Category Archives: Travel Tips

11 Things You Won’t Be Able to Do on Cruises Anymore


Meghan JonesUpdated: Sep. 28, 2020

As cruises do their utmost to avoid a repeat of early 2020, the world of cruising will look quite a bit different as ships set sail again.

Get on board with these changes

Before lockdowns became a reality in the United States, cruise ships provided a disturbing preview of what was to come. From the 14-day quarantine of thousands of people on the virus-stricken Diamond Princess ship in February to harrowing stories of cruise ship workers confined to their tiny cabins for months, these news bytes left people wondering if, or perhaps why, anyone would ever take a cruise again. In April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a “no-sail order,” which they then extended in mid-July. This order didn’t actually provide a fixed date that cruises had to be docked until; it just prohibited cruises from sailing until they met certain COVID-19 protection standards.

And now, as a turbulent summer ends, some smaller cruise lines are starting to sail again. Others, however—including major carriers like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Disney—are continuing to wait for months to come. Whenever, if ever, you choose to go on a cruise again, here are some things you and your fellow passengers won’t be able to do. Of course, these will vary quite a bit by cruise line and individual ship, but these are the general things experts think you’re likely to see change. Plus, check out these things polite people never do on cruises.

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Avoya Travel

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Pandemic puts NYC hotels on the brink

It does appear that several big hotels in the NYC have announced that they are closing for good, and some experts say that more closures are in the near future.

rk_Marriott_210920.jpg
In the last two weeks, the 478-room Hilton Times Square and two Courtyard by Marriott hotels in Manhattan said they would not reopen, joining several others that had already closed for good, including the 399-room Omni Berkshire Place in midtown.  
PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

By Patrick McGeehan

Many of New York City’s biggest hotels closed their doors in March when the coronavirus wiped out tourism and business travel. The shutdowns were supposed to be temporary, but six months later, with no potential influx of visitors in sight, a wave of permanent closures has begun.

Sinking under the weight of overdue mortgage payments and property taxes, some hotels have already shut down for good, and many others are struggling to survive.

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Some hotels, including the Westin in Times Square, remain closed. About 25,000 hotel workers remain out of work.
Some hotels, including the Westin in Times Square, remain closed. About 25,000 hotel workers remain out of work.Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

“We love our jobs,” said Cristina Marino, who, along with her husband, worked at the Hyatt Centric Hotel in Manhattan until it shut down in March and they were laid off.
“We love our jobs,” said Cristina Marino, who, along with her husband, worked at the Hyatt Centric Hotel in Manhattan until it shut down in March and they were laid off.Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Las Vegas is a ghost town where even the strippers put up signs­ saying, ‘Sorry, we’re clothed’


Sin City has a well-earned reputation for offering every kind of thrill 24 hours a day – from high-stakes poker tournaments, slots and roulette wheels in the casinos to the strip joints, showbiz glitz and all-night bars
Sin City has a well-earned reputation for offering every kind of thrill 24 hours a day – from high-stakes poker tournaments, slots and roulette wheels in the casinos to the strip joints, showbiz glitz and all-night bars

It’s America’s gaudiest playground, where crowds mill around the world-famous neon ‘Welcome To Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign, jostling for selfies as the notorious Strip bustles with tourists seeking the buzz of debauchery.

Sin City has a well-earned reputation for offering every kind of thrill 24 hours a day – from high-stakes poker tournaments, slots and roulette wheels in the casinos to the strip joints, showbiz glitz and all-night bars.

Fortunes can be so easily made – or lost – in an instant.

But today, in the shadow of Covid-19, Las Vegas is on its own losing streak.

Even Vegas’s ubiquitous strip joints are no more. Little Darlings tried to stay open, offering ‘coronavirus-free’ dancers and nude, hand-sanitised wrestling. It is now shuttered with a sign saying: ‘Sorry, we’re clothed’
Even Vegas’s ubiquitous strip joints are no more. Little Darlings tried to stay open, offering ‘coronavirus-free’ dancers and nude, hand-sanitised wrestling. It is now shuttered with a sign saying: ‘Sorry, we’re clothed’

For while few places have been left unaffected by the pandemic, perhaps nowhere has had its devil-may-care attitude rocked as much as this narrow pocket of Nevada.

