Out2News Traffic & Travel

Martin County Public Transit Service Updates

19 Aug MARTY BUS

MARTY, Martin County's public transit service, will continue to provide service for riders performing essential activities. Increased cleaning and disinfecting will continue to be performed on all vehicles and at bus stops with seating.

Individuals utilizing public transit shall adhere to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with regards to social distancing and do their part in minimizing the possible spread of COVID-19. Passengers should make every effort to sit or stand at least six feet from any other passenger and the bus operator. Individuals that are sick are asked NOT to board MARTY vehicles.

To minimize interaction between patrons and bus operators, MARTY is suspending the sale of on-board bus passes and fare box collection through Friday, April 3.

MARTY is committed to maintaining the same level of service that our patrons have come to expect and will provide updates should conditions change.

Visit www.martin.fl.us/coronavirus, Martin County's online resource for information related to COVID-19, and connect with us on social media. For the most up-to-date info on Martin County happenings, follow us on Facebook @MartinCountyBoardofCountyCommissioners and Twitter @MartinCountygov.

Coronavirus and Travel in the United States Should I Travel Within the US?

Mar Travel Corona Virus

CDC does not generally issue advisories or restrictions for travel within the United States. However, cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in many states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19, if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. There are several things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.

Things to consider before travel:

Is COVID-19 spreading in the area where you’re going?
If COVID-19 is spreading at your destination, but not where you live, you may be more likely to get infected if you travel there than if you stay home. If you have questions about your destination, you should check your destination’s local health department website for more information.
Will you or your travel companion(s) be in close contact with others during your trip?
Your risk of exposure to respiratory viruses like coronavirus may increase in crowded settings, particularly closed-in settings with little air circulation. This may include settings such as conferences, public events (like concerts and sporting events), religious gatherings, public spaces (like movie theatres and shopping malls), and public transportation (like buses, metro, trains).
Are you or your travel companion(s) more likely to get severe illness if you get COVID-19?
People at higher risk for severe disease are older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions (such as heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes). CDC recommends that travelers at higher risk for COVID-19 complications avoid all cruise travel and nonessential air travel.
Do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, in case you are told to stay home for 14 days for self-monitoring or if you get sick with COVID-19?
If you have close contact with someone with COVID-19 during travel, you may be asked to stay home to self-monitor and avoid contact with others for up to 14 days after travel. If you become sick with COVID-19, you may be unable to go to work or school until you’re considered noninfectious. You will be asked to avoid contact with others (including being in public places) during this period of infectiousness.
Do you live with someone who is older or has a serious, chronic medical condition?
If you get sick with COVID-19 upon your return from travel, your household contacts may be at risk of infection. Household contacts who are older adults or persons of any age with severe chronic medical conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
Is COVID-19 spreading where I live when I return from travel?
Consider the risk of passing COVID-19 to others during travel, particularly if you will be in close contact with people who are older adults or have severe chronic health condition These people are at higher risk of getting very sick. If your symptoms are mild or you don’t have a fever, you may not realize you are infectious.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may choose to delay or cancel your plans. If you do decide to travel, be sure to take steps to help prevent getting and spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases during travel. For the most up-to-date COVID-19 travel information, visit CDC COVID-19 Travel page.

Cruise Planners “Don’t Let Our Name Fool You”

me and carolyn

Article by: Les Leibowitz – Cruise Planners

Finding a subject for an article is not always as easy as one might think.  As the author you want to compose something that is both interesting and helpful for the reader and for the author. I found that for me the easiest topics come from common questions that Carolyn and I get from people such as what is the best Cruise ship or the best destination, but here is the one question that comes up even more often than the others, and that is “do you just do cruises”?  The short answer is No, but then that would violate the rule of making this article interesting and helpful.

