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, July 27, 2020

Cruise Recipes You Can Make at Home

Shipboard cuisine has always been among the many pleasures of cruising. And while cruise menus have become more conscious about nutrition through the years, they’ve also become more global, drawing on the flavors and ingredients native to cruise destinations.
If you’re missing the delicious tastes you’ve experienced on a cruise, try your hand at producing some of them in your own kitchen. Not all cruise ship recipes translate easily to home cooking, but here are three, shared by three different cruise lines, that you can try.

Disney Cruise Line’s Avocado-Citrus Salad
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 lime, juiced
2/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
·         Combine orange juice and lime juice in a medium bowl. Slowly drizzle in oil, salt and pepper, whisking vigorously until combined. If making in advance, re-whisk before serving.
4 navel oranges
3 ripe Hass avocados, halved and pitted
6 cups mixed baby lettuce
·         Cut peel, including the white pith, from the oranges with a small knife. Cut segments free from membranes; set segments aside and discard membranes.
·         Cut avocadoes into 3/4-inch-thick slices.
·         Divide mixed greens among 4 salad bowls. Top with 5 avocado slices and 5 to 8 orange segments; drizzle lightly with dressing. Serve immediately.

Viking Cruises’ Norwegian-Style Meatballs
1 lb lean ground beef
½ lb ground pork
1 large egg
¾ cups panko
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ginger
⅛ tsp allspice
½ cup milk
1 cup yellow onion, minced
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
6 tbsp butter, divided
¼ cup flour
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
¼ cup red wine

·         Combine beef, pork and egg in a large bowl; make a well in the center and add breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, ginger, allspice and milk; let stand 2 minutes.
·         Add onion and parsley and mix together with your hands until completely incorporated; form into 1-inch balls.

·         Place 2 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium high, and working in batches, brown meatballs on all sides until cooked through, about 8 minutes per batch.

·         Transfer to a serving bowl; cover loosely to keep warm.

·         Reduce heat to medium, place remaining butter in skillet, add flour and stir to form a thick paste.
·         Cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes; then whisk in broth and wine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat; simmer until thickened, about 7 minutes.

·         Pour over meatballs, tossing to coat. Serve immediately.

Royal Caribbean’s Coconut Ranger Cookies
600 grams all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
500 grams unsalted butter, softened
500 grams brown sugar
80 grams dried coconut, shredded
100 milliliters coconut milk
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
·         Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C).
·         In a bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda.
·         In another bowl, beat butter with brown sugar until smooth.
·         Beat in eggs one by one until well blended.
·         Mix in the coconut milk and vanilla extract.
·         Fold in dry mixture of flour and baking soda, and then the dried coconut until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
·         Using an ice-cream scoop or 1/4-cup measure, scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet and shape into a circular shape.
·         Bake until slightly puffed but barely colored, 9-12 minutes.

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Monday, July 20, 2020

The Most Popular Shipboard Spa Treatments

Your next cruise can be made even more relaxing and rejuvenating with a visit to the ship’s spa. These are wonderful spaces equipped with facilities, equipment, operators and amenities that rival the poshest spas on land. They’re so popular that appointments can fill quickly, so make your appointment on embarkation day, if you can.

If you’re not sure which spa experience you’d like to try, we’ve got the skinny on the most-requested pampering treatments.

Massages. Massage is the practice of using hands to rub and knead the body, easing tension and pain. Most shipboard spas offer a few different types of massage; if you haven’t had one before, try a Swedish massage, a gentle type of full-body massage. In a hot stone massage, the masseuse uses heated stones in addition to hands to help improve blood flow and promote relaxation. An aromatherapy massage adds essential oils to help boost your mood.

A deep tissue massage uses more pressure than a Swedish massage, seeking to relieve tension in the deepest layers of your muscles and tissues. Some spas offer shiatsu, a Japanese style of massage in which the masseuse puts rhythmic pressure on certain points of your body. Thai massage uses a series of yoga-like stretches to relax you. Couples massages are very popular, not only because you can enjoy the process with a partner, but because they often include access to additional spa facilities, from saunas to solariums.

Facials. Deep cleaning of facial skin, followed by moisturizing, is next in popularity. If you haven’t had one before, start with the gentlest facial on the menu; more intense facials may leave your face feeling a bit tender if you’re not used to them. Most ship’s spas offer a menu of facials, some using vitamins or other substances to help purify the skin.

Scrubs and Wraps. Scrubs that exfoliate the skin and wraps that detoxify the skin round out the top shipboard spa treatments. Either treatment may use salt, herbs and other botanicals, or even mud to soften and nourish the skin.

