Location, location, location
Where is your next vacation? Thinking of more than one destination? Considered cruising? Discover value, quality and diversity that cruises can offer.
Will a vacation at sea be affordable?
In addition to a variety of optional activities and dining options, you’ll pack and unpack once, while sailing to several ports of call. This concept is especially popular with Greek Isle and European itineraries, where it would be difficult to see so many destinations in such a short time. See and experience even more by adding extra days at the beginning or end of your cruise.
What will I do there?
Want to gear up and stay busy? Focus on fitness? Power walk on the promenade deck. Participate in onboard sports. Indulge in self-help programs or get the advice of a personal trainer. Try your luck at bingo and the casino. Socialize with others and make lasting friendships. How about evening entertainment? Talent often includes musicians, dancers, acrobats, magicians and comedy. Dance the night away. It’s your day, your way!
Need to slow down? Visit the Jacuzzi or pool. Dust off that book you’ve been saving and find a comfy place to read. Once finished, the ship library has more resources; even DVDs. Attend a shipboard lecture to learn more about the ports of call you will visit. Does the ship have an art auction you want to attend? Yoga classes anyone? Overdue for a spa treatment? It may be fun to get a tour of the facilities to check out the options. Hooked on the Internet? It’s available for a fee. Too tired for any of it? With 24-hour room service, there are no demands on your time.
Many cruise lines now advertise Vacation Stimulus Incentives, including reduced deposits and in some cases, even shipboard credit. Discounted and even free air for third or fourth passengers in a state room is being offered on select sailings.
Leave it up to Disney Cruise Lines to pump up the excitement of cruising! Select Stars from the most popular Disney channel shows will be sailing with the public this summer from July 9-August 2.
When & where should I go?
Since hurricane season runs May-November, is taking a cruise during this time risky?
While the captain and crew have a commitment to safety, cruise ships won’t cancel a sailing due to weather conditions. With the most advanced navigation tools in the industry, you can rely on the entire staff to give you the best cruise experience possible.
Sail From New York City & Bayonne, NJ
Seasonal cruises to Canada, Bermuda and the Caribbean islands operate limited months of the year from NYC and Bayonne, and are in high demand from the Capital Region. Ground transportation from Albany can be arranged to these ports for a reasonable cost. You’ll save even more than the traditional cruise, because you don’t need airline tickets to get to the ship. Passports are required for US Citizens.
Year round favorites that cruise from several Florida sea ports
There are Caribbean cruises that operate every week of the year from Florida. They go in three directions: east, west and south. The Southern Caribbean cruises that cruise every week originate from San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Eastern Caribbean – Includes San Juan, Puerto Rico, The US Virgin Islands and French/Dutch St. Maarten. This itinerary combines an optional visit to a lush rainforest, the best duty-free shopping experience, secluded beaches and European culture.
Western Caribbean – For those who love water sports, this itinerary is your answer. Ports include Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico and occasionally, Ocho Rios, Jamaica. The Caymans and Cozumel are significant dive destinations and have great visibility for snorkeling. Ocho is minutes from Dunn’s River Falls, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jamaica.
Southern Caribbean – Caribbean Cruises that originate from San Juan have itineraries with the most port of calls. They include exotic destinations like St. Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.
Who can cruise?
It’s easier to ask who can’t cruise?!
Pregnant women should contact their doctor before booking a cruise. There is also an age restriction on infants. Passengers under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult.
Cruise ships have handicap staterooms for people who are limited to a wheelchair. If necessary, they also provide hydraulic lift transfers for transportation on and off the ship.
Statistics show that over 90 percent of all cruisers rate their vacations at sea satisfactory. Nearly 50 percent rated their experience beyond expectation. One thing is consistent: the genuine dedication, enthusiasm, and outstanding personal service of the cruise staff wows passengers.
CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) projects 34 million Americans will cruise within the next three years (www.cruising.org). The cruise line industry knows in advance that you deserve to be treated as one in a million and they do their best to prove it!
Linda McClain, CTA, is owner of Capital Region based Linda McClain Travel Services “From The Islands To The Highlands, No Dream Is Too Far From Here!” For more information call 372.7657 or visit www.lindamcclaintravel.net.