“Cruise planners” is an American Express Travel Partner with its corporate headquarters based in Florida and is the largest home-based travel franchise in the nation with over 2,000 franchise owners. We’ve owned our franchise for fifteen years and operate it locally in Palm City with associates of our franchise on Florida’s West Coast, Northern Florida, and New York City.  While the name says who we are, it hardly scratches the surface about what we do.  As cruising is ever so popular today with oceans full of ships to meet just about everyone’s life style and wallet and offers such things as fine dining, Broadway style entertainment and theme park style adventure all in one place, we can also provide vacation options far beyond the deep blue sea.  An industry term commonly known as a “full service” agency, means that we can build for you a land vacation as you want it with destinations from right here in the U.S. to historic cities of Europe or even an adventurous African Safari.  As we do with all our cruise industry partners, Cruise planners maintains partnerships with the world’s leading tour vendors and suppliers providing us and you with the best overall availability and experience possible.  From a simple hotel stay with lazy days on the beach to golf at the pebble beach resort, from a Colorado ski trip to Scuba diving in the Galapagos, A historic tour of the Civil War battlefields to retracing the footsteps of the D-day invasion with the “Beyond the Band of Brothers Tour”. Anywhere in the world that you can think of going either by land or by sea, Cruise planners can get you there. As it says in all of our advertising we are “your land and cruise experts.  

Mar Healthy Tips

FDOT Treasure Coast Traffic Report March 27 through April 3, 2020

CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS

1. Kanner Highway / State Road 76 from south of Pratt Whitney Road (County Road 711) to SW Jack James Drive
Description: Kanner Highway is being widened from south of Pratt Whitney Road to SW Jack James Drive. Work on this 1.94-mile project includes: reconstructing Kanner Highway from CR 711 to Locks Road from a two-lane undivided highway to a four-lane divided highway with a raised median and curb & gutter; adding seven-foot-wide bicycle lanes from CR 711 to Locks Road; adding a 12-foot-wide shared use path on the east side of Kanner Highway from CR 711 to Locks Road; adding a six-foot-wide sidewalk on the west side of Kanner Highway from CR 711 to Locks Road; installing drainage features that will improve drainage; and resurfacing Kanner Highway from Locks Road to SW Jack James Drive. Access points and turn lanes will be provided throughout the corridor at the following locations: there will be turn lanes at the two signalized intersections CR 711 and Locks Road; full median openings will be at Mary Drive, Tropical Avenue, and SW Old Royal Drive; and a left-turn-only median opening will be located at Beverly Terrace.
Cost/Completion: $12,892,088.57. Completion is expected in summer 2021.
Traffic Impact:
• The speed limit on Kanner Highway from south of Pratt Whitney Road to SW Jack James Drive has been temporarily reduced from 50 MPH to 45 MPH. This speed limit reduction will be in place through the end of the project.
• One lane in either direction of Kanner Highway from Pratt Whitney Road to SW Jack James Drive will be closed intermittently daily, Sunday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for paving. For lane closures on Kanner Highway where there is only one existing lane in each direction, two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew.
• One lane in either direction of Pratt Whitney Road at the Kanner Highway intersection will be closed intermittently daily, Sunday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for paving. Two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew.
• Traffic in both directions along Kanner Highway is shifted to the east, utilizing the newly constructed travel lanes, to construct the future southbound lanes. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.
2. I-95 Lighting and Roadway Improvements Project
Description: The I-95 lighting and roadway improvements project runs from south of the Martin County rest area to south of State Road 714/Martin Highway. Work on this 5-mile project includes: installing lighting along I-95; lengthening the I-95 entrance ramp auxiliary lane from the Martin County northbound rest area; milling & resurfacing along northbound I-95 at the Martin County northbound rest area to tie into the reconstructed auxiliary lane; and milling & resurfacing of the existing pavement and placing overbuild along southbound I-95 where needed for cross slope corrections.
Cost/Completion: $5,985,000. Completion is expected in summer 2020.
Traffic Impact:
• Two northbound lanes of I-95 approximately three miles north of High Meadow Avenue / Exit 102 at the Martin County rest area will be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. for paving.
• Two southbound lanes of I-95 may be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. for paving.
• Intermittent shoulder closures along I-95 will occur in both directions Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

