Category: Cruising

Florida Yacht Charter

The Cruising World magazine has recently rated the Gulf Coast of Florida the top yacht chartering destination in the whole of the US and for good reason. The immensely popular Fort Myers is a wonderful place to start your yacht charter in Florida. As relaxing as it is beautiful, Fort Myers offers the convenience of several top-notch marinas and is home to the City Yacht basin. This easy accessibility to Florida yacht charters marks Fort Meyers as a popular starting point. While there, be sure to take in the astonishing riverfront homes and peek at the estates of two of America’s shining stars – Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

A yacht charter in Florida simply wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Naples. Touted as a hub for the wealthy, Naples has more than its fair share of five-star restaurants and other upscale amenities. Indeed, Naples is the place to be if you’re intent on treating yourself like a star. Luxurious day spas combined with the beautiful scenery and delectable dining may make Naples you’re favorite stop on your Florida yacht charter.

Another great stop you could chose to make while on your yacht charter in Florida would be St. Petersburg. This bustling city is a tourist’s dream come true, with a dazzling array of shopping areas and resorts, plus world class golf courses. While sailing in and around St. Petersburg, be sure to take note of the exotic wildlife. Bald eagles, manatees and osprey are just a few of the species that inhabit the region.

Indeed, the ease of chartering a yacht in Florida makes it perhaps the best choice for people who’ve never before experienced the joys of yachting. If you do chose to treat yourself to a yacht charter in Florida, you can rest assured that the relaxation and dreamlike memories you’ll gain will be with you for years to come.

Identify Perfect Cruise Agent

Identify and make a short list of travel professionals.

Do not limit yourself to agents from “brick and mortal” locations, large offices or corporate agencies. Many small office agencies and home based travel agents are very, very good cruise planners.

Contact each person on your list.

Prioritize your list based on your initial personal reactions to the person you met or talked with via telephone.

Use a sliding scale of one through ten, with ten as the high number.

For the moment, this is strictly subjective on your part, your “gut” reaction.

Evaluate each candidate.

LOOK FOR TWO TYPES OF INFORMATION

1). The first type of information you are looking for pertains to credentials, such as professional associations, cruise experience, licensing (if applicable), years as an agent, and so on.

2). The second, and more elusive, type of information pertains to intangible factors.
Your approach when determining intangible factors is to observe behavior and to pay careful attention to questions.

For example:

  • Did the agent greet you by standing up, smiling warmly, and perhaps offering to shake your hand?
  • If your evaluation took place via telephone, did you sense an upbeat voice and warm smile?
  • Did you receive the cruise agent’s undivided attention, from start to finish? If not, did the agent ask permission to answer another call or to perform another task?
  • After informing the agent of your desire to take a cruise, did s/he give you literature, other information or simply a sales pitch prior to asking you any profile questions?
  • Primarily, if the agent attempts to sell you any cruise product before asking you a single question (getting a profile), immediately say goodbye!
  • Among the first things a good cruise agent does is to provide you with his/her credentials and to obtain profile information on you.
  • An agent that asks questions and writes down the information is preferable to one that simply gives you a questionnaire.

In summary, a cruise agent’s true desire to assist you in every way possible will shine through their behavior, and their profile questions.

Based on his or her profile of you, your “perfect” cruise agent volunteers to do whatever s/he can do to make your planning as worry-free, stress-free and hassle-free as humanly possible.

Happy Sailing!

Yachts for the Rest

Yachts are like floating mansions. Normally a yacht will include several rooms, and luxury models can include many bedrooms, a family room, office, den, library and a theater room. Only the view from the windows lets you know you are on the ocean.

Even though yachts can be expensive to purchase, they are often available for rental. Yacht rental companies allow customers to use their yachts for an hour, day, week or even longer. This can be a great opportunity to have the yacht experience without breaking the bank. Many people rent a yacht for cruising on the ocean or lake for a few days as part of their vacation.

If you rent a larger yacht, you will normally have an experienced boat captain and perhaps a crew to pilot the ship for you. This can allow you and your family and friends to relax and enjoy the water and the yacht experience. These crewed yacht vacations allow you to live in comfort and style during your vacation. Normally you will have full amenities on the lot, and even a few fun extras like scuba diving equipment or kayaks to enjoy the ocean.

