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by Paul Riegler

Earlier this year, President Obama made history when he became the first U.S. leader to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. Other travelers want to follow in his footsteps.
Commercial flights from the United States to Cuba started earlier this week and many travelers are wondering how to visit the island nation.
While general tourism is still not permitted, many more types of visits are now allowed than was previously the case. …

Review: Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich

by Christian Stampfer
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MUNICH—The 183rd Oktoberfest, which kicked off with the declaration “O’zapft is” (it’s tapped) and a 12-gun salute on September 17 amidst heavy rain and security, is now underway.
The celebration of Bavarian culture attracts visitors from across the globe, although the majority (70%) come from the state of Bavaria itself. Indeed, Munich locals (including myself) will attend the Wies’n (the colloquial name for the Theresienwiese) multiple times in the course of …

Short Stay: Watergate Hotel, Washington, D.C. – Review

by Jesse Sokolow
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Washington, D.C. is a city steeped in political history, and perhaps no other building in the district is as notorious as the Watergate Hotel, made infamous during the 1970s scandal that led to President Richard M. Nixon’s resignation.
The hotel is part of the larger Watergate Complex, which includes apartments and office space, the latter being the site of the actual break-in (although the perpetrators did stay in the Watergate Hotel).
However, …

Airlines Say Air Rage is Taking Off

by Paul Riegler
The skies aren't always that friendly today.

The number of misbehaving passengers in the air is on the rise.
The International Air Transport Association, an industry group, said that there has been a 16% increase or 10,854 incidents involving unruly passengers in 2015, up from 9,316 in 2014.
The types of incidents reported by the world’s airlines include verbal abuse of crewmembers, failure to follow lawful crew instructions, and what IATA termed “other forms of anti-social behavior.”
Not surprisingly, alcohol …

Review: ‘Spamilton’ at Triad

by Jonathan Spira
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Some theatergoers could possibly be forgiven for thinking they got the hottest ticket in town at a bargain price. Of course, they’d have to overlook the program’s cover, a silhouette of Hamilton thumbing his nose, not raising his arm in triumph. Then there’s the Playbill masthead, in this case where a subtle substitution of a “k” for a “b” renders it as “Playkill.” The show’s subtitle has also been altered …

Lobby Bar – September 23: Blinding Aliens, Mail-in Tweets, and Donald Trump’s Golden Ticket

by Jeremy Del Nero
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Lobby Bar – A Concocted Conglomeration of FBT News and Views
Ground control to Major Tom. Join Jeremy Del Nero (greetings) in a look at some of the new features in Apple’s iOS 10. The flashlight now has adjustable brightness, which allows the user to put it in one of the following modes: low light, medium light, or bright light. If you enter a series of secret swipes across the screen, …

Marriott Announces Strategy for Marriott Rewards and SPG Guest Loyalty Programs

by Jeremy Del Nero
Lobby of the Bristol, Warsaw - a Starwood Luxury Collection Property

With Starwood Hotels and Resorts now part of Marriott International, members of both hoteliers’ guest loyalty programs have been wondering what will happen to their respective programs and – perhaps as importantly – to their points.
On Friday, Marriott said it plans to continue to operate both programs – Starwood Preferred Guest, or SPG, and Marriott Rewards – for at least the next two years before it eventually phases out SPG. …

2017 Toyota Prius Prime: First Look and Photo Gallery

by Jonathan Spira
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The Toyota Prius Prime is an all-new plug-in hybrid and the successor to the Prius Plug-In Hybrid that the Japanese automaker introduced in 2012. It’s far more efficient than the outgoing model, is replete with new technology, and can travel greater distances on all-electric power.
While the Prius Prime’s styling is still futuristic for some, it’s noticeably more conservative than the basic Prius.
Slated to go on sale by the end of …