This Just In!
The latest travel news from the pages of this month's issue.
Regent Seven Seas is banning smoking in all cabins (including on cabin balconies). • Royal Caribbean is prohibiting smoking in cabins (but not on balconies), and is testing the concept of open seating in its dining rooms. • Holland America is introducing open seating at certain restaurants. • Norwegian Cruise Line is now allowing passengers to wear jeans to dinner in all but one restaurant per ship, and is banning smoking inside all enclosed public spaces (except for casinos and cigar bars).
Alamo's moves toward automation seem to have inspired Hertz's new subsidiary, Simply Wheelz (simplywheelz.com). How it works: You print out a reservation document at home, similar to an e-ticket. Then, when you reach the Simply Wheelz office, you wave your document and driver's license in front of a scanner. The kiosk prints out an agreement, which you take to the lot to pick up your car. The first location is at the Orlando airport, with others expected to follow, and weekday rates start as low as $15. Sean O'Neill
Launched in June, TVtrip posts videos--shot by pros--that let you scope out European hotels (tvtrip.com). The videos are paired with Google Maps, starting rates, and descriptions by the editors. The site has just begun tackling the U.S. Kate Appleton
The photo-sharing website Flickr has introduced Camera Finder (flickr.com/cameras), a feature that can help you buy a new camera by showing pix taken with various models. Images are organized by category--macro, night, etc.--and there are technical specs, price comparisons, and user reviews. (Some listings are incomplete: There are no prices for the Nikon D80, for instance.) If you're into the wisdom of crowds, the site also ranks models by popularity. Beth Collins
Other News You Should Know
Washington Wax Madame Tussauds opens in Washington, D.C., this month, with figures such as Abe Lincoln and the Clintons. madame-tussauds.com.
Hi-tech Yosemite The national park is offering 90-minute, GPS-guided tours to the Lower Yosemite Falls. yosemite.org, $10.
Moon Over Miami On November 3, Miami Beach will host its first Sleepless Night, when restaurants, shops, museums, and cinemas will stay open until 6 A.M. sleeplessnight.org.
Kahlo Show To commemorate Frida Kahlo's 100th birthday, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis is exhibiting her still lifes and self-portraits, starting October 27. walkerart.org, $10.
Canadian Cruise Holland America Line has added New England and Canada to Eurodam's first year of sailings, in 2008. The ship's home port will be Quebec City. hollandamerica.com.
Disney Update In January, Disney-MGM Studios is changing its name to Disney's Hollywood Studios. disneyworld.com.
For more news, go to This Just In, our blog.