February 2020 Newsletter
February 9, 2020 by Brenda Fairfax No Comment
The owners of Nomadic Star Travel, LLC joined some of their clients on the Smooth Jazz Cruise last month (January 18-25, 2020) for The Greatest Party at Sea. Most guest arrived Miami a day prior to the cruise and once onboard, the party began! Ports visited were Costa Maya, Cozumel, Key West and Nassau. Some of us have visited these ports many times, so the ports are not as important … being onboard for the live jazz and interacting with friends, meeting new acquaintances, and speaking with favorite artists is key.
We were thrilled to have Ramsey Lewis, 84 years old, perform onboard while in Cozumel. The performance of Ramsey and his band was awesome, and the standing ovation lasted for minutes. Other artists (partial listing) included Marcus Miller, Maysa, Damien Escobar, Keiko Matsui, Rick Braun, Larry Braggs, Eric Marienthal, Boney James, Jonathan Butler, Euge Groove, Everette Harp, and Paul Jackson. Jr. If you get the opportunity to attend the Smooth Jazz Cruise, you will not regret the experience!
Coronavirus. There are real concerns about the coronavirus and this virus has affected flights, cruises, and sports. Airlines are flying visitors to China back to their home countries and barring other flights to China to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Department of Homeland Security is warning airline passengers that their flights may wind up rerouted if officials discover mid-flight that someone onboard has been in China in the last 14 days. Under new news, U. S. citizens who have traveled in China within the last 14 days will be re-routed to designated airports where they will undergo enhanced health screening procedures. These airports are: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York; Chicago O’Hare International Airport; San Francisco International Airport; Seattle-Tacoma International Airport; Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu; Los Angeles International Airport in California; Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; and Washington-Dulles International Airport in Virginia, Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey; Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Airport..
South African Airways (SAA) is winding its way through a bankruptcy and restructuring and will make substantial route cuts. The two U. S. routes (Johannesburg-New York and Johannesburg-Washington Dulles via Accra, Ghana) were spared. SAA will continue transoceanic service from Johannesburg to Frankfurt, London Heathrow and Perth, Australia. Flights to Hong Kong, Munich, Sao Paola and Guangzhou will be terminated.
Numerous routes within Africa and a majority of its domestic flights have been cancelled. SAA will continue to fly from Johannesburg to Cape Town at reduced levels, but will discontinue flights to Durban, East London and Port Elizabeth effective February 29.
Possible Destinations to Travel in March Most of us associate travel in March with spring break, but did you know it is an off-season time to travel to Europe? Hotel rates are lower. Here are a few places around the world you may want to visit.
- St. Augustine, Florida
- Charleston, South Carolina
Travel to Hawaii
Did you know there are over 100 islands in the Hawaiian archipelago? Did you know at least of them are major destinations? A savvy travel is sure to make their dream well spent by booking a cruise to Hawaii as you do not have to worry about anything other than packing your favorite flip-flops and selecting your excursions.
You will cruise to more islands with no extra work as exploring the islands by ship allows travelers the opportunity to visit multiple destinations. Cruising is a cost-effective way to explore Hawaii.
Some of the Best Cruise Ships in the World
- Oceania’s Marina – A sail that begins and ends in Scandinavia is certain to attract foodies, and Oceania Marina so spectacularly nails the dining that its 1,250 guests won’t mind missing Noma. The beyond-juicy porterhouse at the Polo Grill is a particular standout. Across the Gulf of Finland burn it off in St. Petersburg with a behind-the-scenes tour of the huge Hermitage Museum, or a stroll of Tallinn Old Town’s picturesque cobblestone streets. The recent introduction of local guides shows how much Oceania is investing in excursions (new intimate, sweet options include picking berries followed by tea inside a Latvian farmhouse). Back on board, even the inner-facing cabins have cachet, with their cozy throws and upholstered headboards. But the room to book is one of the Owner’s Suites, which Ralph Lauren kitted out in Georgian-style wood panels and navy, echoing the deep-blue Baltic outside the double windows.
