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 25, 2018

Cruising to Grenada

Nutmeg trees and rainforest cover the mountainous landscape of Grenada, a Southern Caribbean island known for its aromatic spices. After a devastating hit by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, this island nation has emerged stronger and perhaps even more beautiful than before.
Your cruise ship will dock in the historic capital of St. George, where the colorful buildings reflect a blend of colonial British, French and West Indian culture. Some consider it to be the prettiest harbor town in the Caribbean. Market Square bustles every morning with a variety of vendors who sell local produce, spices and crafts. For beautiful views of the city and harbor, visit Fort George; for an even more expansive view, venture up to Fort Frederick.
In addition to nutmeg, the enticing spices of Grenada include cinnamon, cloves, ginger, mace, allspice, and citrus peel. The island has been rebuilding its nutmeg production ever since about 85% of the nutmeg trees were destroyed by hurricane Ivan – the replacement trees are just now becoming mature enough to bear fruit. At the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing station, you can learn all about the production process and try out various nutmeg-infused foods and cosmetics.
If you love chocolate, visit Belmont Estates, where farmers bring their raw cacao pods to be turned into delicious organic dark chocolate. As a delightful balance to all the spices and chocolate, visit the River Antoine Rum Distillery, which has been in operation since 1785. You’ll learn about the process of turning raw sugar cane into rum and be rewarded with a sample.
Grenada has dozens of lovely beaches, including world-famous Grand Anse Beach, a two-mile stretch of palm-fringed white sand where you can gaze over the turquoise water, swim, or try some exciting water spots. You can also snorkel at the beach, or check out Moliniere Point, where an underwater sculpture park acts as an artificial reef and attracts colorful marine life.
Then, venture inland to the Grand Etang Forest Reserve, where there are hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls, towering mahogany trees, abundant flowers and ferns, and charming wildlife like mona monkeys and tropical mockingbirds.
Grenada is a highlight of many Southern Caribbean cruise itineraries that may also include Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Antigua, and even the ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). To select an itinerary that will bring you to Grenada, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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Monday, June 18, 2018

Top Three Tips for Mature Cruisers

Cruising is a great choice for older travelers who want to explore new places without the uncertainty that can come with traveling on your own. Shore excursions, as well as cruising itself, are group activities, and there is greater safety and security venturing out in a group than exploring a new place alone.

Of course, you also want to good care of yourself while you’re cruising. Here are our top three tips for mature cruisers:

Mind Your Health. If you have physical limitations or special dietary needs, let your cruise line know; your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert can help with this. The crew will do whatever they can to accommodate your needs.

While you’re packing, double-check that you have all the medications you may need. Bring a little extra just in case your flight home is delayed. Pack them in the bag you’ll carry with you, not in the luggage you plan to check. While you’re on the ship, don’t leave your medications out on your desk or bathroom counter; keep them in closed storage for safekeeping.

When traveling somewhere new, it’s easy to get caught up in the spirit of trying new things, including unfamiliar food. But, many of us are past the days when we could try exotic foods or new spices with no regrets. To help minimize the chance of any digestive distress, be careful about what you eat.

Mind Your Feet. The ship will take care of moving you from one port to another, but there can still be quite a bit of walking involved: not just to the buffet table, but around the decks and during onshore tours.

For daytime, bring comfortable, supportive walking shoes that can handle uneven ground (think cobblestone streets). Evenings on a gently moving ship may call for stylish flats rather than high heels. Being steady on your feet will help guard against an unwanted fall or sprained ankle.

Mind Your Back. Older tourists are a favorite prey of pickpockets around the world; fortunately, there are things you can do to make yourself a less attractive target. Instead of carrying a bag, keep your money and credit card in a neck pouch you wear under your shirt; leave valuable jewelry at home; and, don’t carry more cash than you’ll need that day.

