Categories
Cruises

Over a Dozen Cruises Still Stranded at Sea

Since March 13, all cruise operations from U.S. ports have been suspended in a decision made responding to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, this left nearly 20 ships stranded at sea struggling to find a safe port.

In a statement to CNN, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) confirmed that about 5.4 percent of its fleet was still at sea.

Several of the stranded ships are currently carrying passengers. Zaandam of Holland America Line was denied by several ports after confirming that 73 guests and 116 crew members were experiencing influenza-like symptoms.

Healthy guests were transferred to the Rotterdam, and both ships are currently making their way to Fort Lauderdale, Florida where they are expected to dock on March 30. Holland America Line has confirmed four deaths aboard Zaandam.

A majority of the ships are experiencing less panicked voyages than Zaandam, however, as many of them have had no reported cases of coronavirus.

These include Arcadia of P&O Cruises UK, Coral Princess and Pacific Princess of Princess Cruises, Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 of Cunard, MSC Magnifica of MSC Cruises, Celebrity Eclipse of Celebrity Cruises and Columbus and Vasco de Gama of Cruise & Maritime Voyages.

The ships are all currently en route to different ports that have permitted them to dock.

Some ships that are still at sea were at least able to evacuate their passengers before setting sail once again. These include Costa Magica and Costa Favolosa of Costa Cruises, Azura of P&O Cruise UK and Hanseatic Nature and Europa of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises.

Several crew members aboard Costa Magica and Costa Favolosa have tested positive for coronavirus.

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Categories
Holiday

PODCAST: The Value of Travel Agents on Full Display

The TravelPulse Podcast is back with the first-ever quarantined episode.

Hosts Eric Bowman and Dan Callahan are practicing their social distancing and are recording from home this week.

Last week the two did not record as Dan was on his honeymoon in paradise. Listen in to see why he and his new wife made the choice to continue on with their honeymoon vacation in the midst of a global pandemic.

The focal point of today’s episode is all about showing the value that travel agents and advisors bring to travelers, with perfect examples showcasing how they saved the day for the clients.

Be sure to subscribe to the TravelPulse Podcast at Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Spotify and Stitcher.

Have any feedback or questions? Be sure to contact us at [email protected]

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Categories
Cruises

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line Announces Voluntary Pause on Sailing Season

WHY IT RATES: Those traveling with Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line should expect to hear from the company soon regarding whether their cruise has been canceled and what they can expect to happen next.—Jessica Zickefoose, TravelPulse Associate Editor

Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line today announced a voluntary and temporary pause to its cruising schedule, canceling all sailings from March 15 through April 8. Grand Celebration will resume operations with its April 10 cruise. The official statement from CEO Oneil Khosa is as follows:

“At Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, the health, safety and well-being of our guests and crew is paramount. At the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO) and Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), we have made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend our sailing schedule. All cruises have been canceled from March 15 through April 8, 2020. Grand Celebration will resume operations with its scheduled April 10 departure.

We are in communication with all guests booked on a canceled sailing, as well as with our travel advisor partners, who have a variety of options available to them under our recently updated Sail with Ease policy. Those with specific questions should call 800-374-4363. We look forward to getting back to business as usual and welcoming travelers onboard our Bahamas cruises very soon.”

As a result of the change to Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s sailing schedule, the shipping of bins to the Bahamas will also pause. Those with bins must visit the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line warehouse to collect their items.

For more information, consumers and travel advisors should visit Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line’s official website, BahamasParadiseCruise.com. Follow Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line on Facebook at Facebook.com/BPCruiseLine, Instagram @BahamasParadiseCruiseLine and Twitter @BPCruiseLine.

SOURCE: Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line press release

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Categories
Travel

Airline Passenger Restrained After Coughing on Flight Attendant


A female passenger flying with Thai Airways last week was restrained after allegedly coughing on a flight attendant during a long delay.

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: Thai Airways Boeing 747.

