Archive December 2015

The 15 Best Places I Went in 2015

Introducing… the best places I went in 2015! I’m so incredibly thankful and humbled by everything that came from two thousand and fifteen. From climbing the ruins of Machu Picchu to my first trip to Canada and everywhere in between, this year has certainly been a huge year of adventures for me and my readers (an enormous thank you to everyone following along and travelling the world with me)! When I first began writing this post I thought I hadn’t done nearly as much travel as I had… but alas! It was quite a year. I visited 20 something countries this year (I...

Royal Caribbean Unveils Details of Ultimate Abyss Slide on Harmony of the Seas

(10:10 a.m. EST) — Royal Caribbean’s next new ship, Harmony of the Seas, will feature a 150-feet tall, 216-foot long thrill slide called the Ultimate Abyss. The ride consists of a pair of side-by-side slides that put riders into a 100-foot drop that twists and turns at nine miles per hour, running from the top of the Sports Zone on the aft of Deck 16 down to the Boardwalk near the AquaTheater on Deck 6.  Ultimate Abyss is not a water slide. Riders speed down the Ultimate Abyss on a customized mat instead; audio effects in each tunnel create a multi-sensory experience. Besides...

Costa Cruises Appoints Robot Staff

(9:50 a.m. EST) — The robots are coming – and Costa Cruises and AIDA are embracing the latest cyborg technology with humanoid robots onboard ships to assist passengers from spring 2016. The exclusive agreement with French company Aldebaran is said to be worth over a million Euros, and is for the use of Pepper, the world’s first robot designed to read human emotions. Launched in June 2014, Pepper is fitted with four microphones, two HD cameras, a 3D depth sensor and touch sensors in the head and hands, and is able to interpret emotions by analyzing expressions and voice tones....

Where to go on holiday in February 2016

From the most hair-raising hike in Borneo to an untouched Thai archipelago, we select the best destinations to visit in February 2016. For city slickers… Short haul: Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands Why jet all the way to Rio when you can celebrate Carnival in… Tenerife? Okay, so the Canaries might lack the sultry swagger of bodacious Brazil, but when it comes to Carnival (3-14 Feb) locals celebrate with as much gusto as their Latino counterparts. Most of the action takes place in Santa Cruz, Tenerife’s sun bleached capital, which, for 10 days, is hijacked by live bands,...

Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess Reveals Multi-Million-Pound Refit

(10:50 p.m. EST) — Princess Cruises’ Emerald Princess has revealed a multi-million-pound refit ahead of its 2016 spring and summer sailings from the UK, adding two new dining venues and a number of cabin upgrades. The 3,092-passenger ship now features Share, a laid-back dining concept by Australian celebrity chef, Curtis Stone, where dishes including charcuterie and homemade pastas will be served family style, and the Salty Dog Gastropub, which will offer craft beers, and small plates based on classic pub favourites. Stone’s new dining venue replaces the line’s...

Seabourn Unveils New Restaurant, Design and Art on New Cruise Ship

Seabourn Encore aft pool (10:05 a.m. EST) — Seabourn has revealed more details of its new ship Seabourn Encore — including a new sushi restaurant, redesigned public spaces and more than 300 works of art. Seabourn Encore — which debuts in less than a year — will be a slightly bigger version of Seabourn’s popular Odyssey-class ships, with one extra deck and space for 150 more passengers.  The sushi restaurant will replace the alternative fine dining eaterie, Restaurant 2, on the Odyssey class of ships. Seabourn Square In addition, the hugely popular Seabourn...

Finding My Roots In Ireland: Family Genealogy Road Trip

Family Genealogy Trip in Ireland Glengarriff, Ireland It only took me 34 years to visit my family’s ancestral homeland of Ireland. Joined by my parents & sister, we traveled to the Emerald Isle to research our history. Like most Americans, I’m a mutt. My family immigrated to the United States from Ireland, Poland, Germany and England. Mostly from Ireland though — including my paternal grandmother. Concentrating on the side of the family with the most recent links to Ireland, we decided to visit the area where my grandmother was born. A small south-western coastal...

How One Company Is Bridging the Gap Between Hotels and Hostels

A new company called CityHub, which launched in Amsterdam’s Oud West district at the end of October, may be the next big thing in budget accommodation. While the shared accommodation sector still leaves some people wary about staying in someone else’s home (or sharing it with them), CityHub boasts similar prices as Airbnb but gives you the privacy of a hotel and the social impact of a hostel. And, while it has similarities to hostel stays (social hangout areas and shared bathrooms), it has the amenities and cleanliness you would expect from a hotel. When you first arrive at...

The Bestselling Holiday Gift of the Year Is Now Banned by Major Airlines

Self-balancing scooters, a.k.a. those “hoverboards” or “balance gliders” everyone has been zooming around on, are bound to be this year’s hottest gift. But according to several major U.S. airlines, that’s exactly the problem. Delta, United, Southwest, JetBlue, and American have all announced that the scooters will no longer be allowed to fly as carry-ons or checked luggage due to reports of the scooters’ combustibility. Advertisement RELATED: 10 Tiny Travel Gifts That Make Great Stocking Stuffers The problem is with the powerful lithium ion...

American Announces Real Premium Economy

American Airlines will become the first U.S. airline to offer a true premium economy cabin in most planes used for long-haul intercontinental travel. In contrast to the line’s current extra-legroom option, also offered by Alaska, Delta, Hawaiian, JetBlue, and United, American’s cabin will feature seats wider than regular economy, with 38-inch front-to-rear spacing of seat rows. Travelers in Premium Economy will also enjoy priority boarding, an increased checked baggage allowance, and meal and beverage service superior to regular economy. American’s product will closely...

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