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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Exploring TripAdvisor's 2023 Top Fine Dining Restaurants: How Many Have You Tried?

TripAdvisor, one of the world's leading travel and restaurant review platforms, has recently unveiled its 2023 Travelers' Choice 'Best of the Best' Restaurants Awards. This prestigious list features some of the finest dining establishments from around the globe, with Restaurant Bougainville in Amsterdam taking the coveted number one spot. The rankings are determined by an algorithm that analyzes millions of reviews and ratings submitted by travelers worldwide. In this blog post, we'll delve into the highlights of the awards, including the top-ranking restaurants and their exceptional offerings. See the worldwide and USA listings at the end of this post (some may surprise you!)

1. Restaurant Bougainville: The Crown Jewel of Fine Dining in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, often celebrated for its picturesque canals and vibrant culture, can now boast about having the world's best fine-dining restaurant. Restaurant Bougainville, located in the heart of this beautiful city, has clinched the number one spot in TripAdvisor's 2023 Travelers' Choice Awards. With over 260 'five-bubble' reviews, it has garnered acclaim from discerning travelers. One diner described it as a "first-class dining experience." This recognition reaffirms Amsterdam's status as a culinary capital worth exploring.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Duravo Expandable International Carry-On - Our Perfect Companion for a Two-Week European Vacation


Luxury Travel Docs wants to be transparent with our readers. We received the Duravo International Carry-On at no cost from Duravo for the purpose of conducting an honest review. Our opinions and experiences shared in this review are entirely our own and have not been influenced by the provision of the product. Our commitment is to provide accurate and unbiased information to assist fellow travelers in making informed decisions.

Imagine a world where your luggage isn't just a travel companion; it's a reliable partner that enhances your journey at every turn. Welcome to our review of the Duravo International Carry-On, our perfect companion for a memorable two-week European vacation. In this comprehensive review, we'll delve into the background of the Duravo brand, explore the remarkable internal and external features of the carry-on, share our firsthand experience of how these features proved invaluable during our European adventure, address some frequently asked questions, and wrap up with a summary of our love for this exceptional travel companion.

Duravo: Our Ultimate Travel Partner When it comes to our travel needs, we're uncompromising. We want style, quality, and durability seamlessly rolled into one, and that's precisely where Duravo stepped in. Beyond the eye-catching design of the Expandable International Carry-on, it boasts the formidable strength of Flexshell™, a groundbreaking composite material. Duravo's suitcase isn't just any piece of luggage; it's a testament to innovation, tailor-made for travelers like us who desire nothing but the best features. And the cherry on top? It's not only incredibly lightweight but full of features that adapted to our needs on our recent trip to Europe.

  1. What to Expect in this blog post:

    1. Duravo Company Background: Pioneering Innovation in Travel

    • Insights into Duravo's founders and their partnership with Curv®.
  2. 2. Duravo's Remarkable Debut at SXSW 2023

    • Highlighting Duravo's presence at the SXSW event.
  3. 3. Duravo's Innovative Lineup: Flexshell™ Takes Center Stage

    • Discussing Duravo's innovative product lineup and the revolutionary Flexshell™ material.
  4. 4. The Rigorous Testing Process

    • Shedding light on Duravo's testing process to ensure product durability.
  5. 5. Flexshell™: Where Strength Meets Sustainability

    • Exploring the strength and sustainability of Duravo's Flexshell™ material.
  6. 6. Eco-Friendly Manufacturing

    • Delving into Duravo's commitment to environmentally friendly manufacturing.
  7. 7. Exploring Italy: The Ideal Travel Companion - Duravo's International Carry-On

    • Setting the scene for the European adventure and the role of Duravo's Carry-On.
  8. 8. Duravo's International Carry-On Specifications and Exterior

    • In-depth details about the dimensions, capacity, weight, and material of the International Carry-On.
  9. 9. Interior Features

    • A look at the spacious main compartment, interior pockets, USB charging, device protection, and hidden compartments.
  10. 10. FAQs: Your Duravo Flexshell™ Questions Answered

    • Answering common questions about Duravo's materials and features.
  11. 11. Investing in Quality: Duravo's Expandable International Carry-On Price

    • A discussion of the pricing and value of Duravo's Carry-On.
  12. 12. Where to Buy Duravo's Expandable International Carry-On

    Providing a link for readers to purchase the suitcase.

  13. 13. Additional Information on Duravo's Promotions and Features

    • Details about discounts, payment options, warranty, returns, and the try-and-buy option.
  14. 14. Comparing Duravo to Other Luxury Brands

    • A comparison with other premium luggage brands and their prices.
  15. 15. Final Thoughts

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Utopia of the Seas: A Remarkable Float-Out and a Glimpse into the Future of Cruising

In the heart of Saint-Nazaire, France, history was made as the colossal cruise ship, Utopia of the Seas, took its first steps, or shall we say "float," into the vast waters of the Atlantic. This monumental event marked a pivotal moment in the ship's construction journey, one that promises to redefine the world of cruising.

