Listen to the Travel Update in RealAudio.
Can't hear the audio? Get help.
That Sinking Feeling...
On Friday, terrified passengers watched from life boats as their luxury
cruise ship, Sun Vista, sank off the coast of Malaysia. Passengers were
ordered to evacuate when crew members were unable to put out a fire in the
main engine room. All passengers and crew members survived. They waited in
the life boats until they were whisked to safety by navy vessels and
Travelers' Bill of Rights
A Georgia congressman wants to guarantee basic rights for travelers
arriving from foreign airports. Representative John Lewis says he's
drafting legislation based on the testimony of two women suspected of
carrying illegal drugs. One of them, a Colombian-born U.S. citizen said she
was stripped-searched and forced to take laxatives. No drugs were found on
either of the women. Lewis says his legislation would require that
travelers be given access to an attorney within 24 hours of being
detained. It would also require racial sensitivity training for all
inspectors. Customs officials say that nearly three thousand pounds of heroin
seized in the U-S last year was taken from airline passengers, including
640 pounds concealed inside bodies.
Discrimination in Daytona?
Five black vacationers who went to Daytona Beach over spring break are
suing the Adam's Mark Hotel, claiming they were singled out as security
risks. The group was there for Black College Reunion, which attracts
thousands of visitors every year. The suit alleges the men and women were
overcharged, made to wear orange wristbands, and were given rooms without
phones or housekeeping. The plaintiffs, mostly professionals in their 20s,
are being represented by the
NAACP. The hotel isn't commenting on the lawsuit.
Disneyland Removes Violent Games
Disneyland is pulling the plug on violent video games. The company says
about 30 machines will be removed from park arcades and Disney-owned
hotels. The announcement came in response to the Columbine High School
Tourist Tax in Mexico
If you want to visit Mexico this summer for more than 72 hours, plan
on kicking in an extra 15 bucks. There's an exemption for a couple of
spots just south of the California border. Mexico says, hey, they're just
following the lead of other countries that tax tourists, including the
US, which by the way, charges Mexicans 45 dollars for tourist visas.
Ride the (Eu)Rail for Less
So baby boomers, do you remember the thrill of your first Eurail Pass?
Now there's a chance to recapture those days of wine, bread, and maybe a
little less cheese now that you're older. Eurail is offering a 40 percent
discount in honor of its own 40th Birthday, to any traveler born in 1959.
Change of Address for Grand Canyon?
One hundred million new stamps were mistakenly printed up with a picture
of the canyon and a caption reading: "Grand Canyon, Colorado." The Grand
Canyon, when reached in its actual home state of Arizona and asked to
comment, merely yawned in a wide, wide chasm...
With other news you should know before traveling, here's Cheryl Glaser
with this week's Travel Advisory.
by Chery Glaser
Instability in Uganda
Last week we reported how Uganda declared Bwindi National Park
safe once again for tourists. But now the rebel National Army for The
Liberation of Uganda is threatening to attack Westerners. So this week,
U.S. Peace Corps operations over there have been suspended.
Bummer at the Beach
Finally, after two weeks of holding their noses, divers repaired a broken
sewage pipeline off the shores of Rio de Janeiro. Tons of the raw stuff
have been flooding two of Rios' most famous beaches, Copacabana and
Ipanema. Authorities warn it's still not safe to go swimming.
And for a twist on our weekly warnings: Mexican officials may issue a
travel advisory about the dangers of visiting Houston, Texas. Three
Mexican citizens have been killed by Houston police officers in the last