Taking a cruise with Hollywood legends

By: Nick Thomas

The tragic Jan. 13 capsizing of the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the Tuscan island of Giglio in Italy probably has some potential passengers thinking twice about embarking on a future cruise. But these floating luxury “hotels” make thousands of trips each year without incident, and the cruise ship industry has an excellent safety record.This is one of the reasons why some... READ MORE

Las Vegas through the eyes of a first-timer

By: Laura Stassi Jeffrey

It feels like I’ve walked out of an icebox and into an oven as I exit the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, but I won’t let the summertime heat derail my exploration of the Las Vegas Strip on foot.Adjacent to the golden-hued Mandalay Bay is the dark, imposing, pyramid-shaped Luxor hotel and casino, and beyond that stands the multi-turreted, castle-like property called Excalibur.I... READ MORE

Krakow, Poland: Historic and now trendy

By: Caryn Rousseau

With crowds of tourists and a college-town atmosphere, Krakow — once the capital of Poland — has become a European hot spot.The center of it all is the centuries-old main square in the Old Town, or Stare Miasto, where brick streets are filled with restaurants, coffee shops, trendy boutiques and sidewalk cafes. Midnight feels like noon as crowds crawl late into the night, when... READ MORE

The euro: neither a windfall nor a worry

By: Ed Perkins

Today’s media are full of reports on the “crisis” in the euro currency. The euro is the common currency among 17 European countries — including all the big ones other than the UK — and what happens to it influences almost all U.S. visitors to any of those countries.The upside for visitors is that European travel costs for U.S. and Canadian visitors are somewhat ... READ MORE

The Everglades: One watery wonderland

By: Glenda C. Booth

A sheet of water once flowed from the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes near Orlando to Lake Okeechobee and then across the southern tip of Florida through ponds, sloughs, wetlands, hummocks and forests.Once covering almost 3 million acres, the Everglades was perceived by many during Florida’s early boom years as a worthless swamp interfering with agriculture and other development.So, human... READ MORE

Become an airport VIP at a sensible price

By: Ed Perkins

For most of us, big airports are among the world’s most hostile environments. Crowds, noise, long lines, inadequate seating, and garbled announcements are the norm.Fortunately, even occasional travelers can avail themselves of the road warriors’ refuges: VIP airline lounges. Mostly, you’ll have to pay, but an oasis of calm can be worth a few bucks.Most large airlines... READ MORE