Travel e-Scapes: January 12, 2018



Travel e-Scapes: 03312017

HURRY! Plan Summer Vacay now! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$200 Reno-Lake Tahoe, or $100 each way
No advance purchase required — go as soon as this week!
Valid daily through December 9 on United via Denver
Compare to Delta’s rate of $378
Follow the same rules for a $210 round-trip deal to Burlington, Vermont


Worst Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line has been named the worst cruise line in a report by UK-based consumer magazine Which?.
While Oceania and Saga at the top of the table scored 89% and 85% respectively, NCL got an overall score of 60%, leading the magazine to advise its readers to switch to Royal Caribbean if they want a ‘big-ship’ experience.
The ratings were based on a number of criteria, including customer services, passenger to space ratio, on-board facilities, cabins, food and drinks, and value for money.
“NCL sits at the bottom of our table, and while an overall score of 60% is no disaster, it’s mediocre,” says the report. “Although there’s praise for its ‘freestyle dining’, meaning there are no fixed times or pre-assigned seating, it (NCL) gets just three stars for passenger-to-space ratio: with some passengers complaining of queues for restaurants, slow bar service and booked-up entertainment. If you want the big-ship experience, Royal Caribbean (72%) offers more space and better facilities for a similar price.”
The report also urges customers to skip excursions or book them privately.
“Not one company scored the full five stars in this category, with members complaining that they are ‘overcrowded’, ‘overpriced’ and ‘unimaginative’,” says the report.
“We’d advise this DIY approach, but make arrangements before you set sail – the crippling cost of on-board wi-fi could easily wipe out any savings.”
How cruise companies rated:
Oceania Cruises 89%
Saga Ocean Cruises 85%
Hurtigruten 77%
Fred Olsen Cruises 76%
Cunard 75%
Celebrity Cruises 74%
Royal Caribbean 72%
P&O Cruises 71%
Marella Cruises 68%
Holland America 65%
Princess Cruises 64%
Cruise and Maritime 63%
Norwegian Cruise Line 60%

Soon in Orlando…
There’s plenty in store for guests to Walt Disney World Resort in 2018.
In summer 2018 Disney will open the all-new Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests will feel like they’ve shrunk to the size of a toy as they play in Andy’s backyard with their favorite Toy Story pals, including Woody and Buzz. This new 11-acre play space will include two new attractions and one expanded favorite: Slinky Dog Dash will be a family-style coaster that stretches Slinky and his coils to the max. And, Alien Swirling Saucers is designed as a play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet with little green aliens trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.”
For grown-ups, Wine Bar George is a new 210-seat bar reminiscent of a winemaker’s home estate. It’s coming to Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort early this year with more than 100 wine selections from famed growing regions in the United States and abroad and shareable plates, cheese and charcuterie.
Several new dining concepts will debut at Disney Springs in 2018:
The Edison is a lavish “Industrial Gothic” restaurant, bar and nighttime destination that will feature live entertainment, including cabaret.
Maria & Enzo’s will be an open and airy Italian trattoria featuring family-friendly dishes inspired by Sicily. Enzo’s Hideaway will pour Prohibition-era cocktails at its Tunnel Bar and offer hearty Roman dishes.
Pizza Ponte will be the perfect place for a quick bite, with pastries, pizza, Italian sandwiches and espresso on the menu.
Terralina Crafted Italian with James Beard award winner and “Top Chef Master” Chef Tony Mantuano will feature dishes inspired by Mantuano’s adventures in Italy.
Jaleo will be a Spanish concept by world-renowned Chef José Andrés
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, a modern concept inspired by laid-back California dining.
The 500-acre Disney’s Animal Kingdom will mark its 20th anniversary in 2018 and celebrates with a new show featuring Russell and Dug from Disney’s Pixar film “UP”. Guests will see Senior Wilderness Explorer Russell and his furry friend Dug as they discover species of birds from around the world in their newest adventure at the Caravan Theater. There will be “UP” close encounters each day with amazing winged creatures.
Returning to Epcot for a second year, the expanded Epcot International Festival of the Arts will celebrate all things art – performing, visual and culinary – starting today through February 19 – with festivities running seven days a week and Disney on Broadway performing each weekend (Fridays-Mondays) throughout the festival. Guests can dine at one of the participating Epcot restaurants with priority seating for the Disney on Broadway concert series.


Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to HURRY! can expire at any time.  Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually, you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price!

