Advantages of smaller ships

iver cruising continue to grow in popularity. And this is no longer just among those who are now retired. These cruises are getting more popular among millenials as well. And one reason people love these cruises is that river cruises have to be taken on much smaller ships. Today let’s look at some of the advantages of the smaller vessels.

  • Small ships can go anywhere you want them to go. They are going to get to any place that the huge vessels get to. But of course, they can also get into the little rivers that large ships can’t even begin to navigate. This allows you to explore the places most people don’t see as well as the most popular places.
  • You may think that these small ships are going you a small fortune, but you may be pleasantly surprised. One thing you’ll have to keep in mind is that most of these river cruises are going to be very all inclusive. Yes, you can find cruises on the huge ships for a much cheaper come-on price, but they are going to nickel and dime you. With river cruises, you are going to get all your meals, your entertainment, wfi and more with just what you have to pay to get on the cruise. Some of these cruises even include your air and excursions.
  • On these small ships, you are going to get a much higher level of service. Most of them have a much higher staff-to-guest ratio. The staff is going to simply be able to see to your needs better.
  • They can also be more flexible when it comes to your itineraries. You want to do something they hadn’t planned on? Smaller ships might consider it. Large ships will just laugh in your face.

Even more about private islands

Why do you want to go on a cruise? Are you wanting to learn about history and culture? Or maybe you’re dying to learn from a certain chef? Or perhaps you’re just looking for a nice beach vacation for you and your family. It is this last option we are going to look at more today. Let’s get back to our discussion about cruiseliines and their private islands and such.

  • The first one we are going to look at today is Norwegian’s Great Stirrup Cay which is in the Bahamas. This is a place where you can go snorkeling, enjoy a kayaking adventure, or go parasailing. Don’t like any of these options? Does sailing or enjoying a paddleboat ride appeal to you more? They also have private cabanas you can book. I apologize, but these cabanas are booked for the foreseeable future.
  • Princess Cruises has its own perhaps island as well, and it is called, what else, Princess Cays. This is also located in the Bahamas, about eighty miles from Nassau. This island is absolutely beautiful with its white beaches and turquoise waters, making it a great place for snorkeling and swimming. You could also rent aqua bikes seaboards, paddleboats, kayaks and sailing. For those that do not like watesports, there is shopping or enjoy the island cuisine and cocktails.
  • CocoCay, another private island in the Bahamas, is shared by Royal Caribbean, Celebrity cruises and MSC. The waters around this island are so rich in wildlife that it has earned the nickname of aquarium of the Bahamas, making it a wonderful place to snorkel. People also love to parasail here.

More private islands

The next several weeks are going to be on the crazy side. I know I am going to take some time off this next week because of the holiday. Other than that I am going to just play everything by ear and see how everything goes.

  • Yesterday we ended by looking at Amber Cove which no owned by the Carnival Cooperation. Today we are going to start with Half Moon Cay, which is owned by the same cooperation. Unlike Amber Cove, Half Moon Cay is an actual island that is in the Bahamas. They have private cabanas where you will have access to outdoor showers, and inside there will be food. These cabanas must be booked in advance. Every guest on the island will be attended to by butlers who will serve drinks and appetizers. What is there to do on this island, you ask? Go horseback riding on the beach. Take an eco tour on bikes. Or go to their Stingray Bay.
  • Castaway Cay is the name of Disney’s island, and it is also located in the Bahamas. Disney’s ships pull right up to the beach itself, so you won’t be wasting any time on transfers. There is a family beach if everyone wants to play together. But if you don’t, there is always Scuttle’s Cove where your children will be well supervised. Their place for teens is called The Hide Out. And for the parents it is Serenity Beach.

Private places for cruiselines #1

One thing that is extremely popular among cruiselines is to have their own private island. Most of these are in the Caribbean since most of the people cruising the Caribbean are simply looking for a fun in the sun vacation. Obviously these islands are not going to have much in the way of culture, but they are great places to play. Let’s look at a few of these islands today.

