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 25, 2023

Add These Items to Your Cruise Packing List

While most who plan to take a cruise think about the clothes they’ll pack, there are some other useful items that often don’t make it to the packing list, but should. Here are some things to think about bringing along:

Magnets with hooks. Most cabin walls are magnetic, so bring some magnets with hooks to create extra hanging space for clothes, swimsuits, jewelry, and more. Just be sure the magnets are strong enough to stay up.

Snack bag (or “chip”) clips. The clips designed to seal an open bag of snacks can also fasten a towel to a lounger in a stiff sea breeze. They can work as clothes pegs on the little clothesline you may find in your cabin’s shower, too.

Battery-operated candles. Real candles aren’t allowed, but battery-operated versions make great night lights and can create a cozy or romantic feeling.

Battery-operated mini fan. You’ll want to keep it small, but a mini fan can create a little white noise for better sleep, as well as a little breeze if you’re in a windowless cabin.

Over-the-door shoe organizer. Hang one of these on the inside of your cabin door to create storage space not only for shoes but for jewelry, phone chargers, papers, makeup, and more. Choose one that folds up neatly and doesn’t need much luggage space.

Reusable water bottle. Help cut down on single-use plastics by bringing your own reusable water bottle; try one that folds or rolls up for easy packing. Fill it out and take it along on your shore excursions, too.

Small, foldable tote bag. This comes in handy for carrying sunscreen, hats, books, keycards, and other necessities to the pool or on shore.

Extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses. If you have the bad luck to misplace or break yours, you won’t want to go without.

Sticky notes. A pad of sticky notes makes it easy to leave a question for your cabin steward.

Thank-you cards. When a crew member provides great service, a handwritten card of thanks is a nice touch.

Paper currency (in small bills). Even if you charge everything (including tips for the crew) to your cruise account, it’s helpful to have a little cash if you want to tip a tour guide, purchase a small souvenir on shore, or thank an especially helpful crew member.

Ask your professional travel advisor for more suggestions of helpful small items to pack for your next cruise.

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Monday, September 18, 2023

Working With a Cruise Travel Specialist

A cruise is a carefree vacation, but booking a cruise can be surprisingly complex and detailed. It doesn’t matter if you’ve cruised often or want to cruise for the first time: There’s a lot to know and many decisions to make. These are good reasons to work with a professional travel advisor who specializes in cruises. They can help you:

 Choose a destination. It’s fun to research cruise destinations for yourself, but a cruise travel specialist can give you personalized recommendations. Their information is often based on first-hand knowledge because cruise travel specialists tend to be experienced cruise passengers.

 Select a cruise line and ship. Different cruise lines and ships have different personalities: some are big and cheerful, some are luxurious and understated, and some are adventurous and educational. Again, a cruise travel professional can combine what they know about you with all they know about cruising to recommend ships that suit your style.

Select a cabin. Your cruise ship cabin will be your home while you’re on board, so choosing the right one is important. The array of cabin types can be bewildering, especially on a large ship. A cruise travel specialist can help you figure out which one will be most comfortable for you.

 Decide what to do on shore. Your ship will offer a variety of activities and tours in each port of call, and a cruise travel specialist’s expertise can help you make the most of your time on land.

Secure the best price. Cruise travel specialists often have access to discounts and promotions that are not available to the public. They may also be able to get you some nice onboard perks, like a welcoming bottle of wine or a complimentary spa treatment.

Getting to and from the port. A cruise travel specialist will be happy to make the airline or other travel reservations needed to get you to and from the ship.

Have peace of mind. If weather causes a delay when you’re on your way to the ship if the cruise line must change the itinerary, or if something else goes awry, don’t worry; your cruise specialist will act as your liaison with the cruise line. If there’s rebooking or refunding to be done, they will work on your behalf.

 Finally, it’s important to know that most cruise travel specialists receive their income in the form of commissions from the cruise lines – not from you.

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Monday, September 11, 2023

Why Cruise Ship Size Matters

 When thinking about cruise vacation options, you may be most interested in itineraries and ports of call. But, the size of your ship can be just as important to your decision. That’s because there are major differences in the experiences delivered by large and small ships – size determines a lot, such as how many people you’ll share the ship with, the variety of onboard activities and entertainment, and the number of dining options.

 Dividing cruise ships into “large” and “small” categories may be too simple because passenger capacity ranges from less than 100 to more than 6,000. But, we can loosely define small ships as those that carry up to 2,000 passengers and large ships as those that carry more.

 To figure out if large or small is best for you, here are a few things to consider.

Do you like to meet lots of new people, or get to know a few new friends? Cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, MSC, and Costa have ships that carry more than 5,000 passengers, where you’ll see different people each day. These ships are also more likely to host families and other groups, too. On mid-size and smaller ships from lines like Oceania, Holland America, and Viking, you’re more likely to mix with the same passengers each day, with more adults and fewer children on board.

 Do you want to have lots to do on board, or do you enjoy a quieter atmosphere? Large ships have spaces for an amazing array of activities, from theaters and water parks to go-kart tracks and escape rooms. (If you need a break from the excitement, large ships often have some quiet, adult-only spaces as well). Small ships still have lovely amenities like pools, spas, and lounges, but there’s usually more emphasis on the destination than on onboard thrills.

Do you want to enjoy dinner in a different restaurant every evening, or are you happy trying different dishes from a single dinner menu? Large ships have multiple dining options, from casual to formal, featuring a variety of cuisines. Small ships may have just one or two dining venues, but menus will be varied (and delicious).

 There’s more to consider about cruise ship size, including differences in the available destinations – some ports that welcome small ships can’t accommodate large ones, and vice versa. To decide what size of a ship is right for your next cruise, talk it all through with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, September 4, 2023

A World of Beaches to Visit via Cruise Ship

 Beaches and Caribbean cruises simply go together, but there are wonderful beaches – including some in unexpected places – that you can visit via cruise ship. Let’s look at a few that might tempt you to cruise in a different part of the world.

 In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, you can visit more than one famous beach. Copacabana, a popular crescent of sand anchored at the north end by Sugar Loaf Mountain, hosts crowds of sunbathers, musicians, and volleyball players. Just south of Copacabana, Ipanema is usually a bit quieter, but just as beautiful.

 Four miles from downtown Sydney, Bondi Beach is a half-mile of silky sand and a perfect place to experience the vibe of Australian beach culture. There are surf schools and plenty of cafes and bars that overlook the beach. The town of Bondi Beach has some interesting Art Deco architecture, too. Another option is to take a half-hour ferry ride to Manly Beach, another surfing hot spot with a tree-lined promenade and beachfront cafes.

