Carnival sailing to Times Square for New Years Eve

Carnival Cruise Lines today threw its signature “Fun” hat in the ring as official confetti sponsor of the Times Square New Years Eve 2011 celebration. The sponsorship includes multiple opportunities for the line to infuse its version of fun into the festivities including a free-cruise giveaway, sure to be popular with frigid party-goers.

“Carnival is thrilled to be part of New York City‘s New Year’s Eve celebration and add our brand of participatory fun to the festivities,” said Jim Berra, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Carnival Cruise Lines. “We’ll also be sending warm thoughts of Caribbean climes and tropical breezes to the revelers braving the cold by giving away a Carnival cruise vacation to one lucky person.”

Before midnight, popular senior cruise director/blogger John Heald will lead a practice countdown releasing 500 pounds of Carnival signature red, white and blue confetti onto the crowd. At the stroke of midnight, a ton of the Carnival confetti will be hand-tossed by about 100 Carnival “confetti dispersal engineers” to fill the sky.

Carnival invites everyone to get in on the fun by visiting the Times Square Visitors Center where the line has a Carnival Confetti New Years Eve Wishing Wall. Visitors can share their hopes and dreams for 2011 on slips of red, white and blue paper that will be added to the confetti used on New Years Eve.

Photo: Carnival Cruise Line

Five hotel holiday deals in New England

Are you looking for a winter wonderland for the Christmas season? New England is a natural destination. There are plenty of deals to be found, with packages that won’t force you to choose between your trip and the number of presents under the tree. Check out the inns below from New England Inns and Resorts to see for yourself what await!

1. The Stepping Stone Spa, Lyndonville, VT
The Kingdom Trails Winter Adventure package at The Stepping Stone includes two nights at this bed and breakfast, daily breakfast, two adult tickets for snowshoeing or cross country skiing at Kingdom Trails and a $50 voucher for dinner at Jupiter’s Restaurant. Rates start at $157 per person, based on double occupancy, and the deal runs from December 17, 2010 to March 20, 2011.

2. The Wentworth, Jackson, NH
Take a look at this property for the Jingle Bells Chocolate Tour. For a rate that starts at $208, you’ll pick up a night at the Wentworth, an hour-long sleigh ride through Jackson Village (with actual jingle bells and chocolate snacks), a four-course candlelit dinner for two and a full breakfast the next morning. The deal runs from November 27, 2010 to December 18, 2010.3. Cranwell Resort, Spa and Golf Club, Lexington, MA Feeling the urge to hit the slopes before the end of the year? Check out the Berkshire Ski package at this property. For $140 per person midweek or $185 on the weekends, you can score a night at Cranwell Resort, unlimited cross country skiing, a $20 credit at any Cranwell restaurant and full use of the spa. The deal runs from December 1, 2010 to March 31, 2011.

4. The Beachmere Inn, Ogunquit, ME
Ring in the new year at the Beachmere. The New Year’s Eve by the Sea package is pulled together to make the last night of 2010 memorable. The last dinner you’ll have this year includes appetizers, buffet and dessert, not to mention dancing and party favors. Start fresh with a lavish breakfast the next morning. Two-night packages range from $530 to $595, with three nights ranging from $625 to $675.

5. Inn at Ormsby Hill, Manchester, VT
Visit the Inn at Ormsby Hill on the first two Saturdays in December for open tours of the inns in the Manchester area. Stay either the night of December 3, 2010 or December 10, 2010, and receive dinner in the evening, followed by a performance of “A Christmas Carol” at The Dorset Theatre. Open house tours run from noon to 4 PM the next day, with the $15 ticket price going to Habitat for Humanity. On your way home, you’ll have the chance to stop by a local nursery and pick up a Vermont Christmas tree to bring home!

New York’s Tavern on the Green shuts its doors, temporarily

The iconic Central Park restaurant, Tavern on the Green, closed its doors on January 1. The restaurant, which opened in 1936 and was known more for its ambiance and history than for its cuisine, went out with a bang with a 1,500-person party on New Year’s Eve. But the restaurant won’t be gone forever; new owners will be taking over, renovating the building, and eventually reopening.

Tavern on the Green’s most recent owners began having financial problems after losing a bidding war for the lease to Dean Poll, who owns the Boathouse Restaurant in Central Park. The owners have since filed for bankruptcy and will be auctioning off the fixtures and supplies of the restaurant before transferring ownership to Poll, who is expected to invest $25 million in renovations and updates to the restaurant, including installing green technology to make the building more eco-friendly.

While this isn’t the first time the restaurant has changed hands, it’s the first time the new space might not be called Tavern on the Green. It seems the name was trademarked in 1981 and has been valued at $19 million. Poll has registered the name Tavern in Park with the city as a backup, should the original name not be available for use.

[via CNN]

Sicilian steals a New Year’s Eve away from his family

Some people will do anything to dodge family at the holidays. We’ll kick and scream or otherwise misbehave, but my new hero is a Sicilian man who risked getting a record to score a New Year’s Eve away from the wife and relatives. The 35-year-old went to the police station and asked to be incarcerated for the evening. The cops refused, claiming that he needed to commit a crime before he could score accommodations in their establishment.

So, lacking any other option, the man went right next door to a tobacco shop, threatened the owner with a box cutter and grabbed some gum and other candy. Rather than take off, he hung around and waited for his ride the police, who arrived and arrested him for armed robbery.

No indication was given as to whether the turn-down service was to his liking, though it’s likely the price was right.

[Photo by harry525 via Flickr]

How to say “cheers” in 10 different languages

Cheers! Bottoms up! To your heath! This New Year’s Eve, whether you’ll be clinking classes in another country or just want to impress your friends, bring a little international flair to your New Year’s party by toasting at midnight in languages from around the world. Here’s how to say “cheers” in 10 different languages.

Czech – Na zdravi!
Dutch – Proost!
French – A votre sante!
Gaelic Irish – Sláinte!
German – Prost!
Italian – Salute! or Cin cin!
Japanese – Campai!
Polish – Na zdrowie!
Portuguese – Saude!
Spanish – Salud! or Salut!