Posts tagged with "safety"

Jeep image by Vaughn Lowery for 360 MAGAZINE

Jeep Cherokee vs Wrangler: A Comparative Guide

You’re looking to buy a new vehicle; in particular, you’re interested in buying a Jeep. However, you’re wondering: what wins the battle of Jeep Cherokee vs. Wrangler? 

Sure, the Jeep Wrangler has that classic Jeep look, but the Cherokee’s performance is right on par. Not to mention, the Cherokee offers more cargo space. The comparison is close, to say the least. 

Alas, it’s for this reason that we’re going to examine the two in detail below to demonstrate how they measure up. Read on to find out which vehicle is right for you.

Exterior

The exteriors of the Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler have similarities. For instance, their grilles are almost identical. But overall, they’re very different looking vehicles.

The Wrangler has more of a traditional Jeep look. It’s boxy, it’s angular, and it’s risen quite a bit off of its wheels. 

The Cherokee, on the other hand, has more of an SUV look. This is to say that it’s sleeker, more rounded, and sits relatively close to the wheels. 

There’s no clear winner in this department. Aesthetic preferences are primarily subjective, after all. So, give a look at both and see which one fits your preferences. 

Interior

As far as their interiors go, the Cherokee and Wrangler are essentially the same. At their max they provide 5 seats, all of which possess ample head and leg room. Note that the Wrangler comes with a 4-seat model, as well. 

Each vehicle is available with a variety of trims. So, whether you want cloth leather upholstery, you can get either. 

Both vehicles provide ample storage space, along with a variety of storage compartments. We should also note that both have fold down back seats, which allows for even more storage space. 

Suspension

Next, we’ll discuss each vehicle’s suspension. Simply put, the Wrangler’s suspension is better for off-roading than the Cherokee’s. It sits higher, is better equipped to absorb shocks, and can easily handle rough and rocky terrains. 

Now, this isn’t to say that the Cherokee’s suspension can’t handle off-roading. Quite the contrary–in fact; it’s one of the best off-roading SUVs in existence. But if you’re buying a vehicle specifically for off-roading purposes, the Jeep Wrangler is the better option. 

Power

You’re probably curious about each vehicle’s power capabilities. Though they’re available in a variety of trims, each of which has its own capabilities. Overall, the Cherokee is the more powerful vehicle. Its weakest trim still produces up to 293HP, with its most powerful trim reaching an astounding 707 HP. 

In comparison, the Wrangler produces between 260 and 285 HP. This is plenty powerful for most purposes, but falls short overall. Whereas the Cherokee can tow between 3,500 and 7,200 lbs, the Wrangler tows only between 2,000 and 3,500 lbs. 

So, in essence, the Cherokee is more of a towing vehicle. If you’re looking for something to haul a trailer with, opt for the Cherokee over the Wrangler. 

Fuel Efficiency

When it comes to fuel efficiency, both vehicles are relatively comparable. However, the Cherokee is a more fuel-efficient vehicle than the Wrangler. 

The 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee gets 31 miles to the gallon on the highway and 23 miles to the gallon in the city. The 2020 Wrangler gets 29 miles to the gallon on the highway and 22 miles to the gallon in the city. 

These are efficient numbers for both vehicles. Whether you’re traveling long distances or staying close to home, you won’t be burning much gas. 

Safety

Next, we’ll discuss safety. On the whole, both vehicles are quite safe. They were each awarded 4 out of 5 stars by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  

So, while there are vehicles that provide a greater level of safety, these are considered sufficient. 

Note, each is available with a variety of safety features. These include blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, lane departure warning, and electronic stability control, to name just a few. 

Warranty

These vehicles’ warranties are similar, but have some nuances. Both come with a 3 year, 36,000-mile standard warranty.

However, the two cars’ powertrain warranties differ. Whereas the Cherokee has a 5 year, 60,000-mile powertrain warranty, the Wrangler has a 5 year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. 

Recreation

Perhaps the biggest difference between the Wrangler and the Cherokee is in their recreational capabilities. Whereas the Cherokee is a fairly straightforward SUV with an above-average suspension system, the Wrangler is a vehicle practically designed for recreation. 

Its most notable features are its takeaway roof and removable doors. They can both be taken off as desired, making the vehicle something of a convertible. Whether you need to bundle up for winter or let the sun in during the summertime, a Wrangler will serve you well. 

Price

Both the Cherokee and the Wrangler come in many different trims. These trims are available at a wide variety of prices. The more features you add, the more you can expect to pay. 

For comparison’s sake, let’s discuss the costs of their base trims. The base trim for the 2020 Cherokee MSRPs sits at $25,840. The base trim for the 2020 Wrangler MSRPs totals $28,295. 

Both of these costs are comparable to similar vehicles on the market. So, there’s no reason to let their price dissuade you. 

