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, April 25, 2022

Smoothing the Motion of the Ocean

If you haven’t taken your first cruise yet and you’re worried about seasickness, we have one word for you: stabilizers.

Seasickness is motion sickness that’s experienced on the water, which can happen when waves make the ship sway. Seasickness is not inevitable – some people are never bothered by it, while others are more sensitive. If you’re sensitive to motion sickness, the good news is that modern cruise ships are equipped with stabilizers that effectively minimize any side-to-side rocking of the ship.

Stabilizers, shaped like the wings of an airplane, extend underwater from each side of the ship. They can tilt forward or backward to help steady the ship as it moves through waves and swells. When the water is calm and the stabilizers aren’t needed, they fold away into special compartments.

Depending on its size, your ship may have one or two sets of stabilizers. Most stabilizer systems work automatically; sensors monitor the movement and effect of waves and deploy the stabilizers as needed.

And, stabilizers are not the only tool a ship has for smooth sailing; officers continuously use their navigational skills to set the calmest possible course to the next port.

As you plan for your cruise, you can also take steps to guard against potential seasickness. Ask your professional travel advisor to help you select a cabin on a lower deck, close to the middle of the ship; these cabins are less affected by the motion of the ship than those higher up or closer to the front or back. Some people like to wear acupressure-inspired bracelets to guard against motion sickness, while others bring some ginger tea or candy along. You can also pack over-the-counter or prescription motion sickness medication, just in case you need it.

When your ship sets sail, if the motion makes you feel a little odd, don’t panic – there are some things you can try even before you reach for a seasickness remedy. Go out on the deck, sit down and focus your gaze on the horizon, which can help your body regain its sense of balance and equilibrium. And, many cruise ship crew members recommend eating green apples and crackers; that’s actually a room service item on some ships.

Finally, as you adjust to the feel of the ship as it moves through the water, remember that the ship’s stabilizers will be working as hard as the crew to give you a great cruise experience.

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Monday, April 18, 2022

World Cruise or Grand Voyage?

If you would like to see the world (or a significant part of it) on a cruise ship, consider a grand voyage or world cruise. These long, luxurious cruises take you away from your usual routine for an extended time. They also introduce you to beautiful and intriguing places, people, and cultures around the globe.

So, what’s the difference between a grand voyage and a world cruise? The answer may depend on which cruise line you’re sailing on. Some lines use these terms interchangeably, while others make a distinction between the two. For this discussion, we’ll define grand voyages as cruises that explore a region of the world, usually for a month or two; and world cruises as voyages that nearly or completely circumnavigate the globe, sailing for three months or longer.

Both types of extended cruises offer you the luxury of unpacking just once, then effortlessly sailing to dozens of interesting ports. Many grand voyages and world cruises have enhanced onboard education, entertainment, and enrichment programs for delightful days at sea; these programs also prepare you to make the most of your time onshore.

As for their differences:

If you would like to immerse yourself in the food, art, customs, and fashions of a certain region of the world, a grand voyage may be the right choice. For example, Regent Seven Seas’ “Grand Asia Exploration” is scheduled to depart in late January 2023 from Sydney, Australia, then spend 60 days visiting ports in Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.

If your dream is to visit most or all of the world’s continents on a single cruise, look into world cruises. For example, Viking Ocean Cruises’ “Ultimate World Cruise” will depart in late December 2023 from Fort Lauderdale and call on 28 ports in the Americas, French Polynesia, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Europe over the next 138 days. If you’re looking for, even more, Royal Caribbean’s upcoming 274-night World Cruise, set to begin in December 2023, will touch all seven continents and visit 60 countries.

And, there are even more options for long cruises; ask your professional travel advisor about booking a segment of a world cruise. For example, if you can’t be away from home for 274 nights, you can reserve one of four segments of Royal Caribbean’s World Cruise: choose from Europe, the Americas and Antarctica, Asia and the Pacific, or the Middle East and the Mediterranean.

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Monday, April 11, 2022

Which Polar Cruise to Choose: Antarctic or Arctic?

