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, 2016

Best Ways to Cruise Solo

If you’d like to take a cruise but don’t have someone to cruise with you, don’t let that stop you from seeing the world. Cruise lines welcome solo travelers, offering special events and services that will help you meet fellow passengers and be as social as you like. Here are some ways to get the most out of cruising as a single:

Choose a ship with a low – or no – single supplement. The “single supplement” can be an obstacle for those who sail alone: it’s a fee charged by the cruise line to solo cruisers who wish to reserve an entire double-occupancy stateroom. This fee can be as much as 100% of your fare; but, you can find deals for far less than that. Several cruise lines have single supplements of 50% or less; your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can identify these for you and share insider knowledge of reduced or waived supplements for specific sailings.

Your cruise expert can also help you find ships that have single-occupancy staterooms. For example, Norwegian Cruise Line’s newer ships include “studio cabins” designed for one. These cabins share an exclusive gathering space called the Studio Lounge, where you can relax and socialize with other solo cruisers.

Find a roommate. Sharing a double-occupancy cabin means you won’t have to pay a single supplement; plus, you’ll be paired with another solo traveler, who may prove to be a new friend. Some cruise lines will try to match you with a roommate; or, book your cruise through, which offers a complimentary roommate-matching service and other perks for solo cruisers.

While on board, get involved. Many cruises include a get-acquainted reception just for single cruisers, so you can meet and make connections. You can also meet compatible passengers in onboard workshops and classes, or on shore excursions. Join in some deck games or strike up a conversation around the pool. If there’s someone on board you’d particularly like to meet, make friends with the cruise director and ask for an introduction.

Consider taking a theme cruise. There are dedicated singles cruises, but you might also like a cruise that focuses on something you enjoy, such as music, dance, wine, wellness or cooking. There will be lots of activities centered on that theme, and sharing an interest with everyone on board will provide plenty of easy conversation starters. Let Anita, your cruise expert, propose some theme cruises that you’ll love!

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Tips for Mature Cruisers

We work with cruise enthusiasts of all ages every day, and we know that many cruisers who are 55 years and older are looking for an experience that focuses less on the amenities of the ship and more on opportunities to explore and learn something new.

So, if you (or someone you love) is a mature cruiser, here are some tips to help guide you to a wonderful cruise.

Pick the right ship. Ship size has a huge influence on the overall cruise experience. Some can carry 5,000-plus guests and are loaded with features, from zip lines to giant movie screens to skydiving simulators. You may be the first in line for the thriller water slide, but if you’re looking for something quieter, you may like a smaller ship. Mid-size and smaller ships usually offer a higher level of service, too, with more crew per guest.

Check for senior discounts. Some cruise lines regularly offer discounts to seniors, especially when you’re able to book well in advance. Others offer discounts to seniors for specific cruises. Working with a cruise travel professional can be a huge help: yours can let you know right away about any new discount offers.

Make sure your ship can accommodate any special needs. Most ships provide services and accommodations for guests who have special needs, but these vary from one ship to the next. Working with a cruise travel professional can also be very helpful here: yours can consult with your cruise line to make sure a ship can handle any special dietary, mobility or medical needs that you have.

Plan to stay healthy on board. All the marvelous food, drink and entertainment, combined with busy days on shore, can add up to fatigue, sore muscles or other strains on your health. Some tips for staying well:

·       Keep up your usual exercise routine, walking on deck or using the ship’s fitness center.
·       Choose shore excursions that have a comfortable activity level for you.
·       Alternate alcoholic drinks with a refreshing glass of water.
·       Get enough sleep.
·       If you take prescription medications, bring along more than you’ll need and take them according to your usual schedule.

