The Trip Trotter Blog aims to gather the most interesting travel stories, best vacation planning tips, and useful information regarding locations and popular destinations around the world. Guest authors and fellow travelers are helping to create an interesting and cohesive travel blog. If you would like to share your own advice or if you have any interesting stories you would love to share, feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.!

Packing for My First Cruise: Follow-up

This post is a follow-up to a previous post. Previously, I wrote about packing for my first cruise and how I would do it differently. For the most part, I think that I packed pretty well. The weather was unseasonably cold both in Orlando and Nassau due to the snowstorms up north. In Orlando, I found myself in pants and a sweatshirt the entire time. So what would I have done differently?       1. A lanyard for my Seapass. When on board, your Seapass is everything from your ID to your credit card and it needs to be on your person at all times. A lanyard is a great worry-free solution.      2. An extra sweater; even though the temperatures were unseasonably cold, it gets chilly outside on the boat at night      3. An extra pair of pants. See above.      4. A casual cross…

Cruising is For Everyone

I just returned from my first cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas departing from Port Canaveral, Florida headed to the Bahamas. The weather in New York has been cold and snowy, so I was really looking forward to getting out. I never considered going on a cruise. I’m not going to lie, I had many misconceptions about cruises; like that it was a bunch people spending 24-hours gorging on fried food. But I was oh so wrong. Royal Caribbean revamped some of the features on the ship, from the staterooms to the fine dining restaurants, and invited travel agents from across the country on board to experience them. Everything from the beginning ran smoothly; from the airport transfers to the boarding process. We got to our stateroom, a balcony on the 8th  floor, and everything was clean and tidy. Our balcony was lovely with two chairs and a table.…

Packing for My First Cruise

I leave tomorrow for Orlando to take my first CRUISE! I could not be more excited. I never considered myself a "cruise person," but my excitement seems to differ, especially given the snow that we have here in NYC. I am cruising on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the seas, 2-night to Bahamas and I have an extra night in Orlando. I wanted to share how I am packing- and then see how it compares to how I would have packed after knowing more about cruising. I am brining: 2 dresses for dining and evening, 1 pair of black heels, a black cardigan, a night time handbag, a pair of thin black pants (I'm not really a shorts person), a t-shirt, tank top and a top, sweatshirt, sneakers and gym wear (hey- you never know), 2 day time dresses, flip flops, a pair of pajamas, undergarments, 2 swim suits and 1…

The Ice Ball: A Guerrilla Formal Skating Event

So speaking of snow (there is a blizzard right now in NYC), The Trip Trotter caught up with Sidney Oolong, one of the creators of the Ice Ball, a guerrilla-type event, which occurs yearly at the Bryant Park skating rink. The event encourages skaters of all levels to join, as long as they embrace the formal theme: Photo credit: Sydney Oolong TTT: How long has the ice ball been happening and how has it grown? SO: First: 2010: about 20, 2011: approx 30, 2012: approx 70, 2013: approx 70, 2014: approx 80 TTT: What was the inspiration for the ice ball? SO: I had bought a full formal evening dress outfit for my "performance" in the Quadrille Ball that year, and began to invent reasons to wear it to get my money's worth. Dooner (another organizer) was holding somewhat regular ice-skating socials, which echoed of the social aspect of the…

The Amazing Windowswear Walking Tour

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of taking a NYC boutique and department store windows walking tour with Windowswear. This tour is great not just for fashion enthusiasts, but for anyone interested in the history of New York City or economic development. Even after going to fashion school and living in the city for almost a decade, I still learned a surprising amount! The tour isn't fashion-centric, meaning the focus is not what the current colors and trends are, but talks about the composition of each windows, the window's creator, the history of the brand (and their windows), and the history of fashion in New York. Did you know that Macy's was the first store to use their windows as a form of art? Or that Lord and Taylor's flagship is the only store that has their windows on hydraulic elevators for easy changing?   We started off at Herald Square,…

Manhattan's best food courts

You're out exploring the city. You're hungry. But you don't want to spend the time at traditional sit-down. Lucky for you, we're reviewing our favorite Manhattan food courts so you can enjoy a quick fix! 1. Hudson EatsBrookfield Place, 200 Vesey Street, Manhattan212-417-7000Hours: 7:00am- 9:00pm Overlooking the Hudson river on the very bottom West side of Manhattan sits Brookfield place, a large building complex  resembles a midtown office building. Hudson Eats takes over the whole second floor with diners enjoying sweeping views of the river. Hudson Eats is a new food court with upscale dining options including Umami Burger and Blue Ribbon Sushi. Hudson Eats has a sleek, modern feel, with food covering most every genre.   2. Plaza Food Court1 West 59th St212-986-9260Hours: 8:30am- 9:30pm This is a personal favorite of ours, one that is under the radar for most New Yorkers. This area is notoriously difficult for finding…

NY Botanical Garden Train Show

After many years livng in New York, it's easy to fall into a pattern; going to the same bars, same restaurants and doing the same things. But then all of a sudden, you realize that you're not taking advantage of the city that you spend so much money to be in. I decided that I was going to make an effort again! To see and experinence new things. While I was still in the "gung-ho" phase, I decided that I would venture all the way to the Bronx to see the Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden.   Two trains and one bus later, we arrived! Upon arrival, despite the massive amounts of people and children, you felt transported to another world, stilt walkers dressed as train workers and fabulously festive conductors (complete with train shoulder pads!) Excitement was building, and finally, we were allowed in the greenhouse.…

Spain Day 6: Gran Canaria

Our last day in Gran Canaria- and Spain- brought much sadness. The weather finally stated going our way and I could hardly imagine that it was 27 degrees in New York. Our morning started at dunes of Maspalomas beach, nestled right between the nude and clothed beach. For a minute, you forget that you aren't in the Sahara, but the relaxing sound of the waves turquoise sea against the yellow shore brings you back. I lay in the dunes, creating sand angels and letting the shining sun beat upon me. We wandered down the beach and came across a quintessential beach town, filled with stalls selling beachwear, inner tubes and- bodegas selling soft drinks and bottles of Cuban rum? I could spend all day.   But all good things must come to an end. Luckily the island has so much more to offer. We began heading up the mountain towards…

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