Casinos, hotels and shows which last year generated $60 billion (£48 billion) in tourist revenue are either almost empty or shuttered. 

The entertainment mecca of the Strip, which attracted 49.5 million people in 2019 from around the world – including half a million from the UK – is neglected and deserted.

A 150ft-tall replica of the Statue of Liberty is wearing a face mask, while no one is clamouring for a selfie by the flashing neon signs.

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You Can Rent This Floating Party Pod That Can Sail Around the World With 12 People


Kelly Allen

Prevention

August 9, 2020, 9:00 AM

From Prevention

More people are looking for remote getaways lately — like a stay in an old-school covered wagon or sleeping in a truck camper in the woods. Another option to consider? An eco-friendly floating pod that can sail around the world.

Anthénea is a luxury, floating hotel suite and a water-based mobile home. It’s designed by architect Jean-Michel Ducancelle, whose inspiration for the vessel came from James Bond’s floating pod in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me.

The floating habitat runs off of solar energy and releases clean water back into the ocean using black and gray water stations. It uses sand screw anchoring to avoid any damage to the underwater ecosystem and environment. Inside, the dome-shaped vessel offers 360-views of the ocean. The bedroom includes an extra large round bed with an overflow round bathtub that can be filled with sea or freshwater. There’s also a small living area with kitchen necessities and fiberglass windows that allow you to see into the ocean. On top, the pod has an open, outdoor seating area that accommodates up to 12 people.

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Deserted beaches, free Covid tests – and no masks: Europe’s ‘safest’ destinations lure British tourists


Richard Orange

The Telegraph

August 1, 2020, 9:39 AM

Norway has more coastline than Germany, Italy, Spain, Greece, Sweden and France combined and ten times as many islands as Greece, the country’s tourism agency is boasting in its new advertising campaign for British holidaymakers forced to rethink travel plans in light of Europe’s ‘second wave’.

Space to social distance rather than sunshine is at the core of the new marketing campaigns launched by a string of unusual holiday destinations competing to lure Brits taking last-minute summer breaks.

With just three cases per 100,000 people over the last fortnight, and a population density of less than six people per square mile, Norway has a good claim to being both the safest destination, and the most unlikely to see Britain impose surprise quarantine rules.


Hardanger Fjord in Norway
Hardanger Fjord in Norway

It is 2nd only to Estonia in the number of Codiv-19 cases.

Estonia has registered even fewer infections, 2.6 per 100,000, making it is the safest destination in Europe currently completely open to British tourists. Finland and Hungary, on 2.6 and 2.4 respectively, still impose restrictions.

There is a caveat, however: it’s worth remembering that if the UK’s 14-day cumulative rate of new infections rises from today’s 12.6 per 100,000 to 16, visitors to Estonia will face quarantine, and if it hits 20, visitors to Norway will.

Like Norway’s, Estonia’s tourism agency is pushing the appeal of its deserted countryside, 2,000 islands, and its low infection rate.

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Top coronavirus doctor in Spain has a message for tourists: ‘A couple of drinks, you take off your mask, you sing and you dance, that’s a problem’

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Barbara Kollmeyer

MarketWatch

July 31, 2020, 7:54 AM

Spain has returned to the global spotlight due to a rise in recent coronavirus cases that has triggered worries that a second wave is on Europe’s doorstep, with the U.K. and other countries recommending against travel to the country.

The number of active outbreaks across several regions was 482, with 4,870 cases, as of Thursday, though officials have said Spain isn’t repeating March and April — when hospitals were overwhelmed, morgues overflowed and the country was locked down. To date, 28,441 people have died here, while global infections have topped 17 million

MarketWatch spoke to Dr. Vicente Soriano, director of the UNIR Medical Center in Madrid, clinician and professor of infectious diseases at the UNIR Health Sciences School & Medical Center, to discuss the latest developments in Spain.

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Exclusive: First Look at the 5 Bars Inside Vegas’s First Adults-Only Casino-Resort


Andy Wang

Robb Report

July 29, 2020, 8:00 AM 0:10 0:23   EmbedClosed Caption Settings Circa Resort and Casino to be an adults-only property

At the Vegas Vickie’s lobby bar inside Circa, the new-construction property developer Derek Stevens is creating in downtown Las Vegas, the centerpiece will be a neon kicking cowgirl known as Vegas Vickie. The iconic neon sign previously glowed above the downtown Glitter Gulch casino that turned into the Girls of Glitter Gulch strip club.