A Float-Out for the Ages

For the very first time since construction began on this magnificent vessel, Utopia of the Seas embarked on its float-out adventure. This awe-inspiring 15-hour operation unfolded at the renowned Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, a place where maritime dreams come to life. As the world watched in anticipation, Utopia of the Seas gracefully entered the water, setting the stage for a new era of cruising excellence.

The Power of Water: 46 Million Gallons of Liquid Precision

Behind the scenes, a staggering 46 million gallons of water were meticulously flooded into the ship's dry dock, a monumental feat in itself. This precisely orchestrated operation allowed Utopia of the Seas to make its gentle descent into the embrace of the ocean. It's a testament to the harmony of engineering and nature, and a sight that left onlookers in sheer amazement.

A Glimpse into the Future: Utopia of the Seas

Utopia of the Seas isn't just another cruise ship; it's the final jewel in Royal Caribbean's crown of Oasis-class cruise ships. This masterpiece is destined to set sail out of the thriving cruise port of Port Canaveral in Florida, offering passengers an unparalleled cruising experience.

Cruising Reimagined: Your Adventure Awaits

Starting in June of 2024, Utopia of the Seas will embark on a journey like no other. The ship will offer 3 and 4-night cruises to the Bahamas, with sailings that alternate between destinations. Passengers will have the opportunity to experience the cruise line's private island, Perfect Day at CocoCay, on multiple occasions. It's a vacation option that promises a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

As Utopia of the Seas prepares to sail the high seas, we invite you to be part of this incredible journey. The float-out of this remarkable ship is just the beginning of the magic that awaits onboard. Whether you're a seasoned cruiser or someone eager to explore the world from the comfort of a floating paradise, Utopia of the Seas promises an unforgettable experience.

Get ready to set sail, create cherished memories, and be part of the future of cruising. Utopia of the Seas is ready to welcome you onboard for a voyage of a lifetime.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Bahamas-Flagged Norwegian Cruise Ship Runs Aground in Greenland But Help May not Arrive until Friday

In an unexpected turn of events, a Bahamas-flagged Norwegian cruise ship named the Ocean Explorer found itself in a precarious situation as it ran aground in northwestern Greenland. With 206 passengers and crew members on board, the incident raised concerns but fortunately didn’t result in any immediate danger or damage. Here’s an overview of the situation and the response from authorities.

The Stranded Cruise Ship:

The 343-foot-long, 60-foot-wide Ocean Explorer ran aground on a Monday in Alpefjord, located within the stunning Northeast Greenland National Park. Known for its breathtaking icebergs and the presence of musk oxen, this remote park is an unusual place for a cruise ship to encounter trouble. The ship is owned by the Ulstein Group, based in southern Norway.

Response from Authorities:

The situation presented unique challenges due to its remote location. Cmdr. Brian Jensen of the Joint Arctic Command expressed concerns about the distance of their units and the unpredictable weather in the area. The closest Danish navy ship was approximately 1,380 miles away but was making its way to the site and expected to arrive by Friday.

Despite the initial difficulty, authorities emphasized that there was no immediate danger to human life or the environment. Nevertheless, they stressed the seriousness of the incident, and their primary focus was ensuring the safety of everyone on board.

Assistance from Other Cruise Ships:

To enhance safety measures, authorities contacted another cruise ship in the vicinity, although it wasn’t identified in the reports. This ship was asked to remain nearby in case assistance was needed during the situation.

Hope for High Tide:

Greenland television KNR reported that the grounded cruise ship might have a chance to free itself when the tide rises. However, authorities remained vigilant, emphasizing that the paramount concern was the safety of all individuals involved.

Continued Monitoring:

Despite the tide, subsequent updates from the Joint Arctic Command indicated that the ship remained stuck. Fortunately, there were still no reports of imminent danger to human life or the environment.

The Role of the Joint Arctic Command:

The Joint Arctic Command, primarily responsible for monitoring the area around the Faeroe Islands and Greenland, played a crucial role in overseeing the situation and ensuring Danish sovereignty in the region.


The grounding of the Bahamas-flagged Ocean Explorer cruise ship in the pristine wilderness of Greenland has captured attention due to its unusual circumstances. While the ship remained stuck, authorities maintained their vigilance and commitment to the safety of passengers and crew members, as well as the environment. As developments unfold, it remains a testament to the challenges and resilience of maritime operations in remote regions.

Saturday, September 2, 2023

RCCL's Radiance of the Seas Sailing Cancelled Due to Propulsion Issues: What You Need to Know

In an unfortunate turn of events, Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line has had to cancel the current sailing for the Radiance of the Seas cruise ship due to significant propulsion issues. While cruise cancellations are always disappointing for both guests and the cruise line, safety remains paramount. In this blog post, we'll dive into the details of what happened, how guests are being compensated, and what this means for future Radiance of the Seas sailings.

