Fresh from the Carnival Splendor mess, the cruise industry is facing yet another public relations problem after armed robbers accosted a busload of Celebrity passengers in St. Kitts. The cruise company was quick to respond. AOL Travel explains:
A spokesman for Carnival Cruise Lines tells AOL Travel News a call at St. Kitts by the Carnival Miracle, scheduled for today, has been canceled "as a precautionary measure," while the line awaits information from tourism and law enforcement officials on the island...
The attack by the masked gunmen occurred over the weekend as passengers from the Celebrity Mercury were visiting Brimstone Hill Fortress, a popular tourist spot on bus tours of the island.
The masked robbers reportedly blocked the road with a fallen tree and then emerged from the bushes to rob those on the bus. The armed gunmen then disappeared into the woods.
No one was injured in the incident. The robbers made off with valuables including cash, jewelry and cameras. Local police are investigating.
Photo courtesy of iStock.
The period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is one of the
slowest times of the year for travel, hence a great time to find bargains. JetBlue just announced a little more
incentive to forego holiday preparation and the end-of-year work scramble. A one-day sale of airfares (for travel
between November 29 and December 18) was announced this morning with fares that
start at $39 each way.
Besides flying to big cities (where you could take advantage of holiday
shopping and the height of the arts season), JetBlue can also deliver you to beachy
destinations in Puerto Rico, Cancun, Florida, Aruba, Barbados, and St.
For more information or to book, visit JetBlue. For other between-holiday travel bargains, we have 276 more come-hither options on our Deals page.
Ann Shields in an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of JetBlue.
Q: What’s the first rule of Test Kitchen?
A: The chefs make—and break—the rules of Test Kitchen.
At the experimental eatery on the southern edge of Beverly Hills, where a rotating cast of L.A.’s finest previews new menus and tries out specialty dishes, nothing stays the same except the location.
For many of us, daylight savings means shorter days and colder weather (brrr!). But you don't have to worry about frigid temperatures in Arizona, California, and the Caribbean, where pools and beaches beckon thanks to Vacationist—all for up to 40% off. At California's Miramonte Resort and Spa in Coachella Valley, red-tiled roofs and Moorish details will transport you to the Mediterranean. Or take it up a notch, and live like a King at L Mansion, Marrakesh. For these trips and more, read on or click here. Shouldn't you be planning your next getaway?
Still not a Vacationist member? Click here to join.
Once again, the competition was fierce at T+L's monthly photo contest. Nearly 2,000 "Funny Sign" photos were narrowed down to 10 finalists by a panel of T+L editors; the online community then voted for their favorites. The winner, "It's a Sign" (shown above), was submitted by T+L community member Harris Qureshi. To reward his sharp eye (and dry sense of humor), Harris will receive a set of Tumi luggage.
Traveling around the holidays—particularly Thanksgiving—can be challenging, to say the least. The snowy weather, massive crowds of people flocking home to see their families, and surge of flight delays and cancellations can chip away at one's holiday spirit.
Google wants to make travelers' ordeals a little more tolerable (once they make it onto their flights). The company is bringing back its free Wi-Fi for the holidays offer from 2009, but with a twist: instead of offering the service at airports around the country, they’ll be sponsoring free inflight Wi-Fi.
The service—which usually costs passengers $9.99 per flight, through Gogo—will be available on all AirTran, Delta, and Virgin America domestic flights between November 20, 2010 and January 2, 2011.
Joshua Pramis is an online associate editor and resident tech guru at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of iStock.
Think eco-friendliness can’t be fun? Then you’ve never heard
of Club Watt, in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It featured a very unique dance
floor: the energy absorbed from all that dancing powered the club’s
Finding unique answers to trends was just one of the topics
discussed at last week’s MarketWatch, an event organized by Travel + Leisure at the Museum of Arts
and Design in New York. The theme, “Influencing the Global Influencer: What
Works” was discussed by speakers and an expert panel of those who live on the
cutting edge of trends.
Brooklynites have been able to find vegetables, beer, and even wine produced in their own borough for quite awhile now. And while they’ve found ways to brew beer in their apartments, they haven’t been able to make their own vino. At least until the borough’s first winemaking center, Brooklyn Winery, opened its doors in Williamsburg a few weeks ago.
Pristine, remote location? Check. Top-notch dining? Check. Stellar service? Absolutely! If you’re looking for your next escape—and really, who isn’t?—Vacationist has upped the ante this week, with deals of more than 40% off at relaxation-inducing hotels around the globe. And if that isn’t enough to lead you straight to the website, we have more great news, too. Vacationist sale sites now include more details than ever on hotels, plus insider tips, mini destination guides, and upcoming events calendars. Your next idyllic vacation is just a click away.
Still not a member? Click here to join.
Don’t forget the PEEPS™ when planning this year's New Year’s Eve celebration. That’s right—they’re not just for Easter any more.
