Category: Cruising

Marina of Sotogrande in Spain

On Sundays and Wednesdays there is a market which sells both local crafts and antiques. The marina was originally built in 1987 and has a total of 739 berths, of which 33 are 25-30 metres, and 8 are over 30 metres. These are often fully booked, particularly when one of the major sporting events is taking place such as the Volvo masters. Construction is well under way to increase this number to over 1000. There are a variety of restaurants, bars and shops to suit all tastes but many clients feel that the marina lacks atmosphere and can be rather soulless, particularly out of season. There are much prettier and more intimate marinas further up the coast such as Duquesa and Cabopina.

Mooring is available both alongside and stern to. The maximum length of yacht that can be accommodated is 70 metres and the maximum draught is 4.5 metres, with a maximum beam of 14 metres. Prices vary between 90 euros in high season to 50 euros in low season based on a 24m plus yacht for a 24 hour period. The nearest International airport is Gibraltar approx. 25km away, and the nearest heliport is 20km. Facilities available at the quayside include electricity, fresh water, fuel ( both petrol and diesel ) sewage removal, and direct line telephone. Parking is available but is extremely difficult in high season. Cable TV is also available. Workshops are available for both major and minor repairs.

Puerto SotograndeTorre de ControlSotogrande11310CadizSpain Tel: 0034 956 790000Fax: 0034 956 790109

Bargain Cruises Guide

You may consult a travel agent who has specialization in cruising. There are so many travel agents that are specializing in Caribbean, Alaska or Rhine etc. You’ve to just meet an experienced travel agent who has specialization in the area where you want to spend your vacations. Sometimes the agent has not any experience about that place so you should choose travel agent carefully.

Today Internet offers great information about bargain cruises. At present every cruise line has its own web site and they offers complete information about their cruise. You can book your seats in advance by getting information via Internet. You can also get discounts by reserving your seats in advance. Cruise lines updates their sites regularly to give latest information about cruise. You can also have a look of floor plan of ship and its cabins from their website that will help you in making right decision. You should search for unsold empty cabins for getting heavy discounts.

Generally last minute cruise bargains offers heavy discount because the cruise lines are trying to fill empty cabins at the departure time. So it is the best option to choose the cruise that is going to leave within next two weeks. Those people who can manage all the arrangements on a short notice can enjoy bargain cruises completely. The people who can’t travel on such short notice it is not good for them. Sometimes cruise lines offer discounts of 50% or more for the last minute reservations.

Repositioning cruise is also great option for bargain cruises. It will offer more time to enjoy ship’s facilities. You can also visit some odd ports where the cruise traffic is less. These cruises are also known as ‘repo cruises’. If you’re planning before several months it is the best for you. You should always keep in mind that the overall cost of repo cruises is more than ordinary cruises. They don’t require advertisements because they’ve standing reservation for every season. Cost of repo cruises is large because it offers amenities for three or more weeks.

Truly Relaxing Vacation on an Island Cruise

On an island cruise you will be able to relax in style. You will sail off in a luxurious ocean liner where the ship’s crew will attend to your every need. Imagine being on that ship, perhaps lying on a deck chair beside the swimming pool, getting a tan under the warm sun with a paperback in your hands and a drink at your side. And you won’t have work and family around to distract you from just relaxing and having a good read.

On the ship, you can feast on the excellent buffet and enjoy all kinds of entertainment on board. You could visit the shipboard casino and roll the dice or sit in a card game or two. You may not only have fun but even come away a big winner. At night, there are usually dinner shows performed by skilled singers, musicians, and comedians. You may even get to see a magician perform. And if that’s not for you, you can stroll around the ship, enjoying the ocean breeze and the beautiful view. It is an especially good way to take in a lovely sunset, or the sight of a full moon above the water.

And of course, the ship will take you to faraway places that you had only ever seen in books. Be it in Tahiti or Tawi-Tawi, you will get to experience island life first-hand, and have the chance to soak up the sun on lovely white sand beaches, or enjoy the adventure of snorkeling and skin diving in beautiful reefs and sea sanctuaries. You may even get to see whales or dolphins, and see many more of mother nature’s wonders.

In time, you will even forget about the stress of your life back home and sink into the relaxation of cruise living. You will be fully refreshed when you return and see your kids again. Not only will it be great to see the people you missed on your trip, but you will have something new you can share with them. Sometimes you really do need to get away from things and going an island cruise is a great way to do just that.

