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

Monday, September 26, 2011

Advice for the Single Cruiser

Cruise line literature often includes pictures of couples and families having a wonderful time on board, but cruising is a terrific getaway for single people, too. If you don’t like to travel on your own, a cruise will automatically make you part of an onboard community where it’s easy to find people to chat, dine or dance with: but, you always have the option of spending time on your own. For example, you can curl up in a cozy corner with a good book, relax in the sun, attend a lecture, take in a cooking demonstration or enjoy a pampering skin treatment in the onboard spa.
 
Here are a few things to take into consideration as you look for the right cruise opportunity for you:

o   Many single travelers choose smaller ships, where it can be easier to find other singles on board. Some of today’s mega-ships carry more than 5,000 passengers, which can make it a bit more difficult to find other singles (though there are sure to be plenty of friendly couples and families, too). On smaller ships, you’ll encounter the same people more often, which can be helpful to making new friendships. Keep in mind that many smaller ships sail for luxury lines, which can mean higher cost and a more mature clientele, too.

o   Most cruise ships only offer staterooms designed for two or more. A single cruiser can book one of these staterooms, but most cruise lines will charge extra – as much as 100% of the double-occupancy fare (the fare they would collect if the cabin was booked for two). However, some cruise lines limit this extra charge to 50% or less of the fare they would charge for a second person, and some ships even have cabins designed and priced for solo travelers. Norwegian Cruise Line’s Epic has an unusually large number of staterooms – 128 – just for solo passengers, who also receive access to a chic social space called the Studios Lounge. If you don’t mind sharing a stateroom, some cruise lines offer roommate matching services, which will keep costs down for both of you.

o   Many ships offer special events that help singles meet, such as singles-only cocktail receptions. Some cruise lines, like Crystal Cruises, have “gentlemen hosts” on board to serve as dance partners and shore excursion escorts. At dinner, Seabourn seats all single travelers at tables hosted by the ship’s officers, entertainers or entertainment staff, ensuring lively conversation.

o   There are also companies, such as SinglesCruise.com, that organize entire cruise vacations for groups of singles. They host exclusive parties and mixers open to their group of singles only.

Still, the amount of socializing you do is really up to you. If you want to meet others, join in games and enrichment programs on board; let the cruise director know that you’re looking for other singles to socialize with; and sign up for a shore excursion, which will give you a shared (and fun) experience with other passengers. For more ideas and tips for single cruising, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert. Cruise Holidays is also able to help you arrange a singles trip with SinglesCruise.com.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Enoying Roatán, Honduras

Roatán, one of the world’s best locations for snorkeling and diving, is also a popular cruise destination. Roatán is the largest of the Bay Islands group, located about 30 miles off the coast of Honduras in the Western Caribbean. The island is bordered by the world’s second-largest barrier reef, but there is more to this 36-mile long island than world-class diving.

Through the centuries, Roatán has been settled by travelers from the Honduran mainland, former Afro-Carib slaves and colonists from Great Britain and Spain, which has made the island quite diverse. Coxen Hole, the capital of the Bay Islands and a center of politics and business, is a starting point for tours of Roatan’s villages, flower farms, mangrove tunnels and lovely beaches.

The Sandy Bay community offers a number of cultural attractions, including the Institute of Marine Sciences (where dolphin encounters can be arranged as a cruise line shore excursion) and the Carambola Botanical Gardens. French Harbor is the center of the island’s busy fishing industry and home to an iguana reserve that provides great photo opportunities. Punta Gorda is a settlement of the Garifuna people, descendents of African slaves who settled on Roatán in the late 1700s, who maintain their unique Garifuna customs and culture. Visitors are welcome.

While there’s a lot to see and do on the island itself, it’s hard to resist devoting your time to the gorgeous turquoise water and sandy beaches of Roatán. In addition to snorkeling and diving among colorful sea life, you can enjoy sunning, swimming, kayaking, charter fishing trips or glass bottom boat tours.

Roatán is on many Western Caribbean cruise itineraries, which often include Belize, the Cayman Islands and Jamaica, too. Talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert about an itinerary that will allow you to experience the wonderful island of Roatán.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What Cruisers Want

When you think about booking a cruise, what’s most important to you? Is it the accommodations, the dining options, the shore excursions, the onboard entertainment? To find out what’s most important to the majority of cruise enthusiasts, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) recently conducted a survey of nearly 900 travel agents who specialize in cruise vacations.

According to the agents, shipboard accommodations are their clients’ most important consideration. They consider price, amenities, Wi-Fi access, the availability of adjoining rooms and even the quality of the bedding.

Cuisine was second on the list, and the agents reported that almost 75 percent of clients look for ships with alternatives to the main dining room, such as specialty restaurants or casual “Lido Deck” dining. More clients are also requesting heart-healthy cuisine.

Entertainment placed third, with clients looking for Broadway-style shows, Las Vegas-style revues or famous-name acts on board.

Clients also look at the quality of a ship’s spa facilities. They look for workout facilities, kids-free facilities and wellness features such as saunas, running tracks, group exercise classes and beauty salons.

Finally, clients look at available shore excursions, with the most popular being “sun and sand” experiences like beach excursions, snorkeling and other water sports. City tours and adventure excursions are also popular, followed by shopping tours and cultural experiences.

Whichever aspect of a cruise is most important to you, talk with your Cruise Holidays cruise expert about booking a cruise that meets all of your priorities.

           


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cruising Argentina

With nearly 3,000 miles of coastline that features historic cities, resort towns, inviting sand dunes and imposing cliffs, Argentina provides memorable cruise scenery. Argentinean ports are often included in cruises of South America’s beautiful Atlantic coastline, along with stops in Brazil and Uruguay. Some cruises continue around the continent’s southern tip, Cape Horn, to call on the Andes-backed ports of Chile. Others depart from Ushuaia, Argentina’s southernmost city, to venture to the Falkland Islands or the spectacular, icy world of Antarctica.
 
The Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires has a European heritage, evident in many of its homes and other buildings. It’s often called the “Paris of the South,” and you’ll see Parisian-style boulevards, parks and cafes mixed with Tango clubs. Take a tour of La Recoleta Cemetery to see the extremely grand tombs and crypts, one of which is the resting place of Eva Perón. The recently refurbished Teatro Colón is considered to be one of the world’s finest opera houses. The pink-colored Casa Rosada, the seat of the Argentinean government, has many gorgeously decorated rooms and a presidential museum. If you have the opportunity while in Buenos Aires, treat yourself to some delicious barbecued Argentinean beef.
 
Located between the Martial Mountains and the Beagle Channel, Ushuaia is the southernmost major city in the world, with a population of about 70,000. There are lots of opportunities to hike, bike, horseback ride or fish in Tierra del Fuego National Park and other scenic spots. Or, take a wildlife tour to view sea lions, penguins and other unusual birds. Take a ride on the Tren al Fin del Mundo – the End of the World Train – or visit the Maritime Museum in what was formerly a prison for dangerous criminals and political prisoners.
 
Some cruises to Argentina will you let you to spend extra time on land tours of the Pampas or Patagonia. The Pampas are grass-covered lowlands covered that provide food for the country’s famous beef cattle and support some unique wildlife, such as the ostrich-like rhea. The Pampas also has some fine wineries. Patagonia is a windswept region of steppe-like terraces, dotted with lakes, which rise toward the majestic, glacier-draped Andes Mountains.

To learn more about your options for visiting Argentina via cruise ship, talk with your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert. Keep in mind that wintertime here is summertime there, and a fine time to cruise Argentina.