 Cruise passengers who call on Cadiz, Spain, can visit the nearly four-mile stretch of sparkling sand at Playa de la Barrosa. Rent a chair on the main beach or find some privacy in the sand dunes and pines that lie just to the south. If your ship calls on Barcelona, visit the seaside neighborhood of Barceloneta, where a manmade beach has become a highlight of the city. Be sure to take a selfie with the glittering Frank Gehry sculpture of a golden fish. On the sand, there are loungers and umbrellas for rent, and delicious fresh seafood dishes are served in the beachfront restaurants.

 Croatia isn’t a classic beach destination, but visitors to Dubrovnik can walk from the cruise port to Bellevue Beach at the edge of the Adriatic Sea. This pebbly, shady beach is surrounded by stunning cliffs. Plus, the water is clear and perfect for exploring an underwater cave before you enjoy a snack at the beach cafe.

 And while you may not think of Denmark as a beach destination either, the port of Skagen at the country’s northern tip has some lovely beaches. The light and views over the North Sea have inspired generations of artists. If it’s too cool to sunbathe, you can hike, watch birds, fly a kite, or explore the dunes.

 To find out how to visit any of these beaches via cruise ship, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, August 28, 2023

Cruise Dining News

Onboard dining is a fun and delicious aspect of any cruise, and cruise line culinary programs are always striving to reach new heights of innovation and excellence. Here are some of the tasty developments we’ve heard about in cruise ship dining.

 Fans of Crystal Cruises will be thrilled to know the brand is relaunching this summer with two refurbished, ocean-going ships and the return of a favorite onboard restaurant, UMI UMA. Created by Michelin-starred chef Nobu Matsuhisa, this specialty restaurant features his unique fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavors. Menu highlights include the chef’s signature black cod in miso as well as dishes that feature Wagyu beef and Chilean sea bass.

 To accommodate guests who follow vegan diets, Windstar Cruises will introduce a new whole-food, plant-based menu this summer on all its ships. These dishes will be minimally processed and prepared without added salt, oil, or sugar. Tempting choices include baked cauliflower croquettes with salsa verde, penne pasta with espelette pepper sauce, and tahini brownies with strawberries. Windstar ships will continue to serve dishes for vegetarians and omnivores as well.

 Oceania’s newest ship, the Vista, has a dozen dining options, and the culinary staff gives just as much attention to the onboard beverage menu. A new molecular mixology program uses naturally sourced ingredients to make reductions and syrups that add aromatic flavor to cocktails and other drinks. Specialty beverage carts like the Bubbly Bar (serving Champagne cocktails) and the Ultimate Bloody Mary Bar roam the decks. You can also make a reservation for a three-course Champagne experience that pairs bubbly from Moët & Chandon with tastes like sea bass tartare, duck foie gras terrine, and cured beef tenderloin.

 Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas won’t launch until 2024, but the cruise line has already announced that the ship will have more than 20 different dining experiences. These include Royal Caribbean’s first food hall, the Aqua Dome Market. Casual bites will include sweet and savory crepes at Crème de la Crepe; macaroni and cheese with a variety of toppings from Mac’s; pitas and bowls from Feta Mediterranean; favorites like Korean beef and broccoli at GNGR; and fresh sandwiches and salads from Toast and Garden. For an elegant dinner, visit the Empire Supper Club, where an eight-course menu will begin with caviar and proceed through expertly prepared Wagyu beef and other dishes.

 Talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, about experiencing these and other mouthwatering options at sea.

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Monday, August 21, 2023

Great Onboard Workouts

Most cruise ships have fitness centers where you can maintain your regular workout; many have such an excellent range of equipment and classes that you might discover a new favorite way to stay in shape. Here are a few onboard workout opportunities that may “wow” you.

Zumba classes on Celebrity Cruises use upbeat rhythms and simple choreography to deliver a total body workout. If you haven’t done Zumba before, attend the scheduled Zumba Fitness Party to learn some basic steps. Some Celebrity ships also offer Aqua Zumba for a water-supported workout in the ship’s pool, Zumbatomic classes for kids, or Zumba Gold classes for older adults.

If you like punching bag workouts, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Fight Klub incorporates punching bag work with sets of kicks for an energizing cardio session. Virgin Voyages ships have punching bags too, as well as actual boxing rings where you can spar.

Virgin offers bungee fitness classes, too. The stretchy bungee cords attached to the ceiling defy gravity, so you’ll need to engage a variety of muscle groups just to touch the floor.

Cruise ships also offer plenty of fun activities outside the walls of their fitness centers. For example, if you love water sports, check out the water sports platforms on the ships of luxury lines like Windstar and Seabourn. These onboard marinas are your launching point for paddleboarding, kayaking, wakeboarding, and more.

Several Royal Caribbean ships are equipped with a surfing simulator called the FlowRider. If you haven’t tried surfing before, you may be surprised by how much strength and balance it requires. Sign up for a group lesson to be sure you get the most from your FlowRider experience, which will be a workout for your core, legs, and upper body.

Lots of ships feature a spacious sport court on an upper deck, usually equipped with facilities for basketball, volleyball, soccer, and more. Most ships also have a track or promenade where you can stroll, jog or run as much as you like. Larger ships, like those from Disney Cruise Line, have tracks that are four-tenths of a mile or longer, meaning you can complete a 5k run in less than eight laps.

Some of these and other onboard fitness activities will be included in your cruise fare, but some may carry an extra fee. For details about all of the fitness options available on your next cruise, talk with Anita,  your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, August 14, 2023

Join us on an Exceptional Trip

As we all know, cruising is an outstanding way to travel and see the world.   Did you realize there are ways that you can maximize your experience?  What if I told you, it is EASY and FREE.  The secret is to book with a Travel Leaders Network travel advisor and have them book you on a Distinctive Voyage sailing!   A Distinctive Voyage cruise costs no extra money and includes some wonderful amenities.

1.        Welcome reception:

a.       A chance to meet your Distinctive Voyage host.

b.       Gives you a chance to meet other Distinctive Voyage guests and develop friendships.

c.       Learn about other amenities offered on the cruise.     

2.       Distinctive Voyage host holds office hours each sea day where Distinctive Voyage guests can:

a.       Ask questions.

b.       Learn about upcoming ports.

c.       Just visit with the host.

