Savvy tourists continuously lookout for newer travel experiences that bring a refined level of joy and satisfaction while exploring and gaining insights about the unknown. A voyage exposes travellers to different cultures in unconventional ways, uncovering hidden treasures throughout the journey.
There are quite a few important things that combine to decide the voyage and its outcome. The distinguishing facilities and the thrills of entertainment options play a vital role for any cruise line to make a difference to travellers. Let’s dive into these distinctive options that strive to create profound memories for different types of travellers.
Gastronomy Experiences to Recollect
Regardless of the cruise line you travel, onboard culinary times are a celebration that captivates your senses. An appetising gastronomical experience is one of the high points of any cruise. That’s where notable cultures of the world present themselves as a single culinary journey delighting voyagers beyond their expectations.
Options galore include grand dining rooms, specialty restaurants focusing on cultural cuisine, elegant to swanky bars, casual cafes, in-suite dining, dine under the stars and more, all to take your taste buds on a world tour.
Tradition, innovation, excellence and artful orchestration are the defining angles of culinary experience onboard a cruise.It’s not wrong to say nothing elevates an expedition like scrumptious cuisine does. For this reason, cruise lines put their heart and soul to create exquisite dining experiences infusing authentic flavours and delightful aromas of delectable cuisine from varied cultures of the world.
Freestyle family dining options satisfy everyone from a hardcore foodie to the pickiest eater, all on a relaxed schedule, with loads of enjoyment. You can also host a private party and gastronomy gathering for your friends and family with personalized cuisine options.
Distinguishing dining experiences on every cruise line infuse authentic regional & cultural flavours and ingredients crafted into perfection. Master chefs have the passion and creativity to bring the world’s cultures to your table through the lens of gastronomy.
Exclusive Dining Packages
Looking for more options to satisfy your palate aboard your cruise? Your cravings get a new lease of life with tasteful and sophisticated dining packages. Renowned cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, Celebrity and Princess, to name a few, offer a true-blue palatable adventure influenced by prominent cultures.
Dining plans allow travellers to experience dining at several restaurants and specialty outlets at a single, discounted price. Plans include dining at a specific number of restaurants to unlimited dining packages. Exciting times are guaranteed when you pair your dining package with a refreshing beverage package. Combining specific drinks with different meals of the day make for increased savings and a comprehensive dining expedition.
The advantage of choosing a dining and beverage package is you get access to most outlets that often involve a separate fee. The packages, however, depend on the cruise line and the fleet you are travelling. Do a thorough check of the dining options to enjoy stress-free culinary times throughout your voyage.
Palates That Tell Cultural Stories
The dining options on Disney Cruise Lines offer the most lavish settings and casual getaways,making every gastronomy session a celebration in itself. The royal courts, the cabanas, the juice bars, the sophisticated palace-like settings, all write culinary stories not experienced before.
Specialty dining on Norwegian Cruise brings in the exciting new Norwegian Edge with upgraded menus and enhanced outlets. Exclusive buffet restaurants and Asian Fusion indulge guests to the maximum.
A distinctive line of themed restaurants on Silversea reflect the essence of gastronomic excellence. Freshness in ingredients and variety dominates every inch with an exotic mystery unique to each restaurant. Fine French selections, extensive Asian options and authentic Italian varieties make the bespoke menus.
The wide selection of cuisine on Regent Seven Seas Cruises and their signature restaurants pamper taste buds with the choicest flavours. Compass Rose is home to multitude selections with customization options. Classic French fare gets your mood going at the modern Chartreuse. Set off for lip-smacking Asian cuisine at the luxurious Pacific Rim or enjoy delicious breakfast and lunch buffet with stunning ocean views in La Veranda.
Other elite cruise brands like The Royal Caribbean, Viking Cruises and others are nothing short of variety and style with tasteful choices and gourmet freshness while it comes to dining options.
The World of Cruise Entertainment
What good is a cruise without its share of action and entertainment? Though a handful of cruises, like the classic ones, have the least or minimum entertainment options due to the type of travellers they serve, a substantial dose of entertainment is a must for other cruise types. If appetising cuisine is the lifeblood of a cruise, entertainment surely is the backbone delivering invaluable moments throughout the journey.
