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What to Tip Waiters, Hotel Staff, and Taxi Drivers in France

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/14/2018, 8:15 PM

Some pointers on how to pay gratuities—without overdoing it—in hotels, restaurants, and taxis in France

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Historic Delta Queen to Resume Cruising U.S. Rivers

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/07/2018, 4:00 PM

The Delta Queen riverboat will once again cruise American waterways.  A floating National Historic Landmark, the 1920s-era vessel has been docked in Chattanooga, Tennessee, since 2008 due to a law banning overnight cruises on wooden ships.  But a bipartisan measure exempting the Delta Queen from that prohibition was approved by Congress, clearing the way for multiday excursions aboard the histor...

Meet UNESCO's New Cultural Heritage Inductees: Reggae, French Perfume, and More

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/05/2018, 12:00 AM

Reggae music from Jamaica, the Irish sport of hurling, Polish Nativity scenes, Korean wrestling, and about three dozen more arts, crafts, folk dances, foods, and festivals are the latest global traditions added to UNESCO's Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. (Pity the arts and tourism officials currently trying to squeeze that mouthful into quick after-dinner speec...

What to Do in Aruba When You're Tired of Sunbathing

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 12/04/2018, 10:00 PM

You may want to spend all of your Aruba vacation loafing in the sun. If not, here's where to go for nature, history, food, shopping, and adventure. 

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The Leaning Tower of Pisa Is Leaning Less

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/29/2018, 12:00 AM

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is standing a little straighter these days.  Engineers say that the tilt of the Italian icon has reduced by about 4cm (1.6 in.), according to news reports. More significantly, the international group that monitors the tower has deemed it stable, safe, and unlikely to topple over.  For these developments we can thank a restoration process begun in the 1990s, when safety...

Underground Luxury Hotel Opens in a Quarry

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/28/2018, 3:00 PM

Bringing new meaning to the term "money pit," the recently opened, mostly subterranean InterContinental Shanghai Wonderland is a ritzy, multimillion-dollar resort with 16 of its 18 floors built into the side of a quarry southwest of Shanghai. The hotel has 336 rooms, the majority of which are located below ground level, stretching to a depth of 88 meters (289 ft.) in China's Sheshan Mountain Range...

Smoke on a Carnival Cruise and You Could Get Kicked Off the Ship

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/27/2018, 12:00 AM

Carnival Cruise Line is getting stricter with passengers who light up at sea.  The company has updated its tobacco and marijuana smoking policy to include the possibility of removal from the ship for guests caught smoking in staterooms, suites, or on cabin balconies.  Any other passengers staying in the offender's room will have to leave, too, and nobody will get refunds for unused cruise fare. ...

New Rules in Rome Target Rowdy, Boozy Tourists

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/19/2018, 5:30 PM

Italy has just about had it with your nonsense. Straining under the burden of accommodating endless hordes of tourists and their accompanying noise, litter, rowdiness, and traffic gridlock, the country's most popular cities are rolling out strict behavioral regulations—with hefty fines—aimed at keeping visitors under control. Florence recently banned eating in the streets. Venice has outlawed ev...

Stressed at LaGuardia? The Airport Will Bring You a Therapy Dog

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/15/2018, 12:00 AM

Before and after security, onsite airport therapy dog crews make NYC's LaGuardia a little more lovable. 

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In Japan You Can Build Your Own Kit Kat Now

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/13/2018, 12:00 AM

Like compact cars and the band Cheap Trick, Kit Kat candy bars weren't born in Japan, but they sure went big there.  The chocolate-covered wafers (a U.K. creation currently owned worldwide by Nestlé) are among Japan's best-selling sweets and they have appeared in hundreds of flavors, including strawberry cheesecake, green tea, purple sweet potato, wasabi, and sake.  The country's latest innovati...

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