Cool Vacations


Carnival Cruise Line Official Teases Possible November Return




Carnival Cruise Line ships docked at PortMiami

PHOTO: Carnival Cruise Line ships docked at PortMiami. (photo via photosvit/iStock Editorial/Getty Images Plus)

Carnival Cruise Line official announced the company is “extremely hopeful” it will once again offer shortened cruises in November.

Carnival brand ambassador John Heald posted a video on Facebook expressing the cruise line’s excitement for the successful relaunch of voyages by another brand in the Carnival Corporation portfolio, Costa Cruises.

Heald said with the launch of Costa and the upcoming restart of services by AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a plan to bring back voyages safely for all passengers and crew members.

“The latest news is we are extremely hopeful that we will cruise in November, and possibly before, on shorter, modified cruises,” Heald said during the video. “And we are working with the CDC, we’ve got very smart people who’ve put a plan together to keep everybody safe and make sure that the fun is going to continue for you.”

While Heald remained tight-lipped on any further details about where ships would be deployed, possible itineraries or launch dates, he said customers would know as soon as Carnival’s return to cruising plans were finalized.

Heald did go on to talk about the importance of the cruise industry to the American economy, saying the company’s ships “provide jobs for thousands of crew members from all over the world.”

“That’s why the cruise industry can not fail,” Heald continued. “That’s why the cruise industry must not and will not fail. Not just because it’s the best vacation experience in the world, but because it has that knock-on effect for thousands of people all over the world.”


Princess Unveils 2021-22 Australia Voyages, Including World Cruise

by Susan J. Young

Sep 9, 2020 9:52am




Australia Cruise Pacific Princess Sydney Editorial Use Only Photo by Princess Cruises

(Photo courtesy of Princess Cruises) A Panama Canal transit is among the experiences guests will have on Princess Cruises' 15th World Cruise from Australia/New Zealand in 2022.

Princess Cruises announced new itineraries for the cruise line’s 2021-2022 Australia and New Zealand season, including its Australia-based 2022 World Cruise, sailing roundtrip on Coral Princess from three homeports: Sydney and Brisbane, Australia, and Auckland, New Zealand.

Voyages will open for sale on September 15, 2020. Here’s the line-up.

2021-22 Australia-New Zealand

In one of Princess most robust South Pacific deployments ever, five ships—Royal PrincessEmerald PrincessSapphire Princess, Coral Princess and Pacific Princesswill sail to 82 destinations in 19 countries on 59 different itineraries during the 2021-2022 Australia-New Zealand season.

Voyages will range from two to 36 days, with departures from such home ports as Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, Australia, as well as Auckland, New Zealand. Voyages sail within the region or beyond to Southeast Asia and North America.

Among the highlights are:

·         Roundtrip New Zealand sailings ranging from 11 to 14 days, from a variety of home ports, including Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. Itineraries will feature the Marlborough Wine Region (from Picton) and scenic cruising of Fiordland National Park.

·         Australia and New Zealand voyages between Sydney and Auckland that travel to key home ports including Melbourne, Australia and Christchurch, New Zealand on Royal Princess and Emerald Princess. 

·         Circumnavigation of Australia on a voyage departing from Sydney and Brisbane, including visits to Cairns for the Great Barrier Reef and scenic Kimberley Coast cruising.

·         Five- to 10-day voyages to Tasmania roundtrip from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

·         Exploration of South Pacific isles, including FijiHawaii and Tahiti, plus New Caledonia and Vanuatu or Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands on a variety of 11- to 35-day voyages

·         Hawaii, Tahiti and South Pacific crossings (from 27 to 29 days) connecting North America to Australia in fall 2021 and spring 2022

·         Several two- to four-day Australia and Tasmania Getaway cruises from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with stops in NewcastleEden and Hobart.

Princess also has added more late nights in port or "More Ashore" stays in such destinations as Auckland, Darwin, Hobart and Sydney, to name a few. Guests can head out to see: 

·         The Tasmanian Wilderness (from Burnie)—one of the largest conservation areas in Australia covering nearly 20 percent of Tasmania.

·         Greater Blue Mountains (from Sydney) and its Three Sisters rock formation.

·         Chief Roi Mata’s Domain (from Port Vila) including his old tribe village, his burial grounds and the cave where he supposedly died.

·         Komodo National Park (on Komodo Island, Indonesia)—

·         founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo Dragon, the world's largest lizard.

Two Cruisetour options—Australian Outback and Ultimate Australia—offer guests the opportunity to visit the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru National Park’s Ayers Rock, combining a multi-night land tour with a traditional cruise. Guests also spend time in cities like Sydney, Darwin and Cairns.

Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for a discount off launch fares when they book by February 28, 2021. This discount can be combined with launch and group promotions. These discounts do not apply to third or fourth berth guests. 

15th Australia/New Zealand-Based World Cruise

In addition, Princess announced its 15th annual Australia/New Zealand-based World Cruise with Coral Princess sailing roundtrip from three homeports—Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland. This 107-day circumnavigation of the globe will include 43 destinations in 27 countries on six continents.

