Cruise lines worldwide suspended sailings March 13 because of the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Now companies such as Carnival and Disney are pushing out their return dates and canceling more trips, meaning passengers can receive full refunds for the price of their trips.
Those who want to take their chances and postpone — even though there’s no firm date when this pandemic will end — can choose to receive a credit for a future cruise. Just remember: If you choose a credit, you have forfeited your refund. Cruise companies want you to stick with them, and are offering extra perks and credits to keep you on board.
To get a refund or credit on a canceled cruise, look for an email from your cruise line. You may be able to make changes online or you may have to do so through the call center (expect long wait times). If you didn’t book with the cruise line, check with your travel agent or third-party online retailer.
On Wednesday, Carnival Cruises announced it would suspend Alaska sailings through June 30 and scrap all San Francisco cruises for the rest of the year. Typical five-day cruises along the California coast called at Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico, before returning to the Bay Area.
The company also canceled cruises aboard Carnival Radiance (an upgrade of the Carnival Victory) through Nov. 1, and Carnival Legend, through Oct. 30. Carnival Legend typically sails from Seattle to Alaska in summer months.
Passengers whose trips have been canceled may opt for a refund or a future cruise credit.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney Cruise Line on Monday extended its suspension for sailings departing in April. Passengers who had tickets on any of its four ships through April 28 may receive a refund or a cruise credit for a trip within 15 months of their original departure date, according to the company’s website.
Disney also warned passengers about sailings aboard the Disney Wonder that are scheduled to resume April 29. The itinerary calls for a stop in Vancouver, British Columbia, but Canada has closed its ports at least through July 1.
Other cruise lines
Seabourn and Holland America canceled sailings through May 14. Passengers may receive a refund or a credit for a future cruise valued at 125% of the fare price plus $250 shipboard credit.
Luxury line Cunard has canceled sailings through May 15. You may receive a refund or a future credit for 125% of the total value of your booking. Credits are good for sailings up to March 31, 2022, but you must book before Dec. 31.
Royal Caribbean has suspended cruises through May 11, offering refunds or a credit valued at 125% of what you paid. Itineraries sailing through Singapore and Canada also are suspended because those ports are temporarily closed.
The company also offers future credits to passengers who may want to cancel in as little as 48 hours before their departure. Those scheduled to sail through Sept. 1 may rebook a cruise by Dec. 31.
Celebrity Cruises has suspended sailings through May 11, and Alaska sailing through July 1. Refunds and 125% future cruise credits are offered to passengers whose trips have been canceled.
The Maryville High School Board of Education was treated to a Google Expeditions tour of Madrid and Barcelona, Spain, during the showcase held at the January 20 board meeting.
Sandra Wood, MHS Spanish teacher, had applied for and received two grants, $8,000 from the Gladys Rickard Trust, and $15,000 from the Bayer Fund American’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant.
Wood used the grants to purchase two Google Expeditions classroom sets. One set has 25 combinations of devices and goggles, the other 30 sets. She also purchased three 360 degree cameras and a selfie stick which will allow the students to create their own expeditions.
Google Expeditions has over 1,000 tours. The set has a router which doesn’t allow the students access to the internet while using the tour.
Seniors Olivia Stiff and Henry Swink assisted Wood with the demonstration for the board members. The teacher, or in the case of this demo, the students, can guide the participants with details provided on the pad to direct the tour.
Also attending the presentation were two of the local farmers, Robert Lager and Craig Stiens, who had nominated MHS for the American’s Farmers Grow Rural Education grant. Others who nominated MHS for the STEM grant were Don Seipel, Donald Kagay, Dorothy Schaefer, Steve Schmidt and Terri Lager.
Wood said, “The kids enjoy the tours. It’s another way to bring Spain to them.”
Wood uses the sets for 10 to 15 minutes in the classroom setting as longer sessions sometimes cause the students to be disorientated.
MHS dance team wins at Lee’s Summit.
The Maryville High School Dance team recently competed at Lee’s Summit. The team earned third in pom and brought home the North Division 1 Lyrical Champion award.