About Fashion For Cruises

How many times have you tried to shut and zip up an overflowing suitcase only to be denied at the port or airport because your luggage is at least 20 pounds overweight? Dressing up on cruise does not mean that you have to pack your whole wardrobe. Cruise fashion means smart and practical packing. Being stressed out because of too much luggage makes us look haggard even in our best evening dress. Before you pack, it is important to be familiar about your cruise’s itinerary. This gives you a general idea what clothes, accessories, and shoes to pack. Since the itinerary and dress code of the cruise is usually printed with the brochure, you should have no problem with this. If you like to be sure, call the travel agency that promotes the cruise. In general, cruises often require that you attend three kinds of activities: a formal social, smart casual affair, and a casual/sporty activity.

Since you won’t be spending the day locked up in your cabin, remember to pack good day wear aside from your stilettos. Day wear can mean anything from swimsuits, shorts, t-shirts, and jeans depending on wear you are going. Bahamas cruises certainly merit good swimsuits, sarongs, and other breezy wear. If you are thinking of a Scandinavian tour, hiking boots, jackets, hiking clothes, and gloves are must-haves. Bring sweatshirts, wraps, or lightweight windbreakers for sudden changes in temperatures.

Nighttime aboard on the ship usually involves socials that require dressing up. If your itinerary specifies several strictly formal events, just bring a formal dress or two and key pieces of jewelry. There are dresses that are designed to function in multiple ways: asymmetrical, tube, halter, or with straps. You could buy and pack one of these and save on luggage space. Your staple black dress is fine as long as you change the accessories that go with it. Wraps, shawls, earrings, and necklaces are good additions to your outfit. If you prefer pantsuits, bring a pair of versatile dress slacks and several tops to go with it. Cruise Diva editor Linda Coffman actually advises concentrating on the waist up. People hardly notice what pants or shoes you wear as long as they notice change on your tops and accessories.

Cruise Ship Activity

Most cruise lines have a children’s program, divided by age group. Games and activities are age appropriate. Children can participate as much as their parents want them to. These generally include games, physical activity like using a playground or pool, and arts and crafts. Sometimes there are dances and social activities for the teen group.

Some activities involve more physical activity than others. There are ships that have pools, water parks, ice skating rinks, climbing walls and areas for golf (lessons or miniature golf). Skeet shooting off the deck is another option.

Arts and crafts are usually available for all ages. Some ships even have art fairs!

The on board theatre will run movies, both general and adult oriented. Board games, bingo and keno are examples of more sedentary activities to engage in.

Some cruise lines feature lessons, all sorts. You can learn a foreign language, how to cook foreign fare or gourmet meals, how to play golf, poker or dance.

Spas provide massages, hair care, manicures and pedicures and other special types of treatments for the body. Think how good that would feel after dancing in the disco all night!

If you have a special interest or avocation there may be a cruise with it in mind. The sounds of the blues, or a family oriented cruise, or special cruises for singles.

Cruise Planning

The first think you need to find out is what children facilities are available on the cruise vessel that you are thinking of booking your holiday for. If you have infants you may need to ensure that there are cribs or that there is a menu that caters for infant food as well as that of small children.

Because a cruise trip is something for the parents to also also enjoy you ought to seek out a cruise that has proper baby sitting facilities. That way you can take the odds spa bath or other various relaxing treatment that adults can enjoy. Most cruises will have these facilities but always best to ensure that these are available and highlighted in your brochure so you know that is something which the cruise ship really cares about.

Each family bases cruised should have programs which cater both for the enjoyment of adult passengers and young. In most cases each may also over lap so that adults and children can enjoy these activities together if one wanted to. To this end most cruise ships have activities ranging from sports activities like water polo, to leisure ones like treasure hunts or video games and educational talks. Basically anything that can keep children occupied.

Cruise ships have different types of cabin depending on your budget. A standard cabin normally has 4 beds which is suitable for most average size family. If your family is larger you may need to consider booking another cabin. This is certainly something you need factor in when you budget for your holiday.

The one thing that you need to do when you book a cruise is making a medical appointment in case you have some ailment that may prevent you from making a trip over water. Also because often cruises stop over in countries where some diseases have a high risk of being contracted you will need to get proper immunization so that you do not end up having the worst holiday combating a nasty tropical disease etc.

Ultimately the best tip is to find a cruise ship that gives you the best experience for you and your family. It is also always best to sometime spend a little bit more and go for a recognised cruise liner than opting for a less expensive one that may turn out to give you an inferior vacation cruise experience. Looking at what kind of cruise ship you will travel on will go along way towards ensuring that is indeed the case.

Marinas of Gibraltar

There are many direct flights to Gibraltar, which is still a military base, with an airport to match! Arriving there is not for the feint hearted as cross winds can make it a very bumpy landing. The only runway extends out across the water, making it appear as though you are landing on the sea. In addition the main frontier road crosses the runway, with traffic held at level crossing gates whilst planes arrive and depart.

