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Travel News of the Week

Cruise News

Disney Cruise Line

Revised CDC Requirements for All Sailings:

Disney Cruise Line has updated its U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requirements for all sailings beginning September 13, 2021 until further notice:

Timing for Pre-Sail COVID-19 Testing:

  • Due to recently updated technical guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Guests 11 years of age and younger are not required to be vaccinated, but must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by the Guest) taken between 3 days and 24 hours prior to the date they set sail.

  • The window in which Guests 11 years of age and under must take and submit proof of a negative COIVD-19 test result has been reduced. Instead of between 5 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date, tests must be taken and submitted between 3 days and 24 hours prior to the sail date.

  • The test should be a rapid PCR test or lab-based PCR test. Rapid antigen tests are not accepted.

Embarkation COVID-19 testing:

  • Beginning September 13, all Guests, regardless of age and vaccination status, are required to take a COVID-19 test administered by Inspire Diagnostics at the terminal before boarding.

  • Disney Cruise Line will cover the cost.

Additionally, beginning September 3, 2021, all Guests 12 years of age and older, must be fully vaccinated to sail to any destination. Guests 11 years of age and younger are not required to be vaccinated but must provide proof of a negative pre-trip PCR COVID-19 test. The only exception is for Panama Canal sailings: all passengers must be vaccinated.

Safe Passage Website Update In addition, Disney Cruise Line has an update on the Safe Passage Website:

  • Beginning August 31, Guests can register and create an account associated with their reservation starting at 15 days prior to their sailing instead of 33 days prior to their sailing.

  • This will shorten the time window in which Guests can register and request test kits.

  • When a sail ID changes or a Guest changes their itinerary, they will need to re-register the reservation with Safe Passage.

  • If a test kit was ordered previously, a new kit must also be requested, as each test kit is specific to that sailing. Reducing the number of days to create an account also lowers the risk of the wrong test kit being utilized.

  • This change also aligns with the Cruise Date Flexibility policy that allows Guests to change their sail date up to 15 days prior to embarkation. This is for bookings confirmed by July 31, 2021 and sailings before December 31, 2021.

Animator's Palette on the Disney Dream


For sailings through March 31, 2022, Disney Cruise Line is temporarily extending final payment until 60 days prior to sailing for Guests booked in unrestricted stateroom categories. This means that those Guests who have not yet reached their final payment due date can wait until up to 60 days prior to sailing to pay for their cruise vacation. Onboard cruise activities can be scheduled within each Guest’s Castaway Club booking window once final payment is received.

In addition, They are temporarily relaxing the cruise cancellation fee schedule for sailings through March 31, 2022.


Disney Cruise Line is planning to resume sailings for the Disney Wonder on October 1, 2021. These include California sailings, as well as the Panama Canal Sailing on November 5, 2021. Galveston, Texas sailings will be announced at a later date.

For California sailings, Guests ages 12 years and older must be fully vaccinated. Due to recently updated technical guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Guests 11 years of age and younger are not required to be vaccinated, but must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result (paid for by the Guest) taken between 3 days and 24 hours prior to the date you set sail. Additionally, beginning September 13, ALL Guests, regardless of age and vaccination status are also required to take a Disney Cruise Line-paid PCR COVID-19 test administered by Inspire Diagnostics at the terminal before boarding. For back-to-back sailings, ALL Guests regardless of age and vaccination status must take a PCR COVID-19 test administered by Inspire Diagnostics at the terminal after debarking the ship from their first cruise and before re-boarding for their second cruise.

Fully vaccinated Guests who wish to disembark the ship while in a port of call can do so without the need to purchase a Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure. Guests who are vaccinated and wish to disembark the ship with unvaccinated children will need to purchase a Disney Cruise Line Port Adventure.

For the Panama Canal sailing, please note that all Guests, regardless of age, must be fully vaccinated. Guests 11 years of age and younger will be unable to sail. All Guests must undergo a Disney Cruise Line-paid PCR COVID-19 test administered by Inspire Diagnostics at the terminal before boarding.

As part of the relaunch of the Disney Wonder, two California sailings are being cancelled:

  • 2-night sailing on Sept. 24

  • 5-night sailing on Sept. 26

If paid in full, Guest will receive a 125% future cruise credit. If not paid in full, Guests will receive a full voyage refund. All UK and EU Guests will receive a future cruise credit that must be used within 14 days or receive a voyage refund.

Many California itineraries are being modified. Guests will receive SeaMails advising of changes and should contact their travel advisor for more information.

There are no itinerary changes on 3-night and 4-night Disney Wonder sailings between October 8 and October 27.


MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises made a recent update from the CDC which shortens the length of time allowed for pre-cruise Covid-19 testing for fully vaccinated guests from 3 days to 2 days before arriving at the terminal for embarkation.

All guests age 12 and older are required to be fully vaccinated on cruises departing September 3 through & including October 31 in accordance with updated Health and Safety Protocols from The Bahamas. All fully vaccinated guests, 12 years and older, must show their original CDC vaccination card at embarkation. Copies and pictures will not be accepted. All guests 2 years and older, are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test at the pier. Tests must be taken no more than 2 days prior to departure (for fully vaccinated guests) or 3 days prior to departure (for not fully vaccinated guests) and the guest is responsible for the cost. All fully vaccinated guests (12 years and older) must provide: a Negative RT-PCR or Negative NAAT or Negative antigen test taken no more than 2 days prior to departure. Guests that are not fully vaccinated (ages 2-11) must provide: a Negative RT-PCR or Negative NAAT test taken no more than 3 days prior to departure (antigen test will not be accepted for not fully vaccinated guests). Telehealth self-tests taken at home will be accepted for fully vaccinated guests provided the following requirements are met:

  • The test must have Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. FDA.

  • The self-test process must happen under live supervision on a video call with a telehealth representative.

  • The telehealth provider must issue a result document that includes all the necessary information.

  • An example of one test that meets these parameters is the supervised Abbott BinaxNow COVID-19 Ag Card Test available through the Abbott Navica app or eMed.com. Note that this test kit must be shipped to the home in most cases and may take up to 5 business days to arrive (in the U.S.) after the order is placed.


There is a new ancillary COVID-19 Testing and Related Services requirement beginning with for bookings as of Monday, August 30th. All guests age 12 and above who are not fully vaccinated at time of sailing will be required to purchase this ancillary item which will cover COVID-19 testing and related services on all MSC Cruises sailing in all destinations. This should be purchased pre-cruise, ideally at the time of booking and is available to add to the booking via MSC Book and by contacting our contact center.

COVID-19 Testing and Related Services

  • Cruises 4-night - $100 per person (for ages 12+ not fully vaccinated)

  • Cruises 5-nights or longer - $150 per person (for ages 12+ not fully vaccinated)


Celebrity Cruises

As of September 13, 2021, all vaccinated guests are required to present a negative COVID-19 test at the time of embarkation. This test may be taken as either a PCR test or an Antigen test, conducted within two days of boarding the vessel. Each guest is responsible for making their own arrangements with an accredited testing provider as well as covering all associated costs.

Unvaccinated children between the ages of two and eleven years old will be required to bring a negative PCR test conducted within three days of boarding. These guests will have an additional PCR test at the terminal prior to embarkation and on the day before disembarkation. A registration link for required testing will be sent separately. Should a guest be unable to complete the testing requirements, a 100% refund or Future Cruise Credit will be offered.

For your convenience, they are working on an option with an authorized medical provider to offer home-test kits for vaccinated guests. This testing option will be available to purchase on their website September 8, 2021 and can be delivered to your home in two days to make their testing process quick and seamless. For more information regarding testing requirements visit the Healthy at Sea webpage. Guests arriving at the terminal without a negative COVID-19 test result may be denied boarding.

Celebrity Apex Retreat, photo credit: Celebrity Cruises


Princess Cruises

As of September 19, 2021, Covid testing will be required within 2 days of embarkation.

On voyages sailing through September 12, 2021, ALL guests will be required to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) result taken within 3 days of their embarkation. On voyages sailing September 19, 2021 and after, in accordance with updated CDC directives, ALL guests will be required to produce a negative viral COVID-19 test (PCR or antigen) result taken within 2 days of their embarkation. So if sailing on Sunday, the test may be taken on Friday and Saturday, and as late as Sunday, if you are guaranteed to receive your results in time for check-in.

Guests will be required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test along with proof of full vaccination upon arrival in the terminal and can then proceed on board. Guests who travel internationally should always ensure they understand all entry and airline requirements to travel from their home country and the destinations they plan to visit, including where health authorities may require pre-travel COVID-19 testing. In addition to mandatory pre-travel COVID tests for vaccinated guests, guests who have traveled internationally in the 14 days prior to embarkation, will require an antigen test at embarkation. For US sailings, this excludes travel to Canada. These requirements are in effect through October 31, 2021, as we continue to assess the latest information and recommendations of leading health authorities.

