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Carnival Triumph Update

Carnival Cruises

After a brief delay caused by a broken tow line, a trio of tugs is again hauling the disabled Carnival Triumph toward in Mobile, Alabama. It should arrive later this evening.
Triumph departed Thursday with 3,143 passengers and 1,086 crew. It was scheduled to return to port early Monday after a weekend stop in Cozumel, but fire broke out Sunday morning in the engine room. The cause of the blaze, which was put out by automatic systems, is still not known.

The ship lost propulsion and had to rely on emergency generator power, leaving passengers with a limited number of working bathrooms and no air conditioning. Guests have reported long lines for food and said they were forced to use bags as toilets. 

Sailings aboard the ship have been cancelled through April 13, the cruise line said. Current passengers will receive a full refund, plus $500 and a discount on a future voyage.

For updates, see stories from The Miami Herald, where Travel + Leisure cruise editor Jane Wooldridge, the Miami Herald's Business editor, oversees cruise news coverage.

Jane WoolridgeJane Wooldridge is the cruise editor at Travel + Leisure.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruises

The American Airlines-US Airways Merger—What You Need to Know

American Airlines and US Airways

American Airlines and US Airways announced this morning a planned merger that will create the world’s largest airline. Worth $11 billion, the combined airline will have more than 1,500 aircraft and will operate more than 6,700 daily flights to 336 destinations. Though the government still needs to review the merger plans, aviation analysts don’t foresee any major objections and predict it could be approved in just a few months. After that, it’s going to take some time before the carriers can begin joint operations; they must first undertake the herculean task of integrating staff, technology, and hardware. In the meantime, here’s what you can expect from the new airline:

What’s the name of the airline?
The merged carrier will take the American Airlines name, and its stylized new logo and airplane livery. It will also operate out of the American Airlines headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. We also expect that flight attendants for the newly-merged carrier will eventually be wearing American’s recently commissioned uniforms designed by KAUFMANFRANCO, which are scheduled to start rolling out in 2014.

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Trip Doctor: Best GPS Apps for Travel

best GPS apps

Looking to get from A to B with nothing but your smartphone? GPS apps are steadily increasing in functionality and accuracy—giving even Google a run for its money.

Best for City Driving: Google Maps
The all-around app to beat, Google is particularly good in urban environments. It allows you to toggle between maps, street views, and 3-D cityscapes, and provides an extraordinarily complete picture of your surroundings. It takes you from car to foot to public transportation seamlessly, and (for Android users) it even has indoor maps of stores, hotels, and other buildings. Points of interest and area businesses are well marked and up-to-date. Free; Android and iOS.

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TODAY Show Video: Options If You're Stranded by a Storm

 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Travel + Leisure's trip doctor, Amy Farley, gives tips for tracking airlines on social media and the best ways to re-book a canceled flight.

For more info, see Trip Doctor: Winter Storm Nemo—Resources for Stranded Fliers.

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.

Jia Collection's Reversible Winter Coat

reversible winter coat

Q: We’re spending two weeks in Stockholm in February, and I want a new warm winter coat. I can only take one, so I’d like it to be versatile. Recommendations? —Marna Eklund, Palo Alto, Calif.

A: I’m currently obsessing over Jia Collection, a line of convertible clothing by Chinese designer Jia Li that includes dresses, cardigans, and more. Her hunter green cashmere-and-Italian-wool jacket with leather trim ($940) is toasty and reverses to ash gray. Two for the price of one!

Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by John Lawton

Winter Storm Nemo—Resources for Stranded Fliers

stranded passengers

Winter Storm Nemo has yet to hit the East Coast, but its impact is already being felt among travelers. Nearly 3,000 domestic and international flights have been canceled for Friday and almost 1,000 (and counting) for Saturday according to live flight-tracking service FlightAware. The effects of the storm—which may be historic—could snarl air traffic for several days, so travelers scheduled to fly into or out of the Eastern seaboard on Friday and Saturday should rebook in advance, if they haven’t already. Most carriers are waiving change fees to encourage preemptive rebooking.

If you are one of the unlucky, stranded passengers, T+L has a few apps and services to make your delay a little more bearable.

Navigating the airport. Gateguru offers detailed listings (with reviews) for restaurants, stores, and other services at over 120 different airports. It will also give you security wait times and updates on flight delays, and can coordinate with your Kayak and TripIt itinerary planners.

Last-minute hotel rooms. HotelTonight and all of the major online travel agents (Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Kayak, and Priceline) have mobile apps that help you find nearby available hotel rooms at a discount. Their inventories are not the same, so if you strike out with one, try another. 

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Tech Thursday: Mophie Juice Pack Helium for the iPhone 5

201302-b-tech-thursday-mophiejpg

We constantly obsess our iPhone accessories here at the T+L offices—deciding between that J.Crew chevron stripped case or the Otterbox may be Trip Doctor's debate of the century—but our eyes are officially turning to a third option. Mophie, the adventure-friendly brand whose juice pack cases add extra battery life (and heft) to your mobile devices, is launching a super-slim model—the first of its kind for the latest generation of iPhones. The Helium is expected to add 80% extra charge to your battery life (that's six hours of talk time, or seven hours of web browsing)—and it also features forward-facing speakers for enhanced sound. Pre-orders opened to the public yesterday, with devices shipping nationwide on February 19. For now, the slim gunmetal finish will do—but we'll take this opportunity to plea for some fresh designs on the Helium 2.0.

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of mophie.

Trip Doctor: Istanbul's Best Walking Tours

Istanbul Walking Tours

Culinary Backstreets–Istanbul Eats: Go off the beaten path to under-the-radar restaurants, bakeries, and candy shops. From $125.

Sea Song: Itineraries from Sea Song, which has custom tours in 17 Turkish destinations, are crafted around themes—food; archaeology; sacred places; artisan traditions—and include unique experiences such as lunch at a historic Ottoman house. From $150.

Amy Send your dilemmas to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @afarles on Twitter.


Photo by Richard T. Nowitz/CORBIS

Trip Doctor: 5 New Hotels to Watch in 2013

201302-best-new-hotels-cresto-ranchjpg

I am a hotel nerd. At the start of each year, I scan the next 12 months for openings to obsess over. Here, five newcomers that have me at the edge of my seat.

United States
I’ve found a new way to play out my Wild West fantasy. Set on 1,600 acres deep in the Colorado Rockies, Cresto Ranch (pictured) opens in June with a main lodge in a restored 19th-century farmhouse and eight safari-style tents, all with en-suite bathrooms, gas stoves, enormous beds, and—color me happy—private porches where you can daydream while gazing out at the vast wilderness. The retreat is four miles down the Dolores River from sister property Dunton Hot Springs, a luxury pioneer in the Rockies. (And yes! Cresto guests can pop over to Dunton for a dip).

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Best Sun-Protective Clothing for Travel

Sun-Protective Clothing: Parasol shirt

Q: My husband and I are traveling to Brazil. We both have fair skin, so we’ll be wearing plenty of sunscreen. Does sun-protective clothing really work? —Sadie Walker-Jones, via e-mail

A: Definitely! Clothes are rated on a different scale, though: UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor. The average T-shirt has a low UPF (anywhere between five and eight). By contrast, all of the following have the highest possible amount—50-plus. Parasol, founded by a former Vogue editor, offers pieces made of quick-drying Italian Lycra, while Coolibar creates its fabric from Australian eucalyptus trees (both also wick away moisture to keep you cool). The Patagonia line comes in everything from wide-brimmed hats to leggings.

Packing is rarely easy—we’re here to help. Send your question to tripdoctor@aexp.com.

Photo by John Lawton

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