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, February 28, 2022

Cruise Ship Dining

Even if you haven’t taken your first cruise yet, you may have heard that cruise ship food is amazing. And some of today’s larger ships have more than a dozen dining venues. Some vacationers even choose a cruise based – at least in part – on the onboard dining options.

The good news for foodies continues: breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as some snacks and beverages, are included in your cruise fare. But, onboard specialty restaurants often have a modest extra fee, and even the main dining room may charge a little extra for some special items.

Here’s a quick look at cruise ship dining options:

The main dining room is a sit-down venue, usually open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. On small ships, the main dining room may be the only dining option, but menus change daily, so there’s little chance of becoming bored. Depending on your cruise line, the main dining room may have a dress code, especially in the evening. You may be assigned to share a table with other passengers, which can be a great way to make new friends.

Many ships have a casual buffet, often located on the Lido Deck and open most of the day. A swimsuit alone may not be acceptable attire, but if you toss a sundress or shirt and shorts over your suit, you should be fine. The buffet is a good option if your companions have different tastes in food – there’s usually a wide selection, including fresh fruit, vegetables, salads, pasta, and proteins. Buffets used to be self-serve, but most now have table service: a member of the staff will plate your choices and deliver them to your table.

Specialty restaurants are small, cozy venues that often feature a specific type of cuisine. Some open only in the evening, and most require reservations.

If you’re on a larger ship, you may also find a brewpub or wine bar that serves tapas or other delicious bites.  Many ships provide one more convenient dining option: a room service menu that’s available 24 hours a day.

Wherever you dine on a cruise ship, the wait staff will be knowledgeable and ready to make recommendations. You can ask to have menu items prepared in a specific way (grilled rather than sautéed, without salt, etc.). Finally, if you have special food needs, ask Anita, your professional travel advisor, to help you inform the cruise line about your needs in advance.

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Monday, February 21, 2022

Canadian Cruising Along the Atlantic Coast

There’s great news for everyone who enjoys the beautiful, historic ports along Canada’s scenic coasts: the country’s pandemic-related ban on cruise ships was lifted on 1NOV21. Socruise lines and cruise fans can expect a traditional Canadian cruise season in 2022, starting in May and winding down in October. 
Let’s look at some of the popular ports along Canada’s Atlantic coast. Note that itineraries that include these ports often include familiar New England ports like Boston, Portland, and Bar Harbor, too. 
While an 1877 fire destroyed much of the original city, Saint John, New Brunswick, has plenty of Victorian-era architecture, as well as brick walkways and parks full of flowers and street performersThe city sits where the Saint John River meets the Bay of Fundy, creating an interesting natural phenomenonevery day, high tide pushes water upstreamtemporarily reversing the flow of the river. 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, has a scenic waterfront and a vibrant downtown. There’s a boardwalk along the harbor that’s perfect for strolling and shopping; or, visit Point Pleasant Park and follow the winding trails to see ocean vistas and the remnants of historic forts. If you’re interested in the history of the doomed ship Titanic, Halifax has several cemeteries where many of the victims were laid to rest. 
A farm outside Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, inspired the classic children’s novel Anne of Green Gables; author Lucy Maud Montgomery grew up among PEI’s fishing villages, lighthouses, and gorgeous seascapes. You can even visit the actual farm and house (once owned by relatives of Montgomerythat served as the setting for the bookAnd if you love seafood, Charlottetown is a paradise of freshly caught and expertly prepared lobster, oysters, and mussels.  
Some cruises along Canada’s Atlantic seaboard include time on the scenic Saint Lawrence River. These itineraries often call on Montreal, which is like a chic piece of France relocated to North America; Quebec Citywhere the old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site; and Trois-Rivieres, where you can explore the historic district and the Old Prison, used for more than 150 years. 
Summer is a beautiful time to cruise Canada’s Atlantic coastbut September and October are the most popular months due to the changing colors of trees along the shore. If you’re interested in one of these autumn color cruises, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor, soon – they often sell out well in advance. 
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Monday, February 14, 2022

New Cruise Ships Will Set Sail in 2022

The new year brings excitement about new cruise ships getting ready to launch in 2022. These are some of the ships that will debut this year: 

 Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas will take the title of “world’s largest cruise ship” when it launches on March 4. Like its Oasis Class siblings, the Wonder will include distinct “neighborhoods,” each packed with incredible activities and amenities: Boardwalk, Central Park, Entertainment Place, Pool and Sports Zone, Royal Promenade, Vitality Spa, and Fitness Center, and Youth Zone. Plus, the Wonder will introduce a new neighborhood called Suite Class, which will have a restaurant, plunge pool, and sun deck just for the use of guests in the onboard suites. The Wonder will debut in the Caribbean before moving to the Mediterranean for the summer months. 


