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, 2024

There’s a Theme Cruise for Everyone

If you have a favorite interest or hobby, there’s probably a cruise for that. Theme cruises that immerse passengers in their favorite things are incredibly popular, and they tend to sell out quickly. Theme cruises celebrate a wide range of interests, including musical genres, crafting, TV shows, motorcycles, sports, LGBTQ+, the ‘80s, food and wine, comedy, cats, poker, and much more.

Part of the fun of a theme cruise is sailing with people who all have a passion for the same thing, creating an instant community at sea. Some people even take the same theme cruise each year.

If a theme cruise sounds like fun, here’s a quick sample of upcoming sailings:

Avid runners will board AMA Waterways’ AmaMora for a Run For Fun Cruise, departing October 14 from Basel, Switzerland, for seven nights on the Rhine River. Passengers can take part in guided runs in the ports of call, which include Strasbourg, Rudesheim, Lahnstein, and Cologne in Germany, and Amsterdam in The Netherlands.

Musical genres celebrated on theme cruises range from emo to hip-hop and rap, pop, classical, country, rock, heavy metal, and more. For example, fans of the blues will sail on Holland America Line’s Eurodam for the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, departing from Fort Lauderdale on October 26. The seven-day cruise includes more than 120 shows on seven stages, with autograph sessions and theme nights. The ship will call on the Southern Caribbean islands of Aruba and Curacao, too.

The Norwegian Poker Challenge will depart from Miami on October 27 on the Norwegian Jade. In addition to an onboard tournament, two World Series of Poker professionals will put on a clinic. This seven-day Caribbean cruise includes calls in Honduras, Belize, and Mexico.

Lovers of literature will sail on Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 for the Cheltenham Literature Festival, embarking on November 13 from Southampton, England, for an eight-day transatlantic voyage to New York. Authors, poets, journalists, critics, and historians will be on board for book signings, Q&A sessions, and panel discussions.

Comic-Con: The Cruise will sail the Caribbean on Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas, embarking on February 5, 2025, from Tampa. This four-night cruise will feature comedy stars, creators, and writers who will perform on stage, and then mingle, dine, and party with the passengers.

For guidance through the robust world of theme cruises and to find one that speaks to your passion, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, March 18, 2024

Incredible Things You Can Do on a Cruise Ship

Cruise ships are much more than a way to move from one port to another. They’re like floating resorts, bursting with features designed to please – and some of these features are truly surprising. Here are a few of the amazing things you can do on a cruise ship:

Get the feel of a Formula 1 race car. Some MSC Cruises ships are equipped with Formula 1 simulators that feel (and sound) like the real thing. You don’t even need a driver’s license to try it.

Watch a starry show. Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 has the only planetarium at sea. To enjoy the show, take a seat in the Illuminations theater and gaze up at a suspended dome where distant stars and galaxies sparkle.

Float in mid-air. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line’s Quantum-class ships introduced the first skydiving simulators at sea. These vertical, glass-enclosed wind tunnels provide the floaty, thrilling feel of skydiving, with the bonus of ocean views.

Sip a cocktail expertly prepared by a robot. Some Royal Caribbean ships feature the Bionic Bar, where the bartenders are a pair of mixologist robots. They reach up to select ingredients from a forest of hanging bottles, then pour, stir, and shake up delicious concoctions.

Sip a cocktail from a glass made of ice. The temperature is a cool 17°F in the Ice Bar on some Norwegian Cruise Line ships. The bar itself – as well as the barstools and cocktail glasses – are sculpted from crystal-clear ice (there are parkas for passengers who come in wearing shorts and t-shirts).

Stroll through a park. Celebrity Cruises’ Solstice-class ships have a half-acre of live, green grass on their top decks, perfect for a game of bocce or croquet. Royal Caribbean’s newer ships feature the Central Park neighborhood, where pathways wind through real, growing trees, shrubs, and flower beds.

Hang ten (or just hang on). Royal Caribbean scores again with the surf simulators found on some of its ships. Daring passengers can ride a boogie board or surfboard over the waves, created by more than 25,000 gallons of water rushing over the simulator’s platform.