Jeep Cherokee vs Wrangler: A Battle With No Clear Winner

When it comes to the battle of Jeep Cherokee vs. Wrangler, there is no clear winner. Both vehicles have their fair share of positive attributes, along with a few drawbacks as well. In the end, it’s all about assessing your specific needs and preferences, and then choosing a vehicle that best suits them. 

In any case, owning a Jeep can be quite beneficial. They perform terrifically both on-road and off-road, making them some of the most versatile vehicles in existence. 

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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Hits High Point During Winter

Carbon monoxide is winter’s “silent killer.” Unintentional carbon monoxide deaths kill more than 400 Americans each year and sicken many others. It’s a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas undetectable to the human senses, so people don’t realize that they are being poisoned. Tragically in 2020, California lost a number of residents from carbon monoxide poison related to faulty wall heaters and other sources of carbon monoxide. Watch the video https://youtu.be/3BT_hDb4uqE.

Products that are typically involved in poisonings include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas.

Symptoms can be variable, ranging from headache, fatigue, shortness of breath and dizziness to loss of consciousness and chest pain. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen slowly or swiftly depending on circumstances. In an effort to raise public awareness, California Poison Control offers 10 tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

1. Have all heating equipment installed properly, and have a home or rental’s heating system inspected by a professional prior to turning the heat on when cold weather begins.

2. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed in all homes, apartments, mobile homes and workplaces. When a detector goes off, assume that a real danger is present, and get all people and pets out of the structure immediately. Do not re-enter until a heating professional, the gas company or the fire department has declared the area safe.

3. During home renovations, ensure that appliance vents and chimneys are not blocked by tarps or debris. Make sure appliances are in proper working order when renovations are complete.

4. Do not cover the bottom of natural gas or propane ovens with aluminum foil.

5. Never use fuel-burning camping equipment inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent unless it is specifically designed for use in an enclosed space and provides instructions for safe use in such an area.

6. In climates with snow, make sure that chimneys and vents do not become blocked with snowfall.

7. Never operate a portable generator or any other gasoline engine-powered tool either in or near an enclosed space such as a garage, house or other building, or outside of an open window.  Keep the generator as far from the house as possible.

8. Do not use charcoal or hibachi grills indoors to cook with or for heat under any circumstances.

9. Do not attempt to heat your home by turning on the oven or clothes dryer and leaving the door open.

10. Never let a car engine run inside a closed space such as a garage. Drive out promptly after starting the car, and turn the car engine off as soon as you drive into an enclosed space. Never have a garage door closed with a running vehicle inside, even for a few seconds.  

About California Poison Control

CPCS is dedicated to providing the most up-to-date information regarding poison prevention. In case of an accidental poisoning, consumers should immediately call the nationwide number from any state1-800-222-1222. Pharmacists, nurses, physician-toxicologists and poison information providers are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to help.

Weekly tips about safety are available by texting TIPS to 20121 for information in English or text PUNTOS to 20121 for Spanish. Follow CPCS on Facebook and on Twitter @poisoninfo. CPCS is part of the University of California San Francisco School of Pharmacy and is responsible to the California Emergency Medical Services Authority.

Hunter Sansone Headshot by Leigh Keily

Q×A with Hunter Sansone

By Hannah DiPilato

360 Magazine has the opportunity to sit down with rising star, Hunter Sansone. Hunter is quickly making a name for himself in Hollywood with the characters he portrays on screen.

This winter, Hunter can be seen starring in Disney+’s highly anticipated sports film “Safety,” which was released to Disney+ on December 11. He also stars on CW’s hit series “Stargirl” as Cameron Mahkent also known as Icicle Jr. and is currently in the process of filming season two. We asked Sansone questions about his career, future and aspirations.

What has been your favorite role in your career so far?

Wow. That’s hard to say. Honestly, I don’t have a favorite. They have all been equally fulfilling. I learned different things from each project. I will say I am really into emotionally complex roles that involve a lot of raw emotional work.

What was your favorite part of working on the movie “Safety” for Disney+?

Being a part of an underdog sports film. I grew up watching these types of films, and they partially influenced my dream of becoming an actor one day. I played sports growing up, so to be able to utilize that childhood experience with my career was fun.

Do you have any exciting roles that are upcoming?

I am currently filming Stargirl Season 2, and that should be coming out sometime in 2021 on The CW. Few other things in the works that I can’t dive into at the moment.

I know you support the Stand Up for Pits Foundation, are there any other charities you would like to work with?

Rebecca Corry and the Stand Up For Pits foundation are incredible. They have done so much with ending discrimination towards pit bull type dogs. I have also recently partnered up with Stray Rescue of St. Louis. Their main focus being rescuing abandoned, abused, and neglected animals off the streets. Both incredible organizations that I plan to have my voice attached to for many years to come.

Since you grew up in Missouri, how did you get involved in acting? Did you have other future plans?