- Crystal Serenity, Papeete to Auckland – This classic ocean liner is 17, which could be considered old enough to retire, and it has sailed to nearly every continent. Yet there was no way it could be sent off to the proverbial ship graveyard. So, in 2018, Crystal injected millions on a restoration, and that November it hit the seas again, sailing from Lisbon with a glamorous new look that goes big on bronze, velvets, and light woods. Thirty-six penthouses and two penthouse suites replaced many of the staterooms, which cut down occupancy by 9 percent; crucially, the number of staff remains the same. A newly implemented open-plan dining space means everyone can now eat when and with whomever they choose, including at the lively, laid-back churrascaria, where servers flamboyantly carve grilled beef picanha tableside. Cabins now have whip-fast Wi-Fi, which means you can post images to Instagram in no time at all.
- Regent Seven Seas Voyager, Istanul to Athens – The first reaction guests may have when spotting this 12-deck sleek liner is that it seems awfully large for its capacity—low for the industry at 700 passengers. Lines are shorter, there’s always availability at the Serene Spa & Wellness, and navigating the ship is that much easier without the crowds. Those who make the sailing are a good-looking group of well-traveled boomers who are likely to become fast friends sitting around the lounge bar, going through bottles of Cabernet (the all-inclusive ship means never worrying about whose drink round comes next). Off-shore programming is thoughtful and goes deeper than most, with guided walks through spots like Mykonos and UNESCO-protected Ephaseus, plus tours of the 14th-century murals at a Crete monastery. A Harvard lecturer, Adam Tanner, keeps the conversation going with tons of information once back on board.
- Norwegian Getaway, New Orleans – Round Trip Norwegian is known for its personal touch. As anyone who has sailed on the Norwegian Getaway, its newly refurbed mega-liner, can attest, this is true even when you share the ship with 3,962 others. It doesn’t hurt that the refreshed 800-piece art collection, up in the breezy Atrium, includes original works by sculptor Arik Levy. But the heart of this ship, a hot ticket for sunny Caribbean itineraries, has to be the numerous activities. Kids can swish across the top deck on a zip line that goes joyfully fast or lose their minds (and voices) screaming from the free-fall slides at Aqua Park, while their parents do cocktails at the Bar at the Atrium, which has the best people-watching of the ship’s 20 places to grab a drink. The shore excursions, from a guided tour of historic New Orleans to bamboo rafting on the Martha Brae River in Jamaica, keep pace with anything on board.
Nomadic Star Travel, LLC is eager to continue servicing your travel needs. Whether you are travel with a group, or solo, traveling by land, air or sea, we appreciate the opportunity to make your dream of travel a reality. We are a full-service travel agency dedicated to giving our clients personal attention to each and every travel request. We are happy to provide one quote free, so sharing your budget and all required details (dates of travel, number of travelers, mode of travel, and destination) are important. We accept all major credit/debit cards and personal checks. Checks must be made payable to the agency (Nomadic Star Travel, LLC) and arrive seven (7) days prior to payment date.
Our goal is to make your dream of travel a reality with our convenient payment plans for most budgets! We offer travel by land (bus/rail), air and sea to all individuals, including individuals with special needs. We specialize in group travel. Our hours of operation are:
Closed ALL major holidays
There is one exception to our hours of operation – when we have students studying abroad, we are available for the school’s personnel at all times.
- Tina!, New York Broadway Performance, April 2020
- Royal Caribbean Cruise on Harmony of the Seas, May 2020
- Sight & Sound Theater, Lancaster, PA (Queen Esther Production), September 2020
- Smooth Jazz Cruise, January 2021
- Low Country Jazz Festival, September 2021
- Travel to Egypt “Breezes of the Nile”, December 2020
- Travel to Cape Town, South Africa, December 2021
- … travel for some HBCU students to study abroad, 2021
If you have an interest in traveling with us to any of these destinations, please send an email.
REAL-ID Deadline – October 21, 2020. Right now, in total, there are seven states left to meet the requirements to be compliant with the REAL ID Act: Oregon, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maine, and Rhode Island. California is currently under review and is expected to be compliant by the end of May 2019.
