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Traveler WORLD

THE CRUISE & VACATION MAGAZINE

SUMMER 2012

CRUISE HOT SPOT:

Bermuda

ST. MAARTEN DUTCH OR FRENCH? TWO PORTS IN ONE

Going wild in

COSTA RICA

PLUS MORE UNFORGETTABLE ADVENTURES ASHORE

OFF THE BEATEN PATH IN THE

CARIBBEAN CRUISE ONE FALL 2011 1

A LOOK AT THE SPECTACULAR BIG SHIPS EPIC AND OASIS: HOW THEY STACK UP 2012 Summer World Traveler.indd 1

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RECOGNIZING THE CRUISES INC. DIFFERENCE AS WE CELEBRATE 30 YEARS!

Personal service, the lowest prices, exclusive offers and vacation protection… THAT is our pledge to YOU!

EXQUISITE PERSONAL SERVICE

EXCEPTIONAL LOW PRICES

We’ll help determine the most appropriate cruising style for your personality whether it’s a fun-filled family adventure or a restful and relaxing getaway.

Cruises Inc. is part of the largest cruise agency in the United States, which guarantees you exceptional insider savings with special fares and exclusive rates and offers.

You’ll have access to expert advice from Vacation Specialists with years of experience.

Our prices are equal to or at times lower than “cruise line direct” or “Internet agencies.”

Nowhere else will you find one-onone personal attention to detail.

Our computerized “Best Fare” search program identifies the best value around.

EXCLUSIVE INDUSTRY OFFERS

We look for special fares that might be available to you ranging from regional rates, past passenger specials to senior discounts. We have access to thousands of group rates available exclusively to Cruises Inc.. We offer exclusive perks like upgrades, shore excursion discounts and onboard credits.

FOR THE BEST DEALS AND OPTIONS AVAILABLE, CONTACT YOUR INDEPENDENT VACATION SPECIALIST. YOU’LL FIND THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION LOCATED ON THE BACK COVER OF THIS MAGAZINE.

EXPERT VACATION PROTECTION

Our Travel Protection covers you for almost all possible elements you can think of including flight and weather delays, illness and medical, baggage loss and much more. We offer Cancel for Any Reason coverage. Cruises Inc. offers a Satisfaction Guarantee on every sailing. After departing on your cruise, if you are not satisfied, call us immediately from the ship. If we or the cruise line are unable to resolve your concern, we will refund the unused portion of your cruise and the cost to fly you back to your port of origin, guaranteed!*

MORE THAN 500 CRUISES INC. LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE

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2 FOR 1 CRUISE FARES* BONUS SAVINGS UP TO $3,000

FREE

AIRFARE*

per stateroom on select sailings*

Winter Escapades

PLUS

EXCLUSIVE CRUISES INC. TRAVEL OFFER:

PRE-PAID GRATUITIES* UP TO $200 SHIPBOARD CREDIT per stateroom*

INTRODUCING RIVIER A’S INAUGURAL SEASON

ISLAND HOLIDAY

Miami to Miami | 14 days | December 20, 2012 | onboard Riviera Miami, United States | George Town, Cayman Islands | Cozumel, Mexico Belize City, Belize | Santo Tomas, Guatemala | Roatan, Honduras Costa Maya, Mexico | Key West, United States | Miami, United States FULL BROCHURE FARE from

12,116 per guest*

$

SPECIAL OFFER FARE from

4,347 per guest*

$

MAYAN MYSTIQUE

Miami to Miami | 10 days | January 13, 2012 | onboard Riviera Miami, United States | George Town, Cayman Islands | Cozumel, Mexico Belize City, Belize | Santo Tomas, Guatemala | Roatan, Honduras Costa Maya, Mexico | Key West, United States | Miami, United States FULL BROCHURE FARE from

6,480 per guest*

$

SPECIAL OFFER FARE from

2,169 per guest*

$

ULTIMATE SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN

Miami to Miami | 14 days | March 4, 2012 | onboard Riviera Miami, United States | Oranjestad, Aruba | Willemstad, CW St. George’s, Grenada | Bridgetown, Barbados | Kingstown, St. Vincent Castries, Saint Lucia | St. John’s, Antigua | Gustavia, St. Barts | Miami, United States FULL BROCHURE FARE from

9,379 per guest*

$

SPECIAL OFFER FARE from

3,134 per guest*

$

Contact your Independent Vacation Specialist Today *All advertised fares, offers and any applicable shipboard credits, upgrades or special amenities shown are per person based on double occupancy unless otherwise indicated, are subject to availability at time of booking, may not be combinable with other offers, are capacity controlled and may be withdrawn without prior notice or remain in effect after the expiration date. All fares listed are in U.S. dollars and include Non-Commissionable Fares “Fares From” pricing is based on Category C unless otherwise indicated. Single rates and rates for 3rd and 4th guests are available upon request; call for details. Cruise Ship Fuel Surcharge may apply and, if applicable, is additional revenue to Oceania Cruises. 2 for 1, Early Booking Savings, Back to Back and Special Offer fares are based on published Full Brochure Fares. Full Brochure Fares may not have resulted in actual sales in all cabin categories, may not have been in effect during the last 90 days and do not include Personal Charges and Optional Facilities and Services Fees as defined in the Terms and Conditions of the Guest Ticket Contract which may be viewed at OceaniaCruises.com. Full Brochure Fares are cruise only. “Free Airfare” promotion does not include ground transfers and applies to economy, round-trip flights only from the following Oceania Cruises Primary Air Gateways: ATL, BOS, ORD, DEN, DFW, EWR, IAH, LAX, MIA, IAD, JFK, MCO, PHL, PHX, SAN, SEA, SFO, TPA, YUL, YYC, YYZ, YVR. Airfare is available from all other U.S. & Canadian gateways at an additional charge. Any advertised fares that include the “Free Airfare” promotion include airline fees, surcharges and government taxes. Some airline-imposed personal charges, including but not limited to baggage, priority boarding and special seating, may apply. Oceania Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. Complete Terms and Conditions may be found in the Guest Ticket Contract. Ships’ Registry: Marshall Islands. PRO28102

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Escape completely

®

Exclusive offer: You receive u 10-Day Caribbean Islander Cruise Caribbean Princess | New York to Ft. Lauderdale | 10 /31 /12 ®

10-Day Eastern Caribbean Voyager Emerald Princess | Sail roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale | 11 /17/12 ®

7-Day Western Caribbean Cruise Crown Princess | Sail roundtrip from Galveston | 12/22 /12 ®

7-Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise

Ruby Princess | Sail roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale | 12/23/12 ®

fares from

$899* fares from

$999* $1,199* fares from

fares from

$1,199*

†$50-60 onboard credit is per stateroom, based on double occupancy. Onboard credit may be used on a single voyage only, expires at the end of that voyage and is not redeemable for cash. Onboard credit is quoted in U.S. dollars. Void where prohibited by law. *Fares apply to minimum lead-in categories on a space-available basis at time of booking. Fares for other categories or sail dates may vary. Fares are per person, non-air, cruise-only, based on double occupancy and apply to the first two passengers in a stateroom. These fares do not apply to singles or third/ fourth-berth passengers. Oceanview stateroom may have an obstructed view. Government fees and taxes of up to $105 per person are additional, and are subject to change. Princess reserves the right to impose a Fuel Supplement of up to $9 per person per day on all passengers if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel, even if the fare has already been paid in full. This offer is capacity controlled and may not be combinable with any other public, group or past passenger discount, including onboard credits. Offer is not transferable and is available to residents of the 50 United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the District of Columbia who are 21 years of age or older and receive this offer. Fares quoted in U.S. dollars. Please refer to the applicable Princess Cruises brochure for terms, conditions and definitions that apply to all bookings. ©2012 Princess Cruises. Ships of Bermudan registry.

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y to the Caribbean ®

e up to $60 onboard credit† Sail with Princess Cruises to the Caribbean and let us handle the details so you can enjoy a carefree getaway. Our gracious crew is dedicated to taking care of any request, no matter how small, making you feel at home every moment aboard your ship. While onboard, you’ll enjoy a wide variety of dining options and innovative experiences all designed to help you escape completely.®

Contact your Independent Vacation Specialist to plan your vacation today!

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@Wo

Welcome to the pleasures of cruising with Holland America Line. The mid-sized ships of Holland America Line are purposefully designed to strike a balance: large enough to offer a full range of amenities and options, yet small enough to preserve a sophisticated ambiance.

7-Day Mediterranean Glamour ms Nieuw Amsterdam

9-16-12 Roundtrip Barcelona

Interior from

$1,199*

7-Day Canada and New England Discovery ms Maasdam or Veendam

Interior from

$1,549*

9-29 or 10-6-12 Montreal to Boston or reverse

11-Day Cultural Mosaic ms Ryndam

10-4-12 Roundtrip Barcelona

refined

mid-sized cruising

14-Day Solar Eclipse ms Oosterdam

11-7-12 Roundtrip Sydney

Interior from

$1,899*

34-Day Australia Circumnavigation ms Volendam

10-21-12 Roundtrip Sydney Spacious, Elegant Ships Gracious, Award-Winning Service Worldwide Itineraries Extensive Activities and Enrichment Programs Sophisticated Five-Star Dining

Interior from

$1,699*

Interior from

$5,449*

Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist

*Sample fares are per person, cruise and cruisetours only, based on double occupancy in the minimum categories. Airfare is additional. Fares are in US dollars. Taxes are additional and range from $78 to $158. Holland America Line reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person per day should the price of light sweet crude oil according to the NYMEX increase to over $70 per barrel. Fares based on Promo RH. Additional sailings and rates available. Amenities based on double occupancy and may vary per ship & sailing date. Offers are subject to availability and may be altered or withdrawn at any time without prior notice. Ships’ Registry: The Netherlands.

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WORLD TRAVELER | SUMMER 2012

Contents

FEATURES

30

THE BIG SHIPS: Dare to compare

36

COSTA RICA: Test your sense of adventure

42 48 2012 Summer World Traveler.indd 7

We take a look at Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Epic and Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, two of the biggest ships afloat. Find out what each ship has to offer and which one is best suited for you – or perhaps they both are! Whether it’s rushing down rapids, coming face-to-face with a crocodile, or experiencing nature’s beauty, you’ll never feel more alive than in Costa Rica. Get a taste of the fascinating diversity it has to offer, and experience some human comforts too with a sampling of hotels and eco-lodges.

BERMUDA: Paradise in the Atlantic Remote in the Atlantic, tiny Bermuda with its pretty-in-pink beaches and balmy climate is a stay-longer temptress whose pleasures encourage carefree relaxation. We highlight several of the cruise ships that call on Bermuda; find one that’s right for you!

CARIBBEAN: A beach less traveled If you thought you had discovered all the Caribbean has to offer, think again! We uncover some exhilarating, titillating and exotic locales that are sure to tempt and have you thinking about an off-the-beaten path Caribbean vacation!

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Contents #1

IT’S THE TOP SPOT AND WELL… SOMEONE’S GOT TO FILL IT! Cruises Inc. has grown to become one of the largest vacation suppliers in the country providing millions of people access to many fascinating destinations. Because of our unwavering dedication, undeniable passion and commitment to excellence, the largest cruise lines in the world have rewarded us with the title of their #1 partner of choice. We are proud to share these accolades with you and are committed to making your vacation dreams come true… Won’t you make us your #1 partner too?

DEPARTMENTS

R

17 23 26

56

58

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Cruise News Interludes

Here’s a selection of some of the Caribbean’s hottest “hot spots” giving you the best in relaxation and fun in the sun.

Port Guide: St. Maarten/St. Martin

Half Dutch, half French, a bit of Europe in the Caribbean, what could be more wonderful? A very popular port of call and for good reason, from the beaches, to the shopping, to the cuisine, St Maarten offers a host of delightful experiences.

Shore Excursions: Chillin’ in the Caribbean

So many different experiences to try throughout the Caribbean, from cave tubing, clear bottom kayaking, to snorkeling with sea turtles. The islands offer an endless array of activities and we highlight some of our favorites.

Test your travel smarts

HOW DO WE RANK WITH YOU? Tell us about your experience with CruisesInc. Share your photos from a dream vacation sailing the seas with one of our cruise line partners, touring an unforgettable city, or enjoying a resort or hotel retreat we’ve arranged for you. You may find yourself included on the pages of an upcoming issue of World Traveler magazine or highlighted on our Facebook page! Submit your testimonial and snapshots, along with your name, contact information, location and date of travel to worldtraveler@cruisesinc.com

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NA_


explore… IT’S ALL INCLUDED.

