News from your YMCA Alumni Travel Club

September 2023

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America's Music Cities:

Join us Sept. 27-Oct. 4 2024

an 8-day music motor coach tour including

Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans

Elvis never really "left the building." Spend a full day exploring one of America's most visited attractions: Graceland, the fabulous home grounds of Elvis Presley's estate in Memphis on our "America's Music Cities" motor coach tour.

An 8-day musical journey

Join us on an unforgettable musical motor coach journey to America’s Music Cities. From Nashville, the Home of Country Music to Memphis, the Birthplace of the Blues and on to New Orleans with its deep Jazz roots, you will be entertained and energized every step of the way. Click on the video above to see what's in store when you visit Elvis Pressley's Graceland in Memphis. Pack your blue suede shows.

Music Cities Details

New travel security system coming to European Union countries in 2024

By Bob Cook, Go Travel Sales Director

Bob Cook

ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System) is a travel authorization system being introduced by the European Union. ETIAS is designed to enhance security and safety within the Schengen Area, which is a group of European countries that have abolished passport and other types of border control at their shared borders. The exact date of implementation has not been set yet. However, it is widely expected to become live in 2024.


ETIAS will require travelers from visa-exempt countries such as the United States to obtain an online travel authorization before their trip to any member country of the European Union. This authorization is not a visa. It is a screening process that takes travelers' information and runs it through various security databases. The process is expected to typically take anywhere from 10 minutes to 96 hours. If additional documentation is required from the applicant, processing times can potentially take up to four weeks.

The ETIAS must be applied for online prior to arrival to the EU. Each eligible traveler, regardless of age, will require an ETIAS to visit EU member countries. The cost of an ETIAS is €7, however, individuals under the age of 18, or over the age of 70, will not need to pay the fee. It will be good for three years, but if your passport expires in those three years, you will need to apply again.


The following data will be required for each ETIAS application: personal biometric data (e.g., name, gender, date of birth, etc.), passport or travel document information, EU member state of entry, background questions on an applicant's health, criminal record as well as previous EU immigration history.


Upon submission online, each application will be checked across various data bases. Usually, 95 percent of applications will receive a decision within minutes of submission.

Atlantic Crossing: Florida to Italy

April 21-May 3, 2024

Less than a century ago, ocean liners were the only way to travel between the United States and Europe. Today, you’ll relax and play your way traversing the Atlantic Ocean from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Rome, Italy on Royal Caribbean’s new Odyssey of the Seas (just launched in 2021). Get this: A private balcony cabin is only $1,604 per person.

This is a one-of-a-kind rare route with an exciting port stop in Ponta Delgado, Azores. (The Azores are actually the tops of some of the tallest mountains on the planet, as measured from their base at the bottom of the ocean.) Along our final few days enroute to The Eternal City of Rome, enjoy port stops in Malaga and Cartagena, Spain and Florence, Italy.

Add some extra days in Italy or anywhere you wish to travel. GoTravel agents will help you plan and manage your trip. Or, just relax across the seas and fly home from Rome. Your hosts are Chuck and Johnie Mae Dandridge of the Schreiner Chapter.

Visit our Website

The Land of the Midnight Sun

and Summer Solstice

This is an amazing 16-day cruise in the land of the fjords from June 17 to July 3, 2025 aboard the famous Emerald Princess. A wide range of cabin choices are waiting for you at a price point to fit your wallet and desires.

The cruise embarks from and returns to Southampton, England allowing for pre- or post- extensions to London.

Have full peace of mind: Register now for the best choice of cabins and pricing. You may cancel if you must up to 75 days before departure.

We will celebrate Midsummer in Norway at sea June 23 during the Summer Solstice on St. John's Eve -- the longest day of the year when the sun and fun never set.

Your YMCA Alumni hosts are Patrick and Jan Murphy. Patrick is past chair of the YMCA Alumni Travel Club and he and Jan are members of the Schreiner Chapter.

Norway Details

A Winter Warm-up...

Caribbean Style

January 27-February 4, 2024

Warm up your winter early in 2024 with an 8-night cruise from Fort Lauderdale, Florida into the Southern Caribbean. Visit different, delightful ports of call like Aruba, Curacao and more. Take in all the fun of Royal Caribbean's ultra-popular Symphony of the Seas. The ship is as much the destination as the ports she visits, and is a perfect ship for new cruisers or those looking for lots to do on board. Our Travel Club is offering significant savings off regular Royal Caribbean pricing for this trip.

Caribbean Details

Adventures at a glance

Jan. 27-Feb. 4, 2024: Winter Warm-up in Caribbean

April 21-May 3, 2024: Atlantic Crossing

August 2-8, 2024: Scottish Dream & Tattoo*

Sept. 27 - Oct. 4, 2024: America's Music Cities

Jan. 26-Feb. 2, 2025: Alumni Reunion at Sea Cruise

June 17-July 3, 2025: Land of the Midnight Sun & Summer Solstice cruise

**Scottish Dream is sold out. Join waiting list.

YMCA Alumni Reunion at Sea

January 26–February 2, 2025

Plan right NOW to be part of YMCA Alumni’s Reunion at Sea aboard the fabulous Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas for a 7-night cruise into the beautiful Western Caribbean embarking and returning to Galveston, Texas. Register now and book your stateroom for the best choices and pricing. You may cancel up until October 2024 if necessary, so no worries.

Reunion at Sea Details
YMCA Alumni Travel Club Committee

Chair: Bill Hooson

Craig Altschul * Bill Ching 

Chuck Dandridge * Shayna Ellovich

Margaret Fogarty * Don Macher * Patrick Murphy

Craig Schaefer * Charlotte Waters

Bob Cook, Go Travel, consultant

GOING PLACES is written, edited and produced by

craig altschul + associates (ca+a).

Next issue of GOING PLACES: November 15, 2023