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What's New in Travel News
By Denny Stein
Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel for February continues its Secret Hotels series with Paris, following January’s 9 Best Secret Hotels in the World. If traveling abroad is a little too rich for your blood right now then read through Disney Made Easy by Stephanie Adams, who practically grew up at Disney World. Closer to home, there’s an article on The New Wine Trail, an oenophile’s walk through Sonoma County.
Budget Travel rarely disappoints. Each issue has a listing of current deals in the United States and abroad, plus humorous stories about the “best laid plans” going wrong. The website seems to carry the stories from the last month, plus new tips and news, at www.budgettravel.com.
The flip side of Budget Travel might well be Conde Nast’s Traveler. For a lot of us, the voyage is just surfing the magazine, but you never know you might find a good idea or a new destination. This February’s issue has a listing comparing the “Top 80 Cruise Ships in the World.” (These magazines seem to feel compelled to cover the whole world on every subject.) The basis of the ratings for these ocean liners includes service, food, amenities, cabin comforts, activities on and off the ship, and the all-important itineraries. The ships were divided into four categories: Small Ships, River Ships, Large, and Mega Ships.
My experience has all been on ships categorized as Large, though their capacity ranged from 900 to 1600. They were all Holland America ships, which took eight of the twenty rankings in that category. I like Holland America because it has old-fashioned attentive and friendly service, tasteful, comfortable furnishings, and good (sometimes remarkable) food, without being pretentious . . . well, not too pretentious. After all, we are talking cruise ships!
Email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, with your experience and opinion and I’ll publish some of the comments I get.