3.        Free shore excursion:

a.       At one of the ports on the cruise.

b.       This is an exclusive high-quality excursion only for the DV guests.  We hosted a DV cruise around the British Isles in 2023.  Our tour was “The Beatles and Liverpool”.  It was an outstanding tour!  Several of the guests said it was the best tour they had taken and even guests that had no interest in The Beatles left talking about the exceptional tour.

These free amenities are offered because you booked your cruise with a Travel Leaders Network advisor.  So next time you book a cruise, book with a Travel Leaders Network Advisor and ask for a Distinctive Voyage Cruise.  It will take an outstanding vacation to the next level!

Join us on one of our Distinctive Voyage tours:

1.       March 26, 2024 – Celebrity Cruise Line – Eclipse (Ship) - 12 nights Buenos Aires, Argentina to Valparaiso, Chile

2.       November 20, 2024 – Holland America Cruise Line – Zaandam (Ship) – 17 nights Hawaii round trip from San Diego, Ca


We look forward to meeting you,

Rick and Linda Poole

Monday, August 7, 2023

Cruise Planning with the Kids

A cruise is a terrific choice for a family vacation; ships from family-oriented lines like Disney Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and others are well-equipped for family fun.

If you have school-age children, let them be involved in the excitement of planning a cruise. Guiding them through the process of choosing a destination and ship, deciding what to do on board and on shore, and keeping within a vacation budget can be a great learning experience. Just let the kids know that while their ideas and opinions are important, you get to make the final decisions.

Start by talking about where to sail. With a world of destinations to choose from, you may want to pick two or three options to discuss with the kids. For example, talk with them about the possibilities of sunning on the beaches of the Caribbean versus viewing glaciers on the coast of Alaska or visiting museums around the Mediterranean. You may learn something new about what interests your kids.

After you pick a destination, select a cruise line and ship. Do the kids want lots of onboard activities? Some of today’s larger ships have amazing features like water coasters and go-kart tracks, but your kids may be perfectly happy on a smaller ship with a nice pool. If they like to spend time with other kids, look at cruise lines that have youth programs staffed by experienced counselors. These programs group kids by age and/or interest, with a full agenda of activities and fun.

Then, talk about what everyone would like to see and do on shore. Your ship will offer a variety of shore excursions in every port. If the kids have different opinions about how to spend shore time – say, one wants to tour and shop but another wants to slide down a zipline – look for excursions that combine several activities.

You should also talk about cabin selection, with special consideration to sleeping arrangements. Will everyone be comfortable in one cabin? Do you need two or more adjacent cabins to ensure everyone can sleep well? Perhaps a family suite with a little more space (and a balcony) will be worth a little extra money.

As you talk with the kids about your upcoming cruise, keep in touch with Anita,  your professional travel advisor. If you need to resolve a difference of opinion, travel professionals are great at coming up with ideas for making everyone happy.

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Monday, July 31, 2023

Cruising Africa

With almost 19,000 miles of coastline along the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean, Africa offers a lot to discover via cruise ship. This massive continent has everything from sand dunes to deep forests, bustling marketplaces, animal-viewing safaris, and more. With such a wide array of cultures, people, landscapes, and wildlife, a cruise can be a good way to begin to get acquainted.

Some cruise ports in northern Africa – such as Alexandria, Egypt, and Tangier, Morocco – may be included on itineraries that also visit European and Middle Eastern ports around the Mediterranean. And, some cruise ships call on one or two African ports as part of a longer regional voyage, world cruise, or repositioning cruise. But there are some Africa-only itineraries, which often sail around the southern half of the continent. Here’s a quick look at some of the most popular ports there.

At Walvis Bay, Namibia, the Namib Desert meets the Atlantic Ocean, forming pristine lagoons that are home to thousands of pink flamingos. You can take an adventurous excursion into the desert or a leisurely sail around the bay, watching seals play and snacking on fresh oysters.

Cape Town, South Africa, perches on a scenic peninsula where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet. Browse the shops along the Victoria & Albert Waterfront, ride a cable car to the top of Table Mountain, or join an excursion to Two Oceans Aquarium or a local winery.

The sophisticated city of Durban, South Africa, is separated from the Indian Ocean by a lovely strip of golden beach. Enjoy a daytime safari, learn about Zulu culture, or visit the local botanical gardens and spice markets.

The small volcanic island of Nosy Be which lies just off the northwest coast of Madagascar has eleven crater lakes. There’s also an array of unusual wildlife, including black lemurs and frogs smaller than a dime. The Lokobe Nature Reserve, numerous hiking trails, and beautiful dive sites offer plenty of outdoor adventure.

Cruise lines that call on African ports include Cunard, MSC, Oceania, Regent Seven Seas, and Silversea. Some river cruise lines, such as AmaWaterways, also operate in Africa: you can spend some time viewing wildlife along the Chobe River in Botswana, or on the Zambezi River which creates the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Be sure to talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, about all of the options for cruising in and around Africa.

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Monday, July 24, 2023

Wonderful Shore Excursions

To help passengers make the most of their time in port, cruise lines offer shore excursions – a selection of fun, educational, and/or adventurous activities on land. For example, beach and snorkeling excursions are popular in the Caribbean, while tours of historic city centers are common in Europe. All shore excursions offer memorable experiences; it’s not every day you can swim with dolphins, tour an ancient fort or view masterpieces in a museum far from home.

The specific excursions available on any cruise depend on where it sails, but here are a few examples that may catch your interest.

A partnership between Holland America Line and Food & Wine magazine offers culinary shore excursions in many destinations, including Northern Europe and the North Atlantic. You can discover the Danish art of smorrebrod – beautiful and delicious open-based sandwiches – or how a distillery in Iceland infuses flavors like rhubarb and crowberry into a variety of spirits.

When you sail to Sri Lanka with Azamara Cruises, you can take an excursion to Udawalawe National Park, which has a thriving herd of more than 500 elephants. You may also see wild boar, mongoose, crocodiles, and buffalo, as well as many species of birds and butterflies.

Silversea sails to Osaka, Japan, where you can take an excursion to Hikone Castle, one of only five in Japan designated as a national treasure. Completed in 1622, the moated castle, considered to be a masterpiece of design, hosts a cherry blossom festival every spring.

Sail to Costa Rica with Windstar Cruises and you can discover what rural life is like in this beautiful country. Venture into the Fila Chonta Mountains to meet the residents of Santa Juana and learn about life in their village; plus, you can fish for tilapia or cool off under a waterfall.

There’s usually a per-person fee for shore excursions, but some luxury cruise lines include some or all shore excursions in your fare. Some lines even have a special concierge who can arrange individual, customized shore excursions.

