Showing posts with label Onboard Entertainment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Onboard Entertainment. Show all posts

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Just Passing the Time

I never could connect to the WiFi on Virgin Australia so I couldn't watch a movie on our flight to Sydney, but I did have fun tracking our flight via screenshot. Darwin to Sydney is a 3.5 hr flight, and Sydney is 1.5 hours ahead of Darwin. We left at 2:30 pm and were scheduled to arrive at 7 pm, but with lots of wind storms, we didn't arrive until after 8:15 pm...lots of circling waiting to land.




Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday Spotlight - Oasis of the Seas


Royal Caribbean International® boasts 22 majestic ships in its’ fleet, including six different classifications of ships, based on size, amenities and overall design features.  These classes include:  Oasis Class, Freedom Class, Voyager Class, Radiance Class, Vision Class and Sovereign Class – and an entirely new class – the Quantum Class - just introduced to the world with construction beginning on two new ships for the class to set sail some time in 2015 and 2016.  Today we’ll be looking at the signature ship in the Oasis Class, the Oasis of the Seas® which set sail on her maiden voyage in December 2009, and is considered the ship that revolutionized cruising through its groundbreaking design introducing seven distinct neighborhoods built for ultimate enjoyment in family-friendly cruising. The Oasis of the Seas provides wonderful experiences for multi-generational family travel as well, with a wide array of onboard experiences for all ages. 

Onboard guests can delight to a wide array of relaxation, dining and entertainment options, including, hopping on a classic carousel on the Boardwalk®, then watch acrobats splash down in the AquaTheater, the first amphitheater at sea.  Let imaginations soar in the Youth Zone—the largest kids' area at sea—or at the Pool & Sports Zone, where you'll find FlowRider® surf simulators and zip line views.  Unwind with a stroll in Central Park®—a meandering garden lined with shops and fine restaurants—the first time actual trees have been planted onboard a ship!  Melt away stress at VitalitySM Spa.  Jazz up your evening with Broadway hit Hairspray, or hit the Royal Promenade for memorable moments with DreamWorks® Experience characters.  Join us onboard the ship that changed cruising – a world where innovation rules. 

VitalitySM. © Royal Caribbean International®
Rest & Relaxation:  Full-service VitalitySM Spa with thermal suite and an extensive treatment menu. State-of-the-art Fitness Center. Central Park® outdoor garden with galleries, restaurants and a Coach® store. Four pools including the Solarium, an adults-only retreat. Ten whirlpools, two of them cantilevered whirlpools overlooking the ocean. Concierge Club and Diamond Lounge. 



Dining Options:  Main Dining Room, 14 more complimentary options including Park Cafe, Windjammer Cafe, Solarium Bristo and room service, Casual dining and snacks at Johnny Rockets®, Cupcake Cupboard and Seafood Shack and more.   Specialty restaurants are also available for one low cover charge: 150 Central Park, Chops Grille steakhouse, and Giovanni's Table Italian restaurant.  Starbucks, Izumi Asian cuisine, and Vintages wine bar for an array of tempting tapas.  Central Park dining package at $65 per guest, includes Giovanni's Table Italian Trattoria, 150 Central Park fine-dining restaurant and Chops Grille steakhouse.  Chef's Dining Package, at $120 per guest, includes the five-course, gourmet Chef's Table and wine pairing, 150 Central Park.  Chops Grille, Choice of Dining Package, at $50 per guest, includes Chops Grille, Giovanni's Table and a choice of Izumi Asian Cuisine or Solarium Cafe.  

©Royal Caribbean International®, Casino Royale®
Entertainment & Shopping:  Complimentary Broadway hit Hairspray, Complimentary AquaTheater shows, ice shows and other live entertainment.  Casino Royale® with 464 slots and 27 tables, Bars, lounges, and nightclubs that never have a cover, including live jazz club, karaoke bar, and comedy club.  Parties and parades on the Royal Promenade.  Surf's Up Party, a reservation-only themed party in the Seafood Shack with the restaurant’s most popular dishes and 3 non-alcoholic beverages for a cover charge of $15 per guest or 3 alcoholic beverages for a cover charge of $25 per guest.  Variety of name-brand, duty-free shopping in Central Park® and the Royal Promenade.

