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Home Travel Western Travel Buzz Latest News, Deals & Savings for Dec. 8

Latest News, Deals & Savings for Dec. 8

This week: Two cruise line suspending fuel surcharges, Yosemite lodging on a budget, and a new eight-passenger gondola for Colorado’s Keystone Resort for the ski season

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Two Cruise Lines Suspend Fuel Surcharges for 2009

With the price of a barrel of oil tumbling, Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruises announced that they are suspending fuel surcharges for 2009 cruises, good news for West Coast travelers.

Carnival Corp., the largest cruise vacation group in the world, said it is suspending fuel supplements for its six North American brands effective for all voyages departing on or after December 17, 2008. Carnival's brands include Carnival Cruise Lines, Costa Cruises, Cunard Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and The Yachts of Seabourn.

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A refund of the fuel supplement will be made in the form of a shipboard credit for all bookings within the final payment period for departures on or after December 17, 2008. All bookings outside of the final payment period for departures on or after December 17, 2008 will be adjusted to remove the fuel supplement and guests will be provided with a revised final payment amount.

"As the price of oil has dropped to $46 per barrel, it has now reached a level where we are able to suspend the fuel supplement," said Bill Harber, director of marketing for Carnival Corporation & plc. Harber cautioned that the fuel supplement could be re-instated if oil prices increase significantly.

The company said it reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person per day (except Seabourn, which would be up to $15 per person per day) should the price of light sweet crude oil according to the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index) increase above $70 per barrel.

"It is our hope that fuel prices have stabilized and will remain at a more rational level. The complete suspension of the fuel supplement makes the inherent value of a cruise even greater and that is increasingly important in the selection of a vacation in the current economic climate," Harber added.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Said it was suspending its fuel supplement for Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, anywhere in the world.

Effective Monday, December 8, guests making new bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, will not be charged the fuel supplement.

Guests already booked on sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, will receive a refund of any fuel supplement paid, as follows:

  • Guests with existing bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, and who are now paid in full, will have the supplement automatically refunded to them in the form of an onboard credit during their sailing.
  • Guests with existing bookings for sailings that depart on or after January 1, 2009, and who are not yet paid in full, will have the supplement automatically removed from their outstanding balance.

The company said it reserves the right to reinstate fuel supplement charges if the price of West Texas Intermediate fuel exceeded $65 per barrel, on the quarterly milestone dates mentioned in the company's October 24, 2008, press release.

Yosemite National Park Lodging on a Budget

For the family that is looking to Yosemite National Park vacation on a budget or simply for the bargain hunter, Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging says it has just the ticket for an  for an inexpensive stay.

Just 22 miles from the entrance of Yosemite National Park, the resort is now offering Yosemite-area lodging starting at only $29 for two nights for a yurt that can accommodate up to five people. Yosemite cabins start at only $39 for two nights for a basic cabin that can accommodate four people.

With the Yosemite National Park entrance fee of $20 per car for unlimited entries for seven days, the resort says a family can spend less than $100 for two days of Yosemite-area lodging and admission to the park. These special rates are available at
www.yosemitepinesrv.com/yosemite-lodging-camping-specials.html during the fall and winter season. Some restrictions apply.

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Yosemite Pines RV Resort & Family Lodging, has also recently added six Premium cabins as a part of its ongoing renovation of the 34-acre resort.
 
The new Premium cabins are one bedroom with a Queen bed, living room with a full-size sofa bed and fireplace, plus a full bath and a fully furnished kitchen with full-size refrigerator, and cable television in every room.

For those who need larger accommodations, the Luxury Loft Yosemite cabins sleep eight. The bedroom with a Queen bed, living room with a full-size sofa bed, full kitchen and dining area, plus a full bath are on the main floor. And the large two-room loft has a full-size bed and two twin-size beds.

For more information call (877) 962-7690 or go to
www.yosemitepinesrv.com/ to check out the resort's ongoing lodging specials.

Colorado's Keystone Resort Has New Gondola

Keystone Resort in Summit County, Colorado is offering skiers several site improvements for the 2008-2009 Colorado ski season including a new eight-passenger gondola.

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The new, state-of-the-art, eight-passenger River Run Gondola replaces the previous six-passenger River Run Gondola. A key component of the new gondola includes the move of the bottom terminal into the River Run Village which greatly improves the guest experience by making access to the gondola easier.

Also, a new mid-station is now located halfway up Dercum Mountain with loading and unloading in both directions, giving skiers and snowboarders an option to access Keystone's upper trails from mid-mountain and to download at the end of their ski day.

The new cabins were designed with passenger comfort in mind with floor-to-ceiling windows providing the best possible views and the cabins are large enough to accommodate skis and snowboards inside the cabin.

Additionally, the new gondola offers level walk-in heated load and unload stations to provide convenient access for wheelchairs, mountain bikes, strollers, sightseers, mountaintop tubing hill guests and night-time dining guests. With a vertical rise of 2,307 feet and a top-to-bottom average trip time of less than 12 minutes, the new eight-passenger River Run Gondola will transport about 2,400 people per hour, more than twice the previous level.

Keystone will operate the new River Run Gondola winter and summer. Also, the new Mountain Service Center, located at the base of the new gondola will provide skiers and riders with a single location for lift tickets, on-mountain activity information, season passes and more.

"We are committed to providing exceptional experiences for our guests and we are thrilled to open the new River Run Gondola for the 2008-2009 ski season at Keystone this year," said Pat Campbell, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of Keystone Resort.

Visit
www.keystoneresort.com for terrain updates, snow reports and event details.


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