The massive chunk of ice my hand is on is huge, over 10 feet long and about 6 feet tall. After less than a minute it is so cold it burns. But, the waters on the night the Titanic sank were actually colder than this ice. The water in the iceberg was fresh water, but the dark water the over 1,500 souls from the Titanic landed in was salt water, which freezes at an even colder temperature. This tactile experience is just one of the frigid features that take you back in time on the fateful night that the Titanic sunk. This new exhibit is the most comprehensive Titanic exhibit ever seen and opened in January 2009 at the Luxor Hotel.

Vegas has several new very hot and some very cold things to see and do right now. And, with the economy down the sales in Vegas are up. So, now is a great time to take the short trip to Sin City, see some of the new sights and take advantage of the great sales.

“The Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit” brings to life the story of the ill-fated ship through over 300 authentic artifacts, dramatic room recreations and hands-on interactive experiences. I strolled along the deck of the Titanic hearing the sounds of the ocean and seeing the stars twinkle in the distance and had my picture taken on the steps of the grand staircase where the first class passengers would gather before dinner. These two-room recreations put you right into the ship like never before.

The artifacts are both big and small and feature some never before seen items. A ladies bag with perfume vials in it still filled with her favorite scents, a pair of men’s pants, and a bottle of champagne still filled with the bubbly liquid have all been rescued from the bottom of the ocean and put here on display. But, the most dramatic item is what is referred to as the “Big Piece,” the largest section of the Titanic ever recovered. This 15-ton piece of the Titanic’s starboard hull was raised 12,500 feet from the ocean floor and is now dry again after more than 80 years at the bottom of the sea.

On the Vegas strip this is certainly one of the most extensive, educational, and touching experiences that should not be missed.

Now my hand is touching ice again, only this time I am donning a full-length winter coat and thick gloves to keep me warm. I am in Minus 5, an ice lounge and a truly unique vodka bar that is built completely out of ice. In fact, the frozen architecture uses over 30-tons of ice that make up the walls, the chandeliers and the impressive floor to ceiling bar. Kept at a chilly 23 degrees all year round, Minus 5 is certainly the coolest place on the strip. Located in Mandalay Bay the bar offers a wide range of vodkas to help keep you warm and also provides you with your choice of coats and mittens to wear while inside. There are several packages that range from $30 to $100 and get you different coats, drinks, and photos. I have been told that some Canadians stripped down to their skivvies for their picture to prove that they could beat the cold. Personally, I think they had one too many vodka shots.

After all that cold stuff I needed some warmth and pampering. So, I ended up at what Spa Magazine ranked as one of the best spas of the year, The Bath House. Small and personal for a Vegas spa, the Bath House is 25,000 square feet of pure bliss located in The Hotel, which is the high-end hotel that is part of Mandalay Bay. Peaceful Asian-influenced architecture and the sounds of bubbling streams and gently falling water almost immediately soothe you after the neon craziness of the strip. Their “scents of you” massage is a mixture of aromatherapy and hot stone massage where you can choose from over 30 scents depending on your mood.

Warm up in one of several hot whirlpools, in a redwood lined dry-sauna, or the glass enclosed steam room. Being pampered is what this experience is all about and the incredibly friendly staff will make sure you have everything you need from warm towels to cool drinks. Of course, the offerings of massages, facials, manicures, and body wraps are the ultimate way to melt away any stress you have left after a night of fun on the Vegas strip.

For something even hotter check out the Mirage’s new Volcano show that runs every hour on the hour form 5 p.m. until 11 p.m. This free show has been around for a while, but has been recently re-made with more fire power and set to music to rival the famous Bellagio dancing waters. “Fire shooters” erupt from the lagoon and “lava” rolls down the side with enough heat to feel it from the viewing area. The music, done by legendary Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, choreographed to the fiery explosions.

With all these new things to do and see in Vegas and the deals on hotels, now is the time to head to this dessert playground. Hotels are desperate to fill their rooms and just a quick search on will show you dozens of never before seen special offers on even the most high-end hotels. Buy two nights, get one free and buy two nights and get a show for free are just some of the great offers now available.

Dan Dawson is a travel journalist and dedicated world traveler who has written articles for many publications on adventures abroad. He is also the marketing manager for the Big Blue Bus. Tell him about your favorite vacation spot at

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