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Travel News

Am Cruise Lines 2

By Judy Newell

México News

New Planet Hollywood Resort Coming to Cancún

Planet Hollywood is bringing its all-inclusive, high-wattage glam to Cancún in late 2019. Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Cancún will debut on the beaches of Costa Mujeres, located just north of Cancún’s Hotel Zone.

Guests can get close to Hollywood memorabilia in a beachfront setting and dine at any of 16 world-class restaurants at the new property. The 1,027-room newly-built resort will be reflective of the iconic lifestyle brand and will offer curated entertainment experiences.

Other onsite amenities include nine bars, four swimming pools, a lazy river, a trampoline park, a kids/teens club, and a mini-golf course.

The property will offer 16 restaurants, including Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint.  From specialty coffees, healthy smoothies, and signature cocktails to vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free choices, Planet Hollywood Cancún is aiming to provide memorable food experiences tailored to the tastes of all travelers.

Planet Hollywood Cancún’s wellness program, PHIT, will bring guests various fitness regimes, while the Fix Juice Bar will serve refreshments. At the PH Spa & Beauty Bar, treatments will be done with Eminence Organics Skin Care products.

Planet Hollywood Hotels & Resorts is offering an introductory 50-percent-off, web-exclusive offer for the property, making it even easier to “Vacation like a Star.”

International News

US Imposing New Harsher Restrictions on Americans Traveling to Cuba

The US is taking steps to restrict travel to Cuba, reversing some of the recent policies that helped open up the country to travel by US citizens.

The changes, announced on April 17 by National Security Advisor John Bolton in Miami, will restrict both cruise and air travel to the country and limit the amount of money to US$1,000 that Americans can send to friends or family still living in Cuba.

“The Department of the Treasury will implement further regulatory changes to restrict nonfamily travel to Cuba,” Bolton said.

Travel to Cuba has picked up since Obama-era policies began thawing restrictions with Cuba in 2014. Since then, major US travel companies have zeroed in on the untapped market of Cuba, including Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, Carnival Corp, and more.

Earlier this month, Virgin Voyages, one of the newest entries into the cruise market, finalized a deal with the Havana Cruise Port to include Cuba in its inaugural itineraries set for 2020.

Outside of cruises, most major US airlines initially sought approval for direct flights to Cuba when they were allowed to in 2016. Those included American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airlines, Silver Airways, Southwest Airlines, and Sun Country Airlines, all of which scored approval. Some airlines have reduced their service, citing lack of demand.

It’s not yet known how much impact the new rules will have.

Cannabis-Friendly Hotel to Open in Coachella Valley

The regulated cannabis industry’s management and consulting company MJ Holdings Inc has announced its first health and wellness cannabis-friendly hotel, together with hotel developer Roger Bloss.

Alternative Hospitality, a division under MJH, will break ground later this year in Desert Hot Springs, California. The 150-room Coachill Inn Resort will have an amphitheatre for entertainment and a lazy-river pool that capitalizes on the area’s natural hot springs.

Alternative Hospitality has seven more planned properties in the pipeline and Coachill Inn Resort will be the first.  The other projects will be located in Las Vegas, California, Michigan, and in Oklahoma.

The company also revealed that each hotel will include a cannabis dispensary and will offer wellness goods and services.

Cruise News

2020 Volga River Cruise—Fly Free to Russia

Discover the world’s largest country and the longest river in Europe with Emerald Waterways.

From the boulevards of big cities to the ancient folk communities of Mandrogi, Goritsy, and Yaroslavl, you’ll discover Imperial grandeur of the cities and towns along Russia’s Volga River. Traveling aboard the authentic MS Rossia, you’ll visit Uglich, navigate Lake Lagoda, and conclude in UNESCO World Heritage-listed St Petersburg.

Now through June 29, fly FREE to Russia from the US or save US$2,000 per couple

Imperial Charms of Russia, 12 days, Moscow to St Petersburg. Discover the many wonders of Russia’s cultural history, captivating cities, and imperial grandeur on this river cruise that spans from Moscow to St Petersburg, from the Red Square to the “Paris of the East”.

Air News

TSA’s New 3-D Scanners: Keep Laptops in Carry-On Bags

New 3-D scanners coming to airports across the USA will allow travelers to keep laptops, liquids and other materials in their carry-on bags for inspection. The Transportation Security

Administration will deploy 300 new machines at airports nationwide beginning this summer. The rollout will continue into next year.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to” —Alain de Botton

Deal of the Week

American Cruise Lines Promotions

Explore all that the US has to offer. From sea to shining sea, American Cruise Lines features a variety of exciting itineraries. Eleven ships comprise the largest, newest fleet in the country cruising on America’s legendary rivers and intercostal waterways. Ships range from 100- to 190-guest capacity.

New England Islands, Seven-night cruises, roundtrip Providence, RI. Save US$1,000 on any eight-day/seven-night New England Islands Category A stateroom.

Grand New England, 10-night cruises, round-trip Boston, MA. Save up to US$2,000 on the September 5 Grand New England itinerary.

Columbia and Snake Rivers, Seven-night cruises, from Astoria, OR, to Clarkston, WA. Save US$1,000 on any American Pride, August itinerary, plus a complimentary prenight stay.

Southeast Alaska, Seven-night cruise round-trip, Juneau, AK. Save up to US$1,200 on either the August 24 or August 31 southeast Alaska itinerary. Includes a complimentary prenight package in Juneau.

Hudson River, Seven-night cruises, round-trip New York, NY. Save US$600 on select American Star, Hudson River October cruises.

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 Market Report, Travel Pulse, Emerald Waterways, American Cruise Lines


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