A look at new ships and trends in cruising

By: Beth J. Harpaz

What’s new in cruising this year? As usual, there’s lots of razzle-dazzle — laser tag, water slides, zip lines and massive LED screens — along with a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyle options, from dining to fitness. But there are also changes underway in ship design, itineraries and who’s cruising. New ships are offering more outdoor spaces and views of the sea —... READ MORE

How tiny Andorra enchants its visitors

By: Glenda C. Booth

We were sitting on a bench-sized rock in a sunny, mint-green meadow sprinkled with wildflowers, scattered evergreens and granite outcroppings. About 1,000 feet up in the distance, the silhouettes of horses appeared on the ridge — one, two, another, then another — a herd of 50 or so wild horses. They gently picked their way down a twisty mountain path, then to the meadow’s edge... READ MORE

Understanding new State Dept. advisories

By: Ed Perkins

The U.S. State Department recently revised the way it classifies risks you face when visiting other countries. Each country gets a risk rating of one to four, replacing the old “warning” system. In practice, it looks like the new system will provide more useful risk assessments, but the utility of recommended precautions you should take in response to risks is underwhelming. The... READ MORE

A day spent amidst the Malecon mayhem

By: Fyllis Hockman

So I heard that you could spend from dawn to dusk on the seaside promenade known as the Malecon, in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and never get bored. And I thought, “OK, I’m up for that challenge.” And yes, the Malecon is a 1.5-mile delight, bordered by shops on one side and the Bay of Banderas on the other. I was initially struck by the preponderance of unusual brass sculptures... READ MORE

Why so many keep coming back to ‘PV’

By: Victor Block

The destination that my wife Fyllis and I were visiting isn’t for everyone. Some beaches consist of more pebbles than sand, and the ocean in places lacks the clarity and multi-hued colors of the Caribbean. Despite those drawbacks, in recent years Puerto Vallarta, Mexico has grown from a sleepy village into a magnet for people who favor it for a variety of reasons. When I asked... READ MORE

Try bargain vacations for smaller crowds

By: Miriam Cross

Hordes of tourists swarming the world’s most popular destinations can make travel unpleasant. For example, Barcelona and Venice are so crowded that disgruntled residents have staged protests over the influx of visitors. Governments looking for ways to reduce the crowds in Barcelona and Dubrovnik are considering limiting hotel construction or capping the number of cruise ships that... READ MORE