Video :: Cruising with Disney

Cruising with Disney

[trip style = sun + beach + spa]

I'm not going to lie. You know those people who retire, give up their houses and live on cruise ships? Mr. Trip Styler and I are tempted to do the same thing at this point in our life with Baby Styler. Cruise Styler, anyone?

Seriously though, at sea, Disney Cruise Line channels the throwback grandeur of cruising and the wonder of Walt to create decks and decks of pixie-dusted hideaways. Cue the adult-only spa, bevy of bars, misted pools, private beach or intimate dining that feel "nautical miles" away from the full-throttle kids activities. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the nursery and kids clubs, interactive dining with appearances from Nemo and friends, loop-de-loop water coaster and Disney-class entertainment keep the little ones captivated and wishing upon a star for future family sailings.

In my first look at our voyage aboard the Disney Dream I focused on photos. Today, it's a video! Coming soon: Batten down the hatches for a tidal wave of tips and tricks.

A Trip Styler tour of the Disney Dream and Castaway Cay, Disney's private island in the Bahamas. 

{Can't view this video?}

First Look: Cruising with Disney
Walt Disney World for GrownUPs

[Photo via Disney provided while I was a guest of Disney Cruise Line. As always, see my strict editorial policy, here.]

Roam+Board :: Terme Manzi Hotel & Spa

terme manzi trip styler review

[trip style = luxury + spa + food + wine + beach]

Editor's Note: Expedia just launched an exclusive, seal-of-approval program called Expedia Viewfinder Pick {EVP}, and I'm tickled pink to be one of 12 correspondents worldwide. With the common denominator being the fabulous-factor, EVP's goal is to highlight extraordinary travel experiencesthink: stay, play, eatfrom steals such as the best taco truck in Austin to the most exotic escape in the Maldives. With this, my first EVP awardee and our latest R+B {Trip Styler's own savvy stay stamp of approvalis this serene spa stay just off Italy's Amalfi Coast. 

When I checked into Terme Manzi Hotel & Spa, it was unclear if I was at an out-of-the-way resort or a covert Relais & Chateaux training facility. My stay was that utopian. 

Seventh heaven status was confirmed when I stepped into the 17,000-square-foot spa cocooned in wood and intricate mosaic murals befitting an ancient church. As a hotel guest, I was granted unfettered access to the facility’s Romanesque, spring–fed thermal pool, cold plunge, steam, sauna, light therapy room, and tropical showers, prompting me to turn to Mr. Trip Styler and say, “Ciao. I’ll see you in a week.”

Feeling like I should probably peel myself away from the spa and enjoy the light of day, I moved on up to the blue-tiled rooftop pool where Mr. Trip Styler and I got into the daily habit of ordering flutes of prosecco accompanied by petits fours. In retrospect, we should have just ordered a bottle, but the anticipation of these bite-size delights kept us ordering bubbly by the glass. 

Our VIP experience continued as we walked through the ornate-come-comfortable lobby—adorned with Murano-glass chandeliers and an orchestra of orchids—and three front-desk staff simultaneously greeted us by name. It was as if the hotel thought our hat-and-sunglasses getup meant we were A-listers who just arrived by private yacht. 

We were only slated to stay for four nights. By night duo, we were so lovestruck by the spiffy stay—not even a napkin was out of placewe reorganized our vacation plans so we could soak in Terme’s hospitality and healing waters a little longer.

Trip Styler approved.

Ischia, an hour from Naples, Capri or the Amalfi Coast by boat or hydrofoil. 

Terme Manzi is open April to October to capture the hottest and brightest weather. 

You're inspired by details: hand-painted tiles, always-buffed Carrera marble, perfectly arranged plates of petits fours, and service so stealth you didn't even know the three-piece suit-clad server came and went.        

Rates hover around USD$285/night and include WiFi, island Mercedes shuttle including arrival and departure port pick-up, beach lounges and umbrella, an elaborate breakfast complete with prosecco, and access to the spa's thermal water circuit.  


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terme manzi terrace
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Italy ciao

[trip style = urban + beach + sun + spa + food + wine + luxury]

Ciao from Italy, a heaven-on-earth where gelato is considered a food group and wine flows like water.  

I suppose the saying "all roads lead to Rome" is true because when I was in Maui with the Expedia Viewfinder crew in April, I found out Expedia would be sending me to Rome in July. Despite the fact that travel is my gig and {almost} greatest joy, I cried the moment I found out, because...Italy.  

I'll share more about my Rome assignment in a week, but in the meantime, here's a glimpse into my three-week trip, which I extended, because...Italy.

Nights 1-4 = Rome 
Goal: Adjust to the time zone and work on my gelato tolerance. 

Nights 5-10 = Ischia
Goal: Relax at a Relais & Châteaux spa hotel on a lesser-known island 20 minutes {by boat} from Capri. 

Nights 11-13 = Amalfi 
Goal: Explore the cliffy coast and take as many pictures as my SD card can handle. 

Night 14 = Capri
Goal: Blitz the ritzy isle in style. 

