Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.






  • pinitbutton Royal Caribbeans New Cruise Menus
main dining room 300x199 Royal Caribbeans New Cruise Menus

Royal Caribbean International is unveiling new restaurant menus throughout its entire 22-ship fleet

by Patricia Mack

To embark on a Royal Caribbean International cruise is to embark on a culinary voyage. This month the line unveils its new main dining room enhancements with an extensive and innovative menu on its entire 22-ship fleet.

The new dining program, the result of a multi-million dollar investment, focuses on freshness, contemporary preparation, increased dining choices and dishes inspired by regional flavors found in many of the cruise line’s ports of call. It is a veritable passport to some of the world’s best foods.

Continue reading “Royal Caribbean’s New Cruise Menus” »

  • pinitbutton Silversea Cruises to Showcase Celebrity Chefs   Travel News
cooking demonstration 300x206 Silversea Cruises to Showcase Celebrity Chefs   Travel News

A Silversea Cruises cooking demonstration

With its intimate fleet of five all-suite vessels, Silversea Cruises has earned a reputation for personalized, culturally enriching voyages, each offering its own unique experience. For food lovers, Silversea has created its Culinary Arts series, a collection of seven different culinary themed cruises. This late-2012 through spring 2013 series will showcase some of the world’s finest chefs and culinary experts and include cooking demonstrations, escorted shore excursions to local markets, food and wine pairings and five-course grand gourmet dinners.

Continue reading “Silversea Cruises to Showcase Celebrity Chefs – Travel News” »

  • pinitbutton Famed QE2 Cruise Liner to Become Floating Hotel in Dubai   Travel News
queen elizabeth2 300x199 Famed QE2 Cruise Liner to Become Floating Hotel in Dubai   Travel News

The Queen Elizabeth 2

Many cruise liners are likened to luxury hotels, but few are as iconic as the Queen Elizabeth 2. Entering serving in 1969, this legendary vessel — known as the QE2 — sailed under the Cunard flag for nearly 40 years, transporting passengers across the Atlantic (and at least 26 times around the world), and even aiding Britain’s war effort in the Falklands. Purchased upon its retirement for $100 million by the Dubai state company Istithmar World, it languished, a victim of the country’s financial crisis. But times have changed and it is now preparing for new life as a 300-room floating hotel.

Continue reading “Famed QE2 Cruise Liner to Become Floating Hotel in Dubai – Travel News” »

Oceania Restaurants

on July 23rd, 2012
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  • pinitbutton Oceania Restaurants
christening riviera cruise ship barcelona 300x196 Oceania Restaurants

The christening of Riviera cruise ship in Barcelona

It’s Easy to Book a Cruise — It’s Hard to Pick the Right One

by Andre Gayot

What’s the right cruise for you or me? Let’s start with the size of the ship: Big? Not so big? Small? Big is beautiful, some say. But small can be also, I think. I have tried it all, including a 25-foot schooner, and they all have their charms. How much you will enjoy your voyage depends on many factors: age, temperament, dependence on comforts, openness to adventure, aptitude to control sea-sickness, etc.

Continue reading “Oceania Restaurants” »

  • pinitbutton La Serenissima   Docking in Venice
grand canal 300x200 La Serenissima   Docking in Venice

The Grand Canal in Venice

Although Submerged by Crowds, At Least There Are No Gondola Traffic Jams in Venice

by André Gayot

The Riviera, the latest heir to the family of the Oceania Cruises fleet, lazily fondles the banks of the Lido. It is a chubby newborn, weighing in at 66,084 tons, that can host 1,250 guests in lavish luxury. From the upper deck, one can glance a mirage becoming real: the 117 islets, the 177 canals and the 400 bridges of Venice, the home of Marco Polo. The rising sun ignites the roofs of the palaces and brushes with a touch of silver the dark green lap of the canals. As we get closer, so appears the marvel, the crown of “La Serenissima” (The Serene, as the Republic of Venice was dubbed) — the Piazza San Marco and its two gems, the San Marco Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace. From this height upon the 15th deck, the panoramic view is sublime, unforgettable. The boat, almost still, lingers, leaving our eyes and minds the time to record the beauty of Venice. Then it turns cautiously to the left into the Canale della Giudecca to the terminal. Of the many pleasures on board the Riviera, this extraordinary moment alone could serve as the raison d’être of the voyage.

