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

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

30 essential things to do before you leave on vacation

If you are like most of us, the closer you get to your vacation, the more frantic things become. There is so much to do and the time seems to vanish. Start your planning early as some items can take time. To help you properly prepare for your vacation, here is our list of 30 Essential Things to do before you leave on your vacation: [ ] Verify if you will need a visa – Visa & ......

By |October 27th, 2019|Categories: Travel - International|0 Comments

Celebrity increases cruise fare on beverage packages

NOTE: On December 17, 2019, Celebrity Cruises dropped the surcharge on the "Classic Beverage" perk.   The option to get a free Classic Beverage Package included as a perk with your cruise fare has been popular with many Celebrity Cruise passengers. But starting October 10, 2019, Celebrity will add a $14.00/day per person surcharge to your cruise fare, adding an extra $196 to your seven night cruise for two passengers choosing the "Classic Beverage" ......

By |October 10th, 2019|Categories: Celebrity Cruises, Cruises|0 Comments

Killarney Ireland – a must see excursion

Muckross House, Killarney National Park ​Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle because of its luscious green landscapes and rugged coastline. Several cruise lines offer multi-day pre- or post-cruise land vacations that include a day or two in Killarney Ireland or you can easily visit on your own. Visiting the Killarney area it is a great way to experience authentic old Ireland and explore its beautiful geography. TOWN OF KILLARNEY The first settlements in ......

By |October 10th, 2019|Categories: Ireland|0 Comments

Ritz-Carlton yacht launch delayed

DELAY OF SHIP BUILD The launch of the Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection's first ship has been delayed four months from February 2020 to June 2020 due to cost and ship building issues at the Spanish Hijos De J. Barreras shipyard. All cruises between February 5, 2020 and June 13, 2020 have been cancelled.   "With additional challenges around the former shipyard management, both the new board of Hijos de J. Barreras and the board of ......

By |October 2nd, 2019|Categories: Cruises, Ritz-Carlton|0 Comments

What are cruise line automatic gratuities and do I have to pay them?

Most non-luxury cruise lines add a charge to your onboard account for gratuities. Typically the charge is added to your account the night before your cruise ends. This charge can range from $14 - $25 per person per day.  The charge is used to compensate crew members for the services they provide during your trip. This includes waiters, bartenders, stateroom attendants, the culinary team and those providing behind the scene services related to your ......

By |September 25th, 2019|Categories: Cruises|0 Comments

Mississippi riverboat cruises are taking off – This book tells you why!

Courtesy: American Queen Steamboat Company About two weeks ago I was asked by Sunny Lockwood to read and review her new book “Cruising the Mississippi.” The book was written with her husband Al and will be released in October 1, 2019 (it is available for order on Amazon as well as Barnes & Noble). I received the pre-publication copy Friday and began reading it immediately. ​For those who have wondered whether a Mississippi river ......

By |September 11th, 2019|Categories: River Cruises|0 Comments

Six reasons why you should take a fall foliage cruise

SIX REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD TAKE A FALL FOLIAGE CRUISE 1) There are cruises available for every budget ​With summer winding to a close, its time to consider a fall foliage cruise along the New England and Canadian coast. If you live in an area that doesn’t experience the annual beauty of the changing of the foliage colors, it is truly an experience you shouldn’t miss. 2) Follow the transition of the colors You ......

By |September 5th, 2019|Categories: Cruises, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Ponant Buys Paul Gauguin Cruises

Courtesy: Paul Gauguin Cruises The French luxury cruise line Ponant has confirmed its planned purchase of the Tahiti-based Paul Gauguin Cruises, which will continue to operate as a separate brand. Paul Gauguin Cruises has been sailing the South Pacific since 1997. Ponant currently has a fleet of 9 ships with plans to expand to 14 ships by 2021. Paul Gauguin has one ship which holds 332 passengers with itineraries in French Polynesia, Fiji and ......

By |August 13th, 2019|Categories: Paul Gaugin Cruises, Ponant|0 Comments

Venice redirects large cruise ships

What it means for you Italian officials announced this week that they will start redirecting large cruise ships away from the historic center of the city. These ships will no longer be able to cruise through the Giudecca Canal. As you can see from the picture above, these huge ships are so massive they obliterate the view of this charming city. Locals worry that the wake caused by these massive ships undermines the wooden ......

By |August 10th, 2019|Categories: Italy, Venice|0 Comments

Stari Grad Croatia – A step back in time

​One of the many joys of cruising is visiting ports I’ve never been to before and discovering incredible places I’d never knew existed. This happened on one of our Azamara cruises out of Venice which included a port stop in Hvar, Croatia. Hvar itself is very interesting, and I’ll write about it in a later post. But what amazed us and captured our hearts was Stari Grad, Croatia. It is a place that should ......

By |August 8th, 2019|Categories: Croatia|0 Comments

6 mega trends in cruising and how they affect you

 The cruise industry is going through a generational change. These changes will affect your cruise experience and you should consider them before choosing your next cruise.1) RECORD GROWTHIn 2019, the cruise industry will surpass the 30 million passenger per year mark for the first time. The North American cruise passenger market grew by 9% in 2018. This growth will add to calls for responsible tourism as certain ports grapple with overcrowding.More Floating Mega-Resort Ships​The ......

By |July 26th, 2019|Categories: Cruises|0 Comments

Ponant’s Antarctic cruise on climate change

Sometimes a cruise is more than just a vacation. It can be an opportunity to learn more about the world we live in. This cruise is ideal for those who want to learn about and experience the effects of climate change on Antarctica while sailing on Ponant's L'Austral.  Renowned New York Times science writers Henry Fountain and James Gorman will lead lectures and discussion sharing their knowledge of how climate change is affecting Antarctica. ......

