New choices on the Caribbean
A fleet of new ships in the Caribbean could mean not just greater selection but better deals for tropics-bound sailors. In November, the year-old, 3,502-passengert MSC Divina began sailing year-round to the Caribbean from Miami. The new 4,000-passenger Norwegian Getaway, at left, launches Feb. 8, offering Caribbean itineraries from its home port, also Miami.
In May, Princess Cruises introduces the 3,560-passenger Regal Princess in the Mediterranean; it will move to Fort Lauderdale in November to serve the eastern Caribbean. Making its debut in November, Royal Caribbean International's 4,905-passenger Quantum of the Seas will offer regular Caribbean and Bahamas sailings from Cape Liberty, N.J.
Increased supply is expected to depress fares, though not necessarily on the latest ships. "Where there will be a lot of deals is on older ships," said Bob Levinstein, chief executive of CruiseCompete.com. New York Times
Deal of the week
Marriott offers buy two stays, get one
With Marriott's Megabonus promotion, earn a free night after two paid stays. The deal applies to rewards members (free to join) who register by March 31 and complete two stays at a participating property between Feb. 1 and April 30. (the definition of a "stay": consecutive nights spent at the same hotel.) Guests can redeem the free night at a hotel in categories 1-4 hotel (for example, the Inn at Opryland, a Gaylord Hotel in Nashville; Springhill Suites Los Angeles; and Mexico City Marriott Reforma Hotel) within a year of the date of issuance. Earn up to two free nights. For more information call Marriott at 1-888-627-7468 or go to www.marriott.com.
Elegance of yore, amenities of today in Lima
The Arts Boutique Hotel B (Hotel B for short) is surrounded by elegant mansions that hark back to the heyday of Lima, Peru, in the early 20th century. The historic manor house was built in 1914, designed by French architect Claude Sahut as a wealthy family's second residence. Every corner of the hotel feels intimate and personal. It opened as a hotel in July after a two-year renovation. Most of the details date back to its earlier days. Then there's the art — work that veers toward Surrealism. The well-curated graphics, photographs and oil paintings are clearly meant to stop you in your tracks, like the massive painting of an orchestra hanging behind the bar. Rates start at $450 for a standard double.
New York Times
Delta raises bar for awards travel
Delta will require more miles for certain award ticket purchases for flights beginning Feb. 1. For instance, the price for an economy class ticket to India and other countries in South Asia will jump from 40,000 to 42,500 miles, and a trip within the continental U.S. and Alaska and in business or first class jumps from 22,500 miles to 25,000. Beginning June 1, the number of miles needed to redeem award tickets will rise again.
Airlines slim down further
"Slim-line" seats, with thinner seat-back cushions, are increasingly popular with airlines because they weigh less and help squeeze more passengers into a plane. But the seats may not be so popular with passengers. A survey by the website TripAdvisor shows that many passengers who have tried slim-line seats are not fans. In the survey of 1,391 travelers, nearly half weren't sure whether they had sat in slim-line seats. But of those who said they had, 83 percent said they were less comfortable than traditional seats.
Los Angeles Times