No, you can’t ride this turtle during this Glapagos cruise

Booking a cruise for your meetings or social group, or maybe for family members and friends? Check out the promotional packages being offered by AdventureSmith Expeditions. Booking dates vary, as do the promotional incentives. For a Feb. 28 deadline, many packages are available. 1* Save up to $350 per person on the Hawaiian Seascapes cruise aboard the luxurious 36-guest Safari Explorer small ship. Snorkel among coral gardens and a sea turtle habitat, stand-up paddleboard, kayak and sightsee on skiff tours. 2* Grandparents paying two full adult fares can save 25% on rates for grandchildren by booking Exploring the Sea of Cortez: A Living Sea & Desert Isles cruise. The ships are the 100-guest National Geographic Venture and National Geographic Quest. 3* Save $500 per person on Alaskan family cruises: Alaska’s Glacier Country, Alaska’s Glaciers & Whales, Alaska Fjords & Glaciers and Whales, Wildlife & Glaciers. The ships are 90-guest S.S. Legacy and 84-guest Safari Endeavour. 4* Save $400 per person on the Belize & Guatemala Wonders—Rivers, Reefs & Cultures aboard the 66-guest Safari Voyager. 5* Save $1,250 per person on an Inside Passage Sojourn small ship cruise aboard the sleek 76-guest Chichago Dream. This experience focuses on Alaska’s nature, history and First Nations culture.

Still haven’t seen the cruise you want? Consider the Mar. 2 booking deadline to save up to $1700 per person on select cabin categories on the Antarctic Latitudes cruise to the Antarctic Peninsula. You can cruise aboard the 112-guest Island Sky and 114-guest Hebridean Sky expedition ships. Or how about booking a 10-day cruise aboard the 96-passengerr National Geographic Endeavor II Galapagos cruise by Mar. 31 and receiving complimentary roundtrip airfare from Miami, FL? Getting married? Ever considered getting married before a glacier? Now you can and save $300 per person by booking for May 16, May 20, June 13, and July 4 departures aboard the 12-passenger Sea Wolf Glacier Bay Adventure.; (866) 575-2875

Naples Beach Hotel &Golf Club in Naples, FL

The number of incentive options rises by increasing the room nights with this special Associated Luxury Hotels International South Florida property. Book the Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club in Naples, FL with actualization dates between May 1 and Dec. 20, and you can choose up to three incentives for 30-100 nights and up to five incentives for 101-200 room nights. The range of incentives is so extensive, that you will just have to look them over for yourself.

Already pondering a trip to Ireland, but aren’t sure about traversing the area without a guide? Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland, with departures in June and July, might just be the solution. Best of all, if you book by Feb. 28, you receive a self-guided tour of Dublin with complimentary access to sites and attractions as a bonus. Dublin is so much more than just the gateway city for our tours,” says Rob Rankin, Vagabond Tours’ Founder and Managing Director. The free-to-clients Dublin tour includes a Hop-on Hop-off city tour ticket, valid for 24 hours for added flexibility. The tour includes a free discount guide with multiple money-saving coupons for other Dublin attractions, such as the Pat Liddy Walking Tour of Dublin with a highly acclaimed tour guide, and entry into The Little Museum of Dublin, which showcases the story of the Irish Capital of the Republic of Ireland, all housed in an 19th century Georgian townhouse. Guests also get entry into the EPIC Irish Emigration Museum and the Whispering Library, the place to discover Ireland’s famous authors and learn how Irish stars have influenced pop and rock music around the world.;  +353(0) 1 563 4358;

You only have until Mar. 31 to book and stay at Caribe Royale Orlando, FL for three nights and receive the fourth night free. This Winter Escape package booking also gives you late check-out at 1 pm and credit for coffee & pastries at Java’s Coffee Café or Café 24. There is an added hotel fee of $12.50 plus tax, per night and self-parking fee of $12.00 plus tax, per night, per vehicle.

Caribe Royale Orlando has a Winter Escape package

Sunny Isles South Beach Miami is a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of white sandy beach that happens to contain a number of hotels offering family-friendly promotional packages for Spring Break travel. Here are a few:

Acqualina Resort & Residences provides some educational marine themes, a new dual beachfront basketball hoop, and a variety of other outdoor sports options. Book this getaway and receive a complimentary fifth night along with daily buffet breakfast, complimentary wireless internet access, complimentary access to AcquaMarine, and a welcome amenity upon arrival. DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Ocean Point – North Miami Beach has 1-3 bdroom condos. Located right on the beach. The hotel’s Another Day in Paradise offer is good through June 30 and provides for a fifth night free when booking four nights. (786) 528-2500. The newly renovated Solé Miami, A Noble House Resort, has a 4th Night On Us offer when booking the first three nights. Visit for a complete list of Spring Break offers.

Gaylord Palms Resort in Kissimmee, FL (near The Walt DisneyWorld resorts area) has an Easter Eggstravaganza promotion. Loads of family activities, from an Easter Bunny Scavenger Hunt to photos with the Easter Bunny, and more. Discounted pricing. Use promotional code G9J in the corporate Promotion code box or call (800) 228-9290. Offer valid: March 20-21, 25-29 and April 1-12. Parking and resort fee additional.

