Newsletter for January 2020

January 4, 2020 by Brenda Fairfax No Comment

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2020. Again, thanks for your past support and we are 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 to Date:

  • Smooth Jazz Cruise, January 2020
  • Seabreeze Jazz Festival, April 2020
  • New York Broadway Performances, May 2020
  • Caribbean Cruise, May 2020
  • Sight & Sound Theater, Lancaster, PA (Queen Esther Production)
  • Great Wall of China, TBA
  • Smooth Jazz Cruise, January 2021
  • Low Country Jazz Festival, September 2021
  • Travel to Brazil, 2021
  • Travel to Cape Town, South Africa, 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.

Using the services of a travel agent. It is highly recommended to use a certified and accredited travel agent … now more than ever! You will see new firsts on ocean cruise lines, innovations across hotel sectors, the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection and the anticipated launches of Virgin Voyages. There is a lot to come, and now the reasons are even greater to always book with a travel professional. We are members of the Travel Leaders Network, and we negotiate special rates and perks with supplier partners. We know what to look for and when for complex trips, for example booking multiple room categories on cruises, land excursions, and restaurants. We recommend travel insurance to navigate mother nature as natural disasters are becoming more intense and frequent. Last year we saw wildfires in California and Australia, the devastation in the Bahamas by Hurricane Dorian, and the volcanic eruption in New Zealand. With insurance, we can assist you with cancel flights, and inform you if it’s okay to travel to a destination.

Research has found that nearly one in four people are scammed by third-party booking sites. We give every travel request dedicated homework researching and verifying, and then provided in-depth education on to the client. Since life is unpredictable, if a personal issue arises and you need to rebook, your travel agent is on your side to help you rebook fast!

Travel Insurance. You never know when or if you will need travel insurance, but it’s best to have the insurance than not have the insurance. Just think, what would you do if your luggage did not make it to your destination for five days?

Not all domestic health and medical insurance plans will follow you outside your home country. Something as simple as twisting your ankle in a foreign country may not be covered and could result in expensive medical bills.

We always receive questions about the cost of purchasing insurance. The cost of travel insurance depends on a variety of factor such as the price and length of the trip, your age, destination, and any optional add-ons. 

When should you buy travel insurance? Please do not procrastinate. Some benefits and coverages are available only if you have purchased your policy within a short window. Purchase early and you may qualify for a pre-existing condition waiver or a ‘cancel for any reason’ upgrade. It is important for you to consider purchasing insurance if your plans include traveling to the Caribbean during hurricane season. Once a hurricane has been made, you can no longer purchase insurance for that hurricane. 

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.

Carnival Cruise Line Clothing Ban Offensive Clothing. Carnival’s “what to wear” section on its website:  “Specifically, items worn during the cruise should not contain any message that may be considered offensive or contain nudity, profanity, sexual innuendo/suggestions. In addition, clothing/accessories should not promote negative ethnic or racial, commentary, or hatred or violence in any form.”

Interested in Warm Weather Travel During Winter Months? If you are a winter traveler who wants to escape the season by jetting off to sunny beaches and tropical islands, you are in luck. Here are some warm winter vacations around the world. Let us book your destination of choice.

Paros, Greece – Average winter temperatures (from December through March): High of 58 degrees, low of 50 degrees. Paros is one of the lesser-known isles in Greece’s Cyclades. It is not as populas as Santorini or Mykonos, but this island has no shortages of beaches, whitewashed hillside towns, and hidden swimming caves to discover and explore.

The Bahamas – Average winter temperatures: High of 77 degrees, low of 62 degrees. If you live on the east coast you are luck to have so many quick direct flights to the Bahamas. This winter is a particularly great time to visit as recovery efforts post-Hurricane Dorian are welcoming tourism dollars with open arms. Nassau has some unscathed properties including SLS and Rosewood at the resort complex Baha Mar and Harbour Island.

Oahu, Hawaii – Average winter temperatures: High of 81 degrees, low of 67 degrees. Oahu is the most visited of Hawaii’s islands. It has Honolulu, Waikiki Beach and the North Shore.