My mom has been a professional singer and vocal coach my whole life. She was my influence that led me down this path. She used to say to me that she thought I would be a good actor, but I didn’t think much of it for a few years. One day, I found myself curious and went to an acting class with her and I was hooked.

What is your favorite scene from “Safety” that you think viewers should be on the lookout for?

A combination of a few different scenes where Ray and I are sneaking Fay around the dorms. Definitely had some good laughs with those.

Do you have an idol you respect in Hollywood? What about them inspires you?

I’ve always respected Leonardo DiCaprio and how he attacks a role. He always gives 150%. He commits physically, mentally, and emotionally to every role. I try to approach every single one of my roles with that same tenacity and work ethic.

Tell us more about your character Daniel Morelli in the new movie.

Daniel is Ray’s roommate, teammate and best friend. He is the first person that Ray confides in about his situation with his little brother. You will see Daniel showing up for Ray in more ways than one throughout the film. He is all about family. Also, Daniel is an Italian kid from Long Island with a thick accent. I’m Italian myself so that was fun to be able to honor my Italian heritage on screen.

Tell us about the filming for Season 2 of Stargirl, can you give our readers an inside scoop?

We are working away on Season 2 as we speak. Having a blast while doing it. I can’t give you much, but what I can say is if you loved Season 1, you will definitely not want to miss Season 2. It should be coming out sometime in 2021 on The CW.

Where do you see your career going in the future, are there any goals you have for movies or TV?

I have big goals. I dream big. I recommend that to anyone with a dream. Don’t commit 50%. Set the biggest dreams for yourself as possible and go after them with every fiber in you. I think I’m going to keep them to myself for now and we can regroup down the road once a few of them have been accomplished.

Gym Illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Planet Fitness Southeast 100th Club Opening

Sunshine Fitness is Planet Fitness’ first franchise group and it continues to experience steady growth across the Southeast amid pandemic with plans to open nearly 15 more clubs in 2021

Sunshine Fitness Growth Holdings, LLC (“Sunshine Fitness”), a leading owner and operator of Planet Fitness clubs in the Southeast United States backed by TSG Consumer Partners (“TSG”), today announced its 100th Planet Fitness club opening with new locations simultaneously opening in South Carolina and North Carolina.

“Opening our 100th club during this challenging year is not only a testament to our franchise group, but also the desire of the communities to prioritize physical and mental wellness as an essential part of their lives,” said Shane McGuiness, co-owner and CEO of Planet Fitness Southeast. “In 2021 we will continue bringing jobs to local economies, while prioritizing the health and safety of our members and employees.”

Since March, Sunshine Fitness has focused on adapting to the current pandemic while maintaining plans for expansion.  Additionally, Planet Fitness has taken several steps to strengthen existing cleanliness policies, introduced touchless check-ins and “Social Fitnessing,” created its Clean Thumb Club™ policy, and implemented a “crowd meter” available on the Planet Fitness app for customers to see capacity levels in real time. Throughout the year Planet Fitness has taken several steps to strengthen existing cleanliness policies, introduced touchless check-ins and “Social Fitnessing,” created its Clean Thumb Club™ policy, and implemented a “crowd meter” available on the Planet Fitness app for customers to see capacity levels in real time.

Sunshine Fitness has been one of the fastest growing Planet Fitness franchisees in the U.S. and has opened multiple locations since the start of 2020 with strong plans to open 13 additional clubs in communities across the Southeast in 2021. The momentum is driven by the more than 113 million check-ins to Planet Fitness since May 2020, when gyms were cleared to reopen by local officials after the pandemic forced their doors to close. 

For more information, or to join online, please visit www.PlanetFitness.com or follow on Facebook and Twitter. 

About Planet Fitness

Founded in 1992 in Dover, NH, Planet Fitness is one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the United States by number of members and locations. As of September 30, 2020, Planet Fitness had more than 14.1 million members and 2,086 stores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico and Australia. The Company’s mission is to enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment, which we call the Judgement Free Zone®. More than 95% of Planet Fitness stores are owned and operated by independent business men and women.

About Planet Fitness Southeast 

Opening its first location in 2003 in Altamonte Springs, Florida, Planet Fitness Southeast is the very first franchisee and one of the largest within the Planet Fitness brand. Started by longtime best friends, Shane McGuiness and Eric Dore, Planet Fitness Southeast now operates 100 locations and still holds true to the original mission of enhancing people’s lives by providing a high-quality experience in a welcoming, non-intimidating environment known as the Judgement Free Zone®.  

