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, September 28, 2020

Being Eco While on Board

 Cruise lines have been working to become even better environmental stewards and to help protect the beautiful blue oceans and rivers that are their pathways. For example, many lines have embraced simple ways to reduce their use of fuel, such as adding sun-resistant coatings to windows; and more complex technologies, such as a system that uses air bubbles to reduce friction between a ship and the sea.


But it’s not just the cruise lines that must strive to be more eco-friendly; passengers can take steps toward ecological sustainability, too. Here are some easy things you can do to be more eco while on board:


Bring your own reusable water bottle, reusable drinking straw, and reusable shopping bag. Having a water bottle you can refill eliminates the waste you would produce by going through multiple plastic bottles of water. And, it’s amazing how many disposable paper or plastic straws you could go through on a cruise; packing your own sturdy, reusable straw will prevent that. A reusable shopping bag won’t take much room in your suitcase. On board, use it to take sunscreen, sunglasses and books to the pool deck; on shore, use it to collect your purchases and tote them back to the ship.


Use the app. Instead of asking for paper receipts and schedules while you’re on board, use your cruise line’s app to check your account, details of the day’s entertainment and dining options, and deck plans.


Use your towels and sheets for more than a day. To save on water and soap usage, talk with your room steward about leaving your towels and bed linens in place until you ask for them to be changed.


Make good use of recycling bins. It takes only a moment to sort your waste into the proper bins for paper, plastic, glass and cans. Some ships even have composting bins where you can dispose of food scraps.


Be mindful of your energy usage. Just as you would at home, turn off the lights in your cabin when you don’t need them and unplug electronics that aren’t being used. If you have a window or balcony door, open it to the breeze and turn off the air conditioning.


While all major cruise lines have eco-friendly programs, some might catch your interest more than others. Talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, about what your favorite cruise lines are doing to contribute to a greener planet.


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Monday, September 21, 2020

Prepare to Cruise

 Fixing Up Your Cabin

 Compact but comfortable, cruise ship cabins are quite well-equipped. But, there are a few little tricks for making your cozy cabin feel bigger and more functional.

 Before you leave home

The best way you can make any cruise ship cabin feel larger and more well-organized is to pack as lightly as you can for your cruise. Bring clothes you can mix, match and wear more than once. And, bring only what you know you’ll be comfortable and feel good in; don’t pack clothes or shoes you won’t end up wearing.

 Pack some magnetic hooks or clips (pick strong, study ones). Most cabins are equipped with at least a couple of hooks for hanging bathrobes. But, because cabin walls are magnetic, you can temporarily attach more hooks and use them to hang caps, swimsuits, pajamas, jackets, and more.

 Cruise ship bathrooms don’t have much storage space, so you’ll love this popular fix: an over-the-door hanging shoe organizer that will pack flat in your suitcase. Hang it on your cabin’s bathroom door, and the pockets designed to hold shoes become the perfect place to store lots of other things: brushes and combs, cotton swabs, shampoo, lotion, medication, and more.

 If you have a cabin with a balcony, you’ll enjoy the fresh sea breeze. If you don’t, bring a small plug-in air freshener (“sea breeze,” or any scent you like) to keep things smelling good.

 Cabins – especially those on the inside of the ship – can be very dark at night. Bring a battery-operated tealight or two; they make great nightlights, and you can use them for a little mood lighting, too.

 Cruise ship cabins can be stingy with electrical outlets, and most of us have a few electronic devices to plugin. Many ships allow you to plug in a power strip, as long as it does not have a surge protector.

 Once onboard

As soon as you enter your cabin, look around: are there things you don’t need? If you know you won’t use the ice bucket and extra glasses – even furniture, such as a coffee table or side chair – just ask your room steward to take them away.

 Then, check under the bed. You’ll probably find unused space that can accommodate your suitcase or shoes. And, the beds in many cabins that can be reconfigured to provide more space; ask your cabin steward to help.

 Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, for more useful tips about making the most of the cabin space on your next cruise.