  • Norwegian’s private island is called Harvest Caye, and it is in Southern Belize. This is a seven-mile stretch of beach that has plenty of activities, even for the most active traveler You can do all kinds of water sports, there is ziplining, and there is shoppin. The last thing they want you to do is go home and say you went hungry on your cruise, so they will have plenty of restaurants and bars. Tired of all that? They also have a nice pool.
  • Royal Caribbean and Azamara, which are sister cruise companies, share Labadee, a private resort off the coast of Haiti. They have recently refurbished this place, so everything is nice and new. They call the different sections neighborhoods. They have a roller coaster, a water park, a beach club, and lots of other points of interest.
  • Okay, we’ve talked on this blog about how there are different levels of cruises, and they range from quite cheap to pretty expensive. And a lot of times, a cruise cooperation will own different cruise companies that serve different groups of people. For example, Carnival, Holland America, and Cunard are all part of the same cooperation. They share a place called Amber Cove. This is not an island, so there is no actual beach, but there is an enormous pool. Here you can also do culinary tours, swim with the dolphins, take part in water sports and eco tours, to name just a few of the attractions.

I think we are going to look at this some more tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts.

Ways to save on a cruise #2

Cruises can be pretty inexpensive vacations depending on how you do them. However, something you might want to keep in mind is that the less expensive the cruise, the more likely they are to nickel and dime you once you are on board. Let’s get back to looking at some more ways you can save money on your next cruise.

  • We have already talked some about how expensive drinks can be on ships. Try to bring some water and soda along with you. And adult beverages are even more ridiculous. Like having a glass of wine in the evening? Bring your own bottle.
  • Attend any party and event that you are invited to. If you are on a cruise with your job, attending the different events may be required of you. Going to an event likely means free drinks and food, so that’s always a plus.
  • If you are not a part of any group, go on and see which parties you can get into. You never know what nice foods may be served, or who you might meet.
  • I hate to say this, but if you are looking to save money, cruise ships are not usually the place you want to shop. Bring everything you feel like you may need. The exception to this might be some new jewelry or maybe some ¬†perfume.
  • And don’t do your shopping near the port. These merchants are looking to get the most they can out of the unsuspecting tourists. Go farther inland to get the better deals.

Ways to save on a cruise #1

You may not think of a cruise as a winter vacation, though plenty of people do cruise during the winter months. A lot of people take a cruise for their holiday vacation. But today we are going to look at ways you might be able to save some money on your next cruise.

  • Cruises are going to make stops at different places along the way. You might save some money by researching the places you are going to stop and make arrangements for your own tours. Yes, cruises arrange tours for their guests, but those can get expensive.
  • If you are just looking for the least expensive way to get around a city, look into public transportation. You are going to find that in most cases, taking the city bus is going to be less than a taxi. But of course, the least expensive, and the way to see the absolute most of your destination, is to get out there and walk.
  • Unless you live very close to a port, you may have to catch a flight. It is often wisest to arrive at least a day before you leave on your cruise, and that means figuring out a hotel. And you may want stay a couple of extra days to explore the port. With all those details to figure out, it may be easier, and even less expensive, to have a travel agent make all the bookings for you..
  • How much do you plan to drink on your cruise? Getting sloshed on a cruise is never a good idea. Think about it, on a cruise ship, you are going to be surrounded by water. Yes, I know that these ships are huge, but you should still be careful. Those unlimited drink packages may sound like a good idea, but they usually aren’t.
  • And what about those internet packages? How much are you really going to be online on board? Do you want to make yourself feel like you have to to be on your computer because you paid for the internet? There will be lots of other things to do once you’re on board.
  • And please take advantage of the teas, juices, coffee and water you’ll get in the restaurants and the buffet lines. Yes, most cruises charge for drinks, even water, when you aren’t eating.

Saving on holiday travel #2

Okay, so gifts are just one expense you are going to face during the holidays. There is also the special food everyone wants to have during the holiday season. You might be expected to do some entertaining during this time. You may need to get some new clothes. You may even feel the need to update your home decor for the parties you may be having. With all of that, saving on travel sounds good, doesn’t it?

