In the Miami area, the spa at the Doral Golf Resort Spa offers a Valentine’s package including a 50-minute Swedish Massage, lunch in the spa restaurant and a Strawberry Sweet Heart Gift Set containing strawberry crème body soufflé, white chocolate body paint with a body paintbrush, and strawberry honey dust. Rates start at $174. For information, call 800-713-6725 or visit www.doralresort.com.
In Orlando, the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek offers a Sweet Escapes package starting at $179 a night. It includes a room, breakfast for two adults, and a bottle of Champagne delivered to the room. The spa offers a free Sweet Scrub manicure with any 80-minute service. Visit www.wyndhamgrandorlando.com or call 877-999-3223 and mention the Sweet Escapes package.
For our initial list of Valentine’s hotel packages, click here.
This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Super Bowl fans, add blue to your team colors. Tickets to selected performances of Blue Man Group at the Venetian in Las Vegas will be reduced to $46 in honor of Super Bowl XLVI. The catch? You have to wear something with the logo of the New York Giants or the New England Patriots.
The deal: To get the $46 tickets, put on a football jersey or other logo clothing item for one of the two teams that will square off in the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis. Then mention the code “Game46″ at box offices in the Venetian or the Palazzo. Tickets are same-day sale only; you can’t reserve in advance.
When: The offer is good for tickets to 10 p.m. shows Jan. 30-Feb. 6 (but no performance Feb. 5).
Details: Discounted tickets with tax and fees come to $60.60 each, a savings of about $41 on each ticket in the Red Zone seating area. And a bit of Blue Man chatter: The group moves from the Venetian to the Monte Carlo in the fall.
Contact: Blue Man Group Las Vegas, (800) 258-3626
[For the record, 11 a.m. Jan. 24: An earlier version of this post said the deal saves you $14 per ticket. The savings is $41 per ticket because this deal applies to premium Red Zone seating.]
Disney Cruise Line will leave Los Angeles at the end of 2012 and reposition the Disney Wonder to Miami, marking the first time the company will sail from that Florida port. Disney rolled out its cruise itineraries for next year on Tuesday — and L.A. trips weren’t on the list.
The Port of L.A. issued a short statement that reads in part: “They’re a valued customer, this is a solid market for them, and we hope to continue working with them any way we can in the coming years.”
Rebecca Peddie, manager of public affairs for Disney Cruise Line, says in an e-mail that the company will continue sailing to the Mexican Riviera and Hawaii from L.A. through the end of this year. “The growth of our fleet has given us the flexibility to test new itineraries from year to year,” she writes. “While we are only scheduled to call once in Los Angeles in 2013, we will certainly consider returning again in the future.”
Last month, Disney canceled four cruises to Mexico, which sparked speculation in the media and among the cruise industry about the line leaving the L.A. market. The last cruise will depart for the Mexican Riviera on Dec. 2.
The company signed up for a two-year stint and began operations from L.A. in 2011. Prior to that, Disney had offered limited sailings on the Disney Magic in summer 2005 and again in 2008.
And as one ship leaves, another enters. Norwegian Cruise Line announced last month that the Norwegian Star will return to L.A. starting in October 2013. The ship will sail to the Mexican Riviera and Panama Canal from L.A. to Miami and back.
LONDON – The Northern Lights have lit up the skies above Scotland, northern England and northern parts of Ireland after the biggest solar storm in more than six years bombarded Earth with radiation.
The Canadian Space Agency posted a geomagnetic storm warning on Tuesday after residents were also treated to a spectacular show in the night sky.
Ken Kennedy, director of the Aurora section of the British Astronomical Association, said that the lights, also known as the aurora borealis, may be visible for a few more days.
The Northern Lights are sometimes seen from northern parts of Scotland but the unusual solar activity this week means the lights have also been visible from northeast England and Ireland, a rarity.
Geomagnetic storms cause awesome sights, but they can also bring trouble.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, problems can include current surges in power lines, and interference in the broadcast of radio, TV and telephone signals.
FORT DODGE, Iowa – No injuries have been reported after a jet partially slid off a taxiway following a landing at the airport in Fort Dodge.
