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.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Safe, Happy, and Healthy Travels

Experiencing new cultures and exploring new places are great ways to exercise the brain and may even contribute to healthy aging, according to the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. But, it’s hard explore and enjoy a destination if you become ill while on vacation. Fortunately, there are tips you can follow to stay healthy, even some things you can do before you leave home to put yourself on track for a safe, healthy journey.

Whether you’re traveling inside or outside North America, consider a pretravel medical checkup – doctors recommend this be done four to six weeks before departure. In addition to a physical exam, your doctor can help you assess any potential health risks you may encounter at your destination. Be sure to discuss any special health needs and how to handle them while you’re traveling. Your doctor may recommend vaccinations for some destinations.

Jet lag – the disruption to your body rhythms that result from rapid travel through time zones – can affect travelers of all ages, and older adults may take longer to recover. You may be able to minimize jet lag by adjusting your sleep schedule to that of your destination a few days before you leave. If that’s not possible, try to shift to the local schedule as soon as you arrive.

Jet lag and excitement can contribute to traveler’s diarrhea, which can also result from contaminated food or water. It often goes away in a day or two with no special treatment. Instead of preventive medications, most doctors recommend frequent hand washing, drinking only bottled beverages or liquids that have been boiled, eating fruits and vegetables that have been washed and peeled, and eating meat that has been properly cooked.

If you exercise regularly, continue that routine while traveling. Ask your Cruise Holidays personal travel expert about exercise facilities available on your cruise ship or at your hotel, then pack what you need to take advantage of them: athletic shoes, exercise clothes, or a swimsuit. Even if there are no facilities where you’re going, pack your walking shoes; and, items like jump-ropes or resistance bands can be used anywhere.

Vacation is a time to let go of the stresses of daily life and enjoy yourself, but don’t forget to follow common-sense safety practices. Mayo Clinic says injury is the most common cause of preventable death among travelers. Safety practices such as wearing seat belts, having a companion when going out at night, and controlling alcohol intake will help keep you safe on vacation, as they do at home.

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Cruise Myths: Seasickness

If you’re worried that you won’t enjoy a cruise because you’ll get seasick – a form of motion sickness that results from the rolling motion of a ship – be assured that it’s not an automatic effect of cruising.

Some people may be susceptible to seasickness, but many are never bothered by it. There will be rocking or other movement of the ship from time to time, but you may be surprised by how gentle that motion can be. In addition, your ship will be specially equipped to minimize rolling, and there’s a lot you can do before and during the cruise to guard against seasickness.

All modern cruise ships have stabilizers attached to the hull, which reduce any rolling (side-to-side motion) of the ship. Stabilizers use sensors to automatically position themselves to best counteract the rolling effect of waves; the captain and crew can also control the position of stabilizers as needed. Plus, the ship’s officers are trained to set a course that will minimize pitching (front-to-back movement) as well as rolling.

While making cruise reservations, you can book a stateroom in the most stable part of the ship. Ask your travel professional for assistance.

Before you depart, consult with your doctor about anti-seasickness medications. Your doctor may recommend an antihistamine, available over the counter; or, a prescription adhesive patch, which can provide several days of protection.

If you don’t know whether or not you are susceptible to seasickness, give yourself a chance to find out. The excitement of getting familiar with the ship and attending the launch party may help distract you from any potential seasickness; before you know it, you’ll be out at sea and having a wonderful time! If you do feel nausea or other symptoms, Mayo Clinic recommends taking these steps:

* Sit on deck for a while and focus on the horizon. Keep your head still and rest it against the back of the deck chair.

* Avoid spicy or greasy foods and alcohol; ask a waiter for some dry crackers or a carbonated beverage to help settle your stomach.

* Take an antihistamine (be prepared for drowsiness as a side effect) or put on your patch.

Chances are, you’ll soon feel better and will adjust to the motion of the ship. Bon voyage!

