3 cruise ships disinfected after norovirus (AP)

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A third U.S.-based cruise ship with an outbreak of stomach illness has sailed again after being decontaminated in South Florida.

The vessel Ruby Princess sailed Sunday from Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades. It was one of three cruise ships that docked in Florida and Louisiana over the weekend with outbreaks of norovirus.

Port Everglades spokeswoman Ellen Kennedy told the South Florida Sun Sentinel (http://sunsent.nl/zJG6rk) that the Ruby Princess was cleaned Sunday and departed. Passengers were informed of the virus and cleanup as they waited to board.

Norovirus causes upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea.

Princess Cruise Lines operates the ship and another, the Crown Princess, that sailed from Fort Lauderdale after cleaning.

Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Sea left New Orleans a couple of hours late Saturday because of the same illness.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control maintains an online database of norovirus outbreaks on cruise ships at http://www.cdc.gov/nceh/vsp/surv/gilist.htm. Outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness on cruise ships participating in the CDC program are posted online by the CDC when they take place on voyages from three to 21 days, when the ships are carrying 100 or more passengers, and when 3 percent or more of passengers or crew reported symptoms of diarrheal disease to the ship’s medical staff during the trip.

The CDC says that norovirus is highly contagious and spreads from person to person, through contaminated food or water, and by touching contaminated surfaces. Careful handwashing with soap and water is key to the prevention of the spread of norovirus. Contaminated surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly to prevent continued spread of the disease.

Article source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/aptrne/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20120206/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_cruise_ships_norovirus_florida

Study says tourism a growing force in Delaware (AP)

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. – A new study from the Delaware Tourism Department shows the $2.1 billion industry has become a top economic driver for the state.

The study by D.K. Shifflet and Associates and Vantage Strategy shows tourism employs 39,000 people and attracts 7 million visitors annually to Delaware. The study is based on 2010 data.

The study shows tourism is the third largest private employer in the state. It generated $400 million in state and local taxes and fees in 2010.

Carol Everhart, president of the Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce, says trends are changing. She says resort towns are seeing fewer extended stays and more weekend trips throughout the year.

Officials say Ocean City, Md., also is seeing shorter stays but hope visitors make multiple trips.

Article source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/aptrne/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20120206/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_delaware_tourism

Atlanta airport sees record international traffic (AP)

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel News

ATLANTA – Officials at Atlanta’s airport say international passenger traffic for last year set a new record.

Authorities say year-end statistics from 2011 show that international passengers increased by nearly 8 percent from the previous year, from 9.14 million to 9.86 million.

They say the new high eclipses the previous record of 9.18 million international passengers, set in 2008.

The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that more than 13 million international passengers will travel through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport annually by 2015.

The airport is building a new international terminal, which is set to open in the spring.

Article source: http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/aptrne/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap_travel/20120206/ap_tr_ge/us_travel_brief_atlanta_airport_international_traffic

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: Timeshares Included in Social Buying Site Travel Deals

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

I use the last blank page of my address book as a sort of former residence scrapbook where I write down the address of each of my old apartments. Since the start of college, I have racked up seven different addresses spanning 3 countries and 3 states. This has taught me that I may not be in a location for very long, and so I need to enjoy and fully experience the things I want to sooner rather than later.

Since moving to Texas in 2008 I created a Texas Bucket List where I detailed roughly ten experiences/places I wanted to see while living in Texas. When I saw the opportunity to fulfill one of these through a social buying site deal offering a trip to New Orleans at a crazy-great price, I got really excited. My friend had passed a deal along where you pay $89 for two nights’ stay at an upscale 3.5 to 4 star New Orleans hotel, plus you have the choice of a special gift (Complimentary $50 Visa Rewards card, or One Additional Complimentary Room Night). This was all valued at $408. You can start to see where the red flags were raised. With Mardi Gras coming up, it is clearly not the off-season for New Orleans where one might find a deal as sweet as this. Also, all travel social buying site deals I have ever seen have been for up to 50% off, not 78% off. I began to wonder, is New Orleans on clearance for any particular reason?

