Spectrum of the Seas Steel Cutting at Meyer Werft

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MIAMI, August 15, 2017 – Excitement was in the air today at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany, as Royal Caribbean International marked the official start of construction by cutting the first piece of steel for its new Quantum Ultra ship. The next engineering marvel in the innovative cruise line’s lineup will officially be named Spectrum of the Seas.

Set to debut in 2019, Spectrum will be the next evolution of the cruise line’s groundbreaking and high-tech Quantum class of ships placing the ship in a new class of her own.

The revolutionary Quantum Ultra ship will specifically be designed for guests in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and will feature cutting-edge and unprecedented experiences and amenities.

“Today is a very special day in the development of our new Quantum Ultra ship, Spectrum of the Seas. We are now one step closer to delighting our guests in Asia Pacific with this remarkable ship,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International.

Spectrum will be another giant leap forward in vessel design and guest experiences that will provide travelers with ample opportunities to create unforgettable memories.” 

Royal Caribbean International is an award-winning global cruise brand with a 48-year legacy of innovation and introducing industry “firsts” never before seen at sea. The cruise line features an expansive and unmatched array of features and amenities only found on Royal Caribbean including, jaw-dropping, Broadway-style entertainment and industry-acclaimed programming that appeals to families and adventurous vacationers alike.

On board, guests are catered to with the cruise line’s world-renowned friendly and engaging service by every staff and crew member. Royal Caribbean has been voted “Best Cruise Line Overall” for 14 consecutive years in the Travel Weekly Readers Choice Awards.

The cruise line sails 24 of the world’s most innovative cruise ships to the most popular destinations in Bermuda and the Caribbean, Europe, Canada and New England, Alaska, South America, Asia, and Australia and New Zealand.

Media can stay up-to-date by following @RoyalCaribPR on Twitter, and visiting RoyalCaribbeanPressCenter.com. For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. 

 

Essential Things You Should Always Pack

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Most travelers plan their trips carefully. One issue is not to forget the most essential things for your  travel; you don’t want to create problems by forgetting something really important. Our clients often ask us about the most necessary things to bring with them on a trip.

Here is a list of those essentials:

First Aid Kit

Photo: deposiphotos.com

This is essential, especially for adventure travelers. Even if you’re just planning to do a little shopping and sightseeing, it doesn’t mean you won’t need a first-aid kit. Accidents can happen anywhere.  Especially if you travel to a different climate, your body may feel stressed and weak as it struggles to acclimatize. Always bring medications you require in your travel kit, especially if you are allergic to something. Health is a primary issue everyone should think about in their lives, and there is no exemption when you go on a trip.

Copies of Your Travel Documents

Collection of Travel Documents - Passport, International Driving Permit, International Vaccination Certificate and Airline Boarding Passes.

An important thing for any traveler is identification documents. Today, if you have lost your passport in a foreign country, you can face a lot of troubles and difficulties. A lot depends, of course, on the country and its laws, but keep in mind that there are always positive and negative aspects of going abroad. You may need several copies of documents for bureaucratic purposes, or in case you misplace the original.

Wet Wipes

Essential things for travelers

From refreshing your hands to wiping dirty surfaces – wet wipes come in handy when traveling, especially with kids. There are different types of wet wipes that you can use: facial, for hands, hypo allergic, for the whole body, for sensitive skin, antimicrobial, and many more. They are useful and compact so it shouldn’t be a problem to take some in your travel kit.

Chargers for electronic devices

different types of chargers for phones and tablets on white background

Photo: deposiphotos.com

There are numerous apps that you can be useful on your cellphone, tablet or notebook. There are lists of extremely useful apps to use for travel. Think about taking several chargers with you to be sure that your devices will keep working for long periods of time.

Cash

Essential things for travelers

Photo: deposiphotos.com

Try to take some currency of the countries you plan to visit in case there are problems with card payments, ATM withdrawals, or currency exchanges. Be prepared for unexpected circumstances and to buy something you need urgently.

