Saturday, January 30, 2016

Best Cruises for Kids: A Smart, Small List

When it comes to the best cruises for kids, few cruise lines can match the level of excellence provided by Princess, Norwegian, Disney or Royal Caribbean. This article will briefly explore innovative perks and novel features of some of the best cruise lines for kids, and look at how each cruise line makes cruising with kids such a pleasure.
So without further ado, let's get right to our short, sweet list of the best cruises for kids.
Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises may be the most ideal option for trips involving children of different age groups, or multi-generational families. Few cruise lines are as versatile as Princess-you can seek out any experience you want aboard a Princess cruise, and be assured that the kids are having just as good a time as you are.
Princess has several bustling kids' clubs that are sure to keep the youngsters engaged in exciting activities. The line's Crown series of ships, along with the recently upgraded Grand Princess, are among the best cruise ships for kids. The line offers a diverse range of age-based activities and its ships are loaded with innovative perks.
Princess is one of the best cruises for kids, and perhaps even more so if you add toddlers, teenagers and grandparents in to the mix. The cruises have to offer something for everyone, and this is what makes this line such a huge hit for multigenerational families. You get to sample the traditional along with the modern, and experience the best of both worlds.
To give an example of the diverse nature of onboard and shore activities, you can attend a formal art auction, play bingo, indulge in high-tech spa treatments and even go to an authentic wine tasting. Vacationers traveling in large parties may consider Princess the best cruise line for kids and adults alike, and with good reason.
Norwegian Cruise Lines
Norwegian Cruise Lines may offer what is arguably one of the best cruises for kids, particularly for the hard-to-please teen demographic. The Norwegian Epic is considered one of the best cruise ships for kids, and is chockfull of great features to keep kids 13 and over engaged for the entire trip.
Apart from the great cabins and plush decorations, teens will love the rock climbing walls and one of the most intense water slides on any cruise ship. Another teen-friendly feature is Entourage-a teen only (13 to 17) enclave that lets teens do what they do best. It's a great place to hang out, with large flatscreen TVs, plush couches, contemporary furniture, and teen-friendly games and entertainment such as foosball and air hockey. And it all adds up to one of the best cruises for kids.
Onboard dining options are another plus. The ship has an excellent buffet laid out by the Garden Cafe, and the best part is that it's open most of the time. The free O'Sheehans Pub (we're not sure if that's a wordplay on 'ocean') and round-the-clock pizza delivery are also great for nighttime cravings. A trip where the adults enjoy themselves as much as the children? That's the hallmark of some of the best cruises for kids.
Disney Cruise Line
Disney has successfully taken the concept of family cruising, splashed it with the typical (read whimsical) Disney charm, and taken it to the next level.
Disney's most beautiful and elegant ships include the Disney Magic, the Disney Wonder and the newly-added Disney Dream. The line has some of the best cruise ships for kids, and delivers an enchanting onboard experience your kids will remember for a long, long time.
There are so many things that make Disney one of the best cruise lines for kids. The ships' cabins are well-furnished, and clearly designed with the needs of kids in mind. The line sports a unique split-bath layout that's perfect for families with children-one bathroom features a sink and tub-shower and the other has a sink and a toilet. In addition, families can dine at different themed restaurants in a rotational dining system, and the theatrical performances on evenings are as close to Broadway as any cruise line. It's not hard to see why Disney cruises are considered one of the best cruises for kids.
And just because it's a Disney trip does not mean parents are not looked after. If anything, parents may have even more fun than the kids. There are beautiful and well-equipped adults' pools, boutique eateries and other upmarket dining options, and beautiful spas to keep the adults happily engaged. The line also offers several uber-sophisticated shore excursions for adults; on a Mediterranean cruise, adults can rent classic cars from the 60s in the sublimely beautiful Villafranche, or take daylong cooking classes and have an authentic Tuscan wine-tasting experience.
Royal Caribbean
Royal Caribbean's cruises are among the most fun-filled for kids and families. The line's Voyager, Oasis and Freedom series have some of the best cruise ships for kids, and offer loads of exciting activities for young and old alike.
Royal Caribbean consistently ranks as one of the best kids' cruises, mainly due to the diverse onboard experiences available. Children are grouped according to age and encouraged to partake in age-appropriate activities. Whereas many other cruise lines group children in larger age brackets, Royal's groups are smaller, meaning that kids get to hang out with other similar-aged kids and take part in activities that are tailored specifically to their age group.
Royal Caribbean's onboard features are completely attuned to family needs, and this is what allows the line to offer one of the best cruises for kids. The line's suites are family-friendly, and with connecting rooms, offer a great accommodation option for families with kids. You don't have to cramp your style in a small cabin with drop-down beds. And for dining, you can either go with the pre-set dining system as with many other cruise lines, or opt for the more flexible restaurant-style dining.