They are working to set up mobile testing sites near the embarkation ports to conduct COVID-19 testing the day before, or day of, your cruise departure. The company providing the testing will charge a per-person fee (please check back at princess.com/CruiseHealthFAQ ❯ for details). Providers will not accept insurance, but you will be provided a receipt should you wish to submit the cost to your insurance carrier. Please consider this as a back-up alternative should you not be able to make arrangements prior to leaving home.

In accordance with CDC protocols, guests who test positive for COVID-19 on embarkation day will be denied boarding, together with their family members and close contacts, may be required to quarantine shoreside, and may be restricted from commercial air travel. If you, your family members, traveling companions or other close contacts are suspected of having COVID-19 and are denied boarding, you will be entitled to a 100% Future Cruise Credit.


Carnival Cruise Line

With eight of its ships already in guest operations, and more restarting in September and October, Carnival Cruise Line announced the next round of details about additional ship restarts for November 2021 and beyond.

  • Carnival Valor will follow Carnival Glory in New Orleans with four- and five-night sailings starting on Nov. 1;

  • Carnival Legend will restart Nov. 14 out of Baltimore, replacing Carnival Pride, which restarts guest operations from Baltimore Sept. 12 and then moves its homeport to Tampa following a Panama Canal repositioning cruise;

  • Carnival Radiance will have a new maiden voyage date of Dec. 13 out of Long Beach (rescheduled from Nov. 5 due to a revised dry dock transformation plan);

  • Carnival Pride’s new service from Tampa is scheduled to start on Nov. 14;

  • Carnival Conquest’s restart from Miami on Oct. 8 has been rescheduled to Dec. 13;

  • Carnival Sensation’s Oct. 21 restart from Mobile has been moved to Jan. 2022.

Carnival is also advising guests booked in November and December that it will continue to meet the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) standard of vaccinated cruises and that guests will need to present proof of both vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test at check-in (with a small number of capacity-restricted exemptions granted for children under 12 and other guests who cannot be vaccinated). Carnival is working to set up mobile pre-cruise rapid testing sites at all of its homeports as a back-up alternative for vaccinated guests who aren’t able to make arrangements (details forthcoming). In addition, guests will be asked to wear masks in most indoor venues of the ship where people congregate. Full details are available at the Have Fun. Be Safe. page on Carnival.com.

With the extension of Carnival Sensation’s restart, five ships operating out of U.S. homeports will be moved to 2022: Carnival Liberty (Port Canaveral), Carnival Sunshine (Charleston), Carnival Paradise (Tampa); Carnival Ecstasy (Jacksonville) and Carnival Sensation (Mobile).

Separate from its U.S. operations, Carnival has cancelled four additional sailings for both Carnival Spirit and Carnival Splendor out of Australia. Cruises on both ships are now cancelled up to and including Dec. 16, 2021.


In the World News

The European Union has removed the US from its list of safe countries. There is no unified Covid tourism policy so each country has the discretion to set its own requirements and restrictions which could include quarantines, testing requirements prior to arrival and upon arrival, or they may ban all nonessential travel from the US.



As of September 4, 2021, the Netherlands has moved the US to the very high risk category. Any unvaccinated, American travelers will be denied entry into the country. All vaccinated Americans will need to quarantine for 10 days upon entry. They may be able to end quarantine early by testing on day 5.

As of September 6, 2021, all vaccinated, American travelers over the age of 12 will need to present proof of a negative PCR or antigen test performed within the 24 hours prior to their departure to enter the Netherlands.



AMR™ Collection announced an update on behalf of Now® Amber Puerto Vallarta. In order to continually evolve and enhance the on-property guest experience, they are excited to share that Now Amber Puerto Vallarta has aligned to the distinct Dreams brand offerings and now will transition to become Dreams® Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa as of October 15, 2021.

This property features lavish accommodations and luxurious amenities in all aspects of the resort that further elevate and upgrade the overall guest experience and deliver the Unlimited-Luxury® standards and signature concept the Dreams® Resorts & Spas brand is known for, including:

  • 327 spacious suites featuring spectacular ocean views, as well as ground floor suites with direct swim out access to a pool from a private terrace

  • Open-air lobby on the third floor boasting bay and mountain views, perfect for watching sunsets and live nightly entertainment

  • Situated in the heart of Puerto Vallarta and only five minutes from the exciting “El Malecon” boardwalk, a boardwalk parallel to the beach offering shops, restaurants, and bars

  • Seven dining options, including four à la carte restaurants, a buffet, a grill and a café

  • Five bars serving premium brand domestic and international favorites ranging from swim-up to a nightly music lounge

  • Unique dinosaur-themed Explorer’s Club for Kids ages 3-12, and a Core Zone Teen’s Club for teens ages 13-17