3. Jensen Beach Boulevard Shoulder Widening and Resurfacing Project, from U.S. 1 to Savannah Road
Description: Jensen Beach Boulevard/State Road 732 is being resurfaced and the shoulder is being widened from U.S. 1 to Savannah Road/County Road 723. The improvements include: milling and resurfacing the existing roadway; widening and restriping pavement to provide dedicated bike lanes; upgrading current drainage; installing new guardrail at NE Pinecrest Lakes Boulevard; improving sidewalks to provide American with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant curb ramps; improving signing and pavement markings; replacing the existing span wire signal system at US 1 with a mast arm signal system; upgrading pedestrian signals at signalized intersections; and providing intersection lighting at the SR 732 and US 1 intersection and enhancing lighting at other signalized intersections.
Cost/Completion: $5,272,134. Completion is expected in summer 2020.
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in each direction of Jensen Beach Boulevard will be closed Sunday through Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. through Apr. 2020 for roadway work and paving.
• One lane in each direction of Jensen Beach Boulevard will be closed Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Apr. 2020 for roadway work.
• The sidewalk along the north side of Jensen Beach Boulevard from U.S. 1 to Savannah Road is closed. Pedestrians should utilize the sidewalk on the south side of Jensen Beach Boulevard, crossing at signalized intersections.
• Eastbound and westbound Jensen Beach Boulevard from U.S. 1 to Goldenrod Rd will be shifted to the outside shoulder to facilitate median widening. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

4. U.S. 1 Shoulder Widening and Resurfacing Project, from South of SE Heritage Boulevard to North of SE Salerno Road
Description: U.S. 1 is undergoing a shoulder widening and resurfacing project from south of SE Heritage Boulevard to north of SE Salerno Road. The improvements include: milling and resurfacing of all travel lanes, turn lanes, and shoulders; widening the shoulders to accommodate 7-foot buffered bicycle lanes; addressing pavement failures at Cove Road and Salerno Road; upgrading sidewalk and pedestrian ramps to meet American with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards; upgrading signing and pavement markings; installing new pedestrian countdown signal heads at multiple signalized intersections; upgrading traffic controller cabinets at all signalized intersections; and installing lighting improvements at Salerno Road and Cove Road intersections.
Cost/Completion: $8,446,060. Completion is expected in spring 2021.
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in each direction of U.S. 1 will be closed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for shoulder widening.
• One inside southbound lane of U.S. 1 at Cove Road is closed around-the-clock for roadway repairs.
• Intermittent lane closures will occur at the U.S. 1/Salerno Road and U.S. 1/Cove Road intersections Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for pipe cleaning. During this time, turning lanes may be closed but traffic will still be able to make turns utilizing the through travel lane.
• One lane in either direction of U.S. 1 will be closed Monday through Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. for paving.
• Intermittent sidewalk closures will occur on the west side of U.S. 1. Pedestrians should cross at the nearest signalized intersection and follow the detour signage in place. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

5. Palm City Bridge in Palm City
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in each direction of the Palm City Bridge will be closed Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Apr. 3 to replace bridge lighting. For more information, please contact Ken Kroll at 786-877-3834.

6. SE Ocean Boulevard at Monterey Road in Stuart
Traffic Impact:
• One eastbound lane of SE Ocean Boulevard will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 8 for utility work. For more information, please contact Max Werling at 321-412-7878.

7. Warfield Boulevard from Adams Avenue to Madison Avenue in Indiantown
Traffic Impact:
• One eastbound lane of Warfield Boulevard will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 22 for utility work. For more information, please contact Max Werling at 321-412-7878.

8. Warfield Boulevard from Adams Avenue to Madison Avenue in Indiantown
Traffic Impact:
• On Saturday, March 28, 2020 and Sunday, March 29, 2020, the Martin County Public Works Department will be performing rehabilitation work on the traffic signal at the intersection of SE Federal Highway and SE Kanner Highway. This work will necessitate intermittent lane closure at the intersection between the hours of 6:30 am and 3:00 pm each day. Motorists and pedestrians are encouraged to exercise caution and expect minor delays. For more information, please contact Luis Pille at 772-463-2867.