Pinnacle Airlines spokesman Joe Williams says the accident occurred after the plane landed a little after 4:30 p.m. Monday. The plane carried 32 passengers and a crew of three.
The CRJ-200 jet was listed as Flight 3441 and is part of the Delta connection to and from Minneapolis.
Williams says the plane’s nose gear ended up in the grass next to the taxiway pavement. Buses took the passengers and crew members to the airport terminal.
Williams said Tuesday morning that he didn’t have a report from the crew about the accident cause, but he says the airport reported thin ice conditions.
ORLANDO, Fla. – Disney ships will start sailing out of Miami for the first time next year as the cruise line expands its Caribbean offerings.
Disney Cruise Line announced Tuesday that the addition of two new ships led to plans for a second port in Florida in 2013. Cruises will depart from the Port of Miami, as well as from Port Canaveral.
Disney said it is also expanding its European offerings next year with destinations such as Venice, Italy, and the Greek Islands. The Disney Magic will sail from Barcelona, Spain, on European cruises ranging from four to 12 nights.
The Disney Fantasy, the fourth ship in the line, sails for the first time in March. The Disney Dream debuted last year.
The new itineraries can be booked starting Thursday.
Published: 24 January 2012
By Peter Thompson Leave a Comment
Updated: 24 January 2012
January and February are traditionally key months for booking holidays as people start thinking about escaping the winter blues. The good news is that this year there are more discounted travel deals to be had.
As Brits look to cut their holiday costs, analysis from Vouchercodes.co.uk shows that the total number of discounted travel deals jumped by almost 200% in the first two weeks of January compared to the same period in 2011
According to the shopping website, this year seems to be even better than usual for discounted travel deals.
Duncan Jennings, co-founder of VoucherCodes.co.uk commented: “January is traditionally the best time to secure a great deal on a holiday, but this year seems to be even busier than usual as providers fight it out for consumers’ hard earned cash.
“The number of travel providers and the size of the discounts on offer are truly remarkable, meaning families could be saving hundreds of pounds on the price of their holiday if they book before the end of January.
“However, while the significant rise in discounts we’ve seen is great news for consumers, we know from experience these offers won’t be around for long, meaning savvy travellers need to act quickly.
“Last year we saw the number of travel deals drop off steeply in February, so anyone planning a getaway should get online now if they want to be sure of securing the best holiday deal.”
With help from Duncan here are some top tips for saving money when booking a trip
1) Save on the extras – the costs of airport parking, travel insurance and car hire can all add up but invariably are essential extras. Check online for codes and offers to help free up your money for spending whilst away.
2) Double discounting – January really is a great time to get a bargain as many retailers offer extra discounts, including cash, on top of existing sale products.
3) Keep an eye open for the best deals – timing is everything. Most voucher codes come out at the start of the month, when retailers’ new monthly marketing budgets restart. The best offers aren’t around for long and with February expected to be a quieter month for travel deals, now really is the best time to be hunting for bargains.
MoneyHighStreet comments: “All sound advice from Duncan. Sitting here on a cold, wet January morning is certainly motivation to start looking for a summer holiday, or perhaps sooner than that, perhaps an Easter holiday?
Whenever you do plan a trip, whilst no doubt you want to get the best deal possible to save money, don’t forgot to buy travel insurance.
“As with any insurance do make sure you get the best cover to suit your needs – there’s no point buying the cheapest only to find that should you need to make a claim that you’re not covered. Think about the number of trips you are likely to take in a year and if need be look at buying annual cover.
“Even though most do intend buy travel insurance, many delay doing so until near the time of travel. You should really buy it though at the time you book your trip – our article ‘When should you buy travel insurance‘ explains.”
You can use a quote comparisons site, such as that from Confused.com or Quotezone.co.uk, to help you compare quotes quickly and easily – it’ll only take a few minutes and yet could save you a lot of money down the line.”