Those non-compliant states are all currently operating with extensions, meaning that the current driver’s licenses and ID cards are still accepted at security checkpoints despite not being compliant with the Real ID Act. Pennsylvania and Kentucky have extensions until Aug. 1; while Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island have extensions until Oct. 10.
Biometrics – Facial Recognition – Federal officials want to expand facial recognition to all travelers as they enter or leave the country, including previously exempt American citizens. A filing from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) revealed a proposal to require all travelers, not just foreign nationals or visitors, to be photographed for facial recognition scans before they are allowed to enter or leave the U.S. The DHS uses the biometric facial recognition system to prevent visitors or travelers from fraudulently using U.S. travel documents, and to identify criminals or suspected terrorists.
There has been pushback to the proposed regulation by some senators to block the plan and prohibit American citizens from being forced to provide facial-recognition information.
The DHS has a 2021 deadline to roll out facial recognition scanners to the 20 largest airports in the U.S. Stayed tuned and watch or listen to the news as biometrics give too much information regarding your health and aspects of your life … not always in a positive manner either … privacy or lack thereof.
All-inclusive Resorts include airfare, transfers to and from the resort, accommodations, meals, drinks and all activities at the resort. A deposit is due for the lodging, but airfare must be paid for in full at time of booking.
Flights. If you are interested in quotes for flights, please contact the airlines because unless you are ready to book, the airlines can change their airfares within seconds.
Christmas Spectacular (Radio City Hall), December 2019“Hey Mrs. Brenda! Just wanted to let you know me and my daughter have just arrived back from our little getaway, and we had the best time and made wonderful memories! The Hilton was in the perfect location for us and the Rockettes were awesome! Thank you again for all your help!
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!!”_ J. Anderson (Vanceboro, NC)
“Where do I begin? This cruise was my first cruise. Does the wordrelaxing mean anything? It certainly does for me. The trip was refreshing, calming, and most of all just plain fun. Imagine been catered 24/7 with nearlyeverything being done for you, you just simple have to enjoy the moments.Our cabin was perfect with a balcony giving us a great view of the sea. Let me say, the morning breakfasts were to “die” for and dinners were spectacular.The events on the ship were numerous, there was entertainment so no boredom set in, and if anyone was bored, it is because you chose to be bored! to anextreme, so if you got bored on the cruise, it’s because you just wantedto be bored. I can not say anything negative about cruising on MSC’s Seaside. Looking forward to cruising on other cruise lines now! Thanks Nomadic Star Travel – you provided excellent service!”F. Moore (Alexandria, VA)First Cruise - Impressive on MSC
“You did it again! The Disney cruise was wonderful. My entire family had an amazing time. The adjoining staterooms and verandahs gave us plenty of room for the grandchildren to run and play and made babysitting so convenient. If this trip wasn’t as good as St. Lucia it was very close. Thank you for your expertise and attention to detail. Hawaii here we come!”Dr. S. Carraway (Winterville, NC)
W. Carlton (Durham, NC)
“The cruise was more than I expected, although I had issues with my knees. Services from your agency was good, although I had a glitch with receiving my documents (Oceania’s problem). The experience was great. Long range goal is to do this again. Thank you for working with us.”
Brenda and Jim,I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the marvelous service you provided to me and my group for my retirement cruise. Working with a group of 35 was no easy task but you went above and beyond expectations to insure that everyone’s needs were met. You gave new meaning to the term full service travel agency. I will cherish the many memories of our group as I move into retirement. Thanks again for you attention to details and for the way you pampered us. Please know that Nomadic Star Travel is now the official travel agency for Union Baptist Church.I am looking forward to planning more cruises and travel opportunities in the very near future.Wishing you all the best,Kenneth Hammond, Senior Pastor (Durham, NC)
“The Mediterrean Cruise to Monaco, France, Italy and Spain was a dream of a lifetime. Doing a cruise like this one was on my bucket list. The seven days on the Riveria were beautiful even though the weather was hot!!!!!! I’m used to hot weather, but the weather In those countries seemed a wee bit hotter than in Norh Carolina. The excursions and the visits in the cities were exciting and remarkable; however, the Riveria was something to behold. The hospitality and service were excellent and we enjoyed “our butler”, Leslie. Again, thanks for the opportunity to sail with you and Jim and we look forward to doing it again.”E. Edwards (Durham, NC)
Livingstone College, Salisbury, NC is in the infant stages of its international study abroad global initiative. This program includes sending Livingstone College students to other parts of the world and having students from institutions abroad come to Livingstone. To date there have been two students who travelled to Peru, South America, six students to Invertis University, Bareilly, India, and six students from Invertis University to Livingstone College from August- December 2016 and three Livingstone students for summer 2016 study in China.