The 2,000-passenger ship will depart from Sydney on May 18, 2022, Auckland on May 14, 2022 and Brisbane on May 20, 2022.

This World Cruise will 34,000 nautical miles through the Indian OceanMediterranean SeaBaltic SeaAtlantic OceanPanama Canal and Pacific Ocean. Travelers will visit destinations in the Mediterranean, NorwayIceland and the Arctic Circle, transit the Panama Canal and Suez Canal, enjoy Easter Island scenic cruising.

Cruisers will also have access to more than 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including Petra (from Aqaba); Gorham’s Cave Complex (from Gibraltar); the Statue of Liberty (New York), and Thingvellir National Park (Reykjavik).

Coral Princess will cross the equator twice and also travel above the Arctic Circle. Four maiden World Cruise ports include SibenikCroatiaOlden, NorwayIsafjordur, Iceland; and Cornwall (Falmouth), U.K. Individual segments range from 19 to 107 days.

Guests will enjoy 12 late night stays and four overnight stays in Dubai, Venice, New York and Lima (Callao). Optional overland tours are also available from Lima (Callao), Peru to see Machu Picchu and the Galapagos Islands.

For this World Cruise, Princess Cruises past guests are eligible for onboard credit and discount off launch fares when they book by April 30, 2021. This discount can be combined with launch and group promotions. These discounts do not apply to third or fourth berth guests. 



What travel to Puerto Vallarta is like right now

By Meagan Drillinger 


Sep 09, 2020







Meagan Drillinger

Meagan Drillinger

Mexico's tourism reopening strategies have been left up to individual states to decide. While some states have been slower to reopen, the state of Jalisco is reporting that its major tourist destination, Puerto Vallarta, is almost fully operational.

"We are proud to mention that we have the Safe Travel Stamp that is given by the World Travel and Tourism Council," Rocio Lancaster, undersecretary of tourism for the State of Jalisco, said during a virtual press conference on Sept. 3. "I think we need to work on the traveler's confidence that we are back in business and ready to welcome everyone.

"Regarding what is being open, it's pretty much everything, to be honest," she added.

At the airport in Puerto Vallarta, masks are required at all times. Passengers are required to step on disinfectant welcome mats to sterilize their shoes. Lines have been adjusted to allow for social distancing, and there is an increase of antibacterial gel dispensers. In the gate area, adjoining seats have been blocked off to allow or distancing.

In terms of Puerto Vallarta itself, beaches, major attractions, hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes, museums and galleries are open. Most of these, however, have limited capacities. For example, hotels are operating at 50% capacity in the entire state of Jalisco. Galleries and museums are open with 25% capacity.

Bars and nightclubs are open, which is different from other tourism destinations like Cancun where they remain closed. According to Lancaster, however, they close by 2 a.m. 

"The only thing that is closed in hotels are the spas," she added. But other general areas, including beaches and pools, are open.

"Your experience in Jalisco will not be affected in terms of what you can and cannot do," said Lancaster.

According to the New York Times, there have been more than 620,000 cases of Covid-19 in Mexico, with more than 67,000 deaths as of Sept. 6. The majority of cases continue to be in the Mexico City area, with more than 104,000 total cases.

That said, in the last seven days, Jalisco has seen 1,722 new cases, according to the New York Times. Other states are seeing fewer new cases. Quintana Roo, for example, has seen 447 cases in the last week, and Baja California Sur has seen 702 new cases in the past seven days. Mexico City has seen nearly 7,000 new cases.

The same Times article stated that back in May the publication found that the Mexican government was not reporting potentially thousands of Covid-19 deaths, so the actual numbers may be significantly higher.

Traveling to Mexico right now is a personal decision. The country is open to tourism, and destinations are working diligently to restore confidence in travel safety and resorts are showcasing best practices to travel advisors. If you or your clients do decide to travel, there are ways to do so responsibly to ensure safety for your party and those around you.


Southwest to add Miami service

By Robert Silk 


Sep 08, 2020



Southwest will soon begin flying from Miami and from Palm Springs, Calif.

Southwest will soon begin flying from Miami and from Palm Springs, Calif.






Southwest will begin serving Miami Airport later this year.

The new flights will augment Southwest's existing South Florida service to Fort Lauderdale and to Palm Beach.

"Miami already sees some Southwest aircraft on a weekly basis as part of our maintenance program, so adding an ability for our customers to travel there with us is a win," CEO Gary Kelly said in a video message to employees.

The carrier has yet to reveal the cities it will serve from Miami.

In addition, Southwest said it plans to add Palm Springs, Calif., service later this year but hasn't indicated where it would fly to from there. The carrier is already the largest in California.

With the announcement, Southwest becomes the second U.S. airline to announce a new Southern California destination in recent weeks. Spirit will enter John Wayne Orange County Airport in November with flights to Oakland, Calif., and Las Vegas.