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Blog2020-08-05T18:26:33-07:00

Tips for flying with pets onboard

We've traveled around the world with our pets. In fact our pets have flown more air miles than many people. But it is important to understand the right way to fly with your pets. Here are some of the tips we've learned over time: Check with your vet Ask your vet if it is OK to fly with your pets. Your pets may have illnesses, conditions, or be of an age which might making ......

By |September 17th, 2020|Categories: Pets|Comments Off on Tips for flying with pets onboard

The problem with travel polls

Travel polls will steer you in the wrong direction I just received my latest issue of Travel + Leisure featuring "The World's Best Awards 2020," and it reminded me about a I call I had with one of my clients a couple of months ago. They had read another poll and based on the results wanted to try a different cruise line that was highly rated in that poll - this would have led ......

By |July 19th, 2020|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Croatia is the first EU country to open to US tourists

New health requirements ​Croatia has become the first member of the European Union (EU) to open its borders to US citizens. Visitors will be required to bring documentation of a negative Covid-19 test taken within 48 hours of arrival, proof they have a hotel reservation or accommodations and complete a travel registration document prior to arriving. The travel registration form requires visitors to declare their reason for the trip and provide proof they have ......

By |July 15th, 2020|Categories: Health, Security, Visas|0 Comments

Royal Caribbean & Norwegian form joint group to develop coronavirus plan

Celebrity Edge New task-force created Two cruise industry powerhouses announced the formation of a new joint effort to develop a response to coronavirus. Royal Caribbean Group (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara & Silversea) and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (Norwegian, Oceania & Regent Seven Seas Cruises) announced the blue-ribbon task force will be headed by Mike Leavitt, former Utah governor, and Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.  Other panel ......

By |July 9th, 2020|Categories: Celebrity Cruises, Health|0 Comments

Silversea Cruises takes delivery of the Silver Origin

Purpose built for the Galapagos Islands (Courtesy - Silversea Cruises) On June 3rd, the Silver Origin was added to ultra-luxury Silversea Cruise's fleet. This ship was purpose built to serve the 19 islands which make up the Galapagos Archipelago located about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. This elegant 100-guest ship will cruise the Galapagos year-round. Discovering the islands ​You don't visit the Galapagos to lay on the beach, you go ......

By |June 9th, 2020|Categories: Silversea|0 Comments

Passport Office Is months behind. What you should do!

Send in your new or renewal passport application NOW! The U.S. passport office stopped regular operations in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Since that time, the office continues to accept applications and it will cash your check immediately. However, you application just gets added to the backlog of millions of passport applications sitting and waiting to be processed. If you need a new or renewed passport in the next 6 - 8 ......

By |June 8th, 2020|Categories: Passports|0 Comments

My 20 steps cruise lines should take when they re-open

I love cruising and have enjoyed it for over 25 years. I’ve walked through the awe inspiring ancient ruins of Pompeii. I’ve seen buildings and art I read about as a child in school. I’ve walked down paths that have been traveled for thousands of years. I’ve seen amazing landscapes, forests and gardens. I’ve come close to wild monkeys in a Buddhist temple and sloths slowly moving in Costa Rica. I’ve learned about the ......

By |May 13th, 2020|Categories: Health|0 Comments

What’s Included On A Luxury Cruise?

Are luxury cruises all-inclusive? What's included varies by cruise line Ever wonder what the difference is between upscale luxury cruise lines? You aren't alone. Luxury cruises aren't all the same. Most aren't truly all-inclusive. In fact they are very different. ​Regent Seven Seas offers the most all-inclusive fares, while you might be surprised to learn that Cunard offers the least. These different pricing strategies allow guest to choose the cruise line that most closely ......

By |May 9th, 2020|Categories: Luxury|0 Comments

Cruise bookings up over 2019 as everyone wants out of quarantine

Across the board, we are seeing cruise bookings for 2021 up 9% - 15% over 2019 levels as people are anxious to escape home and live life again. Cruise lines are offering early booking savings on most cruises which further entices the home weary. Swiss bank UBS analysts reported on March 31 an increase of 9% in year over year bookings while a more recent report from Cruise Compete showed a whopping 40% increase ......

By |April 16th, 2020|Categories: Cruises, Health|0 Comments

U.S. Passport Office still accepting applications with limits

Contrary to several news articles, the U.S. Passport office is still accepting passport applications by mail. Late last month the Passport Office issued a statement which caused a lot of confusion. In-person & expedited applications limited For now, the Passport Office has limited in person applications and expedited applications to those with a "qualified life-or death emergency" or who need a passport for immediate international travel within 72 hours, new applications and renewals can ......

By |April 13th, 2020|Categories: Passports|0 Comments

Are cruises for you?

​THERE IS A CRUISE FOR YOU! So what is fascinating about sailing on top of the waters of the world? No doubt you have met well-traveled individuals who sing the praises of cruising. For the uninitiated, the fascination with sailing on a floating city with hundreds, even thousands, of strangers may seem…well… strange. But cruising has some merit you may not have considered and you may find yourself appreciating aspects of the experience well ......

By |April 13th, 2020|Categories: Cruises|Comments Off on Are cruises for you?