Onboard activities and entertainment options on The Royal Caribbean are out-of-the-world, literally. Experience something incredible every single day and night that redefines entertainment altogether. Feel the adrenaline rush when the sun goes down and gives way to a boisterous nightlife filled with the hottest dance sessions, live music & DJ parties at swanky clubs and lounges and live shows that light up the night.
Let the thrills of exuberant slides, exhilarating skydiving, high-level zip lining and the limitless bungee trampoline at the sky pad take the adventure to a daring new level. Find a new way to drench in the waters onboard the ship welcoming you to a tidal wave, pool parties, amplified pool deck, whirlpools and a surf simulator.
Continuing the legacy of world-class entertainment, Disney Cruise Lines pack exuberant activities and over-the-top entertainment options for everyone. A host of themed deck parties marking special occasions take celebrations to cloud nine. Exciting musical shows, larger-than-life character experiences and live performances pack a punch, delivering a new experience of entertainment. Groove the night away at elegant nightclubs and swish lounges combining leisure, energetic live shoes and loads of signature drinks and crisp fares. Adventure in the waters and holistic rides are one-of-a-kind on Disney Cruises.
Entertainment of a different kind with enthusiasm greet travellers to scorching times on Norwegian Cruise. There’s nothing like the Broadway Shows, high-octane performances, vibrant live music sessions and hilarious comedy shows that keep the energy and vibe on high pedestal.
Viking Cruise, Seabourn, Carnival Cruise, Princess Cruises and others bring in a new angle to entertainment with distinctive enrichment programs, adults retreat, card & games rooms, varied live shows and wellness programs into the itinerary.
Every world-renowned cruise line combines the best of adventure, activities and high-spirited performances meeting exquisite gastronomy delicacies making the sea a hub for celebration and enjoyment.
Spa & Wellness including Fitness
Relaxation and rejuvenation options onboard a ship give a refreshing meaning to your voyage and the essence of your overall wellbeing.Exclusive spa and wellness programs feed your mind, body and souland recharge your senses to experience a comprehensive cruise journey.
Elevate your health and fitness to soaring heights while you embark on a pampering journey complimenting your global exploration. Indulge in an extensive spa and personalized massage sessions while the delicate aromas give rise to a new you with refreshment options. Private spa and wellness centres aboard a cruise create a sanctuary for your senses combining loads of tranquillity with immersive touches.
Lose yourself in deep relaxation for personal enhancement with signature Thai massages and ancient stone massages. Specialized beauty and grooming services for men and women only elevate the experience, transferring you to a blissful paradise.
Several cruise lines have their own, one-of-a-kind spa and wellness centres and expansive fitness spaces. Burn calories, build muscle and tone up with state-of-the-art fitness equipment as you take in the fascinating views of the oceans. Several fitness programs include Zumba, Tai Chi and Yoga classes conceptualized and initiated by licensed instructors. Meditation, sauna and steam rooms are the delightful wellness choices provided on most cruise lines.
A haven under the boundless skies, soaking in premium furnishings and immersing in pure luxury, cruise accommodations boast of the most distinguishing rooms and suites, guaranteeing a home away from home experience. Spacious, ocean-front accommodations fill the atmosphere with myriad amenities and delightful detailing, bringing enchanting imaginations to life. Combining golden rays of sunshine and refreshing colours of the waters, the private spaces elevate the idyllic environment and drive home a personalized experience.
Premium quality beds with posh mattresses and thoughtful touches keep the momentum going. Interactive entertainment options and comfy seating arrangements meet global standards. Reflecting style and sophistication, several well-appointed suites also feature a private balcony to sit back and take in the charm of the seas.
Exclusive facilities like work desk with in-room safe and coffee table with coffee/tea maker give a personal touch. Sit back and enjoy your favourite refreshments stocked in the minibar or enjoy fresh cuisine with amicable in-room services.Keep your group together by choosing connecting rooms with extra bathroom. The common type of accommodations include (but, not limited to):
- Variety of suites
- Spa staterooms
- Oceanview and inside staterooms
The marble-clad luxury bathrooms boast of an expansive bath tub with shower facilities (separate on several lines), dressing unit, jacuzzi on select lines and ultra-luxury toiletries. Enjoy a rejuvenating bath experience in a timeless space and let the tensions dissolve effortlessly.