Picnic Along The River Nile

Rob dashes into the kitchen and packs my home made salads, (potato and Mediterranean), coleslaw and fruit salad along with wine, beer and soft drinks into a ‘cool box’. “We’ll be late”, he says, “hurry up”. “Rob, where’s Susie ?” “In the garden, I’ll give her a shout”. Susie, our daughter, is six and lives for these picnics. She’s already wearing her lifejacket as she rushes in from the garden, dancing about in anticipation.

Rob finally loads everything into the Jeep and locks up the house. He treats every outing with military precision. Once we’re in the jeep he produces what can only be described as a check list. When he’s satisfied we’re all present and correct he starts the engine and drives the short distance to the river where our friends are waiting.

Susie and I climb on the catamaran which has twin hulls and makes me feel safer. Rob and a friend jump into their sailing dingy and set sail immediately. The others decide which dingy they’ll take. Mike’s sailing the catamaran and waits for them so we can all leave together.

I’m not keen on sailing, particularly along the River Nile but our picnics are an institution. I’ll be happy when we reach the island in the middle of the river where we always picnic. We’re not too far away now, almost at Crocodile Island where Rob and his friends sometimes go shooting. Each time we pass it I shudder. Rob and his friend, Neil, are well ahead of us. They can’t wait to see if the pit which Jeff and Pete are digging is ready. They left at six this morning to prepare the pit and the fire because we roast a whole sheep which takes hours.

Susie decides to make her presence felt. She calls to Mike who’s sailing along steadily. “Uncle Mike, Uncle Mike, tip it over, tip it over !” My eyes lock with Mike’s. “Don’t you dare! She’s a little Madam. She knows I hate sailing”. I turn to Susie who’s giggling. “And you, Susie, ought to know better than to ask Uncle Mike to tilt the boat. Just because Daddy tips it over doesn’t mean Uncle Mike will. He’s got more sense”. She snuggles up to me. “Well, I’m sailing back with Daddy. It’s more fun”. She jumps up and I watch her scramble across the boat, my heart in my mouth, terrified she’ll fall into the river. She turns around, displaying a cheeky grin and waves to our friends in the other boats. A few more minutes and we’ll be there.

Mike expertly steers the catamaran to the island. All the women are wearing bikinis and smother themselves in sun cream. The men have already erected a couple of tents for those who want some shade. Rob walks over to us. “Come and have a look at the barbeque, Jan. The sheep’s already on the spit. Susie, that’s enough sun cream. We’re going to have a look at the barbeque. Hold my hand.” We trudge through the sand and watch Neil basting the sheep. He’s using the sheep’s tail attached to a stick which he dips in olive oil and lemon juice to baste it. Pete’s turning the spit so the sheep will cook evenly. We all have a go at turning the spit for a while. That way it means one person isn’t doing all the work. It’s only half past ten and we’ve the whole day ahead of us. As I take a quick dip in the river I try to forget about the crocodiles and the deadly bacteria which thrive in its waters.

The men are drinking beer while I swallow gallons of Coke. I must have the cleanest stomach in the Sudan. Susie plays with the other children while we adults stretch out and sunbathe, each of us sporting tans in various shades of mahogany!! Suddenly it’s mid afternoon and the sheep is ready. The men take their turn to carve while we produce the ‘goodies’ we’ve prepared at home. Each of us is starving and we devour the food in record time. We send the children to rest in the shade of the tents but they never stop chattering and giggling.

Unbelievably, it’s time to return. The sun sets early in the tropics so we never stay later than five p.m. Before long everything is packed up and we’re ready to leave. Susie stays behind with Rob while he makes sure the fire is out, fills the barbeque pit with sand and clears up any left over rubbish. I again climb on the catamaran, which Mike’s sailing, along with several of our friends. We arrive back first and they drop me off at home.

Make Your Cruise Truly Unique

After all, almost every cruiser who has been on two or more cruises has been to the Caribbean … and Russian cruises are no longer a novelty either …

In case you are looking for something that is off beaten path when it comes to taking cruises and have already been on several cruises, then here are a few tips to make your cruise unique …

  • New cruise destinations – The cruise industry is also faced with the same problem – offering cruises that are distinct every year – and they are exploring new destinations all the time. As a result, new cruise destinations may have been added since the time of your last cruise … you might want to check them out.
  • Get a great travel agent – Travel agents who are specialized in certain regions can have a wealth of knowledge about a place. Asking them for advise can make a lot of difference in your cruise experience.
  • Take a custom cruise – If you can afford it, or if you could cruise as a group – then there are few other options that can be as exciting as this one. Taking a custom cruise designed specifically with your tastes in mind could make your cruise truly unique. You get to decide where you go and when you go.