QuoteZone website – www.Quotezone.co.uk
Confused website – www.Confused.com
VoucherCodes website – www.VoucherCodes.co.uk
NEW YORK – JetBlue Airways Corp. and Hawaiian Airlines have formed a partnership that will allow passengers to fly on both carriers’ flights on a single ticket.
The deal, which is expected to be formally announced later Monday, follows Hawaiian Airlines’ announcement of plans to add New York service direct from its home base in Honolulu starting in June. Customers on both airlines will be able to connect with those flights through JetBlue’s base at New York’s JFK.
In the meantime, passengers can connect through Los Angeles International Airport to Hawaiian Airlines one-stop service from Hawaii to New York.
Besides added flight options, travelers will also be able to earn or redeem frequent flier miles on each other’s flights, starting with the New York service in June.
Partnerships like this allow airlines to expand their service without spending more money to add flights on their own. Hawaiian Airlines already has similar partnerships, called codeshares, with major U.S. airlines including United-Continental, Delta and American. JetBlue has deals with a number of international carriers, including Ireland’s Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Emirates.
Enlarge This Image
Alaska News Features
There’s nothing like a crisis to bring out the best in a company. That was the case with Alaska Airlines and their response to “Snowpocalypse” in Seattle last week.
According to Alaska Airlines spokesperson Bobbie Egan, more than 100 employees stayed at airport hotels to accommodate the extra efforts in rerouting passengers and equipment in the midst of the bad weather.
I flew to and from Seattle last week on Alaska without incident, although thousands of travelers ended up with canceled or rebooked flights. Between extra de-icing equipment and extra staff at the airport, Alaska — and its travelers — seem to have weathered the storm rather well.
And there’s nothing like a little competition to bring out the best prices when it comes to air travel.
Deals for every traveler’s interest
Even as Alaska Air deals with the aftermath of Snowpocalype, “Shush-ageddon,” their pricing department was on high alert as JetBlue introduced fares for its seasonal nonstop between Anchorage and Long Beach, starting on May 25.
Between now and May, the lowest published roundtrip fare between Anchorage and Los Angeles on Alaska Airlines is $708. On May 25, Alaska’s rate drops to $287 roundtrip. That corresponds with JetBlue’s $287 roundtrip fare to Long Beach. US Airways currently offers a fare between Anchorage and Long Beach for as little as $336 roundtrip.
Just like last year, Alaska Airlines is pushing its deeply-discounted fares to/from Anchorage beyond LAX to Orange County ($308), Burbank ($328), Long Beach ($308) and Ontario ($328). All of the fares are effective for travel starting May 25. The last day to fly at these great rates is Sept. 3 — the same day JetBlue ends its seasonal service.
International travelers should price out their flights from L.A. to Mexico, South America and Asia. The $287 roundtrip fare between Anchorage and LAX on Alaska Airlines now makes some far-flung international destinations more affordable!
JetBlue is offering service to several destinations beyond Long Beach, along with some lower fares: Anchorage-Las Vegas for $376 roundtrip and Anchorage-Sacramento for $407 roundtrip.
JetBlue’s flights are not the only seasonal nonstops that compete with Alaska’s year-round service. Frontier Airlines starts its seasonal flights from May from Denver to both Anchorage and Fairbanks in May. Right now, Frontier’s prices for nonstop service start around $454 roundtrip. That compares with Alaska’s rate of $525 during the same time period. I expect those prices to drop.
Keep a keen eye on Sun Country Airlines and its seasonal service to/from Minneapolis. Every now and then, the carrier offers rates as low as $109 each way for its flights that start May 24. Right now, they’re asking $300 each way. That will change.
I’ve almost given up hope on Air Canada’s seasonal nonstop to/from Vancouver, BC. Currently, the airline wants $635 roundtrip for a ticket. That’s just silly.
Travelers to Europe still can look over-the-top for the best savings this summer. Condor’s flights start on May 1 between Anchorage and Frankfurt. The lowest fare right now is $850 roundtrip. I’ve seen prices as low as $700 roundtrip this year, but those seats are gone. Just for grins, I checked what Delta wanted for air travel around the same dates: $1,260. For an extra $10 ($1,270), you can fly business class on Condor.