The bar will be part of Stevens plan to open the first five floors of the only 21-and-over casino-resort in Las Vegas on October 28. But don’t expect lap dances at Circa, which will offer a decidedly different kind of adults-only entertainment.

“I’ve had a lot of people ask,” said Stevens, who is the founder and CEO of Circa.” What does 21-and-over mean? Does it mean it’s triple-X or anything like that? No, there’s absolutely nothing like that. It just means you have to be 21 to get in. There’s nothing topless. It’s just an adult venue.”

Circa will have the world’s largest sportsbook (a three-level, stadium-style colossus where 1,000 people will be able to watch games on a 78-million-pixel high-definition screen), the 5,000-square-foot Stadium Swim amphitheater (with six pools, a 41-foot-tall LED screen and private cabanas) and a two-level casino (with 1,350 gaming machines and 49 tables).

“A lot of what we’re designing is oriented on people just coming to visit all these attractions,” says Stevens, who plans to open Circa’s 512 hotel rooms and suites in December. “We’re not leveraged to our hotel rooms. At Stadium Swim, we plan on doing 4,000 people a day. So obviously, we’re trying to attract more people than who’s staying at the hotel. A lot of what we’ve done is create these over-the-top venues that bring people to our property.”

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Emirates will pay for your medical treatment, hotel quarantine, and even your funeral if you catch COVID-19 while traveling



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dslotnick@businessinsider.com (David Slotnick)

  • Emirates will offer free COVID-19 insurance to all of its passengers who travel by October 31.
  • The insurance covers medical expenses, quarantine costs, and repatriation if you miss your flight home. It also covers the cost of repatriating your body and your funeral if you die from the virus.
  • The move comes as Emirates tries to boost passenger confidence and demand during the coronavirus pandemic — the airline is only flying about 10% as many passengers as normal.

Emirates has a new strategy for boosting passenger demand in the midst of a global pandemic: coronavirus insurance. If one of its passengers is diagnosed with COVID-19 during their journey, the Dubai-based airline will cover their medical expenses, up to €150,000 (about $176,000). It will pay €100 ($118) per day for quarantine costs — such as a hotel room — for up to two weeks.

And if the worst happens, Emirates will offer €1,500 (about $1,765) for a passenger’s funeral.

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If a passenger dies from the coronavirus during their trip, the Emirates plan covers the costs of repatriating their body, plus some funeral expenses. 
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You Deserve a Vacation!

Overhead bins are now banned for all flights in Italy — will other countries follow?


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Alitalia, Italy’s flag carrier, has the policy in detail on their website:

“To protect the health of passengers, the use of overhead bins for the storage of hand baggage will no longer be allowed on all flights operated in Italy. Passengers will only be permitted to bring on board small baggage, that can be placed under their seat such as, for example, handbags, backpacks, laptop cases not exceeding 36x45x20 cm. We invite passengers to deliver their baggage to the airport at the Check-in / Drop-off counter, to be placed in the hold, free of charge.” 

Other European airlines have also updated their policies in recent days. British Airways has a section of their website dedicated to flights to and from Italy with the requirements:

“You will need to complete a Health Declaration form at check-in, and check-in any large hand luggage. Overhead lockers will not be used on your flight, so if your hand luggage will not fit under the seat in front of you, it will need to be checked in. There will be no additional charge for this, as long as it does not exceed the standard hand baggage allowance.”

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Tourists enter reopened Grand Canyon National Park


Associated Press

GRAND CANYON — Tourists appeared ready to roam Grand Canyon National Park again after it partially reopened Friday, despite objections from Navajo officials and others that it could hurt efforts to control the coronavirus.

By 7:30 a.m., more than two dozen people were enjoying viewpoints along the South Rim.

Among them was Matthias Zutter, 35, who was traveling through Arizona with his wife in a camper van as part of a final adventure before moving back to their hometown of Stans, Switzerland. The couple have been living in the U.S. for the past five years. They had visited the Grand Canyon once already but not the South Rim, which they’ve always wanted to hike.

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