Author: Richard Telling

Inclusive Caribbean Cruises

It is always good to gather some general information about a proposed vacation destination. Cruise liners offer their best rates during the months of January, May, September, October, November and first two weeks of December. If you want a smooth sailing experience, then June is the month to plan your vacation in as the Caribbean sees the smoothest seas in June. February is the month for the roughest seas and is best avoided. The general forecast for the Caribbean is that the most likely time for hurricanes is in the month of September.

All inclusive Caribbean cruises are a wonderful way to unwind and relax. All inclusive is a concept that refers to all the expenses of the vacation paid in a lump sum usually upfront. Once this is done one can just sit back and relax, without having to worry about paying for each and every thing.

Your all inclusive Caribbean cruises could be a Western Caribbean cruise starting from Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, or Port Canaveral and going on to New Orleans or Galveston, and sometimes Baltimore and Charleston. Typical ports of call on this route are Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Costa Maya, Cancun (Calica), Belize, and Key West.

The other route is an Eastern Caribbean route where the ports of call would include San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maartin, Nassau, or Labadee. Many cruise lines have access to private islands. These islands are used for barbecues and water activities. An all inclusive cruise would entitle you to the use of all on-board amenities.

If the cruise is along a Southern Caribbean route then the ports of call would include Aruba, Curacao, Barbados, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Johns (Antigua), St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Martinique, Caracas (Venezuela), Dominica, Guadeloupe, Catalina Island (Dominican Republic), Grenada, St. Croix, St. Barts, Tortola, and Virgin Gorda.

About Waterfalls in Iceland

Gullfoss

Gullfoss is, in many ways, like Iceland’s Eiffel Tower, or Golden Gate Bridge. Though a natural feature of the landscape it’s somehow captured the hearts and imaginations of hundreds of thousands of people, and has become a must-see for both visitors and locals alike. Its beautiful tiered drop has a gentle, soothing power and regardless of the weather is always mesmerizing, even if frozen sculpture-still in winter.

After a scenic drive northward from the main highway, Route 1, through meandering hills and easy landscapes, Gullfoss is hidden from view until the very last moment, tucked as it is down into a river gorge. For the first time visitor especially, arriving at the edge of the gorge gives a sense of discovery – even though there may be people all around you, there’s a feeling that yours are the very first eyes to witness the fall’s beauty. Close-up and enveloped in its mists, or at a distance on a viewing platform, Gullfoss is a delight to behold!

Dettifoss

Imagine standing only feet away from the most thunderous waterfall in Europe, and one of the most overall impressive falls in the world. Peering down from the lip of the falls, the river below is impossible to see through a massive billow of ice-cold mist, and a sense of justified vertigo may even take hold. Across the wide glacial river Jökulsá á fjöllum, you can see tiny people on the opposite columnar basalt bank and you wonder at the reckless courage they show by reaching down to touch the water just before it descends 150 feet below. You realize that you might also look just as daredevil to them!

Welcome to Dettifoss, a natural phenomenon so overwhelming that it takes your breathe away. In the north of Iceland, it’s some kilometers off the main highway through a barren landscape and a short hike from the parking lot, but seeing its majesty is worth every minute it takes to get there. Choose the eastern side or western (which is an easier drive on a paved road) – you won’t be disappointed!

Seljalandsfoss

It’s possible that every person has imagined, at some point in their lives, walking behind a powerful waterfall. There’s a sense of deep mystery behind the endless curtain of water and mist that comprises a falls, and the knowledge that it’s virtually impossible to stop the flow makes wanting to see behind it all the more compelling. The magic of Seljalandsfoss is that you can do just that! Seen from the southern main highway, the falls look like any other classic ribbon of shining water, dropping over 200 feet down from a volcanic cliff. Just that alone makes it appealing.

But up close something more amazing comes to light: there is a clear and easy, albeit muddy, path that curves up and around the falling water onto a wide inset ledge many yards behind it, overhung with raw rock from which small plants and mosses grow. The photo opportunities are amazing, especially as the summer sun sits low on the horizon, shining in past the ribbon of water, but in any season or time of day there’s that special sense of fantasy at listening to the thundering falls from safely behind them. It’s an experience not to be missed!

