DAVE EISEN covers the cruise and hotel beats for Travel Agent. He most recently visited the Crystal Symphony—post-renovation—and was lucky enough to snag a photo with Bill Smith, Crystal's senior vice president of sales & marketing. Up next, he's headed for Europe, specifically the Netherlands, to cover the arrival of the new "It" girl. No, not Hayden Panettiere; Norwegian Cruise Line's "It" girl, Norwegian Gem, which makes its U.S. debut in December.
MARK ROGERS, senior editor at Travel Agent, was one of a handful of journalists invited to Hong Kong in July to witness the 10-year anniversary celebration of its return to Chinese sovereignty, capped off with a magnificent display of fireworks on the Kowloon waterfront. During the same trip he visited Macau, which is seeing a tremendous amount of tourism investment. He donned a jumpsuit and protective harness (pictured) to help a photographer get a shot looking out over the ledge of the 1,109-foot-tall Macau Tower. Rogers also covers Hawaii, the South Pacific and Asia, as well as California, where he is based. Last month, he attended the PATA Travel Mart 2007 in Bali.
JOE PIKE is Travel Agent's associate editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Mexico; and Central and South America. Pike recently returned from Travel Mart Latin America in Cartagena, Colombia, and says his trip was a pleasant surprise. Safety wasn't an issue there and any preconceived images were replaced by those of friendly street mimes, horses and carriages and some of the most beautiful churches and boutique hotels a destination can offer. Next, he will be heading to San Juan, Puerto Rico for Travel Agent's coverage of the 30th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference (CTC).
New York-based KAY SHOWKER has been a travel writer, photographer, and lecturer for three decades, having authored 14 guidebooks, including the 100 Best Resorts in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Ports of Call series, Outdoor Traveler's Guide to the Caribbean, and the Unofficial Guide to Cruises. She has appeared as a travel expert on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, AOL, and The Travel Channel. Her travels have taken her to more than 100 countries around the world and her articles have appeared in major travel magazines and newspapers across the country. In this issue she covers Martinique for us.
ERIN F. STERNTHAL is a contributing editor for Travel Agent, where she previously was a senior editor, specializing in the hotel and spa industries and covering Las Vegas, New York and Israel. In addition to her extensive travels, Sternthal has been a guest lecturer at New York University's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management; she has also been a panelist at hotel forums. After spending more than eight years on staff, Sternthal left her full-time position in January 2007 to conquer her most challenging role yet: as mom to new son Brandon.