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Travel News of the Week

Cruise News

The CDC has approved eight cruise ships for test sailings and two for passenger cruises, on sailings from Port Canaveral and PortMiami in Florida and Galveston in Texas.

  • Two Carnival Cruise Line ships were approved for simulated sailings: the Carnival Vista from Galveston and the Carnival Horizon from Miami.

  • The Celebrity Edge was the first large cruise approved to carry passengers, and it will set sail on June 26th from Fort Lauderdale.

  • Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Equinox was approved for passenger sailings, or restricted voyages, which may sail without test sailings.

  • Royal Caribbean International was also approved for four of their ships to conduct trial cruises: the Allure of the Seas, Mariner of the Seas, Symphony of the Seas, and Independence of the Seas.

  • Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas was approved for a test sailing, which is being conducted on June 20, 2021 from Miami.

  • The Disney Dream was approved to do a test sailing from Port Canaveral on June 29, 2021.

Disney Dream


Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

Royal Caribbean is excited to announce their return to service this summer for many of their ships. As they continue working on their Royal Comeback, they will continue to update you as they announce additional ships returning to service.

Ships returning to service:

• Adventure of the Seas: June 12, 2021 departing from Nassau, Bahamas

• Allure of the Seas: August 8, 2021 departing from Port Canaveral, Florida

• Anthem of the Seas: July 7, 2021 departing from Southampton, United Kingdom

• Freedom of the Seas: July 2, 2021 departing from Miami, Florida

• Harmony of the Seas: August 15, 2021 departing from Barcelona, Spain & Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

• Independence of the Seas: August 15, 2021 departing from Galveston, Texas

• Jewel of the Seas: July 10, 2021 departing from Limassol, Cyprus

• Mariner of the Seas: August 23, 2021 departing from Port Canaveral, Florida

• Navigator of the Seas: November 19, 2021 departing from Los Angeles, California

• Odyssey of the Seas: July 3, 2021 departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida

• Ovation of the Seas: August 13, 2021 departing from Seattle, Washington

• Quantum of the Seas: December 1, 2020 departing from Singapore

• Serenade of the Seas: July 19, 2021 departing from Seattle, Washington

• Symphony of the Seas: August 14, 2021 departing from Miami, Florida

The following ships have been suspended through the end of August 2021:

• Brilliance of the Seas

• Enchantment of the Seas

• Explorer of the Seas

• Liberty of the Seas

• Grandeur of the Seas

• Oasis of the Seas

• Radiance of the Seas

• Rhapsody of the Seas

• Spectrum of the Seas

• Vision of the Seas

• Voyager of the Seas

It is recommended to consult all applicable U.S. Centers for Disease Control travel advisories, warnings, or recommendations relating to cruise travel, at cdc.gov/travel/notices. If a certain threshold level of COVID-19 is detected onboard the ship during your voyage, the voyage will end immediately, the ship will return to the port of embarkation, and your subsequent travel, including your return home, may be restricted or delayed. Health and safety protocols, guest conduct rules, and regional travel restrictions vary by ship and destination, and are subject to change without notice. Due to evolving health protocols, imagery and messaging may not accurately reflect onboard and destination experiences, offerings, features, or itineraries. These may not be available during your voyage, may vary by ship and destination, and may be subject to change without notice.


Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is in the process of finalizing all required COVID-19 protocols for guests. Below are the measures currently planned, which are subject to change as further details are established. They will be updated in accordance with guidance from public health authorities.

It’s important to note that moving forward, no later than 24 hours prior to sailing, each adult guest will be required to complete a Health Questionnaire, review and accept their Passage Contract (which now includes provisions specific to COVID-19 and guest protocols) and review and accept their COVID-19 Risk Acceptance document. Guests who do not accept the documents will not be permitted to sail.