I figured it out by perusing around the website a bit more. This was a vacation property timeshare in disguise as a social buying deal.

Terms and Conditions Most Will Glaze Over     

Let’s be honest, most people get a glaze in their eyes when reading legalese so they decide to skip over it entirely and rely on the advertising and the fact that others have signed on before them and not faced disaster. Dealster.com, the advertiser of this deal, says on its About Page that it wants to offer compelling deals to consumers, which means “…you get the things you want at big savings and without a lot of fine print…” (italics are my own). My two pages of printed fine print clearly do not fit this bill. In this case, not reading the terms and conditions will leave you very disgruntled upon arriving at the hotel for your getaway weekend (er, most likely a Tuesday-Thursday per the fine print) when you learn this:

  • Your package does not include any applicable taxes, hotel service fees or regulatory surcharges (estimated at between $50-60 per trip, and an additional $30 per night in parking fees)
  • You agree to attend a presentation that will last a minimum of 120 minutes and married or co-habitating couples must attend the orientation and tour together
  • Your getaway is for the purpose of promoting the sale of vacation ownership plans

And if you are upset when checking in and decide to leave in a fit of rebellion, you may be very surprised with the “no show” fee that will be charged to your credit card. “Participants with confirmed reservations who fail to check-in on their reservation date or fail to reschedule at least two (2) weeks in advance of their arrival date shall forfeit their use of this certificate and be charged a one night “no show fee”.

Timeshares and Travel Deals Should Not Be Combined

Call me crazy, but this is not what social buying sites are all about. Can you imagine buying one of these vouchers to New Orleans only to learn that you must attend a 120-minute presentation about buying into the vacation property? How about if you cancel a few days in advance (normally allowed at other hotels) only to be charged a “no show” fee? Social buying sites are supposed to unite consumers into a large enough group where their purchasing power allows for a significant reduction in the cost of the experience, service, or item being offered. The seller gets exposure for their brand, makes a small profit (admittedly small, but many times during off-season when profits are harder to come by), and consumers are left with a great deal.

In my mind, a timeshare is a timeshare, and a discounted travel deal is a discounted travel deal. One should not be substituted for the other, especially when you are sending these types of deals to someone’s inbox in the guise of a social buying deal. If social buying sites begin to slip-in timeshare buying opportunities with their travel deals they will surely create a bitter taste in most of their clients’ mouths (me included). That is just not good for business.

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Other Articles You May Enjoy:

Selling a Timeshare to the Wall
Deal or No Deal or Which Deal: Our Timeshare Update
We are Not Going to Help Them Make Vegetable Soup Out of a Stone and Water
How I Almost Got Scammed: Lessons Learned from Trouble in Paradise
Money Mistakes I’d Make All Over Again: Purchasing a Timeshare
10 Financial Myths About Timeshares
What is my Timeshare Worth?

Article source: http://blog.chron.com/frugalconfessions/2012/02/a-wolf-in-sheep%E2%80%99s-clothing-timeshares-included-in-social-buying-site-travel-deals/

Super Bowl Monday: Eli Manning heads to Disney World for 2nd time

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning snagged his second Most Valuable Player Award in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday, but he also scored another milestone: He will be the fifth football star to twice have declared, “I’m going to Disney World!” after the Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17 in Indianapolis.

Manning will appear today at the Orlando theme park for one day only at 1:20 p.m. (Eastern) for a Super Bowl MVP Parade down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. He’ll also be meeting with NFL Youth Football players at the amusement park.

The last time Manning uttered the words and appeared in the amusement park was in 2008 after, yes, a Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.

Whether you find them corny or exhilarating, the ads have been around since 1987, when then-Giants quarterback Phill Simms appeared in the first commercial that has become a Super Bowl staple. Since then, only five others have been featured in the ads twice:

–Joe Montana (1989, 1990)
–Emmitt Smith (1994, 1995)
–John Elway (1998, 1999)
–Tom Brady (2002, 2004)

Check out the full list of football athletes on ShareMickey.com.





Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-eli-manning-walt-disney-world-20120206,1,1272745.story

Daily Deal Site Eversave Announces Eversave Travel

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

WAKEFIELD, Mass., Feb 06, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) –
one of the leading daily deal sites in the U.S., announces Eversave
Travel deals offering discounts on vacations, getaways and
excursions from highly rated resorts and hotels in the US and abroad.
Deal offerings provide members accommodations at a variety of hotels and
resorts and the opportunity to escape to and explore new areas at highly
discounted prices. The travel site, which has been part of the daily
deal travel marketplace for the past six months, has already generated
over 20,000 incremental room nights for its partners.

“The addition of Eversave Travel to our offerings has brought our
members even more great ways to try new adventures and vacation options
while benefiting from the value offered with Eversave deals,” said Jere
Doyle, CEO of Eversave. “Eversave has had great success in helping
hotels and resorts increase their occupancy rates and attract attention
from motivated travelers.”

deals on Eversave will be offered every week, alongside Eversave’s
other local and national featured deals. Eversave Travel includes both
local and international deals — from romantic getaways to family
vacations to weekends away from home. Current Eversave Travel deals

A two-night stay at the Palms Place Hotel in Las Vegas, starting at
$138 (54% discount)

A three-night stay at Cadaques Caribe Resort Villas in the Dominican
Republic for $446 (55% discount)

A four- or six-night stay at Cerritos Surf Colony near Cabo in Mexico
for $399 (77% discount)

For more information and to view the current travel deals please visit Eversave

About Eversave

Eversave.com is one of the largest daily deal sites offering local and
online daily deals called “Saves,” which offer great deals on fun things
to do in and around cities including restaurants, spas, activities and
more. Eversave is owned by Prospectiv, an online performance
marketing pioneer with an expertise in connecting women to brands. With
trusted experience and proven success in consumer acquisition,
Prospectiv helps create true brand engagement that results in qualified
marketing leads for advertisers and incremental revenue streams for Web
publishers. The company offers a suite of innovative products and
advanced proprietary technology that are customizable, flexible,
measurable and analytical to help achieve campaign goals. The company
works with the world’s leading brands from Fortune 1000 companies such
as Procter Gamble, Pfizer, and Disney, as well as local merchants and
leading Web publishers that include Publishers Clearing House, IAC and
WhitePages. Prospectiv is a division of the Affinion Group, the global
leader in customer engagement and loyalty solutions, serving over 180
million consumers across 16 countries. For more information, please
http://www.prospectiv.com/ .

SOURCE: Eversave

        Travel deals 
        Media Contact: 
        Topaz Partners for Prospectiv 
        Liz O'Donnell, 781-404-2442 

Copyright Business Wire 2012


Article source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/daily-deal-site-eversave-announces-eversave-travel-2012-02-06

Travel Giveaways and Special Deals This Valentine’s Day

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

If you could count on fate to bring you the best Valentine’s ever, what would you do? Wait at home for fate to knock at your door, or take a more proactive approach and search for opportunities yourself? If you are a proactive traveler, we’ve hand-picked a few special promotions just for you.

Most Valentine’s Day travelers plan to spend the special day, or following weekend, far from the madding crowds, in a romantic location, candlelit dinner, soft music, and end the evening with sweets and champagne. Every year, hospitality businesses around the world plan special packages for lovers this season, with appealing offers. However, most offers are for discounts, and not so many give away free stuff. Argophilia Travel News found a bit of everything.