Skógafoss

While some few waterfalls are possible to go behind, others keep their secrets and treasures more tightly. Skógafoss is one of them. In the old days of yore, a chest of gold was hidden in a cave behind the falls by one of the original settlers, a man named Thrasi (Þrasi). His treasure glitters bright when the sun hits it right, but no one yet has been able to recover any of it but a curcular handle that sits today in the historical musem close by. Knowing that generations of locals have wondered about the treasure adds to the falls appeal.

For many, Skógafoss is the most beautiful waterfall in Iceland. Unlike the gorge-style falls that can’t be seen from the road, Skógafoss gleams and falls wide and gorgeous from a high cliff and onto a flat and easy riverbed below. There’s a good set of stairs just to the side that take you to a viewing platform at the top and the start of a well-used hiking trail, and down below again you’re welcome to get as close to the thundering water as you’d like – though beware the constant spray of icy glacial water!

Goðafoss

It’s not hard to imagine the Old Gods at Goðafoss, itself named in honor of the two that stand sentinal, frozen in rock, on either bank of the falls. This is one of those waterfalls that you just don’t expect after miles of drive over high rolling heaths. The river that feeds it, Skjálfandafljót, is fed by glacial melt, rainwater streams and springs, and cuts flat through the highlands east of Akureyri until reaching the gorge at Goðafoss. That means it’s not visible until you’re right up near it, when it demands to be witnessed and experienced.

The story goes that in the year 1000 AD, when Iceland officially accepted the Christian religion, the locals tossed their pagan idols into the falls as a symbolic gesture. Given the almost-mythical lava formations that seem to stand sentinel over the wide and beautiful falls, and that the Old Ways were never really forgone by the populace, it seems appropriate that this waterfall was chosen for the task. Admirers can approach the falls from either side, with well-signed walking paths as guides. It’s the perfect place for a picnic along the northern main highway, and historically important as well!

Dynjandi

Like a fine silver veil, the Dynjandi waterfall flows softly down a rough mountainside in the West Fjords in tiers. Seemingly the only bright spot along a long barren cliff, even from a distance it beckons the traveler nearer, and when reached is more beautiful than you’d ever expect. It starts out as a classic glacial river toppling off the edge of a remote heath, but widens into a spectactular event as it spills forth over the layers of horizontal ridges below, forming again into a river before spilling again off lower ledges in more compact forms and finally out to sea.

Getting to this spectacle of nature isn’t easy – the West Fjords themselves are remote, originally only accessible via boat, and still most easily traveled to with the ferry that runs to the norther edge of the wide Breiðafjörður bay. From there, it’s a mind-bending drive in and out of fjords, along some of the oldest and most scenic landscapes in Iceland. Imagine, after hours of cliffs and sea, witnessing the wonder of a 330 foot high bridal veil of water widening out over a rugged mountainside, and hiking along its banks, feeling its cool mists and hearing its secret whispers. This is the Iceland you came to discover: remote and full of wonder!

Personalized Luggage for Travel

Trunk

This is a wooden box that is generally much larger than the other types of luggage. Trunks can come in various sizes ranging from small too big and this is the same case in footlockers. The larger ones are called as steamers. These days, the trunks are commonly used for the storage rather than transportation.

Suitcase

This is a general term that can be used to refer to a non- wheeled or a wheeled luggage. It can also be used to refer to a hard side luggage or a soft size luggage.

Garment bag

This is a style of luggage that folds over on itself and it allows the long garments such as dresses and suits to be packed in a flat manner in order to avoid any type of creasing.

Tote

This is a small bag that is mostly worn on the person’s shoulder.

Duffel bag

This is a barrel- shaped bag and it is suited for the purpose of casual travel. It has very little space for organization on its inside.

Carpet bag

This is traditional luggage for carpets.

Personalize your luggage

These days it is also possible to personalize your luggage. There are many organizations or companies that do these. You can print your favorite movie dialogues on this luggage. You can also choose the colors of the accessories and also reach an extent by uploading your own photo and choosing your very own unique design.

