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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Norwegian Cruise Line

A particular cruise feature that Norwegian Cruise Lines introduced is free-style dining. Historically, shipboard dining has been a structured affair, with meals served at preset hours, usually with assigned seating in the dining room and a dress code. Free-style dining changes all of that to match the contemporary American lifestyle. Passengers may choose from eight to a dozen dining areas on board and eat when they wish. Some dining areas serve cafeteria-style, with food already prepared and jean-clad passengers taking a tray and selecting their food items. The main dining areas serve menu-based meals with full service wait staff and where jeans and shorts are prohibited at the evening meal. All food in the dining rooms and cafeteria is included in the price of the cruise.

And you get more than your money’s worth in the quality and presentation of all food items. The average passenger gains seven pounds on a week-long cruise! In addition, Norwegian Cruise Line offers a selection of specialty or upscale restaurants on each ship and meals in these restaurants are offered at additional cost. For example, Asian, French, Japanese or Italian cuisine may be featured in a suitably decorated small restaurant. But know full well, the upscale restaurants excel in service and cuisine and provide value for the dollar for the more discriminating.

Food service is a major attraction on any cruise, but Norwegian Cruise Line also provides a full range of on-board activities 24 hours a day. A fully equipped fitness center attracts those who want to stay in shape on their vacation. The pool area is the hub of live entertainment day and evening. Ships have a number of bar, lounge and disco areas that come to life with talented performers every night. Also included in the price of the cruise is theatre entertainment that ranges from stand-up comedy to full show revues that rival those found in Las Vegas. And speaking of Las Vegas, while in international waters, passengers can enjoy all the amenities of a sparkling casino, including slots and gaming.

Norwegian Cruise Line, a premier cruise line, currently has ten large and modern ships in its fleet. The most luxurious ship in the fleet, the Norwegian Star, seasonally alternates on trips to Alaska during the summer season and cruises to the Mexican Riviera in the colder months. One of the newest ships, Norwegian Spirit, also sails to Alaska in the summer but crosses the Panama Canal to sail the Caribbean in the winter. The Norwegian Wind follows the whim of the wind and sails to many major destinations: Alaska, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, and the Caribbean while Norwegian Sun and Dream quietly cruise the Caribbean.

The brand new Pride of Aloha, as its name implies, is dedicated to custom cruises hopping between the islands of Hawaii. There is no better way to thoroughly tour Hawaii than on a cruise ship. Also brand new, Norwegian Dawn is dedicated to sailing from New York to ports in Florida and the Caribbean.

The newly renovated Norwegian Sea routinely sails from Houston, Texas through the Caribbean. A ship fit for royalty, the Norwegian Majesty, also sails through the Caribbean to ports of call in Mexico and the Bahamas.

Family Reunion Cruises

When that urge strikes (and believe me, it will strike), you’ve got to be prepared with a plan of action. If you mention the idea of a “family reunion” to your family members without a plan, you’ll most likely end up with mayhem on your hands. The next thing you know you’ll have relatives camping out on every square inch of your floor, piling your sink sky high with dirty dishes, and making executive decisions with your remote control. In addition, you’ll become far too acquainted with the health problems and bodily functions of some of your senior relatives (Who knew that toenail fungus was so prevalent?).

So, what’s the plan of action? You’ve got to head off those pesky relatives at the pass and make sure they never plan that family reunion at your house. What’s the alternative? You’ve got to plan your family reunion on a cruise ship!

Cruise ships are the perfect setting for a family reunion. This is neutral territory, so people don’t feel they are imposing on others. It levels the playing field and takes away the control that can sometimes come into play when reunions are held on a family member’s “turf.” Plus, the best part is the cruise line does all the work — the cleaning, the cooking, and the entertaining. All your family members have to do is relax and enjoy their time together. Plus, lest we forget to mention one of the most important factors — the variety of activities onboard the ship and at the various ports of call is a perfect fit for groups who want to do some of their activities together and some separately. In other words, you’re not trapped in “family reunion” bedlam the entire time. You can take a breather at one of the many bars or lounges onboard your ship, catch a current movie in the ship’s theater, put on your dancin’ shoes for the disco, try your luck at the casino, or simply hide out in your stateroom and order complimentary room service.