About TSG Consumer Partners
TSG Consumer Partners, LLC is a leading private equity firm focused exclusively on the branded consumer sector. Since its founding in 1987, TSG has been an active investor in the food, beverage, restaurant, beauty, personal care, fitness, health & wellness, household, apparel & accessories, and e-commerce sectors. Representative past and present partner companies include Duckhorn Wine Company, Planet Fitness, IT Cosmetics, REVOLVE, HUDA Beauty, BrewDog, Canyon Bicycles, Pabst, Backcountry, vitaminwater, thinkThin, popchips, Stumptown, Smashbox Cosmetics and e.l.f. Cosmetics. For more information, please visit www.tsgconsumer.com.

iPhone illustration by Kaelen Felix

BodyGuardz CES 2021 Innovation Awards Honoree

BodyGuardz, a leader in device protection, today announced that it has been named a CES® 2021 Innovation Awards Honoree for its Portable 5-in-1 Emergency Hub. The announcement was made ahead of the first-ever, all-digital CES 2021, the world’s most influential technology event, happening Jan. 11-14, 2021.

The CES Innovation Awards program, owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, is an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products across 28 product categories. An elite panel of industry expert judges, including members of the media, designers, engineers and more, reviewed submissions based on innovation, engineering and functionality, aesthetic and design.

“BodyGuardz was previously named a CES Innovation Award Honoree when we launched the market’s first tempered glass screen protector back in 2013, as well as our curved glass screen protector in 2018. We’re proud to be receiving that same recognition for a third time now as we venture into new ways of providing the best protection for a life worth living,” said Kirk Feller, CEO of BodyGuardz.

The 5-in-1 is BodyGuardz’s all-in-one smart emergency preparedness hub and weather alert system. It provides power, light, and notifications of potential events in a user’s area based on user-specified zip code in the free BodyGuardz mobile app. The product’s key features include:

  • Emergency Alerts – By connecting to local NOAA and other national weather alert services, users can receive critical warnings of localized environmental threats to the area both at home and on the road, even if power and cell towers are out.
  • Power Bank – Charges devices with a backup battery for emergency situations.
  • Panic Button – Sounds a 90-decibel siren and alerts loved ones that users are in an emergency situation.
  • Flashlight Functions as an always-charged flashlight with three high-powered light beams to illuminate your path during power outages and other emergencies.
  • Nightlight – Provides ambient lighting for the key area where the device is plugged in that automatically illuminates when power is cut off.

In September 2019, BodyGuardz announced its new smart home product line consisting of three portable smart home products, including the Portable 5-in-1 Emergency Hub. The products were developed to fill a specific gap in the smart home security market for renters and others who prefer portable, convenient peace of mind both at home and while on the go.

The CES 2021 Innovation Awards Honorees, including product descriptions and photos, can be found at CES.tech/innovation.

For more information on BodyGuardz, its new 5-in-1 Emergency Hub, or to purchase, visit www.bodyguardz.com.

About BodyGuardz
BodyGuardz is committed to offering top-quality products and services at competitive prices. The company prides itself on providing products, services, and delivery that customers notice as a step above the rest. BodyGuardz designs reliable protection for a life worth living that keeps up with today’s active lifestyles. Learn more by visiting www.bodyguardz.com.

About Parent Company BGZ Brands
BGZ brands’ mission is “to enhance our customers’ lifestyles through branded products and services of elevated value and quality.” Formerly known as BodyGuardz, BGZ brands has become the powerhouse parent company of three distinct consumer electronic accessory brands—BodyGuardz, a leading device protection company; Lander, expedition-inspired accessories for the explorer in all of us; and MOXYO, modern accessories for you. For more information, visit BGZ brands.

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, reopens Nov. 15 as announced by 360 MAGAZINE.

Grand Wailea Reopens with Enhanced Safety

Grand Wailea, A Waldorf Astoria Resort — an iconic beachside sprawling resort nestled on 40 acres of lush, tropical gardens fronting Maui’s Wailea Beach — will reopen its doors on November 15, 2020. Staying true to the Grand Wailea traditions and spirit while ensuring a safe and comfortable environment for guests and staff, travelers will now have the opportunity to create new memories at the celebrated resort. The reopening also marks the debut of The Grand Life, a sweeping variety of programming that focuses on well-being and incorporates personalized health and safety measures. The Grand Life will also include a reimagined twist to the exceptional experiences the resort is highly-acclaimed for, such as its award-winning spa, immersive activities, and interactive and educational experiences for kids. Detailed information on the guest arrival experience, including health & safety protocols and resort activities can be found here. 

“The core of our culture is built around happiness, wellbeing, and respect for the land. We have missed being able to provide our warm hospitality to travelers and look forward to welcoming our guests back,” said Managing Director, JP Oliver. “We are committed to fostering a connection between our travelers and Hawaii through our array of unforgettable Grand Wailea guest offerings.  

Elements of The Grand Life include

 Wellness Ambassador:

 Grand Wailea is committed to making guests’ travel plans as safe and seamless as possible. Grand Wailea will provide a ‘Wellness Ambassador’ on property to assist prior, during, and following a guest’s arrival. There will be a wellness check area with a thermal face scanner, complimentary masks, hand sanitizer, posted CDC recommendations for social distancing, and Maui county regulations. The Wellness Ambassador will be a resource to help guide all guests through Maui’s changing health and safety protocols. Creating a stress-free trip that focuses on well-being and relaxation, each traveler will leave the property having created new memories and feeling more refreshed than ever before. 

