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Cruise sellers brace for drop in bookings

Many veteran cruise sellers are bracing for a drop in bookings in the wake of Friday’s deadly accident involving a Costa Cruises ship. “It’s hard to see the industry not experiencing at least a small short-term slowdown from this,” Florida-based Simon Duvall of SimonCruises.com tells USA TODAY. “The images and stories coming out of Italy […]

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Fla. woman recounts Costa Concordia cruise crash off Italy

“Then I heard another noise,” Camacho, 34, said. “Everything was falling off the table. People started screaming and running out of the dining room. They said (over the loudspeaker in many languages) that they were having a problem with the generator and not to worry. We stayed. The waiters said to stay calm. I was […]

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Unspoiled Beauty in Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Sao Beach draws visitors seeking a place to reflect on the beauty of Phu Quoc. The beach, on the opposite coast from the rapidly developing Long Beach, is prized for its relative inaccessibility.

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Travel insurance reminder after tragedy

The Costa Concordia cruise ship still sits like a beached whale off the coast of Italy after running aground on Friday. Six bodies have been recovered and 16 people remain unaccounted for. Monday, a Virginia Beach couple returned home from the beached cruise ship. Karen Kennedy and Rick Langlands said nothing at the airport except […]

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Qunar Considers US IPO as China Travel Fuels Growth

January 16, 2012, 11:32 PM EST (Updates with executive’s comment in seventh paragraph.) Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) — Qunar.com Inc., a Chinese travel search site partly owned by Baidu Inc., is considering an initial public offering in the U.S. as it expects soaring demand for travel services to double revenue this year. Qunar broke even in […]

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Costa CEO: Captain did not follow normal route

The captain of the Costa Cruises ship that partially sank on Friday after hitting rocks off the coast of Italy had diverted the vessel onto a route not authorized by the company, its CEO says. “It is human error here,” Costa chairman and CEO Pier Luigi Foschi told reporters dialed into a conference call this […]

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Makeover Monday: Embassy Suites, Hyatt hotels

Welcome to Hotel Check-In’s second, weekly Makeover Monday feature. This week, the largest renovation alerts travelers to a $35 million update to a Hyatt-brand property. The projects this week will take us to Washington D.C.; San Diego; Boston, St. Louis, Mo., and Greenwich, Conn. The projects mentioned in last week’s inaugural post took us to […]

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More airlines add Wi-Fi, but fliers balk at paying

Airlines are spending millions of dollars to equip planes with Wi-Fi capability. But only a small percentage of travelers have used the service since it was introduced in 2008, numbers from providers and analysts indicate. “It is certainly something everyone recognizes as a value, both to the airlines and the passengers,” says Michael Planey, an […]

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36 Hours in Oaxaca, Mexico

Santo Domingo de Guzmán church in Oaxaca. Credit: Adriana Zehbrauskas for The New York Times

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Booking through a registered travel agent is the best insurance

We have been hearing more stories than usual about the frustrations of online travel engines’ customers lately. In addition to horror stories we have read about, two people we know faced dropped bookings when they arrived at the airport. One had booked a flight and the other a whole vacation package and both were told […]

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