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You Won’t Believe What These New Cruise Ships Are Offering

Cruise ships are offering some seriously interesting entertainment options to try and lure new customers onto the open waters.

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The future is here and its wonderful people… Cruise ships are offering some seriously interesting entertainment options to try and lure new customers onto the open waters. I remember a time when a pool, casino, and restaurants were all the amenities these goliath moving cities offered, but boy oh boy have times changed. Let’s take a look at the amazing entertainment options some of these cruise lines are adding to entice customers.

 

IMAX Movie Screen

OK, so maybe movie screens aren’t new to the cruise world but Carnival Vista is trying to add a little pizzazz to their entertainment lineup. The massive IMAX screen is literally three decks high and can seat 180 people. You won’t be seeing old movies here either, expect all new movies, just as they are released in the theatres.

  

Go-Kart Racing

Maybe speed is more your thing, so check out the exhilarating go-kart track on Norwegian Joy’s newest feature. Race along the track that sits on top of the cruise ship and enjoys unbeatable views of the open water. Who ever thought to put a go-kart track on a cruise ship is a mad genius and we love them.

 

Bumper Cars

Say what?!

Who doesn’t love bumper cars? The Carnival standby is now cruising the open seas on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class ships. Kids and adults alike can crash into their friends and family to their heart’s content all while on one of the most memorable vacations you’ll ever embark on.

Ice Bars

Maybe an exciting cocktail in a bar made entirely out of frozen ice is more your speed. If so, check out Norwegian Cruise Line’s epic ice sculpture garden turned ice bar on three of their ships. No need to pack a jacket or gloves, the bar provides those free of charge, but the booze is not free. The world may not be ready for bars kept below freezing, but cruise lines are.

 

Indoor Skydiving

Take your adrenaline level up a notch with some extreme indoor skydiving on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class. The new iFly skydiving simulators offer some intense high-flying action with almost zero risk. No need to fight your fear of height or airplanes, just suit up and feel the magic of flight.

 

Suspended Biking

Maybe the confines of a cruise ship are starting to get to you and you want to stretch those legs… try suspended biking. Yes, bikes suspended high above the top deck offer amazing views and a great workout. Carnival Vista’s SkyRide lets you cruise a recumbent bike in the sky while on an actual cruise… sounds real meta.

 

Robot Bars

OK, so maybe bartenders are not your thing, how about robot bartenders instead? Yes, I said robot bartenders who always make perfectly mixed drinks. Bionic Bars on the Royal Caribbean’s Quantum-class are regular bars serviced by two robotic bartenders. This is like stepping into the future. And I love it.

 

With these new entertainment options, the idea of being on a cruise ship is quickly becoming more and more enticing.  Pick your pleasure and enjoy your cruise.

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Travel

“Shoulder Season” Is Officially In Effect

Here are some easy ways that you can take advantage of the sneakily travel-friendly season known as “shoulder season”.

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Look, Fall is nice and all, but I think we’re all mourning the end of Summer at least a little bit. Maybe it’s because we know Winter is right around the corner. But one thing many people ignore or at least forget about is… shoulder season! What’s shoulder season, you ask? Well, it’s that beautiful time every year where travel is cheap and the crowds are light. So basically… you have some extra shoulder room!

It’s really one of the best times of year to travel. Airlines and hotels will drop their prices to make sure they still are bringing in money. And many of the more popular tourist destinations see their lowest tourist population of the year. Here are some easy ways that you can take advantage of this sneakily travel-friendly season.

BUY THE CHEAPEST FLIGHTS YOU’LL EVER BUY

Many travel experts have studied the trends, and the commonly accepted theory is that flights are so cheap this time of year because peak travel season has just ended as kids return to school and people start going into hiding so they can financially survive the holidays. Because of this, many airlines will lower their costs, sometimes dramatically, just to ensure their planes are full until travel picks up again around Christmas.

So, for example, you could get a roundtrip flight to Portland, Oregon for $300, one to Philadelphia for $350, or one to the quickly-growing-in-popularity Medellin, Columbia for $500. You’re not going to find better deals than that! Take advantage, people.

SPECIAL OFFERS AND HOTEL PACKAGES

For the same reasons airlines drop their prices to make sure their planes are full, many hotels and resorts will offer crazy packages and special offers to make sure as many of their rooms as possible are full of travelers. Beyond just the lowest rates of the year, this can include anything from free drinks, free spa services, and even free day excursions. Free stuff?! On vacation no less?! Where do I sign?

RENTALS BY OWNER ARE NO EXCEPTION

If you love to travel but prefer renting your accommodations through Air BnB or VRBO, then you’re in luck. Because they follow suit when it comes to shoulder season and often lower their rates as well. The same logic applies: they’d rather have someone renting out their place for a low rate than no one renting out their place at all. October is definitely the best month to find the lowest rates, but September can see them as well.

PUT IN A LITTLE WORK TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SAVINGS

While all these deals are out there and you can find some of them fairly easily, it’s still worth it to do some research, get creative, and maximize your savings by finding the best possible deals on anything and everything. Because despite how many places consider the Fall their slow season, there are still places out there that don’t see much of a dip during the Fall. So don’t assume you’re getting a deal on a hotel room just because you’re booking for October. Use multiple sources, compare prices, and be patient!