©Royal Caribbean International® , FlowRider® 
©Royal Caribbean International® DreamWorks® Experience
Kids and Families:  Complimentary DreamWorks® Experience - memorable moments including character dining, parades, and meet & greets with favorite characters from Shrek®, Madagascar®, Kung Fu Panda® and more.  Complimentary Adventure Ocean® Youth Program. Royal Babies® and Royal Tots® programming.  Teen lounge areas and disco.  H2O Zone kids' water park.  3D movie theater.  Two FlowRider® surf simulators.  Two rock-climbing walls, Zip line, full-sized basketball court.  Ice-skating rink, Mini-golf course and Hand-carved carousel. 




Wednesday, February 6, 2013

stopher's stuff - WONDERous Shows & Parties


As a brand Disney is certainly known for their family friendly entertainment and experiences, and it certainly doesn’t mean anything less on the Disney ships.  I have now sailed on both the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder, (and am looking forward to the Disney Dream in July). Both times I've sailed with Disney I was delighted by the caliber of entertainment onboard.  Each night in the Walt Disney Theatre there is either a large, full-scale Broadway-type show, a featured performer, or some other special offering.  This cruise was a five-night sailing, and it included four full-scale type productions and one night with the featured performer – a magician/illusionist. 

Red Carpet arrivals for
The Golden Mickeys
Within the Disney fleet, there are a few shows and parties that are shared between ships – such as Sail Away Party up on deck, and the “Anchors Away” first night show introducing the guests to the ship inside The Walt Disney Theatre, what’s yet to come during the week, and a glimpse of the featured performer – and “Dreams – An Enchanting Classic"  - but then there are ship-specific shows too.  On the Wonder, guests can enjoy “Toy Story: The Musical” which re-tells the now classic Disney*Pixar story in a fun, new way.  Favorite friends such as Woody & Buzz are there, along with Mr. Potato Head, Bo Peep, Slinky Dog, the Green Army Men, and even Hamm.  Another fun show is “The Golden Mickeys” (also found on the Disney Dream), including the red carpet, paparazzi, “celebrity” appearances and statuettes being awarded. 

The ship is filled with other entertainment offerings on so many decks.  From the pool deck to the various children’s programming areas, to the adults-only entertainment found along Route 66 between WaveBands, Diversions and the Cadillac Lounge guests will find something to do each and every day of their itinerary.  Whether they are looking for age-specific entertainment or things the entire family can do together, there’s a lot to be enjoyed.  Personally I love the “80’s Revival” night in WaveBands and the onboard movie theatre where guests can enjoy a wide variety of Disney films – 
Entrance to the Cadillac Lounge,
just off Route 66
including first run films still in theatres.  On this voyage I enjoyed watching “Wreck-It Ralph” and the critically acclaimed, Academy Award nominated  “Lincoln” (didn’t know that that’s a Disney film?  Neither did I until I saw the pre-film credits and saw that it is distributed by Touchstone Pictures, which is a division of the Walt Disney Studios.  Touchstone was created back in 1984 to be able to produce films of a more “adult” feel than the traditional family-fare that the Disney name represented.  The first film under the Touchstone banner was Ron Howard’s “Splash” starring Daryl Hannah).  So yes, I was a tad confused at first when I saw Lincoln on the schedule, but figured it had to be something like that in order for it be shown on the ship. 

A personal favorite though, is the Pirates IN The Caribbean Deck Party – which includes the “Fireworks at Sea”.  Disney Cruise Line is still the only cruise line offering such an experience – though that WILL be changing come May 6th, when Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, BREAKAWAY, sets sail on her inaugural sailing.  I’ll be on that sailing and can’t wait to see how they will do their Fireworks at Sea.  Breakaway will be sailing year-round from New York City going to Bermuda from April to October, and then to Florida & the Bahamas from November to March – and will include Fireworks at Sea on every itinerary.   At that point, I’m sure Disney will start marketing themselves as “the original cruise line to offer Fireworks at Sea” or something similar.  Sadly for them their claim to fireworks fame will be coming to an end soon, but at the same time, they can be flattered that another line wants to emulate them with this truly unique, fun offering onboard ship.  