Livingstone College used Nomadic Star Travel as the travel agent of record for Livingstone College student travel. When there are students and faculty travelling to distant parts of the world many things can happen to interrupt travel plans. For example, two students travelling to China arrived in Chicago only to discover their American Airlines flight to Beijing had been cancelled. Within minutes after being notified by my students, the Nomadic Star representative had me on a three-way call with the agent at the gate assisting my students. I was kept on the telephone until the students were re-routed via Japan to Shanghai, China.
Other instances of changes of departure and return flight times and dates were performed well by Nomadic Star Travel. Through this agent, Livingstone College was able to secure all of the necessary insurance coverages for international travel. Livingstone College is very pleased with the performance of Nomadic Star Travel, LLC.
E. M. Brown, Jr., Director, International Program
“Dear Brenda,A note to thank you so much for your extraordinary work in arranging our family trip to South Africa!! It was a beautiful, fun, fantastic adventure and we will remember it forever! That you took such great care, with grace and ease, in working out all the logistics for our group of ten is truly appreciated.Oceania is a wonderful company and does many things absolutely top notch on their beautiful ships. We especially enjoyed the terrific service, yummy cuisine, interesting excursions, the guest speakers and music groups and the very nice rooms with balconies that were awesome for viewing whales and sea lions! We had a delightful experience that included many individual, thoughtful surprises – including balloons in our room, singing and a special cake for Mom’s birthday celebrated on the ship. The holidays were also celebrated beautifully and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.South Africa is an awesome part of the world – not to be missed. The beautiful people, breathtaking and diverse environments, spectacular animals in the wild and in the sea…so much to enjoy and experience deeply. We were welcomed everywhere and treated kindly in every port. The days at sea on the Indian and Atlantic Oceans were beautiful and peaceful with an abundance of sights to observe and enjoy.We had SO much fun!!!Again, many thanks for your skill and efforts in making this wonderful trip possible of our family! Hope you like the pics…Nomadic Star Travel rocks!!With gratitude and appreciation,Dee and Daureen”Dee (Oregon) & Daureen (Chicago)
“WOW! What great help, for a great trip. Brenda and Nomadic Star helped the fifteen of us that traveled out to San Diego from Raleigh. We didn’t have one question about anything! Everything flowed together vey nicely for our trip. Thanks again!”L. Pippin (Greenville, NC)
“Thank you so much for all of your help with making this trip possible. Everything went very smoothly on the hotel end and we have no complaints. We had a very pleasant stay at the Double Tree. Thank you for your assistance I am so very appreciative as this was a huge commitment. We are very much looking forward to working with you again!”B. A. (Farmville, NC)
Just wanted to take a moment to send you a Heartfelt Thank You! I soooo enjoyed the Smooth Jazz Cruise and enjoyed both you and your husband Jim even more. I truly had a FANTASTIC time and look forward to doing business with you in the future. I will be recommending you to anyone that is in need of a GREAT Travel Agent! I am also extremely happy to be a part of the “family”!!!! Again, thank you so very much for all your help! I had a BLAST!!!!”S. Fondren (Lansing, IL)
“Hello Brenda, winning the cruise in the silent auction was truly a blessing for us. We are travelers, and once we got on the ship, a great time was had by all. We took full advantage of most cruise activities. We dined most meals in the formal dining room – all meals served and prepared to the finest. We now plan to incorporate additional cruises in our future. Thanks again Brenda!”Renee D. B-H. (Greenville, NC)
“We had a wonderful time on the Smooth Jazz Cruise 2015, and look forward to joining you again in the future.”Mel & Marsha W. (Naperville, IL)
Still on a cruise high since returning from Smooth Jazz Cruise. I had a great time.D. Pattani (Philadelphia, PA)
Thanks for everything.