If traveling aboard a cruise ship with a couple of thousand other passengers is not what you relish doing, then you might want to give a thought to how you can make your cruise experience unique and fun. A bit of imagination and creative thinking may be what you need to design a great cruise experience yourself.

Find A Last Minute Cruise Deal

If you have been thinking of taking that first cruise ship holiday and have been told to book well in advance, then it may pay to check out the last minute cruise deals on offer and take your holiday a little sooner than you anticipated.

You see, there is a little phenomenon in the sales world that seems to apply across most areas and that is the last minute rush for bargains. The cruise line industry is no different and savvy bargain hunters have snapped up some amazing deals late in proceedings. But be warned, you will require some patience and a little nerve as you seek out the late specials.

Where To Look For Last Minute Deals

As companies attempt to fill their staterooms before their intended departure date and realize they aren’t going to fill them as anticipated then they may start to lower their prices. Bear in mind, last minute cruise deals can be booked up to 90 days in advance so if you have got some extra vacation time owing then it still gives you plenty of time to organize the time off from work.

Believe it or not, thousands have taken advantage of the last minute cruise deal rush over the years and in dollar terms, the aggregate savings made would run into the millions. Has this hurt the cruise lines? Well undoubtedly they would like to obtain “full tote odds” for their staterooms but let’s face it, selling them at a reduced price and having them occupied would be a lot more beneficial for them than to have empty during a cruise.

The trick is finding these late minute bargains. Don’t expect to see them advertised en masse in the local dailys or electronic press. After all, cruise lines need to protect their full-fare paying business. Travel agents are normally your first “port-of-call” when searching for a discount fare. But the internet has opened up a whole new world for the cruise enthusiast and there are some excellent sites specializing in deals. Do a search online for discount or last minute cruise deals and you’ll get wide selection of sites who have done the “hard yards” and “sniffed out” the bargains.

Cruise Specials Online

Another handy tip… some of these sites, particularly the higher ranked and more established ones offer a mailing service online where you can sign up to receive regular newsletters detailing cruise holiday bargains in a whole variety of categories.

It is also a good idea to check out the various cruise line company websites. More often than not, last minute cruise deals will be featured here. Take it a step further and give them a call. Let them know you have some spare vacation time coming up shortly, how much you have to spend and of course, if they have any discounted specials available during the next couple of months.

Performing a little due diligence will pay off for you in the long run. Last minute cruise deals in most cases are like “little nuggets of gold:” you have to search for them.

About Volcano Cruise

The island of Santorini, which is located in the Cycladic island complex in Greece, is a unique natural phenomenon. It has the largest caldera of the world, which resulted after a volcanic eruption hundrends of years before christ. This is why Santorini has been for years now a famous tourist attraction.

If you find yourself in Santorini, then a volcano cruise is something you should definitely have το visit.
The volcano is also known as Kameni island (which actually means Burnt in Greek), as it is all black due to the eruptions. You can reach the island with a volcano cruise, disembark and climb up the volcano. But is not the only thing to see; The Thermes Piges, Hot Springs that are at the volcano island, are a real temptation. Dive into the hot water, which is known for its medical attributes (at least your skin will be perfect for the following days)

Then the cruises continue to the Thirassia Island, couple miles western of the Kameni. Disembark at the traditional old port and ride an donkey up to Thirassia village!

A volcano cruise on Santorini can be held in the morning but also in the afternoon. I strongly recommend the latter, as there is no experience that could be compared to watching the Santorinian sunset while being on board…

Glacier Bay Cruises

The rational ground people are drawn to this far-off part of the is plainly considering it holds so much natural beauty . While on a cruise through Glacier Bay, you can expect to see massive, beautiful glaciers, White covered mountains and exotic wildlife such as whales as well as harbor seals.

Because most of the square footage of the Glacier Bay National Park is water, the real action lies on the shore. Shores of the bay are lined with thousands of species of flowers as well as lush trees. The array of plant life when it plays a part in Glacier Bay makes it the perfect environment for 220 various species of birds.

Proprietors of Glacier Bay cruises advise on bringing your binoculars to get a close-up estimation of land mammals such as moose, mountain goats, brown and black bears, wolverine as well as coyotes.
These amazing life forms can all be seen from the comfort of the ship’s deck. If your low-priced allows, you may even get to see these thrilling sights from your own private balcony .