9. State Road A1A from NE Causeway Boulevard to Joe’s Point Road in Jensen Beach and Stuart
Traffic Impact:
• The southbound lane of State Road A1A will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for utility work. Two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew. For more information, please contact Steve Jungjohan at 772-882-5084.

10. U.S. 1 just South of Windemere Drive in Stuart
Traffic Impact:
• Starting Thursday, Apr. 2, one southbound lane of U.S. 1 will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 7 to install a driveway connection. For more information, please contact Brittany Lynch at 772-286-7385.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

11. Midway Road Widening Project, from S. 25th Street to U.S. 1
Description: This 1.8-mile project includes: reconstructing the existing two-lane Midway Road to a four-lane, divided highway with a raised median; installing a new signal at Sunrise Boulevard; constructing a new bridge over the North Fork St. Lucie River; constructing a 6-foot sidewalk on the north side and a 12-foot multi-purpose trail on the south side Midway Road; constructing 4-foot bike lanes on both sides of the roadway; reconstruction of S. 25th Street approximately 1000’ to the south & north of Midway Road; reconstruction of Sunrise Boulevard from W. 1st Street to Charlotta Street; reconstruction of Oleander Avenue from W. 2nd Street to Merritt’s Ditch; drainage improvements, including constructing 6 retention ponds at 5 locations; and signage, signalization, and lighting improvements.
Cost/Completion: $26.85 million. Completion is expected in fall 2021.
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in either direction of Midway Road between 25th Street and U.S. 1 may be closed Monday through Friday except from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for drainage activities, signalization, bridge work, and embankment/excavation. Two-way traffic will be maintained with a flag crew.
• One lane in either direction of Oleander Avenue between West 1st Street and just north of Midway Road by Merritt’s Ditch may be closed Monday through Friday except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for drainage activities and signalization. Two-way traffic will be maintained with a flag crew.
• One lane in either direction of Sunrise Boulevard between West 1st Street and Augusta Street may be closed Monday through Friday except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for drainage activities, embankment, and signalization. Two-way traffic will be maintained with a flag crew.
• One lane in each direction of 25th St. from 1,200’ north to 500’ south of Midway Road may have daytime and nighttime lane closures Monday through Friday except for between the hours of 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. for drainage work.
• One lane in either direction of Melville Road just south of Midway Road may be closed Monday through Friday except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for drainage. A flag crew will maintain two-way traffic.
• One lane in either direction of U.S. 1 at Midway Road may be closed Monday through Friday except from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. & 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. for signalization and lighting.
• Eastbound and westbound traffic on Midway Road from just east of Oleander Avenue to Star Avenue is shifted to the south on the newly constructed roadway to facilitate roadway construction to the north.
• Eastbound and westbound traffic on Midway Road from 25th Street to Oleander Avenue is shifted to the north on the newly constructed roadway to facilitate roadway construction to the south.
• Northbound and southbound traffic on Oleander Avenue from 2nd Street to Merritt’s Ditch is shifted to the west on the newly constructed roadway to facilitate roadway construction to the east.
• Northbound and southbound traffic on Sunrise Boulevard from 2nd Street to Charlotta Street is shifted to the west on the newly constructed roadway to facilitate roadway construction to the east.
• Northbound and southbound traffic on 25th Street from Canoe Creek Lane to approximately 1,000 feet north of Midway Road is shifted to the east to facilitate roadway construction to the west.
12. Kings Highway Widening Project, from South of State Road 70 to North of the I-95 Overpass
Description: Kings Highway / State Road 713 is being widened from south of State Road 70 to north of the I-95 overpass in the City of Ft. Pierce and unincorporated St. Lucie County. The improvements on this 3.417-mile project include: reconstructing the existing two-lane undivided Kings Highway with a newly constructed four‐lane divided roadway, relocating Canal No. 40 and Canal No. 32E to accommodate widening to the west, realigning Kings Highway at the intersection with Okeechobee Road which will improve the existing connection with the Turnpike, replacing existing culverts/swales and installing a closed drainage system and retention ponds, installing a new highway lighting system, and upgrading signalization with vehicle detection devices and ITS cameras. Features of the new roadway will include: a 30‐foot wide median with Type E Curb and Gutter (22‐foot-wide raised plus two four‐foot-wide paved inside shoulders), 6.5‐foot-wide outside shoulders which will also serve as buffered bicycle lanes, a 12‐foot-wide shared use path along the west side, and a 6‐foot-wide sidewalk along the east side.
Cost/Completion: $45,221,785.65. Completion is expected in fall 2022.
Traffic Impact:
• The speed limit on Kings Highway from south of Okeechobee Road / State Road 70 to north of the I-95 overpass has been temporarily reduced from 50 MPH to 40 MPH. This speed limit reduction will be in place through the end of the project.
• One lane in either direction of Kings Highway may be intermittently closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through fall 2022 for roadway work. Two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew. During this time, intermittent side street closures may occur, maintaining two-way traffic at all times.
• One lane in either direction will be closed at the Kings Highway/Okeechobee Road intersection Sunday through Thursday night from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. to shift traffic.
• Starting the week of Mar. 30, southbound Kings Highway just north of Okeechobee Road will be shifted to the east to facilitate roadway reconstruction. During this time, the southbound to eastbound turning lanes will be reduced to one lane.
• Southbound and northbound Kings Highway at the Orange Avenue intersection is reduced to one lane in each direction through spring 2021, temporarily removing the designated turning lanes, to facilitate roadway reconstruction.
• Full Closure: Crossroads Parkway just east of Kings Highway is closed for reconstruction of Crossroads Parkway. This full closure is anticipated to be in place through April 2020, weather permitting. During this time, motorists heading north on Kings Highway should detour via Graham Road to South Jenkins Road to Okeechobee Road. Motorists heading southbound on Kings Highway should detour via Okeechobee Road. For more information, please contact Community Outreach Specialist Kathleen Dempsey at 772-359-5118.