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7 Money Saving Cruise Tips for Carnival Cruises

So you're thinking of going on a Carnival cruise! Here are some helpful tips that are sure to help you save money and enjoy your cruise to the fullest! These 7 cruise tips for Carnival cruises are guaranteed to maximize your cruise experience.
Cruise Tip #1 - Book your next cruise while still aboard the ship. Carnival cruises will many times offer great incentives and discounts when you take advantage of this offer. Many ships will have an agent on board to serve you with significant savings and credits to passengers who take advantage of this great option. You always have the option to alter or cancel the reservation if your plans happen to change. Carnival cruises will allow you to alter the reservation with no penalty if it is done 75-90 days in advance of your date of sail. If you can't take advantage of booking while on the ship, timing is crucial in getting the best price off board. The best way to get discounted pricing on cruises is to either book far in advance or else take advantage of last minute deals. The further in advance you are able to book your cruise, the cheaper it will be. Carnival cruises also always prefer their ships to be full, so they offer fabulous discounts and incentives available very last minute. This is a wonderful option if you live near a cruise port or have a flexible schedule.
Cruise Tip #2 - Try to stay away from the casino and gambling areas, as well as other costs that are not covered in your cruise fee. Carnival cruises are pretty good about being all-inclusive, however many ships do not have gambling as a covered cost. Try to ignore the temptation, as the ships are commonly designed to draw you in with this extra expense. Stick to the activities that are already covered...such as movies, cooking classes or other demonstrations. There are plenty of free options that will keep you busy and entertained. Many Carnival cruises will offer great options such as wine tasting as a quality alternative to gambling.
Cruise Tip #3 -Always pay for your gratuities in advance when Carnival cruise offers you this option. Many experts in the cruise industry talk about this in depth. It's customary for most cruise lines to pay tips to the crew, and many times this is done the last night. However, if you have the option to add it into your initial expense, take advantage of it! This is a great budgeting tool because it gets this cost out of the way early and will help you to make sure you stay within your designated budget amount.
Cruise Tip #4 - Be adventurous! Try exploring a port on your own as opposed to paying for an expensive on shore excursion. You'll be amazed at how much more you can immerse yourself in the culture and feel of the place if you only stay open to what you might discover on your own. You can also fend for yourself when you're on shore and book your own tours! If you prefer a guided tour or experience, try booking directly through a vendor upon your arrival as you will skip the cruise lines expensive mark-up. Carnival cruises make a ton of money on these day trips from various ports. If you book your day trip at the actual port directly through a vendor, you will be sure to skip the inflated cruise cost offered. Many popular options such as nature tours, tequila tasting and pirate tours are available to anyone, not just cruise customers. It's really easy to book all of these excursions on your own!
Cruise Tip #5 - You can have your massage and not pay an arm and a leg for it. Inquire with the on-board spa if it offers day port specials. Many Carnival cruise ships offer this option. Cruise Diva author Linda Coffman recommends this option as massages can be pricey. However, spas on board sometimes struggle to attract customers when the boat is ported, and will offer impressive discounts to those who take advantage of port days. If you don't mind missing some of your time ashore, explore this option. Another way to take advantage of spa facilities is to find out which spa comforts are free and use them as much as possible. Much of this information is not publicized and can be really useful if you'll only ask! Many Carnival cruise ships have free saunas, steam rooms and don't forget the pool! You will usually have access to the exercise equipment as well. Ask if your Carnival cruise offers complimentary exercise classes or facials through out the cruise.
Cruise Tip #6 - If you like to partake in alcoholic beverages, pack your own booze! Bringing your own alcohol may be discouraged, but most Carnival cruises will allow you to bring it aboard. Prices on the ship are drastically inflated, not to mention the gratuity fee we already discussed being added, and the liquor you buy at duty free must be set aside till the trip is over. That being said, if you plan to drink, you should take advantage of whatever allowance you can bring on board. Free drinks are sometimes handed out at events like the captain's welcoming reception or the cruiser's return party. Make sure you know when these events are and make good use of them. Also, if you do drink at meals, you can avoid the corkage fee by ordering room service or bringing the food back to your room.
Cruise Tip #7 - Stay committed! You've done your homework and know that Carnival cruise suits your needs. Now make sure you're rewarded for staying to committed to the same line. If you do, you can often get large discounts for customer loyalty. After you're on the mailing list you'll be able to take advantage of disounted rates on cruises, and you'll get special offers and perks, including on board credits and free on board meal upgrades.
It's not hard to see the appeal of taking a cruise for your next vacation. We know these cruise tips for Carnival cruises will help you save so much money that you can easily control your costs and continue to cruise for years to come!
Happy sailing!!

