Posts Tagged With: Cheryl Rosen

There are 78 articles tagged with “Cheryl Rosen” published on this site.

It’s not a year to be shy about upselling, said virtually every supplier at the Avoya Travel Land Forum earlier this week. Travelers are eager to extend their land and sea vacations, and to try unique and upscale experiences. It’s up to their travel advisors to point them in the right direction—and that direction is up.

“We all want to increase the bottom line,” said Sandals senior regional sales manager Ian Braun. “Every conversation we are having we should be upselling, telling clients the things they should be doing on their next vacation.” Read the rest of this entry »

Apple ID Goes Live in Four States

Detail from Apple shop in Tokyo, Japan. Apple is American multinational corporation founded at 1976 at Cupertino, California.


Wouldn’t it be nice to just wear your ID on your wrist as you go through the airport? Apple’s been working on it, and it’s live now in four states.

Apple users in Arizona have been carrying their driver’s licenses and state IDs in their Apple Wallets for a year now, passing through TSA checkpoints at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport with just a flick of their wrists. Since then, Maryland, Colorado and Georgia have come aboard—and the tech giant is working to add the other 46 to the list.

Each state has its own verification process, but the goal is to have a digital ID stored on your iPhone. Users just click on the ‘+’ sign in the Apple Wallet’s top right corner and follow the instructions. The system works on an iPhone 8 or newer.

TSA also is testing Delta Air Lines Biometric Facial Identification and GET Mobile Drivers Licenses, its website says ( The technology is available at 25 airports including Baltimore, Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington, DC, and San Francisco.

While users do not have to produce their physical driver’s licenses, the TSA still requires that travelers carry them.

I’ve been there on a Norwegian cruise; I’ve been there on a Globus coach tour. But when Lindblad Expeditions invited me on their 40th Anniversary sailing to Alaska, I knew I was in for a different kind of experience.

We sailed into the sunset on the National Geographic Venture, Lindblad’s partner since 2004, with about 80 intrepid explorers, most of them enthusiastic return guests. One lady was on her 30th cruise (and only tight finances had prevented more, she said), but most had sailed with Lindblad six or eight times before, to far-flung destinations around the globe. They promised we would experience good service, make friends with the crew, and be educated by the National Geographic scientists who trade their knowledge for free passage to remote locations. It’s a cooperative venture that works for everyone.

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MSC Euribia, Carousel Lounge. Courtesy of MSC Cruises.


Underscoring its reach into the US market, MSC Group this week offered up details about the naming ceremony of MSC Euribia in Copenhagen, as well as the Owners Suite on Explora I, the first ship in its new Explora Journeys luxury division.

Sporting “the most energy-efficient cruise ship design ever,” MSC Euribia, is powered by LNG and features state-of-the-art environmental technologies including advanced onboard wastewater treatment systems, waste management handling, energy efficiency measures, and innovative underwater radiated noise management systems to reduce the potential impact on the marine environment.

As always at MSC namings, Sophia Loren will serve as godmother. Euribia then will sail 7-night itineraries in Northern Europe, from Kiel, Germany, and Copenhagen, Denmark to the Norwegian Fjords.

New elements on the ship include the new Le Grill “French bistro meets steakhouse” restaurant; a reinvented Carousel Lounge designed to offer more panoramic ocean views; and a brand-new kids area and program of activities dedicated to educating children and teenagers on environmental subjects in the MSC Foundation Lab.

For guests looking for a more luxurious experience, MSC Group’s new Explora Journeys brand unveiled details of the 3,000-square-foot Owner’s Residence on its first ship, Explora I.

Guests there can lounge on a private outdoor terrace that extends over the full width of the ship, sip champagne in their own infinity whirlpool, or dine in private at a table for eight. They will also have unlimited priority reservations for all culinary venues and a complimentary treatment at Ocean Wellness – The Spa.

The suite includes private butler service, a Technogym Bench and Case Kit, a private bar replenished according to their preferences, unlimited priority reservations for all culinary venues, a double vanity bathroom made of Calacatta marble and other “incredible details that create an elegant, yet effortlessly relaxed European sense of luxury,” said Explora Journeys Head of Product Jason Gelineau.