And while some cruise passengers like to arrange their own shore excursions, taking a ship-sponsored excursion is often a better option. Cruise lines work with reputable and experienced tour operators. And, if your ship-sponsored excursion runs a little late, the ship will wait for you. That’s not always true if you’re on an independently arranged excursion.

Cruise lines constantly come up with new options for shore excursions; for the latest information, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, July 17, 2023

Choosing Your Cruise Ship Cabin

Part of making a cruise reservation is choosing the specific cabin you want to stay in. And there’s more to think about than whether you want an inside (windowless) cabin or an outside cabin (most have a window or balcony).

While there’s no one “best” cabin location, there may be a location that’s best for you. Most cruise lines show cabin locations on their online deck plans; ask your professional travel advisor to help you look around and make your choice. There’s a lot to consider, including your budget, your desire for a view, the distance to the nearest elevator, how many companions you’re sailing with, how soundly you sleep, and more.

First, think about where you want to be along the length of the ship. Toward the front, the outside cabins may have a bit more space – and excellent, forward-facing views – due to the curvature of the ship. The middle of the ship is usually the most stable; you won’t feel the waves as much as you could in the front or back. Toward the back, as in the front, the cabins may be a little more spacious, and the outside cabins often have the largest balconies on board.

Then, decide what deck you want to be on. Lower decks can offer economical options and less sway, though the outside cabins may have just a small porthole window. On higher decks, the size of the windows in the outside cabins usually increases, and cabins with balconies are located well above the water line. Just remember that the motion of the ship is usually more noticeable the higher you go; the cost of your fare will probably rise, too.

Finally, check on what’s adjacent to your cabin. That includes what’s on each side (which may be another cabin, an elevator, a laundry, or another service area), as well as what’s above and below. If you’re adjacent to a pool, activity deck, elevator shaft, crew service area, restaurant, or entertainment venue, you may hear some noise at times. Also check the location of the ship’s anchor, which can make a surprising amount of noise when it’s dropped and retracted.

After you reserve a cabin, you might be able to change your mind as long as cabins in your preferred location are still available. But there may be a charge when you change. So, choose your cabin wisely, then get ready to sail!

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Monday, July 10, 2023

Where to Sail in December

Summer’s warmth is here, but it’s never too early to think about escaping December’s chill on a wonderful cruise. A cruise vacation can also be a great way to celebrate the December holidays; consider it a gift to yourself.

So, where should you sail? While there are a variety of destination options, your choice may depend on how much time you have available to cruise. If you have just a few days, there are some “close to home” destinations that may fit. If you have a week, two weeks, or more, there’s a wider array of cruises to choose from.

Close-to-home options include The Bahamas. It’s less than 200 miles from Miami to Nassau, but the soft white sand and turquoise waters of the islands can make you believe you’re much farther away. You can cruise there and back in as little as two or three days or choose a longer cruise that calls on some Caribbean ports, too.

You can also take a short cruise from the West Coast to the warm and beautiful Mexican Riviera. Visit iconic ports along the Pacific coast, such as Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco; a longer cruise can take you to Cabo San Lucas as well. If you sail in December, watch for whales as they migrate from north to south.

If you have a week or more to cruise, there are lots of choices in the Caribbean, including St. Maarten, St. Kitts, and other beautiful islands in the Eastern Caribbean; the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao) of the Southern Caribbean; or the Western Caribbean, which features Mexico’s Cozumel, Cancun and Riviera Maya. Whichever you choose, the weather will be like summer.

If you have a bit more time, the Southern Hemisphere offers spectacular destinations. You can sail the Atlantic coast of South America, visiting historic cities like Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Montevideo, Uruguay; or the scenic Pacific coast, with ports like Valparaiso, Chile (the capital of Santiago is nearby), and Lima, Peru.

For an adventurous December, visit the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos Islands, including blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises. Or take the cruise of a lifetime to the cold but beautiful continent of Antarctica.

There are even more options for December cruises, including a cruise on the Amazon River, among the islands of the South Pacific, or along the beautiful coastlines of Southeast Asia. For more information on these and other destinations, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, July 3, 2023

Serene Adults-Only Spaces on Cruise Ships

Cruising with kids can be great because family-oriented cruise ships offer so many ways to have fun together. Still, adults may need a place to spend a little quiet time without the activity and noise that kids (your own or others) can generate.

Fortunately, in addition to spaces just for kids and teens, many ships have a special area or two just for adults. Here are some to look for on popular cruise lines.

Adults who sail on most of Royal Caribbean’s ships can find quiet time in The Solarium. This glass-enclosed space has padded loungers, hot tubs, and a wading pool. It also has its own bar and restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it’s possible to spend an entire peaceful day there.

On Princess Cruises, The Sanctuary is a shaded, airy space with comfortable loungers. It’s staffed by Serenity Stewards who can provide water misters, refreshing beverages, and light snacks. There are also cabanas for rent, where you can enjoy a massage and help yourself from the minibar.

Disney Cruises has an adult refuge called the Quiet Cove Pool. Visitors can relax in the pool or whirlpool, then stretch out on a lounger to sip a specialty coffee or cocktail. On two Disney ships, the Dream and the Fantasy, the Quiet Cove area includes Satellite Falls, a special pool that features a gentle curtain of falling water. Disney Cruises ships have some adults-only restaurants for kid-free date nights, too.

They transform into dance clubs at night, but by day the Posh Beach Club and Vibe Beach Club are Norwegian Cruise Line’s quiet adult retreats. They have loungers, hot tubs, and waterfalls, as well as chilled face towels, water spritzers, a full-service bar, and fresh fruit to snack on.

Some of these adults-only oases of calm are complimentary, and some charge a small fee for a half-day or full day of access. The age definition of “adult” varies, though it’s often 18 and older.

On most cruise ships, adults who want a short break from kids can also seek out the fitness center, spa, casino, cocktail lounge, and other spaces that restrict or don’t allow children. If you have a choice of dinner seating times, go later for a more adult environment.

And if you wish to cruise completely child-free, consider an adults-only line like Virgin Voyages or Viking Ocean Cruises. Anita, yourprofessional travel advisor, can provide more information and advice.

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Monday, June 26, 2023

Healthy Eating on a Cruise

For some cruise fans, one of the most relaxing aspects of a cruise is the delicious food that’s always available – with no prep, cooking, or clean-up required on your part. But some wonder if the abundance of food will challenge their commitment to healthy eating. Fear not: it’s possible to eat well and healthfully throughout a cruise. Here are some simple strategies.

