Arrival/Check-in: When our cab pulled up alongside what looked like a long, incongruously clean, white, city apartment block docked near the end of Barcelona’s extensive port, a porter greeted us, pulled our luggage out of the trunk and tagged it. Inside the terminal, registration took mere minutes and we were on our way to cruise along with 2,400 other passengers on a 12-day Western Mediterranean itinerary aboard the Norwegian Gem. (28/30)
Guest Quarters: Our balcony stateroom was cheerful and pristine, with gleaming light wood cabinets, a small couch beside our comfortable queen bed (and sumptuous duvet), flat-screen TV, deep shelves for our clothing and a small desk with a computer hookup. Large mirrors on both sides of the room expanded the bright space. I had brought a hairdryer. No need. Everything was provided. The bathroom was well designed for a small space, with terrific water pressure in the shower. A small safe was available for securing those jewels you might want to sport in the luxurious restaurants and nightclubs onboard. Gloriously, only the captain’s voice was allowed to break in on each room’s intercom and we began to look forward to his updates each evening as we set sail for the next day’s adventure. (30/30)
Services/Amenities: Norwegian Cruise Lines pioneered “freestyle” cruising: no set seating time or plan for dining. With 12 restaurants and 11 bars and lounges, you can eat where you want, when you want. Reserve a table for yourself and your special someone or join a group and meet your fellow passengers. Your choice. Not hungry? You can play tennis, practice golf swings, play basketball, bowl, rock-climb … or go to a lecture, a dance class, an exercise class, relax in the spacious spa and, yes, play bingo (I did, for the first time) … read in the library, join a card game in the game room or head for the casino. Then there are the evening shows. It’s almost exhausting to plan your day. One huge thumbs up to NCL: Every public room has a hand-cleaning station with a cheerful attendant to “suggest” you cleanse your hands. (39/40)
The Experience: Visiting 10 ports on a 12-day itinerary requires discipline. Forget the Spinnaker Lounge on nights before docking at 6 a.m. if you plan to explore/walk for eight hours onshore. This captain runs a tight ship!
Total Score: (97/100)
Villa specialist Maya Luxe offers guests curated and bespoke accommodations in Mexico’s Riviera Maya. This local company works with companies in the region to provide unique itineraries for guests to enjoy, from tequila tastings to cooking classes to in-house spa services. Unlike other rental companies, Maya Luxe caters to a high-end market in which homeowners enjoy a concierge service to help them provide the best experience for guests.
Awareness about fair and sustainable travel continues to grow around the globe, with travelers everywhere considering a destination’s eco-friendly options before visiting. As public consciousness for this important aspect of tourism strengthens, tourists also look beyond just ecotourism and delve deeper into types of travel that allow them to respect the local culture, interact with locals and distribute benefits fairly.
Ah, the romance of train travel ... even commuters feel it. There’s something oh so Alfred Hitchcock, Agatha Christie and Harry Potter about chugging down a track on the way to some wonderful — perhaps even mysterious — destination, your bag neatly tucked above you, a book in your lap, your journey ahead. The scenery outside passes by like a film in fast motion. The seats (comfortable on most global trains, even in second class) feel like super-plush movie theater lounge chairs. Each train car, like a narrow living room, boasts its own mood depending on fellow travelers and the ministrations of attentive staff.
It’s time to start planning your next trip. Take a visual journey through these U.S. locations where historically significant moments in the Civil Rights movement occurred.
Exclusive Sailing with Global Traveler
For the first time ever, visitors and locals in Dublin, Ireland, can immerse themselves in a series of discovery trails through augmented reality. The Dublin Discovery Trails app, developed by Peel X and funded by Failté Ireland and Dublin City Council, brings Dublin’s Docklands to life in a new and unique way. Dublin’s Docklands served as one of the world’s largest docks in the 19th and 20th centuries, in which countless ships entered and exited the port every day. This hub of trade and industry meant many people worked the docklands and interacted with one another daily.
Australia's Whitsunday Islands are an unimaginable destination. As many screensavers or wanderlust-worthy documentaries as you may come across of the 74 continental islands off the central coast of Queensland, located within the Great Barrier Reef
Discover why Global Traveler readers named Cunard® the Best Large-Ship Cruise Line for seven consecutive years. For a limited time, book your voyage during Cunard’s Explore with More promotion and take advantage of lower fares*, up to $1,200 Onboard Credit†, Free Specialty Dining for Two^, 50% Reduced Deposit††, and more. Choose from an array of exciting journeys, including Transatlantic Crossings and voyages to Alaska, the Caribbean and Canada & New England.