Richard Peterson decides to gift his wife with a surprise anniversary cruise to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, he books a Holland America Cuban Explorer cruise but fails to check the itinerary or the cancellation terms. So when his wife rejects this gift, he is in a bit of a bind. Can he get a refund? “This surprise anniversary cruise was a dud. Can he get a refund?”
It seems like every travel organization in the country is out with its “must visit” list for 2017. What do they say? They’re literally all over the map, but one place gets repeated mentions: Cuba. “Cuba is high on 2017’s must-see travel lists. See it while you can.”
Here’s a question you don’t get every day: What happens when the president of the United States interrupts your vacation? Who do you call? “Does travel insurance cover a presidential vacation interruption?”
If you were less than impressed with your last vacation, you’re in good company. Say “hello” to Colette Blanchette, who recently traveled to Cuba for what was supposed to be a relaxing tropical getaway.
It was February, and she and her husband were looking forward to escaping the cold Toronto winter. They’d booked a week at the Husa Cayo Santa Maria through Transat Canada. The trip was booked through her sister-in-law, who is a travel agent.
“Any hope of saving a “vacation from hell” to Cuba?”
Barney Harford is the president and chief executive officer of Orbitz Worldwide. One of the first things he did when he took over eight months ago was to institute a “total” price for hotel rooms, making it the first of the major online travel agencies to do so. He also launched a campaign to lift travel restrictions to Cuba imposed by the American government during the Cold War. I asked Harford why he decided to take on prices and politics so early in his tenure.
Your company is pushing the government to lift travel restrictions to Cuba with a new site called Open Cuba. Why is this issue important to you? Why should it be important to travelers?
We believe it’s important to be engaged in the social issues of the day. We promoted lesbian and gay travel as far back as 2002. We were on the cutting edge of eco-tourism.
The management team and I shared a belief that after 50 years of ban on travel to Cuba [by Americans] it was time for a change. It doesn’t make sense for Americans to not have a right to travel to a country that is so close. Travel can bring people together. We believe there’s an immense opportunity to bring people together, to create progress.
We have urged people to sign a petition to overturn the ban on travel to Cuba. We’ve had about 95,000 people sign it. There’s broad, grassroots support that’s been indicated on this issues. We hope to be able to play an important role in removing the ban.
“Orbitz’ Harford: Quoting a total price is “a strategic priority for us””