“Oscar and I had so much fun on the Smooth Jazz Cruise, January 11-18, 2015. You and Jim were the perfect hosts from the time we met at the hotel with friends we had not seen since the last cruise. We especially liked you greeting us each night at dinner with great conversation about the fun activities of the day. Oscar and I really appreciate the reserved seating each night at shows. Nomadic Star Travel, YOU ROCK!”I. & O. Little (Baltimore, MD)
I am writing to thank you for our marvelous experience in the Bahamas on a Royal Caribbean cruise. Nomadic Star Travels provides the extra level of customer service that travelers need. From proactively sending me passport applications to checking on my family once we returned, Brenda Fairfax goes the extra mile. Mrs. Fairfax is courteous and prompt which adds value to time-starved mothers like myself who do not want to be involved in non-value added activities related to excessive follow-up. My sons are still talking about the cruise three months later. I would strongly recommend using Nomadic Star Travel to meet all of your travel needs.
Dr. M. Patterson (Greenville, NC)
“Many thanks to Mrs Fairfax for making my summer vacation worry-free and very affordable. I recently had to travel to Providence, RI and Baltimore, MD. I had limited time and funds for the trip. I attempted to make arrangements but had trouble coordinating flight schedules to be compatible with my need to be at several places at specific times. Arriving in Providence in time for my meeting without having to spend extra time there gave me the extra time I needed for Baltimore. I tried to do this myself without much success and my wife suggested Mrs. Fairfax who had successfully arranged other travel for her. Once I contacted Mrs Fairfax everything was handled more efficiently and inexpensively than what I was able to do on my on. The next time I travel I now have to make only one call!!Mr. E. German (Riverside, CA)
“Thanks Nomadic Star Travel for excellent service. Our graduation cruise in June 2014 was very nice. We enjoyed every thing and thanks for the t-shirts.”B. Matthews (Ellenwood, GA)
“Excellent service provided by Nomadic Star Travel. Wore burgundy t-shirts while onboard Queen Mary 2 in July 2014.”Dr. J. McKenzie (Hampton, VA)
“The cruise was wonderful! Everything went well. The food was delicious, the weather was very nice, the beach at Great Stirrup Cay was very relaxing for us. We enjoyed the straw markets on shore at Nassau and other shopping areas. NCL is the way to cruise! Thanks Nomadic Star Travel.”V. Boyd (Falkland, NC)
“The hotel was great. They even had complimentary cookies for all of us. They were extremely accommodating to our needs. We thank you for all that you have done as well. – Middle High School Trip to Washington, DC”L. V. (Farmville, NC)
“My first travel agent happens to be my very dear friend, Brenda (Nomadic Star Travel). All of my personal trips are completely taken care of by Brenda. I do not have to worry as she takes care of all details as if she was booking her own travel. I highly recommend Nomadic Star Travel if you are looking for travel agents that have that “personal” touch. Thanks Brenda.”G. Fanning (Alexandria, VA)
“I took my first and certainly not my last International trip to Spain and Europe with Jim and Brenda Fairfax of Nomadic Star Travel. It was an awesome experience, stellar service. You’re not just a client; you’re a friend and part of the family; the Nomadic Star Family! From the onset (booking, reservations) to culmination (departures, return), the trip was well organized, planned, and executed. Jim and Brenda are committed to their clients having a good time, their comfort, safety, and ensuring that your needs are met! They go above and beyond…From Artist to Entreprenuer, I can’t begin to tell you the people I’ve met while traveling with them and places I’ve experienced. Nomadic Star Travel is always my first travel choice!!! They provide that personal touch of elegance and luxury; service above and beyond.”S. Bymun (Chicago, IL)
“Awesome Smooth Jazz Cruise in January 2014. Wonderful group hosted by our friends, Jim and Brenda, owners of Nomadic Star Travel (NST). Delightful company, great music, fantastic food (group treated to specialty restaurant by owners one night while onboard), and superb service by NST. We were notified of all required actions from documentation, payment status, check-in status, and lodging accommodations prior to the cruise ~ kept abreast of every thing! If you have not traveled and want an agency that will provide personal attention to your travel needs, I highly recommend Nomadic Star Travel … they are true professionals! Your experience(s) will be memorable.”Oscar & Irene L. (Baltimore, MD)
“The services provided by Nomadic Star were personable, professional, efficient and all details were covered. Brenda is thoughtful and communicates everything needed for a successful trip. On a scale of 1 – 10 with 10 being the highest, I rate customer service for the company a 10. Thanks Brenda and James!”Jacqueline E. (New Jersey)
“Fantastic, outstanding, fun-filled nonstop entertainment on Smooth Jazz Cruise 2014. Dinner sponsored by Nomadic Star Travel owners for group was outstanding. Service impeccable!”Dallas & Pat P. (Port Orange, FL)
“Brenda expertly arranged everything for a seamless vacation! We greatly appreciate her attention to detail and her availability by text, email, phone, and in person to meet our needs. Brenda took the stress out of planning a vacation so we could relax and have a wonderful time together. Thank you so much Brenda.”