Recently I was chatting with a friend of mine (prior to sailing), who said he was a bit disappointed with the overall Fireworks at Sea experience.  Basically saying he was expecting more, along the lines of “Wishes” at Walt Disney World.  Now I do recognize that they ARE, afterall Disney, and could in theory pull something like that off… but at the same time, they are extremely limited by a) the size of the ship and what they could pull off, and b) no doubt have restrictions placed on them by the various authorities.  (Part of our Agent Education Program talked about this special feature of the DCL itineraries, and did also indicate that there are various rules and regulations that they have to follow based on locale as well – so there are restrictions on where they can offer Fireworks at Sea.  They are not offered on every itinerary, so if you are interested in seeing the Fireworks at Sea onboard your next Disney cruise, be sure to inquire about sailings outside of the Caribbean, as they might not be allowed).  In comment back to my friend, as a joke, I said, since they ARE Disney and can pull off a lot, why not just drape the ship with thousands of sparkling lights and add snow-effects on all Christmas-time sailings?  Simply recreate that whole winter castle effect that they offer in the parks?  Certainly there are limitations, even for Disney!   If you HAVE NOT YET been able to enjoy a Disney cruise itinerary, and would like to see what the Fireworks at Sea is like – feel free to take a look at this video on my You Tube channel.  I enjoyed taking it for posterity as I stood there with my new friends on the Disney Wonder.

So ends another entry about the Disney Wonder.  Again I will bid you adieu for now, or as they say on board…til we meet again,


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tips on Thursday - New Family-Friendly Options from Royal Caribbean


First, they had the “DreamWorks Experience”, now Royal Caribbean is prepping to further expand their family-friendly offerings - especially for young girls who love all things Barbie – by introducing the all-new "Premium Barbie Cruise Experience”. 

The new experience debuted in January on select ships and will be introduced fleetwide by March.  This newest offering will give Barbie fans, both young and young-at-heart, the opportunity to delight in all things Barbie.  For a cost of $349 per person, you can enjoy a wildly pink-decorated stateroom containing a souvenir tote bag, tiaras and teacups, toothbrush and toiletries, pillowcases, a Barbie blanket, and specially designed nautical outfits for your very own Barbie. (Don’t forget to pack your own Barbie, as the doll itself is not included).

Barbie, first introduced in 1959.  © Mattel, Inc
Continuing the experience, guests will be relieved to know that yes, there’s more!  Each Barbie Experience also includes Barbie related activities on board ship, including the Barbie Design Workshop where you can  create your own outfits for your Barbie doll, and show them off on the "pink carpet" in the Barbie Fashion Show.  And of course the experience would not be complete without a Barbie-themed tea party - the "Tiaras and Teacups Party", which is an invitation-only affair with a palate of pink pastries and pink lemonade to round out the fun.  But wait, there’s more, following the tea party, guests will then join in a Barbie “Mermaid Dance Class" to learn the various from the movie, Barbie in Mermaid Tale 2.

Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for Royal Caribbean, Vickie Freed, who admits to owning over 200 Barbie dolls, took a major part in the planning and negotiations for this new cruise experience together with the folks at Mattel, who market and sell the Barbie collections, including the Barbie Cruise Vacation Doll, which was already part of their collection prior to this new partnership, but will be sold on board all Royal Caribbean ships hereafter.  Barbie was created by Ruth Handler in 1959 and she modeled and named the doll after a German adult toy doll called Bild Lilli.

To book your Premium Barbie Cruise Experience or to learn more about Royal Caribbean, or cruising in general, be sure to visit my website or simply call 317.776.1733.  

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Entertainment Magic


One of the most magical aspects of any Disney experience is the entertainment.  The theme parks are filled with all kinds of different shows, musical groups and entertainment offerings.  The Disney cruise ships are no different!  Not only were we pleasantly surprised with how much entertainment there is, we were honestly quite amazed.   And the best part, like other cruises, is it’s all included with your cruise fare. 

