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, February 26, 2018

What to Expect when Cruising the Nile

If you’re interested in an exotic river cruise, think about sailing the Nile. This iconic river is 4,184 miles long and is believed to have supported the development of civilization by enabling the growth of crops like wheat, flax and papyrus. The Nile winds through nine nations in East Africa, but river cruise ships sail the portion that’s most fascinating to visitors: the area between Aswan and Luxor, Egypt, home to amazing antiquities and historic sites.

At Aswan, you can visit the famous Aswan High Dam, which helps control flooding along the Nile and make crop irrigation possible all year long. Stone quarried near Aswan was used to create many of the colossal statues, obelisks and other shrines sprinkled throughout Egypt. The largest ancient obelisk of all – about 137 feet long – lies unfinished in an Aswan quarry, offering an unusual look at ancient Egyptian stoneworking techniques. You can also visit the Nubian Museum, dedicated to the ancient Nubian civilization of the central Nile valley.

At Luxor, on the site of the ancient city of Thebes, you’ll find the Karnak Temple Complex, an ancient religious site with massive pillars and architraves and intricately carved friezes. The Luxor Temple Complex was dedicated to kingship and may be where the kings of Egypt were crowned. Across the river from the temple complexes lies the West Bank Necropolis, where Egypt’s pharaohs were entombed in the Valley of the Kings and their wives in the Valley of the Queens.

Some itineraries include a night in Cairo before or after the Nile cruise. It’s an absolutely fascinating city with beautiful architecture, one of the world’s largest bazaars, and the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities. Cairo is also a starting point for excursions to the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx.

The best time to cruise the Nile is November through March: away from the intense heat of summer, though it will still be very warm. Bring a hat and lightweight clothing that will shield you from the midday sun, plus a sweater for the evening cooldown. Note that in Egypt’s a conservative Muslim culture, it’s respectful for visitors – both women and men – to wear clothing that covers the upper arms and legs.

For more information about a cruise down the Nile contact Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Get to Know China via Cruise

There are now more options for cruises that will introduce you to the culture and beauty of China, thanks to increased demand from North American and Chinese travelers. In fact, the number of East Asia cruises – which often include ports in Japan, South Korea and China – has increased 22% in the past three years, according to the Cruise Lines International Association.

Popular ports in China include Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. What can you expect to see?

Beijing is China’s sprawling, historic capital city. Your ship will dock in Tianjin for a transfer to Beijing, about 100 miles away. At Beijing’s heart is the Forbidden City (ordinary people were forbidden to enter without special permission), home to China’s emperors for nearly 500 years. It includes dozens of palaces and nearly 1,000 buildings in all. Just to the south, Tiananmen Square is one of the world’s largest public squares and the site of several historic events. Many cruise itineraries include an overnight stay in Beijing, which makes it possible to make an excursion to the Great Wall.

Shanghai lies at the mouth of the Yangtze River (a favorite river cruise destination). Once a tiny fishing village, Shanghai is now a modern metropolis. Skyscrapers form a wonderful backdrop for the colonial-era buildings along The Bund, a waterfront district that’s a center of banking and business. Visit the Old City, which has been Shanghai’s urban core since the 12th century: don’t miss the Yuyuan Gardens and the City God Temple. You can also take an excursion to Mt. Jiu Hua, one of the four sacred mountains of Chinese Buddhism, where there are many beautiful shrines and temples.

Hong Kong, formerly a British Colony, is a well-established cruise destination. It’s easy to see why, starting with the juxtaposition of ancient temples that lie in the shadows cast by modern skyscrapers. This is a vertical city with an incredible skyline, best seen by taking a ferry across Victoria Harbor. The shopping is first-rate, as is the food. You can work off your dim sum or afternoon Victorian tea by riding a funicular up Victoria Peak and taking a hike while taking in the sweeping views.

Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can help you choose from the array of East Asia cruise itineraries. Watch for overnight stays in one or more of these Chinese ports so that you can enjoy the evening light show in Hong Kong, the night markets in Beijing, and much more.