  • Mandatory enhanced pre-embarkation health screenings, including 100% testing for  COVID-19 prior to embarkation, touchless temperature checks and health questionnaires, in accordance with the latest guidelines

  • Anyone with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 , or who are identified at-risk, will be referred for additional medical screening before allowing them to board

  • Secondary screenings (and health checks throughout the cruise) when necessary

  • Contact tracing is planned for every cruise

  • Entertainment programs and restaurants will be designed to enhance physical distancing.

  • Physical distancing will also be maintained throughout check-in and embarkation, and will be required in terminals, on board ships, on private islands, and during shore excursions.

  • When physical distancing can’t be maintained, or when mandated by public health authorities, masks will be required on board, at private islands, and during shore excursions. Masks must be worn in terminals, during embarkation and disembarkation.


Due to ongoing Canadian Transport Ministry’s Interim Order that extends the closure of Canadian ports and waters to passenger vessels, Princess Cruises has cancelled the remaining 2021 Canada New England season and sailings from New York.

The cancelled cruises include 7-day Canada & New England sailings this fall, along with a 14-day Caribbean Islander itinerary, departing August 28 through November 6 on Caribbean Princess®.

Impacted guests have three choices on how they would like to resolve their reservation, and a decision must be selected by July 15, 2021. After that time, all bookings that have not chosen an option will automatically receive the Future Cruise Credit (FCC) option.

  1. Transfer to an equivalent 2022 replacement cruise (if available)

  2. Future Cruise Credit (FCC)

  3. Refund of monies paid towards the reservation


Regent Seven Seas Cruises

Regent Seven Seas Cruises announced its fleet will begin sailing again this fall:

  • Seven Seas Splendor® - September 11, 2021 from London (Southampton), England

  • Seven Seas Explorer® - October 16, 2021 from Venice, Italy

  • Seven Seas Mariner® - December 18, 2021 from Miami, Florida

  • Seven Seas Navigator® - January 6, 2022 from Miami, Florida

  • Seven Seas Voyager® - February 15, 2022 from Barcelona, Spain

All other sailings up to these dates have been suspended.

“We thought carefully about how, when, and where reuniting the entire Regent family would enable us to consistently deliver an unrivaled experience with every luxury included, as well as provide exceptional destination explorations,” said Jason Montague, president and chief executive officer, Regent Seven Seas Cruises. “We are incredibly excited that all five of our ships will be back on the ocean by early 2022, the year of our 30th anniversary. The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet is ready to return, and our crew will be there eagerly waiting to welcome all our guests back onboard once again.”

From spacious suites and expansive social areas, to multiple gourmet dining venues and attentive, personalized service, luxury travelers will soon be able to once again enjoy Unrivaled Space at Sea™ and the peace of mind that comes with the multi-layered SailSAFE health and safety program, including 100% vaccination of both guests and crew.


Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line confirmed its plans to return to guest operations from Port of Galveston on July 3, 2021 with Carnival Vista, followed by the return of operations on Carnival Breeze on July 15, 2021. These cruises are available for guests who have received their final dose of a CDC-approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days prior to the beginning of the cruise and have proof of vaccination, in accordance with current guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As previously communicated, they have extended guests ability to rebook or request a full refund until Monday, June 14, 2021.

Carnival continues to work with both the state of FL and the CDC for Carnival Horizon sailings and plans to provide an update by Friday June 11, 2021 concerning protocols specific to these sailings to all booked guests. August plans will also be communicated over the coming days.


Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras, made her U.S. debut, docking for the first time at Port Canaveral’s Cruise Terminal 3, built specifically for this vessel which is the first in the Americas powered by eco-friendly Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and features the first roller coaster at sea.

Port Canaveral-based Carnival Freedom and Carnival Liberty joined Mardi Gras as she made her way down the cruise channel, creating a truly grand and memorable entrance befitting this innovative, game-changing ship.

