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Travel News

sea of Cortez

By Judy Newell

México News

Barceló Maya Grand Resort

Looking for a vacation property with everything? Here are five of them. Located on Riviera Maya’s finest beach, the 24-hour all-inclusive Barceló Maya Grand Resort is comprised of five resorts with over 2,700 rooms and is suited for all guests.

It boasts 22 restaurants, 19 bars, 10 pools, three theatres, three water parks, the U-Spa, a convention center, shopping center, bowling alley, and more. Premium Level accommodations feature spectacular views, unlimited access to specialty restaurants, and concierge service.

Prices in US dollars are per room occupied by two adults: Barceló Maya Beach from $166, Barceló Maya Caribe from $198, Barceló Maya Colonial from $198, Barceló Maya Tropical from $198, and Barceló Maya Palace from $282.

International News

How to Maximize Your Travel Rewards

Here are one expert’s picks for the best travel credit cards of 2019, including those best for:

Airline miles and a large bonus: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

No annual fee: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Flat-rate rewards with no annual fee: The Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card

Premium travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Reserve

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Air News

American Airlines Adds New Service

American Airlines has a rich and robust history serving México, the Caribbean, and Latin America. American is continuing to grow its presence in the region with the addition of four new destinations.

Next winter, customers looking for history, culture, and warm climate will have access to three new cities in South America—Georgetown, Guyana (GEO); Pereira, Colombia (PEI); and Cordoba, Argentina (COR)—and one new city in México: Oaxaca (OAX).

American is also introducing service to Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE), from its West Coast hub at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), making American the first and only airline to offer nonstop service between these two major cities.

Cruise News

Celebrity: Half-Off Second Guest Fare

Plus round-trip air from select US and Canadian gateways for US$495 for first and second guests on 10- and 11-night cruises. Bookings can be made through June 5, 2019, for cruises June 16– December 31, 2019.

Seven-night itineraries receive half off cruise fares for the second guest.

10- and 11-night itineraries receive half off cruise fares for the second guest and complimentary round-trip flights by Celebrity Air for the first and second guest.

Croatia: Eight-Day Cruise

Cruise Croatia’s sparkling waters from US$2,995 per person aboard the MV Adriatic Pearl, sailing from Trogir to Dubrovnik, and receive round-trip airfare from US and Canadian gateways for US $495!

Your cruise includes:

•Seven nights on board an exclusively-chartered boutique yacht

•Airport transfers to and from the ship

•The services of an Emerald Waterways cruise director

•Port taxes and charges

•All tipping and gratuities


Included Excursions:

•Guided tours of Trogir, Šibenik, Krka National Park, Hvar, Split, Korcula, and Dubrovnik


Emerald PLUS Tours:

•Tour of Pucišca and a visit to a stonemasonry school

•Guided tour with wine tasting

Dining Highlights:

•15 superb meals, including seven breakfasts, six lunches, and two dinners

•Two drinks per passenger with meals on board

•Complimentary water with every included excursion

Sample pricing for July 6–13, 2019:

Cruises from US$2,995 per person on the lower deck and US$3,295 on the upper deck.

Fly round-trip from select US and Canadian gateways for US$495.

Words of the Wise and Well-traveled

“Every man can transform the world from one of monotony and drabness to one of excitement and adventure.” —Irving Wallace

Deal of the Week

Treasures of the Sea of Cortéz

Born more than five million years ago in an era of volcanic eruptions and ongoing earthquakes, the Sea of Cortéz beckons with natural wonders, amazing wildlife, spectacular islands, and much more to explore.

Come experience an unparalleled ecosystem featuring breathtaking nature infused with the incredible Mexican cultural essence as you sail along on this new 11-night soft-expedition cruise.

Discover some of México’s least-known destinations. Embark in the beautiful seaside town of Puerto Peñasco, or “Rocky Point,” and sail along to Topolobampo, Mazatlán, Cabo San Lucas, La Paz, Bahía Loreto, Santa Rosalia, and Guaymas. Unforgettable moments await you!

Cruise Highlights

•Sail round-trip from Puerto Peñasco on an 11-night soft expedition “Sea of Cortez” cruise to discover magical coastal splendors along the Gulf of California in Sonora, Sinaloa, and Baja California Sur.

•Experience immersive shore excursions with amazing opportunities for all—from ultimate outdoor adventuring options to more relaxed offerings and activities that showcase the uniqueness of each destination.

•Fares include full board accommodation, all shipboard gratuities, an enriching lecture series, and house beer and wine with lunches and dinners.

•Cruise on board Astoria, featuring a classic boutique style cruise experience, supported by an enrichment program as well as popular themed entertainment.

•Ask about the optional pre- and post-cruise packages that include hotel and transportation options to the Port of Peñasco and feature stays in Phoenix, Tucson, and Peñasco.

Included in the fare:

•Delicious, full board cuisine

•Afternoon teas and late-night snacks

•Captain’s Cocktail Party (cruises of six nights or more)

•Self-service tea and coffee (6am to 10pm)

•Daytime activities and leisure facilities

•Guest speaker and arts & crafts (cruises of 5 nights or more)

•Porterage of luggage, port to cabin

•Port taxes

Ship: Astoria; Duration: 11 nights; Deposit per person: US$400.

Half-off fares! Call for rates and dates. Sample fares in USD: Standard Twin Inside was $3199, now $1599; Standard Twin Oceanview was $4399, now $2199; Deluxe Double Oceanview was $7019, now $3509; Junior Suite was $7639, now $3819.

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: Barceló Hotels, nerdwallet, American Airlines, Celebrity Cruises, Emerald Waterways, Cruise and Maritime Voyages


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