For more tips and help communicating any special needs to your cruise line, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal travel expert.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Tips for Expedition Cruising

The term “expedition cruising” carries a promise of adventure. These cruises provide an exciting experience and a sense of exploring off the beaten track of tourism. Interested? Here are a few tips about preparing for an expedition cruise:

Have realistic expectations. Expedition ships are small and purpose-built, with limited onboard amenities; the focus the cruise will be the onshore experience. Your stateroom will be well-equipped and comfortable, perhaps even luxurious. But, don’t look for multiple restaurants, big theaters or a social director. Onboard programs are usually led by naturalists or scientists who help immerse you in the environment, history and culture of your destination.

Get in shape. You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete, but most expedition cruises require a certain level of agility. Often, you’ll need to step from the ship into a Zodiac craft – a type of small, inflatable boat – to reach the shore (this may also involve getting a bit wet). In addition, enjoying your time onshore may depend on your ability to hike.

Select a destination that speaks to you. There’s a surprisingly wide variety of destinations for expedition cruises. For an unforgettable experience, select a destination that truly interests you. Popular expedition cruise destinations include:

·         The Amazon. You can take some ocean-going ships as far up the river as Manaus, Brazil, but most expedition cruises begin way upriver, in Peru. Your ship will navigate through dense rainforest, stopping at small villages surrounded by the region’s distinctive flora and fauna. You may be able to add a pre- or post-cruise visit to Machu Picchu to your itinerary, too.

·         Antarctica. The icy expanses of Antarctica make spectacular scenery, and the waters around the continent are full of marine life. A highlight of many cruises is a visit to a research station, where the scientists are passionate about their work and eager to share it with you.

·         The Galapagos Islands. These isolated, rocky islands feature incredible and unusual wildlife, from giant tortoises to blue-footed boobies. The animals have no fear of humans, so you’ll get wonderful photos. You can hike with naturalists and dive with the sea lions, too.

Expedition cruise destinations also include Alaska, British Columbia, the Arctic, Iceland, Costa Rica, the South Pacific, and more. To explore all of your options and select your adventurous expedition cruise, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.

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Monday, June 4, 2018

Cruising to Belize

The beautiful national of Belize lies just south of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, nestled between Guatemala and the Caribbean Sea. Belize has a forested mainland and dozens of islands, cays and coral reefs. When your ship docks in Belize City, you can head for a variety of historic, cultural and natural attractions.

Some cruisers select a Caribbean itinerary that includes Belize specifically because they want to snorkel or dive along the impressive barrier reef. Some of the best sites are near Ambergris Caye; you’ll see lots of colorful coral and marine life. If you would rather just soak up the sun on a Caribbean beach, there are plenty to choose from on Ambergris Caye and other islands, including Goff’s Caye, Southwest Caye, and Half Moon Caye.

There are Mayan cultural sites throughout Belize, and two of the most popular are Altun Ha and Xunantunich. Altun Ha was an important trading post and ceremonial site, with imposing temples and tombs. At the Temple of the Sun, with a carved jade head represents the Mayan sun god. Xunantunich includes six major plazas surrounded by more than two dozen temples and palaces; you can even climb up the Il Castillo temple to marvel at its construction and admire the view. Xunantunich is accessible only by a hand-cranked ferry that takes you across the Mopan River – an adventure in itself.

To explore the history of Belize, tour the Museum of Belize. Today, this former prison houses Belizean treasures instead of criminals (although you can spend some time in a preserved jail cell). Then, get some fresh air at the Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Center, 29 acres full of animals that are all native to Belize.

Bird lovers will enjoy Crooked Tree Wildlife Sanctuary, where there are dozens of species living among the lagoons and trees (there are monkeys and crocodiles, too). At the Community Baboon Sanctuary, you’ll meet black howler monkeys (called “baboons” locally).

Families love “tube and trek” excursions in the Crystal Caves, with their growing stalactites, stalagmites, and sparkling crystal formations. The Mayan people, who believed that deities and spirits live in the caves, performed sacred rituals here. A trip through the caves ends in a peaceful lagoon with a beautiful waterfall.

There’s more to do and see in Belize, and many Caribbean itineraries can take you there. Contact Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert, for more information.

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