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, November 30, 2020

Why Use a Travel Advisor

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!

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!)

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!

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.

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.

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.

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, November 23, 2020

Ships to Look Forward To

As in many other workplaces, the coronavirus pandemic created some temporary work delays and slowdowns at shipyards that build new cruise vessels. That’s changed the expected launch dates for some highly anticipated new ships, which usually take two to three years to design and build. While launch dates may change again, here’s what we know now about some great new ships you can look forward to sailing on.

MSC Cruises Virtuosa is expected to launch in early 2021. This ship, built to carry more than 6,000 passengers, is expected to have unique entertainment spaces like a fine art museum, an onboard Cirque du Soleil show, a multistory amusement park, and an indoor promenade covered with a beautiful LED-lighted dome and lined with restaurants, bars and shops.

Odyssey of the Seas, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s second Quantum Ultra-class ship, is expected to launch in April 2021. It’s also expected to have many of the most popular features found on other Quantum-class ships, such as bumper cars, skydiving and surfing simulators, glow-in-the-dark laser tag and the North Star, a glass-walled pod that rises up over the ship for 360-degree views.

Set to be the third ship in Holland America Line’s Pinnacle class, the Rotterdam is now expected to launch in summer 2021. Music lovers will enjoy the ship’s “music walk,” featuring B.B. King’s Blues Club, Lincoln Center Stage and the Rolling Stone Rock Room. The World Stage entertainment venue will feature a wrap-around screen and a blend of live performers and recorded music and dance. (This ship was originally announced with the name Ryndam, but it went through a name change when the 1997-built Rotterdam was removed from service in summer 2020.)

Costa Cruises expects to introduce the new Toscana, sister ship of the Smeralda, during 2021. This will be a very big ship, with a passenger capacity of more than 6,500. It will use liquified natural gas (LNG) fuel for 100% of its power needs, both in port and at sea.

And in 2022, Disney Cruise Line plans to launch the Disney Wish, 10 years after debuting its first ship, the Disney Fantasy. There aren’t many details yet, but it will be fun to find out how this first ship in Disney’s new Triton class will differ from its older siblings.

To look at sailing on these and other upcoming ships, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor. Find us on Facebook:

Monday, November 16, 2020

Staterooms for Cruising on Your Own

Many people think of a cruise as something to do with a partner or friend. However, cruising on your own can be a fun and truly relaxing vacation. You can do whatever you want on ship and shore, without having to negotiate with a companion. And, it’s easy to meet other passengers for an enjoyable social time.

Still, there can be a financial consequence to cruising solo. Most staterooms are designed for two, and if you reserve one just for yourself, you may have to pay the same as if two people were sharing the stateroom (this is commonly known as the “single supplement”). In other words: not every ship has staterooms for one, priced for one.

But as interest in solo cruising grows, more cruise lines are creating staterooms (and pricing) designed for solo travelers. Here’s a look at some of them.

Norwegian Cruise Line is often credited with starting the trend toward more single staterooms with the launch of the Epic in 2010. The ship has 128 “studio” staterooms for one, grouped around the exclusive Studio Lounge. The studios are efficient 100-square-foot inside cabins that are beloved for their modern design and comfort. Additional Norwegian ships with single staterooms include the Escape, Bliss, Breakaway, Getaway , and Encore.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Quantum-class ships have up to 28 single staterooms, including some with ocean views and balconies. Some Oasis-class ships – including the world’s biggest ship, Symphony of the Seas – offer single staterooms as well. Several older Voyager-class and Radiance-class ships have some single staterooms, but just a few per ship.

Cunard Line offers some single staterooms on the Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Mary 2. Almost all are outside staterooms with windows and are quite spacious, ranging from 159 to 183 square feet.

Holland America Line has 12 single staterooms on both the Nieuw Statendam and Koningsdam. All are ocean view staterooms of 127 to 172 square feet.

Celebrity Cruises introduced its first single staterooms on the Edge, followed by more on the Apex. In the single “Infinite Veranda” staterooms on each ship, you can essentially turn the entire stateroom into an enclosed sunroom or open balcony with the touch of a button.

Another option for solo cruisers is to watch for discounts on single supplements; they can be heavily discounted or even eliminated on some sailings, especially on luxury ships. Ask Anita, your professional travel advisor to help you find the best deals for sailing on your own.

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Monday, November 9, 2020

Thrilling Waterslides at Sea

During the past 10 years or so, a towering new feature has appeared on the top decks of quite a few cruise ships. Big waterslides have been added to or integrated into the original design of some popular, family-oriented cruise ships; and they provide all the thrills of the tallest waterslides at land-based resorts, with the bonus of stunning sea views.

Several Royal Caribbean ships feature The Perfect Storm, twin “racer” slides that let you and a friend (or a perfect stranger) race each other down intertwining chutes. Oasis-class ships also have champagne-bowl slides – you’ll spin around the “bowl” before descending into a plunge pool (no champagne is actually present in the bowl, just water). The Liberty of the Seas has a unique Tidal Wave slide, where you’ll ride an inner tube down a steep, watery slope. Then, there’s The Blaster on the Navigator of the Seas – the longest water slide (or, more correctly, water coaster) at sea, with two-person inner tubes so you can slide with a companion. Right next to it is the Riptide, a head-first slide with ocean views through a translucent tube.

Norwegian Cruise Line’s investment in waterparks began with the Epic, which offers three huge waterslides – the Epic Plunge is especially thrilling. NCL’s waterparks vary from one ship to another, but have as many as five multistory waterslides. For an intense thrill, try the side-by-side Free Fall slides on the Breakaway and Getaway, some of the fastest waterslides at sea.

Disney Cruise Line’s Fantasy and Dream feature the AquaDuck, a family-friendly water coaster that’s almost as long as Royal Caribbean’s Blaster. There’s lots of clear tubing for ocean views as you slide down to a lazy river. For younger kids, these ships also have Mickey’s Slide, a smaller water slide held up by a giant Mickey Mouse hand.

More than half of MSC Cruises’ ships have at least one waterslide, and the newest have full-blown waterparks on the top deck. The Seaside and Seaview have multistory waterparks that include two racer slides with clear tubing that extend over the sides of the ship. There’s also the Slideboard, which is more than a slide – it’s an interactive game on which sliders can earn points for pressing buttons in time to music and flashing lights.

To try out some exciting waterslides on your next cruise, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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