Published: 16/08/2017

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Traveling with Your Cat or Dog: Essential Tips

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  1. Check the policy of your airline before taking a flight with your animal.

 All necessary information is usually available on a company’s website. Check it carefully and note the most important things.

  • Carefully read all the info about the veterinary certificate every pet must have before boarding a flight. This document is necessary to confirm that your pet is healthy.
  • Consider rules regulating the size, weight, and type of carrier.
  • Attentively read the entire pet travel policy of your airline to avoid problems and know your rights (rules can vary depending on the company you choose).
  • Carefully read all the regulations concerning bringing pets into the country you plan to travel to. Rules vary and are sometimes contradictory.
  1. Arrive at the airport early

Remember, when you have a pet with you, there will be additional measures required to verify your documents at the security check point. These will probably include weighing and measuring the pet carrier, and may involve paying a fee.

travel with cat

Photo: depositphotos.com

  1. Book a direct flight

The most important thing that every pet owner should consider when traveling with pets is the health and safety of other passengers (besides his own well-being and that of his pet, of course).

You should understand that long layovers, airport transfers, and even changes in climate and air pressure can have an effect on your pet. Moreover, they can influence the animal’s behavior, health, and psychological condition in unexpected ways. Don’t make your pet suffer from being overly stressed.

Don’t let your animal drink for 4 hours before the flight, and don’t administer any analgesics or sedatives. They could have negative side-effects on your cat or dog as their temperature rises or falls during a flight. Pills might just complicate your whole trip.

two twin brothers sitting around a campfire in a birch grove

Photo: depositphotos.com

  1. Make an appointment with your pet’s veterinarian well before the flight

You’ll need a special certificate about your pet’s vaccinations dated within 10 days of departure. Have a specialist check your pet’s physical condition, and discuss the upcoming flight with them – especially if it’s a long one.

Preparation of your pet is A MUST. If you are planning a long trip, you might need to take your pet on several short trips to gauge its reaction and ability to stay calm while traveling. Consult your veterinarian for more information concerning your pet’s breed, health condition, and other circumstances.

YYZ Travel Group, TICO:#04332359. 7851 Dufferin Street, Suite 100. Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3M4.

Published: 15/08/2017

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My Luxury Is Personal

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What’s your luxury? A YYZ Travel advisor can help you create your personal journey.

How Virtuoso and YYZ Travel Work

Step 1

1

Choose an Advisor

Tell us your preferences and we’ll quickly match you with the perfect advisor to plan your upcoming travel.

Step 2

2

Plan with Your Advisor

Your advisor will collaborate with you, catering to your travel needs to create a truly personalized trip.

Step 3

3

Travel like a VIP

Our travel network allows your advisor to book exclusive perks and upgrades only offered to Virtuoso travelers.

 

Published: 15/08/2017

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Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

Transat Promotion – Travel to Europe This Winter

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transat promo

YYZ Travel Group, TICO:#04332359. 7851 Dufferin Street, Suite 100. Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3M4.

*To view the terms and conditions applicable to the product, please click on the link.

Published: 14/08/2017

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Tips for Travel Addicts

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  1. Book tour packages rather than discrete services

Tour packages have a lot of advantages since everything is included in one deal; so, you don’t have to think about each step of the trip – booking flights, reserving hotel rooms, and planning excursions– by yourself. A tour package is a time-saving and problem-solving proposition.

You don’t have to adjust anything according to availability of hotels and tour guides, or to think about possible variations. It is all done for you in the best possible way!

  1. Reserve panoramic restaurants

They offer incredibly beautiful views, and they usually prepare the most popular traditional dishes of the local cuisine. Besides the restaurant, such places often have a bar area where the prices are more affordable – and the fantastic overlook is the same.

Hiker woman in Bryce Canyon hiking looking and enjoying view during her hike wearing hikers backpack. Bryce Canyon National Park landscape, Utah, United States.

