Disney World makes FastPass Plus changes
Walt Disney World is implementing some notable changes to its FastPass Plus program. Guests at the Orlando theme parks will still be able to select up to three experiences in advance at one park per day, but they can now also book fewer than three. Once their first three FastPass Plus selections are used, they can make an additional FastPass Plus selection via the MyDisneyExperience mobile app or through the Fast Pass kiosks. Once they've used the fourth selection, they will be able to choose another, and so on. Guests with valid park-hopper tickets can make their additional selection(s) at another park.
Ponant to introduce Cuba sailings in 2017
Ponant, the French luxury small-ship cruise line, said it will offer seven- and eight-night sailings in Cuba next year. The line will use its smallest and oldest vessel, the 64-passenger Le Ponant, for the cruises. Ponant said the cruises would be open to Americans through a "people to people" travel program onboard. No dates or prices were given.
Viking cancels its Istanbul excursions
Viking Cruises canceled Istanbul shore excursions and curtailed its time in the Istanbul port this spring after a pair of suicide bombings killed tourists in the city this year. The decision affects three sailings, two on the Viking Star and one on the Viking Sea. Viking added a full day call in Canakkale to replace Istanbul on the itinerary. The line also offered full refunds to customers who wished to cancel Istanbul precruise programs. No Viking ship is slated to visit Istanbul again until August, and no changes to future sailings are planned.
Wynn Vegas plans call for hotel tower, lake
Wynn Resorts is planning to add a 1,000-room hotel tower and a 38-acre lake on the Las Vegas Strip, a project it is calling Wynn Paradise Park. The complex, which still needs approval by the company's board, would be built on the site of the Wynn Golf Club and would also include 260,000 square feet of meetings space and a casino.
Royal creates two-day shore excursions
Royal Caribbean International is introducing shore excursions that include overnight stays on select cruises. The new Multi-Day Adventures tours offer two-day explorations in places like Bangkok and Tikal, Guatemala, enabling passengers to disembark in one destination and rejoin at the next port of call. They include fully guided tours of the destinations' most iconic places, dining, airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodations and transportation. Pricing wasn't disclosed.
Four Seasons to add a Los Cabos property
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts plans to open a luxury hotel in Los Cabos, Mexico, in 2018. The 145-room hotel will be Four Seasons' third in Mexico; the company also has properties in Mexico City and Punta Mita.
United abandons plan to add slots at Newark
United is abandoning its attempt to purchase additional takeoff and landing slots at Newark Airport, a move the U.S. government had sued to prevent over fears it would lead to higher fares and fewer choices for passengers. United controls 902 of the roughly 1,200 slots at the airport but doesn't use all of them, according to the lawsuit; it has more than 10 times as many slots as any other airline.
Friends & Colleagues
Tom Staggs is stepping down as COO of the Walt Disney Co. on May 6, a little more than a year after a promotion to the position pegged him as the heir apparent to CEO Bob Iger. Staggs will remain with Disney as a special adviser to Iger until the end of September. His departure ends a 26-year career at Disney. During that time, he served as CFO and also headed the Parks and Resorts division. "I'm proud of what we've accomplished together, immensely grateful for the privilege of working with him, and confident that he will be enormously successful in whatever opportunity he chooses," Iger said. • • • Alexandre de Juniac, the chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM, has been chosen to succeed the retiring Tony Tyler as director general and CEO of IATA. The appointment is scheduled to be confirmed at IATA's annual meeting June 1 to 3 in Dublin. IATA Chairman Andres Conesa said that de Juniac's "broad experience in aviation and government makes him the ideal candidate to take our association to even greater heights." De Juniac has served as Air France-KLM's chairman and CEO since 2013. Prior to that, he was chairman and CEO of Air France from 2011 to 2013. Air France-KLM said its board of directors has prepared a plan to appoint a successor to de Juniac. • • • Celebrity Cruises has created the position of chief marketing officer and has named Peter Giorgi to fill the post. Giorgi comes to the cruise line from Airbnb, where he served as global head of advertising and content. In his new job, he will direct brand strategy and development, digital marketing, social media, research, loyalty, direct marketing and advertising at Celebrity. Trade marketing will continue to be the domain of vice president of sales Dondra Ritzenthaler. Brand President Lisa Lutoff-Perlo praised Giorgi for his "impressive experience and style of creativity" and said his ability to develop ideas based on original or unconventional approaches was just what Celebrity needed.