If you are interested in booking a cruise, but do not have anyone to go with, don’t worry about it!! Cruising alone can be a wonderful experience. You can do what you want, when you want, and don’t have to worry about your uncle wanting to eat at 6, or your friends wanting to go out all night.
You can meet tons of interesting people from around the globe, literally!! You can meet cruisers from all walks of life, making the week at sea an interesting one.
Here are some tips if you cruise alone:
Get an inside cabin. The only downfall is that usually, when you cruise alone, the cruise line will charge you 150 to 200% extra. Yes, it can cost a lot, but you will have your own cabin. Inside cabins offer the best value for your dollar. An ocean view isn’t really worth the extra money, you can always go out on deck for a nice ocean view.
Try to participate in any single activities, as that is a great way to meet new people. Cruise lines are realizing that people are cruising alone, and try to have singles interact with each other.
Be open minded to different cultures, and be willing to talk to anyone. You are on vacation after all!! You are there to drift away from the real world, and so is everyone else. People are there to have a good time, and you should be too. Ask about what they may be doing ashore, maybe you have the same excursion booked, and can go together.
In this author’s humble opinion, the best cruise I was on was royal Caribbeans adventure of the seas. I sailed October 30, 2005 from San Juan, Puerto Rico, and visited Aruba, Curacao, saint martin and saint Thomas. First off, the boat was huge. Activities were limitless; volleyball, basketball, dodge ball, roller blading, and ice-skating. The shows were magnificent. Lavish Broadway shows with singing and dancing. The comedy shows were excellent as well. As for the food, one word: yum! Well prepared and always available.
In closing, traveling alone is a great way to learn about yourself. Don’t be afraid to try it, you may find out that is the only way to travel!!
With summer entering it’s last phase in the northern hemisphere a cruise vacation in the fall and winter will be on the minds of many looking to take advantage of better weather.
The warmer waters in the south seas are a mouth-watering prospect while the seas taking in the Bahamas and Caribbean offer just the right conditions for those looking for temporary relief from harsh winter conditions in the north.
One of the great aspects of taking a cruise vacation during this time is great prices on offer. Let’s face it, it’s not usually peak cruise time and companies as always will be looking to get as many people on their huge ships as possible.
Cruise lines concentrate on re-positioning their ships during this transition phase and one of the big attractions of this is that during this phase, there are some great deals to be had.
The only drawback is the extra time you’ll spend at sea and port calls may be few and far between but ships today are like a virtual resort on water packed with plenty of things to do.
Granted, getting off at various port destinations is a big attraction for many holiday-makers but the advantage of these transition cruises is they are usually available at an excellent price and you won’t just get to sail in one sea but you’ll see two, three and sometimes four. And you’ll have plenty of fun doing it!
The length of these trips can vary. Some will be as short as 12-13 days while others could span up to one, even two months! If you have some extended holiday time coming up they well worth the investment and time.
As usual, your travel agent should be your first stop when inquiring about your fall/winter cruise trip. Depending on where you are in the northern hemisphere, there are a number of cruise vacations to choose from and the destinations will vary.
For example, Europeans have the option of heading to destinations such as Miami, the Caribbean or even ports in South America. Cruise vacations to South East Asian destinations such as Phuket are a tempting experience.
Now is the time to plan and the thought of escaping winter by spending several weeks on a cruise vacation to exotic destinations is hard to beat!
About the Author
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Ask Canadians where they are heading for a winter break and you are most likely to hear Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Caribbean cruises.
These tourist spots are quite hot among Canadians, because of their sun-soaked beaches and mildly warm climate. Industry experts agree that tourism demands for all these locations are hitting their all-time high because of the lavish accommodation, sight-seeing arrangements, and the variety of travel packages, which these destinations offer.
Mexican Coastal Resorts
In Mexico, Mayan Riviera, Cozumel on the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun, and Los Cabos on Baja Peninsula are the most popular tourist destinations. Particularly, the Yucatan has witnessed a spectacular rise in resort and hotel development because of its amazing beaches and Mayan archaeological sites such as Chichen Itza and Tulum. The Mayan Riviera is also popular as the top destination for Canadian travelers. Climbing up the popularity charts are also Puerto Vallarta and a revitalized Acapulco on the Pacific coast. In Puerto Vallarta, the destination that is gaining rapid popularity is Nuevo Vallarta, which is located at north of the old town.