Photo: depositphotos.com

  1. Buy tours and cruises through travel agencies

There are many benefits to using the services of an agent to arrange travel. Bookings made through travel agents are more effective for tourists as they can provide bonuses and discounts.

For example, cruises booked through travel agencies may cost the same as when purchased online or through the cruise company itself, but you might also enjoy bonuses like “sip and sail” promotions or other discount opportunities.

  1. Use travel gadgets

While traveling to diverse destinations, you should take advantage of the great variety of technological gadgets available to make your life easier. New technologies are ubiquitous these days, and they generally make our lives more comfortable. So, why not use them while traveling? From smart suitcases to cozy high-tech pillows, a lot of shops have everything to satisfy the needs of even the finickiest traveler.

Travel addicts

Photo: depositphotos.com

  1. Get acquainted with locals

The best way to learn about the culture and traditions of a foreign country is to communicate with local residents. That is the easiest and most effective way of learning interesting information about a country,  finding out more about popular attractions, and getting to know native traditions.

  1. Visit less popular places

If you want to explore a country beyond its stereotypes, and avoid thousands of tourists at the major attractions, try exploring less popular locations where you will encounter the unique atmosphere of out-of-the-way places and get acquainted with the country’s hidden gems.

Nothing but friends and road ahead. Group of young happy people enjoying road trip in their white convertible and raising their arms up

Photo: depositphotos.com

  1. Study foreign languages (at least at a beginner’s level)

If you don’t speak the language in a foreign country, you start feeling like an outsider who will never quite fit in. On the other hand, when you know some of the most important words and useful phrases, you can more easily find your way, order properly in a café or restaurant, and possibly make friends with locals!

Published: 14/08/2017

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Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

Here’s the Scoop: Five Ice Cream Shops Around the World You Can’t Miss

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Nevería Roxy’s – Mexico City, Mexico

Indulge in Mexico City’s most beloved ice cream produced using artisanal methods. Fresh, fruity flavors shine, including strawberry, pineapple, and lemon – try any of the four locations across the capital.

 

Nevería Roxy’s
Nevería Roxy’s, Mexico City.

Amy’s Ice Creams – Austin, Texas

Many Austin locals will send you to Amy’s for your sweet tooth cravings – their colorful parlors and funky servers stay true to the city’s pledge to weirdness.

Amy’s Ice Creams.

Berthillon – Paris, France

Perfect your Parisian stroll across Île Saint Louis accompanied by a double scoop of Berthillon’s iconic glace, introduced to the city over sixty years ago.

Berthillon, Paris.

Glacé – Sydney, Australia

Known for their inventive ice-cream-based desserts, such as bombe Alaska and checkerboard terrines, this shop (located in the Summer Hill neighborhood) is a must for all the Australia-visiting gourmands out there.

Glacé, Sydney.

Kurt Farm Shop – Seattle, Washington

In the heart of Capitol Hill, you’ll find an ice cream shop that stays true to the “go green, go local” spirit of Seattle. The owner, Kurt, somewhat of a Seattle food legend, provides fresh products (notably ice cream!) from the cows and crops he raises on his small farm in Vashon. Try one of the more unusual flavors, like rose and fig, or tomato jam.

Published: 11.08.17
By Evan Upchurch

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A Travel Advisor On When (And Why) You Should Buy Travel Insurance

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Like any form of insurance, travel insurance can be overwhelming. When do you need it? Do you need it all? What does all the fine print mean? We turned to Virtuoso travel advisor Tiffany Figueiredo, who is based in Fort Worth, for details on when and why she advises her clients to purchase insurance.

Photo: depositphotos.com

Should clients purchase travel insurance for every trip, even a weekend getaway? 

