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

What are “non-comm” or “non-commissionalbe” (NCF or NCCF) fees

COMPONENTS OF A CRUISE FARE​ When you receive a quote or purchase a ticket for a cruise, there normally up to 5 components to the price: 1) Room or Voyage fare (the cost or fare for the stateroom/cabin) 2) Non-commissionable fees (NCF) 3) Governmental taxes and fees 4) Gratuities (optional, but depends on the cruise line) 5) Travel insurance (optional) WHAT DOES NON-COMMSSIONABLE FEES MEAN? The most confusing component is “non-commissionable fees.” What does ......

By |November 24th, 2020|Categories: Cruises, Money|0 Comments

Celebrity announces new “Always Included” pricing program

Celebrity Cruises has announced a new approach to cruising called ‘Always Included,’ putting an end to confusing promotions, complicated add-ons and limited time offers. Starting Tuesday, Nov. 17th, every Celebrity Cruises vacation will include Wi-Fi, drinks and tips, simplifying the luxury vacation experience. “Everything we do at Celebrity is driven by the desire to redefine what today’s luxury looks and feels like, with experiences modern travelers want. With the launch of our Edge Series ......

By |November 11th, 2020|Categories: Celebrity Cruises|Comments Off on Celebrity announces new “Always Included” pricing program

A Seine river cruise from Paris through the French countryside

A river cruise along the third-longest river in France, Seine, offers a fulfilling experience of history, art, food, and wine. Rising at Dijon, in the north-east of France, the river flows 775 km through the picturesque countryside, passing by many fascinating towns and cities until it finally empties into the English Channel. The highlight of the river cruise is Paris, the famed capital where you can experience wondrous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower and ......

By |October 17th, 2020|Categories: France, River Cruises|Comments Off on A Seine river cruise from Paris through the French countryside

French river cruises on the Rhône and Saône

Lyon, France Rhône River Passing through many of France’s elegant cities and eye-catching landmarks, the Rhône River offers a rich historical experience. Starting from the Rhône Glacier in the Swiss Alps – at the magnificent capital Lyon – it flows through the south-eastern region of Provence before emptying into the Mediterranean near Arles. Wonder at the grandeur of Lyon – its many cobblestone streets and medieval architecture give you an authentic taste of ......

By |October 14th, 2020|Categories: Countries, River Cruises|Comments Off on French river cruises on the Rhône and Saône

River cruising on the Danube

Passau, Germany on the Danube River Ranking below the river Volga in Russia, the Danube holds the title of Europe’s second-longest river. This magnificent stream of water flows gracefully through 10 countries – connecting some of Europe’s most renowned cities. A journey across the Danube provides an amazing way to experience the historical, natural, and cultural beauty of the gorgeous European landscape. Budapest, Hungry on the Danube River Starting with Hungary’s ......

By |October 6th, 2020|Categories: Germany, Hungry, River Cruises|Comments Off on River cruising on the Danube

The magical river cruises of Germany – the Rhine, Moselle & Main Rivers

Burg Eltz, Germany The Rhine, Main, and Moselle rivers offer a magical tour of Germany’s history and cultural elegance. The best way to take in the captivating beauty of the vintage German towns, historic castles, and elegant vineyards is through an amazing river cruise. Each river provides its own set of scenic attractions and adventures that will take you back in time. Rhine Besides being one of the longest rivers in Europe, the ......

By |October 5th, 2020|Categories: Germany, River Cruises|Comments Off on The magical river cruises of Germany – the Rhine, Moselle & Main Rivers

Why should I take a river cruise?

From time to time, regular ocean cruisers ask whether a river cruise might be right for them. These are typically seasoned ocean cruise travelers who are looking for something a bit different. I tell them river cruises are a great option to consider. Here’s 10 reasons why: Fewer fellow passengers - Most river cruise ships hold only 100 - 200 passengers, unlike ocean cruise ships which hold between 3,000 – 5,000 guests. On a ......

By |October 1st, 2020|Categories: River Cruises|Comments Off on Why should I take a river cruise?

What’s included on a river cruise? Is it all-inclusive?

One question that always comes up about river cruises is "What's include in the cruise price?" Well it depends on the river cruise line. Some river cruises are more all-inclusive than other. It is a way for some cruise lines to differentiate themselves. It is also a way for some lines to offer a lower price, or for the unsuspecting, the appearance of a lower price. So before booking a river cruise, be sure ......

By |September 24th, 2020|Categories: River Cruises|Comments Off on What’s included on a river cruise? Is it all-inclusive?

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
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