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Cruise Ships Offer Love - Boat Style Romance For Couples

Think about taking a cruise if you and your partner are searching your next romantic adventure. Many couples need a break from their daily routines filled with large workloads, hectic schedules, and children. This break often comes in the form of a romantic getaway on a variety of cruise ships.
Many people don't even consider a cruise ship as an option when it comes to romantic getaways. However, there are others who literally live for cruises and are likely to take two or more cruises each year. Whether you've been on a cruise ship before or not, it is possible for you and your partner to have a romantic cruise ship getaway.
You are encouraged to consider a number of factors before booking a cruise vacation getaway. These factors are important when planning a romantic getaway aboard a cruise ship. There are many different cruise ships and cruise lines to choose from.
Cruises ships are often viewed as large, oversized vessels. However, the size of the cruise ship you are interested in vacationing on is also likely to determine the level of intimacy on board. A smaller cruise line may be your best bet if it is intimacy that you want. More passengers often make it difficult to have on board, private moments and larger cruise ships have more passengers. A number of romantic cruise lines target their smaller cruise ships to couples looking to vacation alone.
In addition to the size of the ship, the style and d├ęcor of the ship may determine whether or not you can experience romance on board. As previously mentioned, there are a number of cruise lines that target couples looking to vacation alone. Part of that targeting may include creating a romantic environment. You may find romantic cabins, room service, and other similar services on romance-themed cruise ships.
If it is an intimate, relaxing, and romantic cruise you are after then you are encouraged to search for a cruise ship that has an age limit for passengers. These cruise ships often restrict children from coming aboard. After all, you may be unable to enjoy a romantic vacation if you are on a cruise ship that is overrun with kids. Many times, cruise ships with a passenger age limit target their voyages specifically to couples looking for romance.
While it is possible to find a cruise ship with an age limit for their passengers, you may find it a bit difficult. If you are unable to find one, inquire as to where couples with children will be placed on the ship. A number of popular cruise ships work to keep families and individual couples separated. If this policy is in place, a cruise line is likely to state the policy on their website. The same information can be obtained by directly contacting a cruise ship representative.
Vacationing aboard a cruise ship is a great way for you and your partner to spend quality time together. The intimacy of the ship is just as important as on the ship when selecting a vacation on a cruise ship. Almost all extended cruise ships dock in a port and these ports are often located in another country, but not always. You will want to consider a cruise line that offers stops in exotic and romantic ports to make the most out of your vacation destination. These ports may include, but are not limited to the Hawaii, Mexico the Bahamas, or other parts of the Caribbean.
Hawaii, Mexico, the Bahamas, and the rest of the Caribbean all have a number of cruise ship ports. Additional ports can be found in the Untied States and overseas. What many passengers enjoy most about these particular ports is their climate. Because the climate and the overall weather could have an impact on the romance aboard your ship since tropical weather tends to add to the romance in the air.
In addition to traditional cruise ships, it is possible for you to take a local cruise. If you are looking for a romantic getaway on a cruise ship, but you fear the cost of an expensive ocean cruise, you should look into local cruises offered near your home. These cruises often involve dinner, dancing, and sometimes an overnight stay. They most often occur on much small cruise ships on a large river or a lake.
Now that you know what to look for when booking reservations for a romantic getaway aboard a cruise ship, you can start making preparations. With only a small amount of time and research, you could be sailing the seas in luxury with the one that you love.
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Top Cruise Secrets Revealed

