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, June 27, 2022

Cruise Ship Spaces Just for Teens

Existing in the transition between childhood and adulthood isn’t always easy, and the teenagers in your life may not be quite as excited as you are about getting on a cruise ship together. The good news is that many cruise ships have dedicated spaces where teens can go to relax and be with other teens. And cruise lines have put a lot of effort into making these spaces truly welcoming, comfortable, and fun for teens.

Norwegian Cruise Line has Entourage, where teens aged 13 to 17 can play video games, watch movies, make art, or join in a game of basketball, soccer, or dodgeball. In the evening, Entourage hosts themed parties where teens can dance, sing, and show off their style.

Several ships in the Princess Cruises fleet have The Beach House, a lounge for teens aged 13 to 17, but the Royal Princess and Regal Princess take it a step further. They have teen clubs called Remix that include outdoor lounges with wading pools and space for open-sky parties. The indoor section of Remix offers a DJ booth, games, dance classes, and more.

Disney Cruise Line’s ships have Vibe, a space exclusively for teens aged 14 to 17. Vibe’s location and amenities vary a bit from ship to ship. On the Disney Magic and Disney Wonder, Vibe is in the forward funnel and is styled like an urban loft, with activities like games, dance parties, karaoke contests, and more. On the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy, Vibe has the style of a downtown club, with the added attraction of an attached sun deck.

Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean has separate, dedicated lounges and activities for younger teens (age 12 to 14) and older teens (age 15 to 17). Activities for both groups are similar – including movie nights, themed dinners, video games, karaoke contests, pool parties, and dances – but the two age groups can help some teens feel more comfortable as they meet new people.

Of course, whatever cruise line you sail on, your teen will want to explore the whole ship and enjoy some of the amenities, dining options, and entertainment that are available to everyone. Still, it’s good to have an exclusive onboard space where teens can take a break from parents and younger siblings and simply be with other teens for a while. It’s a fun experience that may help your teen enjoy the entire cruise that much more.

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Monday, June 20, 2022

Important Documents for Your Next Cruise

If you haven’t cruised for a while, remember that there are some important documents you should bring onboard with you, including your passport and COVID-19 vaccination card.

Your passport serves as an official ID and proof of citizenship. Bring your actual, physical passport; in some situations, a printed copy or an image of your passport may not be accepted. It’s also important to check your passport’s expiration date before you make a cruise reservation because many cruise lines require your passport to be valid for at least six months after the end date of your cruise.

Note that if you’re taking a “closed-loop” cruise – one that begins and ends at the same U.S. port – a passport is not required. But, you’ll still need to bring a government-issued ID that includes a photo (such as a driver’s license) and proof of citizenship (such as a birth certificate). And, some ports of call may still require a passport before you’re allowed to step off the ship.

If you’re cruising from the U.S. to certain destinations – including Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and some Caribbean islands – you may be able to use a U.S. passport card instead of a regular passport. But some cruise lines always require each passenger to have a regular passport, regardless of the itinerary.

As with your passport, bring your actual, physical vaccination card, even if you provide a digital copy to the cruise line when you make your reservation. Many cruise lines now require most or all passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and some ports also require proof of vaccination for passengers who wish to come onshore. Tip: If you can’t find your vaccination card, contact the organization that provided the vaccine – such as your doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or the local health department – to ask for a copy.

Requirements for proof of COVID-19 vaccination status may vary between cruise lines, and even among the ships of the same cruise line; specific requirements may also depend on your port of embarkation or debarkation. Plus, these requirements can change, so stay connected with your professional travel advisor for the latest information.

A quick note about visas: you can visit most places in the world via cruise ship without a visa, but when one is required, the cruise line is likely to make the necessary arrangements.

Finally, remember to pack any other documents your cruise line requires; consult with Anita, your professional travel advisor, to make sure you have all the documents you need.