The Residence is available for parties of three adults or two adults and one child under 18 years old.

covid 19 hospital-based vaccine package for patients around the world


The United States will finally lift the COVID-19 vaccine requirement for inbound international air travelers on Friday, May 12th, that has been in place since October 2021.

“Considering the progress that we have made, and based on the latest guidance from our public health experts, I have determined that we no longer need the international air travel restrictions,” President Joe Biden said in a proclamation announcing the change. “As we continue to monitor the evolving state of COVID-19 and the emergence of virus variants, we have the tools to detect and respond to the potential emergence of a variant of high consequence.”

Biden also announced an end to vaccine requirements for federal employees and contractors, and for foreign nationals at land borders. The Department of Homeland Security, meanwhile, said it will no longer require vaccinations for non-U.S. travelers entering at ferry terminals.

Industry groups including the U.S. Travel Association applauded the change. “Today’s action to lift the vaccine requirement eases a significant entry barrier for many global travelers, moving our industry and country forward,” said president and CEO Geoff Freeman.

The CDC does still recommend that U.S. travelers be up to date on their COVID vaccinations before leaving the country, however.

If you’re not part of the solution, they say, you’re part of the problem.

The travel business literally revolves around Planet Earth, and we all share a responsibility to sustain it, says Internova CEO J. D. O’Hara. To that end, the travel company is committed to becoming carbon neutral by the end of the year. And when they invited some top suppliers to talk about their own efforts to cut down carbon emissions and sustain the Earth, they also called on travel advisors to do their part to help. Read the rest of this entry »


Just ahead of opening sales for the 2024 season, Walt Disney World announced a handful of sure-to-be-popular changes that seem designed to turn things back to the way they used to be.

Leading the list is the return of Disney Dining and Disney Quick Service Dining Plans, which again will be available on Disney World packages that include a Disney Resort hotel stay, beginning January 9, 2024. The plans include more than 100 dining venues across the park.

Also beginning January 9, guests will no longer be required to have theme park reservations in order to buy date-based tickets at Walt Disney World, and annual passholders and cast members will be offered occasional “good-to-go days” when they can visit the parks without a reservation.

Disney also said that early park entry (for all Disney Resort hotel guests) and extended evening hours (for guests staying at Disney Deluxe Resort Hotels and Disney Deluxe Villas) will continue through 2024, and that it is working on ways to help guests plan Disney Genie+ service and Lightning Lane selections in advance of their visits, rather than only on the same day.

Tickets for the 2024 season at Walt Disney World will go on sale May 31, and Disney then will also release complete details on the new dining plans, it said. But the company did say the plans will allow guests to make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance of their trip.

Insiders attribute the renewed focus on the guests experience to the return of Bob Iger, who six months ago canceled his retirement and returned to Disney as CEO. Since then Walt Disney World has stopped charging for overnight self-parking, allowed annual passholders to visit after 2 p.m. without a reservation, offered free digital downloads of photos on rides for guests using Disney’s Genie+, ramped up character meet-and-greets, added new characters, and restored annual passes.

What do you do when your passport is lost and you are cruising to Alaska in two weeks? You take any appointment that’s available at any US Passport Office, and get in your car and go.

If the closest office is in Portsmouth, NH, though, you’re in luck. Think of it as a road trip to a quaint and peaceful New England town, where the passport office is small and uncrowded, and the staff really does try to be helpful. Who cares if it is 280 miles from home, and your appointment is the day before you sail? Read the rest of this entry »

As travel advisors headed across the Atlantic to ASTA’s River Cruise Expo this year, 100 members of Gifted Travel Network already were onsite. They had been there for a week, attending their annual symposium—which GTN hosted for the first time aboard a river cruise ship it chartered for its own use.

Indeed, interest in full-ship charters is blooming this year. Travelers are back, river cruise ships are looking for partnerships, and travel advisors are coming to see the viability—and potential profits—of renting a whole ship. Read the rest of this entry »

Carnival Tests New Restaurant Charge

Logo for Carnival Cruise Lines


Carnival Cruise Line has begun testing a new charge for some guests eating at its popular ChiBang specialty restaurant on Mardi Gras.

All guests still can eat at the venue for free at lunchtime or once for dinner. Though they now will incur an $8 per person surcharge if they return to eat dinner in the restaurant a second time.

There is also a ChiBang restaurant on the second Excel-class ship, Carnival Celebration, and there will be one on Carnival Jubilee as well. For now, the fee is only being charged on Mardi Gras, however.