Continue reading “La Serenissima – Docking in Venice” »

  • pinitbutton Oceania Cruises Launches the Riviera   Travel News
riviera cruise ship 300x179 Oceania Cruises Launches the Riviera   Travel News

Oceania Cruises' Riviera

A New Contender Joins the Upscale Cruise Market

With this month’s maiden voyage of the Riviera, boutique cruise line Oceania Cruises increased its fleet to four luxury ships. Sailing from Venice to Athens, the ten-day “Pearls of the Aegean” introduced a new contender in the upscale cruise market. Following a gala christening ceremony in Barcelona, the 1,250-guest Riviera debuted just sixteen months after the launch of her sister ship, Marina. The new ship even has its own godmother — Cat Cora, the American chef, restaurateur and co-host of Bravo’s “Around the World in 80 Plates.” This pairing is apt, since the Riviera has been specially designed for epicureans and features ten dining venues, including a French bistro from Jacques Pépin. Continue reading “Oceania Cruises Launches the Riviera – Travel News” »



  • pinitbutton “Dream” Big with Carnival
carnival dream cruise ship 300x199 “Dream” Big with Carnival

Carnival's The Dream, launched in 2009

Size Matters on Carnival Cruise’s Dream

by Patricia Mack

The music plays, the drinks flow and Port Canaveral, FL — The Dream’s modern and ever expanding home port — fades from view as the massive ship gets underway for a seven-day Caribbean cruise. There are lots of revelers on board and the ship, one of the largest in Carnival’s fleet, has a lively staff to entertain them with everything from the hoary “hairy chest contest” to “Cupid Shuffle” dance lessons — and that’s just in the first 30 minutes of the voyage.

Continue reading ““Dream” Big with Carnival” »

  • pinitbutton Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Splendors of Italy   Travel Special
uniworld2 300x213 Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Splendors of Italy   Travel Special

Discover the "splendors of Italy" with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Experience La Dolce Vita with Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

With the launch of a new Italian river cruise in the spring of 2013, Uniworld Boutique River Cruises invites sophisticated travelers to experience the culture, cuisine and romance of Italy.

The thirteen-day “Splendors of Italy” itinerary will combine a seven-night river cruise on the River Countess along the Po River and the Venice Lagoon, with an additional two-night land stay in Florence and three-night land stay in Rome. Following are just a few of the unforgettable experiences to be enjoyed during this voyage Continue reading “Uniworld Boutique River Cruises Splendors of Italy – Travel Special” »

  • pinitbutton Crystal Cruises Introduces VIP Airport Service   Travel News
Crystal Symphony Sydney 300x215 Crystal Cruises Introduces VIP Airport Service   Travel News

Crystal Cruises' Crystal Symphony in Sydney

Cruise Like a Rock Star

Modern-day air travel has become a series of frustrating security policies and endless crowds. But for those passengers traveling on a Crystal Cruises’ voyage, flying the friendly skies just got better. The new Crystal VIP Airport Service is the first of its kind from a cruise line, featuring door-to-gate porter service, fast-track processes and entry to restricted-access VIP/Business Class lounges where available. This personalized, 24/7 luxury service can be purchased internationally by all Crystal cruisers, providing a hassle-free airport experience for guests traveling to and from their Crystal ships. Continue reading “Crystal Cruises Introduces VIP Airport Service – Travel News” »

  • pinitbutton Royal Caribbean has gone Hollywood
allure of the seas 300x209 Royal Caribbean has gone Hollywood
Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean’s largest cruise ship, is featured in two new films

by Patricia Mack

Royal Caribbean International’s biggest cruise ship, Allure of the Seas, is the star of two new films in a marketing experiment using social media to reach out to potential customers. With the star power of Jenny McCarthy and James Brolin — the directors and leads of the movies — Royal Caribbean has invented a new marketing form that might best be described as reverse product placement.

The stories are secondary to the location — and the location, of course, is a gorgeous cruise ship. In McCarthy’s winning little romantic tale, “The Allure of Love” two friends hatch a plan to bring a couple — Annie (McCarthy) and Bradley (Scott Elrod) back together after a nasty breakup. The onboard romance is set against dazzling sunsets, island retreats and ship nightlife — all very appealing to a certain demographic highly desirable to the cruise line. Brolin’s tale, “Royal Reunion” is a multi-generational family film centered on a 40th Anniversary celebration.

Continue reading “Royal Caribbean has gone Hollywood” »

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