This Week (or So) in Family Cruising (1-25-18)

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Family Cruising Graphic - Busy Beach HarborHere are our highlights from around the web for the past week (or so) of interesting news and information relevant to the world of family cruising.

Immerse in Your Favorite Characters While Family Cruising

Do you and your kids want to pal around with your favorite action heroes? Or, follow in the footsteps of your favorite wizards?  Well start planning for some new family cruising opportunities that offer just that. 

First, Disney will be bringing back its popular Star Wars Day at Sea and Marvel Day at Sea programs for 2019. These events will be featured on select sailings in the Caribbean and Bahamas on the Disney Fantasy (Star Wars) and Disney Magic (Marvel).

See: Disney Cruise Line to Bring Back Star Wars and Marvel Days at Sea

Second, the world now has a  river cruise just for Harry Potter fans!  American travel company Barge Lady Cruises will offer a six-day trip sailing on the River Thames in England this August.  The cruise will visit several locations where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.  The cruises will cost approximately $4,190 per person.

Harry Potter River Cruise to Set Sail This Summer

Important Safety Information & Warnings

All family cruisers should note several recent travel advisories relating to some popular cruise destinations.  The most notable ones from the past two weeks involve Jamaica and Mexico.

Travel Warnings For Jamaica

Many official sources have warned tourists travelling to Jamaica about an increase in violent crimes in certain areas.   The Prime Minister declared a state of public emergency for some parts of the island. This warning covers St. James parish, which includes Montego Bay.  The U.S. State Department has echoed these warnings.  

Cruise Hot Spot Issues A State Of Emergency

US State Department Urging Travelers to Exercise Increase Caution in Jamaica

Travel Warnings For Mexico

The U.S. State Department also issued heightened warnings regarding travel to certain parts of Mexico.  (Official Mexico Travel Advisory can be found here.)

The State Department  issued a Level 4 travel advisory for five states within Mexico due to crime. Level 4 is the most severe advisory and is labeled as “Do Not Travel.”  Notably, The State Department elevated the advisory level in these five states due to increased cartel activity, turf wars, homicides, and related crimes.

Mexico overall was given a level 2 warning, which means travelers should “exercise increased caution.” Eleven additional Mexican states received a level 3 warning, meaning “reconsider travel.”

Notwithstanding these warnings from the State Department, Mexico’s tourism officials have stressed that the country’s primary tourist destinations do not have travel restrictions — Cancún, the Mayan Riviera, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, and Mexico City.

Check out these reports for more info:

Mexico Travel Warning Could Affect Cruise Itineraries

State Department slaps 5 Mexican states with ‘do not travel’ advisory

The U.S. Has Issued Its Highest ‘Do Not Travel’ Warning for 5 Mexican States

Note: If you will soon be taking a cruise that stops at ports in Mexico, it would be prudent to stick with shore excursions and tour operators vetted by the cruise line.  (See 5 Absolutely Solid Reasons Families Favor Official Cruise Excursions)

Exciting News From The Caribbean 

San Juan Sees 35,000 Cruise Guests in One Week

This week brought continued encouraging news from Puerto Rico.  This popular port appears well on its way to bouncing back from last season’s devastating hurricanes!  The Puerto Rico Tourism Company announced that 35,000 cruise guests on 11 different ships visited the port of San Juan between Jan. 15 and 21.  This renewed increased activity contributed more than $4.5 million to the local economy.  The visiting ships included ones from Carnival, Celebrity, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Disney and Viking.

Margaritaville Announces Plans for a New Resort in the Bahamas

A new Margaritaville resort will be coming to the Bahamas’ capital city, Nassau.  A phased opening begins in mid-2019. The $250 million development will feature a new 150-room Margaritaville Beach Resort, 150 luxury oceanfront residences, a marina and more.

And, among a long list of fun amenities, the resort promises to offer several family-friendly options including a kid’s club,  private beach with cabanas and lounges, and a water park.  It will also have a cave aquarium, surf simulator, pool, children’s splash play area, and a lazy river.

That’s all for now!  Enjoy your weekend!

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