Travel News & Deals
Deals, tips, advice and more
Harmony of the Seas mega-ship is on course to be world's largest

You could spend your whole day going up and down three waterslides that spiral down 10 decks on the upcoming Harmony of the Seas cruise ship from Royal Caribbean International.

The cruise line on Wednesday announced features of the ship that's scheduled to make its debut in April 2016. It will be the world's largest cruise ship and the third in the line's Oasis class, according to news reports.

Harmony of the Seas will feature 2,747 staterooms and hold 5,479 passengers on 16 decks, surpassing its sister ships Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean's announcement says.

Like other ships in this class, it will feature seven "neighborhoods," or activity zones: Central Park, Boardwalk, the Royal Promenade, the Pool and Sports Zone, Vitality at Sea Spa and Fitness Center, Entertainment Place, and the Youth Zone.

You can play on a carousel and in a games arcade on the Boardwalk, take water slides that swirl from the top down to Central Park, and grab a drink from the robot...

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Letters: Seating strategies?

Regarding "Trying to Sit Together" [Letters, Feb. 15]: Years ago, when traveling with my young daughter, I had no problem rearranging our separate seating assignments when I informed the stranger next to her that I had requested an extra bag from the flight attendant because she often suffered from motion sickness. It was, in fact, true. Not that I am recommending fabricating such a story, but it definitely helped in our situation.

Judy Brooks

Valley Village

Here's another item to add to letter writer David Kaufman's great "kit" to help get your family seated together without paying extra. Give the flight attendants earplugs and say, "My kids always scream and cry when they're not close to mommy and daddy."

Robert Bubnovich


Kudos to Qantas

This might be an unusual email to you because it concerns an airline that made a mistake and apologized for it. The situation is as follows:

1. I made reservations for my wife and me to fly to Australia on Qantas using my American Airlines...

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Shackleton's Antarctic adventure up for discussion at Distant Lands



Joel Robinson will describe the Antarctic escape led by Ernest Shackleton 100 years ago and Robinson's effort to retrace part of Shackleton's route.

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena.

Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220.



Hostelling International will conduct a workshop on exploring Europe by rail. Topics include Eurail passes and classes of service.

When, where: 7 p.m. Tuesday at the REI store in Santa Monica, 402 Santa Monica Blvd.

Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (310) 393-9913, Ext. 3104.



REI experts will discuss applying for a permit, planning a route, and choosing equipment and food.

When, where: 7 p.m. Thursday at the REI store in Huntington Beach, 7777 Edinger Ave.

Admission, info: Free. (714) 379-1938.



Kurt Koontz will discuss his book "A Million Steps," about his trek on the Camino de Santiago. A question-and-answer session and signing to follow.


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Tour company Best of Morocco went the extra mile for travelers

My friend and I had the opportunity to travel to Morocco. I contacted the Best of Morocco, and they were very flexible and willing to organize my tour according to places we wanted to see and the length of time we were staying. Hafid, our guide and driver, made us feel very safe. The hotels and riads [traditional homes] they chose for our trip were very nice, clean and comfortable. My friend and I are chefs, and Hafid was so nice to us by allowing us to cook with the locals when we visited the desert. Tour prices vary depending on days of travel and accommodations; the website has up-to-date information on attractions, hotels, riads and more.

Best of Morocco,, 011-212-667-195-783

Karla Lomeli


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Video: Huge dunes, cool pool, sudden rain in Death Valley

Here's a video about huge dunes, a cool pool -- and what happens when rain hits Death Valley.

Most of it was shot in two dramatic spots, which lie about 27 miles from each other in Death Valley National Park.

One is Mesquite Flat, where sand dunes rise more than 100 feet from the desert valley’s floor, making for memorable sunrises and sunsets – especially when there’s unusual weather involved.

The second spot is the pool at the Inn at Furnace Creek -- probably one of the most tempting pools in California, given the miles of bare, dry, sun-baked desert that surround it.

And don’t miss the surprise treat at the end, when the video returns to the sand dunes.

“A Minute Away” is a video series in which nothing much happens -- except you see the world, and hear it, and get a respite from workaday life. We’ve covered Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, the Alamo, an Alaska float plane and the reading room of the New York Public Library, among other places. We add a new minute just about...

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Deal: 35% discount at all-inclusive resort in Mexico's Riviera Maya

Families and couples looking for an affordable all-inclusive getaway may do well to check out an offer from Barcelo Hotels & Resorts. The company will take 35% off the cost of staying at the Barcelo Maya Beach Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula.

The deal: The Barcelo Maya Beach Resort is one of five hotels at the Riviera Maya complex. Together, there are more than 2,700 rooms and 20 restaurants that share a stretch of private beach and swimming pools.

The 35% discount applies to five hotel's all-inclusive program, which covers meals (buffet and specialty restaurants), drinks and sports activities and entertainment at the site. (You can get this deal at all five hotels at the complex.)

It also comes with resort credits. Guests who stay as many as four nights receive a $1,200 credit. (There are restrictions on how the credit may be used. For example, you may spend $200 toward a room upgrade or $100 toward a private dinner on the beach.)

When: There's no deadline for...

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