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, April 8, 2024

Homeports You’ll Want to Explore



When selecting a cruise, consider the homeport – the port city your ship calls home, where you’ll embark on your cruise. Many passengers plan to arrive at their ship’s homeport a day or two before the cruise begins so that if there’s any travel delay, they can still reach the ship on time; but if all goes well, they’ll have a day or two to enjoy the port city.

This isn’t a complete list, but here are some homeports that are great destinations in themselves:

Boston, for cruises of New England or the Eastern Caribbean. Stroll the Freedom Trail, which starts in Boston Common and links 16 of the city’s historic sites, including Faneuil Hall, the Paul Revere House, and Old North Church. Visit the North End neighborhood for a delicious Italian meal before catching a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, home to home runs for more than 100 years.

New York, for cruises of Bermuda, New England, Maritime Canada, or the Eastern Caribbean. You can’t go wrong visiting iconic attractions like Central Park, the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal, and the Statue of Liberty. Explore unique retail neighborhoods like the Garment District, the Diamond District, and Times Square, where you can find discounted tickets for Broadway shows at the TKTS booth.

Miami, for cruises to The Bahamas, the Caribbean, Riviera Maya, the Panama Canal, or South America. Take a walking tour of the Art Deco District or see the Mediterranean Revival buildings along Espanola Way. Sample Latin restaurants in the Allapattah neighborhood or tour the Institute of Contemporary Art in the Miami Design District. Enjoy the beaches, visit Cape Florida Lighthouse, or take a tour of Everglades National Park.

New Orleans, for cruises to the Caribbean, Mexico, The Bahamas, or the Panama Canal. The flavorful blend of Creole and Cajun cuisine alone is a reason to visit; rev up for a tour of the French Quarter, the Garden District, or Mardi Gras World with a dish of gumbo, red beans, and rice or crawfish etouffee.

Seattle, for cruises to Alaska. Ride the monorail to the Space Needle for stunning views of the bays and forests that surround the city, then see the blown-glass sculptures at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Pike Place Market is a great place to enjoy fresh seafood and shop for artisan wares.

To plan a pre-cruise stay in your ship’s homeport, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, April 1, 2024

Cruising the South Pacific

If you’re looking for an island-focused cruise outside the Caribbean, look toward the South Pacific. This vast area of ocean is dotted with beautiful islands, calm blue lagoons, and coral reefs teeming with sea life.

Several cruise lines sail there, sometimes as a segment of a world cruise or during a repositioning cruise. At least two cruise lines – Paul Gauguin Cruises and Windstar Cruises – sail the South Pacific year-round. Others include Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Oceania, Princess, Regent Seven Seas, Royal Caribbean, and Seabourn.

Given the time it takes to get there, South Pacific cruises tend to be at least seven to 14 days. If your cruise departs from a North American port, it’s likely to be an adventure of a month or more. With a cruise of any length, you could consider extending your vacation with a stay at a South Pacific resort (just think of relaxing in one of the charming bungalows perched over the water of Bora Bora’s lagoon).

The three main regions within the South Pacific are Polynesia, Melanesia, and Micronesia. Of the three, Polynesia may be the best-known cruise destination; it includes French Polynesia (where you’ll find Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora), the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, and Tuvalu.

Melanesia includes Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. Many of the islands are mountainous, with some active volcanoes. Fiji, a cultural treasure, is also the gateway to the Yasawas, an archipelago that’s a haven for lovers of unspoiled nature.

Micronesia is a collection of small islands scattered across the northwestern South Pacific. It includes the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, the Marshall Islands and Kiribati. Most ships that cruise there are smaller expedition ships, and most cruises of Micronesia also include stops in Melanesia.

Wherever you sail in the South Pacific, you’ll find opportunities for active adventures like kayaking, snorkeling, and diving; hiking and swimming; and four-wheeling through lush tropical settings. You’ll also be able to learn about local food and culture and shop for locally-made crafts.

The tropical climate of the South Pacific is balmy all year, but there are seasonal differences. Some cruise lines sail there only during the dry season, from May through October; November through April sees more rain showers and humidity, which often enhances the beauty of the islands.

To learn more about cruising the South Pacific and the variety of available itineraries, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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