Know + Go: New cruise ships; carry-on fees; free national parks

  • January 25, 2013 - 2:03 PM

10 new cruise ships include a few biggies

Ten new ships will join major cruise lines this year, and three are behemoths: The 139,400-ton MSC Preziosa arrives in March, the 146,000-ton Norwegian Breakaway in April and the 141,000-ton Royal Princess in June. These floating cities with multiple pools, restaurants and playgrounds are popular with passengers, but they are drawing a backlash in ports as diverse as Venice and Hawaii for overwhelming the local scenery

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Will carry-on fees catch on in 2013?

The fees that Spirit Airlines of Florida and Allegiant Air of Las Vegas charge to bring carry-on bags into the cabin may be adopted by other major airlines in the next year. That prediction comes from George Hobica, founder of the travel website Airfarewatchdog, who got the tip from a source at one of the nation’s largest airlines. Hobica predicts that once one of the nation’s larger airlines — United, Delta or American — adopts a carry-on fee, others will follow suit.

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Enjoy national parks free on special dates

On select dates in 2013, you can get into all national parks for free. National Park Week is marked with free days April 22-26, and another free day is the Aug. 25 birthday of the National Park Service. On Sept. 28, National Public Lands Day means free entrance, as does Veterans Day weekend, Nov. 9-11. For info, check

wisconsin state journal helps groups plan trips is a group trip-planning platform lets you build and edit an itinerary with several users. You can see who has accepted your invite and message the group. There’s even a section on how to track and split expenses. However, your favorite feature may end up the ability to poll group members about a topic.

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