Hurricane Season Cruises

Statistically speaking the chances that your particular cruise is going to be affected by a hurricane are slim. However, it does happen. Cruising during these months requires you to be flexible. Itineraries can be disrupted by even the mere threat of a storm. Usually the cruise lines whose Eastern Caribbean itinerary appears to be in the path of the storm will simply switch over to the Western Caribbean schedule and vice versa. If the cruise line can’t find a port then the ship spends those days at sea. You will not get a refund for the missed ports of call as the cruise lines reserve the right to change the itinerary. The cruise lines strategy has always been to avoid a storm and they have specific hurricane storm emergency response plans to help them do this.

Best thing to do if your cruising during this time is to plan ahead. Arrive at the port of embarkation at least one day prior to departure in case difficulties arise, especially if your cruising out of Florida. Also prepare for the possibility that you might arrive home a day or two late. The ship will wait out at sea if the hurricane is threatening Florida.

Buy insurance, whether through the cruise line or an independent provider and make sure the policy covers disruption in case of weather-related events.

If the cruise is actually canceled you will get a refund. However, it’s very rare for the cruise lines to cancel a cruise.

Cruise and Travel expert specializing in Honeymoon Vacations.

Tips for Solo Female Travel

  • Trust your instinct. You can never go wrong with your gut feeling! If something or someone seems fishy, don’t do it. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
  • Wear a wedding ring. It might scare off potential predators. If you’re worried you might not be able to make any male friends, I can assure you there will be no problem!
  • Know your culture. In Europe, particularly in places like Italy and Spain, some men are accustomed to thinking that something as simple as a smile and a look mean you want more than friendship. If you don’t want that attention, try to blend in with the crowd as much as possible. Trust me, I’m the first person to root for female empowerment and the right to bare skin, but this is not a time to be whipping out the feminist card. This of course doesn’t apply to all men there, but TRUST YOUR INSTINCT!
  • Plan ahead and be prepared. Take your guidebook, map, and more than enough money so you can handle any situation. If you’re getting into a country late at night, make friends with a girl or other travel buddy so you aren’t wandering around alone in the dark.
  • Use your accommodations as a resource. Grab one of their cards and keep it handy. Ask around whether it is a safe area. If you feel the need, tell them where you are going and when you might return.
  • Take a self-defense class. Of course, this is if you want to be extra cautious. I only used half of these methods and have only encountered one hairy situation. And to be honest, I ran into more sticky situations just living in LA!

City Of Lights

It is a city which is visually appealing and has a rich cultural history of the French. Whether you are visiting Paris on a business trip or a fun family vacation, there is one thing certain the City of Lights will captivate you.

So if you are planning to visit a trip to Paris here is a brief and simple travel guide for you which includes where to stay, where to eat and drink, what to do and where to shop in Paris.

What To Do In Paris

  • If you are visiting Paris, then the Moulin Rouge Show is a must to see.
  • Visit the epic Eiffel Tower along with Seine River cruise and make your night majestic.
  • The most horrid sights of Paris are the underground tunnels (Les Catacombe) which have real human skulls and bones, so add some horror to your trip by visiting these underground tunnels.
  • If anything stands in opposition to the Eiffel Tower it is the Arc de Triomphe, give it a visit and read about its history associated with the Napoleon.
  • Visit the peculiar Aquarium de Paris, the reason for its peculiarity is the combination of Cinema and Aquarium in one place, but it coexists nicely.

Where To Eat And Drink In Paris

  • Septime – Visit this amazing restaurant in Paris and excite your taste buds with all the mouth watering dishes.
  • Afaria – Another fine bistro located in Paris offering delicious French cuisine.
  • Frenchie – One of the most visited restaurants of Paris as the name speaks for itself the restaurant specializes in offering tempting French meals.
  • Le Baron Rouge – One of the finest bars in Paris if you want to taste the finest wines then this is the place to visit.
  • Harry’s New York Bar – One of the oldest and most popular American bars open from the pre-war time offers the finest wines in all over France and has been visited by the famous novelists like F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

Paris is the best place in the world for shopping, so if you want to shop follow the locals.

