Category: Cruising

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.

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.

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.

Cruise Line Brochures

Some cruise lines feature their entire fleet with the itineraries in one brochure. Others have brochures for each destination–such as the Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Alaska, Hawaii and Europe.

The front of the brochure has the table of contents. Here you will also find the illustrations and photos, along with description of the cruise line and the itineraries available in that particular brochure.

Next you will usually find information on any special programs offered such as their kids programs. You will also find a brief description of the ports of call and shore excursions offered.

Deck Plans, Staterooms & Fares, hotel stays and past guest programs are usually listed next. A deck plan is a map of the ship that lists all levels of accommodations, shows the location of the restaurants, bars & lounges, swimming pools, fitness center, spa, shops, casino, kid’s center and everything else the ship has to offer.

The last few pages of the brochure is where you will find the “fine print”. This section usually includes the following information –welcome aboard info, Q&A’s, terms and conditions, what you need to know before you go, important policies and has cruise line contact information. Make sure you read it very carefully!! Always be prepared for modifications in the itinerary as well on board amenities. Never book a cruise based on the itinerary only. If you read the “fine print” you will find that the cruise line reserves the right to change the itinerary for any reason.

The back of the brochure is also where you usually find the information on Air&Sea programs, cancellation insurance and and amenity packages offered for your cruise.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania that was just a short drive to Harpers Ferry. I would go there often as a day trip, sometimes just to get away from the hustle and bustle of work and school and other times to share the town with friends and family. Every trip I made, I always learned something new about the area or saw something that I hadn’t noticed before.

There is so much to see and do at Harpers Ferry. When you arrive in the town, you will think that you can go through it in about 2 hours and be done. While it is a small town, it is packed full of interesting stores and tours that could easily keep you around for a long weekend. If you visit this town, prepare to arrive early in the morning so that you can take it all in.

Harpers Ferry history includes the site of the famous John Brown’s raid. You can read about the raid and trace the steps of this famous event. This town is also the site of the first integrated high school and the site of the first successful railroad. There are historic homes that you can tour and an old grave yard that contains tomb stones that predate the Civil War. You can use a map to do your own tour or take a guided tour of the area.

If you want to shop, you will find anything from antique stores to stores that sell local arts and crafts. There is a jewelry store that contains beaded and gem jewelry. There are a few restaurants that all have great food and an ice cream parlor that you must visit. Don’t forget to take pictures of yourself with famous people in the wax museum.

Once you have toured the town itself, you can hike the outlying areas. There is an old railroad track that overlooks the rivers. You can hike up to the top of Maryland Heights. You can find walking and driving guides online or at the entrance to the park.

If you are ever in the West Virginia area, I highly recommend that you make a stop in Harpers Ferry. Between the beauty, the history and the shopping, you will find a little something for everything in this quaint town.

Amazing Alaskan Cruise

  • When can you actually travel to Alaska? Although winter time is not the best time to travel, you can visit anytime you would like to. The Alaskan cruises, though, usually run from May to September when the waters are easily traveled.
  • Which cruise line should I use? There are many cruise lines that run through this line. It is your best bet to consider which fits your budget as well as your specific entertainment and travel goals. The Alaskan lines offer many wonderful choices in entertainment and sight seeing even some of which offer specific choices.
  • When should I plan my vacation? It is best to start planning early, in the off seasons. Many people make reservations for their Alaskan cruise well in advance especially if you are traveling in the summer months when space is limited. If you go in May or in September, crowds are less likely yet you still should plan ahead.

The Alaskan cruise offers many adventures. It is not just a boat ride into the cold waters. You will find many enjoyable things to do and to see in Alaska, all of which will allow you to enjoy the things that interest you. When planning your Alaskan cruise, make sure to check out several opportunities so that you can find the best part for you. You can even do this on the web.

Eastern Carribean Cruises

An Eastern Caribbean cruise will take you to the American and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, St. Martin, and the Bahamas. December to April is the peak tourist season, when tourists from all around the globe flock here. However, you will get the best bargains during the lean season, during the summer and fall months. But there is a catch to it. The hurricane season is from June to November, and it is wise to avoid these parts of the world at this time. You would definitely not want to be marooned in your hotel room with a storm raging outside.

For short cruises, you can opt for Carnival and Disney, whose ships ply the whole year round but travel only to the Bahamas, while Royal Caribbean’s fleet has a three-night tour covering San Juan, St. Thomas and St. Maarten. However, the seven-night tours are the hugely popular ones. These will take you to Jost Van Dyke, San Juan, St. Martin, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Virgin Gorda. These are the traditional stops in a usual Eastern Caribbean cruise, but old-timers who would like to venture to offbeat places can opt for fleets that will ferry them to St. John, Norman Island and Water Island. The new kids on the block are Tortola and Dominican Republic with the upscale resort Caso de Campo. Rapidly finding favor with the tourists, these places are increasingly being covered by the cruise lines.