The Final Word
Delightful accommodations, energetic adventures, exuberant entertainment options and captivating dining experiences, each bring in their style of luxury, added comfort and more reasons to celebrate the invaluable days and nights on the sea. The facilities and features onboard a voyage profoundly influence travel experiences that transform global exploration and holidaying venture.
Delighting savvy travellers is an art and cruise lines work hard and smart to extend warm hospitality combining tasteful amenities with unmatched and personalized services.
U.S. inauguration turns poet Amanda Gorman into best seller
WASHINGTON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – The president’s poet woke up a superstar on Thursday, after a powerful reading at the U.S. inauguration catapulted 22-year-old Amanda Gorman to the top of Amazon’s best-seller list.
Hours after Gorman’s electric performance at the swearing-in of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, her two books – neither out yet – topped Amazon.com’s sales list.
“I AM ON THE FLOOR MY BOOKS ARE #1 & #2 ON AMAZON AFTER 1 DAY!” Gorman, a Los Angeles resident, wrote on Twitter.
Gorman’s debut poetry collection ‘The Hill We Climb’ won top spot in the online retail giant’s sale charts, closely followed by her upcoming ‘Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem’.
While poetry’s popularity is on the up, it remains a niche market and the overnight adulation clearly caught Gorman short.
“Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me and my words. As Yeats put it: ‘For words alone are certain good: Sing, then’.”
Gorman, the youngest poet in U.S. history to mark the transition of presidential power, offered a hopeful vision for a deeply divided country in Wednesday’s rendition.
“Being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we step into and how we repair it,” Gorman said on the steps of the U.S. Capitol two weeks after a mob laid siege and following a year of global protests for racial justice.
“We will not march back to what was. We move to what shall be, a country that is bruised, but whole. Benevolent, but bold. Fierce and free.”
The performance stirred instant acclaim, with praise from across the country and political spectrum, from the Republican-backing Lincoln Project to former President Barack Obama.
“Wasn’t @TheAmandaGorman’s poem just stunning? She’s promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can’t wait,” tweeted former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
A graduate of Harvard University, Gorman says she overcame a speech impediment in her youth and became the first U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate in 2017.
She has now joined the ranks of august inaugural poets such as Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.
Her social media reach boomed, with her tens of thousands of followers ballooning into a Twitter fan base of a million-plus.
“I have never been prouder to see another young woman rise! Brava Brava, @TheAmandaGorman! Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I,” tweeted TV host Oprah Winfrey.
Gorman’s books are both due out in September.
Third on Amazon’s best selling list was another picture book linked to politics and projecting hope: ‘Ambitious Girl’ by Vice-President Kamala Harris’ niece, Meena Harris.
(Reporting by Umberto Bacchi @UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Lyndsay Griffiths. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)
Why brands harnessing the power of digital are winning in this evolving business landscape
By Justin Pike, Founder and Chairman, MYPINPAD
Delivery of intuitive, secure, personalised, and frictionless user experiences has long been table stakes in digital commerce, well before the era of COVID-19. As businesses harness the revolutionary power of digital technologies, they have pursued large-scale change to adapt to evolving consumer preferences (some more successfully than others, but that’s a blog for another day). Digital transformation is a term we hear repeatedly, and it looks different for each organisation, but essentially, it’s about utilising technology and data to digitise, automate, innovate and improve processes and the customer experience across the entire business.
As I said, this was already well underway but then came 2020 and no industry escaped the disruption of the coronavirus outbreak, which has had an indelible impact on businesses performance, operations, and revenue. Regardless of whether the impact of COVID has been very positive or very challenging, it has forced organisations globally to re-evaluate and re-orient strategies to adapt.
As lockdowns and pandemic-related restrictions continue to change daily life, this raises the question of how we can balance a dramatic shift to digital and the benefits it brings, while ensuring business continuity and innovation both during and post-COVID, and protecting everyone against fraud?
Digital is an essential survival tool, and even more so in a COVID world
No one could have predicted the dramatic digital pivot that has taken place over this year. Indeed, within weeks of the COVID outbreak cash usage in the UK dropped by around 50%. Digital solutions including delivery applications, contactless payments, mobile commerce, online and mobile banking have become essential components of a touchless customer experience in the era of social distancing. It’s no longer just about an enhanced and superior customer experience, it’s also about health, safety and survival.
