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, dba Cruise Holidays.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top Cruise Stories of 2011

It’s been a good year for cruising: the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) estimates a total passenger count of about 16 million aboard its 25 member cruise lines in 2011, up from 15 million last year. And, most ships have been sailing at 100% occupancy.

According to CLIA’s research, one of the things that motivates people to take a cruise – in addition to value for their money and positive past cruise experiences – is their interest in new ships. Disney Cruise Line launched a highly anticipated new ship this year, its first in more than a decade. The Disney Dream has a terrific watercoaster called the AquaDuck, redesigned kids’ clubs, and more space dedicated to teens and the electronic games they love. For adults, a new French restaurant, Remy, has received excellent reviews.

Oceania Cruises introduced the Marina, which carries up to 1,258 passengers, making it about twice as large as the line’s other ships. Standard staterooms offer numerous amenities and gorgeous marble baths with separate showers and tubs. But, if you want jaw-droppingly spectacular accommodations, book a 2,500-square-foot Owner’s Suite, which features views out both the port and starboard sides of the ship.

The Celebrity Silhouette joined Celebrity Cruises’ popular Solstice class of ships, with some new features in and around the Lawn Club. At the Lawn Club Grill, passengers can select a cut of meat and grill it themselves with assistance from the Silhouette’s chefs. Eight cabana-style alcoves around the Lawn Club offer a relaxing spot for to four people each. And, a new Art Studio at the entrance to the Lawn Club is used for demonstrations and classes in painting, drawing and mixology.

While these new ships cruise the oceans of the world, 2011 also saw growing interest in river cruising, especially along European and Asian rivers such as the Danube, the Rhine, the Volga, the Yangtze and the Mekong. River cruise ships are designed to be able to dock in the historic heart of cities and towns not reachable by ocean cruise ships. And, the design of river cruise ships is evolving to provide an even better experience for guests. Some ships scheduled to debut during the next few years promise larger staterooms with full-size balconies, allowing guests to enjoy every moment of the ever-changing scenery along the river banks.

For more information on experiencing the value and fun of cruising in 2012, whether on an ocean or a river, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.