While the number of passport applicants is at record levels, staff levels at the State Department's Passport Services office has dropped 14% leading to a 50% increase in the amount of time it now takes to obtain a passport.
Updated 6/15/2019 The Trump administration issued new regulations which end all cruises to Cuba effective today. While initial reports indicated that some cruises which had been previously paid for would be exempt, the final regulations end cruises from US ports to Cuba immediately.
While traveling overseas, in almost all cases, Original Medicare does not cover medical or healthcare expenses outside the United States. Nor does its prescription drug plans offer any coverage outside the U.S.
One of the downsides of this modern connected world is that internet access has become critical for many of us while on vacation. We no longer have the luxury of just disconnecting while on a cruise. Others need it to keep in touch with friends or family.
Fortunately the cruise lines have been making significant investments to upgrade the quality and speed of internet access onboard modern ships. Crystal Cruises, an ultra-luxury cruise line, is increasing internet speeds for a second year in a row.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has ordered its second ship the Hijos De J. Barreras shipyard in Vigo, Spain announced. Previously the cruise line had announced its plans to build a total of three 298-passenger ships.
Today the Trump administration issued new regulations prohibiting future cruises to Cuba. Cruises have become the most popular way for Americans to experience and explore Cuba. Over 30,000 more passengers visit Cuba by a cruise ship than by air. The State Department announced that "going forward, the United States will prohibit US travelers from going to Cuba under the previous 'group people-to-people educational' travel authorization. In addition, the United States will no longer permit visits to Cuba via passenger and recreational vessels, including cruise ships and yachts, and private and corporate aircraft."
(READ UPDATED STORY HERE - TRUMP ENDS CRUISES TO CUBA)
Why am I charged for gratuities?
(Updated: 6/3/2019) First time cruisers may be surprised when they get their shipboard final statement the last evening of their cruise. Along with charges for specialty restaurants, onboard purchases, and cocktails, they'll discover a few hundred dollar charge for "gratuities" (some cruise lines are now calling it a "service charge" or "hotel service charge"). While gratuity charges are technically optional on most cruise lines, they are automatically added to your bill, and if you want to have them adjusted or removed, that will take some extra effort on your part. Usually the reception or guest services desk can take care of it for you.
Blog author. Former travel editor for Compete Magazine, awarded top 25 travel writing blog 2018 & 2019..