May 6 will bring the launch of a new type of ship from a new cruise line as The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection introduces the Evrima, its first ultra-luxury superyacht. The ship will accommodate just 298 passengers and promises spacious cabins, gourmet dining, and a gorgeous spa; just what you would expect from one of the best-known operators of high-end hotels. The Evrima will sail first in the Mediterranean, then move to the Caribbean for winter. 


The Disney Wish, Disney Cruise Line’s first new ship in a decade, will begin sailing to the Bahamas on June 9. The ship will establish the line’s Triton Class, with a refreshed Oceaneers Club for kids and a new Marvel Super Hero Academy. Most cabins – 90% – will have views to the outside, and a new type of cabin, located over the bridge, will offer expansive ocean views. 


Norwegian Cruise Line will also debut the first in a new class of ships: the Norwegian Prima. While it’s designed to access smaller ports, the Prima won’t lack attractions, including a three-deck go-kart track and “The Drop,” a thrilling 10-story dry slide. The ship will also have lots of deck space and the line’s widest variety of suite accommodations. The Prima will sail Northern Europe beginning in August, then will reposition to the Caribbean. 


Adventurous cruisers will be glad to hear about some new, purpose-built expedition ships. Viking Ocean Cruises’ Octantis will sail in January and the Seabourn Venture will launch in April. Both will be equipped to venture to remote destinations like the ArcticAntarctica, and more. 


To arrange to sail on these or other exciting new ships, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor. 


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Monday, February 7, 2022

Cruising Europe

When thoughts turn to European cruises, the Mediterranean Sea is often the first destination to come to mind. It’s a great choice, but there are several regions of Europe that provide tempting cruise options.

In fact, the Mediterranean itself has three distinct cruise regions. Western Mediterranean itineraries usually include port calls in Spain, France, and along the western coast of Italy; they sometimes call on islands like Corsica, Mallorca, or Ibiza as well. Eastern Mediterranean cruises call on Croatia, Greece, and the Greek Isles, and sometimes Cyprus or Turkey. Cruises of the Southern Mediterranean may include ports in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Summer is the busiest (and warmest) time to cruise the Mediterranean, but spring and fall offer nice weather and smaller crowds. Some cruise lines sail the Mediterranean all winter as well.

Summer is also prime time to cruise Northern Europe. You can explore great Scandinavian cities like Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden; and Helsinki, Finland. Some cruises focus on the Baltic Sea, calling on Tallinn, Estonia; Riga, Latvia; and St. Petersburg, Russia’s beautiful former imperial capital. Another option is to sail the western coast of Norway and its dramatic fjords. If you sail Northern Europe in June, you can experience the glow of the “midnight sun,” when the sun goes below the horizon for only a few hours each night.

A cruise of the British Isles is another summertime treat and one that’s steeped in history. In addition to a pre-or post-cruise stay in London, you can sail around England, Scotland, and Ireland, visiting castles, manor houses, ancient churches, and traditional pubs along the way. Imagine tasting Scotch whiskey in the shadow of brooding Edinburgh Castle, strolling around St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin, or sailing into Cork’s lovely harbor with a view of brightly colored row houses.

Finally, the great rivers of central Europe offer fantastic cruise itineraries that wind through scenic countryside, making port calls in quaint villages or major cities like Paris, Cologne, Munich, Vienna, and Budapest. The storied rivers you can cruise include the mighty Danube, which connects ten countries; the Rhine, where romantic castles overlook the river; the Rhone, which glides through the Burgundy and Beaujolais regions of France; the Seine, which takes you from the lights of Paris to the windswept beaches of the Normandy coast; and the Douro, which runs through Portugal’s hilly port wine country.

For more information about these and other European cruise possibilities, talk with your professional travel advisor.

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