Awaken Travels’ owner Cindi Sanden and agents Teresa DeGraff discuss travel news.

The Latest Wedding and Honeymoon Headlines:

This article says the newest romance trend is “honeymoon renewals” – couples redoing and upgrading their first honeymoon that may have been subpar due to COVID-19 or financial stresses …

The New York Times says plain white wedding gowns aren’t always popular now (and here’s a peek at trends from New York Bridal Fashion Week) …

More media are focusing on rising costs for DW guests this year due to inflation (see here and here) …

Bridal Guide suggests honeymoons in the Maldives and hotels that offer made-on-site alcohol …

BRIDES rounds up a dozen Oahu DW venues …

Destination I Do recommends five things couples can do on their honeymoons to grow closer together …

Today’s Bride offers eight tips for great DW receptions …

WeddingWire shares seven wedding flower trends for 2022

The Latest Travel Headlines

GENERAL TRAVEL HEADLINES

  • Jamaica stopped requiring pre-arrival COVID-19 testing for international visitors last Saturday (regardless of vaccination status). The island also lifted its mask mandate for enclosed public spaces.
  • Avalon Waterways christened the 83-cabin “Avalon View” in Slovakia. The vessel will be the line’s first Suite Ship to offer glass balconies instead of balconies with stainless steel railings. It will sail the Danube River through 2023.
  • Oceania Cruises will refurbish the “Marina” and “Riviera” (its two Oceania-class vessels) in the near future with renovated cabins (new furniture and finishes) and updated public spaces. Both ships will drop capacity from 1,250 passengers to 1,210. The refreshed “Riviera” will debut Dec. 7, while the upgraded “Marina” will debut Nov. 13, 2023.
  • Margaritaville at Sea (formerly Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line) delayed the start of its April 30 inaugural cruise to May 14 due to “supply chain disruptions.” Affected passengers may request a full refund or rebook for a free two-day voyage with their original payments turned into onboard credits.
  • Swan Hellenic will name its new polar expedition vessel the 192-passenger “SH Diana.” The ship will launch early next year with a pool, a main dining room, a club lounge, a panoramic sauna, an expedition laboratory, an observation lounge, and other guest amenities.
  • IHG Hotels & Resorts overhauled its IHG Rewards Program and renamed it IHG One Rewards. The program offers new tier and bonus-point earning structures (with member stays from Jan. 1, 2022 counting for members’ new statuses).
  • Three Sheraton locations in Canada – the 484-room Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto (directly connected to the airport), the 249-room Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, and the 825-room Le Centre Sheraton Montreal Hotel – have largely completed renovations that include updated guestrooms and public spaces.
  • The 520-room Hilton Tampa Downtown finished updates to its guestrooms (including new furniture, TVs, and beds) and upgrades to its meeting spaces.
  • Honolulu will now limit short-term rentals (e.g., Airbnb) to resort-zoned zones, prohibit most on-street parking for those guests, and require a minimum three-month stay.
  • LATAM Airlines Group debuted a LATAM Lounge in terminal 2 of the airport in Santiago, Chile.
  • Dutch media report that Amsterdam may soon close its famed cannabis cafes to tourists in an effort to cut down on drug-related crimes.
  • Hotels that opened/reopened recently include the 107-room Conrad Chia Laguna Sardinia in Italy; the 250-room The David Kempinski Tel Aviv; the 180-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Round Rock in Texas; the 108-room Number One Oxford Street Hotel & Suites in Ghana; the 522-room RIU Baobab in Pointe Sarene, Senegal; the 263-room Hyatt Regency Dehradun in India; the 154-room Tru by Hilton Criciuma in Brazil; the 176-room Andaz Prague; the 224-room Hyatt Centric Janakpuri New Delhi in India; the 76-room Radisson Resort Phan Thiet in Vietnam; and the 174-room Hyatt Centric Lakeside Ningbo in China.
  • Hotels coming soon include the 240-room The Hoxton in Barcelona (April 25); the 16-room Vista Palazzo Verona in Lake Como, Italy (May); the 506-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Downtown (May); the 178-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Atlanta Airport North (May); the 126-room Rosewood Vienna (July); the 330-room Embassy Suites by Hilton Aruba Resort on Eagle Beach (late 2022); and the 490-room SLS Barcelona (2024).
  • Southwest Airlines plans will offer more flights starting June 5 from San Diego to Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose (as well as between Sacramento and Santa Barbara). It’s also expanding flights from San Jose to eight U.S. cities, increasing inter-island flights in Hawaii (including the new Maui-Kauai route), and adding departures on its Fort Lauderdale and Tampa routes to Havana, Cuba. Here’s the Southwest release with full schedules.
  • United Airlines extended again the deadline for using tickets purchased as far back as May 2019 that haven’t been used yet. Now, tickets bought through the end of 2022 will be valid through the end of 2023. Tickets bought on or after Jan. 1, 2023 will be valid for 12 months from the issue date. And, passengers may cancel wholly unused basic economy tickets and get credits toward another ticket (with cancellation fees from USD$49.50 for doing so).
  • Air New Zealand is now flying again (three times weekly nonstop) between Auckland and San Francisco. It will resume its Auckland flights from Honolulu on July 4 and from Houston on July 7.
  • Condor Airlines (a German carrier) will begin nonstop flights in May between Frankfurt and New York/Kennedy, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. It’s also returning next month to other U.S. cities such as Boston and Minneapolis.

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