Throughout the week there was something going on in the main theatre – The Walt Disney Theatre – every single night; three Broadway-style shows,  the opening night and closing night variety-style shows, FRANKENWEENIE (Tim Burton’s new film which had just opened in theaters) was shown, and one family night-show with the featured magician’s act. What a beautiful theatre it is, too.  It definitely reminded of many old-time classic theatres and movie palaces from back in "the day" in New York and Los Angeles. I just love the Art Deco stylings, and the Disney Magic is just filled with that design style.   

There were all kinds of smaller shows and experiences to be enjoyed in other venues around the ship all week long.  But one of the neatest features we found, was the Buena Vista Theatre, which is their onboard movie theater.  Classic Disney films, along with first-run films are shown in there, as well as a ton of classic Disney fare plays on the “Funnel Vision” screen up on deck 9.  While onboard we enjoyed THE AVENGERS, THE ODD LIIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN and started to watch FINDING NEMO-3D (but ended up leaving after about a half an hour since it really wasn’t all that different from the original version).   On deck 9’s Funnel Vision we enjoyed PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL and parts of several other films including THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE, TOY STORY, THE JUNGLE BOOK, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, MARY POPPINS, CARS and WALL-E. 

In The Walt Disney Theatre we enjoyed five of the seven shows that were offered.  One of the two that we did not go to in the theatre (we watched a part of on the tv screen in our room) was TWICE CHARMED, the reimagined telling of the Cinderella story created just for the Disney ships.  We were quite impressed with the overall quality of the performances, even when we didn’t necessarily like (VILLAINS TONIGHT! and TWICE CHARMED), having worked in the theatre in our younger days, as well as both being involved with drama productions for years – we could definitely see how much quality goes in to the onboard productions.  But even though we didn’t really care for VILLAINS TONIGHT!, I will say that I LOVED that both Yzma and Kronk (from THE EMPEROR’S NEW GROOVE) were featured.  I have loved that film since I first saw it on the big screen years ago, and it is a beloved favorite of my kids as well.  So seeing SOMETHING with those characters (I have not yet experienced the “Sorcerors” game at the Magic Kingdom, but I understand they are featured in the game there).  No photography was allowed in the Broadway-style shows, so I have nothing to share from those performances. 

It’s hard because I have so much that I want to share, but time can be so limiting.  I will talk about other entertainment offerings that we enjoyed in my next update, including which classic Disney character we learned to draw.  So  with that, once again, I say thanks for reading along and for now I will bid you adieu, or as Mickey likes to say, see ya real soon!

Until next time,

 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Entertainment & Enrichment at Sea


From Blue-Faced Men to Rainbow-Colored Carousels

Remember when shipboard entertainment was simply a poolside game led by the cruise director and perhaps the occasional ice carving contest? These days it’s more like surfing on Royal Caribbean’s FlowRider and splashing in Disney Dream’s AquaDuck, the first water coaster at sea. When cruise lines proclaim that a vessel has more activities onboard than most resorts, they’re not kidding. Here’s a sampling of what modern ships have to offer in the arena of entertainment and enrichment.

Ice Bar aboard Norwegian Epic
Not just the vodka is chilled. The bar, tables, stools, and even the walls are made of ice and kept at an arctic 17 degrees.

Cunard Insights aboard Queen Mary 2
Imagine attending a lecture series headlined by such well-known personalities as John Cleese, star of the Monty Python films, or Dr. Ruth Westheimer, television’s famous therapist.

Carousel aboard Oasis of the Seas
Hand-crafted and one-of-a-kind, the Carousel found onboard Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas is the whimsical centerpiece of the Boardwalk, inspired by Coney Island for the young and young at heart.

Bon App├ętit Culinary Center aboard Marina
If you are not satisfied with just feasting on edible indulgences but want to learn to craft culinary excellence as well, try the hands-on instruction provided by Oceania Cruises’ master chefs.