  • First, consider getting an airline credit card. We’ve talked about that here [how to ]¬† and here [More about frequent flyer miles]. Basically these cards will help you rack up a lot of airline miles which can be used for all kinds of perks. And with all of the bonuses you’ll get when you sign up, you may be surprised by how far you can get.
  • You can also get hotel credit cards which work much the same as the above. And you can rack up points and get all kinds of nice things. Earn enough points, and you might get a free stay.
  • Holidays are great times to reconnect with those you love. Plan a trip where you stay with family and friends, at least part of the time. Staying with someone you love is going to save you a ton of money on lodging. Treat them to a nice meal or two in exchange.
  • Are you willing to travel on the holiday? Everyone else wants to be at their destination on the holiday, so you are going to get an excellent deal.

Saving on holiday travel #1

The holiday season can be such an expensive time of year, especially with all the gift giving everyone does. Your family, of course, expects gifts. There will be office parties where gift exchanges will be likely. And the same is true with church, or small group, parties. Where can you catch a break financially? Today let’s look at some ways you can save on travel.

  • If you and your family can be flexible on when you travel, consider traveling either right before or right after the big holidays. You will be surprised by how much you can save when you don’t travel on the holiday itself. You and your family may even want to consider serving at a soup kitchen on the holiday.
  • Air is always going to be expensive during this time of year. Consider going somewhere that you can drive to. This should save you a lot of money, even if you have to drive a good distance. All you will have to pay for is gas, and maybe some food.
  • It always pays to bundle. Haven’t you learned that with your cable/internet\phone packages? If you have your heart set on going somewhere exotic for the holidays, bundling may be your best option. Try Expedia or other sites like that. Or you can also contact me at I would be more than happy to help you look for a good deal.
  • Really don’t care where you go for the holidays, you just want to get out of town for a while? Scour the internet for some great deals. They’re out there, you just have to find them. Or again, you could contact me. I’m always able to figure out a good travel deal.

We are going to get back to this discussion tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts.

Getting back to work after vacation #2

We are going to get back to our discussion on how to get back into work after taking a vacation.

  • Actually we are going to start with something you should do before your vacation. Put an auto responder on your e-mail before you go on vacation. That will help the people you do business with to know when you will return and when they can expect to hear back from you. If you are in a company with other people, let the people contacting you know other people that might be able to help them.
  • Trying to do everything on your first day back is probably not going to happen. People are likely to interrupt you to ask about your trip. Decide on your priorities¬† and work through those first.
  • Sometimes it is hard to get back into your work. You may be tired or just not feel working. And you may have other things, like errands, to do. You will get your routine back. Just give yourself some time.
  • You’ve just come back from a wonderful vacation. You are going to wish you were still on your vacation instead of at work. That is completely normal. Do a little self care. Get that massage. Go to the yoga class. Enjoy a nice dinner. Get some extra rest.

Getting back to work after vacation #1

Things did not go as I thought was they might last week. They actually went way better. I got to spend the weekend with some dear friends, one of whom I did not know was coming. Anyway, ready or not, I am going to attempt to get through some work stuff tonight. Today let’s look at some tips on easing back into work after coming back from vacation. I’m not sure how well I am going to follow them, but anyway..

  • This should be kind of obvious, but your first priority should be to catch up on what you’ve missed while you’ve been gone. Go through your phone messages. Work through the e-mail you’ve gotten. Go see your boss and see if he has anything to update you on. And you might want to catch up at the water cooler too.
  • I know you have lots to work through, but take breaks so you don’t wear yourself out on your first few days back. Go to lunch even if you usually don’t. Take the time to tell your coworkers about your awesome vacation.
  • If you are going to be gone for a week or two, consider coming back a day before you have to. If you’re like me, you want to make the the most of your vacation, and don’t necessarily want to sleep. Take that extra day to catch up on rest.

We are going to continue this discussion tomorrow. I would love to know your thoughts.