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, January 10, 2022

Find Your Next Book in a Cruise Ship Library

Cruises are an exciting way to explore new destinations, but they also provide time to indulge in simple pleasures that busy lives don’t always have room for – such as settling into an easy chair to read a good book. 

 A well-stocked library of books ready to be borrowed was once a standard feature on cruise ships. Now, many passengers bring their own reading material on e-readers, tablet computers or smartphones. As a result, some ships have reduced the size of their libraries, or replaced them with internet cafes and wine bars. 


Still, there are still quite a few ships that feature sizable libraries; these include some of the ships of Cunard Line, Oceania Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, and Holland America Line, among others. 


The ships of Cunard Line have some of the most extensive libraries at sea; each has at least 7,000 books. The majority are in English, but some are in German, Spanish, French, Japanese, or Chinese. The libraries are staffed by professional librarians who can help you find a book you’ll enjoy. The furnishings – leather sofas and armchairs, wood-and-glass shelving – will make you feel like a guest at an elegant English manor house. The Queen Victoria even boasts a two-level library, with the lower level (nonfiction) connected to the upper (fiction) by a beautiful spiral staircase. 


Oceania’s InsigniaNauticaRegatta, and Sirena also feature English-style libraries, complete with marble-mantled fireplaces, comfortable chairs, thick carpets, and elegantly painted ceilings. The upcoming Vista, scheduled to debut in 2023, promises a top-deck library stylishly furnished by Ralph Lauren Home. Glass walls will provide stunning views of the sea when you happen to look up from your book. 


Celebrity’s Solstice-class ships have circular libraries with towering bookshelves that are integrated into the central atrium. Well-lit and decorated with modern art, the libraries’ high-backed chairs are cozy spots for reading. 


Holland America’s ships feature libraries that are often curated to match the destination and theme of the itinerary. For example, if you’re sailing the Caribbean, you’ll find island-themed books, travel guides, and maps among the thousands of available volumes. Holland America even runs book clubs on some longer sailings, as well as shorter itineraries that include several days at sea. The selected book is often set in the region the ship is visiting. 


If you do borrow a book from a shipboard library, just be sure to return it before you disembark. Happy reading at sea! 


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Monday, January 3, 2022

Cruising Alaska

Alaska has long been one of the most popular cruise destinations, and for good reasons. There are thousands of miles of stunning coastline, from acres of northern rainforest to massive calving glaciers, set against majestic mountain peaks. Alaska has a rich history and pockets of diverse cultural interest, including the native Tlingit traditions of Ketchikan and the Gold Rush stories of Skagway.  

 After a pause of more than a year during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, coastal cruises of Alaska resumed in late July for a brief but welcome 2021 cruise season. And, several cruise lines have big plans for upcoming Alaska cruise seasons, which traditionally run from May through September. 


For example, Celebrity Cruises has announced that it will expand its Alaska cruise fleet in 2023, when the Millennium will join the Eclipse and Solstice in the Inside Passage, sometimes sailing as far north as Seward. Princess Cruises will have six ships in Alaska for 2023, including the new Discovery Princess, with a variety of cruise-only or cruise-plus-land-tour options.  

Many Alaska cruises are seven or eight days, traveling north or south through the Inside Passage between Seattle or Vancouver and Hubbard Glacier. Some longer itineraries venture into the Gulf of Alaska to visit College Fjord, the Kenai Peninsula, and Anchorage. 


Because so many cruise lines sail in Alaska, you can choose your experience; whether you’re looking for luxury, rugged adventure, or family-oriented activities, your professional travel advisor can help you find what you seek. 


There is one unknown that may influence some future Alaskan itineraries: U.S. cabotage regulations, which require cruise ships that sail between U.S. ports to call on at least one foreign port, were waived for large cruise ships sailing Alaska during 2021. We don’t know yet if this waiver will continue; if it does, it may mean that more Alaska itineraries will skip Canadian ports like Vancouver and Victoria, giving you more time in Alaska itself. 


Whatever cruise you choose, know that Alaskan weather is rarely predictable. Pack layers of clothing that you can adapt easily for warmer and cooler days. Rain is always possible, so a waterproof jacket and shoes are helpful. 


The scenery and the wildlife – whales, seals, eagles, seabirds, moose, mountain goats, and bears – are the greatest attractions of an Alaskan cruise. To enjoy them fully reserve an outside cabin if your budget allows; when you wake each morning to another stunning vista, you’ll be glad you did.  


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