Cruise Ship Weddings
BY 1TRAVELDIVA CRUISING
Wedding at sea
Spring has arrived and the weather warming up, so clients are beginning to look for different options and destinations to tie the knot. Cruise ship weddings provide an ideal opportunity for couples hoping to celebrate that special day either on the ocean or on a exotic port of call.
More than 2,600 couples each year exchange their vows on Carnival Cruise Line ships, and this year the line has completely revamped its wedding program, with upgraded amenities and new choices for flower arrangements, decorations and photography, as well as new culinary selections and a greater variety of on-island ceremonies. Some of the destinations include Grand Turk and Freeport, complementing Barbados, Grand Cayman, St. Thomas and the private Bahamian island of Half Moon Cay. The “Just You & Me” package provides a ceremony for up to eight people starting at $1,355 and includes a bouquet and boutonniere, tiered wedding cake with keepsake wedding topper, photography service, champagne toast with keepsake flutes and an officiant (couples are also welcome to bring their own clergy).
There are also packages which can cater to larger groups, such as the “Time to Celebrate…Big!” program, which can cater to up to 20 guests and starts at $1,975. All of the amenities of the Just You & Me package are included, along with a one-and-a-half-hour reception, open bar, a selection of hot & cold hors d’ oeuvres and a custom-designed ice carving.
Holland America Line is also offering a variety of wedding services this season, as well as packages for anniversaries and vow renewals. Wedding cruise itineraries include a personalized ceremony with wedding coordinator services, flowers, cake, champagne, a photo album and a keepsake wedding certificate. Photography, music, receptions and pampering appointments can also be added to customize wedding cruise packages.
The programs are available on multiple ships in Holland America Line’s fleet and start at $999 for a simple ceremony for two for North America and Caribbean sailings, or $2,999 for European sailings.
TAGGED caribbean, cruising, destinationwedding, honeymoon, married, travelagent, traveldiva, travelplanner, vows, wedding. BOOKMARK THE PERMALINK.
Ten Best Reason to Take a River Cruise
BY 1TRAVELDIVA CRUISING
With at least 20 new small ships splashing onto Europe’s rivers this year, competition is heating up…That’s almost certain to make what is typically a luxury trip more affordable for passengers seeking a more intimate cruise experience.
1. Many rivers to explore River cruises get you to inland Bucket List places. including such cities as Vienna and Budapest. Cruises on the Danube and Rhine continue to be the epicenter of the industry, but that’s just the beginning of where you can go. Popular destinations include Russia’s Volga, China’s Yangtze, the Mekong and the Mississippi.
2. Experience is Leisurely River cruises are not about rushing here and there. You visit key sights but there is also time to relax.
3. Ships are intimate The size of river ships is limited by the need for the vessels to go through locks and under low bridges. Most carry fewer than 200 passengers, some fewer than 100 and some fewer than 50. The small-ship experience brings opportunity to get to know your fellow passengers — including at open-seating meals. There’s no dealing with crowds.
4. Time to explore Your ship ties up right in town and you can walk to a sidewalk café or shops or markets (including Northern Europe’s popular Christmas markets) and mingle with locals or head off on the ship’s organized tours to museums, monuments and other must-see attractions. There is time to bike or hike and visit the places you came to see, and to absorb the local culture.
5. Better cabins There was a time when cabins on river ships meant a choice between tight and cozy. Today’s choices include cabins with step-out balconies, French balconies, walls of glass that open and even suites. Beds are hotel-like, bathrooms comfortably-sized and amenities include flat-screen TVs.
6. Nicer ships The newest ships offer surprisingly hip, contemporary environments. While space is limited, the cruise lines have gotten clever with public rooms including adding alternative al fresco dining venues. Lounges are comfortably, and sometimes even opulently furnished. Libraries offer a quiet spot to sit with a book. Open decks afford space to hang out in the sun or shade.
7. Local tastes, culture There is opportunity shipboard to snack on knackwurst and drink local beer as you cruise past Germany’s castles, drink the wine in Bordeaux and try other local flavors depending on your itinerary. Culture comes onboard, too, in the form of local folk groups and other performers.
8. Not a lot of extra charges Shore excursions, wine and beer with dinner (and sometimes also lunch), soda, bottled water, and specialty coffee drinks are all included in the cruise fare. Sometimes there’s also an open bar. Bonus: internet is free.
