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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
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Here’s a quick look at what’s new this week in cruising, and how it could impact your next trip…

  • Concerns about the Zika virus is growing, and we’re happy to see that cruise lines have their passengers backs. Several lines like Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean have instituted policies in the past week that allow pregnant travelers to change their trips to another destination or to postpone the cruise altogether.
  • If you’re a bourbon drinker we’ve got a cruise for you. Get onboard the 436-passenger river ship American Queen on July 10 and visit distilleries like Jim Bean, Buffalo Trace, and Wild Turkey. You’ll also get to schmooze with Bill Samuels Jr., son of the founder of Maker’s Mark, and other whiskey experts as a part of this seven-night cruise from St. Louis to Cincinnati.
  • Families, take note: Royal Caribbean has confirmed that on the 5,500-passenger Harmony of the Seas — which debuts this spring as the world’s largest ship — you can meet Po (the “Kung Fu Panda”), Shrek and Fiona, Puss in Boots, and the Penguins and pals from “Madagascar.” Meanwhile, the ship’s Adventure Ocean kids’ activities will include a tie-in with popular YouTube show “Muffalo Potato.”
  • Add Carrie Underwood to the list of superstar shipboard entertainers. The seven-time Grammy-nominated singer has joined forces with Carnival Cruise Line to raise funds for Operation Homefront — the non-profit that aids military families — and will be performing as part of the Carnival LIVE! concert series next year (in addition to a private concert for service men and women and their families). Stand by for not-yet-announced details…

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