There are more than 200 cruise ships that you can choose from today. But the one thing that they all have in common is that a little advance planning and "insider" knowledge can help you save time and money on your next cruise. Here are the "top ten tips":
1. Maximum flexibility = Maximum savings. Most travelers have some flexibility in their travel dates, especially if planning ahead of time. Let your cruise specialist know that you can consider alternate departure dates that may have lower rates available. Keep in mind cruise lines will offer better prices and perks on sailings that are not nearing capacity.
Tip: Shoulder or off peak sailings offer the deepest price cuts. For example, the departure right after the New Year cruise might be substantially lower.
2. Ask if guarantees are available. This requires that you have a little gambling spirit. Many cruise lines will offer a rate on a particular cabin category instead of an actual stateroom number and in effect guarantee that rate to you. Then the cruise line has the option of assigning you a stateroom in either that category or better.
Sometimes you win and end up in a cabin several grades higher and sometimes you end up in exactly the category you were guaranteed. Remember, there is both an upside and downside to this program.
Tip: Completely understand the process before booking a guarantee.
3.Upgrade programs. Often, your cruise specialist may offer a cruise line upgrade program. This means that you book and pay for category 'B' and will be moved to a higher category 'A'. Again, there is an element of risk here. The fact that a stateroom may be in a higher category does not always mean it will be a more desirable cabin. For example, you might be in a nice mid ship balcony stateroom on Deck C and get an upgrade to a balcony stateroom on Deck A.
While your new assignment may be the same size and have identical amenities you might end up in a less desirable location such as near an elevator or at the extreme end of the ship. And there are outside cabins that have views partially blocked by lifeboats or other equipment. On the other hand there are many instances of guests being upgraded several categories to wonderful staterooms.
Tip: Advise your cruise specialist that you will consider upgrades offered but you want to have final say on any changes before they happen.
4.Special Fare Eligibility - One of the reasons that savvy cruisers find a knowledgeable cruise specialist and stick with them is the fact that there are many special fare programs that may or not be visible to cruisers doing casual research on the web. These include things like regional fares that are made available to residents of selected states.
Caution: If you are offered a regional fare and you don't live in that area and can not prove residency, don't do it. Cruise lines have the right to check your eligibility on sailing day and charge for the difference before you board. It does happen. Some of the other special fares being promoted today include active duty and retired military fares, union member fares, police and public safety discounts, airline or hospitality rates and more.
Tip: If your cruise partner is a member of any of the these groups, the discounts usually apply to everyone traveling in the same stateroom.
5. Past Passenger Specials - Virtually every major cruise line has a loyalty club for its members with different levels and benefits. Joining is free and entitles you to special perks and discounts when you book on that line. For many commonly owned cruise lines such as Carnival Corporation, the offers extend across all the brands such as Carnival, Princess, Holland America etc. Ditto for Royal Caribbean and Celebrity.
Tip: Many cruise lines started operation before computers become common and can not easily retrieve date for cruises you may have taken several years ago. However, if you send a letter to the cruise line listing the ships and cruises you have been on, most will take your word and credit you with those unrecorded sailings. This might have the effect of moving you from Gold to Platinum level and significantly improve the benefits.
6. Check for Group Rates: Many cruise agencies hold what is known as block space on ships. That means that they have reserved space at group rates, which can be up to 20% lower than individual rates. Many agencies that reserve space for groups hold aside several cabins for individual clients who might be able to depart on this date.
While you may be traveling as a group, your cruise experience will be as an individual traveler. The downside might be that your dining time or section is affected by the group program. The upside is that you might benefit from some group amenties such as an onboard credit, free shore excursion etc.
Tip: If your cruise specialist offers group rates, understand the features, benefits and limitations completely before you book. From the cruise line perspective you are a member of the group and fall under the policies and procedures for groups.
7. On board re-booking. Most cruise lines now allow you to book your next cruise with that line while on board. They may have what is known as an on board sales consultant or even a desk. This is usually a great opportunity to save. Generally, the cruise line will throw in some strong perks to retain your loyalty to their brand. Onboard credits on the future cruise can be quite substantial. Upgrades and other benefits are usually significant.
Tip: Many cruise lines realize that you may not be sure when and where you want to cruise while on your current voyage. Not to worry, because most have a program where you can book on board with the flexibility to change to other sailings and ships via your cruise specialist when you get home and keep all the benefits. This is a truly a win win for you!
8.Seek out Value Adds. Over the past few years, cruise lines have instituted something known in the trade as The Level Playing Field. This was instituted to attempt to control the rampant rebating and discounting that occurred in the post September 11 travel slump. Basically, now the cruise lines have been partially successful in putting the genie back in the bottle by requiring cruise agents to all use the same pricing feeds.
Because cruise agents do not purchase and re-sell the cruises but are paid a commission, the cruise lines themselves totally control published rates. One of the unintended side effects of Level Playing Field pricing is that the cruise lines had to find a way to promote challenged sailing dates. And they did this by creating Value Added features. They can include benefits ranging from dollars off certificates, on-board credits, pre-paid gratuities, free spa treatments, specialty dining experiences, casino credits to a free bathrobe or camera.
Tip: Ask your cruise specialist to seek out sailings that offer value adds. They can significantly impact your bottom line.
9.Arrange your own airline tickets. If you need to fly in to your embarkation port most cruise lines have flight programs known as Air/Sea arrangements. The good news is that includes the flights and often meet and greet and transfers. The bad news is that in order to publish these add-ons the cruise lines have negotiated the fares far in advance and try to set the rates on a cost average basis.
To you, it generally means that these add-ons may be up to 50% higher than the fares you can get by arranging the flights yourself. The one exception to this in many cases are Europe cruises where many lines maintain bulk contract fares. So it is always a good idea to comparison shop. Most lines allow you to purchase just the transfer package so you are able to create your own air/sea package at significant savings. And of course if you have several thousand airline miles collecting dust, this might be a good time to try to use them.
Tip: If you are arranging your own flights, make sure to allow plenty of time for flight delays etc. Savvy cruisers will often invest in a pre-cruise hotel the night before the cruise so that they can avoid the stress caused by late arriving flights. Remember, if the airline leaves you on the tarmac for 7 hours and you miss the ship, that voucher for a free flight will not seem very appealing. And unfortunately, the airline will not compensate you nor will the cruise line refund your money as you are counted as a no show.
10. Travel Insurance: What is the one thing you must bring on your cruise that you hope never to use? Trip Insurance! As you can see in #9 above things can and do go wrong. An affordable comprehensive trip insurance policy can cover many of these contingencies including, lost baggage, trip interruption, medical evacuation and more.
Your cruise specialist can explain the various programs available as there are several. Mark sure you understand fully the coverage and limitation before accepting coverage and keep in mind that you can not get coverage retroactively. It is a small, but absolutely vital part of your vacation expenditures. Keep in mind very few medical insurance polices cover you while out of the country and basic homeowner policies often do not compensate for lost luggage or other events. Just as in land based trips, the carriers responsibility to you is extremely limited by their contract and should a medical emergency arise on board or ashore you are responsible for all expenses incurred.
Tip: Cancellation coverage is very specific. Understand what is covered and not covered. You can not decide not to go at the last minute without incurring substantial cancellation charges. And if you have any pre-existing health issues, this may or may not be a covered event. That is why it is important to actually read the coverage.
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About Holiday Cruise Line