Dr. L. Surles (Greenville, NC)
“Nomadic Star Travel Agency provided their excellent services for my group trip to the Bahamas via Carnival Cruise lines. With their services we were able to obtain flexible payment plans, conveniently have our staterooms located near each other, and a hassle free planning experience. Not only did we use their travel services they most importantly built a wonderful relationships with us! Nomadic Star Travel Agency is the way to go! We will be using their expertise in traveling in the near future!”D. Day (Arlington, VA)
“Nomadic Star Travel provided us with outstanding TLC in the planning of our cruise on the Oceania cruise ship, Marina. For almost one year before the cruise, we were contacted about upgrades and other information relevant to making our travel experience including the flights and cruise to Greece, Italy, France, and Spain, a carefree one. Congratulations and thanks to Brenda and James Fairfax, owners, for an excellent travel experience.”Glen & Betty S. (Yeadon, PA)
“I used Nomadic Star Travel on my last trip. The service I received was outstanding. I got prompt service, competitive pricing, and staff went the extra step to ensure my total satisfaction and enjoyment while traveling.”K. Greaves (Alexandria, VA)
“Nomadic Star Travel guided our school through the entire planning process. They were essential in providing a great educational trip at an affordable cost.”S. Jones (Greenville, NC)
“I travel to Poland every 6 months for several years. Since I started getting very friendly help from Nomadic Star Travel all my problems with making reservations disappeared. Thank you.”M.S. (Greenville, NC)
“We were very happy with Nomadic Star Travel. Brenda knew which cruise would be perfect for us and made all the arrangements. All we had to do was show up. Brenda went above and beyond to be sure all our questions were answered and expectations were met. She even checked in with us while we were on the cruise to be sure we were having a good time. We had a fabulous time and look forward to the next cruise booked through Nomadic Star Travel. P.S. If you like smooth jazz music, have Brenda sign you up for the Smooth Jazz Cruise. Amazing!”L. Gies & C. Finfrock (Tucson, AZ)
“I really did not know what to expect, but I can tell you I was never caught off guard or lost sight of important developments during the booking process. … The cruise was wonderful and I have Nomadic Star Travel to thank!”Barby J. (Alexandria, VA)
“Nomadic Star Travel took care of my airline reservations promptly. All I had to do was provide the payment information … all was handled with ease. I will certainly use NST again … courteous, professional personnel.”Carolyn J. (Montclair, NJ)
“Nomadic Star Travel booked several cabins on the 2010 Smooth Jazz Cruise for me. Rest assured, NST personnel will keep you updated. [They] displayed exceptional energy and drive. I will not hesitate to contact in the future for future cruises.”Norma J. (Ft. Washington, MD)
“Our last minute travel plans to the all-inclusive Runaway Breezes Resort in Jamaica were made so quickly with Nomadic Star. Service was superb! Definitely plan to contact them for future travel needs.”Franklin M. ( Alexandria, VA)