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Try a Singles Cruise

Are you ready to take a cruise vacation, but wish you had someone to travel with? One option for single travelers, available through your personal cruise travel expert at Cruise Holidays, makes it easy to enjoy a fun and companionable cruise vacation.

Cruise Holidays’ Singles Cruise program ensures that you’ll meet the other singles on your ship. You’ll attend a welcome reception to receive your singles cruise ID and a schedule of private events organized just for the group by professional cruise directors. Social activities will include lively cocktail mixers, lectures, themed parties, poolside get-togethers and deck games. You’ll dine with the group in a specially reserved area. And, you can participate in optional shore excursions, pre-cruise hotel stays, and a pre-cruise meet-and-greet. There’s also a private online message board you can use to get to know other singles before you even step onto the ship.

In addition, all of the amenities of the ship will be available for you to enjoy with other singles, including shows, live music and dancing, movies and deck parties.

Most singles cruise groups are open to those aged 21 or older. Some cruises are reserved for age-specific singles groups, such as “20s and 30s” and “over 40s.” And, the ratio of men to women is usually close to 50/50.

The number of singles on a cruise usually ranges from 50 to 150, depending on the destination and season. But, the most popular singles’ cruise of the year – Halloween – can draw as many as 500. For singles who don’t wish to pay a single-occupancy fare, a special service will match you with a single non-smoking roommate (of the same gender and, when possible, similar age) at no extra charge.

Cruise Holidays offers single cruisers a variety of destinations, itineraries, ships and cruise lines. How about a five-day Caribbean cruise to Key West and Grand Cayman Island? Or, a 12-night sailing of the Mediterranean, with stops in Gibraltar, Lisbon, Barcelona, Sevilla and other fabulous ports?

Thanks to close relationships with the cruise lines, Cruise Holidays can often accommodate last-minute reservations. So, even if it’s less than a month before the scheduled departure, give Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise, expert a call.

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Explore Ireland

The island of Ireland, with shorelines on the Atlantic Ocean, the Celtic Sea and the Irish Sea, is an emerald-green land of with thousands of years of history. And, it can be explored via a cruise.

The picturesque fishing village of Dunmore East is the port for Waterford, although some ships can glide up the river right into the city center. Many visitors go directly to the House of Crystal, which offers factory tours and sparkling displays of world-famous Waterford Crystal. Waterford also has lots of historic structures; one even dates from the Viking occupation of Ireland’s coast. To feel as though you stepped back into the Middle Ages, take an excursion to Kilkenny and stately Kilkenny Castle.

The vibrant city of Dublin is a center of business, higher education and the arts, with wonderful parks, restaurants and shopping. After your ship docks at Maritime House on the North Wall Quay, it’s a 10-minute ride to the city center. One popular shore excursion is a drive through the city to see landmarks like St. Stephen’s Green, the city’s main park; Trinity College, Ireland’s oldest university; the Georgian-style Custom House; and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, built in honor of Ireland’s patron saint. For a more active excursion, choose a walking tour of historic sites, including pubs where you can sample Irish beer.

The Northern Ireland city of Belfast suffered during three decades of conflict known as “The Troubles” between nationalists and unionists, but has been revitalized. The city is the historic center of Ireland’s linen industry, and you can still purchase high-end linens there or at the Irish Linen Centre in nearby Lisburn. The ill-fated Titanic was built in the old Harland & Wolff shipyard, a site now occupied by Titanic Belfast, a museum dedicated to the Titanic and its sister ships, the Olympic and the Brittanic. For some gorgeous coastal scenery, take an excursion to Giant’s Causeway, where polygonal columns of basalt might be the stepping stones of a giant (but were more likely formed by the rapid cooling of molten basalt.)

Many cruises that visit Ireland also sail to other ports in the British Isles; longer itineraries may include the Faroe Islands and Iceland. For more information on exploring the Emerald Isle by cruise, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

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