Mauritius – Average winter temperatures: High of 84 degrees, low of 73 degrees. This island in the Indian Ocean is roughly 559 miles east of Madagascar.  Mauritius may be home to a lost continent hiding beneath the waves. Head to the island’s Anantara Iko featuring miles of hiking rails through La Vallée de Ferney.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Average winter temperatures: High of 81 degrees, low of 63 degrees. Puerto Vallarta has a certain youthful energy during spring break, but there is winter whale watching in Banderas Bay, an artisan market with local goods, just a half-hour boat ride south, the quiet shores and waterfall hikes of Yelapa Beach. If you want to feel like a celebrity, stay at Casa Kimberly, the former home of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that is now a nine-suite boutique hotel.

San Diego, California – Average winter temperatures: High of 65 degrees, low of 50 degrees. Beach time never goes out of season in southern California. With perfect temperatures throughout most of the year, you won’t have to delay your sun- and sea-filled trip until summer. With 70 miles of coastline, San Diego has tons of beaches with crowds and surf conditions for every type of traveler.

Airports with Worse Delays. These airports have the worse delay times, especially during winter months, so if possible, plan accordingly.

  • #10 – Houston had more than 123,000 weather delays.
  • #9 – Dallas Fort Worth
  • #8 –  John F. Kennedy
  • #7 – Philadelphia
  • #6 – Boston
  • #5 – Denver
  • #4 – New York’s LaGuardia
  •  #3 – Chicago’s O’Hare
  • #2 – San Francisco 
  • #1 – Newark in New Jersey with more than 204,000 weather delays.

According to a recent survey, the list below contains the Best Cruise Ship Homeports in the United States.

  • #1 Port Canaveral, Florida
  • #2 Port Miami, Florida
  • #3 Port Everglades, Florida
  • #4 Port of Galveston, Texas
  • #5 Port of Tampa, Florida
  • #6 Port of New Orleans, Louisiana
  • #7 Manhattan Cruise Terminal, New York
  • #8 Cape Liberty Cruise Port, New Jersey
  • #9 Port of Long Beach, California
  • #10 Port of Charleston, South Carolina
  • #11 Port of Jacksonville, Florida
  • #12 Port of Baltimore, Maryland
  • #13 Port of Seattle, Washington
  • #14 Port of Mobile, Alabama

Keeping you in the loop … 

Struggling Markets: Cuba, Hong Kong, Dominican Republic, Sri Lanka, Cancun, Turkey, Belize, Russia, Baltics, Germany, Turkey, Tunisia, Paris, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Ocean & River Cruises, China, Russia, and Myanmar.

Strong But Flat Markets: Sicily, Greece, Tuscany, Netherlands, London, Rome, Dubai, California (Los Angeles/Southern California, Napa Valley), Caribbean, Iceland, Portugal, Spain (San Sebastian/Basque, Ibiza, Marbella, Mallorca), National Parks, North American Ski Resorts, Maldives, Berlin, Miami, Tahiti/Bora Bora, and Los Cabos.

Markets on the Rise: Morocco, St. Tropez/ Cote d’Azur, St. Barts, Paris, Egypt, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, London, Slovenia, Croatia/Montenegro, Panama, South Africa, Costa Rica, Israel, Glamping & Ranch Vacations, Southeast Asia/Indochina (Vietnam, Laos), Galapagos, Sweden (Stockholm), Norway, Italy (Amalfi Coast, Puglia, Florence, Venice), Australia, Bhutan, Indonesia, U.K. (beyond London), Ireland, Botswana, Chile, Nashville, Austin, Mexico City, Fiji, European Skiing, New Zealand, Cartagena, East Africa (Kenya/Tanzania) and Rwanda.

Top Eight Honeymoon Destinations: 1) Dubai & Maldives, 2) Italy; 3) Thailand & Vietnam, 4) South Africa & Mauritius, 5) Caribbean & Mexico, 6) Greece. 7) Southern Spain, 8) South Pacific.