Watch a movie in 4D. Some Costa Cruises ships have theaters that provide a four-dimensional cinematic experience (the fourth dimension consists of visual effects and sensory effects like vibration, scent, wind, precipitation, and temperature changes).

To try one or more of these fabulous shipboard experiences for yourself, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, March 11, 2024

Cruise Ship Internet Service

Some who cruise see their time on board as an opportunity to unplug from daily life, disconnect from work or school, and put their digital devices away. But others want to stay connected while they cruise, whether it’s to stream a favorite TV show, update family and friends at home, check in with colleagues at work, or even work remotely. If you’re in the second category, here’s what you should know about internet availability on cruise ships.

Internet service at sea has been improving, and most ships now provide service through their wireless networks (with the exception of some that sail to remote locations).

On many ships, WiFi access is an extra – it’s not included in your fare, so you’ll need to pay for it. If you want access for the duration of a cruise, you may be able to purchase a discounted WiFi package in advance. But if you know you’ll need to be connected for only part of a day or two, wait until you’re on board to purchase access at an hourly or daily rate.

Some cruise lines offer different levels of service. If you just want to check your email, you may be able to purchase a lower-cost level of access. If you want to stream TV or conduct video chats, you may need to purchase the strongest, highest-priced internet access.

Cruise ships get their internet service from multiple sources, including land-based signal towers when they’re closer to shore, and satellites when they’re out at sea. In either case, signal strength can vary, and the connection is likely to be slower than what you’re used to. Because signal strength is usually stronger when the ship is near the shore, you may want to do any streaming or video chatting when you’re close to a port. Regardless of the ship’s location, you may experience better signal strength very early in the morning or late in the evening, when fewer passengers are using their connected devices.

Even if you purchase the best and strongest internet service package you can remember to put your phone in airplane mode for the duration of your time onboard. You can turn on your wireless feature separately to connect to the ship’s Wi-Fi, and you’ll avoid unwanted data and roaming charges.

For more information about internet service on your next cruise and advice on making the best use of it, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, March 4, 2024

River Cruise Highlights

When travelers begin to think about a cruise vacation, they often think about ocean cruises: big ships sailing across big expanses of water to beautiful ports of call. But, there’s another option for a cruise vacation – sailing on one of the storied rivers of the world. If you haven’t tried one yet, here’s a quick look at what to expect on a river cruise.

River ships are much smaller than ocean-going ships, which makes it a different kind of cruise experience. The ships are small because they must be able to glide under bridges, through shallow water, and into narrow docks. Ocean-going ships may carry thousands of passengers, but many river ships carry less than 200, providing more opportunities to get to know your fellow passengers.

River ships stay close to land. Part of the enjoyment of a river cruise is watching the scenery on shore, which can quickly change from farmland to bluffs or from small villages to urban centers. The narrow design of river ships means almost all cabins are exterior, with big windows or sliding glass doors.

While river water isn’t always perfectly smooth, the chances of motion sickness on a river cruise are much less than on an ocean cruise.

Many river cruises call on a different port each day; a full day on the water is rare. Shore activities may include walking tours, hiking, bike rides, cultural experiences, visits to museums and markets, and more.

River cruise dress codes tend to be relaxed and casual. The focus is always on what there is to see and do on shore, so what you wear to explore on land is fine on board, too. There may be one gala evening suited to more formal clothes, but dressing up is usually not required.

As for where to cruise, Europe provides a variety of itineraries on major rivers. Sail through multiple counties on the Rhine or Danube, or enjoy France by cruising the Seine or the Rhone. For an Italian voyage, look to the Po. To spend time in Portugal’s wine country, sail the Douro.

River cruise options in Asia include China’s Yangtze, Southeast Asia’s Mekong, and India’s Ganges. You can take an adventurous cruise of South America’s Amazon, or stay closer to home for a cruise on the Ohio, Mississippi, or Columbia.

To find out more about the many delights of and options for river cruising, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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