Elegant Ships With All Ocean-View Suites, Private Balconies and No More Than 700 Guests

NORTHERN HARBORS COPENHAGEN TO STOCKHOLM | August 15, 2012 | 10 NIGHTS | Seven Seas Voyager 2-for-1 Fares from $8,499 per person including $1,000 Bonus Savings plus receive a $200 Shipboard Credit per suite

2-for-1 Fares plus additional bonus savings of up to $3,000 per suite

FREE Roundtrip Air

FREE Business Class Air for Penthouse Suites and higher

FREE Unlimited Shore Excursions

FREE Luxury Hotel Package

FREE Beverages including fine wines and premium spirits

FREE Pre-Paid Gratuities

FREE Ground Transfers

FREE In-suite mini-bar replenished daily

CLASSICAL VISIONS BARCELONA TO ATHENS | September 26, 2012 | 10 NIGHTS | Seven Seas Mariner 2-for-1 Fares from $6,499 per person including $1,500 Bonus Savings plus receive a $300 Shipboard Credit per suite

BYZANTINE BYWAYS ROME (CIVITAVECCHIA) TO ISTANBUL | October 24, 2012 | 7 NIGHTS | Seven Seas Voyager 2-for-1 Fares from $4,799 per person including $1,500 Bonus Savings plus receive a $100 Shipboard Credit per suite

PALAZZOS & PATRICIANS VENICE TO MONTE CARLO | October 30, 2012 | 10 NIGHTS | Seven Seas Mariner 2-for-1 Fares from $6,349 per person including $1,250 Bonus Savings plus receive a $600 Shipboard Credit per suite

Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist to Book Your Regent Experience Today. Offers expire June 30, 2012 and their availability is limited. At the time of your purchase, fares may be higher. Fares listed are in U.S. dollars, based on double occupancy. All fares listed are per person and bonus savings listed are per suite. All fares and offers are for new bookings only, are capacity controlled and subject to availability, may not be combined with other offers and may be withdrawn at any time without prior notice. 2-for-1 Fares are based on published Full Brochure Fares; fares may not include Personal Charges, Optional Facilities and Services Fees as defined in the Terms and Conditions of the Guest Ticket Contract. Air Inclusive Program applies to economy, roundtrip flights only from select U.S. & Canadian gateways: ATL, BOS, CLT, DFW, DEN, EWR, FLL, HNL, IAD, IAH, JFK, LAX, LGA, MCO, MIA, MSP, ORD, PBI, PHL, PHX, SAN, SAV, SEA, SFO, TPA, YUL, YVR, YYC and YYZ. Advertised fare includes all air surcharges, airline fees and government taxes. Some airline-imposed personal charges, including but not limited to baggage, priority boarding, and special seating, may apply. For details visit exploreflightfees.com. Air routing, scheduling and air carrier are at the discretion of Regent Seven Seas Cruises. Business Class Air applies to international flights from the select U.S. & Canadian gateways mentioned above and may not apply to U.S. domestic or intra-continental flights within North America, Europe, South America, Asia or Africa. Flights beginning or ending in HNL require a supplement. Air Inclusive Program and Air Upgrade Offers are not combinable with 3rd and/or 4th guests in a suite. FREE Luxury Hotel Package applies for guests 1 and 2 only. FREE Unlimited Shore Excursion reservations are accepted on a firstcome, first-served basis and number of shore excursions are subject to availability. Restrictions apply and cancellations received 36 hours prior to shore excursion start date may incur penalties. Regent Seven Seas Cruises reserves the right to correct errors or omissions and to change any and all fares or promotional offers at any time. Complete terms and conditions may be found in the Guest Ticket Contract. Ships’ Registry: Bahamas ©2012 Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

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Discover a unique way of cruising with Compagnie Du Ponant Yacht Cruises!

Traveler WORLD

THE CRUISE & VACATION MAGAZINE

SPECIAL OF FER: $200 Shipboard C redit**

Vol. 1, No. 3 Summer 2012

Cruises Inc. 1201 W. Cypress Creek Road Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Exploring the Aegean Sea

Featuring a Classical music theme cruise…

General Manager & Senior Vice President: Dwain Wall Vice President of Marketing: Luis Zuniga Marketing & Editorial: Dana M. Burzymowski

7 nights Aboard L’Austral From Athens to Istanbul Oceanview starting from $2,903*

Privacy Policy: At Cruises Inc. we value your privacy and respect the information you have provided to us. All information on file was given by you voluntarily. We do not sell, trade or rent your personal information to any outside parties. To view our complete Privacy Policy please visit our website: www.cruisesinc.com Published by: Cruise Strategies Ltd. 15 Hazelton Ave, 2nd Floor Toronto, ON Canada M5R 2E1 Editorial Contributors: Michael DeFreitas, Lynn Elmhirst, Liz Fleming, Melanie Reffes, Art Sbarsky, Cathy Stapells, Dana M. Burzymowski, Vanessa Lee, Wanjira Banfield Art Director: Linda Crawley Publisher and Editorial Director: Vanessa Lee Publishing Manager: Mary Muir

Contact your Independent Vacation Specialist to Book Today!

*Fares listed are per person, based on double occupancy, excluding taxes and fees, flights, transfers, fuel surcharges and gratuities. Ponant Bonus Fares are the lowest available rate at the time of purchase, and are subject to increase or withdrawal at any time without notice as the ship fills. Certain other restrictions may apply. ** $200 shipboard credit per stateroom. Maximum shipboard credit is $200.

COVER PHOTO: VIBRANT IMAGE STUDIO / SHUTTERSTOCK

Contents copyrighted 2012 by Cruise Strategies Ltd. Reproduction in whole or part by any means without express written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Return Undeliverable United States addresses to: Cruises Inc., 1201 W. Cypress Creek Road, Suite 100, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309

Terms & Conditions: Prices are per person, double occupancy; port charges included; government fees, taxes, and fuel surcharges additional; service fees may apply; limited availability. Promotional offers are valid on specific dates, capacity controlled by the cruise lines and may not be combinable with other offers. Prices shown are minimum fares for select departure dates. Other dates may be higher. Not responsible for last-minute changes of price or itinerary by cruise line or any errors or omissions in the content of this ad. Some restrictions and cancellation penalties may apply. Hotel, taxes fees and/or surcharges may apply. *Full details of the Best Price & Satisfaction Guarantee can be found on our website. 2012 © Cruises Inc. Booking Code: 24086

Ship’s Registry: France. FL Seller of Travel Ref No. ST37706 and CA Seller of Travel Ref No. 2106116-40.

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EUROPE: WHERE HISTORY BEGAN, WHERE MEMORIES ARE MADE.

Book a balcony or above stateroom on any Royal Caribbean Europe sailing departing August - December 2012 and receive a complimentary spa treatment!

Splendour of the Seas®

7-NIGHT GREEK ISLES/TURKEY Departing from Venice, Italy August 4 – November 10, 2012 Balcony Staterooms From: $1,379†*

Liberty of the Seas®

7-NIGHT WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN Departing from Barcelona, Spain August 4 – October 20, 2012 Balcony Staterooms From: $1,519†*

Serenade of the Seas®

12-NIGHT MEDITERRANEAN Departing from Barcelona, Spain August 9 – October 27, 2012 Balcony Staterooms From: $2,019†*

This limited-time special offer is only available through July 30, so contact your Independent Vacation Specialist to book your Royal Caribbean cruise to Europe today.

†ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL® RESERVES THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE A FUEL SUPPLEMENT OF UP TO $10 PER GUEST PER DAY ON ALL GUESTS IF THE PRICE OF WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE FUEL EXCEEDS $65.00 PER BARREL. Prices are per person, double occupancy, cruise only, and on select sailings. Prices shown are for stateroom categories as noted and are shown in U.S. dollars. Government taxes and fees are additional. Airfare is not included. Prices and itineraries are based on availability and are subject to change without notice. Prices and itineraries may vary by ship and sail date. Spa offer valid for balcony or above staterooms booked between June 11 – July 31, 2012 on any Europe cruise departing August 1 – December 31, 2012. Spa offer will be limited to one treatment per stateroom, and it will be at the guest’s discretion as to which guest on the stateroom redeems the treatment. The guest redeeming the spa offer will choose among one of three of the spa treatments: La Thérapie Hydrolift Facial; Swedish Massage; Reflexology including Massage. Spa offer can be redeemed on port days only. Booking eligibility is based on when the booking is created not deposited or date of final payment. This offer is valid for new individual bookings only. Offer not applicable to Groups. Booking eligibility is based on when the booking is created not deposited or date of final payment. Subject to availability. Offer can be withdrawn at any time. Additional restrictions may apply. ©2012 Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. Ships registered in the Bahamas. 12028230 • 5/8/2012

RESERVE YOUR ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE WITH YOUR INDEPENDENT VACATION SPECIALIST TODAY!

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A SEA OF VALUE

MORE VACATIONERS TRAVELING EUROPE BY CRUISE SHIP Kayak Croatia. Scale a volcano in the Greek Isles. Fly a hot air balloon over Barcelona. Value-focused travelers have found the key to seeing and doing more in Europe, without paying more – on multi-day cruises featuring the old world’s most storied cities. In recent years, European cruising has grown immensely popular with U.S. travelers, who love the convenience, comfort, and bigger bang for their buck. According to the European Cruise Council’s latest report, more than 5.2 million passengers embarked on a European cruise in 2010, a 7.6 percent increase over 2009 – with demand projected to grow well through 2015. Here are a few reasons why seeing Europe by cruise, rather than land travel, has become a top choice for travelers abroad. Little to no hassle: The ease of cruising is a huge draw, especially for vacationers coming to Europe from outside the continent. For one cruise fare, they get an intensive, multi-day vacation where nearly every detail is taken care of. No hotels to book. No train tickets to buy, no bags to lug between cities. Unpack once and you’re set to see the continent. Many destinations in one vacation: Cruise ships sail overnight between port cities, meaning each day of the voyage can feature a new destination. Tuck yourself in after a day in Mykonos, then wake up to the cliffs of Santorini just outside your balcony. With so many cities nestled along the European coast, cruise ships can hop between several notable destinations in a short span – so you’ll see more of the best highlights. So much is included: One cruise fare includes accommodations, transport between cities, dining for most meals and snacks, plus entertainment, activities, and more. It’s an inclusive, multi-destination value that’s altogether unrivaled by any other vacation option in Europe. Cruisers also like the ability to pay one fare in U.S. dollars, without having to worry about exchange rates. Royal Caribbean brings a new level of energy and quality to the Europe cruise market, on ships loaded with industry firsts that the cruise line is known for. Guests can ice skate while crossing the Adriatic Sea. Scale the rock climbing wall for outstanding views of the Barcelona sky line. Shop the Royal Promenade mall right on the ship, after a day of bargaining in Turkish bazaars. These innovations and more pack each ship, along with Broadway-caliber shows, expansive Vegas-style casinos, and fine dining that rivals anything found on land.

BON

VOYAGE!

For more information and to book your Royal Caribbean cruise to Europe, contact your Independent Vacation Specialist.

RESERVE YOUR ROYAL CARIBBEAN CRUISE WITH YOUR INDEPENDENT VACATION SPECIALIST TODAY! 2012 Summer World Traveler.indd 12

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AWAITING YOUR DISCOVERY… A COLLECTION OF UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES

EXPLORING THE DOURO & SEINE – NEW IN 2013 7-night Douro cruise on board the brand-new AMAVIDA from $2199* pp, cruise only

7-night Seine cruise on board the beautiful AMALEGRO from $2499* pp, cruise only

Porto | Régua | Salamanca | Pinhão | Bitetos

Paris | Giverny | Normandy Beaches | Rouen | Conflans

“IN CELEBRATION OF WINE” CRUISES Rhone, Douro, Rhine, Mosel & Danube rivers 7-night river cruise from $2399* pp, cruise only Wine lectures & tastings by renowned hosts | Gourmet dining plus wine pairings | Excursions to historic vineyards & tastings

Premium River Cruise Experience‡ State-of-the-art ships | Spacious staterooms with French balconies or step-out balconies | Complimentary in-room Internet & Wi-Fi Gourmet dining with free wine, beer & soft drinks | Complimentary shore excursions | Complimentary bicycles & guided bike tours

! * Rates are per person, based on double occupancy in a Cat. E, for cruise only and varies per departure. Upgrades, port charges and roundtrip airfare are additional. Land programs are available, please call for details. ‡Premium River Cruise Experience applies to most ships; please ask for details. CST #2065452-40

CONTACT YOUR INDEPENDENT VACATION SPECIALIST SPECIAL OFFERS AVAILABLE ON SELECT DEPARTURES, ASK FOR DETAILS

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NORWEGIANS DO IT FREESTYLE. Norwegians cruise like no other people on Earth - with more choices to do anything you

want and more freedom to do it your way. We call it Freestyle Cruising®. You’ll call it the best vacation you’ve ever had. Let us take you to the most fascinating destinations around with beautiful beaches, amazing adventures and year-round sunshine. Dig a little deeper and you’ll be surprised at how much more you can experience with Norwegian. Explore rich history with a visit to the ancient Mayan ruins. Experience a bird’s-eye view of a lush paradise while zip-lining through the jungle. Drive to some of the best-kept secret locations on an Off-Road Adventure. With Norwegian’s go-with-the-flow style of exclusive Freestyle Cruising, roaming the Caribbean doesn’t get any better than this.

Fare is shown in U.S. Dollars. Fare is cruise only, per person, based on double occupancy. Guests who cancel and rebook must accept this promotion’s Terms and Conditions. Government taxes & fees, and onboard service charges are additional. Offers are based on availability, are capacity controlled, and combinability with other offers is subject to change or cancellation at any time per Norwegian Cruise Line’s discretion. Other restrictions may apply. IMPORTANT NOTICE: NCL reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement without prior notice should the closing price of West Texas Intermediate Fuel increase above $65 per barrel on the NYMEX (New York Mercantile Exchange Index). In the event a fuel supplement is charged, NCL will have sole discretion to apply the supplementary charge to both existing and new bookings, regardless of whether such bookings have been paid in full. Such supplementary charges are not included in the cruise fare. The fuel supplement charge will not exceed $10.00 per passenger per day. Norwegian is not responsible for typographical errors or omissions. ©2012 NCL Corporation LTD. Ships’ Registry: Bahamas and United States of America.