Growing Golf in Cuba
Cuba was devoid of any golf culture until the famous Varadero Golf was built. After it was set up, the island has just not looked back in terms of the sport’s popularity. Today, Cuba is the most sought after golf destination and is a vital attraction for the local as well as international sports lovers. Currently, the much famous Varadero Golf Club does over 32,000 rounds annually. It intends to add nine more holes to its existing facility, according to the management. A European has been given the responsibility to design the new golf site that is likely to have five holes on ocean, instead of the existing two.
Dominican Republic’s all-inclusive Packages
The growing popularity of The Dominican Republic as a tourist spot is reflected in a spectacular rise in its hotel rooms to nearly 40,000. The destination is among the favorite tourist spot for the Canadians, because of its all-inclusive vacations. In such packages, one up-front payment covers facilities including airfare, accommodation, unlimited alcohol, food, and resort activities like tennis and windsurfing. So much so that the popularity of the Dominion Republic’s all-inclusive packages have reached Caribbean and Mexican destinations. Canadian tourists heading to the Dominion Republic pay as low as $999 per person for an all-inclusive trip to a hotel/resort situated at just 10 minutes away from Puerto Plata.
Even the biggest tropical storms move at snail’s pace when compared with the cruise ships, which is the biggest reason for the growing popularity of the Caribbean cruises. The nice weather of the Caribbean serves like an icing on the hot cake. Even a hurricane in the cruise’s path seems like a vacuum cleaner that sucks the moisture out of the air, leaving behind bright sunny days for the tourists. Moreover, with the political uncertainties across the globe, the Canadians prefer holiday trips close to home, which is another reason contributing towards the increasing popularity of Caribbean cruises.
Do you want to tour Europe’s coastline but feel exhausted about the daunting task of packing and unpacking many times? The perfect solution is to take a cruise along Europe’s coastline. There are numerous cruises offered for the Mediterranean, the North Sea, the Baltic and other coastlines of Europe.
The cruise ships that ply those waters can range from 100 to 3000 passengers. All of the newer ships cruising Europe’s coastline, while very large, offer more amenities, like private balconies. All of the cruise ships will have pools, spas and entertainment.
There are alternative ways to cruise Europe. You could for instance take a river cruise on the Danube or perhaps the Rhine. These luxurious cruise ships will gently ply the rivers passing beautiful scenery. They will stop at many ports so the passengers can get off and explore. These cruise ships are not tall like other cruise ships because they are designed to fit under the many bridges that span the rivers. They do not carry the mega amount of passengers, usually 50 to 200.
Another choice would be a barge cruise. Many small barges have been converted to luxury cruise ships. These ships can maneuver in the smaller rivers and canals. Since they carry very few passengers (6-12) they are a more intimate experience. You will need time for cruises such as these. They travel slowly and make overnight stops in small villages.
Then there is a Yacht cruise which appeals to the heart of all wanna be yachtsmen. These too are much smaller and you will experience amore intimate cruise.
But let’s go with the traditional cruise that visits lots of ports during the cruise. Since you have invested a lot of time and money to get to Europe you will want to choose a cruise that visits lots of ports in many countries. Go for a 12 to 14 day itinerary visiting countries that interest you. Review the tours offered before you leave so you know which ones you want to book when you arrive at your cruise ship. Usually the cruise ship will stop in a port during the day traveling to the next port during the night. Occasionally, a ship will overnight in a port giving you more time to tour.
A typical day aboard a cruise ship in Europe starts with breakfast being delivered to your room and placed on your balcony so you can watch as you gently glide into port. If you don’t have anything planned for that day go the restaurant deck and enjoy a hearty meal.
If you have a tour booked, head for the meeting area that has been designated by the cruise line. In most cases the tours are four to five hours long giving you the rest of the day to explore more fully. If you have planned it right you can do your tour, then return to the ship for lunch, then go out in the afternoon to hit the spots you have chosen to see.
Most cruise lines set sail for the next port in the early evening around 5 or 6 o’clock. After you have watched the sail away, you have time to get cleaned up, have a drink and then have a leisurely dinner. There is always entertainment after dinner to enjoy. The casino and the bars will be opened to the late hours but remember you have an early start the next day.
If there are a couple of days where you are not in port the cruise ship will provide plenty of activities that you can join. They have art auctions, trivia, bridge, lectures, fitness classes and much more. And don’t forget the spa. Make your spa appointments early since the sea days tend to be booked solid.