Team members are: Anna Adwell, Gracie Wenger, Taya Myers; back: Maggie Farnan, Kenzee Minton, Maggie Webb, Kaylee Harkrider, Kensley Wood, Kaiya Ory and Morgan Mullock.
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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – A Winter Weather Travel Watch has been issued by the Allen County Department of Homeland Security.
Heavy snow that continues to fall is making roads snow-covered, slick and hazardous for travel.
Drivers are urged to avoid travel if possible while crews work to clear and treat the roads this morning.
If anyone is travelling this morning, the Allen County Department of Homeland Security recommends you completely clear your vehicle of snowbefore traveling and drive slower than usual and plan to slide when stopping or turning.
Drivers should also take along a good winter coat hat and gloves to keep warm when you slide off of the road or become stuck in the snow.
The coronavirus pandemic has canceled a lot of things, but your summer vacation doesn’t have to be one of them.
While the country slowly emerges from coronavirus quarantine, few are more anxious to be unleashed back into the wild than America’s campers.
Be it a carry-everything-on-your-back backpacking trek, a car camping journey to a favored state park campsite or making camp via a creature-comfort loaded recreational vehicle, camping is one of the most popular summertime recreational activities in the U.S. and beyond.
According to the 2018 KOA North American Camping Report, the United States is home to 78.8 million camping households, an increase of 7.2 million since 2014.
Memorial Day weekend typically marks the unofficial start of the summer camping season. But thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and the havoc it has wrought worldwide, camping is likelier to be more popular this summer than any in recent memory. Some campground facilities, be it local, state, federal or privately managed properties, will be operating on a limit basis. Others will be running at full throttle. Some will likely remain closed.
Nebraska State Parks, for example, recently announced that beginning on May 20, “guests may begin enjoying recreational vehicle camping at select state park areas where social distancing and group-size recommendations can be maintained to help ensure compliance with the state’s public health directives amid the COVID-19 health situation.”
You’ll need an RV because lodges and group shelters will be closed at least through the end of May and park shower houses and modern restrooms will not be open “until further notice.” Campsites will also be spaced a minimum of 25 feet apart, which will result in some sites being closed.
In neighboring South Dakota, most state park campgrounds have remained open and many were planning to reopen restrooms and other facilities by the Memorial Day holiday. Reservations can be made at CampSD.com.
Access to the country’s national parks – popular camping destinations for many – is loosening but facilities are far from fully accessible. Find out more, including a link to check an individual park’s accessibility and operating schedule, at nps.gov.
Access to Army Corps of Engineer campground properties is also in flux. Many have been closed or restricted. Expect openings to be staggered or piecemeal.
As the access situation remains fluid, check before you travel and if your camping destination accepts reservations – and many do, make one.
Wherever you plan to camp, be sure to check the facility’s COVID-19 page so you know what the restroom situation is and you are fully up to speed on its social-distancing practices and other policies related to the virus.
Get that gear in good shape before you head out
Before you go, check, and if needed, repair or upgrade your gear, recommends Iris Diligencia, lead repair shop technician for Mountain Safety Research, the venerable Seattle–based outdoor gear company.
“Because you depend on your gear for warmth, comfort and safety, using the pre-season to perform basic maintenance on it will pay dividends in not only equipment lifespan,” Diligencia said, “but also your enjoyment in the backcountry.”
If you’re a tent camper, like I am, pitch your tent in the backyard, sweep out the inside and, if needed, scrub the outside with soap and water. Check the seams for loose threads or tears, repair if needed, and add a coat of seam sealer (available from most online outdoor retailers).
Do a similar inspection and repair of your rain fly, the waterproof outer layer of your tent. And don’t overlook tent stakes and guidelines, shock cords and poles for damage. Repair or replace as needed. You can usually buy replacement parts from your tent manufacturer and outdoor retailers like REI sell nonspecific items like stakes and shock cord.
Instructions and tips on repairing/replacing damaged shock cords and poles can be found on MSR’s YouTube channel.
“Check the quantity and conditions of your tent stakes, too,” Diligencia said. “It never hurts to pack a few extra. Nothing is worse than arriving at your campsite only to find your shelter is missing a few necessary pieces.”