“I recommend insurance on domestic trips that have non-refundable components like hotels, transfers or tours, and on all international trips. In fact, if clients are traveling internationally and choose not to purchase insurance, I require them to sign a waiver. I want them to have medical coverage in the event they are sick or injured while traveling. People assume their regular insurance will cover them abroad and that is not always the case. The companies I work with offer policies on a trip-by-trip basis, but I also recommend MedjetAssist, which offers annual plans.

What insurance companies do you work with the most, and why?

I work mainly with Travelex because of my good relationship and history with them. They have gone to bat for my clients in several instances, and while filing an insurance claim is not something anyone wants to do, Travelex has provided assistance with the process and has been very fair. In some cases, vendor insurance, like that offered through a cruise line, is sufficient.

travel advisor

Photo: depositphotos.com

When has travel insurance mattered for a client of yours?

The primary purpose of travel insurance is to cover the cost of delays or cancellations, but the medical assistance benefits cannot be overstated. Last year, I had a client traveling alone in Europe who suffered a serious, totally unexpected heart episode on her second day in Rome. She had purchased Travelex insurance, and they stepped in right away, talking with her family, making sure her doctors in Italy communicated with her doctor at home, and even covered the cost to upgrade her return flight once she was released, as her doctors would not let her fly economy. They provided assistance for the five days she was in the hospital and again once we were ready to file the claim. That same week, I was on a work trip in Spain when one of my fellow travelers took a hard fall over a loose cobblestone and broke her hip. She was flown home via medical jet with a nurse onboard thanks to travel insurance.

What do plans actually cover?

Each policy is different. You may not get 100 percent of your money back for a thunderstorm that causes a huge delay. It’s up to the client and agent to thoroughly understand what they are buying and what they foresee needing to cover.

Terrorist activity is usually only covered when the client’s exact destination has been attacked within a specific timeframe. So, you can’t cancel Normandy because there was a subway bombing in Paris. And you can’t cancel Paris because of something that occurs more than 30 days before your trip there. However, I haven’t had a single client want to cancel a trip because of a terrorist attack.

To get a policy that you can cancel for any reason, shop early, because this benefit is only available for a short amount of time from the initial trip deposit date. Once the first payment is made toward the trip –  whether for a flight, lodging, cruise, or other –  travelers have between 14 and 30 days to buy coverage. Most policies offer this benefit as a selectable upgrade, which will raise the premium cost by about 50 percent.

“Cancel for any reason” requires that all prepaid and non-refundable trip costs be insured on the policy. This means travelers don’t have the option to only insure a flight and not the cruise. Bottom line, if it’s paid before the departure date and the money would be lost if the trip were cancelled, it has to be listed on the policy.

travel advisor

Photo: depositphotos.com

Any tips or tricks to filing claim paperwork and getting the maximum reimbursement?

Save all receipts, first and foremost. I will have already documented the cost of the trip, but if it’s delayed or cut short, clients will have to provide receipts for the cost of meals, taxis, hotels, clothing, and toiletries that were incurred as a result. For a medical situation, they’ll need to make sure the doctor fills out his or her portion of the paperwork very specifically and correctly. Don’t be vague – that’s the general trick to not having the claim kicked back or denied.

There are gray areas on the forms, and my best advice is to fill out the claim with your travel advisor, who can call the insurer directly to clear up any questions. If the claim is denied, the advisor can help again, providing additional details or calling his or her insurance company rep to see if it’s something that can be remedied.

travel advisor

Photo: depositphotos.com

Any more tips?

If you feel that the cost of insuring a trip is prohibitive (or don’t care about getting your money back), you can purchase a plan without trip cancellation.

You won’t be reimbursed for the cost of the trip if it’s cancelled, but you will still get many of the in-travel benefits such as trip delay, emergency medical, lost or delayed baggage, and so on. The cost is quite a bit lower and worth looking into for those services.”

Published: 10/08/2017

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Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

The Most Inclusive Luxury Experience

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YYZ Travel Group, TICO:#04332359. 7851 Dufferin Street, Suite 100. Thornhill, Ontario L4J 3M4.

