Travel News

By Judy Newell


Mexico Travel News

Multigenerational Wellness Week

From October 24–30, guests of the all-inclusive Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit will enjoy the first-ever multigenerational Wellness Week, which includes top chefs, vegan menus, culinary workshops, fitness activities, and spa offerings.

Wellness Week activities will vary by the day, with vegan workshops led by Miguel Bautista and Ellen Kanner, including juicing and cooking classes, vegan tastings, and more. Kanner, Miami Herald’s syndicated columnist who writes the “Edgy Veggie,” will head interactive seminars on five steps to conscious eating, easy ways to swap healthier choices without sacrificing flavor or culinary authenticity, and plant-based food and sensuality.

Bautista, co-founder of Vegan Planet, Mexico, will teach about veganism and raw foods. Fitness activities range from yoga led by the director of Mexico’s Yoga Institute, Pilates, meditation, CrossFit, and more.

The spa will also be offering multigenerational treatments with specific services for babies, children, teens, women, men, and mature adults. The resort’s restaurants will also be offering vegan, gluten free, and vegetarian alternatives to their regular menus.

All Wellness Week activities are included in the nightly rates of the AAA Five Diamond resort. Resort rates start at US$309 per person per night, based on double occupancy. The resort’s all-inclusive rates include luxury accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals in multiple restaurants, premium beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, taxes, gratuities, and more.


International News

Marriott, Starwood Members Can Link Accounts

Marriott International recently completed its US$13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and now takes aim at integrating Starwood’s 11 brands and popular Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) loyalty rewards program to form the world’s largest hotel company.

The monumental merger means expanded benefits right away. Members can link their accounts to begin immediately taking advantage of a slew of benefits, including status match, points transfer, and redemption, member rates, SPG Moments and Marriott Rewards Experiences Marketplace, mobile check-in/check-out, and free Wi-Fi, among many others.

Members can visit to link their accounts. Currently, members can transfer points at a three-to-one ratio, meaning three Marriott Rewards points will transfer to one SPG Star point.
The Most Dangerous Country in the World

The Institute for Economics and Peace released its 10th annual Global Peace Index and ranked 163 countries by using 24 different factors, including militarization and political stability.

While Iceland topped the list as the safest, Syria got the unfortunate distinction as the most dangerous country in the world for the second year in a row. South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia rounded out the five most dangerous countries.

Also noted in the index: Yemen, Ukraine, and Libya were the worst countries in terms of deterioration since last year, while Panama, Thailand, and Sri Lanka showed the greatest improvements.

Despite recent headlines, Europe was once again named the most peaceful region in the world.


Cruise News

Uniworld Adds Jewish Heritage Program

Uniworld’s river cruise options in 2017 will include a new Jewish Heritage program of excursions that will steep travelers in the historic roots of Judaism in Germany from the pre-World War II period until today.

All departures on the “Rhine-Main Discovery and Munich” itinerary will feature the Jewish Heritage excursions, as well as alternative tours. Although some of the activities will focus on cemeteries, memorials, and camps, Uniworld said the goal is to tell a larger story of how Jewish people thrived for centuries in Germany before the Nazi rise to power.

Uniworld said its tour is the only Jewish heritage tour offered on the Rhine and that Uniworld is the only Jewish-owned river cruise company.

For guests who don’t want to take the Jewish Heritage excursions, alternatives will include a tour of “Mad” King Ludwig’s Castle Neuschwanstein, or a hike through the Tauberhase vineyard.

The 10-day Rhine-Main itinerary on the 116-passenger River Ambassador runs between Munich and Cologne. Prices start at US$3,649 per person.


Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.”¾Ray Bradbury


Deal of the Week

Riches of the Orient

This enlightening voyage is overflowing with fabulous sights that will be brought to life by lively guest speakers aboard Voyages of Discovery.

Discover a host of treasures as you sail from Malaysia’s bustling capital to the small sultanate of Brunei where opulent mosques and glittering palaces provide a feast for the eyes. Immerse yourself in beach life Cambodia-style or marvel at the splendor of Angkor Wat. Soak up Bangkok’s combination of Western modernity and Thai culture, and enjoy Voyager’s maiden call to Malaysia’s Kuantan before an overnight in dazzling Singapore.

January 4, 2017, 15 days from US$1,229 per person. Port Kelang, Muara, Sihanoukville, Kuantan, Singapore. Offer expires October 31, 2016. Book while staterooms still remain! Includes:


•Stateroom number, location, and category of your choice

•Onboard gratuities and service charges

•All meals with open-seated dining in a choice of restaurants

•Afternoon tea each day

•Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail parties with gala dinners

•Lively talks by guest speakers and port lecturer’s

•Onboard entertainment, workshops, and activities

•All port taxes

•Facilities including a library, gym, plunge pool, hot tubs, spa with sauna, duty-free shop, and a choice of bars


Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She designs journeys that are tailored to suit a client’s interests, abilities, and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, Car. a Dolores Hidalgo; hours Mon-Fri, 11am–4pm. View the latest travel specials on the website


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