If you use a canister-powered stove, it’s likely that no maintenance will be needed, Diligencia noted, although it’s still a good idea to test the stove before heading into the field.
Liquid-fuel stoves, like the MSR WhisperLite and others, require occasional cleaning and maintenance to keep the fuel flowing smoothly and the flame burning efficiently. Check the wick and O-ring seals and use fresh fuel for the year’s first trip. Keep fuel canisters filled. If you need propane, you can usually find it at retailers like Home Depot or a local supplier.
Never cleaned a stove or replaced the fuel tank? As is the case with pretty much any task under the sun, you can find instructions on YouTube. Most stove manufacturers, including MSR, also provide helpful how-to, step-by-step videos on maintaining their equipment.
Air out sleeping bags and sleeping pads. Spot clean with soap and water where needed. If a thorough cleaning is needed, check and follow the bag’s washing instructions. Finish by turning the bag inside out and laying it under the sun to dry.
“Direct sunlight will help kill any lingering bacteria,” Diligencia said.
Your first aid kit should include a fresh supply of insect repellent, bandages and ointments. Check expiration dates on any prescription and over-the-counter meds.
If you wear glasses, consider keeping a spare pair in your first-aid kit or another easy-to-find spot where they won’t get broken.
If you neglected to remove the batteries from headlamps and flashlights after last year’s camping season, check for corrosion. If you find any, it can sometimes be cleaned with white vinegar. Replace batteries and check that lights are in working order.
Most campers have a bag or pack that holds their gear. It’s also a place where grime collects. Empty it. Scrub with soap and water and hang to dry. Check zippers, seams, webbing and bungee cords and repair where needed. Apply zipper lube. (Chapstick will also work for this purpose.)
If you like to cook over an open campfire, the Outpost belongs in your camp bag. It’s a three-piece (grill plate, post and anchor point) campfire cooking system that’s well made of heavy-duty stainless steel. Takes about two minutes to set up and is easily adjustable, surprisingly sturdy and available in two sizes (19-inch and 24-inch). The Kettle Hook accessory (sold separately or packaged with the Outpost) will hold a Dutch oven or a ham. Includes carrying bag. Made in Pennsylvania.
The Takibi Fire & Grill is another well-made, smartly designed, stainless steel item for open-flame enthusiasts that is suitable for backyard or backcountry use. It includes a pack-and-carry fireplace, baseplate, grill bridge, grill net and carrying bag. The 31-pound kit folds flat and sets up in seconds. The fireplace coal bed accessory allows the Takibi to be used with charcoal. The pack-and- carry fireplace, which is available in three sizes and can be purchased separately, would be more travel-friendly in a backcountry camp.
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/advice/2020/05/25/coronavirus-travel-how-make-sure-your-camping-gear-good-go/5246837002/
NORTHEAST INDIANA (WPTA21) – The latest Indiana Department of Transportation’s travel advisory map shows several counties have slippery and hazardous roads.
DeKalb, Huntington, Wells, Adams, Grant, Blackford, Jay and Deleware counties are all under the lowest level of travel advisory.
Allen, Miami and Wabash county are under a Travel WATCH, which means only essential travel is recommended.
If you don’t need to be out on the roads, you’re advised to stay home.
For the latest advisories in your area, click here.
Check out real-time traffic conditions here.
Here is what each status means:
The highest level of local travel advisory, means that travel may be restricted to emergency management workers only. During a “warning” local travel advisory, individuals are directed to:
Means that conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. During a “watch” local travel advisory, only essential travel, such as to and from work or in emergency situations, is recommended, and emergency action plans should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies, and other organizations.
The lowest level of local travel advisory, means that routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation, and individuals should use caution or avoid those areas.
Commercial vehicles will be barred from several New Jersey highways beginning at 12 p.m. Sunday as a major snowstorm looms, state officials announced.
The restricted vehicles include tractor-trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles, passenger vehicles pulling trailers and “empty straight CDL-weighted trucks,” officials said. They are not allowed on parts of nine highways, although there are exceptions, according to an administrative order from Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti, the state’s transportation commissioner.
