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, December 26, 2022

Tips for a Smooth Embarkation Day

In the excitement of preparing to cruise, remember that a little preparation will help embarkation day – the first day of your cruise, when you board the ship – go smoothly. Here are some top tips.

Be sure to complete any requirements the cruise line has for health vaccinations, screenings, and tests, including any related to COVID-19. These are subject to change, so ask your professional travel advisor to keep you updated about the current requirements for your cruise line and ship.

If you can, check in early. Many cruise lines encourage passengers to complete an online check-in process a few days before embarkation. Completing required forms in advance, as well as printing your boarding pass and luggage tags can save lots of time when you arrive at the ship.

Before you leave home, double-check that you have all the documents you need. These may include your passport or other photo ID, cruise boarding pass, COVID-19 vaccination records, and test results, as well as a visa if your destination requires one. Your professional travel advisor can help you make a list of everything you need.

Arrive at the port of embarkation a day early. You don’t want a delayed flight or a traffic jam to cause worry about missing your ship. So come in a day early, get a good night’s rest, and enjoy breakfast at your hotel before heading to the cruise ship dock.

Plan how you’ll get to the ship. This is one of those details that can cause last-minute panic if you don’t have a plan, so decide in advance how to get from the hotel or airport to the dock; options may include a shuttle bus, public bus, taxi, private car, or rideshare service. If you’re driving your own vehicle to the dock, check out long-term parking options before you leave home.

Keep your travel documents and any medications with you. When you get to the ship, porters will be ready to take your tagged luggage, and it may be a few hours before they deliver it to your cabin. So, pack a small bag with your travel documents, medications, and other truly essential items, and keep that bag with you.

Arrive at the ship promptly. Many cruise lines assign boarding times to help prevent long lines and wait times in the cruise terminal. Showing up at your assigned time will help things to smoothly not only for you but for everyone who’s boarding the ship.

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Monday, December 19, 2022

Navigating Cruise Ship Dining Options

On cruise ships with multiple dining venues, they often fall into two broad categories: free and specialty. Let’s take a closer look at each, which may help you navigate the dining scene on your next cruise.

In free onboard restaurants, everything on the menu is included in your fare (although a very high-end entrée, such as surf and turf, may have a small upcharge). This category usually includes the main dining room, the buffet, and a few other options.

Main dining rooms are usually big, elegant spaces with attentive service. Some ships assign passengers to specific seating times and tables, while others let you choose when and with whom to dine. Dinner menus usually offer at least three courses with a nice variety of dishes, all beautifully prepared.

The buffet is often located near the pool and is open most of the day, with a variety of salads, sandwiches, side dishes, pasta, main courses, and desserts. Everything is ready when you arrive, so the buffet is a smart choice when you’re ravenously hungry or looking for a quick snack.

Some ships also have pizza parlors, poolside grills that serve hot dogs and hamburgers, coffee houses, and other casual spots. Room service is also included in the fare on many ships, though there may be a small delivery fee. And it’s often available 24 hours a day, with a limited but tempting menu.

In onboard specialty restaurants, truly special dining experiences are yours for an extra fee, but the fee is usually much less than you would pay in a comparable restaurant on land. Many specialty restaurants are intimate spaces, beautifully decorated and designed to put you at ease so you can enjoy a memorable dinner. They are popular choices for special event celebrations and onboard date nights.

Some specialty restaurants highlight certain ingredients, like steak or seafood, while others serve a specific cuisine. With high-quality ingredients and expert preparation, you may feel like you’re actually dining in a Northern Italian trattoria, a Parisian bistro or a sushi bar in the heart of Tokyo.

Be sure to ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, about any specialty restaurants on your next cruise; many require reservations, and these can fill quickly. Some ships offer specialty dining packages that ensure reservations and provide discounts on fees. Whatever combination of free and specialty restaurants you choose on your next sailing, you can expect to enjoy the experience.


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Monday, December 12, 2022

Cool Cruising

If the words “cruise vacation” make you think of a tropical getaway, remember that cruise ships can also take you to cooler climes. If you would love to enjoy a cool breeze as you stroll the deck and admire the view, these cruise destination ideas are for you.