Mardi Gras has been five years in the making and today’s arrival is a historic milestone for our company not to mention a truly emotional moment for everyone here at Carnival Cruise Line,” said Carnival President Christine Duffy. “This ship offers so many innovations and ways for our guests to choose fun that we are certain that she will quickly become a guest favorite. And as we look forward to our restart in guest operations, Mardi Gras’ arrival is symbolic of the excitement and anticipation we have about the future at Carnival Cruise Line.”

The company will now begin the process of ramping up Mardi Gras’ crew to a full contingent of 1,750 ready to create memorable vacations for guests who will enjoy the widest array of entertainment at sea, including the first shipboard version of the hit TV show Family Feud, and dine in more than two dozen restaurants with venues from Guy Fieri, Emeril Lagasse, Rudi Sodiman and the line’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal.

Guests can enjoy a host of culinary, bar and entertainment experiences throughout 19 decks and six distinct themed zones, as well as a wide range of outdoor attractions, including the longest ropes course and largest water park in the fleet.

Mardi Gras will sail year-round from Port Canaveral, offering seven-day itineraries to the eastern and western Caribbean.

Carnival Mardi Gras, photo credit: Carnival Cruise Line


Theme Park News

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World has released more details for this year's new event, "Disney After Hours Boo Bash." It will be running 23 select nights from August through October. The event will run from 9pm to 12am, but some event nights in August and September will be from 9:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

  • Special cavalcades will pop up throughout the night including “Mickey’s Happy Halloween Cavalcade,” with Mickey Mouse and friends dressed up for the occasion. Villains come out to celebrate in “Disney Villains Halloween Cavalcade." “Jack’s Nightmare Cavalcade” will feature Jack Skellington, Sally and Oogie Boogie riding down the parade path to “This is Halloween.” Maleficent will also make appearances as her form of a fire-breathing dragon.

  • Special character appearances include Miss Carlotta at the Haunted Mansion, Goofy and Chip ‘n’ Dale in their Halloween best, and other surprise characters. The Halloween Party favorites, the Cadaver Dans will also be performing.

  • There will be select complimentary snacks like ice cream novelties and popcorn, along with select beverages, are included in the cost of the event.

  • After the park closes to day guests, enjoy less time waiting in line for more than 20 attractions including Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Haunted Mansion attraction, Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and more.

  • A variety of specialty food and drinks will be available for purchase including an Apple Ginger Dale frozen drink (frozen apple cider mixed with ginger ale and topped with whipped cream) and a Foolish Mortal Funnel Cake, which will be on sale outside of the event from October 1st through November 1st.

  • Disney PhotoPass will also be available to take magical and spooky shots throughout the night.

  • “Disney After Hours Boo Bash” tickets will grant admission to Magic Kingdom park as early as 7 p.m. These dated event tickets do not require an additional day theme park ticket or Disney Park Pass theme park reservation.

  • Guests are welcome to dress in costume for the event. Costume masks are not permitted for adults; they can only be worn by children under 14.

  • Guests can get their fill of Halloween candy while trick-or-treating around the park.

Tickets will go on sale June 15, 2021 and can be purchased online or by calling 407-939-4240. Guests of select Walt Disney World Resort hotels can book their tickets as early as June 8th. Tickets during the early booking window will only be available by phone.

Tickets start at $129 - $139 USD, plus tax for August/September nights and $159 - $169, plus tax for October nights, and $199, plus tax for Halloween. Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members can take advantage of a $10 discount for event nights in August and September. A limited number of tickets are available.

Here are the dates for “Disney After Hours Boo Bash”:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021

  • Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021

  • Friday, Aug. 20, 2021

  • Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021

  • Friday, Aug. 27, 2021

  • Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021

  • Friday, Sept. 3, 2021

  • Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021

  • Friday, Sept. 10, 2021

  • Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021

  • Friday, Sept. 17, 2021

  • Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021

  • Friday, Sept. 24, 2021

  • Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021

  • Friday, Oct. 8, 2021

  • Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

  • Friday, Oct. 15, 2021

  • Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021

  • Friday, Oct. 22, 2021

  • Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021

  • Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2021

  • Friday, Oct. 29, 2021

  • Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021

The decorations on Main Street, U.S.A., will receive a magical transformation for the event nights in October as “The World’s Most Magical Celebration” begins. Walt Disney Imagineering, in partnership with the Walt Disney World Resort Holiday Services team, will blend a fall look with the enchanting story of Cinderella by creating special pumpkin coach decorations that will add to the park’s sparkling EARidescence during this magical time.