Cruising is a way to see some of the most remote and fascinating parts of our world, including the polar regions – the Artic in the north and the Antarctic in the south. Which would you choose? It may be helpful to know that while the Arctic and Antarctic have many similarities, they have some significant differences. 


Antarctica is a continent that’s entirely made of ice. It has no Indigenous people, and the only human residents are military personnel and scientists at a few research stations. Antarctica’s extreme whiteness, tinged with glacial blues, can feel like a different planet. The rugged scenery includes massive glaciers, icebergs, and ice floes, but no vegetation except some lichens that grow at the edges of the ice. 


The Arctic isn’t a continent, but a frozen ocean bordered by landmasses such as Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Scandinavia, and Russia. Indigenous peoples have inhabited the Arctic for centuries, so there’s human history and culture to explore. In addition to glaciers and icebergs, the Arctic has more greenery – even tiny, tundra-loving flowers – than you may expect. 


Antarctica is home to millions of penguins, including the Gentoo, Adelie, chinstrap, king, and emperor species. In the water, you may see humpbacks and other types of whales, as well as Weddell and leopard seals. Albatross and storm petrels glide through the sky. 


The Arctic is home to polar bears (though they can be shy), as well as foxes, wolves, muskoxen, and reindeer. There aren’t any penguins, but there are lots of other birds, from kittiwakes to puffins. Arctic waters – a little warmer than in the Antarctic – are home to walrus, seals, and several types of whales.  


Cruise ships sail to Antarctica from November to March. Some ships offer only scenic cruising, but many use inflatable Zodiac craft to take passengers from the ship to the icy shore. Some itineraries offer activities like camping, kayaking, skiing, and even scuba diving. 


The Arctic cruise season is May through September, but there’s a trend toward cruising the Arctic in early spring, when it’s easier to see spectacular northern lights. Your ship will call on seaside villages, and excursions may include kayaking, hiking, camping, ice fishing, dog sledding, and mountain biking. 


Several cruise lines can take you to the polar regions, including Hurtigruten, Ponant, Princess, Silversea, Viking, and more. Talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, about how you can sail to the Arctic or the Antarctic – or both. 


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Monday, April 4, 2022

What Not to Bring on a Cruise Ship

It’s good to put some serious thought into what you should pack for your next cruise. It’s also important to remember there are things you should not even attempt to bring on a ship, even if you think of them as essential to your daily routine. Here’s a look at some of the things you must leave behind as you prepare to cruise. 


Perishable food. Delicious meals and snacks abound on cruise ships, but if you do want to bring a favorite food, be sure it’s packaged and non-perishable; homemade food and anything that requires refrigeration may not make it on board. 


Liquor. Many cruise lines allow guests to bring a bottle of wine or two, but any amount of hard liquor (or beer) is usually forbidden. Fortunately, cruise ships are well stocked with liquor of all sorts, as well as expert bartenders. 


Candles. Candles with wicks are not allowed due to the risk of fire (but small, battery-operated tea lights are usually okay). 


Small appliances. Small, plug-in appliances can be fire hazards, so you’ll need to leave your iron, clothes steamer, toaster, coffee maker, hot plate, slow cooker, air fryer, blender, and other gadgets at home. Many cruise lines make an exception for curling irons and hair straighteners (note that most cabin bathrooms are equipped with hairdryers). 


Power strips with surge protectors and extension cords. These are also banned as fire hazards; power strips may be permitted if they are not equipped with surge protectors. 


Weapons, and toys that look like weapons. Don’t bring any firearms or sharp blades; and leave realistic-looking toy guns, swords, spears, and knives at home, along with fireworks and drones. 

Sports equipment. Items like martial arts equipment, baseball bats, hockey sticks, roller and inline skates, skateboards, and pool cues won’t be allowed on board. 


Communications equipment. It’s fine to bring your mobile phone, but many ships prohibit items that could interfere with ship communications, such as ham radios, baby monitors, metal detectors, communication scanners, and satellite phones. 


If you do bring any prohibited items to the cruise ship dock, they are likely to be confiscated before you’re allowed to board. The items might be returned to you when you disembark at the end of your cruise, but it’s best to leave them safely at home. 


For more guidance on what to pack for your cruise and what you should leave behind, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.