So if you have decided to cruise the coasts of Europe you need to consider a few things. There are many destinations to choose from with the Mediterranean being the most popular. But you can opt to do the Baltic, Scandinavia or the British Isles.
Now you have to pick a cruise line that sails in to your chosen itinerary. Some of the cruise lines, like Radisson, SilverSea, and Windstar are small and intimate. These cruise lines emphasis luxury and service. The other main stream cruise lines, Princess, Celebrity or Holland America, to name a few, carry thousands of passengers, from 1500 to 3000. They are really floating resorts. Of course the costs should be considered too.
If you can afford it choose to sail on a luxury cruise line. Now you have to compare the amenities of each luxury cruise line. The cabins on a luxury cruise ship tend to be the size of a suite on the mega cruise lines. Check the cruise lines brochure for square footage.
Find out what is included on the different luxury cruise lines. Some include drinks and wine with dinner. Others require no tipping. Some include the airfare. These are all things to consider when you choosing which luxury cruise line to sail on. Spa and beauty treatments will always be paid for by you. In some cases the tours are included and in other they are not. Do your homework to get the best deal.
Talk to an experienced cruise travel agent. They will help you get all the information you need. Many times by booking early you can see substantial savings. You can save a little money if you have frequent flyer miles, so request a cruise only fare. Most of the luxury cruise lines will not allow you to book a cruise except through a travel agent.
On a European cruise be aware that you will not have time to do any in-depth studies of the ports you visit. You will get a “taste” of each port that will whet your appetite to visit the destination again at another time and stay longer. You may want to choose a cruise line that overnights in a port or you could buy one of their pr or post packages in a port of call.
Go check out what cruising Europe’s coastline has to offer. A cruise may be just right for you because it is a cross between a resort vacation and a holiday in Europe.
If you have not vacationed in the Bahamas, you are missing out on one of the best vacation destinations that could be chosen. The islands of the Bahamas have some major destination and tourist spots, which offer a traveler a unique vacation experience.
Taking a vacation in the Bahamas is a dream come true for most people, whether business or pleasure or even a combination of those, and it does not need to be as expensive as you might think.
The two main islands are New Providence Island and Grand Bahama Island, although the smaller islands of Abacos, Acklins, Andros, The Berry Islands, Bimini, Cat Island, Eleuthera, The Exumas, Inagua, Mayaguana, and San Salvador also offer prime vacation spots. Crystal clear turquoise waters, endless white sand beaches, perfect temperate weather all add up to a vacation that is as good as it gets.
You can fly into the Bahamas via commercial airlines which is only a very short flight from Florida, or you can take a cruise to the Bahamas, where Nassau is a very popular cruise ship stopover with most of the major cruise ships. A passport and visa aren’t usually required, but verify with your travel agent exactly what paperwork you should bring to stay out of trouble.
Your opportunities for relaxation are limited only by your imagination. If you like beaches, the sands of the beaches here are second to none, and end in the crystal aqua waters of the ocean. Sun bathers can always find a section of beach in which to gather some rays and enjoy some peace and quiet. If golf is your thing, the Bahamas offers several world-class golf courses. And if you need a bit of diversion, there are some casinos here that offer casino action and slot machines that are on a par with the best that would be found in Las Vegas.
You will find the locals are friendly and welcoming of visitors. The shopping along the main streets and shopping district offer many deals and unique items, many of which will not be found in your normal shopping centers back home. Language is not a problem here, since English is the language of choice in the Bahamas.
If you have never been to the Bahamas, you owe it to yourself to visit there and experience it. If you have been there already, you already understand this, but there is almost certainly new aspects of the Bahamas that you have not yet experienced. Take the time to treat yourself to a Bahamas vacation, you will not regret it.
By Jon Arnold
About the Author
Jon is a computer engineer who maintains web sites on a variety of topics based on his knowledge and experience. You can read more about a Bahamas Vacation at his web site at Bahamas Vacation.
A discussion about the Bahamas would not be complete without mentioning the world-class resort of Atlantis. The Atlantis is a truly breath-taking resort and is also home to one of the largest casinos in the islands. The grounds of the Atlantis are impeccably kept with hardly a single blade of grass out of place. As a result of all of this, the Atlantis is home to many conferences and conventions, and can accommodate even large conferences of several thousand attendees.