Don’t skip breakfast. Start each day with a meal that satisfies your hunger and gives you energy for an active day. Choices like a made-to-order omelet loaded with veggies, oatmeal with fruit, a tall green smoothie, or an acai bowl with granola can give you a tasty, nutritious start to the day.

At lunch or dinner, control portion size by ordering an appetizer in place of an entree. Choosing an appetizer or two as a main course is also a fun way to try some new tastes; avoidance of oversized entrees is just a side benefit. You can also ask for a half-portion of an entrée; cruise ship culinary staff are typically happy to accommodate such requests.

At any meal, ask your server for a side of steamed or roasted vegetables. They’ll help fill you up and provide plenty of nutrients.

Ask for sauces and dressings on the side. Delicious sauces can be high in fat or salt; when served on the side, you can add just a little to your dish.

If you visit the ship’s buffet, start with a big, leafy salad. The buffet is a quick and convenient dining option, but is often laden with foods – like pizzas, pasta, and desserts – you may want to avoid. If you’re still hungry post-salad, treat yourself to a taste of whatever dish tempts you most.

Drink lots of water. Staying well-hydrated while you cruise is good for you in many ways and can help you feel full enough to resist a stop at the ship’s ice cream parlor.

Limit alcohol intake. Alcoholic drinks can be as full of sugar and calories as a dessert. When you do choose to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, ask the bartender to recommend a lighter option – perhaps a hard seltzer, white wine, or vodka with club soda and lime.

Finally, remember that you’re on a wonderful cruise! Be sure to relax and eat slowly, savoring each bite and sip.

To learn more about dining options on today’s cruise ships – including spa restaurants – talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, June 19, 2023

Cruising Rivers All Around Europe

If you’ve thought about taking a European river cruise, you may know that the Danube and the Rhine are two of the most popular rivers to cruise not only in Europe but in the world. Both flow through or along the borders of multiple countries, with opportunities to visit castles, vineyards, historic cities, and charming villages. But there are several more European rivers where you can cruise in style while enjoying the beautiful scenery and cultural treasures, as well as terrific local food and wine. Here’s a quick look at just a few.

The Rhone and Saone rivers meet at Lyon, France, the starting point for river cruises that wind through the Provence region to Avignon, Arles, or Marseille. The scenery includes olive groves, orange groves, and fields of lavender dotted with wineries, Roman bridges, monasteries, and palaces. It’s easy to see how Provence provided inspiration to artists like Cezanne and Van Gogh.

Portugal’s Douro River flows through a green valley lined with hillside vineyards. This region is famous for producing sweet Port wines, but dry reds and whites are made here, too. While the Douro Valley is tranquil, at each end you can spend time in a fascinating city that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Spain’s Salamanca and Portugal’s Porto.

The Elbe is a major river that rises in the Czech Republic and flows through Germany to the North Sea. Cruises of the Elbe often begin in Prague, the lovely capital of the Czech Republic, and call on historic ports like Dresden, Meissen, and Wittenberg, as well as the spa town of Bad Schandau. Sights along the way include castles and gardens, cathedrals, medieval city centers, pottery works, and more. Note that the Elbe sometimes has low water levels, especially at the height of summer.

The legendary river Po flows across Northern Italy, joining the Adriatic Sea just south of Venice. But beautiful Venice, built on more than 100 islands linked by canals and bridges, isn’t the only star of a Po river cruise. Popular stops include the historic walled city of Padua, as well as Bologna, where you can visit medieval monuments and enjoy the city’s rich culinary tradition. The Po is another river that can be affected by low water, so spring and fall may be better times to cruise.

For more information on these and other European rivers, you might like to cruise, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, June 12, 2023

Saying I Do at Sea

A cruise ship can be a beautiful, exciting venue for a wedding. Everything you need – from airy spaces to amazing food and drinks – is on board. Many cruise lines offer complete wedding packages and will be happy to work with you to arrange a personalized and memorable ceremony.

Options for shipboard weddings include having a ceremony:

On the ship before it sails. This means guests can come on board for the ceremony but don’t have to cruise along with you. It’s a nice option if you want the cruise to be a honeymoon for two, without your entire wedding party coming along.

On the ship while at sea. With this choice, the people you want to have at your wedding can sail along with you. While an on-deck ceremony can produce stunning photos, be sure to select an indoor backup in case it gets a bit windy.

In a port of call. Saying “I do” on a tropical island or in a historic park can be wonderful. Just know that you may not have much control over the surroundings; if you’re on a public beach or in a town square, people may stop to watch.

Do you want to be married by a ship’s captain? That’s possible on some cruise lines, although the ship may have to be in international waters at the time of the ceremony. Also, not all captains perform wedding ceremonies. For the ceremony to be legally binding, the captain must also be a justice of the peace, minister, notary, or judge. Don’t worry: if the captain can’t perform your ceremony, the cruise line will arrange for another officiant.

Here are some additional tips for getting married on a cruise:

Make your cruise and wedding package reservations early. Some cruise lines ask for at least two or three months of advance notice if you want an onboard or onshore wedding.

You may need to limit the number of guests. Many cruise wedding packages specify a maximum number of guests; no problem if you want a smaller, more intimate wedding.

Some choices may be limited to what’s on board. You may not have as wide a choice of cakes, music, or flowers as you would on land. However, a streamlined set of choices can also remove some of the usual wedding stressors.

To learn more about weddings at sea or to get started planning yours, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, June 5, 2023

When Cruise Itineraries Change

Cruise lines do all they can to ensure the cruise you reserve is the cruise you experience. But itineraries can’t be guaranteed, and sometimes changes are necessary, usually to protect the safety of passengers.

Severe weather is often the main reason for an itinerary change. Rough seas can slow a ship down enough that it can’t reach port on time. Bad weather can also make it too dangerous for the ship to dock or to send passengers to shore in tender boats. Other possible reasons for itinerary changes include civil unrest, damage from a natural disaster, or an outbreak of illness on the ship or in port. Remember, cruise lines have the right to change an itinerary whenever the captain or the cruise line thinks it’s necessary.

When an itinerary has to be changed in advance, the cruise line will notify you so you can decide whether to change your cruise plans. But, as in the case of sudden severe weather, some changes can’t be made until the day of a scheduled port call. When possible, the captain will arrange for a substitute port. If that’s not possible, you’ll have an extra day at sea.

