Expedia Cruise Ship Centers – Local Living Sorrento

Highlights
Call an Italian agriturismo outside of Sorrento home for the week, hike the famous “Walk of the Gods”, learn about the fate of Pompeii from an expert local guide, explore chic resort towns and historic villages, savour delicious home-cooked Italian food made from local ingredients, stroll the streets of picturesque Capri.

Get a taste for Italian life on this one-week Local Living trip to Sorrento, located just around the corner from the Amalfi Coast. Replete with gorgeous scenery and all the fantastic food and drink you’d expect, you’ll unwind on a lemon farm where a local family will be your hosts, giving you an in-depth look at what life at an Italian agriturismo is like. And of course, there will be food demonstrations including limoncello- and pizza-making as well as a walk along the stunning coastline, a visit to the elite island of Capri and a stop at Pompeii. Don’t be a tourist in Italy—live the dream.

ITINERARY
September 21, 2014 – Day 1 Naples

Welcome to Naples, home to the best pizza of the world. As your fellow travellers are arriving throughout the day, there are no planned activities until your Group Meeting at 6pm this evening, so check-in to the hotel (check-in time is approx 3pm) and enjoy the city.

Please make every effort to arrive in time for this important meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform the hotel or us directly- contact numbers are provided in these notes. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.

Why not join your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) after the welcome meeting at an optional group dinner to eat the dish Naples is famous for—pizza!

Overnight at Hotel Correra.

September 22, 2014 – Day 2 Pompeii/Sorrento (1B,1D)

Today we head off by private transport to our accommodation, an agriturismo just outside of Furore. Enroute we will visit the famed site of Pompeii, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples. One of Italy’s best-known sites, this unique visit is truly an amazing experience. After our guided tour with an expert local guide, there will be some free time to explore on your own before heading to our accommodation.

For the duration of our trip we stay at the same agriturismo. Located about a 15-minute walk uphill from Sorrento, our accommodation is at a working lemon farm that has opened its doors to tourism. The ‘agriturismo’ is surrounded by open terraces and groves of lemon trees protected by wooden pergolas made with chestnut. Enjoy your meals in an open-air dining area that overlooks the crystalline waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Estimated Travel Time: 1hr to Pompei and 1hr Pompei to Sorrento

September 23, 2014 – Day 3 Sorrento (1B,1L,1D)

Today’s focus is on food. Start off with a tour of the agriturismo to learn the history of the property and to learn more about lemon cultivation. At lunchtime, learn to make one of the area specialties – pizza! You will eat the fruits of your labour for lunch.

Afterwards, learn all about limoncello production (and tasting!). Southern Italy is known specifically for the giant lemons they use to make limoncello. The lemons can easily grow to be larger than one’s head.

Enjoy some free time to relax and get to know your home for the week. Before dinner, our local hosts will show us how to make a delicious specialty to traditional regional recipes, using local produce. This will last anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on what is for dinner.

September 24, 2014 – Day 4 Positano/Sorrento (1B, 1D)

Probably the most famous walk of the Amalfi region, the ancient ‘Walk of the Gods’ trail climbs along ridges high above the coastal towns of Positano and Praiano, once the only road connecting these two villages. The path can be rough underfoot and a little exposed but well worth it for the spectacular scenery and the chance to be so close to nature and “the Gods”. The outstanding beauty of the Amalfi Coast can only be fully appreciated on foot.

Transfer to the starting point in the small town of Bomerano, perched in the hills high above the sparkling sea. From there, we walk approximately 8km to the village of Montepertuso and eventually to Positano along sometimes narrow path with sensational views down to the sea far below. Follow ancient paths and trails linking isolated farms, villages, churches and monasteries. Most of the walking offers amazing views to the rugged coastline below with wonderful vistas from village to village. Walk past abandoned farmhouses and lemon groves, across high mountain pastures and through woodland, and finally down to hilltop villages and steeply down to the coast again. The last part of the path is on the main road and then down approximately 1300 stairs. This last part can also be done by public bus to save knees and ankles.

The walk finishes in Positano where you will have time if you wish to explore the bustling resort. We’ll then take a scenic public boat ride back to Sorrento and transfer back to the agriturismo.