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7-DAY WESTERN CARIBBEAN NORWEGIAN PEARL December 9 & December 16, 2012

7-DAY EASTERN CARIBBEAN NORWEGIAN EPIC November 24 & December 8, 2012

369

479

$

$

from Round-trip from Miami

from Round-trip from Miami

Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas; Ocho Rios, Jamaica; George Town, Cayman Islands; Cozumel, Mexico

Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Nassau, Bahamas

$75 Shipboard Credit

$75 Shipboard Credit

10-DAY SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN

11-DAY SOUTHERN CARIBBEAN

NORWEGIAN SUN November 4, 2012

NORWEGIAN SUN November 14, 2012

749

649

$

$

from Round-trip from Miami

from Round-trip from Miami

St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Roseau, Dominica; Bridgetown, Barbados; Castries, St. Lucia; Philipsburg, St. Maarten

Cartagena, Colombia; Oranjestad, Aruba; Willlemstad, Curacao; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

$100 Shipboard Credit, 1 bottle of wine $100 Shipboard Credit, 1 bottle of wine

Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist to Book Your Norwegian Cruise Experience Today.

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DISCOVER ING TH AI L AN D & V I E T N AM 15 NIGHTS | 5 OV E RN I G H T STAYS | 2 . 5 DAYS I N B A N G KO K 19 JA NUA RY 2013

See Bangkok in a Different Light longer STAYS. more OVERNIGHTS. night TOURING.

Bangkok, Wednesday, 7:00 AM | Azamara’s smaller ships let you sail up the Chao Phraya River to Bangkok’s door.

Bangkok, Wednesday, 11:00 AM | Visit the Jim Thompson House and learn about lustrous Thai silk.

Bangkok, Wednesday, 3:00 PM | Shop for gold and gemstones in one of the world’s great jewelry capitals.

N IGH T VIE W O F THE GR AN D PA L AC E TE M P L E C O MP L EX IN BA N GKO K , TH A IL AN D

S LOW D OW N & S AVO R T H E E X P E R I E N C E Great cities change from dawn to dusk to midnight, and on Azamara you’ll see it all. Nearly 50% of our port visits include late or overnight stays, so you can explore by day and enjoy dining and entertainment after dark. For authentic Bangkok, Wednesday, 9:00 PM | Savor fine dining and vibrant street life in Chinatown.

experiences of local life and culture, join our optional Land Discoveries,® or set out on your own with guidance from our concierge. We call it DESTINATION IMMERSION.SM You just might call it the best voyage ever. Voted the #1 small-ship cruise line for service, value, overall experience and more (Cruise Critic® 2012 Cruisers’ Choice Awards).

Contact your Independent Vacation Specialist to book your Azamara voyage today.

ASIA • SOUTH AMERICA • WEST INDIES • WESTERN EUROPE BRITISH ISLES • F RE N C H & I TA LI A N R I VI E R A S • GREEK ISLES

• •

S C A N D I N AV I A & T H E B A LT I C S T H E A D R I AT I C • H O LY L A N D

Azamara Club Cruises ® is a proud member of the Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. family of cruise lines. Activities shown are conceptual, and will change depending on itinerary. ©2012 Azamara Club Cruises. Ships’ Registry: Malta.

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C R U I S E N E W S AVALON IN 2013: TWO NEW SUITE SHIPS

Avalon will introduce the Avalon Expression and Avalon Artistry II next year, bringing its fleet to five of the company’s new Suite Ships, boasting two full decks of suites: 200-square foot Panorama Suites (293 total) and 300-square foot Royal Suites (10 total). And Avalon is introducing a brand new concept to its river cruising next year: Avalon ChoiceSM providing river cruisers the freedom to personalize their cruise, from beginning to end. Guests will be able to select from four types of sightseeing excursions, guided bike tours, and the use of Nordic walking sticks. Dining experiences will be expanded onboard and off, offering a selection of dining options and times, and the chance to attend tastings of local cuisine with visiting local chefs who will come on board. In 2013, Avalon wants to offer as much flexibility and choice to their guests as possible to enhance their cruise experience.

LE CIRQUE

Artists impression

MSC CRUISES LAUNCHES NEW SHIP

The brand new MSC Divina, the third ship in the Fanatasia class, was just christened in May by screen legend Sophia Loren, the godmother of the ship, for whom the ship is named after. The MSC Divina is modelled after sister ships – the MSC Splendida and MSC Fantasia. With decks named after the Gods of Ancient Greece, the MSC Divina will feature several design enhancements that make her truly a divine goddess. Some of the enhancements include: increased capacity with 1,751 staterooms hosting 3,502 guests on the 139,400 ton ship, making it the largest ship in the MSC Cruises fleet; a beautiful Infinity Garden Pool in the aft of the ship with its own beach zone, designed with a glass balustrade which offers an unforgettable view of the ship’s wake fading into the sunset. Plus a new fresh water production system requiring 40 percent less power, assuring less environmental impact. Guests of the exclusive MSC Yacht Club, “a ship within a ship” will enjoy the best in luxury, privacy and service with their own Concierge Reception and Butler Service, creating a unique and exclusive private club on board. This oasis includes several private venues, including Le Muse panoramic restaurant, Top Sail Lounge with the one pool and relaxation area. The MSC Divina embarks on her maiden season cruising the Eastern Mediterranean with 7 and 11 night itineraries from Venice and Bari.

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With an exclusive agreement with Le Cirque restaurant, Holland America will offer guests “An Evening at Le Cirque” in the Pinnacle Grill on all of its 15 ships, re-creating the legendary restaurant’s ambiance and awardwinning dining experience on board. From serving the amuse bouche on fanciful orange Le Cirque china to featuring the restaurant’s famous crème brûlée, on virtually every voyage, the Pinnacle Grill will be transformed for at least one night into a Le Cirque–like atmosphere. On those special evenings, menu offerings, wine selections, table décor and the restaurant setting will be designed to create an authentic Le Cirque dining experience. Reservations can be made for “An Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill” for a charge. Not only will guests have the opportunity to dine on unique Le Cirque dishes including Lobster Salad “Le Cirque,” Sweet Corn Soup and Côte de Boeuf, they also will be able to learn how to cook a dish or two during special Le Cirque demonstrations in the onboard Culinary Arts Center.

PHOTO: WALLACE IMMEN / RALPH GRIZZLE

COMES TO HOLLAND AMERICA

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CRUISE NEWS | NEW SHIPS

ROYAL CARIBBEAN’s PROJECT sUNsHINE GETs EVEN sUNNIER

A second ship has been ordered by Royal Caribbean for its brand new class of ships named “Project Sunshine”. The new vessel will be delivered in Spring 2015 and her sister in the Fall of 2014. Both will weigh in at 158,000 tonnes and accommodate 4,100 guests. Both ships are being built by German shipyard Meyer Werft. To date, not many details have been revealed about this new class of ship, but they will be smaller than Royal Caribbean’s most recent ships, the massive and very popular Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. Perhaps the project name is a clue?

AmAWATERWAYs – CRUIsING ON THE DARk CONTINENT

AMA Waterways is now offering a fabulous and unusual river cruise on the Chobe River which runs along the borders of Namibia and Botswana. The four day cruise on the luxurious Zambezi Queen is just a part of a variety of longer vacations which also encompasses several other African countries, including South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe. 16 and 19-day river and land safari holidays are offered to guests in 2012. These combine hotel nights in major cities, safari camps and then four nights aboard the 28-guest river ship. With a mix of staterooms and junior suites all with balconies, this intimate and airy river boat offers an amazing opportunity for outstanding wildlife viewing. The air conditioned top deck has a dining room, living area and bar and is decorated in a light and breezy contemporary style. There is also a swimming pool on the top deck. The river ship was built in 2009, is 150 feet long and has 22 staff. Every cruise and land safari also includes two nights at the spectacular Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.

Artists impression

PRINCEss CRUIsEs FIRsT mEmBER OF THE ROYAL FAmILY

The Royal Princess will be introduced by Princess Cruises in June 2013, welcoming 3,600 guests on board and will offer 12-day “Grand Mediterranean” cruises between Barcelona and Venice. The 3,600-guest Royal Princess is the first of two new-generation ships for Princess; her new highlights include a SeaWalk SM and SeaView Bar, a unique enclosed walkway extending from the ship’s top deck and a port side cantilevered bar, each having glass floors and sweeping ocean views. There’s also a new upper-deck pool exclusively for adults, an enhanced Movies Under the Stars® screen, the largest top-deck pool ever, offering a dazzling evening water and light show. The ship’s atrium will be a signature space, 50 percent larger than on the most recent class of Princess ships and will debut a number of brand new features including Bellini’s Italian cocktail bar, Ocean Terrace seafood bar, a gelateria and Celebrations, a new gift shop for marking special occasions on board. 18 WORLD TRAVELER SUMMER 2012

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CARNIVAL’S DESTINY TO BECOME BRAND NEW SUNSHINE After a massive $155m transformation in early 2013 is completed, Carnival’s Destiny will be renamed and emerge as the brand new Carnival Sunshine. The most ambitious ship conversion project undertaken by Carnival to date, the new Sunshine will offer a variety of exciting dining and beverage choices, spectacular outdoor spaces and entertainment options. She will embark on a schedule of 9 and 12-day Mediterranean voyages from Barcelona and Venice from April to October 2013 then launch year-round 7-day Caribbean departures from New Orleans beginning November 2013. The ship will feature a three deck high Serenity adults-only retreat offering an oasis of tranquility with plush chaise lounges and chairs, whirlpool, cascading waterfall and a complimentary dining area all completely surrounded by magnificent ocean views. Other outdoor fun and recreation areas include a SportSquare, WaterWorks play area with Carnival’s iconic “Twister” waterslide and a Seaside Theater featuring a 270 sq. foot high tech LED screen offering nightly “Dive In Movies” along with a variety of concerts, sporting events and other programming all of which are enjoyed in the fresh sea air.

CELEBRITY OFFERS MORE LUXURY ASHORE

Significantly expanding its private shore excursion program from 13 to over 70 ports of call around the world, Celebrity Cruises offers even more ways for guests to make the most of their time ashore by enjoying the luxury and convenience of a private vehicle with a driver or a driver and tour guide. Celebrity offers guests a way to personalize and tailor their experience ashore at their own pace; with a more intensive port experience focused on what interests them most. These will be available in over 50 ports of call in Europe and over 20 ports of call throughout Alaska, Bermuda, the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest and South America. The day’s itinerary is at the guest’s discretion and is coordinated directly with the driver and/or guide on the day of the tour, so meals and visits to local attractions can be chosen on-the-spot.

DISNEY’S NEW FANTASYLAND SET TO ENTERTAIN Set for completion in 2014, the New Fantasyland has begun opening in phases, the first of which opened this past March and with most new experiences offered by 2013. The largest expansion project in Magic Kingdom history, the all New Fantasyland will nearly double in size and engage guests in Disney stories as never before. Guests will have the chance to fly high with The Great Goofini or with Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “immerse” themselves in an Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid, “be our guest” at the Beast’s Castle, take a wild ride through the diamond mine of the Seven Dwarfs, visit Belle’s Cottage and the Princess Fantasy Hall plus other great attractions. WORLD TRAVELER SUMMER 2012 19

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Doing as much (or as little) as you choose in Europe. This year, make your dream vacation to Europe a reality with Celebrity Cruises and see why we’re not only the best value for your vacation time, but why we’re ranked #1 Large-Ship Cruise Line in the Condé Nast Traveler 201 1 Readers’ Choice Awards. 12-Night Immersive Wine Cruise onboard Celebrity Constellation® Southampton, England roundtrip 2012 Sail Dates: Sep. 7, 19; Oct. 1, 13 Ocean View Starting from $1,249 *†

11-Night Mediterranean Cruise onboard Celebrity Equinox® Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy roundtrip 2012 Sail Dates: Aug. 13 & Sep. 3 Ocean View Starting from $2,049 *†

11-Night Mediterranean Cruise onboard Celebrity Silhouette◊ Rome (Civitavecchia) & Venice departures 2012 Sail Dates: Jul. 30 & Oct. 23 Ocean View Starting from $1,149 *†

14-Night Iceland & Fjords Cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse® Southampton, England roundtrip 2012 Sail Date: Jul. 7 Ocean View Starting from $3,229 *†

14-Night Scandinavia & Russia Cruise onboard Celebrity Eclipse® Southampton, England roundtrip 2012 Sail Date: Aug. 18 Ocean View Starting from $3,115 *†

† CELEBRITY CRUISES RESERVES THE RIGHT TO IMPOSE A FUEL SUPPLEMENT OF UP TO $10USD PER GUEST PER DAY ON ALL GUESTS IF THE PRICE OF WEST TEXAS INTERMEDIATE FUEL EXCEEDS $65.00 PER BARREL. * Prices are in U.S. dollars, cruise-only, per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Itinerary and prices subject to change without notice. Government taxes and fees are additional. Certain restrictions apply. Modern Luxury is a trademark of Celebrity Cruises Inc. ©2012 Celebrity Cruises Inc. Ship’s registry: Malta and Ecuador. 12028123 • 3/2012

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For More Information, Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist

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Experience La Dolce Vita with Uniworld Uniworld’s NEW “Splendors of Italy” combines a seven-night river cruise along the Po River and the Venetian Lagoon with a two-night hotel stay in Florence and a three-night hotel stay in Rome. Uniworld blends all the “must see” sights with off-the-beaten path treasures. From the palazzo-lined canals of Venice to the UNESCO World Heritage designated Ravenna, from Rome’s Sistine Chapel to Romeo and Juliet’s enchanting Verona, Uniworld has created a veritable feast for the senses.

Join Uniworld—the only North American river cruise line to offer river cruising in Italy— on their inaugural season sailing in 2013 and experience La Dolce Vita.

Contact your Independent Vacation Specialist to book your Uniworld experience today.

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I N T E R L U D E S Whether you are planning a vacation away at a wonderful hotel or resort or perhaps you want to spend a few nights in a great destination before or after your cruise vacation, these hot spots are all very appealing and will give you a taste of the good life that awaits.