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Monday, June 13, 2022

Considerations for Mature Voyagers

Many of today’s cruise ships provide non-stop, heart-pumping action onboard, from water coasters to ziplines, ropes courses, go-kart tracks, skydiving simulators, and more. But if your days of joyfully careening down a water slide or scaling a climbing wall are behind you, you may not need a ship with high-adrenaline attractions. If you’ve reached a more mature stage of life – say, age 60 or more – check out some mid-sized ships with amenities you may appreciate.

For example, Viking Ocean Cruises has a lot to offer mature passengers who are interested in learning more about the places they visit. The line sails in Scandinavia, the Mediterranean, Greece, South America, Australia, Alaska, and more, and every ship sails with a resident historian who provides cultural insights along the way. Viking’s nine ocean-going ships each accommodate 930 guests in a serene atmosphere, with Scandinavian-style furnishings and luxuries like heated bathroom floors. There are no onboard casinos, and no children: Viking requires passengers to be at least 18 years of age.

If you enjoy cruise traditions like dressing up for dinner, consider Cunard Line. Its three ships sail to many parts of the world, and it’s the only cruise line with regular transatlantic service. Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Mary 2 each accommodate about 2,000 passengers. There are fun activities for all ages, but mature travelers might particularly enjoy the cultural programs and the large shipboard libraries. The Queen Mary 2 has a lovely planetarium, too. The level of elegance reaches a peak each afternoon when white-gloved waiters serve traditional British tea with finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries.

The ships of Holland America Line also appeal to mature travelers, with lots of itineraries for those who have time to sail to destinations like the Panama Canal, South America and Antarctica, the South Pacific, or Australia and New Zealand. These ships accommodate 1,500 to 2,100 passengers, and cultural activities may include “port-to-table” explorations of local cuisine; learning more about our world with BBC Earth Experiences; and plenty of great live music.

There are additional tempting options for mature cruise fans, including luxury lines like Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Windstar Cruises, and Seabourn Cruise Line. These cruise lines have beautiful ships, great cultural programs, and gourmet dining; and, the fares may include amenities you would pay for separately on other lines.

For more information and to select your next cruise, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, June 6, 2022

The Perfect Gift for Dad

Dads who are better at giving than receiving may not give much thought to what they would like to receive for Father’s Day, so we have a suggestion. If you asked your dad what he wants and he said something like, “Nothing,” “I don’t know,” or “Just a hug,” here’s an idea for a really special Father’s Day gift: a cruise.

If your dad is already a cruise fan, you may have a good idea of his preferences. If not, here are some things to consider:

How long can he cruise? If he has time only for a quick getaway, check out short cruises, such as two-, three- or four-day cruises to The Bahamas or the Mexican Riviera. Even a short cruise can give him time to relax, refresh, enjoy the scenery and visit an interesting port or two. An affordable short cruise may be a good fit for your Father’s Day gift budget, as well.

If he has more time available to cruise, there are lots of options for voyages of seven nights or more. He could sail the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, South America, or other parts of the world.

If you have a generous gift budget and dad has lots of free time, a regional grand voyage or a world cruise is a spectacular gift for a dad who loves travel.

Is he casual or dressy? In general, cruise line dress codes have been trending toward casual; on many ships, shorts and t-shirts are fine for daytime, and casual slacks and a collared shirt are good for the evening.

But some ships maintain the tradition of dressing up for dinner, at least on designated formal evenings. If your dad loves to put on a suit and tie or even a tuxedo, ask your professional travel advisor to recommend some cruise lines and ships where he can do just that.

Is he a nature lover, or really adventurous? There are lots of cruise options for dads who enjoy the outdoors: cruises to Alaska, the Caribbean, or Mexico all provide stunning natural beauty and opportunities to see wildlife.

These destinations can also provide some heart-pumping action for dads who love a thrill – such as dog sledding over a glacier, parasailing over the ocean, scuba diving in the deep, or ziplining through a forest canopy.

To learn more and select a cruise for your dad (and for you, if you can cruise with him), talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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