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 22, 2021

Staying Overnight in Port

If you’ve ever felt the urge to sample the nightlife in a port of call but had to be back on your cruise ship in time for a 4 p.m. departure, take a look at some itineraries that include overnight stays in a port or two.

An overnight stay gives you a chance to become more familiar with local culture – after all, the evening can be the best time to sample the dining and arts scenes in many ports of call. Just imagine a sunset gondola ride on a Venetian canal, or taking in a dinner-and-tango show in Buenos Aires.

Here are a few more ideas:

Many of Azamara Cruises’ itineraries feature late-night departures or overnight stays. For example, an eight-night cruise of the Iberian Peninsula includes overnight stays in Seville and Valencia, Spain. In Seville, you might explore the Real Alcazar and Sevilla Cathedral by day, then spend the evening sampling tapas – the small, delicious bites served along with drinks in many local bars (Sevilla is where tapas were invented, after all). On the same cruise, an overnight stay in Valencia provides time to tour the city’s historic architecture and the City of Arts and Sciences cultural complex; and then, to indulge in some perfect paella for dinner, with pumpkin-flavored bunyol pastries for dessert.

The more than 40 ports around the world where Celebrity Cruises docks overnight include Bangkok, Thailand, a bustling city that’s famous for vibrant nightlife. You can spend the day exploring cultural attractions like the opulent Grand Palace and the Wat Pho temple complex, which houses a famous reclining Buddha. In the evening, sample fresh, spicy Thai delicacies and admire the lights of the city on a river cruise that includes a stop at a floating night market.

To help you experience more of the wonders of the South Pacific, every Windstar Cruises itinerary that departs from Tahiti includes an overnight stay on the island of Bora Bora. After a day of exploring the mountainous island and the clear waters that surround it, you can choose to spend the night on the ship or in a luxurious, over-the-water bungalow. The 7-day and 11-day Windstar itineraries that depart from Tahiti include a second overnight stay on the island of Raiatea, known for its pearl farms.

Talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, about cruise itineraries that include an overnight stay in a port where you’d like to spend a little extra time.

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Monday, February 15, 2021

Ocean or River: Which Type of Cruise Suits You?

Ocean cruises and river cruises both involve beautiful ships sailing on water, and both provide an exceptional vacation experience, but those experiences are incredibly different. Many travelers enjoy both types of cruises, but there are some reasons you might choose one over the other. Here’s a quick comparison.

Ships. Ocean cruise ships generally accommodate at least 1,000 passengers and sometimes as many as 6,000, plus crew. Multiple decks provide space for sunbathing, pools and hot tubs, sport courts, spas and fitness centers, Broadway-style theaters, lounges, and much more. River cruise ships are much smaller – most take on fewer than 200 passengers. They’re built slim and low to fit into small locks, glide under historic bridges and dock in relatively shallow water. Even with the smaller space, many river ships include amenities like a cocktail lounge, library, salon, gym, and perhaps even a small pool.

Itineraries. River ships don’t have room for as many onboard entertainment options as their ocean-going cousins, but they usually call on a new port every day; the focus is on exploring and enjoying the attractions on shore. Many ocean cruise itineraries include one or more days at sea, which provides time for exploring and enjoying the attractions on the ship.

Staterooms. Most ocean ships offer a variety of stateroom types, sizes, and amenities. These range from cozy interior staterooms to expansive, multi-bedroom suites; and from simple yet comfortable furnishings to the height of extravagance. River ships don’t offer much variety in their staterooms, but you can expect them to be luxurious and to have large windows (or even a small balcony) to help you appreciate the ever-changing views.

Dining. The numerous dining venues on ocean-going ships often include the classic main dining room, an all-day buffet, specialty restaurants, pizza stands and even pubs where you can grab a casual bite. River ships usually have just one dining area, but you can expect high-end cuisine that often features fresh ingredients brought on the ship that day.

Passengers. While most ocean and river cruises welcome passengers of all ages, multi-generational groups tend to choose ocean cruises, which have enough dining and entertainment options to please everyone. River cruises tend to attract adults who enjoy the more intimate atmosphere of a smaller ship and the focus on the ports of call.

Still not sure which type of cruise you like best? Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, for more information, or to help you make plans to try each type of cruise for yourself.