CARLISLE BAY RESORT Not a wish goes unfulfilled. Not a request goes unnoticed and not even an order of cinnamon French toast delivered by the gracious room service staff comes less than piping hot. It is, indeed, another day in paradise. On the unspoiled south coast of Antigua, Carlisle Bay is nestled in a sweeping bay amidst pineapple plantations, mango trees and a rainforest. With 82 expansive oceanfront suites, the grand resort is convenient to the capital city of St. Johns and the iconic English Harbour. A member of Leading Small Hotels of the World, the property is the creative vision of hotelier extraordinaire, Gordon Campbell Gray.

ANTIGUA

Without pretension, Carlisle Bay invites with irresistibly spacious oceanview suites from junior to three-bedroom and balconies or terraces. Celebrated by style mavens, suites feature wooden slatted ceilings with fans that do the trick without the noise and sumptuous beds with Frette linens. The little things that impress include TVs that ‘remember’ the last channel you watched and ample supplies of the REN-brand grape seed, jojoba and Shea butter body products. Forty-eight split-level Ocean Suites measure a sprawling 73 square meters while the four Carlisle Suites are more than generous with three double bedrooms, dining area, sitting room and kitchen. A bridge over a water lily filled pond leads to the Pavilion Bar and through imposing Indonesian wooden doors, East restaurant excels with an Asianinspired menu and Indigo on the Beach delights with fresh seafood. When the clouds open up to a brief rain shower, duck into the movie theater next to the pool – replete with blue leather seats and popcorn. Whether you’re indulging in a spa treatment, playing a game of tennis on one of nine courts, sipping a Wadadli beer at the Beach Bar or simply perfecting the fine art of doing nothing, Carlisle Bay exudes a warm Antiguan welcome that is second to none. — MELANIE REFFES

COUPLES TOWER ISLE

On the scenic and lush north shore of Jamaica, there’s a 19-acre enclave known as Couples Tower Isle. It has a total of 226 rooms and suites, 20 of which were added during a recent $30 million renovation. The resort is really lovely, spread out but not too expansive.

JAMAICA

There’s a lot to be said for the all-inclusive resort where you pay up front. All meals are included, all beverages (soft drinks and alcoholic variety including local rum and yummy Red Stripe beer), tipping, lots of water sports and free side trips (including the famous Dunn’s River Falls). Lounge chairs are spread out along the delightful beach front, the pools are inviting and there are plenty of free water sports for the energetic. It’s easy to get into the island vibe; the key phrases are clearly “Yeah Mon” and “No Problem.” The food, with lots of local choices, including many things made with Jamaica’s outstanding jerk sauce, and options including Asian and International, is excellent. Breakfast and lunch buffets offer many things made to order and everything is very fresh. And unexpectedly so, there’s a healthy fruit smoothie and juice bar and also a grill where burgers, jerk pork (outstanding!) and chicken sandwiches, fries and soft-serve ice cream make for great snacks. At night, there’s a choice of four restaurants, two needing reservations and two walk-in; the buffet is the place to be on lobster night – the grilled lobster tails are unlimited! There’s evening entertainment during and after dinner and at the piano bar. Or just sit at water’s edge and enjoy the stars. The air-conditioned rooms, whether a regular room or a suite, facing the ocean or garden, are not exorbitantly priced and have the necessary furnishings and amenities. Recommendation: spring for the oceanview rooms with a balcony; they’re worth the cost. — ART SBARSKY WORLD TRAVELER SUMMER 2012 23

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SEABOURN THE DESTINATION IS EVERY BIT A S IMPORTANT A S THE JOURNE Y.

SAVE 50% OR MORE CARIBBEAN HARBORS Seabourn Legend Round-trip Ft. Lauderdale 11 Days Nov 29, Dec 10, 2012 Fares from $3,799

KINGDOMS OF THE SUN Seabourn Odyssey Athens to Dubai 16 Days Nov 10, 2012 Fares from $5,999

ARABIA & INDIAN ODYSSEY Seabourn Odyssey Dubai to Singapore 15 Days Nov 26, 2012 Fares from $5,999

ATLANTIC COAST HARBORS Seabourn Sojourn Montreal to Ft. Lauderdale 13 Days Oct 19, 2012 Fares from $5,999

PATAGONAIN PASSAGE WEST Seabourn Sojourn Buenos Aires to Valparaiso 15 Days Dec 4, 2012, Jan 4, Feb 3, 2013 Fares from $4,999

To begin your journey on the World’s Best Small-Ship Cruise Line*, contact your Independent Vacation Specialist

*According to readers of both Travel + Leisure and Condé Nast Traveler and the over 6,000 travel advisors of Virtuoso Travel Network.ˇFares based on this sailing date. All fares are in U.S. dollars, cruiseonly, for new bookings only, per guest, double occupancy, subject to availability, and valid only for residents of the Americas. Some suite categories may not be available. Government taxes and fees are not included. Fares are not combinable with any other offer, may vary by sailing date, are capacity controlled, and are subject to change without prior notice. Seabourn reserves the right to charge a fuel supplement for all guests, without prior notice, if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70.00 USD per barrel, and may collect such a supplement even if the cruise fare has been paid in full. Certain restrictions apply. Information herein is accurate at time of printing. Seabourn reserves the right to correct errors. Ships’ registry: Bahamas. ©2012 Seabourn.

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HOTELS AND RESORTS | INTERLUDES

OCEAN CLUB RESORTS

With its warm breezes and warmer waters, the Turks & Caicos chain of islands is perfect for those seeking the Caribbean road less traveled. Charming, English-speaking and compact, Providenciales or Provo, as it is known, is the largest in the chain where cycling is the transportation of choice and the US dollar the currency of choice. Fronting one of the finest beaches in Provo, Ocean Club with 87 units and Ocean Club West with 81 units, are twin resorts situated along Grace Bay, revered for its white talc sand, spectacular coral reefs and azure waves. Guests enjoy a ‘Stay at One, Play at Both’ policy that includes gratis shuttle buses. Suites at both resorts – junior to three-bedroom –are spacious with kitchenettes. All have gratis Wi-Fi access and screened-in terraces or balconies. Friendly front desk staff arrange a myriad of massages either en suite or inside the aptly named Spa Tropique. Massages worth the splurge include the “Turks Island Salt Glow” that uses sea salts from the flats of Salt Cay.

TURKS & CAICOS

Although the ocean is a seashell away, there are also three beautiful freshwater pools. Watersports include diving and kayaking, or sailing to one of many nearby deserted islands. A trio of lit tennis courts, gratis bicycles and a fitness center cater to the active-minded and with several gourmand grocery stores within cycling distance, the barbecue grills at both resorts are a welcome addition. Ocean Club is the closest to the Provo Golf Club with 18 holes of championship golf. Dining at the Club includes Opus with a long, winding bar featuring a single malt menu and superb seafood entrées. The beachfront Cabana Bar & Grille tempts with perfectly fried conch fritters or at Ocean Club West, Seaside Café on the beach for conch ceviche and a frosty Turk’s Head beer. — MELANIE REFFES

IT WAS A GREAT DAY TO BE A PRINCESS. AND A PARENT. There is only so much time for your little princess to be treated like royalty. Because before you know it, she’ll be off to reign in other kingdoms. So to all those who know the best memories are the ones you hold on to for a lifetime, don’t wait. Make this your year for a magical Disney vacation. Let the memories begin at the place where dreams come true.

©Disney GS2012-7247

To book your magical Disney vacation, contact your Independent Vacation Specialist today.

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PORT GUIDE | SINT MAARTEN / SAINT MARTIN

Two countries… one port of call…

ST. MAARTEN

The island of Sint Maarten/Saint Martin is the smallest territory in the world with two nations, the Netherlands and France. This may be the only shore excursion you’ll ever take that will have you crossing borders twice or more on the same day! Lynn Elmhirst

BERT HOFERICHTER / ALAMY

The Dutch side: (this page top to bottom) Cruise ships arrive at Philipsburg, and it’s a short walk to the town’s stunning stretch of beach. Old Street in Philipsburg is famous for its jewelry, alcohol and luxury brand shopping. One of the most popular shore excursions in the Caribbean: the 12 Meter Challenge is a once-in-alifetime opportunity to sail an actual America’s Cup racing yacht, in this case Dennis Connor’s Stars and Stripes. Facing page: Sunset Beach Bar on Maho Beach offers a thrilling view of aircraft taking off and landing. Flight times are posted on the surfboard. Cupecoy Beach with its lava cliffs offers a serene setting, away from the raucous crowds on Maho Beach.

DANITA DELIMONT / ALAMY

GAERTNER / ALAMY

DUTCH SINT MAARTEN

SHIPS ARRIVE AT PHILIPSBURG, and it’s a short walk to the town’s stunning stretch of beach that rises up from vivid aqua water running the full length of the bay. There’s a boardwalk along the beach, lined with fun island bars, small shops, and a couple of fine restaurants and stylish hotels that overlook the action on the beach and boardwalk. Lanes lead to shopping streets behind. Maho Beach is pretty, but the real attraction is its location at the end of the airport’s runway and the bizarre tradition that draws travelers from all over the world to experience standing on a beach in the jet stream of a 747 taking off mere feet away. Warning signs do nothing to stop the frenzy of thrill seekers who appear out of nowhere when a plane is about to land or take off. Just outside the jet stream (but still within deafening earshot!), bars like the Sunset Beach Bar, voted the sexiest in the world, foster the Spring Break atmosphere and offer a safe place to watch people getting their tans sandblasted. Nearby, Cupecoy Beach’s cliffs and scattered lava rocks create a dramatic and serene setting to laze in the sand and see the planes come and go away from raucous Maho. For a different thrill, channel your inner Bond at one of the casinos (only on the Dutch side), many with hundreds of slots and dozens of tables including European games like Baccarat and the island variation Caribbean Stud Poker.

FRENCH SAINT MARTIN

MANY BELIEVE THIS IS THE GASTRONOMIC capital of the Caribbean. In charming Grand Case, open-air restaurants nestled in the sand line the entire crescent beach. Authentic French cuisine, fresh seafood, charming French chefs and accents, all in an atmosphere perfect for a romantic movie set. Even sunsets, if you’re lucky enough to have a late evening sail away. Orient Beach is a glorious length of sand lined with water sports outlets and some of the best beach bars on the island; on the Atlantic side, it’s a bit rough for swimming. The buzz here is the area designated clothing optional. Fair warning: most sunbathers on a clothing optional beach are not the people you want to see there. Escape the heat of the beach at Loterie Farm: This nature reserve/luxury day resort thrives in the cool shade of restored forests on an old plantation (originally won in a lottery, hence the name). For the adventurous, two levels of zip lines / obstacle courses in the canopy test your mettle. But if lounging in style is more your scene, the “Tree Lounge”, a cocktail and tapas bar in the tree tops, or the “L’eau Lounge”, an underground spring-fed pool surrounded by cabanas that include champagne and a dedicated masseur, simply cannot be beat. Sort of Robinson Crusoe in South Beach, with crickets chirping along to European house music.

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DENNIS MACDONALD / ALAMY

The two countries share 37 square miles of tropical paradise with 37 beaches. The French-side Atlantic beaches can be rough; that’s where water sports thrive. On the Dutch side postcard-blue Caribbean waters lap tranquilly at sugary beaches.

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SIME / ESTOCK PHOTO

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ROBERT HARDING PICTURE LIBRARY LTD / ALAMY

JON ARNOLD IMAGES LTD / ALAMY

DANITA DELIMONT / ALAMY

PORT GUIDE | ST. MAARTEN / ST. MARTIN

SHOPPING St. Maarten claims to be the only truly duty free port in the Caribbean, and Philipsburg is famous for its jewelry, alcohol, and international luxury brand stores lining the streets behind the boardwalk. Other shops carry bathing suit cover-ups and souvenirs, as well as the local Guavaberry liquor. | The French capital Marigot has a waterfront market where canopied stalls sell lounge dresses, cover-ups, embroidered children’s smocks, island flavors (like Caribbean vanilla), as well as jewelry hand crafted from local garnet. This market is your best source of souvenirs that show you’ve actually been somewhere, not just a mall.

GETTING AROUND Taxis are best for a single day. There are lots, including vans for larger groups to stick together, and they know the island’s narrow, steep roads. | If you can balance your shopping bags and your center of gravity, Philipsburg’s boardwalk now has segway rentals! ■

DANITA DELIMONT / ALAMY

THAT’S NOT ALL… Divers and snorkelers can celebrate: St. Maarten’s first National Park is a marine park. The park near Philipsburg incorporates the famous 200 year-old wreck the HMS Proselyte, and will help ensure the island’s waters continue to host migratory whales and dolphins, as well as sea turtles, fish and sharks. | ‘Turtle Reef’, just minutes from Grand Case on the French side, is a hidden treasure of marine bio-diversity, where you’re almost guaranteed to see hawksbill or green turtles, as well as fish, stingrays and octopus! | For sailors and newbies alike, the 12 Meter Challenge is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sail an actual America’s Cup racing yacht. Repeatedly voted the best shore excursion in the Caribbean, the experience gives each team member a role on one of the renowned yachts, including Dennis Connor’s Stars and Stripes, in an exhilarating race you’ll never forget.

The French side: (clockwise from top left) Orient Beach is a glorious length of sand lined with water sports outlets and some of the best beach bars on the island. View of the colorful buildings overlooking Orient Beach. Many believe St. Martin is the gastronomic capital of the Caribbean. Here evening diners peruse the offerings in charming Grand Case. Marigot’s waterfront market offers local and hand crafted items.