  • Gab & Jo – This is the best place to shop for souvenirs as it is the first shop in Paris with the concept of original handmade French gifts souvenirs.
  • Fromagerie Goncourt – This boutique style shop is the best place for buying cheese.
  • 38 Saint Loius – The finest place in town for buying wines, fruit juices and artisan drupe chutneys.
  • Chez Helene – This confectionery boutique is a child’s heaven; you will find all kinds of delicious chocolates, marshmallow candies, artistic lollipops, licorice, fudge candies, caramels and Eiffel tower sugar cubes.

Pack When Moving Abroad

  • Big Items First. You should first start with you big items. If you have decided to use a standard cargo container, the best way to pack one is by putting your largest or heaviest items in first. This includes house furniture and appliances. Make sure when packing up furniture, that these items are protected and secured for transportation. The biggest thing to consider during this part of the move is whether it is cheaper to leave this furniture behind. This will reduce stress and hefty storage fees in your new homeland.
  • Most Expensive Items Second. Now it’s time to consider your more expensive and breakable items like electronic equipment. This requires a bit of research about internet and cable services available at your new location. If these services are no longer available to you after the move, there is no reason to include these in your packing. Also, make sure that all of your files and important computer documents have been successfully backed up on the internet or on an external hard drive.
  • Get Help Choosing Clothes. Packing up clothing could become a long, difficult task. Letting go of your favorite coat or bathing suit is something you must be prepared for. You must be strong with your decisions and know that these items are no longer useful to you as they are just clothes. This process shouldn’t have you pulling your hair out, but rather help you look forward to new beginnings. During this process, remember to leave enough clothes out of the storage container for the trip overseas as well as the time it might take to completely move in. Also, consider donating your unneeded clothes rather than tossing them in the trash. This part of the move could become a good way to donate to your favorite charity!
  • Determine What Papers You Do and Do Not Need. While paperwork is extremely important for moving overseas, consider the paperwork you can leave behind. This is the time to shred old documents and organize your information. Make sure to keep your passport, license, medical records and emergency contact numbers close by during your travel. This paperwork is necessary for traveling abroad and will certainly help limit your time dealing with customs.
  • Plan Ahead with Medicines. For medications and personal products, most hygiene items can be left behind to purchase in your new homeland, but it is important to travel with at least two months of medication. This is essential because you never know if your medication will arrive on time in your new destination.

This is just a brief overview of what your packing experience may be like when traveling abroad. There is so much more when it comes to moving your whole life to another country. Planning ahead and being strategic in your move can help this process become a lot simpler and cheaper.

Costa Smeralda

About Costa Smeralda

Costa Smeralda, as the name implies, is a coastal area about 20 kilometres long. Located in northern Sardinia, holidays here are depicted in travel and lifestyle magazines as the last word in luxury – complete with white sand beaches, golf clubs, private jet and helicopter services, and exclusive hotels. Regular clientele include celebrities, business leaders and high-profile European politicians. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine beaches, untouched nature reserves and luxurious accommodations, Costa Smeralda is definitely a high-end resort, with facilities including designer boutiques, high-end spas, golf clubs and Michelin-starred restaurants.

Porto Cervo

Built in the 60s as a retreat for the rich and famous, Porto Cervo, the premier town of Costa Smeralda, can be rather expensive, but it’s the best place to enjoy the ambience of this jewel of Sardinia. Holidays spent here may set you back quite a bit, but if you’re looking for coolness, glamour and luxury, it’s well worth it.

The spectacular Cala de Volpe Hotel is one of the best places to stay if you’re looking for the full on “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” experience and you’re willing to pay the price – especially during peak season. But there are plenty of other, less pricey, alternatives.

Where to Go

The Porto Cervo marina is a great place to start your exploration of the sights. You’ll have to do a lot of walking, as public transport is almost non-existent, though a few taxis can be had – at a price. Other sightseeing points of interest are Abbiadori, a café high above the water at Cala di Volpe, or the open-air Nikki Beach, where everyone goes to see and be seen. Souvenir shopping can be quite expensive in this area, but there are plenty of affordable gifts like fabrics, crafts and food that can be found away from the centre of expensive Porto Cervo.

