Cruise Holidays - Attheta Travel

I am proud to be certified by CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) as an Elite Cruise Counselor. The Cruise Counselor Certification Program is CLIA's most comprehensive training which requires agents to successfully complete a number of compulsory training courses and exams, attend cruise conferences, and conduct ship inspections. Anita Thompson, Attheta Travel

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cruising to Grand Cayman

All that’s best about the Caribbean – white sand beaches, azure waters, colorful sea life, graceful palm trees – is found in abundance on Grand Cayman island, a popular cruise ship destination. Grand Cayman is the largest of three islands that form the Cayman Islands. Christopher Columbus called then “Las Tortugas” after the sea turtles he saw in the water there.

Cruise ships anchor in Grand Cayman’s harbor and transport passengers to the island by tender boat. You’ll step off the tender right in downtown George Town, a historic, bustling city that is the offshore banking center of the Caribbean. The shopping is great along Cardinal Avenue, where you can find handcrafted jewelry, antiques and duty-free goods. Near the town is Seven Mile Beach, a long and lovely stretch of sand positioned between the water and a lineup of restaurants, cafes and water sports rental shops.

Several Grand Cayman attractions are designed to let you get close to nature. At the Cayman turtle farm, you can observe five types of endangered green sea turtles. Or, follow the 200-year-old Mastic Trail for a two-mile trip through a subtropical forest, complete with a mangrove swamp, towering mahogany trees and swaying palms; watch for birds such as the Grand Cayman parrot. If you want to spend your time in the water, there are dozens of diving sites around the island. Rum Point is a great place to swim, snorkel, or snooze in a hammock.

Many tours of the island make a stop in Hell, named for a forbidding field of sharp black rocks. Step inside the red-painted gift shop and post office if you’d like to send a postcard from Hell.

Some cruise lines offer excursions to the other two Cayman Islands, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac. For example, you can swim and snorkel at Point of Sand on Little Cayman, known for its pink sand.

Cruise ships that visit Grand Cayman often call on Jamaica and Cozumel, Mexico, as well. To learn more about how you can visit idyllic Grand Cayman, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Attractive Incentives for Cruising

Everything about a cruise provides incentive to take a cruise: fabulous destinations, comfortable accommodations, sumptuous dining and much more. Still, cruise lines are sweetening the pot for travelers by offering a variety of incentives that add even more value to a cruise vacation.

When Cruise Holidays recently asked its cruise experts which incentives are most attractive to their clients, onboard credits were the top choice. Essentially, onboard credits are “free money” to spend as you like on the ship. You can use the credits to pay for optional “extras” usually not included in the base price of a cruise, such as beverages, spa treatments, shore excursions or merchandise from onboard shops. Depending on the cruise line, ship and itinerary, onboard credits can range from $25 to thousands of dollars per stateroom. Your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can help you find out if you qualify for any onboard credit offers.

 According to Cruise Holidays’ experts, free airfare to and from the cruise ship’s home port is the second most attractive incentive. This type of incentive might be especially attractive if you live a significant distance from the port.

 “Two-for-one” pricing is almost as popular an incentive as free airfare. With this type of incentive, you’ll pay one full cruise ship fare and pay nothing for the second passenger in your cabin.

According to the Cruise Holidays professionals, some clients favor incentives such as early booking discounts; special amenities, such as a complimentary bottle of wine or dinner at an onboard specialty restaurant; or a free fare for the third or fourth person in a stateroom.

Your opportunities to receive extra incentives cruise may increase if you are a member of a cruise line’s “frequent cruisers” club, if you sail with a group, or if you agree to receive special cruise offers via e-mail. If you receive multiple incentive offers, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert about which is the best for you.