Blue Man Group aboard Norwegian Epic
This award-winning show and concert, once found only in Vegas, will combine music, comedy and multimedia theatrics.

Digital Workshop aboard Holland America Line's Nieuw Amsterdam
Powered by Windows, this interactive design studio offers free classes on images, blogs, movies, scrapbooks, and more.

WaterWorks aboard Carnival Dream
With 19,000 square feet catering to kids and families, Carnival Dream ship features an aqua park with the longest water slide at sea. Don’t miss the comedy club and outdoor laser shows.

For more information and to reserve your next vacation, contact me at 317.776.1733 or simply visit my website. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Cruising with Kids


Week after week your days are filled with work and school days. Family time is limited to being together for dinner, if that, and the calendar never seems to stop being filled up with some sort of “must-do” activity.  Are you tired of this typical routine, shuttling the kids around to this activity and the next, all while you yourself are off to this club or board meeting, volunteer activities and so much more?  You want a vacation, but the thought of a “family destination” that will only keep you in long boring lines of cranky tourists, waiting to board a 3 minute-or-less attraction only makes you cringe. Then it’s time to make a change in your vacation thinking.

Why not make the whole family happy, from the kids to the grandparents? It’s time to look at cruising – not only is it the best vacation value around, but everyone in the family has a great time. Cruise lines know that kids need to be occupied, and they also know that parents need a break. So how can one vacation accomplish both needs?

The new megaships are built for families in mind. Parents can sit by the pool while their kids are enjoying the water slides and fun activities, and the best part is there is no extra charge for the fun. If your kids are more adventurous, why not check out the many other activities available onboard. How about rock climbing, surfing, zip lining, basketball, putt-putt golf, bungee jumping, ice skating, game rooms, bowling and more! Yes, you can do all these activities on a ship!

But wait, there’s more! Are you looking for a few hours to chill by the pool, get a massage or simply want to take a spin class? While you do that, your children will be occupied with learning and enriching activities. There is a program for children of all ages. Examples of some of the fun in store at the kids’ camps include:

  • Toddlers (ages 2-5) – splash pool, fun family games, cartoon time, toys, learn your colors, counting games, sponge painting, indoor beach parties, pizza pig out, drawing contests, sing-alongs, bingo, face painting, arts and crafts, cookie decorating

  • Juniors (ages 6-8) – talent show, face painting, cartoon time, indoor fair, sea animals, trivia, ice cream sundaes, cookie decorating, button making, puppet show, beach party, outdoor fun and games

  • Intermediate (ages 9-12) – t-shirt painting, photography, jewelry making, board games, dance class, video game tournament, ping pong, talent show, volleyball, show time, scavenger hunts, meet the entertainers back stage, breakfast fun

  • Teens (ages 13-15) – ping pong, pool party, teen dance, dance class, talent show, pizza party, indoor beach party, skin care and hair-dressing demonstration, photography

There are plenty of cruise lines that provide the right experiences and environment where the kids are more than welcome aboard, with exciting destinations in 3, 4, 5, 7 night or more itineraries. Just to name a few, check out Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian and of course Disney to see all of the great family-friendly activities.

Cruising is not just for adults anymore – it’s the vacation where EVERYONE gets to have fun.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Top 10 Reasons to Take a Cruise


