Cruises go for virtual reality
December 31, 2017

Cruise vacation fans will soon be in for high tech treats as companies go big for virtual reality.

You might say cruises are already a kind of virtual reality, a world where everything happens seamlessly and without effort; from food to fun to cleaning.

But there is more in store.

Royal Caribbean recently showed off its new virtual reality plans, among them virtual reality dining.

According to CNet, the experiences are weirdly theatrical. You put on a visor and suddenly you are in an authentic Japanese tea house. In front of you glows a blue orb for you to eat. You put it in your mouth and the paper doors of the tea house explode into paper cranes. Now, as you chew, you are in a garden with a stream. The scene suits the bite of tuna tartare you just consumed.

And with every glowing bite, your surroundings change to suit the taste and mood.

Virtual reality experiences in entertainment, as well as dining, are coming to every cruise line. Swiss-based MSC will offer virtual reality shopping, letting guests see how they look in different outfits without the bother of actually having to try them on.

And how about those inside rooms, which are cheaper, but don’t offer ocean views? Royal Caribbean has rolled out LED options for staterooms that let you project the ocean or turn your room into a rainforest.

Other technologies offer phone-based location services that let you order a drink on your phone from a waiter who finds you wherever you are. There are also self-driving cars to shuttle people down the long walkways at ports.

Are you dreaming of Caribbean Getaway?
December 30, 2017

Caribbean Night – Photos/ Roger Bianchini

With temperatures dipping into single digits, even here in Virginia and points south as 2018 approaches,* what’s not to like about “Caribbean Night in December?!!?

It didn’t take much arm-wringing to get this reporter to the event hosted by Passages Travel & Cruises’ Maria Dutton on the second floor of the Main Street Mill on December 19.  The event was co-sponsored by Sandals Resorts and featured, not only Dutton’s recently refurbished “Road Warrior” vehicle sporting art advertising balmy Sandals resorts throughout the Caribbean, but a slide presentation and literature on those destinations and their many distinctive amenities.

Maria Dutton’s Passages Travel/Sandals Resorts mobile ‘Road Warrior’ billboard

“Romance” – we like to emphasize the Romance equation at our resorts, the Sandals representative said in opening his presentation.  And speaking of “romance”: “the best beaches, whitest sands, bluest and calmest waters” – I am already IN LOVE with all these things (see the Sandals power point art attached below).

Snacks warmed would-be vacationers up for Sandals Resorts show-time.

For more detail on seasonal vacation offers through Sandals Resorts, contact Maria Dutton at Passages Travel and Cruises at (540) 636-1402 or online at [email protected]

Mike, Norma Jean – we need a travel writer don’t we?!!? Maria, can you hold a spot for Montego Bay or Negril, Jamaica or …