Nights 16-21 = Rome
Details soon! Hint: It will involve pasta-making, plus a taste-making view of the Eternal City!   

PS. Love la dolce vita? Find pics on Instagram {@TripStyler} or by searching the hashtag #TSRomanHoliday

[photo by @tripstyler]

A Space-Age Spa

[trip style = spa + sun + beach + luxury]

"Tell me if you feel a tingle," my aesthetician told me as she gently pressed a NASA-developed red LED light and impulse microcurrent into my skin. Part of me wanted the space-age machine to steam and sizzle every time it touched me, but my wish to feel an eletro-jolt was not granted. The K-Lift skin-tightening facial at Willow Stream Spa in the Fairmont Kea Lani works without searing.  


I first heard about this marriage of {outer} space and spa last year when I was speaking to the Fairmont Maui's team about Willow Stream's new technologies and its multi-million-dollar reno. When I heard that they held one of only a few NASA-developed age-management systems capable of re-educating muscle tone, triggering DNA regeneration and fading my sun spots, I almost booked a one-way ticket to the Valley Isle. I would have, save for being in the final stages of pregnancy with Baby Styler.

When I arrived on the island two weeks ago, I had a clear directive: Get this facial {in addition to crunching on shave ice and watching the sunset with a cocktail, of course}. My rationale: If NASA can build the technology to send humans to the moon, I have no doubt they can tap into the fountain of youth.    

In search of skin that appears as smooth as Baby Styler's bottom, I arrived at the spa early to take advantage of the hydro facilities {a Eucalyptus steam and a trio of rain showers mimicking the island's tropical rains} and the DIY mud bar, which infuses local ingredients such as volcanic ash into body masks. Coated in mud and dripping from eucalyptus mist, I considered hiding in the towel hamper at closing so I could continue my spa-cation into the night. 

Trip Styler Tip: If you need a vacation from your vacation, secure a day pass to the Willow Stream Spa. Hydro bliss costs a mere $25 for Fairmont President's Club members {$55 without membership}. 


Inside the treatment room, the facialist applied a tingly exfoliating multi-acid peel and targeted my age-prone areas with the machine, capable of yielding a non-surgical facelift effect.

At the end of the techno-treatment, my skin sage asked "how do you feel?" I replied "fizzy and fabulous; my face feels like it just gulped a bottle of carbonated water!" Later that day, one of my friends described my skin as looking plump and fresh, and I noticed a visible overall improvement. So, I guess you could say I achieved lift-off.  

[Photos courtesy of Fairmont Kea Lani, a hotel I've stayed at for eons, and a treatment I wanted to investigateand was giftedfor light years. Mud bar photo by @tripstyler.]


Preggy Styler


[trip style = any]

Editor's Note: Have you checked out the online Trip Styler Store? Stop by for handpicked finds from around the globe. 

In case you missed last week's surprise there's-a-new-Styler-in-town-post, I've added a new member to the TS flight crew: Baby Styler.

To say that Baby Styler is well traveled is an understatement. Logging almost as many miles as an airline captain, he jet-set and road-tripped to more destinations in my womb than I visited in my first 20 years on planet Earth {too bad he couldn't start collecting frequent flyer miles nine months ago...}.

While I was a little {read: a lot} nervous to travel with him in my belly when it came to common considerations such as turbulence, adverse reactions to foreign foods or constant mountain-to-tropic climate changes, I got the go-ahead from my doctor for every trip, so I went. Since I travel frequently and am acclimatized to the lifestyle, I was fortunate enough {and very careful} to avoid any major issues on the road {unless you count the time I came within one meter of a boa constrictor in West Bali} though I always made sure I had access to medical care in case I suddenly needed it.

Doing every trip styleactive/adventure, beach/sun, weekend away, food-focused, glamping, urban, steals, luxe, spaover the course of my journey into babydom, I learned that traveling while pregnant is not about what you can't do {i.e. food restrictions, drink restrictions, spa restrictions, exercise restrictions, etc.} but tweaking the trip styles you love to fit your preg 'n' traveling comfort level. 

Here's how I made each trip style work during my womberlust:

  • In Tokyo at one of the best sushi restaurants in the world, I chose the vegetarian omakase menu over the raw fish menu. 
  • In Northern Thailand, I had a facial instead of a massage at the spa. 
  • In Bali, I lounged under a palm tree versus in the direct sun. 
  • Also in Bali, I consumed fresh-pressed fruit juices over poolside cocktails.
  • In Mexico, I stayed in a shorefront glamping hut with air conditioning instead of one naturally cooled by the beach breeze {because midday temps reached 41 degrees C}.
  • In Kuala Lumpur, where temperatures hovered in the 43-degree-C range, I stopped into malls and restaurants every 30 minutes to cool down, rest, re-hydrate and nibble while exploring the city on foot.
  • On a road-trip from Vancouver to San Francisco, I became well acquainted with Washington, Oregon and California's highway-side rest stops.

Preggy Styler Photo Gallery

[photos by @tripstyler]