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.
Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Romen rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.
Whether taking a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight or looking up different travel restrictions before planning your trip, travel has looked a little bit different this past year. With all the extra steps for traveling, American Airlines is committed to finding ways to provide ease and more flexibility and choices for passengers when traveling.
Even in “normal” times, folks gravitate to wellness resorts to jumpstart a healthier lifestyle, destress and be nurtured. In this COVID-19-era state of elevated anxiety, people seek even more natural beauty and caring hospitality, healthy food, fitness activities and beauty and body treatments. Canyon Ranch Lenox also provides an extensive staff of experts offering a multitude of health, wellness and spiritual well-being modalities that alleviate personal issues.
Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.
The lights of the aurora borealis appear frequently in the Fairbanks region of Alaska, with a growing number of Aurora Trackers in the area. A new video from Explore Fairbanks features five Fairbanks Aurora Trackers sharing their thoughts and photography on the northern lights.
Remote workers looking for an upgrade from their home offices might want to consider Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ Workcation offer. Those booking an extended stay of 10-plus nights are eligible for discounts of up to 15 percent off best available rates; those booking 20-plus nights enjoy up to 25 percent off. The offer is available at Karisma Hotels & Resorts’ diverse portfolio of properties.