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Get a Google Street View of Royal Caribbean’s Allure of The Seas.

On July, 7 Royal Caribbean International launched an innovative and first-of-its-kind approach to viewing cruise ships.   Royal Caribbean will utilize Google’s Street View technology onboard its newest ship Allure of The Seas.   

 

By utilizing Google’s technology, consumers will have an interactive experience allowing for a free exploration of its ship.

 

“Royal Caribbean has raised the bar for other cruise lines,” says Lou Lemos, owner of Syracuse-based BTI Travel.  “Before we were limited to photos, now we can virtually stroll through the ship’s decks and check out what makes Allure of The Seas unique.”

 

Vacationers will be able to access the technology, a first for the cruise industry at http://www.royalcaribbean.co.uk/royalview or via Google Search results, Google Maps and Google+ whether they’re using their computers, smartphones or tablets. 

 

Royal Caribbean’s’ Allure of The Seas is the world’s largest and most innovative ship.  The cruise ship includes A  Royal Promenade, a boulevard that runs nearly the length of the ship, flanked by restaurants, boutiques and lounges; Central Park, an outdoor park longer than a football pitch complete with over 12,000 live plants and trees; the Boardwalk, featuring a hand-crafted carousel, two rock-climbing walls and the AquaTheater, a high-dive aquatic performance venue with the deepest pool at sea; Entertainment Place, with an elaborate theatre, night club, comedy club, jazz club and ice-skating rink, which offers professionally produced ice shows; the Pool and Sports Deck featuring a zip line, twin FlowRider surf simulators, full-size basketball/sports court, nine-hole minigolf course, 15 pools and whirlpools and 22 restaurants, and many, many more.

 

To get more information on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of The Seas or to book your next cruise vacation, contact BTI Travel at 315-472-7737.

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Great Countries to Visit: Chile

Chile

Between the Pacific Ocean and the base of the Andes, one of world’s great mountain ranges, Chile boasts some of the world’s most varied and dramatic landscapes.  Chile is now one of South America’s most modern and convenient travel destinations, with contemporary infrastructure and comforts, and an outstanding reputation for safety.   

 

Among Chilean specialty tours are those focusing on wine production, desert flora and fauna, fly-fishing, skiing, and river rafting and kayaking, and hiking through stunning Patagonian landscapes.

 

 

Santiago

Santiago

 

Santiago, like Chile in general, has enjoyed a renaissance of cultural, intellectual and especially commercial activity for more than two consecutive decades.  Downtown Santiago is still dotted with Spanish colonial buildings and old churches, as well as many sparkling new modern buildings. 

 

BTI Travel Agents’ Suggestions:

David:  Visit the Vina Concha y Toro vineyard.  The winery is a 45 minute drive from Santiago and is beautiful.  People from all across the country come to visit this Untitled177vineyard.

 

Nicole:  Check out Bellavista neighborhood.  This neighborhood remains the center of Santiago’s artistic and intellectual life, bustling with galleries, restaurants cafes and theaters. 

 

Lindsey:  Check out the Havana Salsa.  The exterior presents an appropriately ragged trompe L’oeil of the shabby façade of Cuba’s capital.  Visitors partake in a buffet dinner and then dance to canned music until 4 am.

 

 

Valparaiso

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the picturesque port city of Valparaiso, Chile, was named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its distinctively spontaneous hills’ neighborhoods and their vernacular architecture, including more than a dozen ascensores (funicular cable cars) that connect the port with its surrounding heights.

 

Santiaguinos have begun to rehabilitate many of Valparaiso’s historic houses and turn them into stylish hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, restaurants and cafes, so much so that the city now overshadows the traditional holiday destination of nearby Vina del Mar. It has also become a major cruise-ship destination; a sparkling new metro system connects Valparaiso to Vina.