Stopher's Top 10 Reasons Why You Ought to Take a Cruise for Your Next Vacation

  1. Choose to cruise for VALUE. One price buys your cabin, dining, entertainment and more.
  2. Choose to cruise for ROMANCE. Secluded beaches, en suite dining on a balcony overlooking the ocean and spa services for two are just some of the romantic pursuits available.
  3. Choose to cruise for CUISINE. Tantalize your taste buds with gourmet fare that showcases exotic ingredients, old standbys like pizza and ice cream or spa cuisine for a healthy alternative. Depending on your mood, dine in a traditional ballroom setting, a small bistro or a casual eatery.
  4. Choose to cruise for VARIETY. With over 200 distinctive ships, 3000 ports-of-call and an unbelievable array of places to see and things to do, there is a perfect cruise for you. For even more choice, consider a pre- or post-land tour.
  5. Choose to cruise for ACTIVITIES. Fill your days with sightseeing, sports activities, cultural lectures, educational tours led by naturalists and historians or simply lounge by the pool and relax. At night, enjoy dance extravaganzas, musical revues, gaming or a quiet evening gazing at the stars.
  6. Choose to cruise for SIMPLICITY. Don't come back from your vacation needing a vacation. Planning a cruise is simple; your CLIA-affiliated travel agency can handle all of the details. Once you're on board, nearly all expenses are pre-paid... talk about hassle-free.
  7. Choose to cruise for NEW HORIZONS. Fall asleep in one destination and awake to a new horizon... and you only have to pack and unpack once!
  8. Choose to cruise for FAMILY. Families love cruising. Children's programs, kid-friendly menus and tours of the ship will keep your children happy, while affording you some time alone.
  9. Choose to cruise for PAMPERING. Regardless of your budget, all cruise lines pamper their guests with first-class service around the clock.
  10. Choose to cruise for SATISFACTION. It's a fact that cruises have a higher percentage of satisfied customers than any other vacation experience.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

It’s Not Your Grandmother’s Cruise Anymore!

Cruising has come a long way since the “Love Boat” days. The regimented schedule a passenger followed left much to be desired. In today’s cruising, the choices are endless!

The Evolution of Dining
In the past, passengers had two choices to dine – early seating at around 6:00 pm or late seating at about 8:00 pm. And if you didn’t book early enough, most likely you could not get the choice you wanted. Can you imagine going on vacation and being told when to eat? Well, not on today’s cruise ships! Sure, if you want traditional dining it is available, but today there are a multitude of options to choose from. Most cruise ships even have specialty restaurants with a nominal cover charge averaging $20 per person; this dining experience equates to any five-star, land-based restaurant that costs hundreds of dollars to dine at per couple. Then there’s Lido dining – more like a smorgasbord for anytime casual or buffet dining. Royal Caribbean ships even have hangouts like Johnny Rockets – the famous hamburger joint. Norwegian Cruise Line touts “Freestyle Dining” where you have upwards of 17 different restaurants to choose from, and you can dine anytime and with whomever you want. Dining on today’s cruise ships is a phenomenal experience.

Top-Notch Entertainment
On the cruises of yesteryear, you could take in an early show or a late show, depending on your dining time. Year after year, the variety show lived on. Now fast forward to today – Royal Caribbean has shows like the Broadway hit “Hairspray”, and they built an AquaTheater on their newer ships where a full aquatic show is performed with high divers and synchronized swimmers. Comedy and jazz clubs are also in full swing such as Fat Cats on NCL’s Epic. Love Karaoke? There’s always a lounge onboard where you can sing to your heart’s content each night. NCL’s Epic also features the famous “Blue Man Group”, a Cirque dinner show, and “Legends in Concert”. Want to bowl or play a supersized Wii? Just jump on an NCL ship and the family is sure to have fun.

Days at Sea are Never Boring
During days at sea, gone are the beer drinking and men’s hairy chest contests! They have been replaced on Royal Caribbean ships with FlowRider, a surfing simulator, or hang loose during your ride on the zip line. Want to play putt-putt golf, basketball, ping pong, or climb a rock wall – it’s all happening onboard. Celebrity Cruises has glass blowing at sea: watch a Corning Museum of Glass gaffer present a live demonstration on glass blowing, or play a game of bocce on their beautifully manicured lawn on the top deck. Carnival’s fun is by the pool at Waterworks; take a plunge down their 104-foot-long slide. It’s a real rush!

Wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, lectures, computer classes, spa treatments, and state-of-the-art workout facilities can also keep you busy during your days at sea. Or grab a book from the library and enjoy sitting by the pool, relaxing while the ship takes you to your next exciting port of call.