*To view the terms and conditions applicable to the product, please click on the link.

Published: 09/08/2017

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Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

 

 

Fitness Tourism

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If you are tired of lazy beach vacations, consider fitness tourism. Not everybody knows about the existence of this type of recreation, and even fewer have experienced it. Nevertheless, in Europe such tours are in a great demand. They can satisfy your desire for rest and new impressions, while also improving your health.

Let’s see what fitness tourism is!

Attractive Couple with Stand Up Paddle Boards, SUP, on the beach in Hawaii

Photo: depositphotos.com

Fitness tours involve active rest. This does not mean that you will sweat until exhaustion in the gym and eat only vegetables. Everything is much nicer. J You still observe and enjoy the sights, the sea and sun – as well as breathe in the clean mountain air. At the same time, you play sports and eat proper food.

You can improve your health, stay fit and make new friends. There are also programs with psychological training. An experienced instructor will always be with you. In addition, you can go on such a tour with the whole family. Even if they don’t want to do a fitness program, they will just be with you.

Fitness woman runner relaxing after city running and working out outdoors in New York City, USA. Girl looking and enjoying view of Brooklyn Bridge. Mixed race Asian Caucasian female model.

Photo: depositphotos.com

Fitness tour is a general term that has many varieties – dance, relaxation, power, mixed and so on. There are also narrowly focused tours, such as yoga tours. Since India is the homeland of yoga, it is the most popular country for that theme. Such tours are best for those who want to relax, to relieve persistent stress, and to know more about themselves.

 If you prefer something more active, you should choose a dance focus. Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia, and countries of Southeast Asia all offer something special and unusual.

Fitness tours do not depend on vacation and holiday seasons. Of course, most of them are near the sea, but in winter time you can choose a trip to the mountains. Fitness tours are of two types: narrowly focused and combined. The first involve classes in one sphere; for example, you will study some kind of dance or practice yoga.

In the second case, the tour program is more extensive and full. You can try different types of fitness: Pilates, stretching, aerobics, jogging and much more. Programs are usually arranged by level of complexity, so everyone gets adequate physical activity.

young happy smiling caucasian woman doing exercises in the park, outdoor fitness

Photo: depositphotos.com

According to statistics, by 2017 the world market for wellness tourism had grown 50% faster than the traditional tourism market, and the World Travel Guide predicts a serious boom in fitness tourism. It will open a lot of new business opportunities as hotels prepare to provide guests with round-the-clock access to favorite sports and well-considered menus.

Traditional hotels have also got enthused and involved with the new trend. In Fairmont hotels, for example, it is possible to rent sports equipment – from specialized clothing to yoga mats. There is also a popular Running Concierge service, meaning that a hotel employee helps you to map out the best route for jogging in a new city.

Hotels and spa resorts are starting to form partnerships with fitness clubs and even race events, and to employ coaches in various sports from Bikram Yoga to kickboxing and fencing. Sport has proven its powerful potential in socialization: it is able to unite different people who are eager for a healthy and interesting lifestyle.

Today, large companies regularly arrange teambuilding events for their employees, such as snowboarding camps.

Man Doing Yoga Exercise Concept

Photo: depositphotos.com

Moving toward a goal is easier when there are people who share your beliefs and help you to make progress. Fitness tours offer ideal places to communicate with such people. A fitness tour is an exciting adventure in the search for your true self.

The format of travel and training allows people to really reboot since they are in an unusual, but safe and cozy environment. Because to get out of one’s comfort zone, it is not necessary to live in a cave, sleep on bare stone slabs, and drink only water.

Fitness tours are usually held in exotic places of the globe with rich nature. They allow you to practice yoga early in the morning on an ocean shore, or at night in a rainforest clearing.  Instead of traditional cardio in a gym you can climb mountain peaks, and let meditation be your relaxation procedure.

That sounds a lot better than just sleeping in a hotel room!

Published: 03/08/2017

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