On the Ground: When I first stepped into the busy terminal, it was difficult to distinguish between the lines for assistance and the lines for premium check-in; at some point they seemed to merge together. Needless to say, I ended up waiting in the wrong line for about 10 minutes. Once I proceeded correctly, both check-in and security were a breeze. The three-tiered Lufthansa lounge is new, located directly after security. The first level is for business-class passengers. I enjoyed a drink, some small snacks and caught up on email while waiting for my flight. The floor-to-ceiling windows offered great views of planes taking off and landing. The second-floor Senator Lounge features a staffed bar and seating for 124. The top floor is for first-class passengers and HON Circle members (frequent flyers with the highest status level). Guests can relax or enjoy a pre-flight meal in the dining area there. (28/30)
Pre-flight: The friendly attendants in the lounge were diligent about alerting me when to head down for boarding. Thanks to their service, I did not have to wait at the gate or fight long lines. I was soon settling in to my first-row window seat. A friendly fellow passenger assisted me with my bag, while flight attendants came around with drinks and magazines. I settled in comfortably and was reading as we took off on time, which is a rarity at the busy New York City airport. (29/30)
In-flight: Having read so much about the Lufthansa Star Chefs program, I was eager to try the in-flight cuisine. I started with a salad, followed by the salmon dish and cheese and fruit for dessert. The food was okay — none of the cuisine stood out on my way to Germany — but on my flight home a few days later, I enjoyed a jambalaya, prepared by a New Orleans-based Star Chef, which was absolutely delicious and possibly one of the best airplane meals I have ever had. After chatting with my seatmate for a majority of the flight, I was eager to rest. The business-class seats are not fully flat; the angle results in an annoying bit of sliding down when you are reclining. I fell asleep while watching one of the many movie selections on offer and slept moderately well, waking just before landing. I opted to skip breakfast since I knew a meal was planned upon landing. Each seat is equipped with a personal screen, and noise-canceling headphones are available (earphone covers are in the amenity kits). There were about 12 movies to choose from as well as TV shows, games and music. The flight attendants were helpful without being overbearing. (37/40)
The Experience: I was eager for the chance to try out Lufthansa’s business class, and I certainly was not disappointed.
Total Score: 94/100
Tucked away between the verdant hills of the Dominican Republic and beautiful waters of the Caribbean Sea, Samaná is the perfect year-round destination. No matter what time of year you choose to visit this hidden gem, you can check things off your travel bucket list. In the summer, escape the busy tourism hot spots and explore off-the-beaten path areas and activities; in the winter, embark on an eco-excursion like whale watching in Samaná Bay.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
The coastal town of Belek in Antalya serves as the setting for the brand new, 5-star Cullinan Belek, named for the largest rough diamond ever discovered. Set along the sparkling azure waters of the Turkish Riviera, the new property boasts its own private white-sand beach, with 600 plush guestrooms (including 10 luxurious villas), all providing sea views. The hotel also has 13 swimming pools, 10 dining venues and five bars.
Museums beckon wherever we go. They amuse and enlighten travelers and bring to public attention historical, artistic, scientific and natural wonders. Most are thought-provoking and educational, stretching our minds and our knowledge of the world. Some, however, stand out as just plain quirky: personal and sometimes whimsical collections, museums dedicated to a unique skill or long- forgotten industry, arcane collections originally designed for scientific study. Others devote their space to sharing a subject that represents one person’s consuming passion.
The Seoul Tourism Organization participated in IMEX, the world’s largest MICE exhibition, in Frankfurt, Germany, May 29–June 2. IMEX celebrated its 200th anniversary this year.
The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection celebrated an exciting moment recently when Evrima, its inaugural yacht, completed a series of successful sea trials. On June 9, in Santander, Spain, Evrima reached what is considered one of the final shipbuilding milestones prior to launch with the sea trials, a series of tests carried out when the yacht is sailing on open waters. Captain Steven MacBeath led the trials, alongside a team of senior officers, engineers, contractors and shipyard staff.
There’s no better time to plan the vacation you’ve been missing. Step aboard with your better half, your friends or the whole family and reconnect, reunite and rejoice with 25 percent off cruise fares for all guests. We’ll also help everyone get there with 25 percent off airfare from 20 major gateways across the country or $100 savings per person on flights from all other gateways when you book your air travel using Flights by Celebrity.*