By LEORA MOLDOFSKY
Parents who take their offspring to upscale hotels without first schooling them in the social graces may set fellow guests hankering for the old days, when youngsters were seen but not heard. To avoid glares and whispers, tot-toting guests at Boston's Ritz-Carlton can now enrol their eight-to-12-year-olds in an etiquette program. "A Day of Social Savvy" features lessons in table manners, answering the telephone, and ballroom dancing. The hotel also offers cooking classes for children-including tips on decorative garnishing and "creating the dining environment." Families can also book into the "Junior Presidential Suite," complete with pint-sized furniture and a mini-refrigerator filled with "healthy snacks."
Traveling by stagecoach in 19th century England could be hazardous: many coaches were robbed by highwaymen or overturned in treacherous terrain. Tourists who book a ride on the Gay Gordon-a replica of the stagecoach that journeyed the London-Edinburgh route in the 1800s-are guaranteed a more restful trip. Pulled by four gray horses, the coach can take up to 11 cloaked and bonneted passengers (male participants don top hats) along the country lanes of southwest Lincolnshire. Weekend breaks (May 18-19, July 6-7 and Oct. 5-6) depart from Stamford, Grantham or Corby Glen and cost $258, including a 32-km ride, accommodation at traditional staging inns and most meals. See .
Some travelers, tired of restaurant fare, yearn for home-style cooking. Culinary adventurers who like nothing better than a new taste experience can sample many of the world's most exciting cuisines in luxurious comfort on a private trip offered by New York's American Museum of Natural History. Up to 48 passengers will travel across Europe and North Africa on a specially configured Boeing 737, exploring the culinary traditions of France, Portugal, Morocco, Italy, Turkey and Russia. The two-week feast, which starts in London on Oct. 22, costs $25,950, including fares and all meals. See .
The race to be the first airline to provide passengers with in-flight and Internet services has been won by Singapore Airlines, which last month launched a satellite-based communications network. Over the next year, Singapore plans to spend more than $100 million to equip about 60 aircraft with in-seat telecom ports for laptop-carrying passengers in all travel classes. For the moment, however, the service is only available on one aircraft, on the airline's SingaporeLos Angeles run.