By |July 23rd, 2019|Categories: Antarctica, Ponant|0 Comments

A break for solo travelers on Silversea Cruises

We have several clients who are solo travelers and their biggest frustration with  cruise vacations is having to pay double for a stateroom. As much as they understand cruise lines build their financial models and therefore their pricing based on two passengers per stateroom, it feels like an extra and even unfair charge to many solo travelers. Fortunately, ultra-luxury Silversea cruises is offering a break on select cruises.   SOLO SUPPLEMENTAL CHARGE OF ONLY ......

By |July 11th, 2019|Categories: Silversea, Solo Travelers|0 Comments

When is the best time to cruise?

​I frequently get asked when the best time is to take a cruise to various ports around the world. The answer is not as easy as you might think. There are a lot of factors that influence the right response. Let's examine several of these factors and see how they will affect your ultimate cruise decision. POINTS TO CONSIDER Are you looking for the best weather, wanting to avoid rough seas, trying ......

By |July 8th, 2019|Categories: Cruises|0 Comments

FEDEX launches expedited passport service

With passport applications now taking 6 - 8 week to complete, more travelers are needing to use passport expediters. For an extra fee, expediters can reduce the wait time from 8 weeks to just days, even overnight. FEDEX & RushMyPassport Partnership FEDEX has teamed up with RushMyPassport to offer a new service which is available at over 2,000 FEDEX offices throughout the United States. While the U.S. State Department offers expedited passport ......

By |July 8th, 2019|Categories: Passports|0 Comments

Golf lovers, try a golf cruise

St. Andrews Never thought such cruises exist? Well they really do, and they are actually quite popular. Golf cruises allow golf aficionados to enjoy the best of both worlds – golfing and luxury cruising. Azamara Cruises offers several golf oriented cruises each year.  And if you spouse or travel partners don’t enjoy golf, there is plenty for them to do too. Play Top Links Around The World Play at prestigious courses around the world, from ......

By |July 2nd, 2019|Categories: Cruise Lines, Golf|0 Comments

Passports – apply earlier & wait longer

While the number of passport applicants is at record levels, staff levels at the State Department's Passport Services office has dropped 14% leading to a 50% increase in the amount of time it now takes to obtain a passport. Passports Taking 50% Longer to be Issued Prior to June 2019, it took roughly four to six weeks from the time you submitted your passport application until you received it. Now the State Department is ......

By |June 19th, 2019|Categories: Passports|0 Comments

Trump ends cruises to Cuba immediately

Updated 6/15/2019 The Trump administration issued new regulations which end all cruises to Cuba effective today. While initial reports indicated that some cruises which had  been previously paid for would be exempt, the final regulations end cruises from US ports to Cuba immediately. Cruise Industry Scambles as Trump Cancels Cruises Already Booked "Without warning, CLIA cruise line members are forced to eliminate all Cuba destinations from all itineraries effective immediately. This affects nearly 800,000 ......

By |June 15th, 2019|Categories: Cruises, Cuba|0 Comments

La Compagnie offers all-business class service from Newark to Paris

Traveling to France just got a whole lot more comfortable with the launch of La Compagnie Airline offering all-business class flights from Newark to Paris, Monaco and Nice. With round-trip prices as low as $999 from flights from Newark to Paris, it is a deal that would be foolish to pass up. Courtesy: La CompagnieCourtesy: La CompagnieLa Compagnie is operating two new Airbus A321neo's. The 100% business-class cabin has 19 rows in a 2 x ......

By |June 13th, 2019|Categories: Airlines|0 Comments

Why you should get travel insurance if you are on Medicare

While traveling overseas, in almost all cases, Original Medicare does not cover medical or healthcare expenses outside the United States. Nor does its prescription drug plans offer any coverage outside the U.S. MEDICARE ONLY COVERS HEALTH CARE IN THE U.S. Under “Original Medicare,” you will be responsible for 100% of medical costs outside the U.S.  Travel within the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands is covered ......

By |June 12th, 2019|Categories: Medicare, Travel Insurance|0 Comments

Crystal Cruises to double Internet speed

One of the downsides of this modern connected world is that internet access has become critical for many  of us while on vacation. We no longer have the luxury of just disconnecting while on a cruise. Others need it to keep in touch with friends or family. Fortunately the cruise lines have been making significant investments to upgrade the quality and speed of internet access onboard modern ships. Crystal Cruises, an ultra-luxury cruise line, ......

By |June 7th, 2019|Categories: Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Internet & Wifi|0 Comments

Ritz-Carlton Yacht orders second ship

The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection has ordered its second ship the Hijos De J. Barreras shipyard in Vigo, Spain announced. Previously the cruise line had announced its plans to build a total of three 298-passenger ships. ​ Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collections first ship is scheduled for deliver later this year. The company decided to get into the luxury cruise business with the "goal ... to introduce the legendary Ritz-Carlton service to luxury yachting, while also redefining curated ......

By |June 6th, 2019|Categories: Cruise Lines, Ritz-Carlton|0 Comments

Trump administration blocks new cruises to Cuba after June 5, 2019

Today the Trump administration issued new regulations prohibiting future cruises to Cuba. Cruises have become the most popular way for Americans to experience and explore Cuba. Over 30,000 more passengers visit Cuba by a cruise ship than by air. ​The State Department announced that "going forward, the United States will prohibit US travelers from going to Cuba under the previous 'group people-to-people educational' travel authorization. In addition, the United States will no longer permit visits ......

By |June 4th, 2019|Categories: Cruise Lines, Cuba|0 Comments
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