Reservations for Club Level rooms and suites in Walt Disney World Deluxe resorts are now available as of June 4th with phased reopenings:

  • Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa – Royal Palm Club – open as of September 16, 2021

  • Disney’s BoardWalk Resort – open as of September 23, 2021

  • Disney’s Contemporary Resort – open as of September 26, 2021

  • Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – open as of December 16, 2021

  • Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort – open as of December 16, 2021

Each Club Level Lounge will follow physical distancing measures and indoor covering requirements. The lounges will continue to provide a personalized experience for guests, including exclusive food & beverage options throughout the day and special Disney touches for all ages.

For Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort, they anticipate those three lounges will reopen at a later date.

Bookings can be made online, or by calling the Disney Reservation Center.


Disneyland Resort

Avengers Campus in Disney California Adventure Park is officially opened following a grand opening ceremony that was shown live for everyone to watch. One of the more anticipated additions to this new land, WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure is the first Disney ride-through attraction to feature this iconic Super Hero.

At the Worldwide Engineering Brigade – also known as WEB – Tony Stark has assembled young engineers who specialize in developing innovative technologies to equip and empower a new generation of Super Heroes. This workshop showcases the inventions of Peter Parker and the rest of the WEB Tech team, including Spider-Bots, which are designed to be robotic sidekicks capable of building anything a Super Hero might need.

As Guests don 3D glasses, their mission will be to test-drive the aspiring inventor’s latest invention, the WEB Slinger vehicle, and put their web-slinging skills to the test! Through specially designed, innovative technology that recognizes body movements and gestures, they will reach out their hands and sling webs from their wrists, just like Spider-Man.

As the WEB Slinger vehicles progress, Guests will virtually pass through several other Campus addresses, including Pym Test Kitchen, Avengers Headquarters and the Collector’s Fortress, also home to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! As the mission continues, Spider-Bots will become harder and harder to beat as they continue to multiply.

While everyone will be able to sling webs on the attraction, for the first time ever on a Disney Parks attraction, Guests will be able to customize their experience with new WEB Tech accessories. When they gear up, Guests will be able to find their OWN powers and get a different experience aboard the attraction!

photo credit: Disney Destinations


Club Level rooms at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa are now available for guests as of June 4, 2021. Club Level rooms have extra benefits on top of the amenities already in guest rooms. Club Level guests may bypass the Front Desk and check in on the Club Level as well as access online check-in service up to five days prior to arrival through their Disney account. Club Level Guests also enjoy exclusive access to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa’s Concierge Club, The Veranda, which includes a dedicated concierge desk and complimentary refreshments offered throughout the day.

Guests with reservations at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa arriving June 4, 2021 and beyond may upgrade or modify their stay to a Club Level room.

Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa Club Lounge


In the World News

Adventures by Disney

Starting May 2022, Adventures by Disney will begin to explore beautiful New England to enjoy iconic sites and flavors of the area. The brand-new guided vacation to Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine offers families the chance to discover the historical charm and unique culture of this celebrated region.

There will be 10 New England departures between May and October 2022, four of which are reserved for adult guests. Three of the adult-exclusive departures are scheduled during prime leaf-peeping season, the time of year when many travelers venture to New England to see the fall foliage.

Also coming in 2022, Adventures by Disney will be introducing six new itineraries to their Private Adventures, which are guided tours designed for smaller groups, up to 12 guests. New destinations included are Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia; England and France; New Zealand; Australia; South Africa; and Ireland.

