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All aboard: Disney Cruise Line looks for workers to man its ship kid clubs

If you’ve dreamed of working on the high seas, then Disney is looking for you.

The cruise line that Mickey built is hiring youth activities counselors to live and work on its fleet of cruise ships, Metro reported.

>> Read more trending news 

The hours are long, according to Metro, at 80 hours a week, but the job offers fun and amazing ports of call in Mexico, Barcelona and Disney’s private island Castaway Cay.

The job posting opened in December, but it appears that the cruise line is still recruiting.

But not anyone can apply or be hired. You have to have two years’ recent experience working with children in a “high-volume, fast-paced recreational/camp environment.”

Among the other qualifications:

  • Must be able to command the attention of large groups of children
  • At least 20 years old
  • Work a seven-day 70-84 hour work week with limited time off
  • Adhere to Disney Cruise Line appearance guidelines

It would also help to be bilingual in Spanish or Portuguese and have experience working with children with special needs.

If chosen, cruise line cast members live with a roommate on board the ship and also must be willing and able to follow and lead the shipboard emergency procedures.

The positions are for any of the four Disney ships: the Wonder, Magic, Fantasy or Dream, and Disney’s private Bahamian island, the Liverpool Echo reported.

Click here to apply.

Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

A Florida beach has been named the nation's best in TripAdvisor's annual Travelers' Choice awards.

>> See the full rankings here

The travel website announced Tuesday that Clearwater Beach was the best in the U.S. in 2018, climbing from No. 4 in 2017. The beach also topped the national list in 2016. 

>> Read more trending news 

Meanwhile, Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, took the award for the best beach worldwide.

>> Click here or scroll down to see which other beaches made the lists

Disney announces when Toy Story Land will open

Fans of the “Toy Story” film franchise now know when they’ll be able to “shrink down” to the size of Andy’s toys and experience the immersive world Walt Disney Imagineers have been building.

Guests to Walt Disney World’s Hollywood Studios will officially be able to visit’s Andy’s backyard playsets starting June 30. 

>> Read more trending news 

Imagineers have been busy designing and creating rides like Alien Swirling Saucers, where riders climb into flying saucers, accompanied by the little green men and they spin across the floor.

A third track will be available on the popular Toy Story Mania shooting game/ride that has been a park staple since 2008, park officials said.

Finally, the centerpiece of the new land riders can climb into Slinky Dog and race through the park on Slinky Dog Dash coaster.

Food won’t be an issue in the new themed land either with Woody’s Lunch Box, according to Walt Disney World officials, which looks just like a classic metal lunch box that will be a quick service location that creates “tasty meals and old-fashioned soda floats.”

Related:

WATCH: United Airlines plane loses engine cover on way to Honolulu, makes emergency landing

Passengers aboard what one woman called the "scariest flight of my life" are breathing sighs of relief after making a safe landing following a midair engine problem.

>> Watch passenger video from the flight here

According to CNN, United Flight 1175 from San Francisco lost an engine cover over the Pacific Ocean less than an hour before it was set to land in Honolulu.

>> DOT reveals which airlines ranked highest for complaints in 2017

"There was a loud bang ... and then the plane really started shaking," passenger Allison Sudiacal told KHNL. "It was like rattling and the plane was kind of shaking like boom, boom, boom."

Passenger Maria Falaschi tweeted several photos along with the caption, "Scariest flight of my life."

The Boeing 777, which was carrying 363 passengers and 10 crew members, "declared an emergency due to a vibration in the right engine" before safely landing about 40 minutes later in Honolulu, the Federal Aviation Administration said, according to KHON. Emergency personnel were "standing by as a precaution," the Hawaii Department of Transportation said.

>> Read more trending news 

"Our pilots followed all necessary protocols to safely land the aircraft," United said in a statement, according to KHON. "The aircraft taxied to the gate and passengers deplaned normally.”

The FAA said it is investigating the incident.

DOT reveals which airlines ranked highest for complaints in 2017

The U.S. Department of Transportation received 18,148 complaints about air travel in 2017.

It was a year when airline incidents were in the headlines, including a United passenger dragged from a plane and a Delta passenger mauled by an emotional support dog.

>> Read more trending news 

The number of complaints about air travel to the federal government last year — which included complaints about airlines, tour operators and other travel industry companies — was up 1.3 percent from 2016, according to statistics for the year released recently by the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

The DOT logged 851 complaints about treatment of disabled passengers in 2017 and 98 complaints about discrimination, according to the department’s air travel consumer report.

>> On AJC.com: PHOTO GALLERY: Air travel complaints by category

Spirit Airlines, an ultra low-cost carrier, had the highest rate of complaints. A total of 11,570 of the complaints were about U.S. airlines, down slightly from 2016, while more than 6,000 complaints in 2017 were about foreign airlines.

