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, July 26, 2021

Contact-Free Technologies for Your Next Cruise 

Long before the COVID-19 pandemic began, the cruise industry was working on new technologies to make cruising more convenient. For example, cruise line apps have made it easier for passengers to check the daily activity schedule, message each other onboard, pull up deck maps, make spa reservations, and more. But now that the whole world is more aware of the risks that come with a highly contagious virus, cruise line apps are valued for more than the convenience they deliver: they also make a cruise more contact-free. 

You can expect to see other contract-free technologies on future cruises, such as facial recognition technology. These systems scan faces to quickly recognize you as they get on or off the ship, eliminating the need for crew members to manually check your proof of identity. 

Several cruise lines now provide passengers with wristbands that store the information you need to manage many onboard tasks, from opening your stateroom door to purchasing items around the ship. These wristbands also help with contact tracing if someone on board does become ill; when the crew can quickly identify anyone who has been in contact with an infected person, they can take action to help. 

Every cruise begins with a muster drill, which prepares you to evacuate the ship safely in the unlikely event of an emergency. In traditional musters, passengers leave their staterooms and gather in groups near the ship’s lifeboats. Now, cruise lines are beginning to use technology that eliminates the need to gather at a muster station.

Instead, you’ll use your stateroom television or another device to read or listen to muster instructions. Then, you can individually report to your muster station, where crew members verify your completion of the drill. 

It’s reassuring to know there are always trained medical professionals on a cruise ship; now, telehealth technology means you may not even need to visit the sickbay to see them. Telehealth makes it possible to have a virtual exam without leaving the comfort of your stateroom. The medical staff may also be able to connect you with a specialist onshore, if needed. 

Other technologies that may not even be visible to you will help keep passengers healthy and safe. These include new ventilation and air cleaning technologies, as well as thermal scanning systems that check the temperatures of passengers and crew. 

Anita, your professional travel advisor, can help keep you up to date on new, contact-free technologies that will enhance your next cruise. 

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Monday, July 19, 2021

Make the Most of Your Time on Board

A cruise ship does much more than get passengers from one port to another; it’s a self-contained entertainment complex, too, with loads of options for fun, relaxation and education. So, how can you make the most of your time onboard? 

Our advice is to learn about your ship before you embark. The cruise line’s website has lots of information about the layout and features of the ship and the activities available during your cruise. When you know more about what’s onboard, you can make a plan. Here are a few things to consider: 

With the exception of some river cruise ships, most ships have a swimming pool – and often more than one – surrounded by lounge chairs. It’s easy to spend a whole afternoon there with a good book and a refreshing drink. And, your ship may have options like an adults-only pool or a resort-style waterpark.  

Most cruise ships have fitness centers, too, that rival the best available on land. You can keep up your usual fitness routine, or try something new, like Pilates, spinning, or cardio kickboxing. Some ships also have exercise facilities on the top deck, from walking tracks to zip lines. 

Shipboard spas are very popular; check out your spa menu in advance to see if you’d like a massage, facial or body wrap. Your spa might offer even more, like thermal loungers and snow grottos for the ultimate in hot/cold skin therapy. 

You can also enjoy onboard lectures and presentations; many ships bring experts on board to give helpful previews of the ports you’ll visit, which can help you enjoy the local sights and culture. 

If you’ll cruise with kids, plan to take advantage of any onboard programs for children. These are thoughtfully designed and staffed to ensure young children, tweens, and even teens have a great time onboard. And while the kids are with their new friends, you’ll have time to enjoy your own activities. 

While onboard, check the ship’s daily schedule (available on your stateroom TV or cruise line app) for wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, galley tours, art auctions, and other events you might enjoy. And, be sure to see the onboard shows, which might make you forget you’re not in a Broadway theater. 

One potential problem: you may not have time to do everything you want to do onboard. So, select your top priorities for onboard fun, then plan to do the rest on future cruises. 

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Monday, July 12, 2021

Indulge in Your Interests on Themed Cruises

Do you have a hobby you love, or an interest you want to explore? Ask your professional travel advisor about themed cruises that can immerse you in activities you enjoy, with the added attraction of visiting an exotic port or two. There are themed cruises on topics as diverse as dance, motorcycles, scrapbooking, holistic therapies, food and wine, sports, cats – and many more. 