Spa Grande: 

Grand Wailea is home to the largest spa in all of Hawaii – Spa Grande – a 50,000 square foot wellness space with countless accolades for its innovative programming. Uniting Thalassotherapy and Ancient Eastern and Hawaiian Philosophies, Spa Grande features an extensive range of Hawaiian and globally inspired therapies. The signature treatments, which ensure the health and safety of guests among all other treatments, include the Hawaiian Healing Escape, a half-day transformative and indulgent experience that uses traditional Hawaiian healing practices and massage therapies combined with herbal plant medicine grown in the lush rainforests of Hawaii. Additionally, the Ho’omalie  healing treatment blends rhythmic lomilomi and pohaku (warm stone) massage, and the Hawaiian Superfood Crystal Facial is a potent collagen-producing facial that deeply infuses the skin with pristine nutrients. With travelers looking to rest and relax while staying safe, Spa Grande will reopen with a socially distant approach and follow all health & safety protocols. The Spa Grande experience will feature other special touches including a welcome hand-cleansing ritual and an immune-boosting elixir served at the end of all treatments. Open-air treatment options in a poolside cabana will also be available, as well as in-room treatments for those who would prefer not to use the spa facilities. In-room spa & wellness kits will be available for those who are looking to continue their Spa Grande experience in the privacy of their own rooms, including Knesko and Patchology face masks, bath ritual kits, sleep enhancing kit, and personalized skin care sets from Eminence and SkinCeuticals, and more.

Launching in early 2021, the spa’s new Live Grande Wellness program will allow guests to discover their path to a vibrant fulfilling life through thoughtful wellness experiences that allow for exploration on needs and desires to spiritually heal inside and out. The program will feature à la carte wellness experiences, events & workshops with visiting practitioners, one to three-day retreats and more. Highlights of the services include energy treatments such as reiki and chakra balancing, to healing arts like reflexology and cupping, nutrition sessions on intuitive eating, metaphysical sessions including birth and wedding charts and natal readings, and mindfulness sessions including personalized meditation and guided visualization. Details of the program will be announced before the end of the year.   

For guests looking to stay fit during their visit, the resort has implemented ‘gym pods,’ a dedicated private space away for individuals or families traveling together, with special equipment including Peloton bikes, interactive Mirror screens, rowing machines, free weights, and yoga mats. For travelers looking to take their workouts outside, open-air areas throughout the resort grounds will be available for personal training sessions and socially-distanced outdoor fitness classes.  

Make Your Zoom Background Your Real Background: 

Guests looking to work remotely will be treated to a seamless ‘work from home’ set-up. Upon request, guests will have access to their own “office” – a room or area at the hotel with a workstation including a monitor, conferencing equipment and any supplies they may need. For young guests engaged in virtual schooling, Grand Wailea will offer IT support, desks upon request, school supplies, and an on-demand tutor, to ensure that little guests are set up for success with their schooling. 

Grand Passport:

After almost eight-months in front of screens, whether television or iPad for entertainment, or a computer screen for virtual learning, Grand Wailea is encouraging its school-aged guests to partake in non-screen educational experiences through its new self-guided Grand Passport program. Focusing on both immersion into Hawaiian culture, including the islands’ storied Polynesian ancestry and abundance of flora & fauna, as well as sustainable practices to combat guests’ carbon footprint, self-guided tours of the artwork featured throughout the resort with work from Botero, Leger, and Chihuly, and even surfing and snorkeling lessons, the Grand Passport program will offer a memorable educational lesson that is sure to last forever.  

Upon check-in, children will receive a Grand Passport, which maps and lists out all educational activities to visit around the property. After each activity, a “stamp” on their passport will officially indicate they have successfully completed the ‘Hawaiian lesson.’ Following a young person’s stay, Grand Wailea will continue to send (via e-mail) immersive reading material on Hawaiian culture and print outs for coloring to continue the interest, education and conversation.  

The resort has undergone key changes in accordance with government and local authority guidance as well as Hilton CleanStay with Lysol protection, which includes, among many other motions, operating at a minimum capacity and with limited facilities; COVID-19 testing; thermal screen temperature checks; light therapy to enhance the immune system; antigen testing; social distancing of at least six feet in effect in all areas; offering keyless entry for guests in every room; as well as limited bell and valet services to minimize human interaction to further appease their health & safety concerns of traveling during this time. A full list of related revisions is available here.  

As of October 15, 2020, visitors age five and older are allowed to bypass Hawaii’s mandated 14-day quarantine with proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Children five and under are exempt from quarantine rules and therefore, do not require proof of a negative test/ For Hawaii-bound travelers, more information on testing here.

