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, May 20, 2024

Cruising the Ohio River

For a close-to-home cruise, consider sailing a US river; one option is the mighty Ohio. Cruising the Ohio River is a wonderful way to discover the region that stretches from Western Pennsylvania to the Mississippi River. The river touches six states – Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois – and there’s so much to see and explore along its banks.

Depending on your ship and the time of year, your ports of call may include:

Pittsburgh, where many cruises of the Ohio start or end. The river forms in Point State Park, where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers meet. It’s fun to take an extra day just to enjoy the city, which has 90 unique neighborhoods and many cultural attractions, plus great shopping and dining in the Strip District.

Moundsville, West Virginia, where the centerpiece of the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is a sacred, conical burial mound built by the Adena people more than 2,000 years ago.

Marietta, Ohio, was founded in 1788 as the first permanent settlement in the Northwest Territory. There’s a complex of mounds at the Marietta Earthworks archaeological site, built by the Native American Hopewell culture.

Cincinnati, Ohio, is another major city along the river. A highlight is the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, a museum that celebrates the secret network that helped enslaved people escape to freedom before and during the US Civil War.

Louisville, Kentucky, where you can learn about the state’s famous bourbon distilleries, see how Louisville Slugger baseball bats are made, and visit Churchill Downs, home of the annual Kentucky Derby Thoroughbred horse race.

Henderson, Kentucky, was for a time home to John James Audubon, the naturalist and painter who produced more than 400 hand-colored bird prints for his landmark 1827 book, The Birds of America. You can visit the Audubon Museum and Nature Center, which includes some of his personal memorabilia.

Paducah, Kentucky, is the meeting point of four major rivers: the Ohio, the Tennessee, the Cumberland, and the Mississippi. Visit the Inland Waterways Museum, where a pilothouse simulator gives you the feel of guiding a river ship; or, visit the National Quilt Museum.

Some cruises of the Ohio also include a bit of Mississippi River cruising at the western end, calling on Cape Girardeau and St. Louis, Missouri.

To find out how you can cruise the Ohio or another storied US river (like the Mississippi or Columbia), talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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Monday, May 13, 2024

Tips for Cruising in Asia

Asia is a vast continent, and its long Pacific coastline offers cruise passengers wonderful places to discover. Here are some things to know if you plan to explore Asia by cruise ship.

You’ll have a choice of cruise lines. A variety of cruise lines visit Asian ports, including Celebrity, Holland America, MSC, Norwegian, Oceania, Royal Caribbean, Princess, Seabourn, Silversea, and Viking. This gives you a terrific choice of ships, itineraries, and onboard vibes.

You may want to focus on Northeast or Southeast Asia. Depending on how much time you have to cruise, you could choose to focus on either Northeast Asia (including Japan, South Korea, and China) or Southeast Asia (including Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and The Philippines). Both regions are rich in beauty, history, and culture, with everything from glittering cities to traditional villages. Of course, if you have the time to cruise it all, your professional travel advisor can help you select an itinerary that covers more of Asia’s Pacific coast.

There’s an alternative to cruising along the coast. Asia offers river cruises along some historic and scenic waterways. Options include China’s Cháng Jiāng (or Yangtze) River, which passes through the stunning Three Gorges region; and the Mekong River, which will take you to Cambodia’s most famous temple complex, Angkor Wat, and the floating markets of rural Vietnam.

Pack for the weather and be ready to cover up. Bring lightweight clothing you can layer, including some long-sleeved shirts and long pants – temples and other religious and cultural sites may require modest clothing that covers most of your skin. A light jacket or shawl is a good item to take along on shore excursions.

Be observant about local customs. In some Asian cultures, people don’t shake hands as a way to say “Hello” or “Thank you;” instead, they may bow or press their palms together in front of their hearts. Watch what the local people do, and do the same. In some places, merchants use both hands when presenting or receiving payment as a sign of respect for the transaction; you can do so, too. And, tipping practices vary; in some areas, tips are not expected, and in others they are welcome. If you’re not sure about the tipping practices on shore, ask a member of the ship’s crew.

There’s more to know about cruising in Asia – touch base with Anita, your professional travel advisor for ideas and advice.

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Monday, May 6, 2024

Last-Minute Cruise? Essentials for Your Suitcase

It’s fun to plan a perfect wardrobe for an upcoming cruise, but when you grab a last-minute cruise deal there may not be much time for planning. Here’s an overview of the basic items to pack for most cruises (remember to adjust for the climate and length of your cruise).

Travel Documents. Bring tickets and other required paperwork for your cruise, reserved flights and tours. Bring the proof of identity requested by your cruise line, which may be a birth certificate or passport. Keep these documents with you rather than in a checked bag,

Medications and Toiletries. Pack enough prescription medication for the length of the cruise, and a little more. Small quantities of over-the-counter remedies for pain, allergies, and upset stomach often come in handy; they’ll be available on board but at a price. And while most ships provide toiletries like soap, shampoo, and conditioner, you may want to bring small quantities of your favorites. Sunscreen and bug repellent will be pricey on board and in port, so bring your own.

Clothes for daytime. Casual clothing is the daytime standard on most cruise ships. Warm climates call for shorts, casual shirts, and beachwear; for cooler regions, pack long pants with shirts and jackets you can layer. Bring a set of workout clothes for the onboard gym, if you like. And, it’s surprisingly easy to forget what goes underneath, so be sure to pack underwear and socks.

Clothes for nighttime. Some cruise lines have a “come as you are” attitude toward dressing for dinner and a show, while others have evening dress codes. For a casual ship, pack what you would wear on a date night; where dress codes are in effect, pack what you would wear to an elegant cocktail party. Bring your favorite pajamas for bedtime, too.

Shoes. Shoes have their own category because they can take up too much luggage space. Try to limit shoes to three pairs: comfortable walking shoes; flip-flops or sandals for the pool; and dressier shoes that go with your evening outfits.

Accessories. Pack a few favorite accessories, like belts, jewelry, ties, scarves, and a baseball hat or sun hat.

It’s best to keep your luggage as compact and light as possible; your cruise cabin will have limited storage space. Most ships have laundry and dry cleaning services, so you can plan to wear the same outfits multiple times. For more packing advice, talk with Anita, your professional travel advisor.

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