Travel News

By Judy Newell

Cirque su soleil

Mexico Travel News

Cirque du Soleil comes to Riviera Maya

Cirque du Soleil will be coming to Mexico in a 600-seat theater that is currently being built in the Riviera Maya. When completed, the Vidanta Theater will offer guests a chance to couple dinner with performances. The project is being undertaken by Grupo Vidanta and the theater will open in November.

Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of Cirque du Soleil said: “We were asked four years ago by Grupo Vidanta to imagine something different, something new, something unprecedented for this destination. The setting is the most intimate custom-built theater of all the Cirque du Soleil resident theaters in the world.”

Cruise News

Royal Caribbean incentives for families

Three incentives are being offered by Royal Caribbean International to families who book by March 31 on select cruises departing May 1 through December 15. They can choose free children’s fares, complimentary upgrades and 50 percent-reduced deposits.

The “Kids Sail Free” offer provides free cruise fare for third and fourth guests in triple or quad occupancy staterooms. This offer is available fleet-wide, excluding Quantum of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Third- and fourth-berth staterooms are limited on select sailings and the offer is only applicable while inventory lasts.

Guests can get a balcony stateroom for the price of an ocean-view stateroom on 13 RCI ships or they can get an ocean-view stateroom for the price of an interior cabin on six of their ships.

Deposits also are reduced by half, meaning that they start at US$50 per guest.

Kids sail free on Norwegian

Norwegian Cruise Line just launched a kids-sail-free promotion on select sailings of all ships booked in March. The deal can be combined with other offers, including the recently launched “Ultimate Freesome” promotion, which gives guests a free “Ultimate Dining Package” when they book a balcony or mini-suite. Those who book a suite get the dining package and a free “Ultimate Beverage” package.

The kids-sail-free offer is for children age 17 and under sailing in the same stateroom with two adults. The promotion can be used on the company’s newest ship, the Miami-based Norwegian Getaway. Fares start at US$599 per person, double occupancy.

Families also get free balcony upgrades, reduced deposits and an e-coupon booklet with over US$300 in on board savings. Military, Latitudes Rewards and AARP discounts may also apply to select sailings.

Air News

Southwest Airlines bringing new service to Mexico

Southwest Airlines announced the next phase of its international service by offering customers new Southwest Airlines flights to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Mexico as the carrier extended flight schedules through October 31, 2014.

Beginning August 10, Southwest Airlines will operate daily, nonstop flights between:

Cancun, Mexico, and Atlanta, Baltimore/Washington, and (Saturdays only) Milwaukee

San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, Mexico, and Santa Ana/Orange County

Beginning in October, Southwest Airlines will offer nonstop service between Denver and:

Cancun, with daily roundtrip flights beginning October 7; and

San Jose del Cabo/Los Cabos, with Saturday-only service beginning October 11

Travel industry wire

American Airlines ends bereavement fares

American Airlines announced that it is ending its bereavement policy in which it gave discounted fares to passengers who suffered a death in the family. The news is neither surprising nor unexpected.

The rise of online travel sites – including the airlines’ own sites – has made it easier for travelers to find their own, sometimes cheaper, fares even at the last minute, when ticket prices are higher.

Southwest Airlines and Virgin America do not offer bereavement fares. Delta does not have a bereavement fare, per se, but says on its website that will give passengers “additional flexibility” on its best published fares.

United is the only major airline still offering a bereavement fare although it is a modest five percent off the lowest published fare.

Deal of the Week

Windstar offers two-for-one in Asia

Windstar Cruises is offering two-for-one cruise fares on new Asia itineraries, two free hotel nights pre- or post-cruise, and a free private event on shore during each voyage. Past guests also get an additional 10 percent off the cruise fare.

The cruises will be operated by the Star Pride, the former Seabourn Pride that enters Windstar’s fleet in May. The Asia voyages start in October and must be booked by March 28 to get the promotional fares. Fares start at US$3,999.

The free private events include a Thai dinner in Phuket with a traditional flower garland, a long drum parade and dancers. The Asia program includes a 10-day round-trip voyage from Singapore to ports in Malaysia and Thailand; a 14-day cruise from Singapore to ports in Vietnam before ending in Hong Kong; a 10-day voyage from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to Hong Kong; and more.


Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys which specializes in custom-designed independent tours, cruises and travel for couples, singles, and groups of friends. Perfect Journey’s next small group tour is “Argentina & Chile for Wine Lovers” on October 4, 2014. There will be a free seminar on Iguazú Falls and Easter Island at 3pm in the Biblioteca on Tuesday, April 1.

Contact Judy by cell phone at 415-111-8765, by email at, or view the latest travel specials on the website


Sources: Travel Pulse, USA Today, Toberua Island Resort


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