  • Eco-friendly 14,000 square feet of spa made out of reclaimed wood and featuring a hydrotherapy circuit with new serenity spa cabins

  • Over 6,886 square feet of meeting facilities including a Convention Center with capacity for up to 724 people, small break outs & meeting rooms

The Lobby at Dreams Vallarta Bay Resort & Spa, photo credit: AMResorts®



Tauck has clarified the recent notice of the European Union electing to remove the United States from its “safe list” and recommended that its member nations prohibit non-essential travel from the US. The media coverage of this event has created a climate of increased anxiety and confusion, leading many to believe that Americans will be denied entry to EU member countries. • The EU vote is only a recommendation to its member countries • The EU has no authority to require that countries restrict entry to travelers from the US • To date, no countries have elected to follow the EU recommendation to deny entry to US travelers • Tauck will notify guests of any changes to the status of their upcoming journeys Tauck's New Universal Vaccination Requirement:

As they navigate the changing landscape of requirements and protocols, one thing that has become abundantly clear is that where possible, they need to simplify things for their guests and their employees. One opportunity for simplification is to implement one consistent vaccination policy for all of our tours and cruises. They will therefore extend their vaccination requirement, previously implemented for all European travel, to cover all Tauck tours and cruises globally. As partners and the places they visit have increasingly required that all visitors be vaccinated, it has become clear that it is no longer possible to accommodate unvaccinated guests and provide the quality experience guests expect from Tauck. Therefore, effective September 7, 2021, all guests ages 12 and over will have to present proof of being fully vaccinated, such as the CDC Vaccination Record Card, at the start of their trip to their Tauck Director. There are no exceptions to this requirement, which is in place until further notice. Their 2021 Flexible Booking Policy waives change penalties for transferring their booking to any other Tauck trip operating in 2021 or 2022.



Spain announced the following requirements. Effective September 6, (including departures from the U.S. on September 5), all travelers will be required to provide one of the following documents:

  1. Proof of full vaccination or recovery.

  2. A negative NAAT test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

  3. A negative antigen test taken within 48 hours of arrival. Children under 12 years of age are will not be required to present a negative test result.

All vaccinated and non-vaccinated travelers must complete a Sanitary Control Form via Government of Spain, or by downloading the Spain Travel Health (SpTH) application and obtain their QR code to be presented at boarding and upon arrival into Spain. No paper forms will be accepted.



The Italian government announced new COVID-19 testing requirements. Effective September 1, all travelers, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 antigen or molecular test taken at most 72 hours before arrival into Italy. Children under six years of age will not be required to present a negative test result.

Please be aware that any travelers who are unable to obtain a negative COVID-19 test within the departure window will be denied boarding and must cancel or rebook their flight. There are no options to test or quarantine upon arrival into Italy.

All passengers traveling to Italy must fill out a Digital Passenger Locator Form before arrival and one of the following: Vaccination card, Green pass or Certificate of recovery.



Because many of destinations have vaccination requirements for indoor experiences (museums, restaurants, attractions, etc.), for departures on or after September 20, 2021, all CIE Tours guests ages 12 and older must be fully vaccinated and carry proof with them to show as needed. This new requirement should not only provide an extra layer of confidence to guests but will offer them the most seamless and enjoyable travel experience.  They will continue to monitor local requirements and update policies accordingly.

Travelers under the age of 12 must be able to produce a verifiable negative COVID-19 test result in the form of written documentation (paper or electronic copy). The negative test result must show that the test was conducted within 72 hours before the start of the trip.

For up-to-date information on all travel requirements as well as a sample of CIE Tours’ Pre-Trip Health Questionnaire, please visit https://www.cietours.com/travel-requirements.



In light of the large number of positive Covid cases, Greece has adjusted their requirement for unvaccinated travelers. Unvaccinated travelers must have proof of a negative rapid test taken within 48 hours in order to enter indoor cinemas, theaters, museums, archaeological sites and gyms. Venues do have the right to refuse access to unvaccinated visitors.


Theme Park News

Walt Disney World

Annual passes are coming back beginning September 8, 2021!

What’s New

Here are some highlights of our new Annual Passes:

  • Hold More Park Reservations: Depending on their pass type, Passholders may now hold up to five Disney Park Pass reservations at a time. We’ll also be adding “bonus reservations” to the calendar from time to time, so Passholders can make an additional park reservation without it counting against their applicable reservation hold limit. Plus, when Passholders stay at Disney Resort hotels or other select hotels, they will also be eligible to make theme park reservations for each day of their stay – in addition to the reservations they can hold based on their pass type!

  • Customize Passes: Passholders can choose different add-on options based on their preferences – from the Water Park and Sports option to Disney PhotoPass downloads. These add-on options will be available for purchase with any of our four new passes.