From December 29-31, PEEPS Fest will be held in the center of historic Bethlehem, PA. Surely destined to rival Burning Man, this celebration of the age-resistant marshmallow treats will feature live music, art, performances, a recipe competition, a 5K run, ice-sculpting, glass-blowing, and a PEEPS diorama competition (with scholastic and corporate divisions!).
We like the new baggage icon at Fly.com, an aggregator website that compares airfares and itineraries from hundreds of airline and travel websites around the world. Click on the little suitcase next to the airfare for your itinerary and you'll get a window showing the checked baggage fees charged by that airline, giving you a better idea of the full price.
As if any of us in the northeast part of the country needed further proof, today’s chilling weather is another reminder that it’s time to put our shorts and tees into hiding—and bust out the pea coats and scarves.
Thankfully, I discovered that I can continue to get a taste of summer throughout the upcoming winter months, in the form of Maine-style lobster rolls, courtesy of the Red Hook Lobster Pound.
I’m one of those people who can’t go too long without plugging into my iPod, especially when I'm on the road. Luckily, more and more hotels are now furnishing rooms with iPod docks—but plenty others still don’t. And never mind vacation rental homes, which can be all over the place when it comes to amenities.
In situations like that, you either go without or bring something along. (Preferably something that won’t take up too much space in your suitcase.) One option is the Philips Fidelio DS7550 portable iPod speaker dock, which I had the opportunity to borrow this week.
City slickers, take note: This week’s Vacationist deals include hotel stays in two of our favorite cities—Las Vegas and Bangkok—for less than $100 a night. If that doesn’t lure you in, we have other tricks (and treats!) up our sleeve: In both cities, current temperatures hover in the 70s and 80s, and, in Las Vegas, this weekend brings the inaugural Halloween parade. Dare we mention again that Bangkok ranked as the no. 1 city in this year’s World’s Best Awards survey?
Not to worry, however, if you’d prefer to leave the crowds behind. For a quiet beachfront getaway there’s 44% off at Hotel Punta Islita, on Costa Rica’s Playa Samara. Read on for more details, and of course, become a Vacationist member now.
It would seem that London's best burger is being served from a food truck. How do we know? It's not just the long wait—an hour and a half on a recent Sunday. It wasn't just the ringing endorsement by renowned food columnist Richard Johnson, who said of this particular burger that he'd “found something that bettered perfection.” The Meat Wagon's offering was just named “Best Sandwich” in a cook-off judged
by restaurant big-wigs Marco Pierre White and Mark Hix, among others.
This year is turning out to be even busier than usual for Larry Gagosian. On the eve of the opening of the FIAC (the international fair for contemporary art in Paris), the contemporary art dealer unveiled a new gallery—his ninth—in the 8th arrondissement, a stone’s throw from the Elysee Palace.
Looking for a stylish, eco-responsible way to tote your newest tech accessory? When Dewdrop Design's Gillian Stevens received an iPad as a gift, her next project was clear: to create chic cases to hold everyone's favorite new device. As if her existing line of recycled leather, hand-made notebooks, passport covers, and travel wallets wasn't dreamy enough, she's just introduced a collection of great-looking iPad sleeves that exude the same nature-inspired, bold-hued, and effortlessly cool look.
Like most people, my phone is always with me, and serves as my primary camera for spur-of-the-moment pics. But as a Blackberry user, while the image quality is amazing (for a phone), there aren’t any fun bonus features that come with it.
The Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar—the famous and famously over-the-top tiki lounge at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel—may soon be sold, dismantled, and moved, or even closed altogether, as the hotel prepares a major renovation.
This is San Francisco, though, where the unexpected is an everyday occurrence, so it's not surprising that the city planning commission is withholding its approval of the hotel's plans while considering the room's "historic importance." A Tiki bar? Historically important? As I said—this is San Francisco, after all. Check out this amateur video for a sense of the bar's charming weirdness.
You've carved the pumpkins and stocked up on candy. Now, hit the liquor store. Hotels across the U.S. are preparing for Halloween with signature cocktails that are the perfect adult treat. We've rounded up the best from bar-epicenter, New York City. Make the trip or concoct your own for a party at home.
As with men and women, behind every great religion you’ll find a greater kitchen. At least that’s Vikas Khanna’s theory. In his new film series, Holy Kitchens, the 38-year-old chef delves into the relationship between food and faith. For the first installment, Holy Kitchens: The True Business, Khanna visits the Langar (or, community kitchen) of Harimandir Sahib—also known as the Golden Temple—the holiest site in Sikhism, in Amritsar, India. It’s an appropriate debut subject for Khanna, who was born in Amritsar. Though he now lives in Manhattan, he maintains very close ties to his homeland.
For the first time in modern history, the below-ground tunnels of Rome's Colosseum, where the gladiators tied up their sandals and prayed to their gods before entering the arena, have been opened to the public. The hallways and holding areas, and even the workings of the wooden elevator platforms that would hoist the wild animals, slaves, soldiers, and prisoners up to the floor of the arena for mortal combat, are on view following a $700,000 restoration.
