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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

New Cocktails, Ancient Liqueurs

The all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Maya in Playa del Carmen is offering guests a taste of the Yucatan’s past with a new cocktail showcasing local Mayan flair. It features Xtabentun, a Mayan liqueur with honey infused from the native Xtabentun flower. Other ingredients include cubes of pineapple, an orange slice, club soda, and lime juice.

The Xtabentun flower and liqueur are common elements in a variety of Mayan legends that have been passed down generation after generation. Guests staying at the AAA Five Diamond resort can sip on the unique cocktail while enjoying views of the Caribbean Sea.

International News

Obama opens Cuba to solo travel

The New York Times reported that the Obama administration will allow individuals to travel alone to Cuba for “people to people” educational trips without being in an authorized group. The easing of travel restrictions will also lift limits on the use of American dollars in transactions with Cuba. The stiff restrictions were wiped away on March 16 as President Obama prepared to make a historic trip to Havana to showcase a new era of engagement.

The statement said that persons traveling under the new guidelines must retain records related to the authorized travel transactions, including records demonstrating a full-time schedule of authorized activities.

According to the report, the new rules will also allow Cuban citizens to earn a salary in the United States and make it easier for dollars to be used in financial transactions with United States banks, something government officials in Havana have long pressed for.

United Kingdom to Begin Trials of Driverless Cars

Have you ever dreamed of a self-driving car? Just think of the things you could get done while not driving. Well, that dream might not be too far in the future.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has made an announcement about beginning trials of driverless cars in the UK. The plan is to start trials on local roads in the UK this year and on motorways in 2017. Osborne hopes driverless cars will be frequently in use by 2020.

He will propose doing away with regulations that prevent driverless cars from operating on motorways and propose the creation of a $21.6 million “connected corridor” between London and Dover.c

Cruise News

No Single Supplement on All AMAWaterways Cruises

An AmaWaterways river cruise is an excellent option for people looking to explore on their own without paying any additional fees for being a solo traveler. You won’t have to deal with hauling luggage from place to place, finding good company during meals, or navigating an unfamiliar environment alone. If you are thinking of traveling solo, book any 2016 or 2017 river cruise in Europe or Asia and pay no single supplement in select categories.

Choose your destination. Europe: Discover scenic beauty along Europe’s most legendary waterways. Wine Cruises: Cruise through Europe’s most renowned wine regions and enjoy wine-related excursions. Myanmar: There may be no better time to experience this magical and unspoiled land. Vietnam & Cambodia: Explore the rich culture and exotic wonders that these fascinating countries have to offer. Please request details, dates, and rates.

The Most Requested Cruise Line Recipes In The World

Dining is a big part of the sailing experience and cruise lines know it. Tapping celebrity chefs for new, different, and exciting culinary ideas, cruise ships offer a variety of venues ranging from fast food to gourmet cuisine.

In-house culinary teams create menu items that keep us coming back for more, sailing after sailing. Cruise travelers have their favorites and often request recipes so they can try their hand at replicating these menu items at home. Send an email to and she will send you the recipes!

Carnival Cruise Lines: Melting Chocolate Cake

Azamara Club Cruises: Azamara Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad

Princess Cruises: Fettuccine Alfredo

Holland America Line: Chocolate and Raisin Bread Pudding With Whiskey Sauce

Norwegian Cruise Line: Carre d’ Agneau Rotis

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.”—Miriam Beard

Deal of the Week

Endless Shores of New Zealand

Twirling poi, heart-pounding hakas, color, and song invigorate your mind and lift your heart on this small-group guided vacation to some of New Zealand’s stunning destinations.

Roam through New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, on a guided tour and see the spectacular Mt. Ruapehu. Visit Lake Taupo, New Zealand’s largest lake and the mighty Huka Falls. Feast on a Maori Hangi at a unique dinner experience with the Tamaki family and experience farm life at the Agrodome Sheep Show.

Spot the famous kiwi bird in Rotorua and discover the fascinating glowworms at the Waitomo Glowworm Grotto. Discover the marine wildlife, clean, clear blue water, and secluded beaches of Russell and cruise through ‘Hole in the Rock’ in the Bay of Islands.

11 days/10 nights, escorted tour with most meals. Group size 20 people. Experienced tour director. Dates: Oct 28, Nov 25, Dec 23, 2016. Priced from US$3,925 per person based on double occupancy and from US$5,180 for single occupancy.

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes personalized cruises and tours. She designs trips that are tailored to suit a client’s interests, abilities and budgets. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email Her office hours are Mon-Fri, 11am-4pm, Office 1A, Rancho Los Labradores, Car. D. Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website where you can book your hotels, tours, and cruises online.

Sources: Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Travel Agent Central, Travel Pulse, AMAWaterways, Down Under Answers


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