  • Access a New Integrated Calendar: Planning will be easier with enhancements to our reservation system, including a new integrated calendar that lets Passholders quickly see blockout dates for each pass type, view available days and make, modify or cancel a reservation all in one place.

  • Enjoy Passholder Perks: Passes will continue to offer benefits Guests know and love including the Park Hopper option, standard theme park parking and discounts on merchandise and dining. And, there will be a few special surprises throughout the 50th anniversary celebration!

Current Passholders may continue to use their Annual Pass as they do today – when it is time for them to renew, they will be able to renew into one of our new passes (at a special renewal price). Plus, beginning September 8, 2021, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum Plus Annual Passholders will also be able to hold more reservations at a time!

photo credit: Disney Destinations


Disneyland Resort

The Disneyland Resort will once again transform into a merry and magical place as Guests return to enjoy their holiday season here, November 12, 2021. Guests will have three more days to celebrate the Holidays, too, because they’re extending it through January 9, 2022. As Guests visit to make new memories this year, many beloved traditions are back that will provide them with cheerful entertainment, yuletide treats, specialty merchandise, sparkling décor and seasonal transformations of select attractions.

At Disneyland park, nostalgic holiday magic shines brightly with the glistening Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle and a 60-foot Christmas tree on Main Street, U.S.A. Both make wonderful photo locations for that cherished memory of a Holiday visit.

Entertainment making a comeback this year at the park includes “A Christmas Fantasy” parade where beloved Disney characters join Santa Claus for a merry musical celebration down Main Street, U.S.A. Guests may also see Santa making other stops within the parks throughout their visit. For the perfect kiss goodnight Guests will be treated to “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks spectacular and magical snowfall over portions of Main Street, U.S.A. Additionally, seasonal transformations will happen once again at “it’s a small world” Holiday and the 20th installation of Haunted Mansion Holiday.

At Disney California Adventure park, Guests can create new memories during Festival of Holidays and discover the sights, sounds and tastes of a diverse season of celebrations during this festive time of year, including Christmas/Navidad, Diwali, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Three Kings Day. Friends and families are invited to celebrate with “Disney ¡Viva Navidad!” as Disney characters host a fun street party featuring Mexican folklórico dancers and Mariachis, Brazilian samba dancers and percussionists, giant mojiganga puppets and Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in their fiesta best! At Paradise Gardens, Guests will enjoy festively themed food and beverages, live music and dance, and later in the Holiday season Mirabel from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming film ‘Encanto’ will make her park debut. Stay tuned for information on Mirabel’s introduction.

Also around the Resort, traditional holiday décor and carolers bring the holiday spirit to Downtown Disney District and the Hotels of the Disneyland Resort. Over at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Guests will want to discover all the fun new details on the giant gingerbread house this year.


Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris is introducing guests to Worlds of Pixar, a new name to encompass the growing number of Pixar attractions and experiences found in Walt Disney Studios Park.

Fans of all ages can immerse themselves in this colorful, family-friendly world featuring seven popular attractions such as Crush’s Coaster, Ratatouille: The Adventure and, of course, Cars ROAD TRIP. This includes a large part of the previously named Toon Studio, inviting guests to find friendship and adventures, meet favorite characters, and enjoy themed dining experiences like Bistrot Chez Remy and the new “Laugh ‘n’ Go!” food truck near Cars ROAD TRIP.

Beyond the popular attractions, this new immersive zone will invite guests to experience three new photo opportunities and “Instagrammable” backdrops, and discover Pixar-inspired decorations as well as themed merchandise kiosks. New themed snacks and sweets such as Toy Story and Luca inspired shortbreads and exclusive Worlds of Pixar donuts and cupcakes will be on hand at four food kiosks, while the popular dessert, Remy’s chocolate and hazelnut éclair, will be offered at Bistrot chez Remy. Of course, guests will also be able to take a selfie with some of their favorite Pixar characters, and soon maybe even sight Lightning McQueen or The Incredibles roaming around the area!


SeaWorld Orlando

Sesame Street Kids' Weekend at SeaWorld will be November 6-7, 2021. Kids can join in special activities, dance parties, photo opportunities with favorite characters, and much more.

Guy Harvey Weekend in SeaWorld will be also November 6-7. Guy Harvey is a unique blend of artist, scientist, diver, angler, conservationist, and explorer. He is fiercely devoted to his family and his love of the sea. Join him for meet-and-greets, autographs, and photo opportunities within the Guy Harvey store located in the Waterfront.

Infinity Falls, SeaWorld Orlando


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