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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Tickets to S. Asia may be rebooked

From wire reports

Travelers holding airline tickets to South Asia may find they’re eligible to postpone their trip or get a refund, even if their destination is quite far from areas hit by last month’s tsunami.

For example, Northwest is allowing passengers with tickets for January to delay travel if they are traveling to or through the eight countries the airline serves in South Asia. The offer includes Singapore, which wasn’t touched, and all of India, a vast territory where only a tip of the coast was affected.

Northwest passengers can delay travel without penalty for one year from the issue date of their tickets. United requires that postponed trips be rebooked by Feb. 28.

Most airlines are inviting frequent fliers to donate miles to the relief effort, and some have pitched in themselves with seats for relief workers, money and cargo space.

If you’ve booked a cruise with stops in South Asia, anticipate port changes if stops were planned in countries damaged by the tsunami. But forget about getting a refund or changing your travel date: Cruise ships reserve the right to change ports for just about any reason.

Among those that have announced port changes: Star Cruises’ SuperStar Virgo and SuperStar Gemini will bypass Thailand’s Phuket until further notice. Star Clippers has temporarily relocated the home port of the Star Flyer from Phuket to Singapore. Swan Hellenic’s Minerva removed four tsunami-affected ports from its current itinerary.

Although they steer clear of damaged landscapes, cruise ships were not affected by the tsunami; the destructive forces of underwater events are not unleashed until the water hits spots too shallow to dock a major ship. In fact, some of the above liners were under sail in the Indian Ocean when the tsunami hit, with no ill effects.

‘Apprentice’ sets sail

Two words sum up a trip being offered to fans of “The Apprentice”: You’re sailing!

An eight-day cruise themed to the hit NBC show will sail from New York to the Caribbean on Sept. 26, after a bon voyage party in Manhattan with a send-off from Donald Trump. Cast members from the show – including Bill Rancic, the first apprentice, and Stacie J., Jennifer C. and Raj from the second season – will be on board.

The trip will take place on a Carnival ship, The Legend, which is being renamed Trump World Legend for the week.

There also will be on-board competitions involving teams and tasks, just like on TV. In addition to cash prizes, one person will win the grand prize: spending a day as CEO of, which is sponsoring the cruise.

Other on-board events will include lectures on business and career topics; a masquerade ball; singles-only events; and a poker tournament. Regular cruise amenities will be offered as well, including children’s programs for guests traveling with kids and shore excursions.

Stops are planned in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where there will be an evening of club-hopping; Tortola; and St. Thomas, where a golf tournament is scheduled.

The ship has 1,062 cabins and tickets start at $1,199 per person, based on double occupancy. The price covers basic meals but not taxes, gratuities, liquor and other extras like the golf event.

For details or to make a reservation, contact or (800) 504-3398.

Trump tops list

The Trump International Hotel in New York, Hotel Iroquois on the Beach on Mackinac Island, Mich., and the Inn at Little Washington in Washington, Va., were among the hotels scoring a perfect 100 in Conde Nast Traveler’s annual “Gold List” of the 700 best places to stay around the globe.

Thousands of the magazine’s readers rated properties and cruises for rooms, service, food, location, design and activities. The full list is published in the January issue.

Trump International was one of just seven places around the world to get a perfect score for rooms. The others were the Amankila, in Manggis, Bali; the Banyan Tree in Bangkok; The Fullerton in Singapore; the Moorea Pearl Resort in Polynesia; the Mombo Camp in Botswana, and the Singita Private Game Reserve in South Africa.

Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tenn. was among the resorts scoring 100 for service. The Inn at Little Washington was the only U.S. property to get 100 for food.