and steepest hybrid coaster—officially opens Friday, March 11.


Pass Members will have exclusive opportunities to ride starting February 13! Iron Gwazi takes thrills to new heights, plunging riders from a 206 foot-tall peak into a 91-degree drop and reaching top speeds of 76 miles per hour. Riders on Iron Gwazi will experience a dozen airtime moments, including three inversions, as they sink their teeth into crocodile-inspired thrills.


photo credit: SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment




 

In the World News


Adventures by Disney


Adventures by Disney will return to three enchanting European rivers in 2023: Rhine, Danube and Seine. With 27 action-packed departures, Guests will experience firsthand the people, places and stories of iconic destinations while travelling with a team of specially trained Adventure Guides who provide a seamless and authentic experience that is marked by Disney’s signature service.


Adventures by Disney has reinvented the river cruise experience, maximizing the time Guests spend in each port of call and allowing them to experience even more of the majesty of Europe. River cruise vacations offer dedicated programming for adults and children that has been curated with activities that every member of the family will enjoy, both onboard and onshore. With enchantment at the heart of every experience, Adventures by Disney is the only way travelers can discover the majesty of Europe with a touch of Disney magic.


Select departures are reserved exclusively for families traveling without children, including Food and Wine and Oktoberfest-themed cruises. Other themed cruise experiences, for Guests traveling both with and without children, include festive holiday sailings with stops at famed European Christmas markets.


These river cruise vacations can be booked on:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 25 – Adventure Insiders with 3+ Adventures

  • Wednesday, Jan. 26 – All Adventure Insiders

  • Thursday, Jan. 27 – Disney Vacation Club Members, Disney Cruise Line Gold & Platinum Castaway Club Members, Golden Oak members and Club 33 members

  • Friday, Jan. 28 – General public


 

Columbia


AMR™ Collection has its first resort in South America, Dreams® Karibana Cartagena Beach & Golf Resort, Columbia.


Expected to open April 1, 2022, Dreams Karibana Cartagena Beach & Golf Resort is located in Colombia and will feature 268 luxuriously appointed rooms, all with a private terrace, balcony or swim-out suites, along with Unlimited-Luxury®amenities including:

  • Five bars and lounges with unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits

  • Three gourmet, à la carte dining choices, pool and beach service

  • 24-hour room and concierge services

  • Daily activity and entertainment and nightly events

  • Access to a private beach club and 18-hole golf course designed by Nicklaus Design

  • More than 24,700 square feet of meeting and event space

Dreams Karibana Cartagena Beach & Golf Resort 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 and is backed by highly respected third-party certifications.


 

Turks & Caicos


Turks and Caicos has issued new COVID-19 safety measures for travelers. Effective January 21, all travelers aged 2 and up must show a negative COVID test, taken within 72 hours of arrival.


In addition, travelers aged 12 and up must show proof of vaccination (or negative COVID test within 24 hours) to enter a restaurant, bar, nightclub or similar venue. Travelers aged 12 and up must also show proof of vaccination (or negative COVID test within 24 hours) to attend events such as religious services.


In addition to the new requirements, visitors 16 years of age and older must be fully vaccinated. Travelers must complete a TCI Assured Travel Authorization form prior to boarding their flight.


 

Belize

Effective February 15th, 2022, all foreign tourists entering Belize will be required to purchase travel health insurance.

  • All travelers entering Belize at the Philip Goldson International Airport (PGIA) will be required to present a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken within 96 hours of arrival or a negative result from any approved Antigen Rapid Test (home testing kits are not accepted) taken within 48 hours of arrival. If no test is presented, a COVID-19 test will be administered at the airport for a fee of USD $50 per passenger. Children under the age of 5 years will not be required to present a negative test; but children 5 years and older will be required to present a negative test.

  • All travelers entering Belize through the Northern and Western Borders will be administered a Rapid Test for COVID-19 by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, at their own expense. No external COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Test will be accepted at these points of entry.


 

Ireland


There is good news for those traveling to Ireland. The Irish Government has lifted the restrictions for bars, restaurants, and indoor and outdoor events as of January 21. Almost all COVID-19 public health restrictions will come to an end.


If you are travelling to Ireland from overseas you must fill out a Passenger Locator Form (PLF) before departure. Travelers must arrive with either an accepted proof of vaccination or a proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the prior 6 months. They do not have to show an additional pre-departure COVID-19 test result.


As of February 1, vaccine certificates for primary vaccination series will not be accepted for travel if more than 270 days have passed since the final dose in the primary vaccine series.


Passengers without proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the prior 6 months, must show evidence of a negative ('not detected') PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to arriving in Ireland.


 

Thank you for our sponsor, Coasters & Castles Travel, LLC. If you would like information about any destinations, please don't hesitate to contact them at info@travelcnc.com or 844-422-8785. Check out their website at https://www.travelcnc.com. They would love to help you plan your next memorable vacation.





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