Free Stuff

Magnuson Hotels Valentine's  giveaways.Magnuson Hotels, the world’s largest independent hotel group, representing nearly 2,000 UK and North American hotels, is giving away free stays in Port Allen, South Bend, Baton Rouge and Midvale. To win, travelers are invited to find Magnuson Hotels on Facebook, enter the Magnuson Hotels Valentine’s Day giveaways on Facebook, describe how they imagine the perfect Valentine’s Day. There are four separate giveaways, one for each city:

  • Valentine’s at Magnuson Hotel Salt Lake – in Midvale, not far from Salt Lake City, the hotel is located near Alta Ski Area, Snowbird Ski Area, Solitude Ski Area, and Brighton Ski Area.
  • Magnuson Hotel Room Giveaway Baton Rouge – the hotel is located near Port Allen, the Louisiana State Capitol Welcome Center, Louisiana State University, LSU Tiger Stadium, River Center Baton Rouge, Maravich Assembly Center, Port of Greater Baton Rouge and the Mississippi River.
  • Valentine’s at Magnuson Hotel Port Allen – the hotel is located near Baton Rouge, Mississippi River, Baton Rouge River Event Center, Belle Baton Rouge Casino, Magnolia Mound Plantation House, Mall of Louisiana and Blue Bayou Waterpark.
  • Free Hotel Room for Valentine’s at Magnuson Grand Hotel South Bend in the heart of South Bend and walking distance to South Bend Symphony, College Football Hall of Fame, South Bend Chocolate Company, and South Bend Mishawaka Company.

“Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All CompareTM,” Velas Resorts is launching a Facebook contest on Valentine’s Day to win a luxury all-inclusive vow renewal vacation for up to 10 guests at Casa Velas, an adults-only boutique hotel and ocean club in Puerto Vallarta. Beginning Valentine’s Day (February 14th) through March 14th, couples from the USA, Canada and Mexico are welcome to enter by submitting five photos of themselves on the Casa Velas Facebook Page. Photos with captions should best represent their marriage and key events in their life together. 10 finalists will be chosen by The Velas Resorts Communications Committee in a drawing on March 15th. The following day, the 10 finalists will be notified and public voting will take place through March 31st on the Casa Velas Facebook Page.

Special Deals, Offers

Lincolnshire Marriott is offering three special vacation packages: Escape Romance Package: ($179 – February rate); One-Night Dinner Theatre Escape Package: ($329); and Escape Theatre Package: ($189). All packages include deluxe guest rooms. Theater packages include tickets to see Legally Blonde: The Musical at the Lincolnshire Theatre. Situated on 175 wooded acres on the North Shore, minutes from downtown Chicago and O’Hare Airport, the Lincolnshire Marriott Resort is a truly unique destination, with something for everyone.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek is offering a twenty per cent enticement for lovers to enjoy a romantic getaway in the Belizean rainforest, part of Chaa Creek’s annual” Belize Month of Love” celebrations. This is 20% off your room for the entire month of February. Discounts do not apply to existing reservations, Packages or River Camp. Use code FEB29 to receive the discount.

More than one business in the Yosemite area are offering discounts this Valentine’s. Vulture’s View Bed and Breakfast offers a free picnic to guests who book for Valentine’s. Rooms, including the picnic, start at $150 a night.

At The Pines Resort, vacationers can save as much as 35% for a one-night visit. Stay a night in a Chalet February 10 or 11 for only $109; book the two nights together for only $178. Rates are even more affordable February 12 through 14. Plus, to add a special romantic touch, guests can add romantic items including champagne, roses, chocolates, cheese and wine basket and more.

Of course a romantic dinner is a must, and the five-diamond Erna’s Elderberry House in Oakhurst provides the perfect atmosphere. The world famous restaurant announced their Valentine’s Epicurean Dinner on February 12, featuring dishes such as Braised California Sturgeon and Maine Lobster Consommé for $115 per person.

Argophilia Travel News will continue to update you with special offers till Valentine’s.

Article source: http://www.argophilia.com/news/travel-giveaways/24794/

Portland, Ore.: Second-night discount at 23 hotels

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Portland Perks is back — with $72 off a second night at several cool hotels. Tourism agency Travel Portland regularly runs this promotion, but this is the first time I’ve seen such a deep discount on room prices. Why it’s $72 is unclear, but it’s a great excuse to kick it up a notch and try out a stay at a swankier hotel.