ST. MAARTEN/ST. MARTIN FACT FILE Population: Approximately 75,000 Currency: On the Dutch side, prices are posted in Netherlands Antilles Florin or Guilder (NAF / NAG), in US Dollars, or most often, in both. US Dollars are widely accepted. On the French side, prices are officially in Euro, but unofficially, you can often pay cash in US Dollars at a 1-1 rate and save on the exchange. Time Zone: Atlantic Standard Time year round: during Standard Time, the island is one hour ahead of EST; but it doesn’t ‘spring ahead’ for Daylight Savings, so then it’s the same as EST. Language: English is universally spoken on this island, but a ‘Bonjour’ on the French side is always welcome. Climate: Temperatures are pretty much the same year-round, hovering at about 80 degrees F. Rain is most common during late summer and early fall, although brief, warm, tropical showers can pop up any time.

WHO GOES THERE? Better question: who doesn’t? The island is one of the most popular ports of call on Eastern Caribbean itineraries. So if you’re really keen on a shore excursion, book ahead. And remember that thousands of cruise travelers navigating roads will slow traffic, especially later in the afternoon when everyone is returning to ships.

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THERE ARE AS MANY

B E AU T I F U L

STORIES

A S T H E R E A R E D RO P S I N T H E O C E A N . B E G I N A N E W S T O RY .

Visiting Dubrovnik

We invite you to discover some of the most fabled destinations on Earth with some of the best fares in history. Book any of these 2012 Mediterranean voyages by August 31, 2012, to enjoy limited-time Book Now Fares in every category and begin a new story with the All-Inclusive Experience of the World’s Best: 12-Day Roman Empire Exploration / Voyage 2324 / Nov 5-17, 2012 / Istanbul to Barcelona aboard Crystal Serenity 11-Day Mysteries of Morocco / Voyage 2326 / Nov 28-Dec 9, 2012 / Lisbon to Barcelona aboard Crystal Serenity 12-Day Atlantic Explorer / Voyage 2327 / Dec 9-21, 2012 / Barcelona to Miami aboard Crystal Serenity 13-Day Grand Pacific Interlude / Voyage 2229 / Nov 25-Dec 8, 2012 / Los Angeles to Papeete aboard Crystal Symphony 11-Day South Pacific Sojourn / Voyage 2230 / Dec 8-20, 2012 / Papeete to Auckland aboard Crystal Symphony

B E G I N A N E W S T O RY.

Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist to Book Your Crystal Luxury Experience Today. Cruise-only fares are per person in U.S. dollars, double occupancy, include all promotional saving and do not include cruise port, security and handling charges of $305-$505. Promotional Book Now Cruise-Only Fares shown are per person for new bookings only made between 6/31/12 and 8/31/12 in category E on Crystal Symphony and category C on Crystal Serenity. Optional air add-ons are available from Crystal Cruises’ designated gateway cities in the U.S. and Canada and include all government taxes and fees. All offers may not be combinable with other promotions, apply to first two full-fare guests in stateroom or suite, are capacity-controlled, subject to availability and may be withdrawn or changed at any time without notice. All itineraries, fares, programs and policies are subject to change. Other restrictions apply. ©2012 Crystal Cruises, Inc. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas.

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making waves They’re both BIG. They’re both spectacular. How do you choose?

Huge waves were made a few years back when Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line announced plans to build some extremely large ships. This flurry resulted in Royal Caribbean’s two 225,000 gross ton ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, and the 153,000 gross ton Norwegian Epic.

Cruise expert ART SBARKSY compares the ships and shares his impressions and favorite things about each one.

But there’s so much more to the story. Both companies have done an outstanding job with the architecture and décor of the ships. And in terms of what they’ve put onboard for the pleasure of their customers, it’s amazing. From dining to activities, from entertainment to accommodations, there are unique features galore.

To say that these three ships broke the size mold is an understatement. So is saying they carry a lot of guests. The Royal Caribbean ships have 5,408 lower beds and Norwegian Epic has 4,200.

In this article, we also provide a comparison of the two ships, their facilities, amenities, their outstanding inclusions and innovations as well as how the ships stack up against each other. Then, we have first-hand reviews of what the experience is like on board Oasis of the Seas and Norwegian Epic under full-ship conditions. Read on, pick a ship that suits you and set sail for a big ship voyage!

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NORWEGIAN EPIC LAS VEGAS CONTEMPORARY 153,000 735,000,000 JUNE 2010 1690 4100 5226 2.4 2114 100 SQUARE FEET (FOR SINGLES) 850 SQUARE FEET 1426 688 75 1351 42 THE HAVEN, STUDIOS (FOR SINGLES) MORE THAN 20 CAGNEY’S STEAKHOUSE, TEPPANYAKI NICKELODEON, CIRQUE DREAM BLUE MAN GROUP BOWLING, ICE BAR, REPELLING WALL SPICE H2O YES 5/9 YES

JUST THE FACTS: STYLE TONNAGE COST ENTERED SERVICE CREW GUESTS (LOWER BEDS) GUESTS (ALL) GUEST/CREW RATIO GUEST ROOMS SMALLEST LARGEST OUTSIDE ROOMS INSIDE ROOMS SUITES BALCONIES WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE UNUSUAL ROOMS DINING OPTIONS TOP SPECIALTY RESTAURANTS TIE-INS TOP SHOWS GREAT ACTIVITIES ONLY FOR ADULTS CASINO POOLS / WHIRLPOOLS LIBRARY

OASIS OF THE SEAS HIGH-ENERGY CONTEMPORARY 225,282 1,500,000,000 NOVEMBER 2009 2165 5400 6296 2.5 2706 151 SQUARE 1523 SQUARE FEET 2210 496 97 1956 46 TWO-STORY LOFTS, CENTRAL PARK/BOARDWALK BALCONIES MORE THAN 20 CHOPS GRILL, GIOVANNI’S TABLE DREAMWORKS, STARBUCKS HAIRSPRAY/CHICAGO ZIPLINING, RISING TIDE BAR, WAVE RIDERS SOLARIUM YES 6 / 10 YES

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making waves: NORWEGIAN EPIC

Eat drink

AN “EPIC” SHIP

If it were somehow possible for Norwegian Cruise Line’s biggest ship to dock right on the Las Vegas strip, Norwegian Epic would fit right in with the other hotels. It’s got an amazing array of dining and drinking locations, ground-breaking entertainment and activity choices and a wide range of accommodations. The Las Vegas vibe is evident throughout the sprawling three deck expanse on decks five, six and seven; wherever you walk or look, there are dining, drinking and entertainment options. The casino (note the Vegas odds at the dice tables – unusual for the cruise industry), in the middle of those three decks, is the hub from which five entertainment, seven beverage spots (including the cruise-industry first, and really fun, Ice Bar), and eight restaurants spread out. There are escalators and curved staircases connecting it all.

Accommodatёn

I stayed in a Balcony Stateroom (note: all outside rooms have balconies). Nicely sized, it had all of the amenities I needed and the curved walls made it different. However, it’s the bathrooms that have received attention. It’s sort of split into three areas: shower area, toilet area and the sink area. It’s not the most private set-up in the world but in speaking to lots of fellow guests traveling in couples, no one seemed too concerned.

From November to April, Epic alternates 7-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings. Then it’s off to Europe for a summer of 7-night Mediterranean voyages.

As for dining, 20 restaurants (just over half included as part of the cruise fare and the rest have modest and very acceptable surcharges) range from steaks and seafood, from teppanyaki to sushi to Chinese, from French and Italian to good old American food of different types. During my 7-night Eastern Caribbean cruise, I dined in six different restaurants. I went to the Chinese one twice; one time with a large group so we were able to try virtually everything on the menu. And, while Norwegian has broken tradition by not having one main dining room, smaller rooms such as The Manhattan Room and Taste have different menus without a surcharge. The 20 bars ensure no one really has to go without a beverage. And, it’s all Freestyle, meaning no assigned tables and times; guests go when they want with whom they want. Dining options could be sorted out by reserving seats ahead of time or by using the multitude of screens around the ship that showed which restaurants had space available at any given time. Or by just walking in and seeing what was available. Other notable Epic dining venues include Cagney’s Steakhouse with its classic American cuisine of steaks, chops and seafood, Norwegian’s signature restaurant Le Bistro offering a menu of tasty french favorites and Moderno Churrascaria presenting succulent barbecued meat skewers carved tableside. And of course there are pizzas available 24/7, room service and tons of other dining options to suit every mood and appetite. To a degree, that is the essence of a Norwegian Epic cruise. Guests have the option of planning their trip in advance of the cruise (up to 45 days), doing it once they get on board or playing it by ear from day-to-day.

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Play time

The entertainment that can be pre-booked includes the Blue Man Group, Cirque Dreams and Dinner, Legends in Concert, Second City, Nickelodeon Slime Time Live, Nickelodeon Breakfast and Murder Mystery. Other fun spots include Howling at the Moon – the Dueling Piano Bar and, for kids of all ages, the two-story Wii screen. One is able to pre-book dinner reservations in any of the specialty restaurants as well as shore excursions. Reservations can be made any day of the cruise by calling or visiting the box office, various restaurants (there are also host stands stationed throughout the ship to take dining reservations) or through the interactive system on the stateroom television. I didn't pre-book any entertainment (other than the excellent Cirque Dreams show which is more entertainment than dining) but I was able to see many of the main shows I wanted although I did spend a lot of time in the Fat Cats Jazz and Blues Club and O'Sheehan's Neighborhood and Grill. From the latter, with a seat overlooking the main lobby area, it was possible to watch Monday Night Football on the two-story screen.

NOTEWORTHY

What’s worth mentioning is the ship’s high end and singles accommodations. The private enclave Courtyard Villa complex occupies the forward section of Decks 16, 17 and 18 with 60 suites and villas. It’s like a private world unto itself with dining, pool, fitness and a vast array of suite amenities and separate key card access. Singles can book one of the 100 Studios; they’re well-priced inside rooms. The design is exceptionally efficient, with clever sliding doors over the wardrobe, TV and shelf areas. My first choice for the future would be the aftfacing New Wave Balcony rooms.

On дck

On the last sea day of the cruise, I agreed to meet friends and take the Epic Plunge. Three decks high, this is billed as the largest bowl slide at sea. It’s part of the Aqua Park which has two pools, five hot tubs, a kids pool and three multi-story water slides too. But since the kids were having so much fun we decided to leave them to it and headed to SpiceH20, the aft-facing bar. At night, this becomes the outside hotspot for music, dancing and drinking. If the weather is inclement the party moves indoors to the Bliss Ultra Lounge (which also houses bowling alleys). The ship was full so there were about 4500 guests on board; lots of young people, couples of virtually all ages, singles, multi-generational groups etc, all enjoying what the fabulous Norwegian Epic has to offer.

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making waves: OASIS OF THE SEAS

Dining & нtertainment

A SEAGOING “OASIS”

Size; it’s the first thing anyone really wants to talk about when Oasis of the Seas is discussed. And that’s pretty logical. After all, along with it’s year-younger sibling, Allure of the Seas, they’re the largest cruise ships afloat. They both carry about 6,300 guests when full. And the ship is… well, huge! But, having spent a week aboard Oasis of the Seas at the height of the Spring Break season (meaning there were lots of young people on board), it’s not the size of the ship that’s important, it’s what Royal Caribbean did in putting it together. It is nothing short of a sea-going marvel; perhaps, overall, the most innovative ship ever. And it starts with the architecture and the design. When the ship was docked in Crown Bay in St. Thomas, the near-aft view of the ship is almost totally visible from ground level and it’s amazing. In a logistical sort of way, it starts with two major elevator and staircase banks that divide the ship into thirds. They make it so easy to get around that you forget (well, mostly) just how long the ship is at just under 1200 feet or how wide – her beam is 217 feet.

All year long, Oasis of the Seas and slightly younger sibling, Allure of the Seas, alternate seven-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings. Oasis sailings start on Saturday and Allure voyages start on Sunday.

I went to two of the restaurants that had a surcharge and they were really worth it in terms of food, service and ambience. Giovanni’s Table (surprise, it’s Italian) and Chops Grille (self-explanatory) were so good, I went to each twice. One of the hidden treats on board was the lower level of the three-story main dining room. At lunch time, they turn it into a Bistro-type set-up with fresh pastas, sandwiches, salads and more. The best part: it never gets too crowded and it’s a delightful escape from the very popular Windjammer Marketplace. I also managed to enjoy all of the different production shows including a terrific 90-minute version of Hairspray, the ice-skating show (it still amazes me that they have an ice skating rink in the middle of a cruise ship), several comedy shows, cabaret acts, jazz and more.

Accommodatёn

I stayed in a lovely oceanview stateroom with a balcony and it had everything I needed. Overall there are 37 categories. They range from huge two-story loft suites way up on Decks 17/18 to interior rooms on virtually all decks. Perhaps the most innovative are the interior ones with balcony views of Central Park or Boardwalk.

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Play time

But wait, there’s more, of course. The Pool and Sports Zone covers the entire ship’s length and width; in reality, it’s on this deck that one gets a feeling of just how wide the vessel is – it’s astonishing!, ranging from the 82-foot long zip-line (think about that, zip-lining on a cruise ship while it’s moving), a beach pool with a sloped entry, the main pool with its two huge whirlpools, ten restaurants/bars and two more retail outlets. There’re also two flowriders which are almost as much fun to watch as to use. And, the huge Youth Zone has an enormous amount of space, some 28,700 square feet, dedicated to children and teens. Appealing to those who want to stay active during the cruise or be pampered, The Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness areas will be appealing. Forward on decks 5 and 6 with direct access to the deck five jogging track, it is without a doubt the most equipment-filled and well laid-out I have seen at sea. There are dozens of treadmills, fitness classes of all sorts, spa beverages and snacks, etc. Speaking of busy, a common question is whether or not the ship gets crowded. Except for the Promenade street parties when everyone is encouraged to head for the same area, or around show times and meal times (it’s the same on any big ship), I found the experience remarkably less congested than I expected based on what were somewhat ill-conceived pre-opinions. I defy anyone to say they did not have enough to do on board this terrific ship. It’s even possible to find a quiet spot or two. Not that many people actually go looking for them.

