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Travel News


By Judy Newell

México News
New Hotel Complex Approved for Punta Maroma

A new 540-room hotel complex has been approved for construction in Punta Maroma. According to Riviera Maya News, the General Directorate of Impact and Environmental Risk has approved a change of land use for Vadjavari SA de CV, giving the company the green light to move forward on the massive project just north of Playa del Carmen.

Proyecto MX’s rooms will be spread across 11 buildings and more than a dozen villas, offering guests access to pools, gardens, restaurants, a spa, and terraces. Renowned as one of the world’s most beautiful beach destinations, Punta Maroma is celebrated for its turquoise waters, wildlife, and snorkeling opportunities.

The property will be located in a space known as the Punta Brava-Xcalacoco Tourist Corridor, roughly 22 miles from Cancún International Airport. The hotel will be designed and developed with environmental sustainability in mind.

The reported investment in the property is approximately 2.1 billion pesos or US$111.3 million.

International News

Vancouver Special

Enjoy five nights at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver from US$1,350 in a Junior Suite, including access to Fairmont Gold Lounge with dedicated concierge, daily breakfast, afternoon snacks, evening canapés, cocktails, and premium car. Select travel dates through May 31, 2019.

Cruise News

  • Ponant Yacht Cruises and Expeditions
  • First-time Ponant guests save an additional US$600 per person when booked and deposited by December 31, 2018
  • Valid on the following featured sailings:
  • 8 nights Andalusia and the Balearic Islands: Lisbon to Civitavecchia (Rome) aboard the 184-guest Le Bouganville, June 13–21, 2019
  • 7 nights Treasures of the Adriatic: Athens to Venice aboard the 244-guest Le Lyrial, July 1–8, 2019
  • 7 nights From the Adriatic to Rome: Venice to Civitavecchia (Rome) aboard the 244-guest Le Lyrial, July 8–15, 2019
  • 7 nights From the Canals of Venice to the Stones of Athens: Venice to Athens, aboard the 244-guest Le Lyrial, August 5–12, 2019

Carnival Passengers Caught Smoking Could Be Kicked off Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line announced changes to its tobacco and marijuana smoking policy, including the possibility of passengers caught smoking on their cabin balconies being removed from ships.

According to Carnival’s official website, the cruise line’s updated policy now warns customers that anyone caught smoking in nonspecified areas will be fined US$500 and face the possibility that the passenger and all guests staying in the same cabin could be asked to leave the ship at the next port of call.

The previous policy only included a cleaning fee when passengers were caught smoking, but these changes take a much harder stance. Carnival is trying to make it as clear as possible for future guests.

The updated policy reads, in part:

—Any violation of this policy will result in a US$500 charge, per violation, posted on the guest’s Sail and Sign account, and may also result in the disembarkation of all guests in the stateroom.

—Guests who are disembarked for violating our policy will be responsible for all financial charges and expenses to return home, and no refund of their unused cruise fare will be provided. Additionally, they may be prohibited from sailing with Carnival Cruise Line in the future.

For travelers who smoke and are considering a Carnival cruise, the line still permits smoking in designated areas on the exterior decks of its ships and in the casino and nightclub. The remainder of each ship is a smoke-free zone.

The smoking ban includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaporizers, electronic cigarettes, and marijuana, with Carnival prohibiting possession and use of marijuana.

Traveling down the Seine with Disney

This new 10-day, 9-night Seine river-cruise vacation combines two days exploring Paris on land, followed by eight days of cruising through picturesque French destinations, including Conflans, Vernon, and more. The popular Adventures by Disney river cruises offer unique excursions such as interactive culinary experiences, including a gourmet-food-tasting tour, regional wine-and-cheese sampling, and a hands-on macaron demonstration.

In addition to the guided tours of Paris icons, including Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Louvre, there are active excursions available for the whole family, including biking, canoeing, and horseback riding. Other unique experiences include a visit to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny, castle tours, and rich historical storytelling at a chateau. Adventures by Disney guests can also add on an extension package at Disneyland Paris Resort to complete their vacation.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“I’ll look back on this and smile because it was life and I decided to live it.”— Anonymous

Deal of the Week

18-day Overland Journey from Moscow to Prague

Cultural tour of Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

The art, music, and culture of Europe’s Eastern Hemisphere is an envy of many regions of the world, especially given its unique architectural marvels—buildings, bridges, castles—and its panoramas. This journey gives you an insight that will be remembered for all time.

2019 tour dates: April 26; May 10, 17, and 24; June 14 and 28; July 19; August 16 and 30; September 6, 13, and 27. This tour operates on a minimum of two guests, and the average tour size is 25 participants.

Price per person staying in double room US$3,798. Single room supplement: US$1,582

Tour price includes:

First-class hotels, including hotel taxes

28 meals; luggage handling

All sightseeing and transfers by private air-conditioned motorcoach

Entrance fees to museums and sites included in the itinerary

Professional English-speaking tour director

Headsets during sightseeing tours

High-speed train from Moscow to St Petersburg

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 custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, abilities, and budget. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949-300-3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, carr a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Travel Pulse, Journese, Nexion, Readers Digest, Europe Travel Tours


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