Accommodations
Interior and ocean view cabins were the typical choices in years past, and if you were one of the lucky few to enjoy a balcony, you paid a huge premium. Most new ships now offer primarily balcony cabins – and even some inside staterooms now have views overlooking promenades with natural lighting. And the cruise lines continue to be innovative. Now on the new Royal Caribbean ships, Loft cabins are available, featuring two-story, floor-to-ceiling windows, two bathrooms, a living room, and a second-floor master bedroom. Private villa guests aboard NCL’s Epic have exclusive access to their own pool, lounges, and restaurant; it’s a ship within a ship.

If you haven’t cruised in a while or just thought cruising was for old people, think again! For more information and to reserve your next cruise vacation, contact me at 317.776.1733 or simply visit my website.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tips on Thursday - Five Great Reasons to Set Sail - OR - Cruising: The Best Value in Vacations

Cruising really is just about the best value in vacation travel today.  Not sure you agree?  Here are five great reasons to set sail on your own cruise adventure
  1. Unpack once and your floating hotel goes from port to port. The best part is you can tour all day, and while you are sleeping, the ship is taking you to your next destination. Wake up to a new experience every day!
  2. Traveling with the family? From tots to teens to grandparents, there is something for everyone. Each family member can enjoy something different during the day, and all meet up in the evening for a family dinner.
  3. Not all ships are created equal and come in all shapes and sizes. Some specialize in family fun with water slides and amazing children’s programs while others cater to a more sophisticated traveler with an upscale ambiance.
  4. Think you will be bored? Think again! Pamper yourself in a world class spa, shop in the duty-free boutiques, or try your luck in the casino. If you’re the active type, the sports activities and work-out areas are state of the art. Hang out at the pool, join in a wine tasting with a sommelier, enjoy dance lessons, take a computer class, sing karaoke, or you can even learn a new language. The possibilities are endless!
  5. It’s practically all inclusive! Your upfront cruise fare includes:
a.       All your meals – breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snacks and even room service
b.      Fabulous entertainment – Nightly shows, comedy, jazz, nightclubs, parades and more
c.       Onboard fun – such as surfing, rock-climbing, bocce ball, and movies under the stars
d.      Accommodations – enjoy breakfast or room service out on your balcony, while enjoying the best ocean views around 

To learn more about cruising, to search itineraries, or request your free vacation quote, click on the logo link above to visit my websites.  With ships sailing to all corners of the globe - there definitely is an itinerary for you!  Your ship awaits!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Magical Mondays - River Cruising: The Pros About Going Small

River cruising is a HOT new way to explore, since nothing quite compares with the river. Where else but on the river can you journey into the heart of the world’s greatest cities and towns, and discover the true nature of the land? Comfortable and convenient, river cruises offer a greater variety of destinations than you could encounter any other way. Spend less time getting there and more time being there. Little wonder that river cruising is the fastest-growing segment of the travel industry.  With River Cruising, you get up close and personal on the rivers of Europe, China & Egpyt.


For those only familiar with the rules of big ships, here are three reasons riverboat fanatics come back, time and again, for more.

Dinner
Forget buffet dining with 2,000 strangers. River cruises average about 200 passengers per boat, so the waitstaff will likely know your name by the end of the first meal (and so will your fellow travelers).

Evening Entertainment
Instead of dance clubs, karaoke, and glitzy Vegas-style reviews, nightlife on river cruises trends toward string quartets, guest lectures on regional history, and staring out at actual scenery, not just a watery horizon.

Extra Costs
The dirty little secrets of ocean cruises? They always charge extra for excursions, and beer and wine costs are on par with pro sports arenas. River cruise lines opt for flat fees up front.

River cruising is such a fast-growing trend that there are twice as many new river ships debuting in 2012 than there are traditional big ships. In fact, Viking River is building 6 new ships to accommodate the demand. I for one thought that this was for the older generation but I was completely wrong in more ways than one. This new way to cruise is for the adventurous. You are docked right into the heart of the city. You walk on cobblestones. You are eating pho, knockwurst and other traditional foods. You are there to really experience the cultures and sounds of the world.  This is for the “Bucket List” crowd. 

If you would like to learn more about river cruising, let me know, and I'd be happy to discuss ships, itineraries and more with you.