Cruise illustration done by Mina Tocalini of 360 MAGAZINE.

CruiseCompete’s Top 9 Reasons to Enjoy a Cruise During the Holiday

Create A New Holiday Tradition For the Highly-Anticipated 2020 Holiday Travel Season  

CruiseCompete Offers The Top 9 Reasons to Enjoy a Cruise During the Holidays

Holiday voyages in December and January are some of the most popular voyages and cruise vacations. Rather than wait to book these vacations, the cruise specialists and travel advisors at CruiseCompete encourage travelers to plan and book their holiday cruises now.

Currently, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and MSC Cruises all have voyages in December departing from Florida or California. 

Take a peek HERE

And New Years’ cruises are plentiful too, with Oceania, Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, and MSC Cruises planning very special voyages. Check them out HERE

Here are nine great reasons to cruise over the holidays: (See the full list HERE.)

  1. Sparkling clean ships – This is the perfect time to board a gorgeous cruise ship. More…
  2. Truly festive atmosphere– After Thanksgiving, the cruise lines get in the holiday spirit by decorating their ships from bow to stern. More…
  3. Special guests– Christmastime cruises would not be complete without guest appearances from Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their elf friends. More…
  4. New Year’s fun – Ringing in the New Year is a splash while traveling on a cruise ship. More…
  5. No snow – A holiday cruise is ideal for those looking for a change of scenery as colder weather moves in at home.  More…
  6. Great food – Nobody goes hungry on a cruise vacation, especially during the holidays. More…
  7. Kid’s activities galore – With children on holiday break from school, many families love to cruise during December. More…
  8. True relaxation – Leave the hustle and bustle (and accompanying stress) of the holidays behind and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere with the family on a cruise vacation. More…

  9. Unique gifts – A cruise vacation is one-holiday gift that will truly be appreciated. Plus, the ship and ports offer the chance to procure distinctive goods. More…

CruiseCompete member-advisors are the most well-educated, forward-thinking, and trusted cruise specialists in the industry.  If you’d like more information or assistance planning a future cruise or a cruise tour, please visit CruiseCompete and try the Virtual Cruise Advisor™ or Live Help.

Find CruiseCompete’s “Sea Tales 2020 Family Cruise Travel Planner” at www.cruisecompete.com/resources.php.

Enjoy a more intimate tour experience away from the crowds at substantially lower prices than the cruise lines. See by port or by ship: HERE or HERE 

The Best in Travel: Cruise Deals” – The Wall Street Journal

CruiseCompete Takes Top Honors in Travel + Leisure’s Top 60 Best Apps and Websites for Travelers” – Travel + Leisure

I’ve found outstanding agencies and extras through Cruise Compete that I would have never found through traditional web searches.” – Richard Kerr

About CruiseCompete: CruiseCompete has been the premier online cruise marketplace since 2003. Consumers come to CruiseCompete to research and book cruise vacations. Almost 2 million users have generated close to 4 million requests from consumers, and member-advisors have delivered nearly 18 million quotes since 2003. CruiseCompete is home to the Sea Tales 2020 Family Cruise Travel Planner at Travel Resources.

CruiseCompete CruiseTrends™ offers monthly stats for an inside look at consumer trends and what consumers want on cruise vacations.

For more information, please visit https://www.cruisecompete.com/ or https://www.cruisecompete.com/group_cruises/

CruiseCompete is an Iowa LLC, is not a travel agency, or owned by a travel agency.

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Toyota Corolla Apex

By Althea Champion × Vaughn Lowery

TMNA is releasing a new and updated version of the faithful Toyota Corolla in 2021: the limited edition Corolla Apex Edition. The company will manufacture only 6,000 editions of the SE and XSE editions.

As a bonus, Puma and Toyota collaborated on a limited edition Corolla Apex sneaker that corresponds with the car’s launch. Only 50 units were fabricated – we got number 25! They perfectly match the vehicle and they came just in time as we celebrated the Los Angeles Lakers Championship win, honking and flickering our lights in Downtown LA near the Staples Center. Just like LeBron during the NBA playoffs, this compact car was the star attraction. After all, it is one of the top selling cars in the world.

Model

This new model has the same horsepower as its predecessor, same TNGA-C platform, but is nearly unrecognizable in its new form.

Most of the editions will be equipped with the Dynamic Shift CVT, otherwise known as a continuously variable transmission, and colloquially known as an automatic. For those who love driving stick, Toyota is also offering just 120 models based on the SE edition that are equipped with a 6-speed Intelligent Manual Transmission.

Style

This car leans into sportiness that has never been characteristic of a Corolla, yet does so gracefully. The new model rides lower to the ground, flaunts bronze accents, a front spoiler, fog light covers, side moldings, a rear diffuser aid in high-speed vehicle stability, and an optional rear trunk aero spoiler for those who wish it theirs.

