AS WITH AIRLINES THESE DAYS, the list of extra charges on a cruise can be quite staggering — tips, drinks, specialty dining, laundry, fitness classes, shore excursions and more. The bill for so-called “extras” on a cruise can add up to a second fare. Little wonder many cruise passengers, weary of this nickel-and-dime approach, prefer to pay an up-front, all-inclusive fare.
Luxury cruise lines primarily offer all-inclusive fares, but even these fares don’t include everything. Spa services and most shore excursions will probably still cost you extra. But an all-inclusive fare should waive staff gratuities and provide a daily selection of complimentary sodas, beers and wines — major expenses that add up quickly and mightily on non-inclusive cruises. And all-inclusive fares can cover much more than basic tips and drinks.
Silversea Cruises’ all-inclusive fare, for example, covers staff gratuities and a selection of beers, wines and spirits but also kicks in butler service, at least one free hour of internet service, water sports gear and, depending on the region sailed, some shore excursions. Crystal Cruises’ all-inclusive fare extends to tips, a selection of drinks, butler service, fitness courses and one evening in a specialty restaurant. Seabourn Cruise Line’s fare includes gratuities, drinks at the open bar, specialty restaurant dining and some shore excursions.
Viking Ocean Cruises’ version of an all-inclusive fare levies no extra charge for select wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, dining at all restaurants, participation in fitness classes, a shore excursion in every port and, what’s rare, unlimited WiFi hookup. Meanwhile, a Paul Gauguin Cruises’ all-inclusive option includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles; resort hotel day rooms on both ends; tips; most drinks anywhere, any time; daily craft classes; and dining at its specialty restaurants.
The most inclusive of the all-inclusive cruise lines could well be Regent Seven Seas Cruises. While Regent, like its rivals, doesn’t cover spa services, it does include round-trip air fare, gratuities, all restaurants, open bars, butler service, transfers and hotel packages, as well as two more unusual perks: unlimited WiFi and basic shore excursions.
What’s included in these and other all-inclusive fares varies widely, and nearly any cruise line might include these extras in the fare for its most expensive staterooms. Moreover, cruise lines are not in the business of losing money, meaning all-inclusive fares ultimately cover their costs. What all-inclusive fares really confer is convenience while casting a spell of enhanced luxury on unburdened travelers. The annoyance of dealing with a horde of mounting surcharges disappears, and life at sea becomes a carefree buffet, one price covers all.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
I imagine that when writer Hans Christian Andersen mused, “Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale,” he was standing at the edge of Copenhagen’s historic Tivoli Gardens, one of his favorite haunts, enlivened by the swirl of human happiness that surrounded him: children laughing; carousels spinning; games of chance played for prizes; lovers holding hands; hungry people whispering over sweets, hot drinks, beer and towering, open-faced smørrebrød, Denmark’s quintessential sandwich. That fairy tale lives on today at the second-oldest amusement park in the world, a spectacle of folly architecture, bakeries, gardens, rides, restaurants, puppet shows and joy ... and which also happens to be one of the city’s most storied places to convene for business.
The restored Park Hyatt Toronto reopened its doors, bringing luxury, sophistication and glamour alongside a nod to the hotel’s Canadian heritage. Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge collaborated on the hotel’s refresh, drawing inspiration from Canada’s seasons and natural landscapes.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.
I recently dined at Irwin’s in Philadelphia. The restaurant is located on the rooftop of the Bok Building, a former school turned collective of small businesses, non-profits, artist workshops, a bar and restaurant. I previously visited Bok for the bar and yoga classes, and I was excited to experience the restaurant.
Cathay Pacific reaffirms its commitment to reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 with a pledge to use Sustainable Aviation Fuel for 10 percent of its total fuel consumption by 2030. The airline has made pioneering efforts in supporting SAF development for more than 10 years.
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
Arriving early afternoon in Puerto Rico, we jumped in an Uber and took a short, 15-minute drive from the airport to La Concha. As it was Tuesday, the streets were not too busy and the hotel lobby was calm. During the weekend, the scene likely would have been more bustling. We were greeted by a staff member who requested proof of vaccination and government-issued ID, and were given a wristband to indicate we were fully vaccinated. All guests are required to be vaccinated and wear masks at all times while moving around the hotel. Hand sanitizer stations were placed around the lobby, in elevators and in each common area.