Royal Caribbean International, one of the world’s three largest cruise operators, is a mainstream rather than premium line. Many of its passengers are families with children, younger couples and first-time cruisers who relish shows, sun sports, shopping and spas. Accordingly, Royal Caribbean delivers dream vacations by outfitting its megaships — full-scale resorts that happen to float — with shopping malls, water parks and entertainment zones for kids. This makes for what many passengers, especially Americans, consider the ultimate vacation at sea. While Royal Caribbean spans the globe, Caribbean vacations are its forte and megaships its signature. In 2009, Royal Caribbean International launched the world’s largest cruise ship, the 5,408-passenger Oasis of the Seas. The next year, it outdid itself with the debut of a super vessel some two inches longer, Allure of the Seas. This year, the 5,497-passenger Harmony of the Seas surpassed its two sisters to climb to the top of the length and passenger charts. In fact, this newest over-the-top sea-going resort epitomizes much of what Royal Caribbean offers.
Equipped with 18 decks and two dozen passenger elevators, Harmony of the Seas consists of seven “neighborhoods.” A stroll through the Boardwalk neighborhood, a re-imagined Coney Island, turns up a grand carousel, a rock-climbing wall, troupes of aquatic performers and even a Starbucks. The Royal Promenade showcases a Bionic Bar where robots mix and serve the drinks. At the center of the ship lies Central Park, an outdoor space with garden paths and alfresco dining. After dark, the ship’s Entertainment Palace comes alive with a comedy club, a jazz club and, in the 1,380-guest Royal Theater, a Broadway production of Grease. A Youth Zone provides playground diversions for kids, from infants to teenagers, while a Pool and Sports Zone provides everything a land resort does, from a zipline and surf simulator to basketball, volleyball and miniature golf. Harmony of the Seas’ recreational hallmark is the Ultimate Abyss, a waterslide 10 decks high, the tallest at sea. For passengers requiring quieter zones, Harmony of the Seas also provides an adults-only solarium three decks high, as well as a range of top specialty restaurants and luxury suites with concierge services, private decks, multiple bedrooms and lofts. Royal Caribbean’s bread and butter across its entire 23-vessel fleet, however, remains the delivery of a sun-splashed vacation at sea with all the latest bells and whistles, a top choice for passengers with active families who would rather hit the decks running than stretch out on a lounge chair.
A handful of historic towns in Texas Hill Country reinvented themselves as upscale food, wine and culture destinations. Fredericksburg is the shining star among them, transcending its historic German underpinnings to the point where it’s drawing a more cosmopolitan group of visitors, including many from outside Texas.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
In an exclusive partnership, Lufthansa Group teams with Viking Cruises to offer the cruise line’s travelers direct, non-stop flights from the New York City area to Malta (MLA), beginning June 30. Flights will operate three times weekly on Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport.
Indianapolis International Airport officially opened its first-ever art gallery, The KIND Gallery, named after the airport’s international airport code. It is initially featuring artists from Harrison Center for the Arts.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Allianz Partners USA’s 13th annual Vacation Confidence Index estimates Americans’ total spend for summer vacation travel will cross the $150 billion mark for the first time in the Index’s 10-year history, a 160 percent increase over spend in summer 2020 and 50 percent over spend in a robust 2019.
Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.