It can be disappointing to miss a port, but complaining to the crew won’t help. Instead, enjoy some onboard activities and amenities you might not have the opportunity to try otherwise. An extra day at sea is a great time to relax by the pool with a good book, visit the fitness center, enter a card tournament, audition for a talent show, catch a movie in the theater, or take a cooking class, to name just a few possibilities. To help keep everyone entertained, the ship may offer even more onboard activities than usual. The spa, shops, and specialty restaurants might offer tempting discounts, too.

But, one thing you should not expect is a refund or credit to compensate for a missed port. In extreme cases – such as when multiple port calls must be canceled – the cruise line may offer some type of compensation, but those decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

While you can’t eliminate the possibility of itinerary changes, you can minimize them by making cruise reservations outside of hurricane season. Also, look for itineraries in which the ship docks at piers, so you won’t have to use the ship’s tenders to reach shore. Anita, your professional travel advisor, can offer additional advice and assistance.

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Monday, May 29, 2023

Travel Solo - Know Before You Go

Traveling solo can be a thrilling experience that pushes the boundaries of your comfort zone. However, you want to make sure you prepare before venturing off! Here are some “know before you go” on solo travel.

Leave Your Contact Info with Someone at Home

When traveling, especially overseas where communication might be trickier, it’s important to let someone know your travel plans. Let them know where you’re going, where you’ll be staying, and the travel dates. This will keep your loved ones at home in the loop just in case they need to get ahold of you.

Keep Copies of Important Documents

Always keep copies of your important documents, such as your passport, social security card, and other necessary paperwork. These copies can come in handy in case you misplace one during your travels!


Talk to your contacts about where you’ll be traveling to, they may have connections in those places and could connect you with other people in their network. This is great for solo traveling because it can help give you more insight from locals into where you’re going and, if you feel so inclined, you can meet up!

Bring a Book and a Journal

You may face some long travel days, and since you’ll be traveling solo, having a book to read can help entertain you. Journaling is another excellent way to keep yourself entertained; it’s also great to have so you can document your journey! Trust us on this! It’s fun and special to find your travel journals and read back and recall those travel moments later in life.

Learn How to be Alone

Traveling solo means spending time alone. Depending on your personality, this might be the most challenging part of traveling solo. Being with yourself alone in another country is a big deal but learning to slow down can create a lot of growth, and you can learn more about who you are.

You May Never Feel 100% Ready

This one speaks for itself. It’s hard to find the time and energy to commit to traveling internationally with our busy lives. But is there ever really a “perfect” time to go? You might also be thinking that you aren’t ready to travel solo yet, but again, is there really going to be a “perfect” time? If you’re considering traveling alone, take the leap!

Things Will Go Wrong... That's Okay

No matter if you’re traveling alone or with others, something will go wrong. If you’re traveling solo and something goes wrong, it might be stressful in the moment, but it’s going to make great stores to tell and will help you learn to be more flexible. Roll with it!

Keep Emergency Contact Info on You

It’s crucial that you give someone at home your information on where you’ll be traveling, but it's also essential to keep their information on you as well. Ideally, it’s great to keep this information in multiple places, such as your mobile device and your journal. This is important just in case your phone is out of battery or misplaced and you need to call home.

Understand The Cultures You’re Entering

When entering new countries, we highly recommend learning more about the local cultures before visiting. This can help prepare you for anything you might face, such as clothing restrictions or norms and understanding mannerisms.

Stay Someplace Where You’ll Meet Others

One of the coolest parts about traveling solo is the people you meet. Staying at a place like a hostel, situates you perfectly to meet like-minded individuals who might be traveling solo as well. And who knows, the people you meet on your solo adventure might turn into life-long friends!

Know Where You’re Going

It’s always a good idea to create some kind of plan before your travels. This will help give you an idea of any transportation you might need to take and how to visit each place on your list effectively.

Ask Locals for Recommendations

Talking to locals is a wonderful way to learn about the place you’re visiting. They can tell you the best places to visit that you might miss if you’re just going to the tourist attractions, and as an added bonus, they’re likely to be much less busy!

Try Not to Overpack

When traveling solo, you’re in charge of all your bags. Make sure you’re able to carry all your items before you leave and have room left for any souvenirs you might be bringing back with you.

Try to Act Confidently in Public

Acting confident is key, especially if you’re not sure where you are or where you’re going. When you show confidence, it’s less likely someone will try and take advantage of you. We’d like to believe that most people you meet wouldn’t do this, but you can never be too cautious.

Traveling solo is truly an adventure of a lifetime, and we believe it can add so much value to your life. It can be a scary one, but well worth it!

Monday, May 22, 2023

Pink Sand Beaches

When thinking of tropical locations or relaxation vacations, most people talk about warm sun beating down on their skin, clear, blue ocean waters, and white sand between their toes.

That sounds nice, right?

But what about pink sand between your toes? Yes, there are places that actually have pink sand, and they’re beautiful! Pink sand gets its color from broken coral pieces, calcium carbonate materials from marine creatures, as well as seashells. Sometimes, the sand has the slightest highlight of pink, but the shoreline and the water’s edge is where the pink will be most vivid.

There are quite a few areas with pink sand beaches, but here are some that stand out to us!

1. Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

This beautiful beach is located on Bermuda’s South Shore and is a great place to visit if you’re looking for some relaxation.

This beach is also family friendly, with many activities such as snorkeling, boogie boarding, and paddle boarding. Because this beach is shaped like a horseshoe (hence the name), it’s sheltered from larger waves.

Bars near the beach make it easy to grab some burgers and fish sandwiches, ice cream, and Bermuda’s national drink, the Rum Swizzle.

2. Pink Sands Beach, Harbour Island, Bahamas

This beach is located on a small island of the Bahamas (it’s so small you can travel the Harbour Island by foot!). Not only is the beach here stunning, there are soo many great activities to take part of.

One of the coolest activities you can do at Pink Sands Beach is to take a boat tour to go swim with pigs! Yes, pigs! You’ll boat over to a smaller island where you can swim alongside these porkers and even feed them. From there you’ll head over to another island where you can partake in a Bahamian food tasting!

If you’re not into swimming with pigs, that’s okay, you can always just set up a towel on the beach and enjoy the views and play in the crystal clear, blue waters!

3. Pink Beach of Barbuda, Caribbean Sea

This island is found in the northeastern Caribbean and consists of small village communities and is known for its natural beaches.

What’s cool about this island is that one side of Barbuda is touched by the Atlantic Ocean, with its dark blue color and beaches filled with driftwood, while the other side of the island is touched by the Caribbean sea, which is where you can find the pink sand beaches and bright blue waters.

