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Blog2021-05-23T11:43:55-07:00

Celebrity Cruises confuses passengers by promoting no perks pricing

UPDATE: Celebrity "Always Included" offering includes beverages, WiFi, and gratuities but ADVERTIZED rates don't include those perks Celebrity has changed its pricing once again and it is confusing buyers. After introducing its "Always Included" program several years ago, which included its Classic Beverage package, Wifi, and gratuities. Celebrity is now promoting bare-bones fares which do not include anything - no Classic Beverage package, no WiFi, and no pre-paid gratuities. (Suite guests receive the Premium ......

By |November 21st, 2022|Categories: Celebrity Cruises, Cruises|0 Comments

Hey Celebrity Cruises, what the hell are you doing? You are screwing up!

Let me start off by saying Celebrity Cruises has been one of our favorite cruise lines for many years and for many reasons. However, now Celebrity is making BIG MISTAKES which can damage their brand. So what’s wrong? This would be illegal in the US or Europe as False Advertising For what I’d suspect is some misguided headquarters-based bean-counting accountant’s bad decisions, Celebrity is advertising drinks with premium spirits, while they don’t have those ......

By |October 31st, 2022|Categories: Celebrity Cruises|Comments Off on Hey Celebrity Cruises, what the hell are you doing? You are screwing up!

New European entry authorization requirement starts November 2023

UPDATED: August 4, 2022 to reflect new implementation date Europe is one of the top tourist destinations for American travelers in part because of our history and heritage ties, but also because of the ease of travel. There are no complicated and time-consuming visa requirements for U.S. citizens to visit Europe. However, starting November 2023, things will change just a bit. ETIAS - Travel Authorization Requirement ETIAS, the new travel authorization is not a ......

By |August 4th, 2022|Categories: Visas|0 Comments

European Union will require new travel authorizations beginning in November 2023

​Update: August 4, 2022 ETIAS REQUIREMENTS START IN November 2023 Originally the ETIAS system was planned to start on January 1, 2021. It has been delayed until November 2023.  THE EU IS NOT REQUIRING VISAS FOR U.S. CITIZENS There has been a bit of confusion this week over whether the European Union (EU) is imposing a new visa requirement for United States citizens. Currently, U.S. citizens holding a valid US passport can enter Schengen ......

By |August 4th, 2022|Categories: European Union (EU), Visas|0 Comments

Global Entry versus Mobile Passport – regular international travelers choose Global Entry

Global Entry versus Mobile Passport (we recommend Global Entry) Anyone who has traveled internationally has experienced long lines at US Immigration checkpoints (US Customs and Border Protection – CBP) after returning home from overseas travel. Global Entry is a US government program that lets you whisk through the immigration process bypassing the long lines. I’ve been using Global Entry for years and over time have watched the process move faster and faster. At many ......

By |August 2nd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Global Entry versus Mobile Passport – regular international travelers choose Global Entry

5 tips on how to avoid flight delays and cancellations

This has been a tough year for airline passengers. Almost every client we have has experienced flight cancellations, changes and/or delays. After taking billions from the federal government you would have thought we'd have a better system. But we don't. The airlines laid off, furloughed, or gave early retirement to too many of their employees. To make matters worse, they added new routes and services while knowing full well that they didn't have ......

By |July 5th, 2022|Categories: Airlines|Comments Off on 5 tips on how to avoid flight delays and cancellations

The vineyards and quaint village of Frascati, Italy

We’ve been to Rome before and explored the ruins of the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, and the Pantheon. This time we wanted to explore further out and see the Roman countryside. We chose a day excursion to Frascati, Italy, nestled in the mountains at the end of the train line. We started the morning at the Termini train station where we purchased our round-trip train ticket to Frascati. The 12-mile trip lasted about ......

By |July 2nd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on The vineyards and quaint village of Frascati, Italy

West coast best coast? Why British Columbia, Canada is the Ultimate Romantic Destination

From the snow-capped mountains to the salty sea breeze, British Columbia sets the scene for love, no matter your interests. Spend the morning on the slopes, and the afternoon beachcombing - or skip the outdoor adventures in favor of a gastronomic one instead! Whether you’re celebrating your honeymoon with stars in your eyes or have a lifetime of love under your belt - British Columbia offers something for lovebirds of all ages, stages, ......

