New smoking rules clear the air aboard cruise ships

Travelers who loved vacationing on the Carnival Paradise, which once was a cruise ship entirely cigarette smoke free among passengers and crew, have reason to cheer. As 2011 draws toward a close, second-hand smoke at sea is dissipating. With this year’s trend toward prohibiting smoking in cabins and in most gathering spots aboard ships, cruise lines slowly are catching up to the lifestyles of their passengers at home, where work places, public areas, restaurants, and bars are …

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Rick Steves, Budget Travel magazine win top Lowell Thomas awards

WELLINGTON, New Zealand Rick Steves, one of America’s best-known travelers as a guidebook writer, blogger, twitterer and TV/radio host, is the Journalist of the Year in the 2011 Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition. Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel magazine, the Los Angeles Times and the San Francisco Chronicle win top honors as the best travel publications in North America. National Geographic Traveler wins five awards, including best travel website and best cultural tourism article. Outside magazine also wins …

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Traveling in New Zealand one day at a time

I am in New Zealand a week already and still don’t know what day it is. Every day I need help to find the answer. The local paper indicates today is Wednesday, but my computer, which is on New York time, says today is Tuesday, election day. If today is Wednesday, how come I don’t know who won the elections? Worse is the realization that Tuesday, Nov. 2, is gone for good. I lost it, having never …

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A Grande slice of Gulf beach in Naples, Florida

Many of the newer condos and resorts lining the coast of Southwest Florida in and around Naples stand tall toward the beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. That’s toward, but not on the beach, because man, these days, no longer is stupid enough to destroy the mangroves, nature’s best beachfront protectors from the furious storms of the Gulf. Instead, vacation buildings near water’s edge sit behind the mangroves, which are low twisting trees with amazing root structures …

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Day dreams of Florida’s sands and palms

October snow terrorized New England. Geese by the thousands are honking as they fly south, past my windows that face Lake Erie, which is turning a steely gray (see picture). Early November may be a little early for human flight, but this snow bird from Ohio, having turned the heat up to “comfort zone” on the baseboard thermostat last night, is uncomfortable enough to visualize the benefits of the sands and palms of Florida. My day dream …

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Mingling with the mannequins: What the Dickens is Charles of England doing in Ohio

As soon as Halloween is over, the Central Ohio town of Cambridge will have a festive Victorian look, not only among its buildings, but also its people, some of whom dress and act like Charles Dickens characters for two months each winter. Through early January, downtown Cambridge celebrates all things Dickens, from carolers and well-dressed society types to street urchins, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim. If you stop by, you may also dress the part, borrowing for …

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“Puss in Boots” is this week’s Allure of the Seas

Passengers aboard Allure of the Seas are getting a sneak peek with their cruise this week at the new “Puss in Boots,” an animated 3-D movie from DreamWorks that stars the voices of Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek. Royal Caribbean has an early copy of the movie that debuts nationally on Oct. 28 and will be showing it all week to passengers who left on Allure on Sunday for a week’s voyage into the Caribbean. A red …

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AdventureSmith Explorations brings award-winning M/V Sea Voyager in to fold with five Central/South American itineraries

The travel company that secures matches between adventure-seeking clients and small expedition ships announces that is offering effective March 2012 five new  itineraries in Central and South America thanks to the re-launch of newly renovated M/V Sea Voyager. AdventureSmith Explorations, http://www.adventuresmithexplorations.com/, brings this 60-passenger expedition ship into its fold at a time when demand for travel to Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Ecuador is on the rise, said Todd Smith, founder / director. He noted that the …

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Park City Day 2-Park City Mountain Resort helps moms get the most of of their snow resort stay with the Ladies Club

DAY 2 — Want to join the Ladies Club? Park City Mountain Resort has become a leader in the ski industry with programs that limit the number of children in ski classes (three for the five and under set, five for those six to 14). They initiated SnowMamas from a website dedicated to snow loving and trip planning moms to help make their forays to the snow less stressful and more fun, drawing on women from around …

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Meeting the SnowMamas in Park City, Utah-day one, getting boots from the Dude

Day One — “This is going to change your life,” Scott Dudevoir, who everyone calls Dude, promised. I wasn’t becoming a vegetarian or a Vegan. I wasn’t changing jobs or moving to a new city. I was investing in a new pair of ski boots—my first in nearly a decade. Dude manages Cole Sport at Park City Mountain Resort and, I was told, was the go-to guy to fit ski boots. I’m in Park City for a …

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