No costumes needed to step back in time when Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse in the Flamingo Las Vegas (NV) opens soon. With a heavy “nod” to namesakes Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel and business partner Meyer Lansky, who brought Hollywood glam to the Las Vegas desert in 1946 when they opened the Flamingo, the first resort-style hotel on the Strip, Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse will be an ode to the period mixed with modern sophistication, both in décor and cuisine.  The new restaurant is part of the $100 million renovations done to the Flamingo Last Vegas (FLV) by Caesars Entertainment. The travel back in time begins as soon as visitors arrive through the “bakery” façade, past the kitchen and dry-aged meat cooler, just as it occurred in the 40s. Multiple event spaces are themed by the collaboration of designers Studio K Creative (Chicago, IL) and designer Jonathan Adler. The oval main bar is a focal point. Rich woods, greenery and curated flamingo artwork contribute to the clubby, intimate atmosphere. The artwork in the main dining room pops with vintage black and white images, including historical ones of the Flamingo and Las Vegas. Large booths will anchor traditional tables and half booths.  Three private dining room, collectively seating up to 60, are individually themed but cohesive when combined. They each seat between 16 to 24. The raw bar in the dining room offers an experiential dining option for anyone wishing to catch the action from the counter seating. You can’t replicate the energy, pizazz and handcrafted cocktails of FLV in the 40s without a speak easy and private bar lounge, known as “The Count Room.” True to a speakeasy’s reputation, you’ll have to be “in the know” to find it but once inside, the drinks will feature rum cocktails and retro-beverages popular then. An Old Fashioned cart will roll through the restaurant with customizable selections including base spirit, choice of bitters, additional flavoring, and even citrus peel. Bugsy & Meyer’s Steakhouse will be located across from the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat main entrance, in the former Center Cut, Café To Go and Laurel Lounge spaces. FLV has over 73,000 sf of flexible meeting space and more than 3,500 guest rooms and suites.

The wait is over. The

Smoked Charred Octopus is just one of the featured entrees at the Karol Hotel in Clearwater, FL.

the newest addition to Tampa-based Mainsail Lodging & Development’s growing portfolio and the first member of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio to open in Pinellas County, opened Feb. 6. The boutique hotel, named for and inspired by Karol Kelly Bullard, the wife of developer Fred Bullard, has 123 guest rooms and suites; signature K Club Bar & Bistro; Vantage Rooftop Bar (expected to open late February), a fitness center, outside pool, and combined 7,340 sf of event space, including a ballroom and executive conference rooms. The hotel has easy access to both the St. Pete-Clearwater and Tampa International Airports.

Beacon Social Drinkery at the Liminary Hotel & Co. opens in late 2020 in Ft. Myers, FL

The 12-story, 243-room Luminary Hotel, the first Autograph Collection® of Marriott International hotel in the Fort Myers-Naples, FL area, is expected to open in late 2020. Featured eating establishments will be the signature Silver King Ocean Brasserie, as well as the Beacon Social Drinkery rooftop lounge, The Workshop culinary theater, and Ella Mae’s Diner. There will be an indoor and outdoor fitness facility, retail space at street level, spacious pool area on the fourth floor overlooking the Caloosahatchee. The hotel will have more than 8,000 sf of function space and will be connected to the neighboring Harborside Event Center. The property is being developed and operated by Tampa-based Mainsail Lodging & Development.; www.


UNLVino transforms into the EVOLUTION Las Vegas Food & Wine Experience on Apr. 18. The multi-sensory festival focuses on immersive activations designed around the best chefs, winemakers, brew masters and distillers in the world. A joint collaboration between Caesars Entertainment and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of Nevada, this inaugural event will be held at the new CAESARS FORUM Convention Center, located adjacent to the High Roller Observation Wheel and The LINQ Promenade. EVOLUTION will honor legendary Chef, Bobby Flay, with the Dom Perignon Award of Excellence. As with UNLVino before it, a portion of the proceeds will fund scholarships for students of the UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hospitality, one of the top hospitality management programs in the nation. As part of the prestigious program, 40 students will help organize and produce the high-profile event through a fully immersive, upper division course. “These scholarships are a critical part of the ongoing success of the college, and with the support that EVOLUTION provides, students are granted the opportunity to pursue higher education and a career in the hospitality industry,” said College of Hospitality Dean Stowe Shoemaker.

Water pumps working in Hwange National Park in Africa.

It’s billed as an 11-day Zimbabwe 2020 Water for Hwange Conservation Safari, immersing its travelers into a symbiosis of wildlife viewing, village life, community development and hands-on conservation efforts, according to Kurt Kutay, Wildland Adventuresfounding CEO/President. In 2019, Kutay’s company invested and led a GoFundMe campaign to purchase, install and maintain solar-hybrid water pumps in and around Hwange National Park. “The fact that guests get to see the pumps in action, along with the herds of elephants that congregate to the waterholes, and then meet the rangers who protect them, and the communities who benefit from tourism, is incredibly gratifying to us and our travelers,” said Kutay. These pumps make life easier for villagers bordering Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe. They no longer have to spend hours pumping water by hand or walking long distances to carry it home. Replacing two old diesel pumps with solar-hybrid water pumps has impacted 10,000 elephants and 3,500 Cape buffalo. The same strategy replaced hand pumps in two villages, impacting over 350 households and close to 4,000 livestock. There are two departures of this life-altering conservation safari in 2020: June 10-20 and July 27-Aug.6. The Wildland Adventures safari is led by resident guru safari guide Mark Butcher, a native Zimbabwean and visionary conservationist who directs wildlife conservation and community development in and around Hwange. Butcher leads guests on walks in the bush to experience firsthand the impact that renewed water resources have on the wildlife and communities of Hwange. Included in the price is a $500 tax-deductible donation to Wildland Adventures’ non-profit Travelers Conservation Trust Foundation.100% of contributions directly support the communities visit.ed Last year was a severe drought year in Zimbabwe. Wildland contributed $4,000 to its partner’s school feeding program. In 2019, that contribution provided 425,000 meals to children in the region.;
(800) 345-4453;

Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries.  She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2019 – 2020 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine for the second consecutive year. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events.; ;; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.