Visit the neighborhoods

The ship has been divided up into “neighborhoods” to help people navigate and find everything. There are areas designated for entertainment, the Royal Promenade, Boardwalk, Central Park, a huge spa and fitness center, the Youth Zone and the Pool & Sports Zone. Seeing them all and doing everything that’s offered in one week is nearly, but not quite, impossible. The Solarium is the outdoor (but largely covered) sunning area at the front end of decks 15 and 16. There are plenty of lounge chairs (well, until mid-day on sea days), whirlpools, bar service and easy access to the Solarium Bistro which has a variety of “spa” food from

early morning until mid-afternoon. Central Park, nicely nestled in the center of the ship on deck eight is home to many of the alternative restaurants, including the best spot on the ship for a no-charge snack or light meal: Park Café. Enjoy beautiful real greenery and a favorite imbibing spot: Trellis Bar. From here you can “ride” the oh-so-innovative Rising Tide Bar down to deck five, home of the immense Royal Promenade where you can find bars, snack places (oh those cupcakes!), shopping, the guest services area and more. I met up with friends frequently at the Globe and Atlas Pub for a brew and great people watching. WORLD TRAVELER SUMMER 2012 35

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COSTA RICA Where nature goes wild Whether you’re rafting serious rapids, searching for crocodiles on the Rio Grandes Tarcoles, or falling in love with nature’s most tranquil mammals at the Sloth Sanctuary, you’ll never feel more alive than in that grippingly green, JOSHUA ROPER / ALAMY

wildly alive Central American paradise. Costa Rica is nature on steroids.

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ADVENTURE TRAVEL | COSTA RICA

■ NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART “WILL SOMEONE with a pole push the raft?” asked the woman beside me. We were nearing the point on the Pacuare River on Costa Rica’s Atlantic slope where we would join Rios Tropicales crew and hop into the fast-moving current – too late to explain the difference between river rafting à la Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer and what we were about to do in Class III-IV whitewater rapids. “Well…” I began. The bus was slowing down. Time for the reality check. “We’re going to suit up in lifejackets and helmets, climb into an inflatable boat and paddle our brains out so we don’t hit rocks.” My new friend paled. “No worries!” I said, aiming for reassurance, “We’ll have a blast!” Though her knees were shaking as we listened to head guide Johnny Obonando’s safety instructions, she clambered gamely over the side of the Zodiac. “When I say paddle forward, paddle hard! And when I say paddle backward, paddle hard again. The rest of the time… hang on!”

I was wearing my bathing suit. My friend wore long pants and leather shoes. I thought fleetingly about the importance of reading tour brochures, then tried not to focus on what lay ahead for those leather shoes. The guide pushed away from the shore and with two partner guides alongside in kayaks, we slid into the powerful current like a huge yellow seal. The water churned, we paddled madly and the Zodiac pitched and bucked, sometimes disappearing completely under the crashing waves. Laughing hysterically, we rode the current and – thankfully – skimmed past the rocks, high on the kind of speed that’s perfectly legal. When the river’s rage finally slowed, our guide said, “Want to swim? Just flip over the side.” I splashed into the river and there beside me – long pants and whatwas-left-of-her-leather-shoes-and-all was my timid friend. “This,” she grinned, “is the most fun I’ve ever had in my whole life.”

WORLDSWILDLIFEWONDERS

JOSHUA ROPER / ALAMY

“Now!” our guide yelled and we turned, raised paddles high over our heads and screamed, “Pura Vida!” We were drunk with the thrill of racing down the Pacuare River, with nothing but the inflated rubber walls of our Zodiac – and the considerable experience of that joyously shouting guide – between us and the rocks. It was a rush never to be forgotten. “Pura Vida” means “Pure Life” – and that’s the essence of Costa Rica.

■ WHERE CROCS AREN’T PLASTIC IF YOU THINK CROCS ARE shapeless plastic footwear, take the Jungle Crocodile Safari on the Tarcoles River, two hour’s drive from San Jose, and get acquainted with the real thing. Boasting what is arguably the largest population of crocodiles in Central America, the 100 km long Rio Grandes Tarcoles is also home to a stunning array of bird species. The boat tour is slow-moving and, luckily, so are the crocodiles you’ll spot all along the way, sunning themselves on muddy banks. Although a tasty tourist might make a fabulous feast, the crocs aren’t interested, preferring to lie like logs or float like huge, greyish dill pickles in the murky river waters, waiting for unwitting fish, birds or small animals. Our guide explained, “On the Tarcoles, you’re either eating or being eaten!” While perhaps not as pretty as the waterfowl, the crocodiles are more cooperative for the paparazzi, staying absolutely motionless while the cameras click all around them. The current granddaddy on the river weighs in at approximately 1200-1300 lbs and is named Osama, because he’s so good at hiding! WORLD TRAVELER SUMMER 2012 37

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■ WHERE SLOTH IS A VIRTUE WHAT COULD MAKE A COOL, twentysomething California guy like Jeffrey Arroyo come live in the Costa Rican cloud forest with his mother, little brother and grandmother? Jeffrey’s in love with sloths – those hairy, long-armed animals that hang around in the trees of the Costa Rican jungles. It’s been a family passion since their first wounded sloth, Buttercup, arrived more than twenty years ago. During that time, the Sloth Sanctuary, 19 miles south of Limon on the road to Cahuita, has been home to hundreds of the strangely adorable mammals. Today, there are more than 130 of them waiting to capture the hearts of unsuspecting visitors. You’d never expect sloths to be so charming. They don’t wag their tails, purr, play catch or come when you call. (At least,

PIERRE CHOUINARD

At Costa Rica’s Sloth Sanctuary, injured sloths are brought to the ‘slothpital’ for care and those who recover fully are returned to the wild. Those who are permanently disabled stay, and can be visited daily.

we don’t think so. Sloths move so slowly, you’d have to wait a week to see if one came when you called.) What sloths do is hang from trees and eat leaves – slowly. Because they move so little, their digestive systems do the same, meaning they need only one potty break per week. (Pity those dog owners heading out daily with their plastic bags.) Moss doesn’t grow on rolling stones, but it flourishes on sloths inviting butterflies to land for a nibble. While noshing, the butterflies lay eggs in the moss, turning the accommodating sloth into a living maternity ward. Though great climbers, sloths do slip occasionally and fall to the ground and they’re terrible at crossing roads. The injured sloths are brought to the ‘slothpital’ for care and those who recover fully are returned to the wild. Those who are permanently disabled stay, and can be visited daily at the Sanctuary. If you go, be sure to view the introductory video, which features great shots of the sweet-faced creatures, as well as an utterly perfect soundtrack – the Flanders and Swann song, The Sloth. “…For days and days among the trees I sleep and dream and doze Just gently swaying in the breeze Suspended by my toes… How sweet to be a sloth.”

La Paloma Lodge

■ WHERE TO STAY? There’s a lovely feeling at the end of a day filled with warm winds and fresh air – a day spent hiking through the rain forest, watching for sloths hanging in the trees overhead and spotting butterflies fluttering in for a landing on a bower of brilliant red blossoms. Connecting with the natural world is a soothing, rejuvenating, fulfilling experience – often something entirely different for the average visitor to Costa Rica’s spectacular nature reserves. The best way to enjoy that sense of being at one with nature is to spend not just the day, but also the night nestled deep in the heart of the rainforest. The growing emphasis on green tourism in Costa Rica has encouraged the development of a great selection of eco-

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ANGELA ENGLISH

ADVENTURE TRAVEL | COSTA RICA

Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge

Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort

lodges that range from the extreme (think cold water showers and no electricity) to the more moderate (hot showers but an enforced ‘lights out’ schedule, after which you make do with your hand-cranked flashlight.) Some of the most popular include the Monteverde Lodge & Gardens, La Paloma Lodge and the Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge, all of which make you feel as if you’re sleeping in a tree house. Regardless of whether you choose the higher or lower end of the eco-lodge spectrum, you’ll enjoy many of the same wilderness experiences. Quiet is what you’ll notice first, when you realize that your room contains neither a television, nor a radio, nor even a clock with an alarm buzzer. The only sounds you’ll hear are the rustling of the wind in the trees, the calling of the night birds and perhaps the soft plonking of raindrops on your roof. Look out your windows and you’ll see darkness lit only by the moon and stars. For those

of us whose urban lives are lived in the unending glow of streetlights, headlights and neon billboards, the velvety tranquility of the night could lead to the best sleep you’ve ever had. Perhaps the most exciting perk of staying in an eco-lodge is the opportunity many offer to go on guided tours in the early morning hours. Feeling adventurous? Arrange to head into the rainforest as the sun is rising and watch the wild awakenings. If you like your comforts a little more luxurious, visit the spectacular Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, one of the most beautiful hotel properties in Costa Rica. With the rain forest nuzzling the edges of its La Iguana Golf Course, this gracious, beautifully maintained property is set on a sandy white beach where the world’s most tranquil yoga classes are offered for the guests who are lucky enough to be holidaying there. ■

1231 World Trav ads x 2 alts_Layout 1 16/05/2012 14:26 Page 1

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Plus with complimentary wine served at dinner, gratuities included on board, and with prices starting from $3,795, these unique cruise itineraries represent remarkable value. CRUISES TO TO CRUISES

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Price isis per per person, person, double double occupancy, occupancy, Price minimum category. category. Roundtrip Roundtrip air air minimum (and transfers) transfers) applicable applicable with with cruise-tour cruise-tour (and purchase only only and and include include all all government government taxes, taxes, purchase fees and and airline airline fuel fuel surcharges, surcharges, which which may may change change at at any any time. time. fees Stateroom savings savings based based on on double double occupancy occupancy (singles (singles receive receive 50%) 50%) and and Stateroom vary by by category category and and departure. departure.All All offers offers are are capacity capacity controlled, controlled, subject subject vary to availability availability and and may may be be withdrawn withdrawn at at any any time. time. Ship's Ship's Registry: Registry: Malta. Malta. to

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ALLOW ME TO INTRODUCE MYSELF.

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Carnival reserves the right to re-instate the fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person per day if the NYMEX oil price exceeds $70 per barrel. Rates are in US dollars, per person, based on double occupancy and subject to availability. Government taxes and fees ($17-$299) are additional. A non-refundable and non-transferable deposit is required at the time of booking. No name changes are allowed. Restrictions apply. Request Early Saver. © 2012 Carnival Cruise Lines. Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas & Panama.

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@Wo

CRUISE HOT SPOT | BERMUDA

SIME / ESTOCK PHOTO

Sitting remote and sun-drenched out in the Atlantic Ocean, Bermuda is pretty in pink … pink beaches, pink houses, hotels in, what else but … cotton candy pink. CATHY STAPELLS

WITH ITS COTTON CANDY COLORED BUILDINGS, pink sands and delicious rum drinks, Bermuda is a tempting confection. It’s a treat to indulge in as often as possible. Unlike so many islands, Bermuda is unique and yes, you will see a lot of men wearing the Bermuda short, even on more formal occasions. Bermuda has long been a favorite with visitors who are wowed by its pink sands, many seaside coves, flowered laneways perfect for gadding about on scooters, the preferred mode of transport in Bermuda, and of course, championship golf courses with spectacular views of the ocean. Finding a place to stay is no problem. There are deluxe 5-star hotels and quaint guest cottages and everything in between. And there are two towns to explore, Hamilton and St. George, with lots of shopping, bars and restaurants. Mark Twain, who was a regular visitor to the island, once wrote: “You go to heaven if you want, I’d rather stay in Bermuda.” It’s tough to disagree with him on this. The relaxed and sophisticated island is a wonderful spot. The American author and humorist usually stayed at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, the frothy pink waterfront landmark hotel that celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2010, and there are photos of him holding court on the veranda, regaling other guests with his stories and opinions.

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Yes, that sand really is pink! So what makes Bermuda’s sand pink you might ask? The unique and vivid colors were created by the force of the ocean’s waves over centuries, which crush sea invertebrates like coral, molluscs, clams, and other organisms with calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. The pulverized shells mix with the sand giving it a pink tint. The turquoise ocean is a beautiful contrast to the pink sands creating spectacular scenery especially at sunset. One of the best beaches on the island has to be at Tucker's Point Hotel & Spa, which opened three years ago along Castle Harbour and Harrington Sound on the former site of the Castle Hotel. Blue and white striped lounge chairs dot the delicate pale pink sand and invite relaxation. The rooms are elegant yet relaxed, and amenities include excellent dining under the careful attention of Chef Serge Bottelli, a topnotch spa, beach club facilities, numerous pools (some with private cabanas), a dive and watersports center.

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Be sure to bring your clubs! At Tucker’s Point, you will find one of Bermuda’s famous golf courses, a par-70 originally designed in 1932 by Charles H. Banks. The scenic championship course was completely redesigned in 2002 by Roger Rulewich, the former chief designer for Robert Trent Jones, and has earned numerous accolades. As a hotel guest, you are able to play here. If you are not a guest here but are looking to golf on the island, there are nine courses in total, but several are private and can only be played by non-members through privileges at certain hotels. However, there are three courses open to the public, Ocean View, Port Royal and St. George's, so by all means, bring your clubs! Also generating a lot of fresh buzz is The Reefs Hotel and Club, which has undergone a renovation, plus development of Club Residence condominiums. The boutique-style residences offer two- and three-bedroom options, making them perfect for families or friends sharing. Enjoy the amenities of a gorgeous, well-equipped home, plus all the services of the hotel, including waterfront dining, infinity pools, snorkeling right off the beach, a spa and a beautiful stretch of beach. You will love the sleek surroundings and air of romance.