Lots of themed cruises focus on music. There’s a week-long Jazz Cruise on the Celebrity Summit, scheduled to depart Miami in January with more than 100 jazz musicians on board and ready to perform. The ship will call on the beautiful islands of Curacao and Aruba, too. And that’s just one example; other music-themed cruises will surround you with the sounds of rock, country, hip-hop, soul, classical, disco, and other genres. 

Some themed cruises are based on popular television shows and movies, like Star WarsTop Chef or The Golden Girls. For fans of Star Trek, the mission to explore strange new worlds will continue aboard Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas, departing in February from Port Canaveral. The cruise will include themed events, activities, and parties, with Star Trek actors and personalities onboard to join the fun. 

Cunard Line has announced a series of themed cruises for 2022 that will celebrate culture, literature, symphony music, theater and design; these include the line’s first-ever Art & Design Week voyage, launching in August on the Queen Mary 2. As the ship crosses the Atlantic from Southampton to New York, guests will enjoy master classes and onboard exhibitions that celebrate the best of design from the past, present, and future.

Bridge enthusiasts can sharpen their game aboard the elegant ships of Silversea, which has a Bridge at Sea program available on a variety of ships during 2021 and 2022. Participants can take daily lessons and play under the supervision of expert teachers certified by the American Contract Bridge League.

Before you book your themed cruise, find out if it’s a full-ship, partial ship or theme-inspired cruise. On a full-ship themed cruise, the entire ship is devoted to the theme, making it an immersive experience. On a partial-ship themed cruise, you’ll be part of a special-interest group on board, with themed spaces and activities just for your group. And, a theme-inspired cruise welcomes a small group of passengers who are interested in the theme, with special activities for you. To learn more, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.  

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Monday, July 5, 2021

Sail a Segment of a World Cruise

The next time you step aboard a cruise ship, why not take a long cruise? If you’re yearning to get out to sea and explore new destinations, you could consider an amazing world cruise that calls on multiple continents. 

And if you don’t have time for a full world cruise (usually 100 nights or longer), consider booking a segment of a world cruise. It’s a wonderful option for enjoying a long, relaxing cruise without committing to a complete world cruise. 

More good news: there are many world cruise segments to choose from. Here’s a sampling of the segments announced for world cruises set to launch in early 2022: 

The Crystal Serenity will depart from Miami for a 116-night world cruise, but you can book one of three segments, such as the 86-night voyage from Los Angeles to Monte Carlo. 

With two world cruises scheduled for 2022, Princess Cruises has a wide variety of segments, including a 66-day voyage from Ft. Lauderdale to Dubai on the Island Princess. The world cruise on the Coral Princess includes a 52-day segment from Sydney to Dover. 

On Seabourn’s 145-day world cruise, the Sojourn will sail from Los Angeles to Piraeus, the port for Athens, including a beautiful 73-day segment from Taipei to Piraeus. 

Cunard Line will have two world cruises in 2022, and each offers a choice of more than a dozen segments. On the Queen Mary, consider the 39-night sailing from New York to Singapore; or, aboard the Queen Victoria, a 51-night voyage from Hamburg to Sydney.  

You could spend a full six months aboard Oceania Cruises’ Insignia, sailing around the world beginning in Miami and ending in New York; or, choose the 29-day Los Angeles to Auckland segment, among others. 

The MSC Poesia’s roundtrip sailing from Civitavecchia (the port for Rome) has a terrific selection of segments, including a 36-night stretch from Genoa to Valparaiso. 

Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ Mariner will sail the world roundtrip from San Francisco in 2022; a number of tempting segments include a 35-night voyage from Hong Kong to San Francisco. 

Silversea is another line with two world cruises in 2022, including the industry’ first expedition-themed world cruise on the Silver Cloud; join it in Athens for an adventurous 44-night segment to Tromsø. Or, choose the Silver Whisper and sail a 24-day segment from Ushuaia to Cape Town. 

For more information on these world cruise segments or to explore dozens of others, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor. 

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