Take in the natural beauty, relax and interact with locals. Barbuda isn’t known for its tourism, so you won’t see organized events and activities that you would in larger resort towns, nor will you find tourist attractions or nightlife on this island. Instead, expect blissful peace.

4. Elafonisi Beach, Crete, Greece

This is an island that is located on the southwest coast of Crete, Greece. It’s more of a sandbar, meaning it can be submerged under the water at certain times. If you’re hanging out in Crete, you can wade out to the island, but don’t expect to see any beach chairs there, though! If you’re up for this adventure you’ll be rewarded with sightings of rare plants and sea creatures, such as the loggerhead sea turtles. Take note – if you’re caught removing any plants or animals, you could be given a big fine!

Most of the time, you’ll see the stunning pink sand on the island and when the sand is pink, it is very pink. However, there can be times where you don’t see the pink sand: this is due to wind conditions, the season, and even the tide motions. But even if you don’t see the sand in its pink beauty, you’ll always be able to feel the softness of the sand on this island. It’s been described as “soft as dust.” The waters surrounding are warm and calm, so it’s a great spot to bring young ones to play.

This island can get busy, so if you’re looking for more of a relaxed environment, it’s recommended to go during the late spring and early summer.

Monday, May 15, 2023


If you're looking to travel somewhere with fantastic beaches and views, put Mauritius at the top of your list. This Island Country is located just east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

Île aux Cerfs, on the eastern side of Mauritius, is a private island known as a water sports paradise. You'll have plenty of fun snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Not only is this location great for water sports, but it's also said to have the most attractive beaches in Mauritius! Be sure to plan for a whole day here as it's only accessible by boat.

Bras d'Eau, on the northeastern side of Mauritius, is a smaller bay that resides in the lagoon of Poste Lafayette. Because of its unique position offering southern views, visitors to this spot can catch both sunrises and sunsets. If spectacular sunsets and sunrises aren’t enough, Bras d'Eau is also known as the best place to view the Milky Way on the island, so be sure to stick around after that sunset. Soaking up the island's culture is made easy here as locals frequent this spot on the weekends and during holidays.

While in Bras d'Eau, check out Bras d'Eau National Park. Take a bike or hike your way through this exotic forest that leads to the Roches Noires Caves. Here, you can view the remains of volcanic activity, which is what formed the island, and see lava tubes that connect to the sea. These are now freshwater springs that you can swim and snorkel in among the fish.

If you travel to the northeast of Mauritius, you'll find one of its territories, Rodrigues Island. Called "the jewel in the crown of the Mascarene Islands," it's 42 square miles surrounded by coral reefs, offering stunning views for diving and snorkeling. Visitors can also partake in kite-surfing, ziplining, and birdwatching.

Not only is this island nation filled with stunning views and nature, but it's also rich with history. You'll be able to visit many museums and structures to learn more about this island, such as Fort Adelaide, which overlooks Port Louis and the harbor. It was built between 1834 and 1840 to guard the city against riots during the abolition of slavery. However, it is used now for performance art and houses concerts and other events.

Another incredible stop to add to your list if you want to learn more about the history of Mauritius is the Beekrumsing Ramlallah Interpretation Centre (BRIC). Also located in Port Louis, this exhibition showcases the experiences of indentured laborers in Mauritius and the roles the island played in the history of indenture. Featuring objects recovered during archaeological excavations and multiple touch screen displays with information about this period, this is a great educational stop for all!

There are many other museums you may want to check out while you're visiting the island. From the small Natural History Museum which has 35,000 species on display including the extinct dodo bird, to the Mauritius Postal Museum, which displays commemorative stamps and other postal artifacts from around the world.

Though this island may be far for most, it is worth traveling the distance! With the beautiful beaches and views, to the multitude of activities, and all the educational experiences, it's a great location to learn, explore, and most importantly, relax and experience!

Monday, May 8, 2023

Why Use a Travel Advisor

  1. Relationships with suppliers – you know when you’re visiting your neighborhood restaurant where the servers are familiar and give you a new dessert to try with your meal sometimes? Companies and people love to reward loyalty and the same is true about travel providers. Travel advisors have relationships with these companies and their staff and want to keep that relationship mutually beneficial! The suppliers know that if they can keep their travel advisors’ clients happy, they’ll be more likely to send more people their way. Sometimes this can translate into extra attention, free upgrades, or even things like chocolate-covered strawberries in your room!
  2. Knowledge about products – what’s the best travel insurance and should you get it? If something were to go wrong or there were any last-minute changes, which suppliers have the best cancellation policies? Ask your advisor! They treat knowledge about travel like it’s their job (because it is!)
  3. Better rates / added benefits – you won’t always get better rates booking with an advisor, but you’ll often get more value added. In the age of online booking, it’s easier than ever to find “deals” online, but when you go through a massive online booking company, oftentimes, you’re not seeing the whole picture. Is that hotel room so cheap because it’s on the side of the building next to train tracks and faces a brick wall? With an advisor, you know exactly what you’re getting and what added benefits are coming along with it. Travel advisors also stay updated on what kind of sales are happening. If they know you’re looking for a river cruise to Europe and a big sale starts, they’ll know to pass that information along to you!
  4. Translating dreams to reality – How do you take your vague notion about a dream vacation and turn it into reality? Ask your travel advisor! They’re able to translate your wants into real locations and help you identify what pieces of your trip will matter the most.
  5. Travel logistics – How much time do you need for a layover? Would it make the most sense to rent a car, hire a driver, or something else altogether? If even starting down that train of thought is giving you sweaty palms, take a deep breath and call your travel advisor.
  6. Peace of mind – In the unfortunate event that something does go wrong, having someone on your side to help you through it and advocate for you is invaluable. Instead of being stuck internationally frantically trying to track down all of the people you need to call, you can make one call to your travel advisor and trust them to figure out the best plan for you.
  7. They get to know you – The more you use a travel advisor, the more valuable they are. With each trip you take through them, the more feedback you’re able to give them on what worked for you and what you’d skip next time, making each subsequent trip even further beyond perfect.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Why Children Should Travel

Traveling with children can seem daunting, especially if you're traveling internationally. With long flights and long travel days, differences in cultures, and many other obstacles that can occur, it makes sense why some parents might be reluctant to bring their children on the journey with them. However, traveling with your children, particularly internationally, can provide a vast number of benefits to your children's lives. Here are just a few reasons that you should bring your offspring along on your travels.

