On Sunday, February 6, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will host the largest gay and lesbian cruise ever. Atlantis Events, Inc. specializes in all-gay and lesbian cruises. Already, 5,400 people have signed up for the 7-night Western Caribbean cruise that will leave from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In 2012, the cruise will set sail on January 29. Royal Caribbean will start the sale of that cruise on February 23, 2011.
For more information and to read full story, go to Atlantisevents.com.
On Monday, January 31, 2011, the adventure cruise line M/V Polar Star struck an uncharted rock while anchoring near Detaille Island off of Antarctica. Passengers aboard the Polar Star got a small taste of what it must have felt like aboard the Titanic when it hit an iceberg on April 15, 1912.
Eighty passengers, including 32 Americans, were traveling from Ushuaia, Argentina, to the Drake Passage (between Ushuaia and Antarctica), then back to Ushuaia. No injuries were reported. The ship suffered minor damage and within hours was able to travel at a safe cruising speed, according to the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. Although the damage on the M/V Polar Star was minor, the Drake Passage is known for rough seas, so on Wednesday, February 2, the Polar Star captain and other officials made the decision to evacuate the ship.
The M/V Polar Star will head back to Ushuaia for minor repairs.
You had to be buried under a rock -– or perhaps a pile of snow from the monster Midwest blizzard — if you didn’t hear about the unprecedented political unrest in Egypt. The silver lining? Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow, which apparently means spring is on the way. Let’s sure hope so. Until then, these festive Chinese New Year celebrations will have to lift our spirits.
With such a busy week, it’s easy to miss a few important links:
A less-naked body scanner? TSA is testing a new system in 3 airports that ditches the x-ray style for a more modest scan that looks like a chalk outline of a body at a crime scene. [Travel Channel]
Read the story
Mice trained for airport security: Israeli scientists claim they’re more accurate than using dogs and x-ray machines. [The Telegraph]
Read the story
A divorce has to be easier: An Immigration agent put his wife on the do-not-fly list so she can’t return home. [Daily Mail]
Read the story
Disney Cruise Line announced today that all kids under 17 years of age cruise for free when traveling with 2 full-fare guests. Travel on an Alaskan Disney Cruise Line must depart between May 3 and June 7, 2011. This offer won’t last long, so if you have Alaska on the brain, act now! More details on how to book at disneycruise.com.
See our photo picks for Super Cruise Ships and our Cruising: Before You Go tips in our Cruises section.
As the protests in Egypt continue, travelers in the Northern African region are packing up and heading out. Flights are being rescheduled and cruisers are drifting along the Nile River, wondering where their next port of call will be. According to CruiseCritic.com several cruise lines are adjusting their schedules and canceling future trips to Egypt, until the unrest has settled. Norwegian Cruise Line’s the Norwegian Jade, will adjust its itinerary in order to avoid a stop in Alexandria and will replace the missed port with 2 nights in Istanbul. Many other cruise lines are making similar changes to accommodate their passengers.
For a complete list of lines and their current schedule changes, visit CruiseCritic.com.
The US State Department has issued a travel alert urging US citizens to avoid all nonessential travel to Egypt, as police and protestors clash in demonstrations going on in Cairo and across the country. According to Huffington Post, the demonstrations are not directed against the US, but the department noted that protests have turned violent, resulting in deaths, injuries and major property damage.
US officials advised those American citizens already in Egypt to remain in their hotels or residences until the situation calms down. Officials decided not to issue a travel warning — a more serious action that usually triggers automatic cancellations by cruise companies and tour operators and affects certain types of travel-insurance coverage.
On January 26 we posted a story about the traveling saga of Mate Tokic. Mate spent an unplanned week in London in mid-December during the great snowstorm of 2010 after his flight was canceled at Heathrow Airport. It appears Mate’s travel misfortunes continue. His flight from Dulles Airport near Washington, DC to Cairo via Heathtrow was canceled Wednesday due to a winter storm that dumped about a foot of snow in the DC area. Mate was scheduled to leave Dulles at 10 p.m.
At the peak of the snowstorm, Mate, a history professor at the American University of Cairo, decided to risk a trip to the airport from his parents house in Takoma Park, MD, located about 50 miles from Dulles, via the DC subway system. He made it to its furthest west point at the West Falls Church station and had planned to take a bus the remaining 20 miles or so to the airport.
Mate waited 2 hours for a bus that never arrived, then went back to his parents home after he saw a group of people who had walked about a mile back to the station. The were left stranded for three hours after the bus they were riding and which was heading to the airport got stuck in the snow. His said his flight was officially canceled at 1:30 a.m. READ MORE
It’s Wave Season and that means it’s time to book your cruise for 2011-2012. According to CruiseCritic.com and industry leaders, Wave Season is the time between January and March when cruise lines offer deep discounts for the coming year and as a result, more cruises are booked during this time.
Book a trip on Royal Caribbean to the Bahamas for a 3-night cruise with prices starting at $199, or a 4-night cruise to the Western Caribbean from $249. Royal Caribbean isn’t the only cruise line with the deep discounts — board the Norwegian Cruise Line and receive a free upgrade!
See our guide to the Eastern Caribbean, Family Cruises and more in our Cruises section.
Cruising in 2011? Where to? Post a comment on our blog.
Marriott International plans to remove pornographic movies from its pay-per-view menu. The company wants to pull the plug on skin flicks, starting with its new properties opening in the next few years. After several years of raking in a wad of revenue, Marriott’s earnings are now, um well, limp.
Over the past few years, the hotel chain has noticed a drop in porn and pay-per-view consumption. According to USA Today, one of the reasons for the decrease is that business travelers check into hotels and bring their own entertainment, including Netflix DVDs, an iPod Touch or a laptop.
In a released statement, Marriott is “working with in-room entertainment providers and technology vendors to transition to the next generation of in-room entertainment.” What does that mean? We’re not sure, but for now, we suggest you B.Y.O.P. — bring your own porn.
Do you watch pay-per-view entertainment at hotels? Tell us what you think about Marriott’s new ban.
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