The deal: The Portland Perks package at 23 hotels comes with continental breakfast, free parking and a coupon book good for shopping, dining and attractions. The package requires a two-night stay, with the second night $72 less than the cost of the first night. You must book through Travel Portland to get the deal.

When: The offer is good for stays through March 31.

Tested: I checked on availability for a two-night stay starting Feb. 17. Here are some of the options I found (excluding tax):

–Vintage Plaza (Kimpton): $189 for the first night, $117 for the second;
–Hotel Fifty: $129 the first night, $57 for the second;
–Governor Hotel: $159 for the first night, $107 for the second.

I then checked the individual hotels and found these best available rates plus tax on the same nights: $199 a night at the Vintage Plaza; $159 a night at Hotel Fifty; $169 a night at the Governor Hotel. Add on free parking and other extras and this might make for a nicely affordable spring getaway.

Contact: Portland Perks package, (800) 962-3700

Article source: http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/la-trb-portland-perks-20120203,1,6715750.story

How To Travel From The US To Cuba Now (PHOTOS)

February 6, 2012 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

At Travelzoo, we come across deals to exotic spots around the globe all the time — Kenya, the Galapagos, New Zealand, Tahiti, to name a few — but one destination a short plane flight away has remained elusive over the years.

For years, U.S. citizens have not been able to fly legally to Cuba from the United States. Some travelers found their way around the ban, slipping in through Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean. This was time-consuming, costly and a bit risky.

In the past year, the Obama administration has eased travel restrictions, making it easier for cultural, religious and education travel from the States. Under these “people-to-people” licenses, only a small number of U.S. companies have been approved to bring travelers.

Trips to Cuba aren’t a typical Caribbean beach vacation; there are plenty of vacation deals to the Dominican Republic or Jamaica if that’s what you want. The schedules planned by these approved travel companies are busy with cultural activities such as visits to Cuban artists’ studios and trips to schools to learn about the Cuban education system. The itineraries ensure that you’ll interact with dozens of Cubans and return home with a better understanding of the country’s culture.

Looking for a deal to Cuba? Despite these changes, deals are still rare. Airfare is chartered, and with the U.S. government paperwork required, it is nearly impossible to put a trip together yourself. But deals can be found.

Friendly Planet, one of the approved travel companies to bring U.S. travelers, currently has two programs (which include the Cuba entrance visa and all U.S. government paperwork). The four-night getaway costs $1,899 per person, based on double occupancy; similar packages from other licensed companies are selling for at least $2,400.

Highlights of the trip include meeting with experts on U.S.-Cuban relations; learning to salsa at a weekly block party; visiting a neighborhood known for its Afro-Cuban culture; seeing a cigar factory (and learning about the hand-rolling process); and meeting farmers in the Las Terrazas area. Plus, you’ll visit with a historian at the mansion and museum of Ernest Hemingway.

So, if you are looking to get a deal, get a tan and a get an education — all on the same trip — keep an eye on Cuba in the coming year.

– Angela Tablac is based in Miami, Florida and is one of Travelzoo’s 250 deal experts from around the world who rigorously research, evaluate and test thousands of deals to find those with true value.


Tourists visit the Bodeguita del Medio, a bar frequented by US Nobel Prize in Literature Ernest Hemingway in Havana, on June 16, 2011. In Cuba, devotees can walk in the footsteps of the Nobel Prize-winning author at destinations dedicated to Hemingway’s life on the island. “My daiquiri at the Floridita, my mojito at the Bodeguita,” wrote Hemingway who lived some 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the bars in his home, Finca Vigia, a colonial structure in the tropical jungle west of Havana.

AFP PHOTO/ADALBERTO ROQUE (Photo credit should read ADALBERTO ROQUE/AFP/Getty Images)

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Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/travelzoo/travel-to-cuba-from-the-u_b_1251063.html?ref=travel