13. State Road 70 at Midway Road in Ft. Pierce
Traffic Impact:
• Full Closure: The eastbound right turn lane from State Road 70 onto Midway Road will be closed through Apr. 11 to widen the existing turn lane. Motorists should detour via Shinn Road to Midway Road. For more information, please contact Rick Shepherd at 772-643-1338.

14. Port St. Lucie Boulevard from U.S. 1 to Morningside Boulevard in Port St. Lucie
Traffic Impact:
• One westbound lane of Port St. Lucie Boulevard will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. through Apr. 30 for utility work. For more information, please contact Rosendo Raya at 772-626-6272.

15. North Causeway Bridge in Ft. Pierce
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in either direction of North Causeway Bridge will be closed Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for spall repairs. Two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew. For more information, please contact Hernán García Del Punta at 786-338-5711.

16. SE Walton Road at the Railroad Crossing in Ft. Pierce
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in either direction of Walton Road will be closed, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Mar. 2020 for rail work. Two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew. The railroad crossing may be closed intermittently for up to two minutes as trucks move from one side of the tracks to the other. For more information, please contact Katie Mitzner at 407-502-3587.

17. SE Riverview Drive at the Railroad Crossing in Jensen Beach
Traffic Impact:
• One lane in either direction of Riverview Drive will be closed, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Mar. 2020 for rail work. Two-way traffic will be maintained by a flag crew. The railroad crossing may be closed intermittently for up to two minutes as trucks move from one side of the tracks to the other. For more information, please contact Katie Mitzner at 407-502-3587.

18. Port St. Lucie Boulevard from Montauk Street to Sidonia Street in Port St. Lucie
Traffic Impact:
• One westbound lane of Port St. Lucie Boulevard will be closed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. to replace light poles. For more information, please contact Rob McIntosh at 772-577-9764.