 

BTI Travel Agents’ Suggestions:

David: La Sebastiana, one of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda’s many eclectically decorated homes, located high above the harbor.  Getting hear involves an uphill hike, but travelers are rewarded with spectacular views of the harbor.

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Nicole: Museo a Cielo Abierto is a collection of 20 classic, colorful murals dotted through the city.  The Ascensor Espiritus Santo takes travelers from behind Plaza Victoria to the heart of this art.

 

Lindsey: Set in one of Valparaiso’s quaint antique houses, Puerto Escondido offers well made Chilean classics and a down-to-earth ambiance as well as food.

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Great Countries to Visit: Belgium

Belgium makes a perfect introduction to Europe.  The people are friendly and Belgian has some of the best food and drink on the continent. 

 

Belgium’s chief attractions include Brussels, history, architecture, diamonds, caves, beer, friendly people, pastoral countryside, Flemish art, Bruges, museums, churches, colorfulprocessions and pageants, cultural festivals, nice beaches and chocolate.

 

This is a particularly nice destination for those who have a good sense of history, who appreciate fine architecture and good food, and who want to see a wide variety of attractions without packing up and moving every other day.

 

Antwerp

Antwerp

 

Antwerp is located in the Northern part of Belgium beside the North Sea and on the eastern bank of the River Scheldt.   The wide squares and the narrow cobble streets of the old town are perfect for strolling.   These streets are lined with cafes and shops. 

 

BTI Travel Agents’ Suggestions

Nicole:  Shopping in Antwerp is a pleasure.  It is well known for its diamonds and fashion.  The main shopping areas include those around central station and the historic city center where the Grote Markt and Groenplaats are located.  The fashion district includes the Mode, the De Wilde Zee and the Meir.

 

Lindsey:  the Aquatopia is a marine wonder that portrays futuristic life under the sea. You can view a huge collection of exotic and rare fish, marine animals, piranhas, sharks, cow-nose raysAntwerp and octopuses, which are housed in 35 aquariums. The underwater caves and coral reefs are worth exploring, along with the myriad marine life that dart about at the bottom of the ocean. This is a great learning experience for both kids and grownups. A variety of programs and interactive museum displays explain marine life.

 

Dave:  A trip to Antwerp wouldn’t be complete without trying a local restaurant.  One of our favorites is Retro Café.  Recipes at Retro Cafe have a rich tradition of several centuries, having been passed down for generations unaltered. For starters, you can try the kaaskroketten or cheese croquettes, garnaalkroketten or shrimp croquettes, and tomaat met mozzarella or tomato with mozzarella. Other offerings include tonijnsalade or tuna salad and gerookte zalm met uitjes or smoked salmon with onions. Also be sure to check out the daily specialty.

 

 

Brussels

Brussels

 

Brussels is a very diverse and wealthiest city.  Visitors can delight in fine museums and Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as some of the best classical music and opera in Europe.

 

BTI Travel Agents’ Suggestions

Nicole:  A great dining option is Le Pre Sale.  This old-fashioned Broxellois restaurant off Place Ste. Catherine sees very few tourists.  They serve some of the best Sealand mussels and the Brusselsfish dishes are also very good.  Friday nights is cabaret night.  If you want a table, book weeks ahead. 

 

Lindsey:  Shopping in Brussels provides a wide variety of options.  Make sure you check out Galaries St. Hubert.  This was Europe’s first covered shopping center, built in 1847.   If you are looking for luxury, Brussels has that covered.  You’ll find luxury shops with well-dressed windows in the Porte Louise and Porte de Namur area, and along Avenue Louise and Boulevard de Waterloo.

 

Dave: Visitors should check out one of Brussels many museums.  One of my favorites is Royal Museum of Fine Arts.  Divided into separate wings dedicated to antique art (15th-18th centuries) and modern art (late 18th century to the present), the collection in this complex is impressive yet small enough to enjoy if you only have a couple of hours. Many works are by Flemish and Belgian artists, including Rubens, Memling and the Brueghels.  

 

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