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Cruise Industry Bracing For Zika?

You may have heard of zika but if you haven’t, you should, especially if you’re going on a Caribbean cruise, or even thinking of it. Especially if you’re pregnant, or even thinking about it.

Zika can be deadly, so read on…

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause a catastrophic birth defect called microcephaly, and travellers should now take extra precautions against mosquito bites. At this time of year, that means the Latin American countries of the Caribbean. At this time of year, that means cruising.

The CDC alert was upgraded late Friday to a “Level 2 travel notice” which presumably requires more attention than a Level 1 and not as much as a Level 3, which is the highest. Without pressing the panic button, pregnant or pregnant-to-be women are being advised to consider avoiding travel to the affected areas.

The nervousness you hear is the cruise industry.

At a time when cruise lines are pulling out all stops to make their demographics younger, along comes zika. At a time when the “babymoon” business (bonding with unborn baby in a relaxed atmosphere) is flourishing, along comes zika.

At the very least, cruises are being cautioned to take precautions by avoiding mosquito-infested areas (can you say jungles?) and loading up on mosquito repellent. Cruise lines, according to the Cruise Lines International Association, are continuing to publishing not just zika, but any issues relating to health and safety, in each ships’ daily bulletin.

While all of that may be re-assuring, in an era when pregnant women have become accustomed to avoiding a wisp of cigarette smoke or a sip of alcoholic beverages in the interests of protecting their babies, it’s hard to believe anything but a significant impact on travel in general and cruising in particular.

In the news…

• ‘Star Wars Day At Sea’ on eight select sailings on Disney Fantasy
• Acapulco comeback — best tourist season in years: 83 per cent hotel occupancy
• Two Turkey ports skipped by Crystal Symphony amid security concerns

Today at portsandbows.com: Ocean ship for Scenic Cruises


Norwegian Getaway
7 nights
November 6, 2016
Miami (return): Roatan, Harvest Caye, Costa Maya, Cozumel
Inside: $569
Cost per day: $81
www.ncl.com

Up In The Air Over Free WiFi!!!

You travel. You cruise. You hear the word "Norwegian" and you don't think about a tall Scandinavian or an Olympic athlete from Norway, competing in Sochi this week. You think about the cruise line.

We did.

Yesterday, another "Norwegian" popped up on our computer and it wasn't an Olympic athlete or a cruise ship.

It was an airline. It's not Norwegian Air, Airlines or Airways. Just Norwegian and you might like to take note of it for two reasons.

One, its fares from North America to Europe are competitive, to say the least. New York to Oslo for $242. New York to Stockholm for $257. New York to London for Norwegian-Anzassin$192. Including taxes, and these are starting prices. Norwegian also flies out of Fort Lauderdale.

Two, Norwegian offers free WiFi (most flights). That's right…fly for six hours and be online the entire time without paying a dime. That's what caught our attention because maybe there will be more free WiFi on airlines…and maybe in time it will spread to cruise ships.

There are reportedly 650,000 locations in 144 countries where you can locate free WiFi by using an app called WiFi Finder. It's also free.

Who doesn't like free stuff…especially when it's WiFi?

Remember. Norwegian is more than a cruise line.

-photo by Anzassin

Norwegian Jade
10 nights
April 2, 2014
Rome (return): OlympiaAthensEphesusIstanbulNaples
Inside: $449
Cost per day: $44
www.ncl.com

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