Here’s the ranking of U.S. airlines based on the rate of complaints received by the DOT in 2017:

Airline — Complaints per 100,000 passengers boarding planes

  1. Southwest — 0.47
  2. SkyWest — 0.53
  3. Alaska — 0.57
  4. ExpressJet — 0.73
  5. Delta — 0.92
  6. Hawaiian — 0.95
  7. JetBlue — 1.14
  8. United — 1.89
  9. Virgin America — 1.92
  10. American — 1.96
  11. Frontier — 2.78
  12. Spirit — 5.59

Source: U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics

Flying with germs: 3 things you never want to touch at airports, on planes

We know that airplanes can be a breeding ground for germs and other nasty things that could get you sick, but did you ever think about what you’re exposing yourself to before you even get to the jetway?

A study that was recently released found that the airport itself is a haven for germs and bacteria and it is enough to make those who aren’t germaphobic squirm and grab the hand sanitizer.

>> Read more trending news 

Insurancequotes.com tested six surfaces at three different U.S. airports, including Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, over the past holiday season.

The worst the scientists found were the self check-in kiosk where they found 253,857 CFUs (colony-forming units) per square inch. One screen had more than a million.

The second worst, the armrests on the benches at the gate, which had 21,630 CFUs.

Coming in third, the water fountain button which had 19,181 CFUs.

As for the planes, you’ll want to try to not visit the lavatory if possible. The flush button had 95,145 CFUs. The seat back tray where we use our laptops, iPads and eat our snacks had 11,595 CFUs. Finally, the seat belt buckle had 1,116 CFUs.

The Federal Aviation Administration, FAA, doesn’t regulate how and when airlines clean planes, according to TravelPulse. And when there is time to clean, strong disinfectants are not used, only general cleaners, TravelPulse reported.

So what can be done to clean the areas flyers encounter, other than strong cleaners? Dubai International Airports have started using facial recognition for flight check-in where people won’t have to touch kiosks, AARP reported.

Related video:

Disney raises ticket prices again in Florida, California

If you have plans to go to the Happiest Place on Earth, be prepared to pay more for the privilege. 

Disney officials have announced that both American parks have increased ticket prices. The increase went into effect Sunday at the theme parks at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, The Associated Press reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Take a look at the breakdown in pricing.

Walt Disney World:

Magic Kingdom

Value - one-day tickets: $109 (adults), $103 (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: $119 (adults), $113 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $129 (adults) $123 (children)

EPCOT 

Value - one-day tickets: $102 (adults), $96 (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: $114 (adults), $108 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $122 (adults) $116 (children)

Hollywood Studios

Value - one-day tickets: $102 (adults), $96 (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: one day $114 (adults), $108 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $122 (adults) $116 (children)

Animal Kingdom

Value - one-day tickets: $102 (adults), $96 (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: $114 (adults), $108 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $122 (adults) $116 (children)

Annual passes have also increased, as well as Florida resident and Disney Vacation Club ticket pricing has changed. Discounts are available depending on how the tickets are purchases and for how long. 

Disneyland:

Prices are the same for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks.

Value - one-day tickets: $ 97 (adults), $ (children)

Regular - one-day tickets: $117 (adults), $108 (children)

Peak - one-day tickets: $135 (adults) $116 (children)

Passports to cost more in coming weeks; how to apply, renew before price hike

If international travel plans are even potentially in your future, you may want to start planning now. 

That’s because starting on April 2, fees will be going up on passports if you have to go to a post office or other consular offices, Fox News reported.

For those who renew via mail, the fee is said not to apply, according to Fox News.

The Department of State is raising the execution fees from $25 to $35.

The cost of an adult passport will be $145 after April 2. A child passport for those 16 or younger will cost $115.

>> Read more trending news 

Fees for passport cards will go up also, but they are a cheaper option for people who want to go to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. They are not approved for international air travel however. The cost of those will become $65 for adults and $50 for children, USAToday reported.

The postal service studied how much it costs them to process a passport, and found that the original $25 fee didn’t cover it.

The application fees, which make up the majority of the money needed for a passport, have remained unchanged, USAToday reported.

For more on how to apply for or renew a passport, click here.

Florida ranked worst state in the U.S., according to travel site

It appears nothing could help Florida from ranking as the worst state in the nation, according to travel website Thrillist

In the site’s “Definitive and Final Ranking of all 50 States,” Florida came in at No. 50, with an “awfulness résumé so staggeringly impressive that it couldn’t go any other way. You were born for this. Embrace it,” the site said. 

>> See the full list here

Could it be the infamous “Florida man” crime stories? 