TSA REAL ID deadline pushed back to October 2021

You'll be denied boarding on a plane without a REAL ID or a passport Updated: March 27, 2020 ​The federal requirements to have a “Real ID” compliant drivers license in order to board a plane or enter a federal building that requires an ID has been pushed back to October 1, 2021. The implementation date was delayed one year in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. After October 1, 2021, anyone who doesn’t have a ......

By |March 27th, 2020|Categories: Real ID|0 Comments

Coronavirus – my perspective

​Not surprisingly, I’ve been getting calls over the past few weeks about the coronavirus. It is an issue of concern that we should all take seriously, but not panic over. I am not a doctor and not giving medical advice. After reading many articles by health experts, the cruise line industry, and public health experts, here is my take on coronavirus: How Does the Coronavirus Affect My Cruise Plans 1) THE SITUATION IS CHANGING ......

By |March 7th, 2020|Categories: Cruises, Health, Travel - International|0 Comments

These passport problems will ruin your vacation

Many travelers mistakenly believe once they have a valid passport they are good to travel the world. They aren't aware of a variety of foreign requirements and assume if there are any the airline, cruise line or a travel agent will notify them. All too many people learn the hard way that it is their responsibility to learn the rules. Here are the TOP FIVE Reasons Your Passport May Be Rejected 1) Your Passport ......

By |March 1st, 2020|Categories: Passports|0 Comments

New financing program lets you travel now and pay later

"Uplift" Vacation Financing Offered by Sophisticated Cruising Have you ever found that dream cruise that you've always wanted, but you didn't have all the funds right now to pay for it? Or maybe you wanted to try the "suite life" and didn't think you could afford it? Well, with our new financing program by Uplift, you can finance your vacation over 12 months at a very competitive rate - usually much better rates than ......

By |February 13th, 2020|Categories: Money|0 Comments

New European entry authorization requirement starts January 1, 2021

Europe is one of the top tourist destinations for American travelers in part because of our historical and heritage ties, but also because of the easy of travel. There are no complicated and time consuming visa requirements for U.S. citizen to visit Europe. However, starting January 1, 2021, things will change just a bit. ETIAS - Travel Authorization Requirement ETIAS, the new travel authorization is not a visa as it has incorrectly been reported ......

By |February 8th, 2020|Categories: Visas|0 Comments

What are cruise line “automatic gratuity” charges?

Why am I charged for gratuities? (Updated: 1/7/2020) First time cruisers may be surprised when they get their shipboard final statement the last evening of their cruise. Along with charges for specialty restaurants, onboard purchases, and cocktails, they'll discover a few hundred dollar charge for "gratuities" (some cruise lines are now calling it a "service charge" or "hotel service charge"). While gratuity charges are technically optional on most cruise lines, they are automatically added ......

By |January 7th, 2020|Categories: Cruises|0 Comments

Travel insurance & Medicare – what’s covered?

Most seniors traveling abroad have health coverage through Medicare. Here are some important considerations when considering which travel insurance plans work best for you. UNDERSTANDING TRAVEL INSURANCE & MEDICARE Medicare Doesn’t Cover Foreign Travel ​With very few narrow exceptions, Medicare does not cover medical care outside the United States. Standard Medigap or Supplemental plans C, D, F, G, M, and N provide foreign travel emergency health care coverage when you travel outside the U.S. ......

By |January 2nd, 2020|Categories: Medicare, Travel Insurance|0 Comments

Minimize your luggage weight

As the airlines make it more and more expensive to take a bag with you on a trip, it is becoming increasingly more important to pack your bags efficiently. Here are some tips: ​1) Select your clothes, then edit down what you take – Most people take too much and over pack. Choose a unified color scheme so that shirts, blouses, pants and/or dresses all work together. Then pull out all the clothes you ......

By |December 31st, 2019|Categories: Luggage|0 Comments

Wave Season is starting – savings are now

Each year January is the start of "Wave Season" in the cruise industry. Why does that matter to you? It is when the cruise lines offer some of their best deals of the year. Typically you'll get the best deals on cruises over a year in advance. Interested in saving? Give us a call and we can give you more information. Our January issue of "Cruise Insights" will have more information. However, some cruise ......

By |December 10th, 2019|Categories: Cruises|0 Comments

The haunting ruins of Pompeii

During an Azamara Cruise we had a port stop in Sorrento, Italy, and while Sorrento is a charming old city perched on cliffs overlooking the Mediterranean, we wanted to visit the once thriving ancient city of Pompeii. As you’ll soon learn, it is a visit that everyone should take. Steep cliffs in Sorrento, Italy ​I should note that the drive from Sorrento to Pompeii is not for the faint of heart. The ......

By |December 8th, 2019|Categories: Destinations, Italy|0 Comments

Paul Gauguin Cruises orders two new ships

Picture courtesy Paul Gauguin CruisesPaul Gauguin Cruises announced it has ordered two new luxury expedition ships. They will be built by Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri with delivery planned for 2022. The deal includes an option for a third ship. The order is worth around $332 million.These 230 passenger ships will be more environmentally friendly with the ability to run smokeless for up to 10 hours a day in port or while in environmentally sensitive areas by ......

By |November 25th, 2019|Categories: Cruises, Paul Gaugin Cruises|0 Comments
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