About the Ship
Holiday Cruise Line
Holiday Cruise Line's MV Grand Celebration is the finest to ever sail out of the Port of Palm Beach and the best cruise option to the Bahamas because of the flexible vacation options it provides. There is a large pool deck with five swimming pools and jacuzzis, a luxurious spa and wellness center, a Las Vegas style casino with a wide variety of slots and table games not found at many land casinos, eight bars and lounges, a state-of-the-art performance center with live shows, duty free gift shops and an age appropriate kids club.
With so much to offer at such affordable prices, there’s no better way to take a Bahamas vacation than on a Celebration cruise. To make vacation planning convenient, we have cruises departing every other day from the Port of Palm Beach, FL. The port is located within an hour of two major international airports and within two hours of four international airports.

Holiday Cruise Line Restaurant
The Grand Celebration offers four restaurants with five-star dishes and tempting desserts to please all palates. Three of the restaurants are included in the cruise price, with an intimate specialty dining option available for special occasions. All of our restaurants also come with vegetarian and gluten free options.

Everyone’s definition of fun is different so they offer an array of entertainment options and activities for everybody in your family. they aim to make your cruise experience both enjoyable and memorable.

Ship Cabins
Holiday Cruise cabins
They have a variety of staterooms to accommodate all needs without cutting corners on comfort. All of the rooms have these standard features: Personal safe for valuables, private bathroom and shower, television, hair-dryer, telephone, and a nightly turndown service.
Note: Stateroom images are representative samples. Actual stateroom decoration and arrangements may differ in appearance. Wheelchair-accessible cabins are available upon request.

Everyone's definition of fun is different so Holiday Cruise Line's aim is to provide a wide variety of entertainment and activity options while on the ship to make your cruise both enjoyable and memorable.

Sailing dates
Holiday Cruise Line's low cruise rates will provide you with a fun and affordable cruise vacation. No matter what time of the year you sail on the Grand Celebration, you are going to find it be a tremendous value, as defined by the quality of the vacation for the money paid. The Grand Celebration has spacious staterooms and terrace suites, 5-star dining with the times you choose, outstanding service throughout the ship, top notch entertainment in our state-of-the-art performance center and throughout the ship, casino, spa, five pools and jacuzzis and so much more.
Demand for the ship is the highest from February through August and these cruises will sell out. Booking your cruise early is strongly suggested. Other high demand cruises are holiday periods and fall weekend cruises. While our cruise prices are always affordable, the lowest rates are in the fall, particularly for week day sailings. Cruise with Bahamas resort stay packages are lower for the fall season as well. 