Unfortunately, Thrillist did not give a more detailed explanation for why Florida placed last.

“Because this is the internet, we expect disagreements,” according to Thrillist

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

So which states ranked high on the list? 

Michigan made the top of the list for its “embarrassment of beer riches” and how it has become a “rising underdog you can’t help but root for,” Thrillist states. 

Maine made the No. 2 spot, with Kentucky at No. 3. 

The states that ranked close with Florida are Delaware at No. 49, Ohio at 48 and Arizona at 47. 

Here are some memorable excerpts from the list:

>> Read more trending news 

8. Washington: According to Thrillist, "Seattle would be the greatest city in the U.S. if it didn’t rain for 10 straight months and Seahawk fans would occasionally just chill out and stop yelling."

>> On KIRO7.com: Release date unveiled for Michael Bennett's book 'Things that Make White People Uncomfortable'

11. Texas: The site said Texas has an "unmistakable magic," possibly "because it takes the 'everything is bigger in Texas' motto to literal heights."

>> On Austin360.com: SXSW puts a premium on art in 2018

12. Pennsylvania: Thrillist said the state "has certain charms that become increasingly apparent when you look past the obvious stuff," lauding its "roast pork numbers" and Pittsburgh as an "underrated ... cultural center."

>> On WPXI.com: Tom Hanks to play Mr. Rogers in movie based on his life

13. New York: The site joked, "15 New Yorkers have definitely already commented to tell us that this ranking is an abomination and affront to decency on par with Montreal 'bagels' and actual home ownership."

>> On WBLI.com: Inside scoop: What’s it like to be a Grammys seat filler?

14. Tennessee: Thrillist commended the state's "hot chicken, the Stax Museum, sneakily passionate hockey fanbases, ribs, Beale Street, state songs, dressing weirdly nice for college football games, and theme parks dedicated to busty country musicians."

>> On Fox13Memphis.com: PHOTOS: Justin Timberlake memorabilia now on display at Memphis Music Hall of Fame

22. North Carolina: The site gave a shout-out to North Carolina's barbecue and its "weirdly fascinating bikini string of beachfront known as the Outer Banks."

>> On WSOCTV.com: North Carolina mountain towns hope to see strong tourism season

30. Massachusetts: Thrillist compared the state to a radio "station that only plays NPR think pieces on jimmies, mixed in with snippets of sports talk-radio callers yelling (also, some Dropkick Murphys)."

>> Tom Brady reportedly cuts short radio interview over remark about daughter

32: Oklahoma: The site praised Oklahoma's eponymous musical and onion burgers but gave the state "negative infinity points for [sports columnist] Skip Bayless."

>> On Fox23.com: Tulsa celebrates 120th birthday

34. Georgia: Thrillist described the state as "that kid who everyone kind of can’t stand but tolerates because their parents are friends and they usually have good snacks at their house."

>> On AJC.com: One site ranked the best food in each state – here’s what they picked for Georgia

39. South Carolina: Thrillist likes Charleston but seemed unimpressed with "everything else."

48. Ohio: The site dubbed Ohio "the Florida of the North."

>> On DaytonDailyNews.com: 5 times crazy weather changes made you say, ‘Yup, that’s Ohio for you’

– The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

2 more Carnival cruise ships fail health inspections

Two of the newest ships in the Carnival Cruise Lines fleet have received failing grades in health inspections designed to control the spread of gastrointestinal illnesses

Carnival Vista and Carnival Breeze both scored below a passing grade of 86, the Miami Herald reported.Vista, the cruise line's newest ship, received a 79 while Breeze was given a 77. 

>> Read more trending news 

Vista's crew hid potentially hazardous food, equipment and dirty dishware from the inspectors from the Centers for Disease Control, the Herald reported. The buffet included fruit flies, and on-board illnesses were not documented appropriately, according to the December report by the CDC's Prevention’s Vessel Sanitation Program.

Previously, a November report cited a failing score of 78 for Carnival Triumph, an older ship that gained notoriety in 2013 when an engine room fire caused it to lose propulsion and left passengers with few working bathrooms and no air conditioning. 

RELATED: 300 who got sick on cruise ship back in South Florida

Three failing grades on three different ships within two months is fairly rare for a major cruise line, the Herald story said. Most failures involve smaller ships from lesser-known cruise lines, a maritime lawyer said.

Carnival said that the health and well-being of its guests and crew is its "foremost priority." Spokesman Jennifer De La Cruz said the company has "taken immediate action to address the issues identified during recent ship inspections."

Though it hasn't been published by the CDC, the Triumph was re-inspected and received a passing score of 98, De La Cruz said.

• More from the Miami Herald

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