A look at recent travel news, deals and tips.
Rehearsal rate The Sanctuary Hotel in New York has a "Dress Rehearsal" rate that's perfect for Thanksgiving. The hotel, which undergoing a multimillion-dollar upgrade, is offering nine of its newly renovated rooms at $159 per night. Guests also receive a $50 credit for a future stay when they give feedback to the hotel. After the renovation is complete, rates will start at $309. The offer is good through March 31. I checked last week, and there were rooms available for Thanksgiving. For reservations, call 212-382-0600 or use code DRESS1 at portlandsquarehotel.com.
Celebrity guest The cruise ship Celebrity Mercury began sailing from the port of Baltimore on Monday, offering nine-night and 12-night cruises to the Caribbean. Celebrity Cruise Line has a reputation for elegant, upscale cruises, and the Mercury is more of a traditional ocean liner, grand but understated. Fares seem to be reasonable, with a nine-night Bahamas cruise in December starting at $499 for an inside cabin.
Dream on Meanwhile, Disney Cruise Line has announced plans for its newest ship, Disney Dream, to launch in 2011. The ocean liner, which will sail from Port Canaveral, Fla. - about a 45-minute drive from Walt Disney World in Orlando - will feature several innovations, including a lounge where the skyline changes nightly, wall art that comes to life and a shipboard water flume ride called the Aquaduck.
Flying high? A United Airlines pilot was arrested last week at London's Heathrow Airport and charged with being over the alcohol limit. Under British law, according to the Associated Press, pilots are "forbidden from having any more than 20 micrograms of alcohol for each 100 milliliters of blood in their system, or .02 percent. For most average-sized men, that is the equivalent of having just had about half a glass of regular-strength beer." The pilot, Erwin Vermont Washington of Lakewood, Colo., was in the cockpit and ready to fly 124 passengers and 11 crew members from London to Chicago on Monday when he failed a breath test. United has since suspended Washington.
Free airport perk Google is offering free Wi-Fi at a number of airports, including BWI-Marshall, this holiday season. (For a list of airports, go to FreeHolidayWiFi.com) Also, Yahoo announced it will provide free Wi-Fi access in New York's Times Square.
Stuffed on Thanksgiving Speaking of the holidays, the Air Transport Association of America said it expects Thanksgiving travel to be down about 4 percent from last year. But don't expect that to mean you can avoid the middle seat. Airlines have been cutting back on capacity, so many planes will be stuffed like a turkey.
Prompt planes More U.S. airlines arrived on time in September, according to a report last week from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. The carriers recorded an overall on-time arrival rate of 86.2 percent, the highest for the month in six years. Airlines with the best on-time arrival rates were Hawaiian Airlines, Alaska Airlines and Southwest Airlines.