How to Plan the Perfect MLB Spring Training Trip

Mar Travel Photo

Article by: The Discoverer Blog
Photo Credit: Evan Meyer/Shutterstock

For most people in North America, spring starts with the vernal equinox in March. But for baseball fans, it starts much earlier than that — around mid-February, to be exact, when MLB teams report to either Florida (the Grapefruit League) or Arizona (the Cactus League) for spring training.

Not too long ago, spring training trips were thought to be reserved for only the most die-hard fanatics. (Think: Jimmy Fallon's character in "Fever Pitch.") These days, though, they're popular among even casual fans, as well as families and road-trippers from neighboring states. And no wonder — what's not to love about a quick getaway filled with sunshine, baseball, and good food?

If you're new to the spring training experience, or thinking about planning a trip to see your favorite team this spring, here are a few tips to help you make the most of your time.

Time Your Trip Strategically

Players report to spring training in early February, but games start toward the end of the month and last through mid- to late March. Sometimes the easiest way to plan your trip is to look at your team's schedule and see when they're playing key rivals, or when they have the highest concentration of games in a short span of time. (Split-squad games happen frequently, so there are some weeks when you can see a team play twice in one day.)

Keep in mind, though, that teams tend to narrow down their rosters as the regular season approaches, so if seeing lots of potential future big leaguers is important to you, it's best to visit earlier in the spring. On the other hand, if you want to get a feel for what the team will look like in the more immediate future, you're better off planning a trip for one of the final weeks, when your favorite starters will play deeper into games. Either way, try to factor in a weekday or two; training facilities can be very crowded on weekends, especially for teams with fan bases in or near Arizona and Florida, so you'll have more opportunities for player interaction on a Wednesday or Thursday than on a Saturday or Sunday.

AMAZING AZAMARA

DSC_451

Article by: Les Leibowitz - Cruiseplanners

When it comes to cruising, the question I’m asked more than any other is “what is your favorite cruise”? My wife Carolyn has an analogy that she likes to use to respond to that question. She says cruising is like pizza, not everyone likes the same. Each person has their individual taste and opinion as to which pizzeria makes the best slice. Cruising follows that same path; everyone has their favorite cruise line and ship. To complicate things even more, there’s different levels of luxury that people like when they travel, and like pizza it can divide a household.

Carolyn and I started cruising when adventure on a ship was considered shuffle board and ping pong tournaments. Now it’s rock climbing walls, bumper cars, ice skating, surfing, and more. Cruising has become a resort at sea with the added value that families want. For people that don’t want all of that, others options exist. We recently tried a new cruise experience, new to us anyway. We sailed Azamara Cruise Line’s “Azamara Journey” one of three ships in the Azamara fleet. As a part of the Royal Caribbean family of brands, its known as a Boutique Luxury Cruise line with concierge style service, and included amenities such as beverages and gratuities. Azamara’s smaller ships only accommodate approximately six hundred guests per sailing allowing longer stays, and more overnights in ports that the larger ships can’t access. Unlike the massive floating cities that today’s newer ships have become, the much smaller ships of Azamara have a lower guest to staff ratio providing you with the personal comforts of a luxury vacation that have become lost by its larger sisters. The Captain along with many of the senior officers can be spotted all around the ship daily making sure that their guests are being well attended to.

Azamara doesn’t sail the typical seven-night loop week after week. Their ships sail longer and more unique itineraries ranging from ten nights to seventeen nights and even longer. Azamara is also know for their signature events including a white night deck party with dinner and dancing, and their “Azamazing evening” where the entire ship is immersed in local culture on a complimentary one of a kind shore excursion. Step onboard, and there are no flashing neon lights, or bold colored upholstered furniture, no loud music or crowded bars in the lobby. Instead, there is a simple décor of light-colored walls, dark wood trim, glass accents, and beautiful staircases wrapped with black wrought iron rails topped with shiny brass rail caps reminiscent of classic ocean liners. The staterooms are also beautiful and simply decorated right down to the fresh vase of flowers.

