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Good news today on the travel front

  • Published Sunday, August 30, 2009, at 12:04 a.m.

A famous radio announcer used to start his broadcasts by shouting, "There's good news tonight!" In these days of economic slowdown, there are a great many instances of good travel news, born out of the urgent needs of travel suppliers to increase their business:

The single-room supplement gets cut: A large cruise line, Costa Cruises, has finally responded to complaints by single people traveling alone about the steep surcharge they pay for the right to occupy a cabin alone. Starting Dec. 1, it will limit its single-cabin supplement to 30 percent, meaning that a single person occupying a cabin by his- or herself will pay only 30 percent more than a passenger pays when he or she is one of two people occupying a cabin. The single traveler, who has paid surcharges of as much as 100 percent in the past, should respond to this new generosity by considering a Costa ship for his or her next cruise.

• Hotel rates in Orlando, Fla., have virtually collapsed: The popular Web site called Biddingfortravel.com, which tracks the prices paid by users of Priceline.com, reports that recent visitors to Orlando have succeeded in obtaining unprecedented low rates for their stays in or near the theme park capital: $39 per suite per night at the Embassy Suites in Lake Buena Vista; $32 per room per night at the Radisson Celebration; $35 per room per night at the Crowne Plaza Universal; $30 per room per night at the Hyatt Place Universal; $31 per room per night at Four Points by Sheraton; and so on. Bear in mind that these are rates not of economy motels but of quality hotels, and that prices such as these were obtained during the relatively active summer months; rates may suffer a similar decline during the quieter (for Orlando) autumn.

Some 50,000 $1 tickets are being offered on Megabus: Of all the many ultra-cheap bus lines now competing between cities in the Midwest, Northeast, and Canada's Ontario — BoltBus, Megabus, FungWah, Vamoose, DC2NY, Tripper and others — the British-owned Megabus has the most extensive route network and seems the most eager to expand its business even further. For trips taking place between Sept. 14 and Nov. 19, Megabus is setting aside 50,000 tickets for sale at $1 apiece. By going to www.megabus.com, you find the booking engine that, once filled in with your needs, may possibly spout out a $1 ticket to where you want to go.

Round-trip to Rome is now as little as $343: That upstart Italian carrier, Eurofly, has reduced its round-trip price to an amazing $343 (plus tax), non-stop between New York and the Italian capital, but only for outbound flights on Aug. 29 and 30, Sept. 6, 13, 17, 20, 24, 26, 27, and Oct. 1, 2 and 9; inbound flights on Sept. 18, 30, and on Oct. 2 and 16. To book, go either to www.euroflyusa.com, or — within five days of departure — phone Eurofly at 973-338-3106.

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