Some spas also offer treatments like reiki, reflexology and acupuncture. Your ship’s spa may offer cosmetic services, such as teeth whitening or cellulite reduction. Many shipboard spas include salons that offer hairstyling and coloring, manicures and pedicures.

Spa facilities and services do vary by ship, even among ships from the same cruise line. Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, for more information about ships will provide a lovely spa experience.

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Monday, July 13, 2020

Cruising Is an Ideal Choice for Travelers with Mobility Issues

Issues with mobility are common, and they should not be a barrier to a delightful vacation. Because cruise lines strive to welcome everyone who wants to cruise, they’ve been working for years to make cruising more comfortable for passengers who need special mobility accommodations.

Still, it’s wise to do a little research in order to select a ship, stateroom and itinerary that best fit your mobility needs. Your professional travel advisor can help.

Here are some things to consider:

The ship. Look for a ship that has plenty of elevators to get you from deck to deck. And, look at where the elevators are located – smaller banks of elevators spaced along the length of the ship may be better than a larger but centrally located bank, which could give you long trips down the hallways. If you’ll need a wheelchair or scooter in order to navigate the hallways and common areas on the ship, you’ll need to bring your own (either owned or rented). Most major cruise lines have a few wheelchairs on board, but they are used only for boarding and off-boarding.

Also, check into seating areas in the ship’s dining venues and other common areas to make sure they can accommodate your wheelchair or other mobility equipment. Some ships even have lifts that help people with limited mobility into pools and hot tubs.

The stateroom. Accessible staterooms are usually significantly larger than standard staterooms. They are often equipped with wider doorways, lower closet rods and bathroom sinks, and roll-in showers with grab bars and fold-down seats. These staterooms are often located close to elevators, too. Some newer ships have accessible staterooms with automatic doors and enough turning radius for a wheelchair in the sleeping, sitting and bathroom areas.

But, remember that the number of accessible staterooms available on any ship is limited. So, it’s good to begin your search and select your ship and stateroom as far in advance as possible.

The excursions. Most cruise lines offer accessible shore excursions – not every excursion can welcome people who have mobility issues, but there should be some options to choose from in most ports. Shore excursion descriptions usually include notes about how strenuous they are and whether they are suited for someone with mobility issues.

Do your research, but also visit the shore excursion desk after you board your ship; the specialists there will have more details to help you pick the excursions that are best for you.

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Monday, July 6, 2020

The Mississippi River: An Exciting Cruise Opportunity

The Mississippi River, flowing more than 2,300 miles from Northern Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, has been a vital waterway for centuries. During its long history, the mighty river has been an essential source of life and transportation for Native American cultures; has served as the western border of the young United States; was a gateway north to freedom for American Slaves; and is still regarded as the unofficial dividing line between the Eastern and Western U.S.

Lined by major cities and historic river towns, woodlands and agricultural plains, the river is a fascinating cruise destination overflowing with history and culture. That’s exciting to travelers who are looking for a great vacation experience within U.S. borders.

The river’s length is such that many cruises focus on one of three sections, generally defined as Upper (St. Paul, Minn., to St. Louis, Mo.), Middle (St. Louis, Mo., to Memphis, Tenn.) and Lower (Memphis, Tenn., to New Orleans, La.). The segment you choose to cruise may depend on the time of year you want to sail. Cruises on the Lower Mississippi are more popular outside the warmest months of July and August, while those can be the best months to sail the Middle and Upper sections.

Plan on a five- to seven-day cruise to see one section of the river; if you have two weeks, you can sail all the way from St. Paul to New Orleans (or the reverse). Whatever itinerary you choose, it will be a port-intensive experience rich in history and culture. What can you expect to see?

·         In addition to New Orleans, the Lower Mississippi offers a look at plantation life in rural Louisiana; Louisiana capitol of Baton Rouge, steeped in Creole and Cajun culture; and the Civil War battlefields at Vicksburg, Miss.

·         Middle Mississippi cruises feature the Blues and BBQ of Memphis, Tenn., and may also call on New Madrid, Mo., originally a Spanish settlement; and Paducah, Ky., which has a 20-block historic downtown.

·         The Upper Mississippi offers what some consider to be the best scenery along the river, especially when the trees change color in early fall. In addition to the great river cities of St. Louis and St. Paul, ports may include the historic towns of Hannibal, Mo.; Dubuque, Ia., and Red Wing, Minn.

Along with a range of itineraries, there are a variety of cruise lines and elegant, comfortable river cruise ships for you to choose from. To explore your options, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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