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Travel

How To Avoid Tourist Traps

Falling into tourist traps is easier than you might think and people all over the globe are more than happy to take your money. 

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Traveling isn’t rocket science, but it can get pretty complicated fast, so it’s best to be prepared for everything. Falling into tourist traps is easier than you might think and people all over the globe are more than happy to take your money. 

Tourist traps are ancillary businesses usually surrounding an already busy attraction that offer no actual insight or advantage. Basically, they are ways to con tourists into spending money they do not need to spend.

Avoiding these traps will make your vacation more enjoyable and save you money in the long run. Wasting money while on vacation is a bummer, so we devised this easy plan to avoid tourist traps.

RESEARCH

What’s the best defense against anything, research? I was a boy scout and we were taught to always be prepared and this lesson has served me well so far. Search the internet for the attractions and destinations you wish to visit and find out what you should and shouldn’t pay for. Always ask locals and your hotel concierge for recommendations, so you can avoid traps and touristy situations.

WHERE ARE THE LOCALS?

First thing I do when I get to an attraction is look for locals because they don’t get scammed and rarely fall for tourist traps. You just don’t see locals in Times Square in NY or at the Acropolis in Athens, they avoid these popular destinations like the plague. If you see locals at a restaurant, chances are the place is good, that is the perfect litmus test.

STAY AWAY FROM THE TOURIST ZONES

Where you book your accommodations will weigh heavily on your vacation experience. Touristy zones tend to be more expensive, have less overall charm and generally are not realistic examples of the city. Why stay in a tourist trap when you can experience the city like a local and truly get the most out of your travel?

This is why I love using shared economy services like Airbnb and VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner) because they give you a more authentic adventure.

MULTIPLE TRANSLATIONS

If you see something advertised using multiple languages (more than 2) then chances are it is a trap. These are translated multiple times so it has the widest range of people that will see it. It’s like fishing, the more bait you put out, the better your chances are of attracting a bite.

BARKING DOGS BITE

I’m not talking about literal dogs, instead, I’m talking about people outside of attractions or restaurants barking or yelling to attract customers. Think about it, when you go to your favorite restaurant at home, s there a guy out front yelling about deals? Of course not, because that is a crazy thing and an obvious sign that you are falling into a trap.

COUNTRIES THAT RELY ON TOURISM

If a country solely relies on tourist dollars the chances of you getting an authentic experience are pretty low. These countries, usually Caribbean and Asian are quickly becoming tourist traps and losing their own identity. The global tourism economy is eroding countries character and uniqueness. 

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Destinations

5 Silver Lake Restaurants Every Food Lover Needs to Try

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Silver Lake, the aggressively cool hipster hideout a hop, skip, and a jump north of Downtown LA, is filled with things to see and do. There is any number of must-see landmarks, laid-back cafés, and trendy bars to explore. But for the food lover, the real draw of Silver Lake is the amazing selection of eateries it offers.

From casual and cozy spots to high-end establishments, there’s something for everyone here. Whether you’re in town for the weekend or a long-time Angeleno, one thing’s for sure, if you’re a food lover in Los Angeles, you won’t want to miss these restaurants.

1. Little Pine

Little Pine restaurant was once owned by Moby, and predictably, serves exclusively vegan fare. That doesn’t mean it’s boring though. You won’t find endless variations of raw salads and green juices on the menu here. Little pine is dedicated to serving up innovative and most of all hearty vegan food that even meat-eaters will love.

2. Boo’s Philly

If you’re looking for something that’s decidedly not vegan, but nonetheless delicious, then Boo’s Philly is definitely the place for you. Serving up a small menu of impressively large-sized subs, this causal little deli is a must-visit if you’re seeking the most authentic Philadelphia cheesesteaks this side of the liberty bell. Their hoagies have to be seen to be believed, and luckily, you can check them out at this browse link.

3. Botanica Restaurant and Market

For something quintessentially Californian, it doesn’t get much better than Botanica Restaurant and Market. Owned by two former food critics, the plates are healthy, organic, locally-sourced, and beautifully prepared. Using only the finest produce, and with an impressive selection of natural wine, this laid-back spot is great for a casual brunch or dinner with friends.

4. Alimento

Alimento is a Silver Lake staple serving up some of the most delicious Italian food you’ve ever eaten. Headed up by James Beard-nominated chef Zach Pollack, Alimento is a quaint and cozy little bistro with amazing wines and pasta to die for. It’s one of the pricier options on this list, but we’re sure you’ll find it’s most definitely worth every cent.

5. Ceviche Project

Although slightly niche, Ceviche Project definitely deserves a place on a list of food to love in Silver Lake. This tiny little restaurant contains an extensive and inspiring menu of Latin American inspired seafood dishes. Critics and everyday patrons alike rave about the amazing flavor combinations and fresh ingredients produced by chef Octavio Olivas. A great choice for an intimate dinner or date night.

Food for the Food Lover

In order to fully explore all of the best food in Silver Lake, it would take much more than 500 words and a much longer list. Silver Lake’s many restaurants are characterized by their attention to detail, fresh ingredients, and creative menus. What we’re saying is, if you’re a food lover, it’s not a bad place to be.

For more reviews and tips on where to find the best food, check out the rest of our guides.

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