Also restored and reopened for the first time since the 1970s is the third tier of the Colosseum from which Rome’s middle class watched the monumental pageants and battles. The Guardian reports, “This level boasts heart-stopping views of Rome, from Palatine Hill to the distant Vittorio Emanuele monument. And, at about 115ft in the air, you're still more than 70ft below where the highest seats would have been.”
The guided tours, open to 25 visitors at a time, must be booked in advance. Call Pierreci, the cooperative that handles ticket sales and tours at the Colosseum, at +39 06 3996 7700, to book the €20 tickets.
Ann Shields in an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of the Rome Cavalieri Hilton's Gladiator Training Program, which has nothing to do with the Colosseum tour but was too good not to use.
This week’s sales surely run the gamut. In Costa Rica, spa-goers unwind in private Jacuzzis high in a cloud forest; in California, lucky travelers will settle into a beachfront getaway just south of L.A.. Prefer to bring the family? Try a villa rental in Riviera Nayarit or a snow lodge in Colorado, or leave the relatives behind in favor of secluded Maradiva, on the west coast of Mauritius. To access these experiences, you know the drill: Sign up to be a Vacationist member, and start packing now.
El Silencio Lodge & Spa – up to 43% off
Bajos del Toro (Alajuela), Costa Rica
Costa Rica has long been known as an eco-travel destination, but El Silencio—a serene retreat on 500 acres opened in 2008 by the owners of the nearby Hotel Punta Islita—presents an unusual level of luxury for the green-oriented adventurer… (5 days)
L'Auberge Del Mar - up to 35% off
Del Mar, California
The sunny seaside town of Del Mar, between L.A. and San Diego, offers an increasingly hard-to-find slice of old-school SoCal relaxation. Clark Gable and Lucille Ball both stayed at this classic 120-room property… (6 days)
Vacationist.com is brought to you by Travel + Leisure and LuxuryLink.com.
Images top to bottom: courtesy of El Silencio; courtesy of L'Auberge del Mar; courtesy of Trappers Cabin.
There are two electronic devices that I never leave home without: my cell phone and my iPod. I hate being without either; worse than that, I hate when one dies on me when I forget to charge it. So I was pretty excited when I got the chance to try out mophie’s juice pack air, a new add-on device for my iPod Touch that claimed it would just about double the battery life.
I’m not normally one for protective cases—whether it’s my phone, iPod, or other gadget—because they can detract from the device's style. But I actually like the mophie case. It kind of makes me feel like I’m using some sort of Super iPod. (In reality, it doesn’t actually add that much bulk/weight to the device. And if it gave me a few extra days’ worth of juice, it’d be completely worth it for me.)
Eighteen passengers on a Vietnam Airline flight from Hanoi to Paris were injured this morning when their plane encountered severe air turbulence, according to Agence France-Presse. The plane later landed safely at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and none of the injuries were thought to be serious.
But here's the interesting part: according to the story, these passengers—excuse me while I crank up the old caps lock and put the italics in gear—WEREN'T WEARING SEAT BELTS.
A bullet train capable of traveling 200 mph arrived from Germany today in London's St. Pancras Station, heralding a broad expansion of high-speed Continental rail service from the British capital. It also marks the first challenge to Eurostar's virtual monopoly on passenger service through the Channel Tunnel. If all goes according to plan, starting in 2013 passengers will be able to travel by rail from London to Frankfurt, without changing trains, in only five hours.
My foodie friends used to be horrified by my penchant for street snacks. For years it created a significant rift between us. While they spent their weekends at farmers’ markets, taking knife-skills classes at the Culinary Institute, and trying to snag a table at Wylie Dufresne’s latest chic eatery, I was scarfing down empanadas at random Brooklyn intersections and scouring parking lots for new taco trucks.
This past Saturday, we finally broke bread at the same metaphorical dining table. The source of our new common ground? A one-day street-food extravaganza hosted by New York magazine’s food blog, Grub Street.
Whether you're looking to skip town this winter or just skip some holiday stress, this month's Contest Watch has you covered.
Teva, "Teva House 2011 Fiji Giveaway," Enter Now - January 15
If you need something to look forward to, how about a 10-day trip to Fiji from April 1-11, 2011? Enter at tevahouse.com and you could win a $14,000 trip for two to Fiji, complete with round-trip airfare, seven-day Tui Tai expedition cruise, river tour, and Teva sandals (lest you step on a sea urchin while exploring). The winner will be contacted January 30 when the winter blues are at their worst.
What better place than Las Vegas—home to some of the world’s best hotels, restaurants, and nightlife—to host Food & Wine's inaugural All-Star Weekend? Hosted by Food & Wine’s Gail Simmons and a slew of celebrity chefs, including alumni from Bravo’s Top Chef, this weekend of epicurean delights will take place from November 5-7 at some of Vegas’s finest luxury resorts, including the Bellagio, ARIA, and Vdara Hotel & Spa at the new CityCenter.
All-Star Weekend Highlights:
Travel + Leisure wants to know how you travel now—what your style and preferences are on the road. Take our multiple-choice quiz (after the break) and drop us a note in the comment section with your answers (only one per question, please).