By |July 2nd, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on West coast best coast? Why British Columbia, Canada is the Ultimate Romantic Destination

7 Ways to Improve Your In-Flight Experience

The summer travel season is upon us. From foot-kicking neighbors to an overly-talkative seatmate, it’s always a gamble when you step aboard an aircraft. Flying can be exhilarating, stressful, boring, and downright scary at times. Here are a few simple tips to ease the burden when you take to the skies and possibly even make your travels downright enjoyable! Prioritize Comfort Sure, you may want to step off the plane in New York ......

By |June 4th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on 7 Ways to Improve Your In-Flight Experience

St-Paul-de-Vence – A must see medieval village

One of the many highlights of our Azamara cruise was our stop in Nice. While I’ll cover Nice in a separate article, here I want to talk about our excursion to Saint Paul de Vence – a visit I’d highly recommend. Vence or St Paul or Saint Paul de Vence (it has been referred to by all three names) has been called the “second most beautiful village in France,” and for good reason. ......

By |May 20th, 2022|Categories: Azamara, Cruise Lines, Excursions, France|Comments Off on St-Paul-de-Vence – A must see medieval village

Airfares are going up, up, up

Prices soar while demand softens If you have the sense that airline ticket prices are soaring, you'd be correct. The recent report from ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation) show air ticket sales totaled $7.7 billion in April 2022 which is an 156% increase year over year. This is the largest increase seen in over seven years. The average round-trip ticket cost rose to $585 in April, that is a 8% increase over March, and ......

By |May 20th, 2022|Categories: Airlines|Comments Off on Airfares are going up, up, up

Major cruises lines experiencing record bookings

Record sales days The cruise industry is rapidly recovering from nearly two years of Covid travel closures and restrictions. This doesn't mean smooth sailing yet, but it does point to a strong recovery for the industry. Royal Caribbean experienced two record sale days during end of March and early April, when it achieved the highest number of bookings in a single day, as well the highest booking volume in a single week.  In another ......

By |April 17th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Major cruises lines experiencing record bookings

Where has Brian been?

Many of you have emailed or called during the last few months and asked what happened to Brian? Where is he? Well, I’m here, I’m fine and right now I’m sailing on the Celebrity Equinox. Let me explain where I’ve been these last several months. It’s been quite a while since my last article. But I’m glad to be back writing again. In case you wondered what happened, well it has been a lot ......

By |April 5th, 2022|Categories: Celebrity Cruises, Cruise Lines|Comments Off on Where has Brian been?

8 best cruise lines for solo travelers

Many people may think that traveling alone is not the best way to go. In reality, a solo trip can be more fun and less stressful than you would imagine! For those who are traveling on their own, there is a special kind of freedom that can be found when you book as a single traveler. Solo travelers have access to not only more space but also greater personal service from staff ......

By |October 10th, 2021|Categories: Cruises, Solo Travelers|Comments Off on 8 best cruise lines for solo travelers

Travel requirements for vaccinated US citizens entering the EU

US citizens are allowed into most of the EU without a required 5-day quarantine. For instance, if you are traveling to Italy, a 5-day quarantine isn’t required if: 1) you have been fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine, 2) you have completed and present upon entry to Italy your EU Passenger Locator Form, 3) you have a certificate showing a negative molecular or antigenic test carried out within 72 hours prior to entry, and ......

By |October 9th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Travel requirements for vaccinated US citizens entering the EU

Minimize your luggage weight

How to minimize luggage weight and pack right As the airlines make it more and more expensive to take a bag with you on a trip, it is becoming increasingly more important to pack your bags efficiently. Here are some tips: ​1) Select your clothes, then edit down what you take – Most people take too much and over pack. Choose a unified color scheme so that shirts, blouses, pants and/or dresses all work ......