Carnival Cruise Line brand ambassador John Heald, on his Facebook page, called the move a pilot project designed “to give everyone an opportunity to dine in this unique venue” on a ship that holds about 6,000 passengers.

The popular ChiBang offers both a Chinese and a Mexican menu, neither of which are available elsewhere on the ship, as well as specialty desserts.

As the busy cruise seasons in Europe and Alaska begin, TRO met with a number of executives to talk about what’s new and exciting for 2023 and beyond.

AMAWaterways’ Janet Bava said the 2023 river cruise season is “going to be phenomenal,” and much of her focus will be on “the relationship with travel advisors, making sure they have the tools they need.”

Most exciting is the new destination of Colombia, where AMA ships will sail the Magdalena for the first time. Read the rest of this entry »

Viking Aton Joins the Fleet Sailing the Nile

Viking Aton ship with cruise executives tanding in front of ship.
Photo courtesy of Viking.


Viking’s newest ship, the Viking Aton, “floated out” this week, headed for her debut in Egypt in August, with pre- and post-trips to Jerusalem and Jordan.

As the third Viking ship custom-built to sail the Nile, Aton marks the halfway point to the six-ship fleet the company envisions on the longest river in the world, which flows north out of Africa into the Mediterranean Sea.

Like her identical sister ship Viking Osiris, Viking Aton holds 82 guests and 65 crew and will sail a 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary.

“We are proud to be the only western company to build, own and operate ships on the Nile, and with the float out of the Viking Aton, we look forward to welcoming more guests to experience this fantastic region,” said Viking chairman Torstein Hagen.

Viking reports “very strong demand in Egypt,” with the 2023 season and many 2024 dates already sold out. In all, the line plans to have six ships sailing the Nile by 2025, including Viking Ra, which launched in 2018, and two more shifts under construction now, Viking Hathor and Viking Sobek.

In addition to the 12-day Pharaohs & Pyramids itinerary, guests can sign up for a five-day British Collections of Ancient Egypt extension beginning in London, which includes private visits to the Egyptian Collection at the British Museum; the home of Sir John Soane, whose collection of Egyptian antiquities includes a 3,000-year-old Egyptian sarcophagus; and Highclere Castle, to view the Earl’s private collection of Egyptian artifacts. There’s also a Pre Extension in Jerusalem and a Post Extension in Jordan that includes Jerash, Kerak, and the lost city of Petra.

Separately, Egypt’s ministry of tourism and antiquities this week announced the discovery of the ancient underground tomb complex of Panehsy, steward of the temple of Amun under Ramses II, around 1250 BC.

“Egypt is one of the most difficult areas in the world to book. There are many local companies who offer Nile cruises, but it’s very difficult to know who the trustworthy ones are,” said travel advisor Lainey Melnick. “Having the big name cruise lines stepping into that market makes it so much more accessible to Americans who are willing to pay that premium price for something they trust and understand. It makes all the difference in that region.”


Royal Caribbean’s Paradise Island. Courtesy of Royal Caribbean Cruises.


Don’t expect another Perfect Day at CocoCay or Labadee when Royal Caribbean opens its Bahamas beach club in early 2025. Those are destinations in their own right. (Indeed, CocoCay is the number one destination for Royal Caribbean guests).

Instead, the 17-acre Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island promises a new kind of experience—all-inclusive, fee-based, and upscale. Instead of ziplines and hot air balloons, the Club will focus on serenity, food and beverage, and great service.

In an interview at today, senior vice president and chief product innovation officer Jay Schneider noted there will be a fee for access to the Club, whose focus points will be a beautiful beach and heated pools.

The price, as yet undetermined, will include a water taxi ride to the island; food, beverage and alcohol; beach chairs and umbrellas; and non-motorized activities, including swimming, snorkeling and kayaking.

When planning Royal Beach Club, the cruise company targeted Nassau as a port it often used, but it did not rate high satisfaction scores with guests. But “Nassau is a great place to go,” he said, and “we wanted to add a Royal level service to that destination.”

By 2027, the cruise line expects to bring 2.5 million visitors to Nassau. The plan is to build “multiple beach clubs around the world,” Schneider said.