holiday cruise Excursions

At Holiday Cruise, they are concerned about the fun you have both on board the ship and when they arrive in the beautiful Bahamas. they have negotiated to find the best activities at affordable prices for your Bahamas visit or stay. Grand Bahama Island is filled with many on shore, on the water and underwater adventures, romantic attractions and historical charm. Plan your Grand Bahama escape today!Shore excursions must be purchased 24 hours prior to sailing. You have the option of booking online if you are a Cruise and Stay passenger, you must go to the Shore Excursion Desk on Deck 3 for pricing and availability. For an unforgettable family vacation, swim with dolphins, take a dive on the wild side and dive with sharks or play it safe at the casino. If you are curious about the island's history and culture, there are island tours, festivals, and nature trails on foot or horseback. Find other ways to soak up the Caribbean sun with water sports, fishing, tennis, golf and much more. Don't forget to check out local shopping districts for great deals on duty-free merchandise.All tours are subject to change due to minimal participation levels or mechanical problems.

Hopefully you have read all the fun things there are to do on our 2-night Bahamas cruise. If you have time for a longer vacation, you're going to love Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line cruise & Bahamas resort stay vacation where you spend two nights on the cruise and two, four or six nights at a beautiful beachfront resort with all-inclusive options.
You get the best of both worlds with pristine white sand beaches and crystal clear water at the resort and just few hundred yards away from Port Lucaya, the hub of entertainment on the island with many different restaurants, shopping and nightlife activities.
Holiday line Resorts

Friday, January 29, 2016

River Cruise Versus an Ocean Cruise - Let Me Count the Ways!

River cruising has quickly become the vacation of choice for many Boomers and Pre-Boomers. This is because it's a very easy, affordable and experiential vacation choice. But, are you ready for a river cruise? Let's take a closer look.
First of all, we flat out say that a river cruise trip is not for everyone. That's right. Not everyone will enjoy the many benefits that this affordable and luxurious cruise has to offer. If you fit the following profile, you might not want to consider a river cruise and might be better served with a more traditional cruise ship vacation.
You are not the river cruise type if you enjoy:
  • Being nickel'd and dimed for everything [wine, beer, espressos, snacks, Internet, etc.]
  • Paying extra to eat in one of the "nice" specialty restaurants - whoa!
  • Paying extra for all your shore excursions which can be over $1000 per person.
  • Paying extra for some of the onboard entertainment and venues.
  • A large impersonal staff that think of you as "Tip" and never know your name.
  • Being jammed on a ship with up to 5000 of your closest friend... and that's only the passengers.
  • Spending 2-3 hours getting on and off the ship each day in port.
  • Driving over an hour from the port to the city center to begin your shore excursion.
  • Never having enough time to truly get to see a port and mix with its people.
  • Dining with 1000 people all trying to be served at the same time with assembly line food.
  • Getting seasick with the seas are just a bit rough.
  • Having to get dressed up at night - formal nights, and...
  • The disco at night... whee!
Now, we don't want to place too large of a cloud over traditional ocean cruising because the ocean cruise business is the genesis of what has driven the exploding river cruise demand. And, an ocean cruise vacation does have many wonderful elements and is still the second best cruise vacation choice you can make.
Today's modern ocean-going ship has it all: rock-climbing walls, ice skating, up to 20 different dining venues for your enjoyment [most at an extra fee], and gorgeous accommodations with nice amenities - did we mention you now pay for the movies you watch in your cabin. Ocean ships are now more like a Vegas-style vacation than a cruise, but our main objection is... what ever happened to the all-inclusive nature of a cruise? It is dead and buried!
Between outrageous taxes and fees, to being charged for almost anything you do on the ship beyond taking a walk on deck, the cost of the cruise ticket is generally far less than your onboard expenses. That's just not right. Period!
