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Friday, February 12, 2016
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ANTHEM PREPARES TO SAIL AGAIN

Royal Caribbean Adds New Shoreside Team to Watch the Weather
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12 FEB 2016: Royal Caribbean is changing the way it monitors storms in the wake of the Anthem of the Seas fiasco, in which a packed cruise ship set sail into hurricane-force winds last Sunday. Barring further weather issues, the Anthem will embark on its next sailing on Saturday. But when it does, Royal Caribbean will have in place a new shoreside team, made up of captains and nautical experts, who will monitor weather conditions and communicate whether or not it is safe to sail. MORE

RIDING THE WAVE

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12 FEB 2016: Wave day used to be the Monday in the first full week of the year. It was a surge of bookings for the coming cruise season. Eventually with the proliferation of cruise lines and the popularity of the travelling experience, the Wave is now a season and covers the first three months of the year. That is when 40 percent of cabin space is booked for the coming months. MORE

ON THE ROCKS

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12 FEB 2016: The Azamara Quest, which is due for a US $25 ($35.5) million upgrade in April, has suffered damage to the hull in an incident now under investigation. There are reports that the ship came into contact with Wheki Rock in the Marlborough Sounds (the north end of the south island of New Zealand) and it may take up to 18 months for the results of the investigation to be announced. MORE

SHARES OF EXPEDIA AND TRIPADVISOR SOAR

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12 FEB 2016: Shares of Expedia and TripAdvisor soared Thursday, even though the travel website companies reported differing results for the fourth quarter. MORE

DISCO LIGHTS OUT

Changes for Holland America
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12 FEB 2016: The disco had to go. So said Orlando Ashford when he became president of Holland America and discovered the poorly utilized disco area of Northern Lights. With a goal to attract a broader demographic and first time cruisers, the cruise line replaced the disco with the art filled Gallery Bar. MORE

THE TITANIC SAILS AGAIN

Inside the lavish replica of doomed ocean liner
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12 FEB 2016: If the replica of the RMS Titanic ever sets sail, it will look eerily similar to the ill-fated ocean liner that remains the most famous ship of all time. These captivating side-by-side images show how the planned Titanic II will stick to the incredible detail of the original ship that sank in the Atlantic Ocean more than 100 years ago. MORE

BARGE UPGRADES

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12 FEB 2016: European Waterways, a hotel barge cruising company, reports an extensive programme of refurbishment and upgrades on its 17-vessel fleet in preparation for the 2016 cruising season. Some of the improvements are raising the bar, some of them are improving the bars. MORE

SEAWORTHY

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12 FEB 2016: The last call at Castaway Cay was cancelled from a seven-night itinerary on Disney’s Fantasy. The ship spent two extra days at sea and returned to Port Canaveral after suffering engine failure. All guests were offered a discount of 20 percent off a future three, four, or seven night sailing as well as a $200 on-board credit. MORE

TALKING WITH THE PARTY ANIMALS

The lush rainforests of Costa Rica
By WALLACE IMMEN
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12 FEB 2016: At breakfast I had a visitor by the table–a big scaly one. As he hopped up on a wall in all his spiky multi-colored brilliance, the two-foot-long iguana—whose nickname around here is Pedro–looked like he’d just arrived from a feature role in Jurassic Park, bobbing his head like a master of all he surveyed. MORE
In case you missed yesterday (or last week)... here is a selection of recent stories:

TWO STRIKES

Canadian cabbies want Uber out
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11 FEB 2016: Montreal taxi and limousine drivers targeted the city's airport Wednesday as part of their protest against Uber. Meanwhile, a newly formed group of Toronto taxi drivers says it will go on strike during Friday's afternoon rush hour. MORE

HANKY PANKY ON HOLIDAY

Do Canadians get it on when they get away
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11 FEB 2016: February is here and that means that love is in the air. As Valentine’s Day quickly approaches, many Canadians have romance on their minds. So, do you ever wonder just what kind of impact vacationing has on Canadians in terms of love, lust and romance? MORE

SMILE

UAE appoints Minister of Happiness
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11 FEB 2016: Forget the negative headlines from the Middle East. The United Arab Emirates thinks it's time to focus on something brighter instead. Prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, took to Twitter on Wednesday to announce a new Cabinet that includes the country's first-ever “minister of state for happiness.” MORE

JAMAICAN PATTY DAY RETURNS TO TORONTO

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11 FEB 2016: Over 30 years have passed since the infamous "Patty Wars" were waged in Toronto. Now Jamaican Patty Day is a peaceful and tasty affair. This year, the Jamaica Tourist Board will be paying homage to this humble treat with a "Patty Party" at the Drake Hotel's 86'd event on February 22. MORE

REGULATIONS OFF KEY

Check the Cello
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11 FEB 2016: Nathan Chan is a 22 year old musician. He booked two seats from Vancouver to Toronto - one for himself and one for his cello. The booking was made with American Airlines, (which allows passengers to purchase an extra seat to bring an instrument into the cabin) but the flight was operated by WestJet which does not. MORE

SECURITY FEARS POSTPONE EGYPT CONFERECE

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11 FEB 2016: Organizers of the World Economic Forum, which holds an annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, have postponed a similar conference planned to take place in Egypt this spring over security concerns. MORE

OSCAR NOMINEES URGED TO REJECT FREE TRIP

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11 FEB 2016: Palestinians are urging Oscar nominees to decline a free trip to Israel sponsored by the Israeli government. Tourism Ministry spokeswoman Lydia Weitzman says 26 stars including Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon Israel are being offered gratis ten-day luxury vacations. MORE

OH POOP

One of the more unusual biosecurity finds
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11 FEB 2016: Following a lengthy 11 hour flight from Malaysia to Auckland, New Zealand, a man headed for the 'something to declare' desk, and declared that he had “commercially packaged dung” in his luggage. MORE

JUST THE TICKET

Ancillary revenue takes to the road
By DAVID TAIT
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So here I am, with my 12-year-old son, happily breezing along New York’s bucolic, traffic-free Taconic State Parkway en route to an annual weekend hockey tournament in idyllic Lake Placid, New York. MORE
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