Dining options are plentiful with an array of choices. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main dining room, the buffet or in the two specialty restaurants. There are no set dining seating’s so you can eat at your leisure. We never experienced a wait and were able to sit at a table of our choice either for two or with others. A very talented group of professional singers, dancers and musicians perform at different times in different venues throughout the cruise. This is definitely not the cruise for a family looking for all the bells and whistles of adventure, the average age of the Azamara guest is fifty-eight years young and above. They market to the retiree with schedule flexibility. However, if you are outside of their target age, know cruising and enjoy a peaceful voyage surrounded by local culture then you will certainly enjoy Azamara as we did.

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How to Love the Middle Seat

Article by: The Discoverer Blog

The middle seat on an airplane has gotten a bad rap. It may not be as alluring as the window seat, which offers a bird’s eye view of the world below, nor does it provide the freedom of the aisle seat, where frequent trips to the lavatory are permitted. But with the right kind of attitude and a certain amount of preparedness, the middle seat can still provide a pleasant flying experience. Don't believe us? Here's how you too can fall in love with the middle seat.

From refraining to recline your seat in flight to deplaning in an orderly fashion, air travel has an inordinate amount of etiquette rules. Regardless of whether you agree with these unspoken mandates, there is one stipulation about middle seats that could work in your favor. Each airplane seat is permitted one distinguished perk — the aisle has the most breathing space, the window seat has a built-in headrest, and the middle seat is allowed both armrests. So, next time you find yourself stuck in the middle, take full advantage of those armrests — you deserve it.

When you’re stuck in a middle seat, there’s a chance that the person sitting next to you is interesting. So why not chat with them? You might meet someone fascinating or learn something new. If the exchange goes well, you could even make a new travel buddy along the way. Even better, the middle seat is the perfect place for professional networking — you never know where a new connection might be. Either way, a little friendly conversation can go a long way and the middle seat is the perfect place to start.

Bringing your own entertainment is crucial for any flight, but especially when you're in the middle seat. If the middle seat makes you feel cramped or awkward, distraction is key. Download Netflix shows on your phone, dive into a new podcast, or bring a good book. Most important of all, make sure you come prepared. Charge your phone or pack an extra battery pack. If you’re a speedy reader, bring more than one book. With a little diversion, time will fly by — even in the middle seat.

Whether you’re booking basic economy, traveling with a partner or friend, or using an airline without assigned seating, a middle seat could be in your near future. So why not embrace it? Any plane ride — no matter how long — is only for a finite amount of time and anything that is temporary is manageable. Instead of focusing on the middle seat, focus on where you’re headed. Hopefully, it’s somewhere exciting, adventurous, or beautiful — and that should make your undesirable seat location totally worth it.

There Are So Many Benefits of Traveling?!

Traveling

Article by: Pete R.

Everyone keeps saying how important it is to travel. So what's all this fuss about?

The benefits of traveling are not just a one-time thing: traveling changes you physically and psychologically. Having little time or money isn't a valid excuse. You can fly for cheap very easily. If you have a full-time job and a family, you can still travel on the weekends or holidays, even with a baby.

Here are some of the main benefits of traveling. And I'm sure that once you get started, you'll find some more yourself!

Traveling Improves Your Health
Traveling Disconnects You From Your Daily Life
Traveling Makes You Smarter
Traveling Improves Your Understanding of Other Cultures
Traveling Makes You More Interesting
Traveling Allows You to Try Amazing Food
Traveling Makes You Feel Like An Adventurer
Traveling Expands Your (Real) Social Network
Traveling Creates Lifetime Memories
Traveling Makes You Love Your Home Even More

Final Words On the Benefits of Traveling

Traveling Doesn't Make You Feel (As) Bad For Spending Money

There is (yet) another one by Mark Twain: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do.” Cliché as this may sound, the money you spend on travel, is an investment in yourself. Travel doesn't make you feel as bad for spending money.

And one last benefit of traveling: it might provide some money when your flight is disrupted!