The restrictions don’t apply to the New Jersey Turnpike, the Garden State Parkway or the Atlantic City Expressway. The order does not have an expiration date. Officials asked all drivers to stay off the road Sunday night and Monday if possible.
“The safest place to be is at home,” the department said in a statement.
Commercial vehicles are restricted from the following roads in New Jersey:
Several groups are exempt from the restrictions, including police, health care workers and reporters, among others, according to the order.
Trucks on the road when the ban takes effect are “encouraged” to wait out the storm at a truck stop, according to a press release. Drivers should not stop on the shoulder.
Officials also said they were preparing thousands of plows and salt spreaders. The department asked drivers that must be on the road to not pass crews and to drive slow with a full tank.
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UPDATE: It’s not snowfall totals of more than a foot and a half in some New Jersey counties and parts of Pennsylvania that have forecasters concerned about the nasty nor’easter heading our way: It’s the blizzard-like conditions.
That means travel will be “very difficult to impossible” beginning with the arrival of the prolonged storm around 7 p.m. Sunday and continuing through 1 p.m. Tuesday, the National Weather Service said Sunday morning.
There will also be power outages from downed trees and snagged wires, as well as flooding in coastal areas.
Morris, Sussex and Warren counties are expected to get the worst of it, with anywhere from 15 to a whopping 24 inches of snow possible, the NWS said around noontime Sunday.
Most of it will fall during daylight Monday at a projected clip of an inch an hour during its height, the service said.
The greater Philadelphia area could get a foot to 18 inches, with severe warnings issued for parts of the Poconos and Allentown.
Parts of the Jersey Shore, meanwhile, could have as little as two to 4 inches, the service said.
Here’s how the other New Jersey counties shaped up as of the NWS Sunday forecast:
Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Essex and Union counties: 14 to 18 inches, with blizzard-like conditions (wind gusts 35-45 miles an hour).
Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex and Mercer counties: 13 to 18 inches, gusts up to 35 mph.
Monmouth, northwest Burlington: 7 to 14 inches, with sleet and rain affecting the total, but gusts up to 45-50 mph.
Ocean, southeast Burlington: 6 to 8 inches, with the same effect of mixed precipitation and wind gusts up to 45-50 mph.
Salem, Gloucester and Camden counties: 8 to 12 inches, with a mix of sleet and rain, but with ice.
Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland and coastal Ocean: Two to 4 inches, mixed.
Among the major concerns: travel and power outages from downed wires.
Blowing and drifting snow should give drivers fits. Road conditions overall will be treacherous — or, to quote the weather service, “very difficult to impossible” — from Sunday night through much of Monday.
A coastal flood watch was issued from 7 a.m. Monday to 5 p.m. Tuesday in coastal Ocean, Atlantic and Cape May counties, as well as in eastern Monmouth, Middlesex, Ocean, southeastern Burlington and western Monmouth counties.
Roads in coastal and bayside towns could “become impassible,” the weather service warned. “Some damage to vulnerable structures may begin to occur.”
If you must travel, the service said, keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.
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Snow flurries have begun in parts of New Jersey as the forecast is ramped up to nearly two feet in the northwestern part of the state.
Areas near Morristown and Wantage are now expected to see between 12 to 24 inches, the National Weather Service said in a Sunday afternoon update, with New Brunswick forecasted to get up to 18 inches. Areas in the south and along the coast are expected to see significantly less snow.
A more detailed forecast is expected later Sunday afternoon, the NWS said.
“Through the day today, expect mostly light snow, but precipitation should become more steady and widespread overnight,” the NWS said in its update. Some areas along and south of the Interstate 95 corridor could see those flurries turn into sleet and rain later Sunday night.
The snow will likely be intense on Monday, with some areas seeing as much as 3 inches per hour, said Michael Priante, a meteorologist with WeatherWorks, a private weather forecasting company in Hackettstown.
While the Shore area is spared from high snow totals, towns could see coastal flooding as well as scattered power outages with travel expected to be significantly disrupted, forecasters say.
NJ Advance Media reporter Jeff Goldman contributed to this report.
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