There are a total of three marinas which are Marina Bay,Queensway Quay, and Sheppards. The first two are the most well established. Marina Bay is situated on the West side of the Rock and has a draft of 4.5 metre and over 200 berths. All pontoons offer fresh water, power supply, telephone, fax, and satellite TV. There is also wireless internet available via a local provider. On the main pier there are the usual toilet facilities etc. For larger yachts there are 30 moorings which can accommodate 25-30m boats, and 15 for 30m plus yachts. Boats can be moored alongside and stern to. The maximum length of yacht is 75m with a max draught of 4.3m. There is no limit on the beam. As a rough guide to prices, in high season an 18-21m boat will cost 30 GBP per night, and 19 GBP in low season. The nearest airport is Gibraltar which is almost walking distance!!

Queensway Quay is the newest and most modern, and is located just North of the Rock, and currently has a new breakwater under construction. It can accommodate 209 vessels, and can take yachts up to 80m. There are 14 berths for yachts between 25 and 30 metres, and only 1 for yachts in excess of 30 metres, although we understand this will increase following development within the port. The maximum draught is 4.5metres and maximum beam 15metres. Each has fresh water, power, telephone, fax and Satellite TV. Boats can be tied up alongside and stern to. All points are connected to a pc in the harbour office which allow statements to be prepared promptly so that owners can get underway quickly. A local company is currently constructing waterside properties which will each have their own 20 metre mooring alongside.

Sheppards provides the only yacht repair yard in Gibraltar, run by H Sheppard and Co Ltd. The facility currently has 150 moorings and it is mostly used by locals. It can be a problem to find space if your stay is very short. Fees vary but for a 12m plus vessel are approximately £ 0.40 per metre in low season to £0.90 per metre in high season. The contact details are as follows : Marina Bay, Bayside Road, Gibraltar, Tel: +350 73300 or Fax +350 42656. Queensway Quay PO Box 19, Ragged Staff Wharf, Gibraltar, Tel: +350 44700 or Fax + 350 44699. Finally the contact details for Sheppards is Tel: +00350 75148 or Fax +00350 42535. The VHF channel is 71.

Savings on Cheap Cruises

Shop Around

Nowadays the internet has been a good venue which offers different types of information such as directing people to sites where they can find cheap cruises. Do not jump into the first cheap cruise package you come across, instead bookmark it for further review and evaluation.

Apart from using the “cheap cruise” keyword when you run the search engine, why not try “affordable cruise.” You may also key-in other alternative words which are synonymous to the word “cheap”.

The internet is not the only option. You can also opt to look over the yellow pages and call travel companies within or nearby your area. Try to let them orient you of their different cheap cruise packages. Additionally, you can ask for friend’s referral, especially if they have been into a discounted cruise.

Type of Cheap Cruise Package

Most cheap cruise packages are being offered during the following circumstances:

  • Off-peak season. There are months which are less traveled. During these months, most travel companies reduce their traveling fees to draw people’s attention in considering cruising.
  • Cruises which are repositioned. Due to higher demand to a certain place, there are travel companies which reposition their destination. By doing so, they keep the prices low.
  • Introductory Cruises. Most travel companies which introduces their cruise ships give discounts to anyone who wish to go out for a cruise.

Getting Ahead: Ready to Pack

Once you are done and you have carefully chosen the most suitable cheap cruise package for you, it is time to consider the things you will need for your much-awaited vacation.

Most travelers go wrong when they try to pack, instead of saving money; they tend to overindulge on some unimportant things such as:

  • Clothes. A pair of new attire for your cruise is enough. You can use your existing clothes to use for your cruise. By doing so, you will be able to cut off your expenses. These days, the prices of clothes are getting expensive every time you visit the mall.
  • Other belongings. It is best to keep your belongings countable and easy to carry. Choose bags or shoes that most likely will be utilized. Check with your travel company the itinerary so you know what important belongings to pack.
  • Credit cards. You are in a budget cruise. Bringing credit cards will tempt you to splurge on unnecessary items. Hence, it is recommended that you bring cash instead of credit cards. By doing so, you will be able to properly allocate your funds depending on the available money on hand.