Learning Firsthand

Most children learn about other countries' history and cultures in their classrooms at school, but when you travel with your children, they get to experience these places firsthand. Your kids will get submerged into different cultures and learn about the people, traditions, food, agriculture, and much more. This can help children better understand and learn while at school since they can relate it to their personal experiences.

More Adaptable

When you travel, no matter how prepared, there is always an opportunity for a roadblock to arise, such as lost luggage or a late flight. Many things are out of our control that interfere with our plan, which is a part of traveling, and it is an excellent way for children to learn to problem-solve and make the best of these situations when they happen.

Children may also learn that there could be different amenities than what they are used to at home. And depending on where you are traveling to, items or tools may not be as accessible as they usually would be, which is another great way children learn to adapt and go with the flow.


As you are traveling, your children may meet other kids from those countries and might learn that those kids' way of living looks different from their own. They might recognize the differences in socioeconomic backgrounds and realize that not all children in the world have as much as they have, leading them to compassion towards others who do not have as much and appreciating what they do have.


I bet many people can recall most, if not all, the trips they have taken. What about the first toy you were gifted? Can you remember all the toys you had when you were younger? Toys are wonderful, but they're not generally as impactful as the memories we create with traveling. When children grow up, they can look back and recall all their memories from traveling, whether those memories were good, funny, or bizarre, and remember the ones they spent time with and met along the way.


When traveling to new countries, we might be stepping out of our comfort zone a little bit. Yet, each time we do, we feel a bit more confident in ourselves. Similarly, with children, someone might be nervous about the activities/excursions that you have planned. When they start to travel, and these opportunities become more common, they get braver and confidence starts to build within them. This confidence then rolls over to when they are back into their regular routine of life.

Traveling can also help children figure out their interests more imaginatively and creatively by seeing the world firsthand. For example, maybe you notice that your child loves the adventure aspect of traveling, and each time you travel to a new country, they want to figure out all the outdoor adventures they can do. Maybe your child is interested in art and is intrigued by the details of buildings and desires to visit art museums. Learning this about themselves can help guide them in figuring out hobbies they want to involve themselves in or even potential career pathways that might be enticing for them.

Taking on responsibilities is another aspect of self-discovery that children might learn while traveling. At some point, all children will have to learn to take on responsibilities. When you give children responsibilities while traveling, this can provide children with more confidence in their own abilities. Maybe their responsibilities at first are to make sure they have their belongings, and when moving hotels or going between airports, they must oversee their items. These responsibilities might increase by having them plan a portion of the trip (with guidance, of course). Not only can this build confidence in children, but it keeps them involved and allows them to express what their interests are.

Bringing your children on international trips can seem overwhelming, but we genuinely believe that you and your children can benefit from these types of travels together.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Business Meetings at Sea

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a temporary halt to many in-person business meetings and company gatherings, but these are becoming common once again. If your employer is planning a meeting of colleagues (and maybe clients, too), suggest an incredible venue for the event: a cruise ship.

There are lots of advantages to holding business meetings at sea. A big one is that the meeting can take place at any time of year; there are always ships sailing in warm and beautiful places.

Cruise ships can accommodate meetings of many types. Lots of ships have meeting space that can flex to suit groups of various sizes, from intimate conference rooms to theaters with a thousand seats or more. These spaces, both indoor and outdoor, often have sophisticated audiovisual capabilities.

A high level of customer service is standard on cruise ships. Your meeting attendees will enjoy having their cabins cleaned and refreshed daily by crew members who are trained to ensure passengers are comfortable. The common spaces on a cruise ship are also kept sparkling clean, and many ships recently updated their cleaning technologies and ventilation systems to help keep everyone on board healthy and safe.

Cruises are famous for plentiful and delicious food, and the culinary staff is accustomed to accommodating special requests. You can arrange group breakfasts, lunches and dinners, or let your attendees choose from the dining options on board. And, colleagues who need some quiet time can always relax in their cabins with room service and an in-room movie.

When the business of the day is done, cruise ships offer a terrific array of entertainment options. There are pools and whirlpools, fitness centers and sports decks, lounges with live music and dancing, and shows that rival those you can see on Broadway. The cruise line staff can also work with you to arrange exclusive performances, product displays, shore excursions, and other activities just for your group.

When you hold a business meeting on a cruise ship, you may be able to arrange some special touches. These can range from customized cabin and meeting room décor to customized menus and beverages, small gifts to be placed in attendees’ cabins, and much more. It’s even possible to charter an entire ship so that your colleagues and clients will be the only passengers on board.

To further explore the world of business meetings at sea, start by talking with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, April 17, 2023

Private Island Paradise

If you would love to spend time on a private tropical island, achieving that travel goal is quite simple; just book a cruise that calls on the cruise line’s private island. These islands are brimming with opportunities to relax, enjoy fun activities and eat delicious food – all told, a magical day in paradise. It’s easy to see why private islands are among the favorite port calls of experienced cruise passengers.

Cruise lines that have private islands include Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International. Let’s take a quick look at a few of these lovely getaways.

Like its ships, Disney Cruise Line’s Castaway Cay in The Bahamas focuses on family fun. Everyone can go snorkeling, enjoy the water play areas or visit with some stingrays. There’s a fun 5k run for families who like to exercise together. Then, you can relax in the chairs, hammocks, and cabanas along Castaway Family Beach. Adults can also spend some quiet time at Serenity Bay Beach.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s Harvest Caye is one of the few cruise line private islands that’s not in The Bahamas or the Eastern Caribbean. This island, just off the coast of Belize, is adjacent to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s send-largest reef complex. In addition to a pool and a white sand beach, Harvest Caye has a wildlife sanctuary, as well as delightful restaurants and shops owned and operated by Belizeans.

MSC Cruises’ Ocean Cay, an old sand extraction site, is now a reserve for corals and other endangered marine life, including sea turtles and rays. There are multiple white-sand beaches, a hiking trail, kayak tours, and more. Ships remain at the island until late in the evening, so you can watch the sunset and do some stargazing in the clear Bahamian sky.

Royal Caribbean’s Perfect Day at CocoCay in The Bahamas promises thrills and chills: over-the-water cabanas are perfect for chilling, and giant waterslides help provide the thrills. You can take in the view from a helium balloon or go zorbing in a transparent plastic bubble. There are lots of dining options, including upscale Mediterranean cuisine at Coco Beach Club.

Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, about sailing to these or other private islands, including Princess Cruises’ Princess Cays, Holland America’s Half Moon Cay, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Great Stirrup Cay or Royal Caribbean’s Labadee on the north coast of Haiti.

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