HURRY! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$160 Las Vegas, or $80 each way
A 14-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through June 13
Blackout dates: March 8-12, 15-19, 22-26; March 29-April 2
Valid on Frontier, nonstop

HURRY! Summer Vacations! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$278 Sacramento, or $139 each way
A 21-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through December 9 – no blackout dates!
Valid on United via Denver
Note: The drive to Yosemite National Park or Lassen Volcanic National Park from SMF is under 3 hours; under 2 hours to Muir Woods National Park

HURRY! Summer Vacations! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$284 St. George, Utah (SGU) or $142 each way
A 14-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through December 9 – no blackout dates!
Valid on United via Denver; American via Phoenix or Delta via Salt Lake City
Note: Zion National Paris is a 1-hour drive from St. George; 2 hours to Bryce Canyon National Park

HURRY! Summer Vacations! Round-trip from Atlanta (one-way permitted):
$295 Halifax, Nova Scotia, or $132 north, $163 south
A 14-day advance purchase required
Valid daily through December 9 – no blackout dates!
Book on Air Canada, Delta, or United – all connecting service

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$704 London
A 28-day advance purchase required
Valid outbound Sunday-Wednesday; Tuesday-Thursday returns
Add $40 per direction for other travel days
A 7-night minimum stay required
Depart by March 22; April 1-May 10 or September 24-November 30
Return by March 30; April 9-May 17 or Septembr 20-December 9
Valid on Delta or British Airways, nonstop
Note: AARP members can save an additional $65 when booking directly at BA


Deals from other U.S. gateway airports:

Round-trip from New York:
$417-$430 NYC to Rome
A 7-day advance purchase and a 7-night minimum stay required
Depart by July 1; August 13-24 or September 16-November 29
Several airlines participating, including Delta
Purchase by January 31

HURRY! Round-trip from Boston:
$518-$538 Tenerife, Canary Islands
Valid on daily travel from February 10-May 11 or August 13-November 25
Book on partners Iberia/British Airways/American

NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are purchased during the ticket booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines.

How do you find these great airfare deals? Visit Clark’s Atlanta Travel Tips page for a step-by-step search and booking guide.


Coast-to-Coast Savings
Save up to 60% at on stays at 4- and 5-star Accor Hotels in top Canadian and U.S. destinations. The savings are bookable through January 24 for stays through April 1:
From $99, Sofitel Chicago Magnificent Mile
From $99, Pullman San Francisco Bay
From $129 Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile
From $109 Sofitel Philadelphia
From $109 Ibis Styles New York LaGuardia Airport, bed and breakfast
From $129 Novotel New York Times Square
From $139 Sofitel New York
From $149 Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square
From $199 Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills
Check out other Accor Hotels savings promotions worldwide.

Save at Preferred Hotels & Resorts
Preferred Hotels & Resorts has launched its annual January Sale, offering discounts up to 40% for stays at more than 300 of the best independent properties across 50 countries. Book a minimum stay of three nights or more by January 31 for stays through December 31. These one-of-a-kind luxury properties are in the city, countryside, at the beach or on the slopes.
Grand Hotel Palace, Rome: Situated on the prestigious Via Veneto, the former Ambassador’s Palace turned boutique hotel blends contemporary art deco with original architectural features such as custom frescoes and Murano crystal chandeliers, from $168.
Cambridge Beaches Resort, Bermuda: The adult-only property is located on its own 30-acre peninsula with Atlantic views, four private white sand beaches, lush tropical gardens, a beachside spa, and three restaurants, from $199.
Les Suites Orient, Shanghai: With its central location on The Bund, guests can relax in elegant art deco-inspired suites extending sweeping views on to Huanpu River, from $175.
French Lick Springs Hotel, Indiana: The 173-year-old Beaux Arts hotel sits on 3,000 sprawling acres alongside the Hoosier National Forest. Onsite is a 27,000 sq. ft. deluxe spa, and a range of restaurants from fine dining to grab-and-go, from $133.
Hotel Oleana, Bergen, Norway: Enjoy numerous water-based activities including a fjord cruise, gallery and museum tours, and a stroll along the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bryggen before returning to this vibrant hotel for a reviving bathtub soak, from $131.
Farmhouse Inn, Sonoma County, California: This multi-award winning inn in north California’s wine country featurs a destination spa, a pool area with hot tub and fire pits for s’mores, and a Michelin-starred restaurant, from $409.
The Maritime Hotel, New York City: Located where Chelsea and the Meatpacking District converge, this nautical-inspired hotel was formerly the National Maritime Union. Guestrooms and suites feature porthole windows and views onto the Hudson River. Guests can explore Manhattan on one of the hotel’s complimentary bicycles, from $197.
Check out the full list of Preferred hotels participating in the January Sale.

Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on Twitter.

Looking for more deals?
View all current airfare offers at Clark’s Atlanta Travel Deals page or the National Travel Deals page.

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