9. Casual dress code Don’t pack the tux. River cruising is casual dress at all times. Plus you only have to unpack once.
10. It’s for grownups Most river ships market to an age 55-plus demographic, though travelers in their 40s would feel right at home — particularly on the newer, more contemporary river ships. Kids are a rarity.
TAGGED cruise, luxury, river cruises, small, travel, travel diva
5 Tips for a Smoother Journey!
BY 1TRAVELDIVA TRAVEL TIPS
1. Passports – If a passport is needed, make sure it is not going to expire within 6 months. Some airlines will actually suspend your flight even though your passport has not expired, but is close to expiring. So double check the expiry date of your passport and check with your travel agent!
2. Use carry-on luggage – Getting everything into a carry-on bag will not only save you from paying checked baggage fees, but also frees you up with dealing with the extra baggage. Plus, you are more able to handle the surprises that often come with holiday travel. If you need to change your flight, or decide to fly standby on an earlier departure, you’ll have everything with you when you arrive at your destination. If you are bringing back gifts on your return flight, you may want to purchase inexpensive luggage at your destination, or bring along another duffle bag that you can use in case you’re bringing home more than you anticipated!
3. Ship gifts – If you are traveling with “gifts” in tow, it may be best to ship them ahead of time. This will reduce the chance of breakage, lost gifts, and just simply weighing you down.
4. Take an early morning flight – Not only do the first flights of the day typically have better on-time departure statistics, they can help you avoid weather-related delays. Aircrafts departing early in the morning are more likely to be at the gate, de-iced and ready to go. And in the case that bad weather does cancel your flight, you’ll have more options for rebooking throughout the remainder of the day.
5. Arrive early – It should be expected that the volume of travelers will be increased at this time. Allow yourself ample time to get checked in, go through security and get to your gate. It is recommended to arrive at the airport at least two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights.
For updated information please visit http://www.tsa.gov/
TAGGED get quote, good time, relax, travel, travel diva, travel.reservations.travel agent, worry free
Saving Tips for Vacation
BY 1TRAVELDIVA TRAVEL TIPS
Let’s face it, it takes money to travel, but it doesn’t have to break the bank!
With proper planning and preparation it can be affordable and doable for most budgets. Before you begin your savings there are a few important decisions you need to make-know where you are going, what you want to do and how much it will cost. Then set your savings goal. Visualize your vacation. You don’t have to go far…You define what a vacation is to you.
Remember…Travel doesn’t have to be expensive especially if you’re a regular. You just learn how to stash and save when vacations are your end goal.
1. Open A Vacation Fun Account at your bank or credit union. This is the most traditional way to save. Have a designated amount automatically drafted from one account and deposited in your vacation fund account.
2. Get a large jar or water bottle and save all your loose change. You will be amazed at how fast the coins add up. I personally save all my change. I don’t give exact change so I will always have coins to deposit in my water bottle.
3. Sacrifice. Look at your spending habits. Decide what is a necessity and what you can do without. Just think you will have your vacation memories far longer than any short term gratification. Take your lunch to work. Cook meals at home instead of eating out. Can you do without a trip to the nail salon? Clip coupons to help on the grocery bill. Eliminate shopping on/offline…cut back on those daily Lattes. Look for ways to spend less and save more.
4. Savings Challenge. I love this challenge…Each week you put the corresponding weeks amount of money in your jar or savings account and watch your savings grow. Click here to download the chart.
5. My Tab. Get family and friends involved…My Tab is an online travel gift card. You can give and receive travel cash for celebration & dream trips.
6. Use a Travel Agent. Travel agents can most often help you narrow down your options based on your budget, use their resources to add amenities that you can’t get by booking on your own or via online travel agencies and offer budget friendly payment plans- vacation on lay-a-way.
7. Yard Sale. We all have things laying around the house that is no longer useful to us. The kids outgrown cloths, shoes and toys constantly. Clean out your attic and garage. Ask family members to donate their unwanted items and sell…sell…sell! Deposit the profit into your vacation account.
Post-Vacation … After the vacation ends, don’t just drop the budget! Keep the family’s spending habits on the right track. Once budgeting becomes a priority, it gets easier which means you will be able to take more vacations in the future.
TAGGED fund, savings, traveldiva, vacation
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