By |September 26th, 2021|Categories: Luggage|0 Comments

What does the EU’s new Covid-19 recommendations mean for US travelers?

On Monday, the European Council passed a recommendation which removed the US from the "Safe Country List." Tourists from countries on the "Safe Country List" are allowed to enter the EU regardless of their vaccination status. This reverses a June recommendation which allowed any US tourist to visit the EU. What does this change mean for US travelers? The new recommendation states ONLY vaccinated US travelers should be allowed to enter any EU country ......

By |August 31st, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on What does the EU’s new Covid-19 recommendations mean for US travelers?

EU to consider new Covid restrictions on US travelers

Let's talk about Covid-19 coronavirus doodle illustration dialog speech bubbles with icon. The European Union is set to consider new Covid-19 travel restrictions on US travelers as US cases soar. The US growth rate hit 507 cases per 100,000 inhabitants during the first two weeks of August. The EU’s own guidelines set a limit of 75 per 100,000. The EU guidelines also require that the trend of new infections in a country ......

By |August 25th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on EU to consider new Covid restrictions on US travelers

Should I put off international travel until 2022? Probably yes.

Travel is back. Several cruise lines are experiencing record bookings. Land tours sales are rising. Vaccinations are making many of us feel safe traveling again. So why are we getting more questions from our readers wondering if they should travel outside of the US. Over the last couple of months our advice has changed. Airlines aren’t reliable First, air reservations have become unreliable. Airlines, especially American Airlines, has been cancelling flights and leaving customers ......

By |August 23rd, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Should I put off international travel until 2022? Probably yes.

Why I use a travel agent and you should too!

Let’s be clear, as a travel agency owner, I book my own travel. BUT, I use the same tools, resources and contacts that I use to book my clients travel. Here is why those resources are so valuable and only available from some travel agencies. Here’s my story: We had booked a Crystal cruise of the Bahama islands in April. The cruises were promoted and sold as a vaccinated guests only sailing of the ......

By |August 21st, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on Why I use a travel agent and you should too!

EU airlines are going green or at least greener

The EU is taking bold steps to reduce greenhouse gases created by the airlines. This is part of the ReFuelEU Aviation Initiative approved by the European Commission (EC) which requires EU-based airlines to use at least 2% of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2025, 5% by 2030 and then rise to 20% by 2035. Ultimately it would increase to 63% by 2050. In addition, airlines would be require to re-fuel during aircraft turn-arounds in ......

By |July 26th, 2021|Categories: Environment|Comments Off on EU airlines are going green or at least greener

Venice bans large cruise ships sailing through the city

After years of protests and discussion, the Italian government has issued its bans on cruise ships sailing through Venice’s Giudecca Canal. These ships dwarf the ancient city and create waves that erode underwater walls & undermine the supports holding up the city. Cruise ships have long been sailing through Venice on the Giudecca Canal passing St Marks Square and several historic cathedrals. Ban on most cruise ships starts August 1 Starting August 1, 2021, ......

By |July 21st, 2021|Categories: Cruises, Venice|Comments Off on Venice bans large cruise ships sailing through the city

5 reasons why cruise fares are so high!

You may have noticed a significant rise in the price of cruise fares recently. We’ve been watching them rise since the resumption of sailing began over the last couple of months. There are several reasons for this increase and we’ll cover them all below. 1) Increased demand For most of us, its been nearly 18 long months of no cruise sailings and no vacations. This absence of cruises & vacations has caused demand to ......

By |July 21st, 2021|Categories: Cruise Lines, Cruises|Comments Off on 5 reasons why cruise fares are so high!

What is an EU digital Passenger Locator Form

NOTE: Italy no longer requires the digital Passenger Locator Form (dPLF). Check with the countries to see if they require it. Or if they re-instate it.Travelers to the EU may be wondering what a Passenger Locator is and why I need to complete it. Where do I find it and how do I complete it. This blog post will help to answer those questions.Recently EU  member countries required all travelers entering the EU ......

By |July 8th, 2021|Categories: Uncategorized|Comments Off on What is an EU digital Passenger Locator Form
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