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Report: Royal Caribbean Adding Lifeguards, Water Safety Signs

Feb 25, 2017
The consumer site Cruise Critic reports Royal Caribbean will be adding licensed lifeguards and safety signage on all chips in its fleet in the coming months.

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Mexico in the fall – special insights into culture and heritage

A view of Puerto Vallarta's Central area
Visit Mexico during an annual festival and you will have special insight into the country’s cultural traditions and heritage. Mexico, of course, is a lot more than the sum of its beaches, as wonderful as they are. more
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Getting out of the car at Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Summer Family Hikes
Are you a windshield tourist? That’s what they call the many visitors to Great Smoky Mountains National Park who simply traverse the park’s famous 30-plus mile Newfound Gap Road through the park and don’t get out of the car much, if at all. more
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Shopping in Tokyo’s ‘Kitchentown’ and other delights to wrap up a great trip

Kitchentown in Tokyo
There’s shop after shop of kitchen wares—ceramic sake cups, wooden bowls for miso soup, colorful bowls for rice, all varieties of chop sticks and of course hand-made Japanese knives that will be engraved on the spot with your name in Japanese. And everything is a bargain! more
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What for dinner in Tokyo? How about 14 courses, small but delicious?

Chef Kenichiro Ooe of Park Hyatt Tokyo
If you think a 14-course dinner might be a little much to handle, come sample Chef Kenichiro Ooe’s fare at Kozue on the 40th floor of the Park Hyatt Tokyo with stellar views of the city. more
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School in heart of Hiroshima is a memorial and a symbol of peace

Miko and Amber at the Honkawa Elementary School museum in Hiroshima
The Honkawa Elementary School is in the heart of Hiroshima and when the Atomic Bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945, all but one of the 420 students and teachers perished. Today is a again a bustling school and a memorial to those who died. more
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Finding real books and bookstores on your family trips

Daunt books, London
I know a lot of kids don’t even read “real” books anymore. Everyone is all about interactive books kids can read on tablets with all sorts of fun features. But there’s still something to be said for stopping in at a local bookstore — or a national park visitor center — and browsing their collection of children’s books. more
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Exploring Japanese pop culture at the International Manga Museum in Kyoto

Kids designing manga on computers
These aren’t just any comics. These are the enormously popular and traditional Manga, the basis for Anime, at the Kyoto International Manga Museum which is run by Kyoto Seika University and the Kyoto City Government. The University teaches aspiring Manga artists and writers in its design and fine arts department. more
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Visiting a traditional Japanese Ryokan — not your ordinary hotel

Akemi Nishimura at her Hiiragiya Ryokan in Kyoto
Welcome to the traditional Japanese Riokan. There are these hotels all around Japan, some in the mountains, which offer the chance to try the Japanese hot springs baths called onseng more
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Touring Kyoto with locals and on bikes: seeing more than temples

Wacky scarecrows guard a rice paddy in Kyoto
Kyoto is famous for its Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. This morning, we’re cycling a 14-mile loop with Kyoto Cycling Tour Project with stops at the Golden Pavilion and Ryoanji Temple with its world-famous rock garden – two of the city’s and Japan’s top tourist attractions. more
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Cruise follies, foibles, TMI, TLI and unexpected discoveries

A squid greets us in Hakodate, Japan
All in all it was a great cruise on the Diamond Princess, stopping in ports we had never heard of in northern Japan and even in Russia, thanks to somebody named Jones (more on that later). But no cruise is complete without its follies and unexpected discoveries. more
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