Tips To A Discounted Cruise

  • schedule your time even a few weeks before or after the peak season you’ll save substantially. For example, the Alaska Cruise will have it’s peak season during July and August. If you can sail before or after those dates you’ll save.
  • Decide which cruise line you want to sail on. Some travel agencies tend to push a specific cruise line for various reasons, one reason is the agency receives a higher commission. Norwegian Cruise Lines, for the most part, will yield a better savings. Do a little homework and check out the amenities on each vessel to make sure it meets your expectations.
  • Don’t be miss-led when you see advertised specials such as Discount Luxury Cruise”, $599″. These advertisements are usually for off-season and do not include port fees and taxes.
  • Get a cruise quote that includes port fees and taxes. If
    the agency is unable to give that information to you then find another agency. Your interest should be the bottom line, the total cost with NO Hidden Fees. Port fees can run a couple hundred dollars per passenger, just be aware.
  • Unless you plan on spending a lot of time in your cabin, get
    an inside cabin. An inside cabin, without a window, is by far the cheapest. The drawback to an inside cabin, you’ll never know what time of day it is sense no “day light” comes into your room. Make sure to have a clock.
  • Cabin rates are typically based on a 2-person occupancy.
    In other words, the first 2-people in the cabin will pay the full-fare, additional people will pay 1/2 the fare. If
    you plan on having more than 2-people in a cabin, make sure you are NOT paying full fare for the extra 2-people. If so, find another agency.
  • Cruise insurance is often recommended by the agency when booking your cruise. Don’t purchase cruise insurance from a travel agency, get it from an insurance company. You’ll not only save money but you’ll probably get a better policy too. We recommend the insurance because with the correct policy you are covered for trip cancellation either on your part or the cruise line, medical and luggage.
  • Cruising with a group does not always save you money on your cruise. If you are cruising with a group because you want to save money, think again, you may not be saving at all. The organizer of your group, if the group consists of 8-cabins, will usually
    get the cruise for free. They are the true savers.
  • Check out your Sunday paper’s travel section long before you cruise. It’ll give you an idea of what the market is like.

Holidays Afloat

Yachting means you aren’t confined to any one area, or even any one island; giving you the opportunity to visit various beaches, coves and beautiful coastlines on your travels. Alternatively, you can remain on your boat and watch the sun rises and the sun set over the clear horizon of the sea. Whether you are looking for an action packed vacation in the destinations of your dreams or a tranquil, even romantic getaway for you, your family and loved ones. The possibilities are endless.

Where you can go on your yachting vacation

Whether you choose to go bareboat, take a captain, or even an entire crew there is bound to be a destination to suit you. Many destinations offer the complete package for your vacation. Spend a couple of days in a secluded cove, exploring the beaches and seeing the beautiful plants and wildlife and then the rest of your vacation in the exotic harbour on the next island. Everything is possible on a yachting vacation.

Greece

Greece offers a number of popular destinations for mooring your yacht. Each island offering you a new surf washed beach combined with traditional Greek villages and exquisite countryside and mountains. The local restaurants and taverns are friendly and welcoming offering some fantastic Greek cuisine and drink.

A short distance away from the harbours you will be able to find a busy and popular nightlife, if required and historical excavations, museums and hospitable people always more than willing to idle away the time with you. For those not proficient in the local language there is no need to worry, a vast majority of the locals speak very fluent English and are usually only too happy to put it into practise.

Turkey

The mainland of Turkey offers a combination of quaint and quiet villages with the occasional large town for stocking up on provisions and some fantastic sight seeing. The whole country is awash with ancient ruins from the numerous cultures that have resided there, giving ruins and buildings to visit suiting everyone’s needs.

The larger towns have regular bazaars that bring Turkish crafts both ancient and modern and a sea of many different colours. The smells, sights and sounds are an experience you will never forget.

The Turkish people are friendly and outgoing and, while English is not the predominantly spoken language, the hospitality of the people means between you there will always be a way around the language barrier. Again, the local cuisine is exquisite and the fresh fish is a delicacy that everyone should try at least once in a lifetime. There are numerous small or large harbours and even deserted coves where you can moor your yacht.

The Caribbean

The Caribbean is a very popular destination for many sailors, and is perfect for a romantic break or a honeymoon. The bright blue seas and the clear skies make the Caribbean a picture perfect destination for a tranquil vacation. However, if you are after something a little more exciting the open seas offer an abundance of opportunity for scuba diving, snorkelling and water skiing. There are plenty of beach bars and places to try the local fish dishes and other cuisine and the weather is almost always perfect.

Numerous islands offering many beaches and coves means you will never get bored if you take your next yachting vacation in the Caribbean.

Why a yacht?

Imagine opening your eyes in the morning, pouring yourself a coffee and stepping out onto the deck of your yacht; the sun rising and not a sound to be heard apart from the occasional drift of the waves and the noise of the wildlife. Yachting provides one of the most tranquil vacations you can imagine. You don’t have loud neighbours and there is no danger of getting the room next to the toilets. Stock your yacht with enough provisions for the week and you don’t need to see a single person for your entire vacation.

Even the novices get a chance too; you can charter not only the vessel but also the crew or just the captain to go with you. There’s no need to worry about the invasion of privacy, as the crewmembers are usually very experienced in knowing when to make themselves scarce or when you may need an explanation of some of the surrounding beauty and sites.

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