The Eastern Caribbean offers immense possibilities for exploration. The cruise lines, fuelled by tourist demand, are not averse to venturing into hitherto uncharted territories either. Thus, quaint, sleepy, tucked-away towns and villages are being unearthed and placed on the tourist map.

Caribbean Cruises For Students

Several cruise liners have realized the untapped commercial potential of young people on a budget. Given the right cost bracket there are several in this group who would be eager to travel. The solution offered is cruise packages created keeping young students in mind.

Such packages offer a no frills cruise, with plenty of activities. Any extra amenities need to be paid for. Each liner sets up its own package and students may well scrutinize several such offers before opting for one.

Food is generally not included in the cost of Caribbean cruises for students. The options available are to buy food on board or stock up with non perishable food at every port of call. Students generally prefer the latter as food on board proves to be expensive.

Amenities like housekeeping, laundry services and the like are all on a pay and use basis. Rates for student cabins could start as low as $16.20 per night and go on to $120 per night. Lower rates mean shared occupancy. Cabins come equipped with basics like comfortable beds, showers and toilets.

The cruise ships adhere to strict rules with regard to boarding and check-in times at every port of call. Students are well advised to check out the times and follow them. If you miss the deadline, the ship may leave without you.

A week long Caribbean cruise for students will probably have the following itinerary. Starting from Bridgetown, Barbados going on to Kingstown, St. Vincent, Fort de France, Martinique, Bequia, The Grenadines, St George’s, Grenada, Castries, St. Lucia and then returning to Barbados.

Register a Vessel in Panama

Yacht Registration

It is possible to register recreational yachts in Panama. This has a different pricing structure than the ship registration described above. The registration certificate is issued for a two-year period, which is renewable after this period.

Applicable Registration Tariff:

  • $1,500.00 – if owned by a foreigner
  • $1,000.00 – if owned by a Panamanian (or a Panamanian corporation which is a nominal expense to arrange)

This tariff must also be paid upon renewal of the Registration.

Documents required for Registration:

  • Sale & Purchase Agreement, Bill of Sale – or if the yacht is newly built, then a Builder’s Certificate
  • Power of Attorney
  • Deletion Certificate from previous registry (or Builder’s Certificate if brand new)
    Please note: you must also comply with the Radio Operator requirements, in order to register the yacht in Panama. If the yacht is more than 20 years old, then it will also be required to undergo a survey and safety
    inspection.

Anonymous Yacht Ownership – What is done is the yacht is purchased in the name of the Panama bearer share corporation. The ownership of such a corporation is anonymous in that no ownership records are in any database or registry. Thus if the yacht is owned by the corporation which is anonymous, the yacht ownership is anonymous. The nominee directors and your law firm (us) can handle the transaction for you completing all paperwork. We can wrap additional layers around the boat by having the Panama Bearer Share Corporation owned by a Panama Private Interest Foundation which is also anonymous, yet controllable by you. There are a number of different strategies we can employ to keep the ownership of your vessel anonymous and confidential as a tool to protect you from kidnapping, extortion, criminals and to keep your affairs private in general. Panama excels in privacy. Unfortunately financing with conventional lenders does not work with anonymous ownership strategies. If you were wondering when it comes time to sell the boat you basically just sell the corporation which owns the boat leaving the boat ownership in tact. There is no requirement to report new owners of Panama corporations.

Two Yacht-Based Panama Residency Visa Approaches

Because your yacht is owned by a Panama anonymous bearer share corporation and your investment is over $150,000, immediate residency is granted. You must have 3 full time Panamanian employees along with your company, which is easy to do with the standard minimal wage at $253 a month for crew members. This would be under the so called inversionista (business investor) program. However, if you invested $200,000 or more you could qualify under the solvencia economia propia program (person of means visa) and not even have the requirement of hiring at least three Panamanian crewman, since it can be easily argued that you are buying a home, albeit a moveable one. This latter probably would require investing in a full time moorage at a Panama port which would become your home away from home.

Sunreef Yachts

Add to this the effort of keeping the catamaran clean and well maintained for the season and you can see it takes a big commitment to own a cat, especially, one of Sunreef’s million dollar yachts.

If you have purchased a Sunreef through us or another company there are ways of reducing the work and cost of owning a yacht. A great way to do this is to put your Sunreef Yacht into our charter fleet. While not is use your new yacht could be paying back for itself and even better yet, earning you money. You will have the privilege of always having your yacht is sailing shape in a convenient Caribbean location.

When you own a charter yacht you can sail any time you like. Your yacht is always in perfect condition, clean, technically perfect. You won’t have to worry about getting your yacht ready when it comes time for you use it. It will be always ready to sail where the sun is shining and the wind is blowing.

With more leisure time and expendable income, demand for charter mega yachts is strong and rising. Our strategic location down in the beautiful British Virgin Islands gives us an advantage in the growing charter market. The Caribbean is the area in which the most charter revenue is earned. Within the Caribbean the British Virgin Islands is renown for the amount of sailing vacations they have. Interested? Become a partner in this exiting venture.

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