According to The New York Post, the Thai Airways plane landed at Shanghai Pudong Airport in China on Friday after a flight from Bangkok, Thailand, and was held for more than seven hours while waiting to undergo coronavirus health screenings.

The unidentified female passenger allegedly started yelling about the long wait and began flailing her arms. Reports also claim she also intentionally coughed on a flight attendant.

Four Thai Airways crew members were forced to subdue the woman and restrain her, with a video of the incident showing the first male employee holding the woman in a headlock and asking for assistance to “put her down.”

A Chinese woman was restrained by #ThaiAirways crews after intentionally coughing on a crew member as she struggled to get off the plane. The flight landed at the Shanghai Friday when those on board were held for more than seven hours on the plane for #covid19 disinfection. pic.twitter.com/mUPr2yCbGf

Thailand’s Aviation Safety Department head Prathana Pattanasiri commented on the incident:

“We could not open the doors of the plane until instructed to and health officials came to proceed with checks,” Pattanasiri said. “Therefore, Thai Airways had to wait for seven hours before officials arrived at the inspection queue.”

“The Chinese passenger was upset about being held for a long time and coughed at one of our staff,” Pattanasiri continued. “After she calmed down, we explained the situation to her and she agreed to sit and wait for screening.”

The Thai Airways flight was reportedly informed of the screening procedures before landing.

Last week, an EasyJet plane looking to take off from Manchester, England was forced not once, but twice, to turn around on the tarmac due to brawling, boozing passengers. The flight was bound for Alicante, Spain.

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Categories
Destinations

Take A Peek into the $600 Million Base Village Development Project at Snowmass

Aspen has always been a destination for those who love skiing and luxury, but thanks to Snowmass, a $600 million project just 20 minutes northwest of downtown Aspen, there is a place to go for families who want even more.

Snowmass is 5,500 acres of land consisting of four mountains, 362 trails and 41 lifts. Conveniently, you only need one lift ticket to experience all the skiing you could ever want. since Snowmass is somewhat out-of-the-way, with the closest airport only having direct flights from Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Minneapolis, Utah and Atlanta, it doesn’t tend to get the crowds that other skiing hot spots like Denver tend to receive. Translation: There will be tons of times you’ll feel like you have the mountains to yourself, whether you’re an amateur or an advanced skier.

But skiing is far from the only thing to do in Snowmass.

The $600 million project included an entire kids complex that has an indoor ball pit the size of a swimming pool, an interactive wall mural, air hockey, a ping pong table, games, foosball and lots of spots to chill and take Instagram pictures.

There’s also a brand new ice rink, two large outdoor jacuzzis overlooking the ice rink, a roller coaster that zips you through the snowy forest and a five-story indoor climbing wall.

Arrive during the summer months, and you’ll experience an entirely different scene: ziplining, ropes courses and trails await.

When looking at places to stay, The Limelight Hotel is a brand new ski-in, ski-out hotel found smack dab in the middle of the new Snowmass village. It’s a modern hotel that offers so many complimentary activities that we’d venture to describe it as a resort. Stay here, and the ice-skating, rock climbing, daily breakfast buffet and kids’ complex are all free. They also do gratis s’mores daily after skiing is done for the day.

The Westin Snowmass Resort, which is also ski-in, ski-out, has an unbeatable location but it’s a little older.

Wildwood Snowmass is the third spot in Snowmass, and while it’s not ski-in, ski-out, it’s adjacent to the slopes.

After a long day of skiing, you’ll probably want to refuel with a delicious meal. Our favorite spot to eat is called Sam’s Restaurant, a barbecue turned Italian restaurant that just completed its $2.5 million renovation in November. It’s so good that you may be tempted to close your eyes so you can really savor the food. But here’s the catch—it’s located at the top of Sam’s Knob, which is 10,620 feet in the air, and the only way down is to ski down. If you’re not a proficient enough skier, don’t worry, Elk Camp Restaurant is a shockingly great spot just off the top of the gondola. It’s essentially a very high-end food court, and the salad bar is out-of-this-world.

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