Is this truly what you want your perfect vacation to be like? We don't think so.
While river cruise vacations are extraordinary, the may not be for those under 40, but for those of us who prefer to travel with smaller groups of like-minded people, see and experience a destination in depth, then this type of almost fully-inclusive river cruise vacation is right for you.
By contrast, let's examine what a luxurious river cruise offers
  • A very spacious ship that on average only accommodates 130 or so privileged guests.
  • Sumptuous accommodations with every conceivable cabin amenity.
  • Impeccable cuisine, much of which is prepared ala minute [when you order it].
  • Complimentary wines, beers, sodas and bottled water.
  • Complimentary small-group sightseeing excursions in EVERY port.
  • Most ships have gym, sauna, message, hairdresser, pool, FREE internet and free use of bicycles.
  • Daily free onboard evening entertainment.
  • Complimentary in-cabin Internet, entertainment systems with live U.S. T.V., and free movies.
  • Dock right in the center of most towns and it takes only one minute to get on/off the ship.
  • Ability to see more of a region and experience in-depth the local culture.
  • A resort casual onboard atmosphere - leave the formalwear at home.
  • All staterooms, repeat ALL rooms have a river view.
  • You can NEVER get seasick on a river cruise ship.
  • Impeccable, warm and friendly service by an English only speaking crew.
  • A staff that knows your name and favorite beverage by the second day.
  • Last, but certainly FIRST in our book: A lifetime of memories from the journey and the people you've met.
Another point to consider: what do you really want a cruise vacation to afford you when it comes to the places you visit? We believe a river cruise provides the best possible, easiest way to explore [in depth]and learn about a specific region of a country or countries.
Of course, ocean going ships will take you to Venice, a river cruise ship will not. Ocean cruise ships will go to places a river cruise cannot, simply because that place is not on a river - nothing more. But think about the world before we go beyond this point. Much, if not most, of the ancient world was developed alongside of a river because the rivers were the main source of commerce and easy to navigate. Therefore, places like Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest, Rouen, Paris, Honfleur, Lyon, Strasbourg, Avignon Vienne, Prague, Belgrade, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Beijing, the Nile River, the Mekong River of Vietnam and more can only be reached by river ship! River ships truly afford you the opportunity to see more of the world, visiting intimate, ancient towns and villages that can never be reached by ocean going ships.
In this article, we have covered just a few of the many reasons we feel that this luxurious and affordable vacation alternative is the best choice for most people... those who prefer not to be on a ship with up to 5000 of their closest non-friends, don't want to pay extra for almost everything, but want to enjoy the intimacy of a small ship with a hundred or so friendly, like-minded co-passengers, the "included" 5-star luxuries and amenities, impeccable cuisine and FREE shore excursions surely will choose a river cruise vacation.
If you've not been on an exciting river cruise, you might think your choices are limited, but that's not the case. Depending on your personal likes and lifestyle, you might choose an exciting food and wine focused French river cruise, a historical Danube cruise, a great for first timers Rhine River Cruise, or a remarkable Eastern Europe cruise. For those looking for something a bit more exotic, what about a Vietnam river cruise on the delightful Mekong River for your next vacation. Our team are experts at working with first time river cruisers to ensure you get the best value and best cruise for you and your lifestyle - that's really important. Take a look through our website and discover the many wonderful and affordable river cruise vacations we have to offer.
If you've never enjoyed an exciting destination based river cruise, talk with a travel agency that specializes in river cruises, you won't be disappointed is the value and rewards you receive after a truly memorable river cruise vacation.
Rick Kaplan has been in the cruise only business for more than 25 years. He has been assisting new cruisers with the proper selection of the best cruise line and ship to meet their personal needs and desires and is an expert on all elements of river cruising.