Historic St. George There's plenty of history and culture to explore in Bermuda. The historic town of St. George and related fortifications are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s where Bermuda began after an English ship, the Sea Venture, shipwrecked on the reefs off the East End in 1609. King’s Square in St. George is the center of action in town. Tuesday evenings are Market Nights and the square comes alive with entertainment, line dancing displays and Gombey performances, plus local arts and crafts and an assortment of locally made products. Tours and historical re-enactments in St. George bring the past to life. Watch 18th-century justice play out in King’s Square as a tribunal determines the punishment of an “offender”.

You go to heaven if you want, I’d rather stay in Bermuda. Don’t miss the High Tea In true British tradition, High Tea is served at the Fairmont Princess in the Heritage Court. Named one of the Top 10 Best Afternoon Teas in the World by Gostelow Report, this should not be missed. The options are deliciously endless, in addition to scones and clotted cream, the specialty Rum Tea includes smoked salmon sandwiches with rum-spiked cream cheese. High tea makes for a terrific break from a day in the designer and duty free shops, art galleries and attractions that the town of Hamilton has to offer. Many of the museums and activities cost very little or are free, offering tremendous value. You can learn about Bermuda’s rich, multicultural history at The Bermuda National Gallery on Church Street in Hamilton; every Thursday, there’s a free, guided tour, and admission is free Monday to Friday. While stopping in Bermuda, there are many tour options including the African Diaspora Heritage Trail Tour to discover the universal links that connect the island with the profound history of the Diaspora worldwide. To learn more about the history and culture of Hamilton, join the city’s Town Crier for a walking tour of downtown. Also popular is Gombey Saturdays in the Park. Enjoy live entertainment including Calypso tunes on the steel pan in Par-la-Ville Park in Hamilton and take pictures of the incredible Gombey dancers with their colorful costumes and high-wattage moves.

Previous page:Pink sand beach at the Reefs Hotel and Club. Above: High tea at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess has been named one of the Top 10 Best Afternoon Teas in the World. Roght: Join the Town Crier for a walking tour of downtown Hamilton. Facing page: (clockwise from top) Pool area at Tucker’s Point Hotel and Spa. Bermuda’s iconic Gombey dancers are a folk tradition combining colorful and intricate costume, dance and drumming. Colorful architecture in historic town of St. George, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

LONELY PLANET IMAGES / ALAMY

— MARK TWAIN

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CRUISE LINES SAILING TO BERMUDA: Above: A view of historic St. George from the deck of a cruise ship.

Royal Naval Dockyard At the other end of the island is the Royal Naval Dockyard, built to help defend Britain's interests in North America after the losses of the American Revolution. After serving the ships of the Royal Navy for 150 years, its docks now welcome cruise ships and its buildings house a shopping mall, craft market, arts center and restaurants. The Bermuda Maritime Museum occupies the Dockyard Keep. Popular stops include the Bermuda Clayworks, where you can watch potters create their beautiful designs, and the Dockyard Glassworks and Bermuda Rum Cakes. Walk into the building and you're immediately confronted by both the heat of the glass furnaces and the delicious scent of rum cakes. Activities at the Royal Naval Dockyard include Taste of Bermuda Calypso Sundays at the Bermuda Craft Market, held every Sunday year-round. Taste pepper jams, rum cakes, locally brewed beer and ginger beer while listening to a rhythmic Calypso band. Good fun.

NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE Norwegian Dawn, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Star 7 day cruises from New York City and Boston to King’s Wharf, Bermuda up to late October ROYAL CARIBBEAN Enchantment of the Seas 6, 8 night cruises from Baltimore, Maryland to King’s Wharf, Bermuda to October, 2012 Explorer of the Seas 5, 7 night cruises from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey to King’s Wharf, Bermuda to October 2012. HOLLAND AMERICA ms Veendam: 7 day cruises from New York City to Hamilton, Bermuda to October 2012. CELEBRITY CRUISES Celebrity Summit 7 night cruises from Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey to Kings Wharf, Bermuda, sailing up to the end of August, with a 6 night sailing in early September.

There’s lots to see and do if you are only here for a day or two. Popular shore excursions in Bermuda include: A Glass Bottom Boat Ride and evening sunset cruises; Swimming with Dolphins; Bermuda Pirate Shipwreck Tours; Tours of the homes and hideaways of the rich and famous and Horse and Carriage rides through historic Bermuda. Of course, how do you visit Bermuda without trying the rum? Various hotels in Bermuda host fun lectures called “Bermuda Rum 101” where you can learn about its history, culture and ritual. Sampling of various styles of rum is encouraged. Check with the concierge for details of the weekly tastings and lectures. Bermuda's signature drink is a Dark ‘n’ Stormy cocktail made with Gosling’s Black Seal rum and Barritt’s ginger beer. We guarantee that after a couple of those you'll feel like you've been tossed out to sea. Yo, ho, ho!

BOB KRIST / ESTOCK PHOTO

Visiting by Cruise Ship?

R to

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MAGNIFICENT SENSATIONAL CRUISES

CARIBBEAN MSC POESIA

7-Night, Roundtrip from Ft. Lauderdale from

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When you vacation with MSC Cruises, you’ll travel in unparalleled style. We are cruising Europe year-round featuring Eastern/Western Mediterranean, Northern Europe and Transatlantic itineraries from a variety of departure ports. Enjoy superb Mediterranean and Italian

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cuisine along with outstanding entertainment. All ships, all itineraries and all sailings require only a $100 deposit per person!

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CONTACT YOUR INDEPENDENT VACATION SPECIALIST & RESERVE YOUR NEXT VACATION TODAY! Rates are USD, per person, cruise-only, valid for new retail bookings on select sailings and stateroom types for residents of U.S. and Canada. Children 11 and younger sail free when sailing as 3rd/4th guests in same stateroom as two full-fare paying guests. Rates listed are not applicable to all sail dates. Offer is capacity controlled subject to availability and restrictions apply. Rates are subject to change without notice. Government fees and taxes for all guests are additional. © 2012 MSC Cruises Ships’ Registry: Panama.

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SPOTLIGHT | THE CARIBBEAN

For most people, the mere mention of the word Caribbean conjures up images of sparkling cobalt waters, sunsets on long luxuriant palm-lined beaches, sensuous calypso music, fine rum punch and great food. And why not, these impressionable images have been the mainstay of ad campaigns and travel tales for decades. But are all Caribbean experiences the same? Are there any surprises left? Luckily for us the answer to the latter is yes. The Caribbean is far from generic and still offers lots of surprises especially if you’re willing to venture off-the-beaten-path. So on your next Caribbean sojourn, why not wander off the path and experience some of the exclusive beaches, funky beach bars and unique activities the Caribbean has to offer.

SOPA / ESTOCK PHOTO

MICHAEL DEFREITAS

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A BEACH LESS TRAVELED

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SPOTLIGHT | THE CARIBBEAN

Whether in your private beach gazebo or beach chair, few activities elicit more oohs and aahs after a day of water sports than a relaxing massage right on the beach. You’ll find cozy beach spas or independent massage therapists on many of the region’s less-visited beaches. Jackie Lewis at Jackie’s on the Reef, will pamper you with her deep tissue and hot stone treatments at the west end of Jamaica’s famous Negril Beach, while Kenville Richardson (known as Mr. Magic Hands), delivers unforgettable aloe vera massages and reflexology treatments on St. Kitts’ South Frigate Bay Beach. And if you really want to bliss out try Point Grace on Provo in the Turks and Caicos. Their small, whitewashed spa cabanas are nestled close enough to the beach to hear the ocean’s calming roar but offer complete privacy. Aromatic candles, ceiling fans and billowy white curtains create a sublimely relaxing spa moment.

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TERRY DONNELLY / ALAMY

Princess Diana Beach, Barbuda

Many Caribbean beaches are magnets for sunbathers and water sport enthusiasts, and some of them can get crowded. However, if you’re looking for a secluded spot, where the only sound you’re likely to hear is the soft rustle of the breeze through the palm trees, and your only company, a lone sea gull, then perhaps one of these intimate strands may be just what you’re looking for.

Princess Margaret Beach, a ribbon of soft white sand and calm warm water on the north coast of the tiny, quiet Caribbean island of Bequia (part of St. Vincent and the Grenadines), is a peaceful oasis for couples that want to chill out and be alone. Speaking of princesses, let’s not forget Barbuda’s truly intimate Coco Point Beach, where Princess Diana and Charles spent their honeymoon. Diana loved the isolated spot so much she returned to it after her unfortunate breakup. In 2011, the three miles of soft powdery strand was renamed Princess Diana Beach in her honor. A few thatched-roof beach umbrellas and powdery white sand is all you’ll find on Aruba’s Malmok Beach. Situated on the island’s west coast, a short drive north of the crowded resort beaches, Malmok is popular with those wishing to avoid tan lines…if you know what I mean.

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STEPHEN FRINK COLLECTION / ALAMY

INTIMATE STRANDS

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The warm, clear waters that bathe many of these beaches, nourish exotic coral reefs that provide food and shelter for a variety of beautiful marine creatures like foureye and spotfin butterflyfish, goldentail morey eels, green sea turtles, sponges and sea fans. This translates into some fabulous snorkeling opportunities just a few fin-kicks from shore. Most snorkeling reefs are usually less than 20 feet down so it’s easy for you to spot lots of marine life. You can snorkel on your own or join a tour to explore more remote offshore reefs.

S SSUBLIME SNORKELING The Tobago Cays in the Grenadines are tiny uninhabited islets with spectacular deserted beaches and vibrant shallow coral reefs offering some of the Caribbean’s best snorkeling. It’s a great place to spot spiny lobster, trumpetfish, southern stingrays and spotted cleaning shrimp in the sea anemones.

STEPHEN FRINK COLLECTION / ALAMY

The reefs bordering Bonaire’s Pink Beach, Aruba’s Malmok and Baby Beach, as well as USVI’s Honeymoon Beach on Water Island and Buck Island Beach off St. Croix are all located in national marine parks and offer incredible snorkeling. Expect to see large schools of blackbar soldierfish and French Grunt and nice pink tube sponges and brightly colored coral. Other superb snorkeling spots include the reefs off Indian Bay Beach on St. Vincent, Sapphire and Banana Beaches on Ambergris Caye, Belize, St. Kitts’ North Frigate Bay and Grace Bay Beach in the Turks & Caicos and Cozumel’s Isla Pasion and Nachi Cocom beaches.

PHOTOS BELOW: MICHAEL DEFREITAS

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MICHAEL DEFREITAS

Definitely one of the Caribbean’s most famous off-the-beaten-path beach bars is Basil’s on the tiny Saint Vincent & The Grenadines’ island of Mustique. The island is an A-list hangout for the likes of Mick Jagger, Prince William and Kate Duchess of Cambridge, Hugh Grant, and the Beckhams, so try not to gawk too much if one of them sits down next to you at the bar.

HOT BEATS COOLTREATSS C This page: (Top to bottom) Basil’s Bar on Mustique (Basil appears in the inset photo)

After a few hours “liming” or chillin’ on those off-the-beaten-path beaches you’ll probably get a hankering for some icy cold drinks and some funky tunes. Luckily, most of these uncrowded jewels boast equally lesser known and equally surprising beach bars.

MICHAEL DEFREITAS

Bay East beach specializes in friendly, informal Caribbean treats like jerk chicken and Gwen’s world famous coleslaw. Mac the Chef will cook your meals just the way you want.

Nestled between the palms on St. Maarten’s Friar’s Bay Beach, funky Kali’s Beach Bar has wowed beach goers with their reggae music, incorrigible Guavaberry infused rum drinks and scrumptious seafood platters for years. Kali throws a not-to-miss Full Moon beach party each month complete with bonfire, dancing and howling.

The Port Royal scene where Captain Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp) recruited his crew in Pirates Of The Caribbean was actually shot at the Wallilabou Bay Beach Bar in St. Vincent. Much of the movie was filmed in the bay and the bar still sports movie props including cannons, coffins and rum barrels.

Curacao’s Avila Blues Bar, located on

weekend on the tiny Dutch island of Bonaire. Enjoy a refreshing drink under the multicolored umbrellas or belt out your best rendition of Girls Just Want To Have Fun on Wednesdays at their Super Karaoke Night.

Avila beach, serves up a tantalizing fusion of lobster and seafood dishes and cool jazz. Live bands perform nightly on a stage that hangs from the ceiling above the bar.

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Cheerful, multi-colored Gwen’s Reggae Grill under the coconuts on Anguilla’s Shoal

Another St. Maarten institution is the “lolo” or barbeque stand and there is none more popular than Johnny B Under The Tree in Cole Bay. Johnny, a skilled chef, cooks under a huge mango tree. He smothers baby back ribs, chicken and lobster in his secret BBQ sauce and grills them to perfection.

Karel’s Beach Bar is party central every

The quintessential unknown Caribbean beach hangout on St. Kitts’ South Frigate Bay beach, the Monkey Bar, belongs to Kittitian Roy Gumbs, a former Commonwealth Middleweight Boxing Champion. Beware of asking him too much about his boxing career or you’ll likely end up with more free drinks than you can handle.

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SPOTLIGHT | THE CARIBBEAN

It’s hard to top the visual impact of one of those classic, sensuous arcs of sand that grace many a postcard or glossy brochure. And few destinations offer more classical curves than the Caribbean’s Leeward and Windward Islands – small island paradises that boast some of the world’s best beaches for families, couples or singles. MICHAEL DEFREITAS

One of the region’s most famous curves is the sweeping two-kilometre arc of Magens Bay Beach on St. Thomas, in the United States Virgin Islands. National Geographic Traveler magazine ranked it as one of the world’s ten best beaches. This is a very popular tourist beach, not even close to the remote experience touched on in other sections, but still a beautiful stretch of sand.

