We’re in the last minutes of a very frantic game. The clock is ticking down. Everyone senses it. The pressure to seal a happy ending is on. When every second counts, anything can happen. No time to be timid, fearful, shy or doubtful. Good fortune favors the bold.
The 4th quarter always demands a strong finish. Whether the game is football, politics, finance, religion, work, or life, the endgame never changes: the 4th quarter is when you go big or go home!
Unfortunately, thanks to Covid-19, we have already dabbled away about 9 months of playing time and lost some pretty spectacular moments. Now, with the final quarter of 2020 fast approaching, I was thinking maybe the time has come to toss a few Hail Marys out there. Who knows? Maybe you are tired of being on the sidelines and ready to play again.
So, if it is really true that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going,” as a travel agent at Monroe Travel Service, I would like to share some things you need to consider in order to help you finish strong in this last quarter — or maybe add to your playing time in 2021:
It is hard to believe, but, for about the first time ever, we Americans are now in the unusual position of finding ourselves unwelcome to large segments of the world. It is so very important to consult the travel.state.gov website to see the countries allowing us in. Be aware this information is ever changing. This week, Egypt was added to the places we can now go.
Why not think about exploring the country with the highest number of Covid deaths worldwide–our own? Rob and I flew to Green Bay, rented a car and returned home from Grand Rapids last week and thoroughly enjoyed our fly/drive trip through Wisconsin and Michigan. We were so surprised to discover the charming harbor towns, the massive beaches of the Great Lakes, the friendly locals, the natural beauty and the fun dining and shopping options. Plus, 99% of people wore masks and worked exceptionally hard at social distancing, so we always felt safe !
Keep in mind that Mexico and Caribbean islands like Aruba, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and Turks and Caicos are open for our business again and our fall package deals are pretty extraordinary.
Halloween is happening at Disneyworld and Universal, so making plans now assures you a ticket to the fun as numbers are restricted. Remember, best airfares now require a Saturday night stay and a 21 day advance purchase.
Do not plan on traveling to Canada or Hawaii before mid-October because of the restrictions currently in place.
If the Maldives, French Polynesia (Bora Bora and Tahiti), South Korea, Croatia, Turkey, Dubai, and Egypt have ever been on your travel radar, then, let’s do it! They are all open to Americans without quarantine time!
*For those ready to cruise again, the big news is MSC, Costa, Hurtigruten, and Sea Dream ships have all had successful sailings in Europe during the last couple of months, thanks to the enhanced Covid protocols now in place. Of course, these vessels were off limits to Americans, but the big deal is how it shows cruising can be done safely in this controlled new environment. As of today, here is when the majority of the river, ocean and expedition cruise lines that we sell at Monroe Travel Service say they will resume operations:
- AmaWaterways has canceled all sailings for U.S. travelers through Nov. 15.
- American Queen Steamboat Company has canceled all sailings through Dec. 31.
- Avalon River Cruises has canceled all sailings through November 14.
- Azamara has canceled all departures through Oct. 31 .
- Birka Cruises has shut down.
- Blount Small Ship Adventures has shut down.
- Carnival Cruise Line has canceled all departures through at least the end of October, but some of their fleet will not return to service until between March and June.
- Celebrity Cruises has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.
- Cruise & Maritime Voyages has shut down.
- Crystal Cruises has canceled all remaining sailings for 2020.
- Cunard Line has canceled all departures through late March.
- Disney Cruise Line has canceled all departures through mid-December.
- Emerald Waterways has canceled all sailings through Oct. 31.
- FTI Cruises has shut down.
- Holland America has canceled all sailings through Dec. 15. The line also has canceled some Hawaii cruises as far out as February 2021.
- Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.
- Oceania Cruises has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.
- Paul Gauguin Cruises is currently sailing in French Polynesia.
- Ponant has resumed sailings in France, Croatia and Iceland.
- Pullmantur has filed for reorganization.
- Princess Cruises has canceled most sailings through Dec. 15.
- Regent Seven Seas Cruises has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.
- Royal Caribbean has canceled all departures through Oct. 31, except for some China sailings.
- Scenic Luxury Cruises & Tours has canceled all sailings through Oct. 31.
- Seabourn has canceled nearly all sailings for the rest of the year.
- Sea Cloud Cruises has canceled sailings through Oct. 1.
- SeaDream Yacht Club plans to resume sailings in the Caribbean on Nov. 7.
- Silversea ships are scheduled to resume operations between Oct. 10 and Nov. 17.
- Star Clippers has canceled sailings on its three vessels into early November.
- Tauck has canceled sailings through Oct. 31.
- UnCruise Adventures has canceled all sailings for the rest of the year.
- Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has canceled sailings through October.
- Viking Ocean and River Cruises has canceled all 2020 sailings.
- Virgin Voyages has postponed the official debut of its first ship until Oct. 16.
- Windstar Cruises has canceled all sailings for the rest of the year.
So, there you have it, folks. As you can see, things ain’t perfect yet, but at least know you know where we stand for the rest of the year. Hopefully, if we continue wearing our masks and following the social distancing rules, we will sooner–rather than later–be like the Europeans who are already able to travel and enjoy our amazing world. It’s such a little to ask and, if we make America healthy again, then we can all get back into the ready-set-go mode.
Let’s face it. Most of us will never be a RBG, but if we do the best we can for ourselves and our fellow man and work extra hard to end our 4th quarter with no regrets, then, doesn’t that make us winners in the game of life?
Dianne Newcomer is a travel advisor at Monroe Travel Service in Monroe, LA. Currently their staff is working remotely, so please call 318 323 3465 or email [email protected] for assistance with your next trip. Our service may be free, but our expertise is priceless!
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