Bookings for both the new Adventures by Disney New England vacation and added Private Adventures open to the public on June 11, 2021.

photo credit: Disney Destinations


St. Lucia

St. Lucia has updated their travel requirements for vaccinated visitors as of May 31st:

Fully vaccinated travelers will enjoy expanded access to the destination. Travelers are considered “Fully Vaccinated” once two weeks has passed since the second dose of the two-shot vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine. Vaccine Cards must be presented on entry to Saint Lucia.

Unvaccinated minors accompanying fully vaccinated adult visitors, will be required to complete a PCR test at their hotel on the day after arrival at the guest’s expense. Once the test is returned negative, these minors will be afforded the same access as their fully vaccinated parents (travelling companions).

All visitors to St. Lucia must abide by the following protocols:

  • Anyone age 5 years and older, must have a negative Covid-19 PCR test taken no more than 5 days prior to arrival.

    • All travelers must have a PCR test up to five days before travelling to Saint Lucia

    • A booking must be made to stay in Covid certified accommodation. This includes visitors who are not fully vaccinated who are required to take Covid-certified tours and visit Covid-certified restaurants.

  • Travelers must also complete and submit an online Travel Registration Form (18 years and over) prior to arrival. The requirements differ between traveler types.

  • Must adhere to all safety protocols in place throughout Saint Lucia, including wearing a mask in public.

  • Shall be subject to mandatory screening and temperature checks at the port of entry and throughout their stay.

  • Shall be transferred by certified taxi to their approved COVID-19 approved accommodation.

  • All passengers will be health screened on arrival. This will include a temperature check.

  • Complete the Health Screening Form on the day of travel and present to the health screening desk on arrival in St Lucia.

For more information, go to https://www.stlucia.org/en/covid-19/fully-vaccinated-arrivals/.


Las Vegas

Resorts World Las Vegas will be opening June 24, 2021. As a partner with Hilton Hotels & Resorts, this property will integrate three of Hilton's premium brands: the Las Vegas Hilton, Conrad Las Vegas, and Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels & Resorts.

  • Las Vegas Hilton at Resorts World will feature 1,774 full-service guest rooms and suites ranging from 400 to 3,300 square feet with smart, elevated amenities in a comfortable and refined setting.

  • Conrad Las Vegas at Resorts World will offer 1,496 contemporary guest rooms and suites ranging from 550 to 2,800 square feet, boasting luxe amenities and a curated art program.

  • Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotels & Resorts will showcase an intimate collection of 236 ultra-luxury guest rooms and suites ranging from 550 to 7,000 square feet that will feature lavish accommodations, upscale amenities and highly personalized service.

This sleek, modern property will have a large variety of amenities for visitors. Guests can choose from over 40 food and beverage options, a 5,000-capacity concert and entertainment venue, the next-generation casino floor, two levels of unique boutique shops and experiential offerings from luxury and lifestyle brands, Zouk Nightclub and AYU Dayclub, and an expansive 5.5-acre pool complex.

Conrad Las Vegas Lobby Rendering, photo credit: Resorts World Las Vegas


U.S. citizens currently overseas whose passports expired on or after January 1, 2020, may be able to use their expired U.S. passport for direct return travel to the United States until December 31, 2021. However, not all expired passports will be eligible for the waiver so they should check their status online before traveling.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (DHS CBP) officers will accept for admission certain expired U.S. passports, thereby assisting U.S. citizens who have been affected by appointment backlogs at embassies and consulates overseas caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently expired passports cannot be used to travel from the United States to an international destination or to travel to a foreign country for any length of stay longer than an airport connection en route to the United States or to a United States territory.

U.S. citizens who wish to return to the United States will need proof of a negative COVID-19 test result, taken within 72 hours of their flight’s departure, for air travel to the United States.

For more information, you can go to their website at travel.state.gov.


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