Chrome exhaust tips accent the vehicle and black mirror caps give it an edge. Low profile, black, 18-inch wheels that are lighter than Corolla’s standard and unique to the Apex, according to Anthony Alaniz of Motor1, add to its humble discretion. LED headlights, turn signals, and taillights make sure you are safe, while the smoked-out light lenses of the taillights add to its undeniable dominance, and a large sunroof is an added bonus, especially on lazy summer nights.

The SE model is attired in premium fabric upholstery, while the XSE edition sports black SofTex®-trimmed fabric upholstery, heated front seats, and an eight-way adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support.

Power

This Corolla is powered by its 2.0-liter Dynamic Force Engine, which obtains its power from high-compression Toyota D4-S fuel injection system (13:1), according to Toyota’s press release. The VVT-i on the exhausts uses an electric motor instead of oil, making for a more eco-friendly and efficient exhaust.

The limited edition model has a 169 peak horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 151 lb.-ft. peak torque at 4,800 rpm, which is standard in previous Toyota models.

With the automatic transmission in the SE model, the EPA-estimated fuel economy is 31 city / 41 highway / 34 combined MPG, and the XSE’s is 31/38/34, respectively. With the manual transmission, the fuel economy is 29/36/32 MPG.

Safety

Toyota also took the model one step further in safety. The Apex Edition, along with all 2021 Corolla models, will have Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite of driver-assist technologies, standard. This includes a pre-collision system with daytime/low-light vehicle and pedestrian detection, plus daytime bicycle detection, full-speed range dynamic cruise control (CVT only), lane departure alert with steering assist and road edge detection, automatic high beams, lane tracing and road sign assist.

In addition, rear side airbags were added to the design, bringing the total number of airbags in the vehicle up to 10. Rear Cross-Traffic Alert with a Blind Spot Monitor is now standard on XSE models, and optional for SE models with CVT. In addition, all 2020 Corollas gain an Automatic Engine Shut-Off. This add-on will automatically turn off the engine after a designated period in the event it is left running.

As a special value, Toyota’s press release notes that, “the 2021 Corolla LE grade (gas model) will offer a new Convenience Package that combines Blind Spot Monitor, Smart Key system and 16-inch alloy wheels.”

Technology

The new Corolla Apex Edition sports new Android Auto compatibility, which complements the Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa potential connections already standard in this model’s predecessor, the 2020 Corolla. In addition, SiriusXM and its 3-month trial period is now available across every Corolla model.

Furthermore, the vehicle is endowed with a more efficient cooling system; the two-discharge-port oil pump and variable cooling system with an electric water pump maximizes engine engine performance and efficiency. This ensures quicker cabin heating on cold days and quicker cool-down when the A/C is on. When combined with ultra-low internal friction, the 2.0-liter engine operates at a maximum thermal efficiency of 40 percent, which is among the highest for a current passenger vehicle, according to Toyota.

Pricing

The least expensive edition of the Corolla Apex, the Corolla Apex SE with a CVT, is $2,695 more than its predecessor, which brings it to $25,070. The Corolla Apex SE with a six-speed manual transmission clocks in at $25,460, and the Corolla Apex XSE at $28,210.

Conclusion

Ultimately, the new model’s suspension and fresh look are most noteworthy. New coil springs with internal rebound shocks allowed designers to lower the suspension 0.6 inches. This, combined with rigid, stabilizer bars, creates a stiffer suspension. Roll stiffness is now 47% more stiff in the front and 33% more in the rear—a marked improvement. And, its look undeniably transforms any preconceived notions about the Toyota Corolla, as it seems to have evolved into a chic sports car.

If you are looking to surprise your significant other with a luxurious present, look no further. If you are a young professional looking to impress your colleagues in the parking lot, you have come to the right vehicle. If you are a new parent concerned with style, safety, and reliability, this is your car. Whoever you are, the Toyota Corolla Apex can be the ideal vehicle for you.

NYBG illustration done by Maria Soloman for 360 MAGAZINE.

NYBG Autumnal Celebrations

For New Yorkers and visitors alike, the grandeur of the fall season is just 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan and The New York Botanical Garden. NYBG is the perfect place to experience the splendor of fall with the Great Pumpkin Path, scarecrow decorations, and awe-inspiring Japanese chrysanthemums in breath-taking shapes and styles in and around the Conservatory. Explore the seasonal bounty of the Edible Academy, which is also reopening just in time for fall, and traverse the winding trails of the 50-acre, old-growth Thain Family Forest to view the changing colors and textures of autumn in the weeks ahead.

Hordes of gourds await discovery along the twists and turns of NYBG’s Great Pumpkin Path all month long. In particular, on October 24th, giant pumpkins that are some of the largest in the world arrive and will be on view through the first of November. These humongous pumpkins, some weighing more than 2,000 pounds, have been nurtured from seed by doting growers and brought to the Garden in collaboration with the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth.