Meanwhile, Vicki Freed, senior vice president of trade support and sales, told TRO that “the excitement to vacation with Royal Caribbean is at an all-time high and we’re thrilled to move forward with Royal Beach Club at Paradise Island. Royal Beach Club will be the ultimate beach day getaway that will forever change what is possible in a vacation destination.”

At the Seatrade Global conference in March, Russell Benford, Royal Caribbean Group’s VP of government relations, talked about the Bahamas project. “The port of Nassau is transcendent,” he said, with 40,000 visitors daily. The new project is a partnership that will be 49% owned by Bahamians, in keeping with the company’s goal of “bringing economic empowerment to the people who live in the communities we visit.”


Start with unique itineraries and anticipatory service, add a dollop of extra-long deployments, top it with a dash of sustainable natural sourcing. And serve it with a craft liquor or healthier style cocktail. That’s the recipe for success Holland America Line president Gus Antorcha offered up at a media lunch onboard the Nieuw Amsterdam, at Seatrade Cruise Global in Fort Lauderdale this week.

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There’s no business like show business, they say, and many travel advisors are finding consumer travel shows to be a great source of new customers and positive ROI.

“It’s crazy this time of year,” says Tara Bodell of Trips by Tara and Associates, taking a break from the details of her upcoming shows, two in March and one in May, to chat with me on the phone.

“I have a completely different outlook than those who say they don’t go to consumer travel shows. I love doing these shows, and it’s very worthwhile; I did seven or eight in 2022, and this year I’ll do even more. But now, I’m so busy that I was thinking maybe I need to slow down. Instead, though, I’m in the process of hiring an assistant. I’d rather do events and hire people to help me run my travel business than give up the events.”

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Coffee Talking with RCCL’s Vicki Freed

It’s always fun and educational—and sometimes quite rewarding, for prize winners—to listen in to Vicki Freed’s Coffee Talk webinars.

A sort of travel conference in an hour, the webinars were launched by Royal Caribbean senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support and Service as a way to keep in touch with, educate and inspire travel advisors during Covid. And even now that people are back to face-to-face, they have become such an institution that she continues to hold them, albeit just once a month.

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It’s kickoff season for the biggest year yet for American Cruise Lines, with more ships in more states than ever before. American Serenade, the line’s sixth riverboat, and the first two Coastal Catamarans will join the fleet. On the West Coast, American Jazz will be the first riverboat in 80 years to sail San Francisco Bay and into California Wine Country; on the East Coast, American Star will sail an eight-day Great Rivers of Florida itinerary roundtrip from Jacksonville.

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If there’s one thing Lisa Watson knows after 19 years in the travel industry, it’s just how much there is to know. On Valentine’s Day, she launched a project she hopes will help travel professionals by pulling all that information together in one giant free educational resource.

FyndTravel—”where travel pros belong”—has been her mission since 2018, when she left Oasis Travel Network to go out on her own. Interrupted by Covid, she launched a beta of the FyndTravel website in 2022, and took it live just this month.

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In a previous life, when Sue Peyer was director of quality for Cox Communications, part of her job was to monitor customer service calls. The company used Israeli software that turned the dialogue into text, so she could read the transcribed conversations in a Word document.

When ChatGPT came out, Peyer was curious to see how the technology had advanced and how this latest development in artificial intelligence (AI) could help her run her travel agency.

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There were four interesting takeaways from the Travel Leaders Network press conference in New York last week, but this one really caught my eye: An air booking system, already in beta testing at new TLN member Avoya Travel, that holds the promise of increasing airline commissions and making it possible to build and price your own resort packages.

Also on the agenda were membership numbers that keep on growing, a new cruise booking tool, and more education around potentially profitable niches.

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Lissa Caltrider was in the middle of planning a scuba trip to Costa Rica and a weekend in Santa Monica—and thinking, “Boy, I wish I could make money doing this!”—when the Instagram ad from Fora popped up. And suddenly, it seemed, there was an easy and inexpensive way to make that happen.

“I’ve always loved traveling, and I was down the rabbit hole doing all the research when I saw the ad,” Caltrider says. “It seemed like a no-risk opportunity; it seemed too good to be true. But I have a business background, and I did a lot of research. I read up on MLMs and knew I didn’t want that. So I signed up with Fora. I did the onboarding and got an IATA number. And then I first really started to learn about this business.”

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