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Monday, September 14, 2020

Sweet Extras for Suite Passengers

  While any cruise ship cabin offers comfort and convenience, sailing in a suite can really elevate your cruise experience. And, it’s about more than square footage. The “perks” (special extras) that come with a suite make a cruise more luxurious and may be more affordable than you think.


While you’ll pay more for a suite than a standard cabin, some things you might be used to paying extra for are often included with a suite. When you consider the extras, you may find a suite is a good match for your budget. Exactly what’s included depends on the cruise line and ship you choose, but here are some examples of the services suite passengers often receive as part of their fare.


Most beverages (except for still water, plain coffee or tea, and some juices) served on a cruise ship come with an extra charge – unless you’re staying in a suite. Beverages of all kinds are usually served to suite passengers at no additional charge. You can enjoy sparkling water, soft drinks, specialty coffees, beer, cocktails, and wine without worrying about any extra cost.


Suite passengers often have access to alternative dining venues at no additional cost. This means you can sample the ship’s finest specialty cuisine without paying a cover charge. In fact, some ships have specialty lounges and restaurants that are accessible only to passengers staying in suites.


Enjoyable extras like fitness evaluations and classes, certain spa treatments, baby-sitting, wine-tasting events, in-suite movies, laundry services, and Wi-Fi access may also be included in your suite fare.


When you stay in a suite, you’re likely to have the services of a concierge, or maybe even a butler – services that are simply unavailable to other passengers. A concierge can make spa and dining reservations for you, arrange onshore excursions and handle any billing concerns. A butler will do those things as well as unpack your bags, deliver meals and snacks to your suite’s dining table, pick up and deliver laundry, or organize a special party (should you care to host one).


There’s one more suite advantage that doesn’t have a definable cost – but it’s nice. Most cruise lines escort suite passengers through a briefer embarkation and debarkation process, with little or no waiting in line. You’ll also be among the first to step off and back on the ship when you visit a port.


Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, to suggest a cruise line or ship with a suite – and sweet perks – to enjoy on your next cruise.


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Monday, September 7, 2020

All That’s Included in Your Cruise Fare

Cruising is promoted as all-inclusive, because cruise fares include all the necessities for a great vacation. However, your cruise fare won’t cover everything you could possibly do onboard – all cruises feature optional extras that carry additional fees. Let’s look at what is generally included in your fare, and what is not.

Stateroom. Your accommodation is included in your cruise fare; in fact, your fare is largely determined by the category of stateroom you choose, from an inside cabin to a spacious suite. You’ll also have the services of a cabin steward, who will clean and tidy your stateroom at least once a day. Some suite accommodations also include butler and concierge service.

Beverages. Most ships provide tap water, regular coffee and tea, iced tea, and some juices at no additional charge. You will probably need to pay extra for bottled or sparkling water, soda, specialty coffees and teas, smoothies and alcoholic drinks. However, most cruise lines offer discounted beverage packages, and some allow you to bring some bottled water, soda, or wine onboard.

Dining. Your fare includes dining in the ship’s main dining room, buffets, and even some specialty restaurants (although some menu items, such as prime steaks and lobster, may have a small extra fee). Alternative restaurants serving gourmet fare usually have cover charges, generally $25 to $50 per person. Many ships also offer a limited, complimentary room service menu, though specialty items and late-night deliveries may carry a small fee.

Fitness Center. Use of the fitness center and some classes are usually included in the fare, while personal training, fitness assessments and intensive classes usually carry a fee.

Entertainment. Most onboard entertainment is included in your fare, including shows in the main theater.

Activities. Many cruise lines have kids’ clubs that provide activities for toddlers, kids, tweens and teens at no extra charge. If you need actual child-sitting services, though, there will be a fee (the cost can be well worth it so you can have an onboard date night).

Spa. Spa and salon services are not included in your fare, although steam and sauna rooms may be open to all at no extra charge.

To find out exactly what’s included in the fare for the next cruise you’re planning to take, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor. And, keep in mind that luxury cruise lines generally include more than mainstream lines – your travel to and from the port may even be included.

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