I expect United/Continental to add flights during the summer, in addition to its year-round Anchorage-Seattle flights. Watch for seasonal flights Anchorage-Denver, Anchorage-Houston, Anchorage-San Francisco and Anchorage-Chicago.
American Airlines? I don’t know whether American plans to offer its Anchorage-Dallas flights this summer. Ask the bankruptcy judge.
Watch for Delta to boost its Anchorage-Salt Lake flights and resume its Anchorage-Atlanta nonstop.
Right now, US Airways has not indicated any plans to reinstate its seasonal nonstop flights between Anchorage and Philadelphia. Stay tuned, though.
On the mileage front, Alaska Airlines has teamed up with Emirates Airlines. Emirates is well-known as a super-premium airline. Starting Mar. 1, the carrier will offer nonstop service from Seattle to Dubai. As part of a new agreement, Alaska is offering double miles for all qualifying fares to Dubai between Mar. 1 and May 31. You have to register at AlaskaAir.com. In addition to quicker access to the Persian Gulf, the new service is particularly appealing for travelers to India.
Alaska travel online resources
Scott McMurren is an Anchorage-based travel marketing consultant who has lived in Alaska for three decades, spending much of that time traveling the far-flung corners of the state. Visit his website at www.alaskatravelgram.com. And follow him on Twitter at Twitter.com/alaskatravelgrm for breaking updates.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – British adventurer Felicity Aston completed her crossing of Antarctica on Monday, becoming the first woman to ski across the icy continent alone.
She did it in 59 days, pulling two sledges for 1,084 miles (1,744 kilometers) from her starting point on the Leverett Glacier on Nov. 25.
“!!!Congratulations to the 1st female to traverse Antarctica SOLO.V proud,” her Twitter message said.
She announced her achievement from Hercules Inlet on Antarctica’s Ronne Ice Shelf, where she waited alone in her tent for bad weather to clear so that a small plane could pick her up and take her to a base camp. Other expeditions also have gathered there, preparing for the summer’s last flight off the continent.
Aston also set another record: the first human to ski solo, across Antarctica, using only her own muscle power. A male-female team already combined to ski across Antarctica without kites or machines to pull them across, but Aston is the first to do this alone.
A veteran of expeditions in sub-zero environments, Aston, 34, worked as a meteorologist in Antarctica and has led teams on ski trips in the Antarctic, the Arctic and Greenland.
Her journey took her from the Ross Ice Shelf, up the Leverett Glacier and across the Transantarctic Mountains to the continent’s vast central plateau, where she fought headwinds most of the way to the South Pole. Then she turned toward Hercules Inlet and a base camp where the Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions company provides logistical support to each summer’s Antarctic expeditions.
She arranged in advance for two supply drops so that she could travel with a lighter load, one at the pole and one partway toward her final destination. Otherwise, her feat was unassisted.
Aston tweeted that she’s been promised red wine and a hot shower after she gets picked up. “No plane tonight but I have my last Beef and Ale Stew to enjoy for my final evening alone — yum!” she wrote.
And while she pondered her achievement in her last hours of solitude Monday, she shared more of her thoughts in a phone call she broadcast live online.
“It’s all a little bit overwhelming. After days and days to get here, I seem to have arrived all in a rush. I don’t really feel prepared for it. It feels amazing to be finished and yet overwhelmingly sad that it’s over at the same time,” she said. “I can’t quite believe that i’m here and that i’ve crossed Antarctica, just over 1700 kilometers, just under 1,000 nautical miles, 14.5 degrees and 59 days and here I am.”
“I’m just going to sit here and enjoy these last precious moments on my own, and running through my mind all those days behind me, the plane leaving me on my own … the awful day when I thought I was going to get blown away, all those days of bad weather, slogging through those mountains, up those hills with my sledges, arriving at the pole, leaving the pole again, more bad weather and just empty horizons…”
“I remember all the bad times, sitting in my tent, thinking `what on Earth am I doing?’, but despite all that, this has been the most amazing privilege, to have the opportunity to do this, and just a huge thank you to all those people who made it possible.”