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Anjou Spa

Anjou Spa

In a trend imported from Europe’s great beer-producing countries, like the Czech Republic and Germany, spas around the U.S. have begun working craft brews into treatments like massages and body scrubs. No mere gimmick devised to lure in hopheads and pampering-averse manly men, beer-infused treatments are purported to impart a host of health and beauty benefits, from exfoliating the skin to wiping out foot fungus. Here, five spas offering sudsy treatments to intoxicate your senses.

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Sydney, Australia harbor

Flickr/Kay Adams

Which cruise lines are making headlines this week? Travel journalist Donna Tunney — ShermansTravel’s cruise expert — has all the latest news. Check back every Tuesday for trends, new amenities, and money-saving ideas that help you plan a perfect vacation at sea.

Remember our mention last week of Anthem of the Seas, sister ship to Quantum of the Seas? Yet another is joining the Royal Caribbean International megaship clan. The 4,180-guest passenger Ovation of the Seas will head to Australia in winter 2016 — becoming the biggest ship ever to homeport in the Land Down Under. Itinerary and fare details haven’t been released, but we’re tickled by the fact that the North Star aerial observatory will reach higher than the pylons of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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Auckland photo1

Leah Still

When you arrive in Auckland to start your New Zealand vacation, your first thought may be to head straight out of town for the North Island’s greener pastures. But don’t make that mistake — the country’s largest city is often overlooked, allowing its lovely waterfront, revamped historical centers, and islands of Hauraki Gulf to go unvisited. If you have one day to spare, fill it with this on-foot itinerary (and don’t forget to pack those walking shoes!).

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desert landscape around mesa, arizona

Visit Mesa

Located in south central Arizona, less than 20 miles east of Phoenix, Mesa has all the diversions a traveler would want from the Southwest. You’ll find everything from outdoor playgrounds to to fine dining to an “agrihood.” Standing guard nearby, Superstition Mountains provide plenty of natural adventures, too, with jagged peaks separated by rock-filled canyons and covered with saguaro cacti that reach tree-like heights. But perhaps the most compelling reason to make this destination your base is that a visit to Mesa costs just a fraction of a visit to its big-city neighbors. Lodging rates here, for starters, are 60 percent lower here than in Scottsdale.

Here’s what else you need to know about a great Mesa escape:
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tippy's - pineapple fields resort

Pineapple Fields Resort

Sinking your toes into pearly sands and sipping on a festive cocktail qualify as essential ingredients for enjoying a beach bar. But Caribbean joints require an extra component: music. After all, lounging beachside in the Caribbean isn’t quite complete without languid reggae rhythms, upbeat dancehall, or punchy cumbia notes — and all that music, more often than not, inspires some fun dance moves for a night. Here are the bars to hit up for the liveliest dancing.

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Cheap & Chic: Ojai, California, On a Budget

Facebook.com/OjaiVineyard

Wedged between the expensive seashore city of Santa Barbara and the beach cities of Los Angeles County, Ojai is in the perfect spot for a budget-friendly getaway. This laid-back town of 7,500 people boasts charming bed-and-breakfasts, spas, eclectic boutiques, farm-to-fork eateries, and outdoor adventures. It’s not uncommon to pass a shop touting palm or tarot-card readings, and a yoga class is always an easy find. Fly into LAX, and even with LA’s worst traffic, you can be there in less than two hours. Here’s the perfect plan for your Ojai getaway.

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BWCI-winecountry-biking-11

www.backroads.com

Bicycling through wine country may have a few unexpected challenges — but it comes with oh-so-many rewards. Never been on a wine country cycling adventure? These six tips can get you on your way. Read more

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All Aboard! 5 Dinner Cruises We Love

Facebook.com/TheWaterTable

Sure, they may be a little cheesy, but what’s wrong with combining a delicious dinner with exploring new sights? This is especially true when you consider the recent renaissance in culinary quality, service, and atmosphere in recent years. Here are just five favorites we love hopping onto for delicious eats and smooth sailing.

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Deal Alert: 4 Perks Worth Up to $1,550 on Celebrity Cruises

Celebrity Cruises

Is 2015 the year that you’ll take a cruise? If you’re still on the fence about getting on the high seas, we’ll let Celebrity Cruises’ Pick Your Perk offer do the persuading. Until May 10, the cruise line is giving guests a choice of one of four perks when they book cruises of four nights or more, for sailings June through December. To be eligible for the special, you must book an ocean view or higher stateroom. (It excludes Celebrity Xpedition, transatlantic, transpacific, and repositioning cruises.)

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Mai Tai Halekulani - best Hawaiian cocktail in Honolulu

Gillian G. Gaar/Mai Tai Halekulani

One of the great pleasures of being in Hawaii is sitting outside in the sun, sipping a tropical drink, while contemplating the gorgeous views on offer. Happily, there’s no shortage of cocktails to sample. And while rum is nearly as ubiquitous in a Hawaiian drink as a wedge of pineapple, a fresh orchid, or a small paper umbrella, it’s not the only ingredient you’ll find when you step out to imbibe. Here, five cocktails not to miss — and where to find them in Honolulu — on your next tropical trip.

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historic hotel gault, montreal, canada

Hôtel Gault

Printemps — that’s “springtime” in French — in Montréal is pretty sweet. After a long, cold winter, flowers are poking out of the soil, and the city’s Euro-flair shines through farmers markets, park picnics, and all kinds of festivals. (We love Montréal Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free and Montréal’s Digital Spring, a series of digital and architectural installations, among others.)

To tempt you even further, Tourisme Montréal is offering guests who visit for at least two nights a 50 percent discount on their second night, at one of 25 hotels. Read more

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generic jewely factory - denisdervisevic FLICKR1

denisdervisevic/FLICKR

Love trinkets and other souvenirs? On your next trip, we suggest taking a step behind the jewelry counter to explore how your favorite pieces are crafted — and of course get a great hands-on experience while you’re at it, too. These five tours allow you to blow your own glass, check out a gold mill, and get to know local artists in their own studios.

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dubrovnik

DiscoverDubrovnik.com

Croatia consists of over 1,000 islands, most of them paradises in their own way. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to hop to each of them in one trip, or perhaps even a lifetime. Here, we’ve decided to help you figure out which Adriatic island is perfect for you. Read more

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Barbados, lomo beach

Flickr/Michael Stillwell

Have the Caribbean on your mind? Brilliant Barbados, a new campaign from the Barbados Hotel & Tourism Association, essentially shaves 25 percent off your hotel — with a few extra perks.

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Adventures by Disney Gets into the River Cruise Business

Adventures by Disney

Disney is setting sail once again — but not on the seas via its own beloved cruise line. Adventures by Disney, the company’s family touring arm, is partnering with river cruise company AmaWaterways for four sailings on the Danube River in 2016.

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