As your expert in planning these vacations, we have many more tips and suggestions.  In addition, we’ll work with you to select the right ship, itinerary and excursions to make your trip a memorable one.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Beautiful Turks and Caicos

The pace of life is relaxed and easy in Turks and Caicos, a collection of eight main islands and nearly 300 smaller islands just 30 miles southeast of the Bahamas. These low, limestone islands are popular with sun-seekers: the sun shines about 350 days of the year, with daytime temperatures consistently in the 80s. Excellent conditions for diving, mangrove swamps filled with biodiversity, historic salt works and lovely white sand beaches mean there are lots of different ways to spend a day there.

Cruise ships call on the island of Grand Turk. From the dock, you can:

Head to the beach. Spend a day building sand castles, playing beach games, and relaxing in a lounge chair with a cool drink. The Turks and Caicos lie along a barrier reef, so there are also great opportunities for snorkeling.

Go SCUBA diving. Divers love Grand Turk. Just offshore, the water gets deep and the world’s third-largest barrier reef is waiting to be explored. During a port call, there’s usually time to visit two different dive sites.

Visit Cockburn Town. Tour the British Colonial structures along Drake and Front Streets in Cockburn Town, the islands’ center of governance for hundreds of years. Check out the restored Turk’s Head Inn; the Victoria Public Library, built during Queen Victoria’s Jubilee celebration in 1887; and the whitewashed boards and red shutters of St. Mary’s Church, which is a good example of the Bermudan style of architecture. You may have time to visit a local craft market, too.

Take a scenic island tour. In 1962, astronaut John Glenn returned from his space mission by splashing down in the water just off the coast of Grand Turk, and you can see a replica of the capsule that brought him back to Earth. There’s also the Salt House, a place to learn about the rise and fall of the salt industry in the islands. North Wells, once a settlement of salt-rakers, is now home to wild horses and donkeys, as well as beautiful birds; you might catch a glimpse of some pink flamingoes.

There’s so much more to do on Grand Turk that Anita, your Cruise Holidays expert, can share with you while planning your vacation. You can ride horses or dune buggies, sail on a catamaran or paddle a glass-bottomed kayak, go deep-sea fishing, check your surfing skills on a Flowrider, or rent a private pool cabana for your memorable day in the Turks and Caicos.

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Monday, April 4, 2016

What You Need to Know About the Zika Virus

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a “public health emergency of international concern” for the Zika virus on February 1, but also stated that it “found no public health justification for restrictions on travel or trade to prevent the spread of Zika virus.” Still, it makes sense to take precautions against Zika if you are traveling to an area where the virus is spreading. The following are some facts that can help you make informed decisions about your vacation plans.

·       Zika is currently spreading in parts of South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Zika virus is transmitted primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Zika may also be transmitted through contact with infected blood or sexual contact (sexual transmission can be prevented through the use of condoms).

·       Zika does not pose a major threat to most people, and there are precautions all travelers can take to minimize their risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito. Approximately 80% of people who contract Zika have no symptoms at all. Those who do may experience fever, rash, joint pain, muscle aches, headache and vomiting. The illness is usually mild and lasts about a week.

·       Zika can be spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus, and there have been reports of a serious birth defect of the brain, called microcephaly, in babies of mothers who had Zika while pregnant. Knowledge of the link between Zika and birth defects is growing, but until more is known, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends special travel precautions for pregnant women. Pregnant women (in any trimester) should consider postponing travel to an area where Zika is spreading.

Right now, the most important protective measures are controlling the mosquito population and preventing mosquito bites. Here are some precautions you can take when visiting affected areas:
·       Use an EPA-registered insect repellent. EPA-registered repellents are effective and safe, even for pregnant women.
·       Limit your exposure to mosquitos. Choose lodging with air conditioning or good screens on the windows and doors. Sleep under a mosquito net (you can even buy one before you leave and take it with you – look for one treated with permethrin, an insecticide).
·       Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and treat your clothing with permethrin or another EPA-registered insecticide.

Talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays travel expert, about the latest news on Zika. We keep current with all travel alerts and restrictions, and can let you know about any risk in the areas you’ll travel to. If you want to change your plans, we can also work with travel providers to obtain waivers or refunds for you.

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