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, May 29, 2017

What You Should Know About Seasickness

Just about everyone who has been on a cruise can give you advice about seasickness, whether they have suffered from it or not. But, how do you know which advice is good advice? Read on as we deal with some myths and realities about seasickness and how you can cope if it visits you.

Seasickness is a type of motion sickness, caused by conflicting signals from different senses. Your eyes tell you that your surroundings are still, but the equilibrium sensors in your ears say your surroundings are moving. For some people, the brain and body try to deal with this conflict by shutting down some activities – like digestion, which leads to nausea.

History is full of creative solutions for seasickness, such as:

1.      Gently slap the face of the captain with a flounder (do this three times)
2.      Drink a glass of ice water while standing on one leg
3.      Down a shot of rum before bed on the night before you set sail

Do we even need to say that all of these can be fun to do, but none are proven to work as seasickness remedies? Now that those myths are busted, here are some practical steps you can take:

1.      Don’t close your eyes or try to focus on a book. This won’t help resolve the conflict between your senses, and may make you feel worse. Instead, sit by a window or on deck and focus on the horizon, which can help reset your equilibrium.

2.      Being on deck also has the benefit of putting you in fresh air. Strong smells – even a food or perfume that you usually like – seem to make seasickness worse.

3.      Ask for some green apples and crackers to nibble (cruise ship crew members swear by this drug-free remedy). You can also ask for some ginger tea: ginger has long been a popular home remedy for all types of motion sickness. You can even purchase ginger pills on shore and bring them with you. (By the way, the popular TV show MythBusters found that ginger was the only seasickness remedy that worked well, with no side effects).

4.      Try an over-the-counter anti-seasickness remedy. If you didn’t bring any with you, you can get some from the ship’s medical office or purser’s desk.

Hopefully, these suggestions will provide some immediate relief and your seasickness will pass quickly as you get accustomed to the motion of the ship. Then, you can get on with all the fun of your cruise!

Follow us on Facebook, visit @AtthetaTravel

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sailing from New York

New York, New York, is the city so nice they named it twice – and gave it three cruise ship ports. The Manhattan Cruise Terminal, the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal and the Cape Liberty Cruise Port ensure that there are lots of choices for cruises that sail from this vibrant city. You can catch a ship to the Caribbean at any time of year; there are also seasonal cruises to the Bahamas, Bermuda, New England and Canada.

The Manhattan Cruise Terminal, located in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood, used to be the only port in the New York area where ocean-going cruise ships could dock. Three ships at a time can dock in the piers on the Hudson River, just steps from Hell’s Kitchen and close to all the attractions of Manhattan. Ships from Cunard Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Oceania Cruises, and more dock here.

The Brooklyn Cruise Terminal at Red Hook, located on the Buttermilk Channel, is a former freight terminal re-opened in 2006 to provide more dock space for large cruise ships. Ships from Cunard Line and Princess Cruises often dock here.

Cape Liberty Cruise Port on Upper New York Bay in Bayonne, New Jersey – just seven miles south of Manhattan – completes New York’s trio of cruise ship ports. This former military port transformed into a modern cruise ship terminal in 2004. This port has a bonus: fantastic views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline. Cruise lines that regularly use this terminal include Royal Caribbean, Azamara Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

If you have time before your ship sails, all three ports are well-located for sightseeing. For example, all of them are just a ferry ride away from Liberty Island and the Statue of Liberty, as well as nearby Ellis Island and its Immigration Museum.

New York City is a shopping mecca. You can find anything and everything here, including anything you may have forgotten to pack for your cruise. Or, get a slice of the pizza the city is famous for – offered by lots of small restaurants and street vendors – and enjoy lunch in one of the beautiful parks.

The city’s museums are spectacular, and their immense collections mean you’ll always see something different. Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History, the Whitney Museum of American Art or any number of others.

Whatever you do, enjoy – just don’t get so caught up in the city that you’re late to your ship! To book your sailing from New York, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

Follow us on Facebook, visit @AtthetaTravel

Monday, May 15, 2017

Cruise Trends for 2017

The cruise industry is always evolving to meet the needs and interests of loyal passengers and attract new ones. What can you look forward to in cruising during 2017? Expect to hear more about river cruising, expedition cruising and themed cruising.