Top 10 Multi-Gen Destinations: 1) Italy, 2) South Africa. 3) U.S. Ranch Vacations & National Parks, 4) Caribbean & Mexico, 5) Morocco, 6) Australia/New Zealand, 7) South of France, 8) London, 9) South of Spain, 10) Greece.

Top Five Far-Flung Destinations: 1) Japan & Southeast Asia (including Bali, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand), 2) Maldives, 3) South Africa, 4) Australia/New Zealand (will keep a watch due to the fires in Australia and volcanic eruption in New Zealand, 5) Peru.

Top 10 Opportunity Destinations: 1) Paris, 2) Portugal, 3) Peru. 4) Egypt, 5) Indonesia. 6) Sri Lanka. 7) Virgin Islands, 8) Bolivia. 9) Dominican Republic, 10) Rwanda.

Top 10 Celebration Destinations: 1) France (led by Paris and the Cote d’Azur), 2) Italy (led by Lake Como, Tuscany/Florence and Amalfi), 3) Mexico (led by Cabo, Riviera Maya and Punta Mita), 4) Caribbean, 5) Southern Spain, 6) Luxury Ranches, 7) Aspen, 8) Morocco, 9) Ireland, 10) South Africa.

Top 10 Summer Retreats: 1) Amalfi Coast, 2) Cote d’Azur, 3) Italy (other), 4) Ibiza, 5) Greece (mainly Mykonos and Santorini), 6) Spain (Ibiza, Marbella/Basque), 7) Marbella/Malaga, 8) U.S. Ranch Vacations & National Parks. 9) California, 10) Iceland.

New Cruise Ships for 2020

  • Carnival Cruise Line’s Mardi Gras is one of the new cruise ships set to hit the water in August 2020.
  • Celebrity Cruises, Celebrity Apex, the second ship in Celebrity Cruises’ Edge series, after Celebrity Edge, will debut out of Southampton, England, in April 2020. The ship will join the line’s five other ships in Europe, giving the brand its most expansive European season ever.
  • Crystal Cruises Crystal Endeavor, the first expedition ship from Crystal Cruises, will launch in 2020. The ship will feature 100 all-balcony suites, all of which will debut with king-sized beds, flat-screen TVs, walk-in closets, heated storage and floors, and more. Endeavor will also boast six different dining outlets and a full room-service menu along with a Crystal Life spa, a two-story solarium, two helicopters, a submarine, and an aft marina onboard. 
  • Princess Cruises After launching Sky Princess this year, Princess Cruises is adding another ship in 2020, the Enchanted Princess. Princess’ fifth Royal-class ship is scheduled to start sailing in June 2020 and will enter service with the brand’s largest private balconies called Sky Suites, which will give guests a view of the ship’s Movies Under the Stars Screen. It will include many of the features from Sky Princess. Enchanted Princess will be christened in Southampton before sailing the inaugural season in the Mediterranean, and then the vessel will head to Ft. Lauderdale in November 2020. 
  • Regent Seven Seas Splendor, the second ship in Regent’s Explore Class, is scheduled to make its debut in February 2020. The vessel will be a sister ship to Seven Seas Explorer, a ship that is often referred to as the most luxurious ship ever built.

Royal Caribbean Odyssey of the Seas, the second in the cruise line’s Quantum Ultra-Class of ships and the first to sail from North America is scheduled to debut in November 2020. The ship will launch as a sister ship to Spectrum of the Seas and will have many of the same features, including a two-level pool deck; FlowRider, RipCord, and SkyPad on its top deck; and a number of different dining options, like El Loco Fresh, Teppanyaki, and Chop’s Grille. Odyssey will homeport in Fort Lauderdale starting in November 2020, sailing eight- and six-night Caribbean itineraries. Those sailings will also mark the first time a Quantum Ultra Class ship calls on Aruba and Curacao, which Odyssey will do during its eight-night Caribbean sailings.

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