In store, businesses have benefited from contactless payments enabling faster throughput and reduced need for consumers to touch payment terminals (therefore requiring greater cleaning, which degrades the hardware much faster). Mastercard reported a 40% increase in contactless payments – including tap-to-pay and mobile pay – during the first quarter of the year as the global pandemic worsened. Digital has also become an essential sales channel for many B2C brands. Where brick and mortar stores have been required to close, digital commerce enables continuity of customer relationships and revenue. This channel also provides brands with rich customer data, which can be used to enhance and personalise the customer experience and typically results in greater levels of engagement and uplifts in revenue.
Industry forecasts estimate that worldwide spending on the technologies and services enabling digital transformation will reach GBP 1.8 trillion in 2023 – a clear indication that the process represents a long-term investment and a global commitment to digital-first strategy. The key point here is that digital brings significant benefits, and regardless of COVID, is here to stay.
The challenges that rapid digital transformation brings to businesses
Regardless of whether businesses are operating in developed or less-developed economies, these times of crisis have levelled the playing field in the sense that all businesses are facing similar issues. Access to products and supplies, maintaining customer relationships, accelerating sales for some and declining sales for others, health and hygiene are just a few of the unique challenges brought about by COVID.
Many businesses in physical environments have had to swiftly implement changes to significantly reduce safety risks for staff and customers, such as contactless payments, mobile ordering and delivery options. But with these changes come a host of other benefits of digitisation, such as faster transactions, and reduced human error at the point-of-sale.
The reliance on technology, however, can also expose organisations and consumers to certain vulnerabilities. In particular, the risks of fraud and cybercrime have dramatically increased since the onset of the pandemic as scammers have taken advantage of digital technologies to target both businesses and individuals.
As a McKinsey report illustrates, new levels of sophistication in the activities of fraudsters have placed more pressure on companies that have been previously slow to go digital, bringing “into sharp relief how vulnerable companies really are”, and damaging the financial health of small and large businesses. In fact, the Bottomline 2020 Business Payments Barometer reveals that only one in 10 small businesses across the UK report recovering more than 50% of losses due to fraud.
But take these stats with a grain of salt. While it is important to be aware of the risks and challenges this new business landscape brings, it’s equally as important to have a lens firmly across your own business, industry and audience, and to identify the changes you can make internally to mitigate risk as well as improve your customer experience. Where can you make some quick wins? Do you have the right skillsets internally to achieve what you need to achieve? What technology is out there that will enable your business goals? There are tech companies like MYPINPAD that are making huge strides in software development, which will transform businesses globally.
A digital world post-COVID
Almost a year in, the line between business success and failure remains fragile. However, an ongoing transition towards greater digitisation will be the difference between survival and the alternative.
There is a wide range of initiatives businesses can implement to weather this storm. If we look at the space MYPINPAD operates within, secure digital consumer authentication is crucial to the ongoing success and security of not only financial products but also identification and verification across a range of different industry verticals. Shifting the authentication of consumers securely onto mobile devices enables businesses to completely reshape their customer experiences. By bringing together a more seamless, frictionless customer experience, accessibility, privacy, security and access to consumer data, businesses are able to drive digital transformation across day-to-day activities.
Against this backdrop, software with stronger security standards continue to play an ever more vital role in supporting society, protecting consumers and businesses from the increase in risks that rapid digitisation brings. Already, merchants can deploy PIN on Mobile technology from companies like MYPINPAD, onto their smart devices to speed up the digitisation process many are now tackling.
Essentially, opening up universal payments and authentication methods that feel familiar, for both online and face-to-face transactions, will be key to opening up a world of possibilities when it comes to redefining how businesses engage with consumers.
Brexit responsible for food supply problems in Northern Ireland, Ireland says
LONDON (Reuters) – Food supply problems in Northern Ireland are due to Brexit because there are now a certain amount of checks on goods going between Britain and Northern Ireland, Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said.
British ministers have sought to play down the disruption of Brexit in recent days.
“The supermarket shelves were full before Christmas and there are some issues now in terms of supply chains and so that’s clearly a Brexit issue,” Coveney told ITV.
The Northern Irish protocol means there are “a certain amount of checks on goods coming from GB into Northern Ireland and that involves some disruption,” he said.
(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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