River cruising, already a major trend, looks like it will continue to be the big story in 2017. European river cruising is now a regular feature on lists of “top five” cruise destinations; and, river cruise operators are set to expand their list of destinations. Soon, it will be possible to sail a river cruise ship into the heart of Borneo’s rainforest, along Africa’s Chobe and Zambezi rivers, and to the Delta of the Danube (south of Budapest, Hungary).

In addition, river cruises are offering more active options for days in port. In addition to walking and coach tours, passengers on more ships will be able to borrow bikes for touring or kayaks for exploring the riverbanks. Avalon Waterways already offers an itinerary on the Danube that emphasizes active pursuits on shore – including hiking, jogging and canoeing tours – and plans to develop one for the Rhine, too.

There’s also growth in expedition and adventure cruising, which takes passengers to more remote, less-developed destinations: think Antarctica, the Amazon, Myanmar and more. Expedition cruises use smaller vessels that are specially equipped for adventurous destinations: they may have reinforced hulls for breaking ice, or be specially equipped for diving excursions.

Looking ahead to 2018, Crystal Cruises will take delivery of a 200-passenger ship, the Crystal Endeavor, built to sail in the polar regions and equipped with two helicopters for aerial tours; two submarines for deep-sea dives; and a recompression chamber for serious SCUBA divers. That’s adventurous!

Themed cruise choices are on the rise, too. A themed cruises immerses passengers in an event or activity: it could be a popular TV show or music genre, or a hobby like wine tasting, golf or yoga. Your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can help you find a themed cruise that appeals to you: how about a cruise focused on NASCAR (Richard Petty and Bobby Allison are scheduled to be onboard)? There’s also a cruise that celebrates AMC’s popular show about survivors of a zombie apocalypse, “The Walking Dead” (sail with Daryl [Norman Reedus] and other characters). Or, one example of a music themed cruise is the annual “Sail Across the Sun” cruise hosted by Train, with other musical guests.

Stay tuned – there are sure to be more cruise trends emerging in 2017!

Follow us on Facebook, visit @AtthetaTravel

Monday, May 8, 2017

Eastern vs. Western Caribbean

East or West: when you cruise in the Caribbean, which is best?

The Eastern and Western portions of the Caribbean Sea have lots of similarities, but also distinctive characteristics that might influence your choice of Caribbean cruise itinerary. Don’t stress over choosing either East or West, because both will deliver a lovely cruise experience. Still, it’s good to make an informed choice. So, here’s a quick comparison:

Islands. First, let’s define the East and the West. Eastern Caribbean itineraries may include Puerto Rico, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, The Dominican Republic and the French West Indies, Turks and Caicos, St. Kitts, Nevis, Antigua and St. Lucia. Western itineraries may include Jamaica, the Cayman Islands, Cozumel and Roatan, plus coastal ports in Mexico and Belize.

Itineraries. Seven-day itineraries are common for both Eastern and Western sailings. However, Eastern itineraries tend to include more ports, because the islands are closer together. There are usually five ports on a seven-day cruise that departs from Florida, and six on a cruise from Puerto Rico or St. Thomas. Islands and ports are farther apart in the West, so even if you leave from New Orleans or Houston, you’ll visit three or four ports and enjoy a couple of days at sea.

Beaches. Beaches are the biggest attraction in the Eastern Caribbean. There are thousands of beaches; the island of Antigua alone claims to have 365, one for each day of the year. Eastern beaches range from pristine strips of sand where you won’t see another person to large beaches that pulse with activity, music and water sports; and, they’re all lapped by that beautiful turquoise water. The Western Caribbean has beautiful beaches, too, but if you really love beach hopping, the East may be for you.

Activities. If you need diversity in your onshore activities, look to the West. While Eastern cruises have lots of opportunities for beach time and great shopping, Western cruises tend to have a greater variety of activities in each port. There are Mayan ruins to explore, snorkeling and diving excursions around one of the world’s largest coral reefs, underwater caves and deep cenotes for swimming, eco parks, and much more. This variety may give the West the edge, especially if you’re cruising with a group and need lots of activities for different interests and ages.

Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert, will be happy to provide more details on Eastern and Western Caribbean cruises (remember, you can always do one of each!).

Follow us on Facebook, visit @AtthetaTravel