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Monday, February 8, 2021

Cruising is for Teens

Cruises make wonderful family vacations; today’s family-friendly cruise lines offer large, spectacularly equipped ships with spaces and activities to please family members of all ages. Cruise vacations can be especially great for an age group that is sometimes hard to please: teenagers. Here are a few reasons why teens love cruising.

It’s comfortable. Cruising means no one has to climb into the family car, fight for space in the back seat, then endure driving for hours to get from place to place. Instead, there’s space to relax and have fun while sailing from one interesting port to the next.

It’s delicious. Growing teens can burn a lot of energy – and that means they need to eat, often. Most of all of a ship’s dining options will be included in your fare, so your teens can eat as much as they need, as often as they like. In addition to the main dining room and specialty restaurants, most larger ships have burger and pizza places open for extended hours. In addition, many ships offer 24-hour room service to ease late-night hunger pangs.

It’s hard to get bored. Choose a ship that has features and activities you know your teens will enjoy. Today’s ships offer some truly incredible attractions, from thrilling waterslides and surf simulators to zip lines and ropes courses – in addition to the usual pools, hot tubs, fitness centers and games areas. If your teen likes a little pampering, you can book an appointment for a facial or manicure in the ship’s spa as a special treat.

It’s easy to meet other teens. Many ships offer special programming to bring teens together, supervised by counselors who are experienced with this age group. Onboard programs for teens often center on a lounge or games area devoted to this age group. Some cruise lines offer special shore excursions, dinners, game tournaments, pool parties, dances, and other evening entertainment just for teens, too.

It’s fun to be part of the planning process. One way to prepare your teens for a great cruise is to get them involved in the planning. Together, learn about and talk over various destinations, ships and itineraries. Discuss the options for staterooms and suites to decide which are the best fit your family and budget. Understanding all that goes into planning a vacation can be a good life lesson for teens and help ensure they enjoy the cruise they helped to choose.

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Monday, February 1, 2021

Get Cooking on a Cruise Ship

All by itself, food is a reason to cruise. You can count on delicious food emerging from the ship’s galley on a regular basis, with no effort (or clean up) on your part.

But on some ships, passengers who love to cook can do so, learning new techniques and mastering new flavor profiles in the process. Here’s a look at some cruise lines and ships that let passengers watch master chefs at work and get some hands-on instruction, too.

Holland America Line’s state-of-the-art Culinary Arts Centers are purpose-built for cooking classes and demonstrations. Some of these are delivered by the ship’s own chefs, and some by guest chefs who specialize in regional cuisine. Just think of learning to make lobster three ways (butter poached, sauced with beurre blanc, and grilled) during a cruise of the New England coast; or creating the perfect mango cheesecake while cruising the Caribbean.

Oceania Cruises’ Riviera and Marina offer hands-on cooking schools in their Culinary Centers. You don’t need to be all that experienced – classes provide lots of individual attention and guidance from master chefs, so even novices can be successful. In some ports, you can accompany your instructor in a search for fresh ingredients on shore. Class offerings include some that teach the techniques of award-winning chef Jacques Pepin, Oceania’s executive culinary director.

Princess Cruises takes passengers into the ship’s galley for a Chef’s Table event. This isn’t a “quiet hours” galley tour – participants enter the kitchen during the bustle of dinner prep, watching, learning and helping the staff prepare that evening’s dinner. Then, it’s on to a special table to enjoy the meal, which often showcases the region’s best ingredients. During the dessert course, the head chef sits down to discuss the meal, answer questions, and share a few culinary secrets.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises helps passengers expand their cooking skills in the Culinary Arts Kitchen aboard the Seven Seas Splendor and Seven Seas Explorer. The kitchens feature fully-equipped workstations with induction cooktops. Everyone from beginners to skilled cooks receive individualized, hands-on instruction from chefs trained in classic French techniques. Classes vary from one cruise to another and may celebrate the cuisines of Greece, Morocco, Patagonia, Tuscany or other flavorful destinations.

Several other cruise lines offer hands-on experiences with regional cooking techniques and ingredients via shore excursions. To explore the options and pick a ship and itinerary that will feed your culinary interests, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.


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