Ports of Call: The 28-night cruise from San Diego to Lima and back aboard the Maasdam included Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco and Puerto Chiapas, Mexico; Fuerte Amador, Panama; Salaverry (Trujillo) and Lima (Callao), Peru, overnight; Manta, Ecuador; Puerto Caldera, Costa Rica; Corinto, Nicaragua; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; and returning to San Diego, California.
Embarkation/Disembarkation: Both were done in a professional and rapid manner with little to no waiting. Lunch was available upon embarkation with the usual options of hot and cold foods from the buffet on an upper deck. Cabins/staterooms were ready for occupancy in the early afternoon and made available in the order of suites, balcony rooms, ocean-view and inside rooms.
Stateroom: The Maasdam is an older ship, built in 1993 and refurbished in 2016. Our Vista Suite, a traditional balcony-type cabin, included a sitting area, private veranda, a tub with a shower, and plenty of closet space for longer cruises.
Services/Amenities: Food on board was of a high quality. The Maasdam has a limited number of dining options due to the size of the ship, including the main dining room, a buffet on a top deck and two specialty restaurants. There were also six bars and lounges. Service in the main dining room was slow, with two hours the normal duration for an evening meal; for older passengers and large tables, this was acceptable. Crew served an afternoon tea at 3 p.m. each day.
Services included a beauty salon/barber shop, a spa, eight elevators, Cellular at Sea (for a high price), self-service laundry and laundry/dry cleaning services for a fee. For relaxation and entertainment, passengers can enjoy pools and a hot tub, a library, a casino, a disco, a movie theater with multiple shows daily, an outdoor movie screen, a video arcade, shops and a showroom for evening entertainment and lectures for large groups.
◆ All events were well-organized and started on time.
◆ The crew members’ smiles and care for the passengers were remarkable.
◆ First-rate entertainers came from all over the world.
◆ Lectures, held almost daily, focused on the people, history and culture of upcoming ports of call and not on excursions that could be purchased.
◆ My wife enjoyed the craft classes held on at-sea days. The price of sewing classes included taking home the sewing machine!
◆ Internet prices were high and speeds were slow due to the satellite connection, something all cruise lines need to improve.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.