Arzachena’s Costa Smeralda Archaeological Park is one of the largest and most significant parks in Sardinia. Holidays to the island are not complete without enjoying some art, history and culture, and this region will afford you all three. Costa Smeralda Archaeological Park exhibits includes eight monuments of pre-historic age, covering almost 5000 years of history, starting from the middle Neolithic Age to the Bronze Age. You should also seek out the Albucciu Nuraghe, the Giants’ tombs and the many temples.

European Cruise

There are many ways of getting to know Europe. You can go on your own, stay at a Bed & Breakfast, rent a car, have lunch at diners, and really spend serious money on overpriced European goods. Traveling on your own apparently seems less expensive, but if you write down everything you spend, you might be alarmed at the expenses. Let’s say you’re walking around London and you feel thirsty, wouldn’t it be terrible to pay for bottled water at a price three times what you pay at home? Paying a local tour guide is almost always more expensive and not always do they have understandable English. The best option for land traveling is going on a package deal if you want to save on a travel guide but that is about it. If you are going on a package deal you might as well go on a cruise!

Think about the advantages of a European cruise. All your food and drink is already paid for, so you won’t pay European prices on food and drink, you will pay what you would pay at home. When the cruise arrives at a city, you have a tour guide with good English. The only downside to cruises is the time limit for exploring the cities ashore, but the advantages totally overshadow this. If you take the total expense for cruising and divide it by the total number of days you will be traveling, the outcome might be much less expensive than land traveling.

So you should stop thinking that cruises are just for rich people because they are not. It is just a question of class and self-allowance. If you believe you can go on a cruise, you will because it turns out less expensive than land traveling.

There are two main routes on European cruises. You can take the cold Northern route, which is the Baltic Sea (Scandinavia and Russia), Norwegian fjords, the Arctic Circle, and British Isles. Make sure you take plenty of winter clothes, because out at sea is much colder than on land. It is a beautiful cruise, although it is more indoors. You can also take the Mediterranean course, which is probably more appealing. You get to know Barcelona, Southern France, Italy, and Greece. It is warm and pleasant there and you can go to the pool on the cruise ship and enjoy the outdoors. There are also possibilities of making a connection between both courses and get to know the entire European coastline.

Vinh Hy Bay

Situated within the Ninh Thuan Province, and part of Vietnam’s tourism triangle, Vinh Hy Bay has successfully maintained its unspoiled nature, and its close proximity to the Nui Chua National Park, makes it an even more irresistible destination for beach lovers, sun worshippers and nature enthusiasts.

One excellent way to enjoy the Vinh Hy Bay’s unspoiled natural scenery is to go for a kayaking or Hobie cat adventure. This will allow you to see up close the bay’s dramatic rock formations. You can also enter hidden caves and experience the delight of discovering secret inlets. The coral reefs that can be found in the East Sea are home to a wide range of tropical fish and other marine animals. In the Vinh Hy Bay Sea Conservation Area alone, there are more than 300 varieties of rare and recently discovered coral species. That is why snorkeling and scuba diving are some of the main activities offered in the Vih Hy Bay area.

Vinh Hy Bay is the home of the Cham people, and the main source of their living is from fishing. There is a tiny fishing village on the bay’s shore. To get to know the local residents and their way of living, spend some time at the bustling fishing village. You can reach it by car or on foot.

While in the area, consider hopping over to the Nui Chua National Park. In this more than 7000 hectares of land area, you have plenty of opportunities to hike. You can also arrange for picnics, wildlife watching and other eco-friendly excursions in the park. A number of the tours offered around the bay are arranged by hotels and resorts in the area, such as the Saigon-Ninh Chu Hotel and Amanoi. However, with careful planning research, it is possible to pull off excursions on your own.

You can find well-equipped tourist boats that provide cruises around Vinh Hy Bay. Once on board, you can enjoy activities like swimming at the nearby Phu Beach. Aside from cruising the calm sea and marveling at the rugged mountain scenery, the boats will also take passengers to see lovely islets like Bo Bo, Yen Cape, Phu Islet and Tay Sa to Tai Islet. While you visit these islets, you can also catch a glimpse of the bay’s famous coral reefs by snorkeling in the area. At some point you will be given a fishing rod to try out your angling luck. And any fish you caught will be grilled on-board. What more can you ask for?

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