A Real ID is a Form of Identification

As interesting as this may seem, so many people are still not aware of a deadline on the horizon for what is known as “Real ID”.  A Real ID is a form of Identification that meets increased security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Travelers will be required to provide either a Real ID or another TSA approved form of Identification in order to fly after October 1, 2020.

The following is a recent article from the NY Times detailing what you need to know about the importance of the Real ID, and how to obtain them.

By Tariro Mzezewa

Oct. 2, 2019

Americans are not ready for the Real ID Act that goes into full effect a year from now, according to a survey released last week by the nonprofit trade group U.S. Travel Association.

The Real ID Act was passed by Congress in 2005 to increase security measures concerning state-issued personal identification cards, mainly driver’s licenses, that are often used to access airports and military bases and nuclear installations. Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, only Real ID-compliant documentation will be accepted for boarding commercial flights, including domestic flights, and entering federal buildings and military bases.

Compliant documentation includes passports (which are still required for international flights), passport cards and trusted traveler identification like Global Entry. But a majority of Americans turn to their driver’s licenses to pass through security for their domestic air travel, and only 42 percent of Americans hold passports.

Some 99 million Americans do not have the Real ID-compliant identification, the U.S. Travel Association said.

 Once the October deadline is passed, travelers will be turned away from airports when they cannot provide the approved identification at security checkpoints, potentially causing confusion and chaos.

“If Real ID went into effect tomorrow, almost 80,000 people trying to board a plane would be denied on Day 1,” the U.S. Travel Association said in a statement.

“This is significant not only because it will inconvenience travelers and create confusion at U.S. airports. It could do significant damage to our nation’s economy,” said Roger Dow, the president and chief executive of the U.S. Travel Association.

Many states, which oversee the task of issuing and processing driver’s licenses and many other forms of documents used to prove identification, were slow to adopt. Some have experienced delays, miscommunication with the federal government and technical glitches in their effort to issue Real IDs​ to residents​.

The Department of Homeland Security, tasked with implementing the Real ID Act, reminded Americans to get their Real IDs and acknowledged that significant progress has been made in issuing the IDs in less than two years​. Forty-seven states are currently issuing the IDs, up from 26 in January ​2017.

To receive a Real ID-compliant license, the Department of Homeland Security requires people to provide documentation showing their full legal name, date of birth, Social Security number, two proofs of address of principal residence and lawful status. Licenses are still processed by the state; some states may require more information.

​Travelers also have the option of getting an Enhanced ID, ​which is Real ID-compliant and can be used for domestic travel, as well as for traveling from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries by sea or land, but not on flights. Enhanced IDs are only available to American citizens, while anyone with lawful​​ presence in the United States can get a Real ID​. ​​

Most Real ID licenses display a star in the top right corner, and Enhanced ID license have the word “Enhanced” printed across the top span.

The U.S. Travel Association is urging Americans to check their Real ID status at their state’s motor vehicle department. The organization is also asking states to encourage residents to upgrade their license sooner than later.

For more information visit the Department of Homeland Security website at www.dhs.gov.

Inventive Hotel Hacks for the Savvy Traveler

Article by: The Discoverer Blog
We can't deter chain hotels from serving sad scrambled eggs at continental breakfast or cap the amount of running kids around the fifth-floor hot tub, but we can alleviate some of the anguish. We know your king suite's not perfect. But a few weeks ago one Twitter user, Rick Klau, shared a genius hotel trick that spawned a brilliant thread of travelers sharing their best hotel tricks. Check out these eight inventive hotel hacks that won't stop trending on Twitter. You, savvy traveler, deserve only the best rest.

Keep the Curtains Closed With a Hanger

That tiny crack about a newspaper's width will make you wish you could gauge your eyes out at 3 a.m. when the cheap orange street lights are aglow beneath the same Chili's sign. @johnfein's solution is shutting the curtains with a hotel pen clip. Others chimed in sharing that binder clips, hair clips, safety pins, and clothespins do the trick too, if you can remember to bring them along. However, the two clips on the hanger in your closet will work too.

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