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Monday, February 12, 2018

Insuring Your Cruise

Insuring Your Cruise

When you’re looking forward to a cruise, you don’t want to think about anything going wrong. But there are some events, which neither you or the cruise line can control, that could disrupt your vacation: extreme weather, airline delays, illness, lost luggage, etc. The good news is that you can easily protect yourself by purchasing travel insurance.

And, insurance is important for any cruise – not just the extravagantly expensive ones. It’s available for cruises of all types and all lengths. It’s not as expensive as you may think, either: the cost will be a small percentage of the cost of the cruise.

Depending on the coverage you purchase, travel insurance can provide reimbursement for:

·         An illness that forces you to cancel your trip.

Medical treatment while on the cruise: your usual health insurance provider may not cover care needed while you are out of the country, or may cover only part of the cost.

Loss of or delay in receiving your baggage.

Identity theft protection if any of the personal documents you’re required to bring, including your passport, go missing.

Emergency medical evacuation from the ship: fortunately, this is a rare occurrence, but the cost can be significant if you’re not covered

A missed flight or flight delay that causes you to miss your ship.

Job loss that leads you or a companion to cancel your trip for financial reasons.

 Cancellation of a cruise due to bad weather, acts of war or terrorist violence (another rare occurrence, but it’s good to be covered).

Some insurance providers provide optional coverage that goes a step farther: for example, you can buy coverage the allows you to cancel for any reason, including simply changing your mind. Add-ons do raise the cost of the insurance, so be sure they make sense for you.

What can’t be covered? It would be nice, but there’s no way to insure good weather for your cruise, or that your itinerary won’t change a little. It’s disappointing to skip a port that you looked forward to seeing, but when the captain decides to skip a port or visit an alternate, it’s most often to avoid rough weather and to keep you and your companions safe.

Before buying insurance directly from your cruise line, make a comparison with products from third-party insurers like Allianz, Travel Guard by AIG, Chubb Travel Protection and Travel Insured International. Third-party insurance can be more inclusive than the policies offered by the cruise lines. Anita, Your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert, can help you review all of your choices.

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Monday, February 5, 2018

Pick the Right Stateroom

You’re ready to take a cruise and it’s time to pick a stateroom! Take a pause; this isn’t something that should be done quickly. In general, your choice will be guided by your budget. But, in addition to determining the category of stateroom that you can afford (which will also dictate what deck you’re on), you need to consider your stateroom’s location.

To make your choice, it’s helpful to understand some of the terminology of cruise ship staterooms.

Cabin, Stateroom, Suite. Cabin and stateroom are used interchangeably to refer to accommodations on a cruise ship. A suite is a type of cabin or stateroom that usually offers more space and amenities, and often has a balcony as well.

Inside or Outside. Cabins and staterooms can be located either in the interior of the ship (inside) or along the exterior walls of the ship (outside). Inside cabins have no windows. Passengers choose these cabins because they are budget-friendly; because they don’t mind the lack of windows; or because they love to be on deck or on shore all day and use their cabins just to sleep. Outside cabins offer a window, ranging from a small porthole to expansive floor-to-ceiling windows, depending on the deck.

Veranda or Balcony. These are really the same thing: a private space on the exterior of your cabin where you can enjoy the fresh sea air and views. That said, the term veranda implies a larger space that is covered; some ships offer both balconies and verandas, others use the terms interchangeably.

Port and Starboard. Left (port) and right (starboard), as you face toward the front of the ship. Being port or starboard can be important if you’ll cruise through a scenic area and want to take in the view from your stateroom.

Fore, Midship, Aft. The front, middle and back of the ship. Midship is preferred by people who tend to feel motion sickness: even with great stabilizers, the ship’s movement can be more noticeable in the fore and aft sections. Reasons to go fore or aft include the potential for larger balconies and easier access to fitness centers and spas (they tend to be fore) or dining rooms (they tend to be aft).

There may be more to consider: for example, if you have mobility issues, you may want to be near an elevator; if you’re a light sleeper, you may want to be away from the elevators. Fortunately, Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can help you make sense of it all and pick the stateroom that’s best for you.

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