February 2020 Newsletter

February 9, 2020 by Brenda Fairfax No Comment

Greetings!

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!  

CoronavirusThere 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
  • Paris
  • Mumbai
  • 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:

            Monday-Thursday:  9:00am-5:00pm

            Friday:  9:00am-4:00pm

            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.

Future Travel:

  • 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, 2020Right 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.

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