Another highlight at NYBG are the displays spotlighting kiku in and around the Conservatory and Visitor Center. Highly skilled NYBG horticulturists spent 11 months growing and caring for these chrysanthemums (kiku in Japanese) that were cultivated from single cuttings, pinched back, and tied to frames. Flower buds develop as nights grow longer, and in fall, the plants burst into bloom in modern and ancient styles such as ogiku (single stem), kengai (cascade), and ozukuri (thousand bloom). For guests who can’t make it to the gardens in person, New York Botanical Gardens offers a virtual look into the changing hues with the NYBG Fall Color Cam.

New York Botanical Gardens offer perfectly festive and COVID-friendly activities and protocols. The new, limited timed-entry ticketing system staggers visitors’ arrivals, promotes social distancing, and mitigates the risk of crowding in high-traffic areas. In addition, advance purchase of timed tickets is required to ensure the safety of guests. On top of these changes, new measures include requiring staff and visitors to wear masks, increasing sanitization of public and staff areas, and daily health screenings for on-site staff.

Enjoy the beauties that fall has to offer while staying safe and healthy with NYBG today! Check out their available tickets here and prepare a lovely and colorful trip to the beautiful gardens.

LA’s Fortnite Parties

Fortnite Parties in Los Angeles Becomes the Latest Trend During COVID-19

While COVID-19 might have changed the way we host parties and special events, it’s also given way to unique business opportunities. One of the hottest party trends during COVID-19 has been the Fortnite parties, which are held outdoors in places such as a local park or residential backyard. If you live within the greater Los Angeles area you could very well host your Fortnite party.

Fortnite Parties Pop Up All Over Los Angeles as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise

One of the big concerns that parents have had over the past several months is what isolation is doing to their young children. Social interaction is very much a part of childhood and developing friendships with peers is important for children of all ages. We’ve seen quite a few innovative and creative ways to bring people together and American ingenuity has never been higher. A new idea has popped up that allows children to play together, but safely outdoors and with distancing in mind.

Fortnite parties which are inspired from mobile nerf parties have become the latest innovative way to allow your child to interact with others while still also being mindful of the CDC rules regarding COVID-19. Children love engaging in fun adventures and love video games so this mixes the best of both worlds. The premise of the party is that Fortnite becomes reality and turns the typical boring birthday party into a battle royale adventure for all age groups. There are 8 varieties of Nerf Guns used along with a Fortnite portable Battle Royale Arena. Smoke bombs and chalk bombs are included in the experience to make it more like the game itself.

Your child will be running around trying to shoot the other players while being bombarded with the colorful smoke bombs that can be both distracting and exciting. The hazy fog from the smoke bombs adds an element to bring Fortnite to life in a safe way for all involved. It’s pretty entertaining since the chalk bombs are the real-life safe version of the boogie bombs.

What’s Included in a Fortnite Party?

We know that parents are willing to spend large amounts of money to give their child a birthday party like no other, and this type of party is going to cost $650 or more to bring Fortnite to life. For the price, that will get you a party for 2 hours filled with 10 chalk bombs and various Nerf Guns. Nerf Megas, Standard Nerf Elite Guns, and Nerf Rivals are included in the party pack. 3 Regular Smoke Bombs and 2 Ultra Smoke Bombs are included, as well as 16 pairs of goggles.

There is also a Fortnite Coach assigned to the party and the coach will bring the Fortnite Battlefield right to your backyard or other outdoor location you’ve selected. The battlefield even contains 9 different paintball bunkers! You’ll also have an unlimited supply of Nerf Darts at your disposal. This will allow up to 16 people to attend the party, but you can buy add-ons to include more people or more Smoke Bombs. The games include Squads, Battle Labs, Arena, Team Rumble, Creative, Duos, and Solos.

The Fortnite parties are popping up all over Los Angeles and is provided by Airballing LA. If you live in Orange County, Los Angeles County, Santa Barbara County, San Diego Country, and Ventura County. Fortnite Coaches set up the entire event and will arrive close to one hour before the party is supposed to start to setup. If you’re having the Fortnite party in your backyard it usually takes about 30 minutes to set up the whole battlefield, while it could take an hour to set up if you’re in a park or other similar location.

What’s the Best Age Group for a Fortnite Party?

It’s recommended that most of the children in the Fortnite Party be 10 or older, which is because some of the Nerf Guns are very high-powered. Younger children may not be able to operate some of the equipment, although a couple of younger children wouldn’t hurt. If you had mostly 10-year-old children at the party and a few between five or eight, it would be alright.

Even though the idea of Fortnite Parties is primarily for children, there’s no maximum age for these parties. You could be a teenager or even someone several years older and still have a blast with the Fortnite Party. If you’re a Fortnite fan then this is the perfect COVID-19 party to attend since it’s outdoors, safe, and also distanced for precaution.