For a usual 5 day, 4 night cruise you can design to spend between $1600 as well as $2600 per person. It all depends on what sort of amenities you want. Greatest packages include shipboard accommodations, ocean transportation, on-board entertainment, on-board meals and non-alcoholic drinks. Continually included is transportation to as well as from the airport. Once budgeting for a cruise to Glacier Bay, remember to invite money if you wish to partake when it plays a part in a shore excursion. Prices for these vary dramatically from group to enterprise, so be sure to ask before you reserve your cruise. Some other expenses you should take into consideration are alcoholic drinks, personal expenses as well as gratuities. Yet another overhead that’s not typically covered when it comes to an advertised rates is government local tax. These can range from about $5 to $110 per person.

The finest time to plan your Glacier Bay cruise is during the summer months. From May to September, the climate is typically nicer as well as Glacier Bay National Park services, such as wildlife-sighting rangers, are when it plays a part in lined swing. The earlier when it plays a part in the season you book your cruise, the less it will expense.

While Glacier Bay cruises can seem expensive, most people find the experience they have to be benefit every cent they took out for it. The truly boundless sights will turn into etched into your memories for a lifetime. The peaceful, relaxing atmosphere mixed with the novel, crisp air of the north will leave you more relaxed and happy than you’ve felt when it plays a part in a long time. Indeed, if Glacier Bay isn’t on the overhead of your vacation destination list, it should be.

Bahamas Booze Cruises

If you love the ripples of rum and ocean, the booze cruise could make your Bahamian vacation a memorable event. The half day fair of drinking, eating, dancing, and play, along with Bahamian delicacies to snack on, DJ music and unlimited beverages, is the nicest gala that you can possibly experience.

You will be able to anticipate that the whole trip would be like one big, giant, floating party. You can even snorkel in the Bahamian waters if you are feeling adventurous. A word of caution to heed if you want to stay on the top deck: apply sunscreen liberally and often.

If you can spend a little more money, glass bottom cruises can also be a thrilling experience like no other. No other attraction or sightseeing tour can beat the fun of a Bahamian booze cruise that takes you to the heart of the turquoise sea of the Bahamas, and looking through the floor to see it all. Most of the trips offer unlimited drinks, delicious lunches, and the folk music of the Bahamas. You can go snorkeling along the beautiful reefs and tour the famous Sea Gardens. The occasional stops at the secluded beaches of the Bahamas are also exciting. Next time you plan a cruise vacation, take a trip to the Bahamas and soak in some sunshine, tank up on booze and have an exciting and enjoyable vacation!

Plan For The Perfect Cruise Vacation

  • First you need to know what a typical cruise package contains. Most often your cruise will include ship accommodations, meals, activities, entertainment and most standard facilities on the ship. Your cruise ticket will often not include the airfare or other travel arrangements needed to get you to the cruise ship and back home again, or the extra amenities on board like massage facilities and internet access. It also does not usually cover any guided tours arranged for the ports of call that the ship visits on the cruise. And you will be responsible for all tips and gratuities on the trip.

It’s important to know all of this to be able to plan your vacation cruise correctly, because you will need to bring along sufficient funds to cover any extra expenses needed on the trip if you expect to make it a pleasurable trip. Some folks that all they have to do is just show up for the cruise and everything is already paid for from then on, but this is often not the case, especially with discount cruise vacations. So be sure to check with your cruise line and get very familiar with all that is and is not included in your cruise fare.

  • Having the right documentation while you are sailing is important too, especially if you happen to be visiting ports outside of your own country. So get any necessary visas, passports, and other important papers that may be needed well before you leave in order to comply with the laws of the countries that you will be visiting.
  • Bring along the appropriate attire for the weather that you will encounter on the trip and also for the various activities that you plan to engage in while on the cruise. All cruise lines encourage casual attire during the day, but on some luxury cruises certain cruise lines have dress codes for the evening that can range from elegant casual to formal, so be sure to find about these in advance and have the right clothes ready if you choose to join in.
  • Seasickness is a worry for a lot of people, but actually this is one area that does not usually present a problem these days as the cruise ships are so large and stable that you really can’t even detect much motion as you sail along. On the off chance that you do develop seasickness though, just bring along some dramamine and that should easily take care of your needs.

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