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The future of cruises: Bigger, longer and electric

By Maureen O’Hare, CNN

(CNN) — In travel news this week: epic cruise experiences around the world, crocodile ramen and other wild food trends hitting Asia, plus tourist misbehavior in Italy and the airline passenger who found the plane floor soaked in blood.

The new cruise era

Construction is complete on the world’s biggest cruise ship, which is expected to set sail in Caribbean waters in January 2024. Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas is nearly 1,200 feet long and will be home to the world’s largest waterpark at sea.

In other cruise news, the saga of the three-year cruise has a new twist: The 36-month voyage, with cabins starting at $29,999 per person, per year for an all-inclusive lifestyle, is going ahead in November, but with a larger ship.

China’s first homegrown large cruise ship, the Adora Magic City, recently undocked in Shanghai after four years of construction.

And finally, an electric cruise ship with enormous solar sails is set to launch in 2030.

Asian food trends

In China, a new and unlikely food trend is sweeping across the nation. People are sharing social media images of bland fare such as dressing-free salads or carrots wrapped in cheese, tagging it #bairenfan. Translation: #Whitepeoplemeals.

On the opposite end of the scale, some adventurous food can involve perhaps too much danger and controversy. In Taiwan, a 14-legged crustacean is Taipei’s hottest new menu item, despite potential health risks. And crocodile ramen, featuring a whole reptile leg with claws, is being snapped up by customers. (In Taiwan, it’s legal to farm and eat crocodiles that are not designated as protected species.)

Hitting the headlines

We’ve all had rough plane journeys, but few have had as difficult a trip as Habib Battah, who found his airplane footwell still wet with blood and feces from a previous passenger. Yes, you read that right.

Seven people were injured during severe turbulence on a Haiwaiian Airlines flight to Australia and there were roller coaster malfunctions in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

And then there’s all the post-pandemic travel boom woes. The US State Department says that ongoing passport processing delays will continue for the rest of this year.

And in Italy, where beaches are so overwhelmed they’re putting daily caps on visitors, misbehaving tourists are out of control. The latest high-profile incident was the man who allegedly carved his name into Rome’s Colosseum. He now claims he didn’t know the “antiquity of the monument.”

Owned and operated by women

Umoja in northern Kenya is a village that’s quite unlike anywhere else in the world — there are no men. These photos show what life is like inside this female sanctuary.

Far away in Antarctica, a group of four women spend five months running one of the most remote post offices on the planet, though they had thousands of penguins for company.

Our partners at CNN Underscored, a product reviews and recommendations guide owned by CNN, have selected their favorite products from 28 women-founded travel brands to support in 2023.

Airport liquids

Now that several airports around the world have lifted their restrictions on liquids in carry-on luggage, how long will it be until the United States follows suit? An aviation security expert explains.

In case you missed it

Europe’s most ancient “tourist” site is more than 40,000 years old. 

It’s a short trip from the Spanish hot spot of Malaga.

The delicious barbecue dish you’ve been needing in your life. 

It’s a South Carolina secret.

The man who knows every sand dune in the desert. 

And now he shares his knowledge with glampers.

He paid 500k in 1990 for unlimited flights. 

See how many miles he’s accrued.

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