If your family group has children, traditional reunions can be horrible experiences for kids! You know what I’m talking about — the endless “remember when” discussions they overhear about things they’re too young to understand, the frequent rebukes for running through the house making too much noise, and the obligatory playing with the dreadful cousins. Yikes! What kid would look forward to that? But, tell a kid they’re going on a cruise ship with a miniature golf course, a pool, a sports court, an ice rink, and a really cool kid’s activity program, and they won’t grumble about having to endure a few hours of interaction with the relatives.

Most cruise lines offer attractive rates for groups — and some offer special packages specifically for family reunions. With their all-inclusive approach (meals and entertainment are included) and hassle-free planning, booking your family reunion aboard a cruise ship is the only way to go.

Fun Free Cruising

Now before you all roll about laughing, let me explain that I have just come back from my first ever cruise. I ate three meals and some a day, drank more than my doctor would have liked me to yet I didn’t put a single pound on for the seven days we were at sea. I appreciate that most of us go cruising to get away from it all and have a good time.

Many of us even go on a diet before sailing so that we look our best as we lounge by the pools but there really is no need to put on a lot of weight while we are at sea only having to shed it all once we get back home.

Follow our ten easy steps and you will have a great time on your cruise and look fabulous when you arrive home.

1. Eating

Enjoy the fabulous food – that is one of the main reasons we all go on cruises. The cruise lines go to great lengths nowadays to make sure that there are plenty of healthy options and portions sizes are large enough to fill you up without adding unnecessary calories. My wife and I cruised on the Carnival Glory and the food -and service – was fantastic. However, if like us, you do overindulge every now and then go to step 2.

2. Exercise

Get into the gym and get on a treadmill – even if it’s only for 15 minutes (although 30 minutes is better!). It will speed up your metabolism and help burn off unwanted calories. The first full day at sea the gym is normally packed with people with good intentions. You may even have to wait to get on an exercise machine. The second day the lines are not so long and after a couple of days you can usually take your pick of machines. Exercising after breakfast is a great idea as it allows you to burn off those eggs, bacon and pancakes with the bonus that your elevated metabolic rate will continue to burn off additional calories for another two or thee hours as you bask in the sun.

3. Spa

Pamper yourself. Enjoy a relaxing massage and then dive into the steam room or sauna. You’ll feel great and you’ll lose a few more unwanted pounds.

4. Walking

Going for a walk may seem a strange idea on a cruise ship but you have miles of decks to saunter along. Wear a hat and sunscreen and carry a bottle of water and after a couple of circuits you’ll know the layout of the ship, have checked out the best places to sunbathe and burned off enough calories in time for your next meal.

5. Swimming

Swimming is great exercise and even if you can’t actually do laps because of all the other people in the pool, you can tread water for a few minutes each day which is great exercise both for burning off calories and strengthening and toning muscles.

Internet Cruises

Indeed the Internet can be a wonderful source of information to help you plan an exciting holiday, obtaining ship and stateroom descriptions, itineraries, tips on sites to see, passport and visa requirements, shore excursion, shopping, weather and local interest information,but is it the right place to book your dream vacation?

Cruise lines are investing over US$15 billion to build at least 50 new ships in the first half of this decade in addition to the over 300 vessels already in service. Each of these ships offer different amenities with unique ambiance and often this kind of information can only be understood and communicated by face to face discussions with a cruise expert to avoid turning a terrific vacation into a mediocre experience.

There is a common misconception that because something is offered for sale on the Internet, it will be an exceptional or a major saving for the consumer. More often than not however it is the ease of completing a transaction that is the major benefit for certain types of travel.

Do not assume that pricing on the Internet will automatically be the lowest. Often local agencies will have agreements with the cruiselines that allow them to offer exceptional “not to be advertised” specials.

Sometimes there are “residents specials” which are applicable only to residents of a particular country, state or province. Most cruise lines offer price protection to the consumer should the fare for your category of stateroom be reduced. A good agent will watch for reductions and ensure you receive the adjustment. Using an electronic service may not provide the same protection or make available specific specials applicable to your requirements.

Arrangements unique to your vacation such as special dietary requirements, handling disabilities, and providing meet and greet services, may be overlooked booking on-line and there may be no way to get answers your very specific questions.

On the other hand booking your frequent flyer points travel directly with the airlines or even obtaining a air ticket can be a simple process with little risk if you are dealing directly with the airline’s booking engine. Above all make sure about who you are giving your credit card to.