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, November 23, 2015

Cruise Where the Giant Tortoises Roam

The Galapagos Islands are like no place else on earth. This archipelago of small, volcanic islands are a World Heritage Site, a biological marine reserve, a national park and a province of Ecuador, which lies about 550 miles to the east.

A cruise is an ideal way to visit these special islands. The islands have two small airports, some small hotels, and a few opportunities for camping; but, a luxurious cruise ship provides easy movement between islands, along with comfortable accommodations and exceptional dining.

The cruise lines that can take you to the Galapagos Islands include Celebrity Cruises and Silversea Cruises. The Celebrity Xpedition carries 98 passengers at a time, while the Silver Galapagos accommodates 100 passengers. While both ships are great, the focus of a Galapagos cruise is always on the islands and their incredible flora and fauna, some of which are found nowhere else on earth. The noteworthy island residents include:

·       Marine iguanas, the only type of iguana to forage for food in the sea.
·       Blue-footed boobies, which have bright-blue feet that they show off when courting.
·       Giant tortoises, versions of which used to roam most of the earth; now, you’ll find them only in the Galapagos or the Aldabra Islands in the Indian Ocean.
·       Flightless cormorants, the only type of cormorant that has lost the ability to fly.
·       Galapagos penguins, the world’s only tropical penguin
·       The waved albatross, the world’s only tropical albatross.

Cruise ship routes in the Galapagos are carefully controlled for the protection of the islands’ unique ecology, but there is some variation in itineraries – be sure to compare before you choose.

You can sail to the islands at any time of year, but you may prefer one of the two main seasons. From December through May, the weather is warm (high 80s during the day) and the water is calm. From June through November, a change in ocean currents makes the water and the weather a bit cooler (high 70s during the day). In either season, you can expect a bit of light rain at any time with occasional heavier showers, so pack some lightweight rain gear.

A cruise to the Galapagos, one of the world’s truly distinctive places, is sure to be memorable (and the topic of dinner conversations for many years to come). To find out more about cruising the Galapagos, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

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Monday, November 16, 2015

Cruising is a Great Way to See the World

For those of us who live in North America, cruises of the Caribbean are fantastic vacations. The water, islands and beaches are beautiful; and the weather is almost always welcoming. But as much as people love the Caribbean, remember that there’s a whole world waiting out there; and, you can see a lot of it via the cruise ship.

In recent years, cruise lines have vastly expanded their itineraries to include amazing destinations in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, the South Pacific and beyond. You can visit truly exotic destinations like the Amazon, India, Africa, Greenland and Antarctica via cruise ship, too.

Given the opportunity to sail to so many destinations, cruising is the very best way that you can see the world. Why?

First, cruising is about as worry-free as a vacation can be. Just pick an itinerary that visits a series of ports that interest you, and you’re set. The cruise fare includes your onboard accommodations, dining, entertainment, and sometimes even your airfare.

Second, you’ll visit multiple destinations, effortlessly. When you walk into your stateroom, just unpack, relax and enjoy! There’s no need to plan how to get from one city to another, negotiate border crossings, or deal with language barriers. The captain will move the ship from one fascinating port to another, mostly while you sleep.

Third, you can spend your days exploring on shore while the crew takes care of the housekeeping. After a day of adventure, you’ll return to a clean and refreshed stateroom, with delicious food and an evening of live theater, comedy, or music and dancing waiting for you.

Finally, there are a variety of ways that you can explore on shore. While cruise lines offer a variety of excursions in most of the ports they visit, your Cruise Holidays travel agent can definitely help craft onshore experience to help you learn about and enjoy the destination you are visiting.  You can choose from cultural tours to outdoor adventures to a private guided option.

If you’re ready to cruise beyond the Caribbean, let Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert, introduce you to a whole world of cruise opportunities, including spectacular “world cruises” that visit multiple continents – some even circumnavigate the globe.


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Monday, November 9, 2015

Look Like a Pro on Your First Cruise

Statistics show that a significant number of first-time cruisers become repeat cruisers, because of the overall satisfaction with their vacation experience.

If you are thinking of taking your first cruise, what if you could get onboard knowing the things that veteran cruisers already know? We can help with that! Here are some tips that should help you feel less like a cruise newbie:
·       Study the ship’s deck plans, which most cruise lines publish on their websites. See where the pools, spa, fitness center, dining rooms and restaurants, lounges and shops are located in relation to your stateroom. When you get onboard, you’ll be better able to orient yourself.
·       Read up on the ports you’ll visit. The cruise line will offer pre-arranged shore excursions. However, those excursions don’t always cover the entire time in port or allow for the experience you might like.  Do a little research, but also enlist the expertise of your travel agent to help craft the shore excursions that will delight you.
·       Don’t bring too much cash. You can charge any onboard purchases to your account, which you can settle with a credit card at the end of the cruise. If you want to take some cash when you go on shore, withdraw a small amount from the onboard ATM.
·       Make the most of embarkation day. Some ships offer “embarkation day specials” in their spas and specialty restaurants; take advantage of the opportunity for discounted spa treatments and gourmet dining.
·       Don’t try to skip the required muster drill, a time for you to practice what to do in an emergency. When the alarm sounds, put on the lifejacket you’ll find in your stateroom and report to your muster station. Don’t try to hide in your stateroom – the crew will check to make sure it’s empty.
·       Don’t tip at the bar, because most cruise lines automatically add service charges of 15 percent or more to bar bills (and specialty restaurant bills, too).
Here are a few quick packing tips that will help you look and feel like a cruise veteran. Be sure to bring along:
·       Some clothespins to keep the bright morning sun from coming through where your curtains meet.
·       A nightlight to help you navigate the unfamiliar stateroom in the dark.
·       A highlighter to mark things you want to do in the ship’s daily bulletin.
For even more tips, ask Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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Monday, November 2, 2015

The Best Gift of All: A Holiday Cruise

Cruising during the holidays is absolutely delightful. Onboard, you won’t miss out on any of the festivities, music, food or fellowship that you look forward to at the holidays. In fact, you can expect to enjoy all the fun of a Christmas at home, and then some.

Throughout the holiday season, ships are decorated from bow to stern with glittering ornaments, twinkling lights, Santa, snowmen and more. Photo opportunities abound! The sounds of the season will be heard around the ship: some even invite passengers to form choirs and go caroling.

Most ships offer special holiday dinners on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, featuring roast turkey with savory stuffing and all of the traditional holiday favorites. It will be all the more delicious because you don’t have to shop for it, cook it or clean it up.

On a holiday season cruise, Santa is likely to make an appearance or two. Many cruise lines equip him with special gifts for each of the children onboard, one reason why holiday cruises are so popular with families. If you sail a mainstream line, expect to have lots of happy children onboard; even luxury cruises may have more children and family groups than usual.

Here are a few tips for adding to the merriment of your holiday cruise:

Choose your itinerary carefully. If you want to attend church on shore on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, check the itinerary carefully. Because many onshore businesses and attractions are closed on Christmas Day, some ships spend the day at sea and offer onboard worship services.

Bring a little bling for your stateroom. Don’t bring strings of lights, which could be considered a fire hazard. Instead, bring a few sparkly ornaments or a tiny Christmas tree to decorate your stateroom.

Leave your gifts at home. You won’t want to use your luggage space or limited stateroom storage for gifts. You could bring one small gift for each family member to open on Christmas Day; or, agree to do your gift shopping during the cruise (and have any large purchases shipped home).

Bring small gifts for the crew members who serve you. They are not only away from home during the holidays, they are on duty, too. Some sweets or holiday cards will be appreciated.

To reserve your 2015 holiday cruise, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert soon!

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