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, March 25, 2019

New Choices for Expedition Cruising

If you want to combine your love of cruising with your desire for adventure, you’re not alone. There’s growing interest in expedition cruising, because it’s thrilling to set foot in a beautiful spot where few other visitors have been. Expedition cruises are designed to familiarize you with the unique cultures, ecosystems and histories of remote locations from Alaska to the Amazon.

It’s important to know that expedition cruises put the focus on their awe-inspiring destinations, rather than shipboard amusements. The ships are much smaller than their ocean-going counterparts, often accommodating less than 100 passengers. Instead of shows and casinos, you’ll have experts on board who will share their knowledge about the destination. However, there’s no shortage of comfort.

Some cruise providers have already announced expedition itineraries for 2020 and beyond. For example, Crystal Yacht Expedition Cruises just announced 11 new itineraries for 2021 aboard the Crystal Esprit. The 62-guest yacht will visit Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, and in the Middle East, where port calls in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and Abu Dhabi; Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, or Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

Silversea Cruises is in the process of preparing a ship for polar expeditions. The 254-passenger Silver Wind is receiving an upgrade now, and a second refurbishment in summer 2020 will give it ice-class status in advance of Antarctic voyages set to begin that November. The ship will be equipped with a fleet of Zodiac boats (inflatable craft that take you from ship to shore) and additional equipment for cruising in remote regions. The ship’s 15-day Antarctic itinerary, roundtrip from Ushuaia, includes the Falkland Islands, the Drake Passage, the Antarctic Peninsula, and the South Shetland Islands.

The Hurtigruten cruise line focuses only on exploration voyages, and it plans an expansion to Alaska in 2020. Voyages through the Inside Passage will call on places rarely visited by other cruise lines, such as Petersburg, a picturesque village founded by Norwegian fishermen. Passengers will see it all on the first hybrid-powered cruise ship in Alaska, Hurtigruten’s MS Roald Amundsen, equipped with large battery packs. The ship will end its first season in Alaska by sailing the Northwest Passage from Nome to Greenland, then on to Halifax, Nova Scotia.

For more expedition cruise options to satisfy your taste for adventure, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

Fabulous Entertainment on Your Next Cruise

Through the years, cruise lines have stepped up their entertainment offerings so that they rival the best venues, shows and performances in land-based entertainment capitals like New York, Chicago and Las Vegas. Here’s sampling of the live performances you might be able to catch on your next cruise:

Newer ships in Norwegian Cruise Lines’ fleet stage Broadway hits like “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert,” “Rock of Ages” and “Jersey Boys.” On select ships, enjoy “Cirque Dreams and Dinner:” you dine while Cirque du Soleil acrobats perform above you. If you’re really lucky, you’ll find yourself on a Norwegian ship that features the sizzling Latin and ballroom dance of “Burn the Floor.”

Cunard Line takes a cultured approach to onboard entertainment. Where but the Queen Mary 2 can you see graduates of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art perform Shakespearean works like “The Merchant of Venice” and "Romeo and Juliet?” Plus, the cruise line’s partnership with Blue Note Records brings jazz stars like Herbie Hancock, Gregory Porter and Dee Dee Bridgewater on board.

Royal Caribbean is known for its array of entertainment options, which includes award-winning Broadway shows. Depending on your choice of ship, you could sing along to tunes from “Grease,” “Hairspray” or “Mamma Mia!.” On Oasis Class ships, daring high divers perform in the Aqua Theaters. Voyager Class ships take pride in the ice-skating spectaculars in their onboard rinks.

There are always musicians aboard Crystal Cruises’ ships, ranging from classical violinists to dance bands. There are Broadway-style productions with themes like "Route 66" or "The Speakeasy." In addition, the "Crystal on Broadway" program brings musical theater stars aboard for delightful performances and audience Q&As.

Holland America Line forged a trio of entertainment partnerships that populate the Music Walk complex on select ships with world-class talent. There’s classical music courtesy of Lincoln Center Stage, Memphis-style blues from B.B. King's Blues Club, and the fun of “dueling pianos” playing popular hits and requests at Billboard Onboard.

Oscar-winning Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz (“Wicked,” “Godspell,” and more) is creating shows exclusively for production on Princess Cruises’ ships. The newest, “The Secret Silk,” includes music, dance and life-size puppets from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop.

It’s clear that you’ll be memorably entertained by any of these cruise lines and others that are investing in top-notch shows and performances. Talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor about the entertainment offerings on your next cruise.

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Monday, March 11, 2019

Cruise Ship Spas Will Relax You

What’s more relaxing than a cruise? That’s easy to answer – it’s a cruise that includes some pampering in a shipboard spa. Cruise ship spas have stepped up in terms of facilities and services, rivaling land-based spa destinations more than ever before.

In fact, one of the most respected names in land-based spas, Canyon Ranch, provides spa services on four cruise lines: Celebrity, Cunard, Oceania and Regent Seven Seas. Canyon Ranch works with each line to create exclusive spa environments and service menus.
For example, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria feature Mareel Wellness and Beauty, which offer mineral-rich, marine-based treatments: try a sea algae massage or a seaweed leg wrap.

On Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships, Canyon Ranch creates a Zen-like atmosphere with a Persian Garden relaxation lounge, aromatic steam rooms, herbal saunas and sensory showers. If you crave better sleep, the Mindful Dreams program provides special treatments, sleep aids, instruction sessions and advice on what to eat for dinner.

All of Viking Cruises’ oceangoing ships feature the LivNordic spa, operated by Stockholm-based Raison d’Etre. The Nordic spa tradition is based on using hot and cold therapies, so the spas feature thermal suites with thalassotherapy pools, hot tubs, rustic cold-water showers, water-vapor fireplaces, warmed tile loungers, and a snow grotto (yes, it’s filled with manmade snow!).

The Onboard Spa by Steiner operates full-service spas on more than a dozen cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean. In keeping with the line’s family-oriented vibe, Oasis-class ships offer separate spas for teens, with “Acne Attack” facials and “Beach Babe” deep-conditioning hair treatments.

If you’re not looking for spa treatments but still desire some tranquility on your cruise, adults-only quiet zones can be found on many ships. For example, some Princess Cruises ships have a Sanctuary and Retreat Pool on the top deck, surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs and cabanas that offer privacy and waiter service.

Four of Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ships offer Spice H2O, where adults can enjoy sunning, hot-tubbing and relaxing in the cool waterfalls of a grotto area by day (it turns into a dance club at night).

Even the family-oriented Disney Cruise Lines believes adults deserve some quiet time. Its ships are equipped with Quiet Cove Pools where you can relax with a specialty coffee, tea or cocktail.

To prepare for a great spa or quiet zone experience on your next cruise, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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