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Start Your Cruise Vacation From Port Canaveral For A Fabulous Cruise

Introduction To Cape Canaveral and its Port
The city of Cape Canaveral is positioned on the Atlantic coast of Florida, approximately equidistant from Miami and Jacksonville, about forty miles to the east of Orlando. The city is bounded on the north by Port Canaveral, on the west by the Banana River, eastwards by the Atlantic and southwards by Cocoa Beach.
From early times this hazardous part of Florida's coastline was held in fear by seamen, who named the headland Cape Canaveral. Because of the dangers to shipping, the Cape Canaveral Lighthouse was constructed in 1844, aiding boats to navigate safely avoiding the Cape.
In the early 20th century a little township based around fishing was established just south of Cape Canaveral. The town was given the name Artesia. To the south of Artesia the small settlement of Avon-by-the-Sea, with streets named after presidents, was established by the Brossier bros.
In the second World War 2 naval air bases were built on Florida's barrier islands, one of which was sited at the Cape. After the War the USAF, searching a promontory jutting into the Atlantic ocean to construct a secure rocket launch site, opted for the Cape. Avon By The Sea and Artesia were swallowed up by houses built for the space workforce of the space complex, and the city of Cape Canaveral came into being.
Work on constructing a deep-harbor facility at Port Canaveral started in 1950, and was finished by 1953. The docks function was to handle the retrieval of booster rocket motors from the ocean.
In the 1970s Port Canaveral made a convenient port-of-call for cruise ships carrying passengers who were keen to call at the theme parks of central Florida. During the next decade, Premier Cruises and Carnival Cruises operated ships from Port Canaveral, selling cruises to Freeport from newly constructed cruise ship facilities. The 1990s were a period of fast expansion for the cruise port, with the construction of cruise terminals 5, 8, and 10. Disney cruises commenced running cruises from the port.
Today over a million people leave on their cruise trip from Port Canaveral each year. Carnival and Disney now have competition from Royal Caribbean and NCL at the port.
Port Canaveral Cruise Terminals
Port Canaveral has several cruise terminals, though just three are in regular use for cruises. These are terminals 5, 8 and 10 which are positioned on the north western shore of the port. On the south side terminal 2 docks a gambling cruise ship, and terminals 3 and 4 are not utilized often.
A Side (North) Terminals
Cruise terminal buildings 5, 8 and 10 are situated on the A or north docks, alongside Charles M Rowland Drive. These modern cruise terminals have longer docks with the ability to berth the largest cruise ships, and all 3 can cope with more than 3000 passengers.
Cruise Terminal 5 is an elegant 2 story building, with a 30ft high glass central hall resplendent with tropical plants and imaginative water features. Embarking passengers are processed on the top storey, debarking cruisers on the bottom.
Cruise Terminal 8 was specified by and built for Disney Cruise Line, and is an attractive art-deco style building with an impressive 80 foot high glass foyer.
Cruise Terminal 10 features a fast passenger embarking/disembarking arrangement, with completely automatic baggage processing.
Each cruise terminal offers the essential facilities including vending machines, check-in desks, pay phones, cab rank, ATMs and restrooms. Next to each terminal stands a parking lot.
B Side (South) Terminals
Cruise terminals 2, 3 and 4 are positioned on the B or south docks, alongside George King Boulevard. These cruise terminals were amongst Port Canaveral's first facilities dedicated to cruise ships, and all 3 have a capacity about 1800 people. Beside each terminal building there's a parking lot.
Port Canaveral Sightseeing
Jetty Park 
Jetty Park is a gorgeous coastline park that offers a beach, picnic areas, pavilions, a playground and camping grounds. The park's pier is a favorite as it gives close-up views of cruise ships departing from/arriving at Port Canaveral, and rewarding fishing for tarpon, redfish and common jacks. The well-kept sandy beach offers lots of facilities like convenient parking, year-round lifeguards, restrooms and freshwater showers. The lively Cove Waterfront area sited between the park and the port has cafes, restaurants and shops. The park is managed by the Port Authority, and is positioned on the south coast of the port exit channel.

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Center 
Even if you're not old enough to recall 'That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind'', almost all people are enthralled by the idea of traveling into space. The Kennedy Space Center is the base of NASA's activities and was the launch pad for the Apollo missions. At the Center you can enjoy the Shuttle Launch Experience, learn about the future of space travel at the Exploration Space exhibition, go by bus to the LC39 Gantry and the Apollo Center and watch a movie at the IMAX center. The Center is around 12 miles north from Port Canaveral.

US Astronaut Hall of Fame 
The Astronaut Hall of Fame honors American astronauts. View a fascinating range of memorabilia including the Sigma 7 Mercury rocket, a realistic astronaut training simulator, space suits and the Science On A Sphere show. The Hall of Fame is only 4 miles westwards of the Space Center.

Cocoa Beach Pier 
Originally constructed in 1962 Cocoa Beach Pier is amongst the most popular landmarks on Florida's Space coast. The 800 foot long pier houses souvenir shops, 5 restaurants, four bars and occasional live musical entertainment. The beach next to the pier offers restrooms, year-round life guards, showers and beach-hire concessions. Cocoa Beach is situated only 5 miles south of Port Canaveral.

Orlando Amusement Parks 
Head west from the Port on Highway 528 to reach fabulous attractions like Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World of Florida and Disney/MGM Studios all of which are no more than an hour's drive away.

Picking a Cruise from Port Canaveral
The range of cruises available include the Eastern Caribbean (San Juan, St Maarten and St Thomas), the Western Caribbean (Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Belize and Roatan), or the Bahamas (Freeport and Nassau). More extensive cruises are occasionally on offer, such as transatlantic cruises to Europe.
Traveling to the Cruise Terminals
By Car 
North Cruise Terminals 
Drive towards Port Canaveral on Highway 528, cross Merritt Island, and leave at the sign for A Cruise Terminals joining SR 401 North. Drive 1 mile on SR 401 North and leave at the sign marked with the cruiselines.

South Cruise Terminals 
Approach Port Canaveral on Hwy 528 and leave at the sign for B Cruise Terminals (1/4 mile following SR 401 junction). Next turn left below the bridge onto George King Blvd. Drive 1 mile on George King Blvd. Next follow directions to the required cruise terminal.

By Air 
Orlando International Airport 
Orlando International Airport, positioned in the south eastern fringe of Orlando, is roughly an hour's drive west from Port Canaveral. A transfer is possible by cab or shuttle.

Melbourne International Airport 
Melbourne International Airport is roughly 30 miles south from Port Canaveral. Travel from the airport is possible by shuttle bus or cab.

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