Alaska. The coastline of the 49th state is gorgeous, with glaciers, northern rainforests, diverse wildlife, and vibrant local cultures. Explore the historic ports or go hiking, fishing, or dog sledding.

Antarctica. A cruise is really the only way to become one of the few who have seen the amazing White Continent. You can view polar wildlife, icy peaks, impressive glaciers, and jagged icebergs.

Baltic Sea. Cruise ports on the Baltic Sea include the Scandinavian capitals of Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Helsinki, as well as historic Tallinn, Estonia, which looks like the backdrop for a fairy tale.

Chile. A cruise of Southwestern Chile’s Lake District will take you to majestic fjords, snow-capped volcanos, and crystal-clear lakes. Watch for penguins, condors, and sea lions.

Greenland and Iceland. Cruising these northern islands is like visiting another world; their remote, pristine, and beautiful landscapes speak to the adventurer within.

New England and Maritime Canada. Take a fall cruise to enjoy cool temperatures with news of colorful leaves along the shore. As you sail, you may see humpback, finback, and minke whales.

Norway. Norway is famous for its breathtaking fjords and welcoming villages. By night, you might see the shifting colors of the Northern Lights in the sky.

Scotland. Rugged and romantic, Scotland brims with mountainous beauty and thrilling history. To stay warm, you can sip a fine single-malt whisky while taking in the view.

If one (or more) of these cool destinations sounds intriguing, remember:

Most cool-weather cruise ports are open for about half the year: May through October in the Northern Hemisphere, and November through April in the Southern Hemisphere.

When you cruise to a cool destination, you’ll need to bring warmer clothes, which require more packing space than tank tops and shorts. To help keep luggage to a minimum, select items that you can layer on cooler days.

Make your cruise plans and reservations as far in advance as you can. In addition to cooler weather, cruises to these destinations offer cool, outside-the-norm experiences; that’s why they tend to fill quickly. For more advice and assistance with reservations, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, December 5, 2022

Cruise Destinations for Couples

If you’re thinking ahead about a romantic winter getaway, a cruise is a terrific way to go. It’s such an easy way to travel; just get on board, settle into your cabin and start having fun. You and your companion won’t have to stress about finding a restaurant, bar, theater, pool, spa, or gym – all that and more is right there on the ship.

And let’s be honest – most cruise ship cabins are cozy to begin with, and if you bring a few battery-operated tealights to scatter around, the atmosphere can be quite romantic. Plus, the activities, entertainment, and dining on board and in port will give you and your companion lots of opportunities to share new experiences.

As for where to cruise, there’s a world of options, but here are some island destinations we think are especially well-suited to couples.

The Bahamas provides a close-to-home destination – just 80 miles off Florida’s Atlantic coast – in a beautiful setting of turquoise water, sandy beaches, and balmy breezes. The islands are a playground for water sports, but it’s perfectly acceptable to simply soak up the sun on side-by-side loungers.

Bermuda is a bit further out in the Atlantic, so you’ll have time to enjoy the amenities of the ship while sailing there and back. There are lots of quiet beaches (some with Bermuda’s famous pink sand) where you relax. There are also historic buildings, lush green golf courses, and British traditions like afternoon tea.

Cruises of the Caribbean are plentiful, so you’re sure to find an itinerary that suits your schedule and budget. Most Caribbean cruises focus on either the eastern, western, or southern zones; take a look at the island ports in each region and chose the one you and your companion would most like to visit.

Hawaii is a classic destination for romantic couples, and you can take a week-long cruise that visits multiple islands. Each island has its own character, but all are breathtakingly beautiful, providing perfect backdrops for “couple selfies.”

Adventurous couples can cruise among the Galapagos Islands, which are about 600 miles off the Pacific coast of Ecuador. There are plants and animals here found nowhere else on earth, such as giant tortoises, pink iguanas, and Galapagos sea lions. There are amazing birds, too, including blue-footed boobies and the only penguins that live near the equator.

For more destination ideas and to arrange your romantic cruise getaway, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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