Radiance of the Seas Propulsion Issues

The 90,090-gross ton Radiance of the Seas, a beloved member of the Royal Caribbean fleet, recently encountered propulsion issues that couldn't be easily rectified. These issues first emerged during the ship's previous cruise, and despite the best efforts, repairs couldn't be completed in time to ensure the safety of the subsequent voyage.

The affected cruise was scheduled to be a 7-night one-way southbound sailing from Seward, Alaska, with exciting stops at Juneau, Skagway, Haines, Icy Strait Point, and Ketchikan, along with scenic cruising in the renowned Glacier Bay. The journey was supposed to culminate in Vancouver, Canada on Friday, September 8.

Guest Accommodations and Compensation

Guests who were onboard for the September 1 departure have already been notified of the unfortunate cancellation and are being accommodated with last-minute arrangements. To facilitate their onward travel plans, the cruise ship will remain docked in Seward, Alaska, and will serve as a hotel for guests until noon on Sunday, September 3.

To compensate for the cancellation, all affected guests will receive a 100% refund of their cruise fare, taxes, fees, pre-paid gratuities, shore tours, and any flights purchased through Royal Caribbean (excluding any pre-cruise Cruisetours that have already been completed). If guests used a future cruise credit (FCC) to pay for the cruise, any extra funds paid above the FCC amount will be refunded, and the credit will be reinstated for future use.

Moreover, all guests will receive a 100% future cruise credit for a future sailing of their choice, with the condition that the future sailing must depart within one year. This new FCC will be available by September 22, 2023.

Royal Caribbean International has gone a step further by covering up to $600 (USD) of change fees for flights or other transportation adjustments. If guests initially booked airfare through the cruise line’s Air2Sea program, their flights will be automatically changed. The Guest Services team is readily available to assist other guests in making arrangements for their flights home, even if they didn't book airfare through the cruise line.

As a gesture of goodwill during this unexpected delay, guests onboard Radiance of the Seas will have access to complimentary internet, and all wine by the glass, beer, and other drinks, including alcoholic beverages, will be complimentary.

What Happened and Future Sailings

At this time, there are no specific details released about the exact mechanical problem on the ship, other than the statement that the "propulsion system experienced a technical issue which impacts the ship's speed." Additionally, there is no official notification as yet regarding whether or not future sailings of Radiance of the Seas may be impacted. Guests who have booked upcoming Radiance of the Seas cruises in the next few weeks should stay in close communication with Royal Caribbean for any potential adjustments or cancellations.

Radiance of the Seas is currently scheduled to offer just one more set of northbound and southbound Alaska sailings this year, with the ship's last Alaska sailing departing on Friday, September 22 as a roundtrip voyage from Vancouver. Following this cruise, Radiance of the Seas will reposition to Tampa, Florida, via an 8-night Pacific Coastal cruise to San Diego, followed by a 16-night Panama Canal cruise. From Tampa, the ship will offer various Caribbean and Bahamas sailings through early April before returning to Vancouver for the 2024 Alaska sailing season.

Not the First Time for Radiance of the Seas

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time Radiance of the Seas has faced propulsion issues. In April 2018, the ship required essential repairs on its Azipod propulsion system, leading to the cancellation of an 11-night sailing. During that period, the ship was operating cruises in Australia.

While engine problems are not commonplace on cruise ships, they can occur occasionally, impacting sailings and cruising speeds. It's essential to note that despite these issues, the ship's safety features, as well as hotel and restaurant operations, remain unaffected.

In the world of cruising, safety is paramount, and Royal Caribbean International is taking all necessary measures to ensure the well-being and satisfaction of its guests. We hope for smooth sailing ahead for the Radiance of the Seas and her passengers in the future.

Man Overboard on Royal Caribbean Last Week

This is not the only recent bad news from RCCL. In last week's post, we discussed the crucial issue of man overboard incidents on cruise ships. In a startling turn of events, the cruise ship Wonder of the Seas, renowned as the largest vessel currently in operation, faced a harrowing incident amidst its voyage. The ship, measuring a staggering 1,188 feet across 18 decks and capable of accommodating nearly 7,000 passengers and 2,300 crew members, encountered an overboard incident on Tuesday evening. The young man's body was never found. This incident adds to a series of overboard events that have recently plagued the cruise industry, shedding light on the critical importance of safety measures at sea.


While the cancellation of the Radiance of the Seas cruise due to propulsion issues is undoubtedly disappointing for both Royal Caribbean International and its guests, safety remains the top priority. The cruise line has taken swift action to compensate affected passengers generously, offering full refunds, future cruise credits, assistance with travel arrangements, and even complimentary amenities during their unexpected stay onboard. Additionally, plans for the ship's future sailings are in place, providing guests with opportunities to set sail once more. Despite this setback, the resilience of the cruise industry continues to shine, and we look forward to smoother waters ahead for the Radiance of the Seas and her passengers.

Planning to go on a cruise in the future? Check out our favorite cruise essentials that will make your cruising life easier! 

This water bottle tote is one of our favorite cruise items! It has an antitheft pocket for protecting your essentials on shore!