SS CLASSIC CURVES

Not far away, on the neighboring island of St. Martin, is Baie Longue Beach. This striking, intimate crescent-shaped strand is a favorite R&R spot for celebrities. Another popular celeb destination is tiny laidback Anguilla, only a 30-minute ferry ride from St. Martin. The island’s signature Mead’s Bay Beach is a favorite annual hangout of Robert De Niro.

PHILIP H COBLENTZ / ALAMY

A bit further south is St. Kitts with its wonderful North Frigate Bay Beach. Its soft white sand stretches for two miles in a perfect arc along the island’s eastern coast and smackdab in the middle of it all is the fabulous Marriott Resort Casino and Spa.

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The Caribbean’s most remote spectacular arc of sand is Salt Whistle Bay on the small island of Mayreau in the Saint Vincent Grenadines. The island is accessible only by boat.

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SPOTLIGHT | THE CARIBBEAN

If you like to leave footprints on an unmarked stretch of soft white sand at sunset then head for deserted Tres Palmitas Beach on Puerto Rico’s northeast coast. Despite being on a popular island, this beach is one of the Caribbean’s best-kept secrets. Unlike the crowded beaches on its sister island of St. Thomas, secluded Sandy Point Beach on St. Croix’s southwestern tip offers spectacular sunsets and its soft sands are a favorite nesting site for marine turtles. Other notable sunset patches include quaint palm-fringed Pigeon Point on the western tip of the Robinson Crusoe island of Tobago and west facing Casuarina Beach on Palm Island, a tiny dot of palm-covered sand in the Saint Vincent Grenadines.

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MICHAEL DEFREITAS

At the top of most beach lists are those sandy strands where romantic sunsets seem to last forever and where you may catch a glimpse of the region’s illusive green flash.

OTHER DISTRACTIONS

SENSATIONAL SUNSETS Of course the Caribbean’s off-the-beaten-path surprises don’t end at the beach. The region offers a host of exciting unique family-friendly attractions that you’ve likely never heard of.

Probably the region’s least known and most unusual attraction is Puerto Rico’s Rio Camuy Caves, the third-largest subterranean system in the world. The cave opening looks like the gaping mouth of a prehistoric beast with jagged stalactite teeth protruding from an upper jaw. The massive 700-foot wide Cueva Clara de Empalme chamber is high enough to hold a 20-story building. The little-known snorkeling and diving paradise of Bonaire, Aruba’s small neighbor, is well below the radar, but offers a few surprises including the world’s largest landsailing track. So what is landsailing you ask? Well imagine zipping around a sandy track at speeds approaching 40 miles per hour in a threewheel go-cart type vehicle fitted with a windsurfing sail. Exploring the marine world has its challenges and some are not keen to learn to scuba dive. Well the folks at Substation Curacao submersibles have the answer. This is not one of those common Atlantis submarine fun dives to 70 feet you find in welltrodden Caribbean destinations, but a real four-person research submersible that dives down to 1000 feet.

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D

isney Fantasy takes family cruising to new heights.

MICHAEL DEFREITAS

The newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line® fleet, the Disney Fantasy offers new levels of Disney imagination and family fun. It shares many of the exciting features of its sister ship, the Disney Dream, like the AquaDuck, the first water coaster at sea. Plus, the Disney Fantasy will also offer unique experiences like the AquaLab, an interactive water play area for all ages. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique provides magical makeovers for the little ones and Europa, the nighttime entertainment district, offers adults their own escape.

S

S

et sail from new ports to new destinations and adventures.

Disney Magic

®

SAILING FROM NEW YORK

Through mid September 2012

Cruises to The Bahamas and the Canada/New England Coast. SAILING FROM GALVESTON

September 2012 - May 2013

Western Caribbean cruises. SAILING FROM BARCELONA

June 2013 - August 2013

Sail to the Mediterranean and visit some of Europe’s favorite destinations including the French Riviera, Rome, Venice, and Athens.

©Disney

Disney Wonder

®

SAILING FROM SEATTLE

Through early September 2012

Cruises to Alaska

SAILING FROM LOS ANGELES

September 2012 - December 2012

Cruises sail to Hawaii, Mexican Riviera and along the California Coast. SAILING FROM MIAMI

December 2012 - May 2013

The Bahamas and Western Caribbean SAILING FROM VANCOUVER

May 2013 - September 2013

Disney Dream

Disney Fantasy

SAILING FROM PORT CANAVERAL

SAILING FROM PORT CANAVERAL

3-, 4- and 5-Night Cruises sail to The Bahamas, Nassau and Castaway Cay, Disney’s own private island paradise, offering separate white sand beaches for families and adults, an exclusive area for teens, along with an endless list of activities and excursions for all ages.

The Disney Fantasy sails 7-Night Cruises to the Eastern Caribbean (St. Thomas/St. John, and St. Maarten or Puerto Rico), as well as the Western Caribbean (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Cozumel). Both Eastern and Western Caribbean itineraries also visit Castaway Cay, Disney’s own island in The Bahamas.

2012 - 2013

Cruises to Alaska

2012 - 2013

Ships’ Registry: The Bahamas

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GOING ASHORE | CARIBBEAN

CHILLIN’

in the Caribbean Wherever you’re cruising in Caribbean waters, you’ll find some unusual and fun things to see, do and experience along the way. Whether you try tubing in underground caves in Belize, find yourself sipping Guavaberry rum drinks in St. Maarten, or getting wet as you snorkel with sea turtles on the Mexican Riviera, you are in for some unforgettable experiences in and out of the water.

PATRYK KOSMIDER

SNORKEL WITH SEA TURTLES

MEXICO: From charming Playa Del Carmen on Mexico’s Gulf coast, it is a short drive to Akumal, the place of the turtles. Akumal is a small community best known for its sandy white beaches and tall palms. Here you will enter the water to snorkel with sea turtles, swimming freely. The average depth is eight feet and you can get close to the turtles and see them in their natural habitat. After your snorkeling adventure, relax for a while on the white sand beach and take in lunch at a nearby restaurant. Tired after all that excitement? Find a place to relax on the lovely beach, sip a margarita perhaps or have lunch at one of the small restaurants nearby.

BLEND IMAGES

ECO-TOUR ON HORSEBACK

GRAND BAHAMA: No noisy engines here! You’ll tour Grand Bahama on horseback. A guided trail ride from the top of the island through the pine forest, around the castle and into the hard wood forest, over the sand dunes and ending up on the beach and in the water! The horses file into the ocean to loop back to the trail. Along the way, throughout the ride, guides describe the history of Freeport from the Lucayan Indians to the present day. Birds, butterflies, healing plants and bushes are identified as the horses follow the trail to the beach. You’ll hear about pirates and movie stars, conch salad and all things Bahamian.

IDREAMPHOTO

PHILIP H COBLENTZ / ALAMY

GUAVABERRY FACTORY TOUR

ST. MAARTEN: Visitors to the Dutch side of St. Maarten can tour the famous Sint Maarten Guavaberry Company, where you can sample the rum and delicious liqueur. You'll find many versions, including one made with jalapeño peppers! Zowie! Check out the hand-painted bottles and a great selection of gourmet barbecue sauces, hot sauces, jams, honey and souvenirs. Guavaberry is the legendary folk liqueur of St. Maarten where the berries are found growing in the hilltop regions of the island. They are quite rare, not to be confused with Guava. No time for a tour? Then visit the Guavaberry Emporium, found on Front Street, in Philipsburg – a bit of a local landmark, it is built on the site of an ancient synagogue. 56 WORLD TRAVELER SUMMER 2012

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PATRYK KOSMIDER

GOING ASHORE | GREECE AND ITALY

THE BATHS OF VIRGIN GORDA

Virgin Gorda is one of the British Virgin Islands, best visited by sailboat or catamaran from Tortola, and once you are there, a must-see excursion is a visit to “The Baths” which are actually created by huge boulders that have settled along a gorgeous beach with shallow turquoise waters. They seem to have been specially arranged to create rock pools, trails, caves and secret beaches and coves. You can swim and snorkel or just frolic in the warm shallow waters and stretch out on a secluded beach. Or walk and paddle through the boulders, climbing them if you wish. The pace of life is slow here and you will love the chance to really chill out.

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GOING ASHORE | CARIBBEAN

CAVE TUBING IN BELIZE

CLEARLY UNIQUE CHARTERS

BELIZE: Picture yourself tubing through an underground cave system in Belize! This is a truly unique experience. You will travel to the Caves Branch River and its winding path through the Maya Mountains and caves. Your tour starts with a hike along a jungle trail through the hills then at the entrance to the underground cave system, you have the option of a 15 foot cliff jump into the river, or to enter more gently! Wearing a miner’s lamp, you float along on the current that will propel you through the cave system. Crystalline formations line the cave, along with dramatic stalagmites and stalactites. The float lasts approximately two hours depending on the current.

MICHAEL DEFREITAS

CLEAR BOTTOM KAYAK

KEY WEST: Here’s a chance to see the sealife beneath your two-person kayak, as you glide through the mangrove back country of Key West. Follow your guide on your eco tour watching for wildlife above and below the surface. Above you will see an assortment of birds that make their home in the mangroves: pelicans, herons, terns, egrets and possibly the elusive mangrove cuckoo. You might see dolphins jumping on the horizon, and beneath your kayak, you can view the unique marine species that make their home here. Complete your tour by snorkeling before returning to your ship. ■

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ACROSS 2. Netherland Antilles Florin 6. If Las Vegas were afloat, it would be this. 7. National Geographic named this curvaceous beach as one of the world’s ten best 8. Tiny uninhabited islets in the Grenadines 10. Fly high like Dumbo or journey “Under the Sea” in this new Disney Park 12. Whitewater raft 13. Port of call capital and famous duty free shopping 14. Famed writer and visitor to Bermuda 18. Costa Rica river with Class III-IV rapids 22. Scene from this movie was shot at Wallilabou Bay Beach Bar 23. Common name for new CCL & RCI ships on the horizon 26. Legendary folk liqueur of St. Maarten 27. 200 year-old wreck off the coast of St. Maarten 28. Barbuda beach re-named after this famous princess

DOWN 1. British tradition in the afternoon 3. The place of turtles along Mexico’s Gulf Coast 4. Bonaire is home to the world’s largest of this 5. Home to largest population of crocodiles 9. Essence of Costa Rica 11. Gastronomic capital of the Caribbean 15. Haven for Hawksbill and Green Turtles off Grand Case 16. Most innovative ship ever built 17. Hairy, long-armed animals hang in jungle trees 19. Maho Beach bar voted “sexiest in the world” 20. Norwegian’s unique dining style 21. Most popular port in Eastern Caribbean 24. Where Bermuda began after the Sea Venture shipwrecked in 1609 25. Huge boulders made grottos and rock pools along this unique natural park

DOWN 1 . HIGH TEA 3. AKUMAL 4. LANDSAILING 5. TARCOLES 9. PURA VIDA 11. SAINT MARTIN 15. TURTLE REEF 16. OASIS OF THE SEAS 17. SLOTH 19. SUNSET BEACH BAR 20. FREESTYLE 21. SAINT MAARTEN 24. ST GEORGE 25. THE BATHS

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2012 Summer World Traveler.indd 58

We hope you’ve enjoyed this issue of World Traveler. Now test your worldly expertise with the teasers below. (Hint: all the answers are hidden inside this issue.)

ACROSS 2. NAF 6. EPIC 7. MAGENS BAY 8. TOBAGO CAYS 10. FANTASYLAND 12. ZODIAC 13. PHILIPSBURG 14. MARK TWAIN 18. PACUARE 22. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 23. SUNSHINE 26. GUAVABERRY 27. HMS PROSELYTE 28. DIANA

1

5/16/12 11:16 AM


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Note: 2013 cruise fares listed are for cruise and cruisetour only in U.S. dollars, per person and fares/discount offers are based on double occupancy. 2-for-1 cruise and international air discounts are considered a single offer. International air does not have to be purchased to get cruise offer. Must request offer EBD at time of booking and pay in full by current expiration date; call for details. Valid on new bookings only as of 4/1/11, subject to availability and may not be combinable with any other offers except Past Guest Travel Credit and Referral Rewards Credit. $1,656 Romantic Danube price based off of Riverview, CAT F on 11/24, 11/27, or 11/30 Viking Bragi, Viking Freya or Viking Aegir sailings. $1,656 Rhine Getaway price based off of Riverview, CAT F on 11/30 Viking Forseti or Viking Rinda sailings. $1,656 Portraits of Southern France price based off of Riverview, CAT E on 11/3 or 11/6 Viking Europe or Viking Neptune sailings. $2,542 Imperial Jewels of China price based off of Riverview, CAT F on 7/3, 7/10, 7/13, 7/20, 7/23, 7/30 Viking Emerald sailings. $3,562 Grand European Tour price based off of Riverview, CAT F on 11/3, 11/10, or 11/17 Viking Bragi, Viking Skadi, Viking Tor or Viking Var sailings. $4,046 Waterways of the Czars price based off of Riverview, CAT EX on 9/26, 9/27, 9/28, 10/8, 10/9 or 10/10 Viking Helgi, Viking Ingvar or Viking Truvor sailings. Viking reserves the right to correct errors and to change any and all fares, fees and surcharges at any time. Additional terms and conditions apply. For Passenger Ticket Contract and offer restrictions, see your Vacation Specialist for complete details. CST#2052644-40

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Contact Your Independent Vacation Specialist CA 2015021-50, FLST 35832, IA 649, WA 601938728, NV 2005-0072. 2012

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CINC 2012 Summer World Traveler