Saving on a cruise

Today let’s look at some ways you can save money on a cruise.

  • Okay, when you go on an inexpensive cruise, you are going to pay pretty much for the excursions they will offer. Do your research before you leave on your trip, and plan your own excursions. Or if I help plan your cruise, I can help you plan those as well. Are you going to fly to your cruise port?
  • Do you want to stay the night before you leave? Do your research and plan everything out. Or again, I will be more than happy to help you plan everything.
  • If you are going to fly, thus being without your own transportation? They will want to take the bus. Taxis are pretty much always going to be more expensive.
  • Some drinks are going to be part of your meals. Others will not. Be sure you know which is which.

So where do you want to go to celebrate the holiday season? I would love to hear about your plans.

  • Have you ever dreamed of going to London? Why don’t you head there for the holidays? The Milestone Hotel and Residences is offering a holiday experience that comes complete with gifts. You will receive a holiday drink once you arrive. There will be a stocking for you on Christmas Eve. Their restaurant will be serving holiday favorites, and there will be activities for the children.
  • If your favorite part of the holidays is the food, you might want to consider going to Italy. There will be lots of good food to be had. You will be able to have a multi course meal on both Christmas Eve and Christmas. There will also be an extravagant meal on New Year’s Eve.
  • Or you might want to go to New Orleans for Christmas. Windsor Court Hotel is going to have a lot of decorations. You will also be able enjoy a great tea

Where to go for Christmas #3

I have shared some things I like about this time of year. I would love to hear about some of your favorite traditions of the Christmas season.

  • Have you ever dreamed of spending the Christmas holidays in the Swiss Alps? Baur Au Lac Hotel was established near a beautiful lake in the 1800’s. They will have one of the tallest Christmas trees in their area. Stay at this hotel and you will get a taste of Swiss holiday favorites. And you will also get taste of some of their music.
  • Has the climbing bug got into you? You might want to go to Tanzania. There are places that will serve you roasted turkey and other delicious treats. And you can also do as much climbing as you want.
  • Or are you looking for something that is luxurious? If that sounds more like you, you might want to try Hotel Bel-Air which is in Loos Angeles. Pastry chef Tiffany Pascua will be more than happy to give your entire family cooking lessons. You will also be able to enjoy a four course dinner?
  • Has Paris always been on your bucket list? Consider going to Le Royal Monceau where you will be able to revel in all kinds of festivities. They will have igloos that will comfortably house six guests where you will enjoy a tasting experience. You will be eating appetizers and drinking wine.
  • Have you wondering what an Irish Christmas would be like? You might want to go to The Merrion, which is a hotel in Dublin. There will be afternoon tea which will feature several delicacies. There will be tasting menus on Christmas and New Year’s where you can sample Irish fare. Father Christmas will make an appearance on Christmas Eve, followed by an evening of caroling.


Where to go for Christmas #1

The birthday season is upon us. Do you know what you are doing, where you are going for the holidays? Today let’s start looking at some places you might want to go this time of year.

  • Have you ever been to France for Christmas? You might want to try Monaco, France to celebrate the holidays. They have a hotel there called Hotel Metropole Monte-Carlo. It looks like this is the place for you if you love chocolate, because they will have a lot to indulge your tastes. They also have some fun activities for kids.
  • Is having a white Christmas one of your top priorities? Consider going to the Bavarian Alps in Germany. Schloss Elmau is one of the country’s top resorts, and they have some special things planned for Christmas. On the big day, enjoy live piano music. Later that evening, try some of their cocktails.
  • If you are tired of our traditions, go to Peru and experience some of. You will want to go to the Country Club Lima, Peru. You will get to enjoy their tea which features some great pastries. Not a tea person? Try some of their delicious hot chocolate.
  • Are you looking for a place a little closer to home? A lot of people absolutely love going to New York City the during the holiday season. Kimpton Muse Hotel is one of the hotels that is offering a special for the season. With the “Picture Perfect Holiday Offer”, you are going to get a shopping experience at Bloomingdale’s where you will have a shopping appointment and receive a gift. You will have a photographer to capture your special moments.
  • Are you looking to celebrate with all the fun Christmas traditions? To do this, you will want to go to Dallas. Here you will find a nice replica of the North Pole. Go to school with the elves.. Make slime with the Grinch. You can even get close to the animals in the live nativity.

More reasons to cruise

Have your friends tried to talk you into a cruise, but you just aren’t sure you would like it? Here are some reasons you might want to consider going.

  • First, there are a lot of ports within the United States, enough so that most people are within driving distance of a port. I’ve talked to some people that are afraid, or strongly dislike, flying. Cruising enables you to get to places you would not be able to get to driving.
  • Maybe you just want sometime away from the drudgery of cooking and cleaning for a while? On a cruise, all your meals are taken care of. You will have access to all kinds of restaurants, some which will be opened 24/7. And like most hotels, your room will be cleaned each day.
  • And since everything you need comes on board the ship, these vacations are some of the easiest to plan. You will not need to worry about your vacation. You will not need to figure out where you are staying. You will also not need to worry about how you are going to get from here to there.
  • On the higher end cruises, room service is going to come at no extra charge. Want a midnight snack of pizza or milk and cookies? They’ll be happy to oblige. Do you want to avoid the breakfast rush? It will be their pleasure.
  • Most cruises allow you to do whatever you want whenever you feel like it. Do you want to take advantage of all the activities they have to offer? You’re more than welcome to. Do you want to do nothing except sit by the pool? That is up to you too.

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.

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 #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.

Romance on cruise ships

When you think of a cruise, what do you think about? Do you think of a great inexpensive trip where you can get to see more expensive places for less? Do you think of a ship where you are with thousands of other people? Do you think of a place where you can get all you want to eat? Are you dreaming of the endless activities? Or is a cruise your ideal when it comes to a romantic vacation?

Cruises will do special things for couples who are on their honeymoons, or are on other romantic vacations. Today let’s look at some different packages you might want to consider.

  • When you think of romance, you are probably thinking of quiet, intimate moments, which you would rather not share with thousands of strangers. That’s why you should consider something like Windstar. I think with Windstar, you’re looking at something like 300 guests. When you marry, or renew your vows, your captain will officiate. You will get a cake and a bottle of sparkling wine. A reception with dinner and dancing can be arranged.
  • Cunard’s ships are going to be much larger. Still, I think you can find some very nice suites on board these ships. Their romance package looks very similar to Winstar’s. Your captain will do the honors. You will get flowers and a bottle of champagne and cake. You will also get a photographer and a portrait. You will also get a special certificate.
  • Have you always dreamed of getting married on a Disney Cruise ship? You can be married on board or on their private island. Yes, I know that Disney is mostly a family affair, but they do have some great suites, and there is an adults-only pool you will want to take advantage of. You can also enjoy couples’ massages. I do have to warn you that Disney weddings are quite expensive.