Cruise in the Caribbean, cruise to Tahiti or through the Mediterranean, cruise from LA to Hawaii -- those are some of the most popular cruise trips today. To help you research, the ISLANDS editors have picked their 25 favorite cruise itineraries for 2013. From Royal Caribbean and Carnival to smaller cruise lines, each trip visits favorite islands.
Take a look at the most comprehensive dive program in the Caribbean from Sandals Resorts. (There are more than 510 dive sites to choose from!)
No fish tales here. Islands' editor Eddy Patricelli goes fishing in Mentawai with a local.
Just off the coast of Indonesia, the Mentawai Islands are an exotic travel and surfing destination.
The sails are raised in Grenada on the 236-foot Mandalay. The ship's 19 passengers aren't sure exactly where this seven-day cruise will take us. The captain will only say this: "You'll be amazed." Islands photographer Jon Whittle captures what happens next.
Want more? See the photos here.
A journey aboard a 237-foot, 110-year-old tall ship brings one adventurer to a beach with water as clear and as bright as the sky.
Just because January is over doesn't mean you can blow off those New Year's resolutions. At least one resort is happy to provide financial incentives for you to meal those pesky goals. The Westin Resort & Casino in Aruba is encouraging wellness year-round with a new "13 Resolutions for 2013" program. The year-long initiative offers guests 13 perks catered to the top 13 most commonly-broken resolutions. For example, looking to "unplug" more in 2013? Then you'll get a nice room credit if you turn in your cell phone to the front desk. Find out what other incentives await.
Lavish resorts. Infinity pools. If there’s such a thing as a complaint in the Maldives, it’s that my visits rarely allow much exploring or a chance to meet many locals. The resorts – and the scattered nature of the region’s 1,190 islands -- make staying put easy. Too easy. On my last trip, however, I discovered the Four Seasons Explorer, a luxury dive boat that carries 22 guests on 3-, 4-, and 7-night safaris through the archipelago.
Before I was born, my dad worked for a NASA contractor and was stationed on Grand Turk. So growing up I heard all kinds of stories about what life was like on a Caribbean island before the tourists came. About the tiny airport that, from the old photo, looks as if it could have doubled as a beach bar (it probably did). About the real bar where Americans drank endless rounds of beer and played endless rounds of darts. And how the tedium of his job of tracking satellites could be broken only by a walk along the utterly deserted beach. My father’s tales have inspired a lifelong spark to see — no, feel — Grand Turk, perhaps while sailing the new Carnival Breeze. I’ll snorkel with stingrays at Gibb’s Cay, just offshore, and see the replica of ...
They’re beer guys in New Zealand’s wine country. That might explain why Andy Deuchars and Brian Thiel, expats from California, have given the name “Paradox” to one of the pilsners made at their Renaissance Brewing Company. Or why they describe an ale with equal parts sensory effects and breakfast-buffet details: “Layers of biscuit, maple syrup, and hints of black currant and toast.” The combination works. Just like a winemaker (Andy, 45) partnering with a Mercedes mechanic (Brian, 43) to create beer 7,000 miles from home.
I fell in love with Silolona the moment our tender pulled up to the magnificent phinisi (traditional Spice Route sailboat) off the shore of West Papua, Indonesia. It likely helped that I was with Patti Seery, the American expat who handbuilt this five-cabin teak boat (with a skilled team of Indonesian craftsmen) and now sails on it often, guiding expeditions throughout the archipelago.