Estimated Walking Time: 5-6 hours

September 25, 2014 – Day 5 Sorrento (1B, 1D)

Today is a free day to do as you please. Opt to visit local villages, explore Sorrento, sign up for a full-day cooking class or to spend some time on the beach.

In the evening, enjoy another cooking demonstration at your agriturismo with the group before a delicious home-cooked meal.

September 26, 2014 – Day 6 Capri/Sorrento (1B, 1D)

Board a ferry to Capri. Hop on board the ‘funicolare’ to explore Capri Town’s piazza. The Caprese salad is named after this town, and or course there is also locally produced limoncello made with the island’s lemons. Walk the along trails on the island, go swimming or brush shoulders with the more well-off island inhabitants at fancy shops.

September 27, 2014 – Day 7 Naples (1B)

Morning transfer to the train station where the tour ends upon arrival at 11am.

Making your stay seamless
One of our Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) will be on hand to make your trip the best it can be, occasionally tagging along to show you the best spots and keep you company on optional daytime pursuits. Well-versed in the inner workings of the region and on-hand to help you with any questions you might encounter, your CEO wears many hats, covering everything from getting something translated to organizing day trips to finding a good spot to grab a meal or go out at night.
Optional Activities
While most days are full with inclusions, any day trips can be skipped in favour of relaxation and independent exploration. In your free time, visit local villages, spend time at the beach or explore Sorrento.

Inclusions
• Guided tour of Pompeii. “Walk of the Gods” hike. Island of Capri visit. Five home-cooked dinners using local organic produce. Scenic boat ride from Positano to Sorrento. Limoncello- and pizza-making demonstrations. One evening cooking demonstration. Orientation walks in Naples and Sorrento. Transport between destinations and included activities.
• 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 5 dinners. (Allow EUR100-150 for meals not included.)
• Hotel (1 nt), small locally-owned guesthouse/agriturismo (5 nts).
• Minibus, boat, walking.
• Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guide.
• Small group experience; Max 12, Avg 8.
Exclusions
• Entrance fees not listed
• International air (also applies to trans-border flights)
• Applicable tourist visas
• Incidentals
• Insurance
• Airport taxes
• Tips or gratuities
• Beverages
• Meals not mentioned above
• Optional tours or optional admissions

Contact Details
Pamela MacDonald
Expedia Cruise Ship Centers
250-381-7447
pmacdonald@cruiseshipcenters.com

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Why Choose Cruising!

 

Cruising is the fastest growing segment of the entire leisure market. Since 1980, the industry has had an annual growth rate of eight to ten percent. Market analysis indicates that there is significant growth potential as more new people are experiencing the magic of a cruise vacation. In 2007, an estimated 15 million guests will enjoy a cruise.

Since 2001, 62 innovative new cruise ships have been built. These super-liners have been designed with a wide range of amenities catering to a very diverse customer base. Cruise guests now encompass every age group and lifestyle including families, singles, couples, honeymooners, “baby boomers”, and seniors. In fact, the average age of cruise guests has dropped from age 50 in 1990 to approximately age 40. Because most cruise lines are “all-inclusive”, cruising has also become one of the most affordable vacations, making it even more appealing to a greater range of people.

Cruise vacations also enjoy the highest satisfaction rates of any vacation, with 87% of guests surveyed giving a cruise top marks. Additionally, market research shows that more people than ever are interested in taking a cruise vacation. According to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA):

• 60% of all adults surveyed would like to cruise.
• 35% say they will probably or definitely cruise in the next five years.
• 67% of past cruisers will probably or definitely cruise again in the next five years.

It is always important to take into account your customer’s personality and lifestyle when recommending the cruise experience that best suits their needs. Consider the onboard atmosphere and dress code, level of service, size of ship, onboard activities, dining options, and other amenities. The right cruise is the one that fulfills their vision of a dream vacation.
Cruise customers now enjoy a great variety of choices, from resort casual to sophisticated luxury, a yacht-like experience to the grandeur of the biggest cruise ship ever built.

Cruising offers excellent value When comparing an all-inclusive land resort with a cruise vacation offering the same amenities, the cruise will usually cost less than the land package.

Jeremy McLeod
Franchise Owner

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Planning A Cruise!

Cruising has never been more popular or affordable. If you are a first-time cruiser, be sure to use a CruiseShipCenters Consultant to help plan the vacation that is just right for you. We have extensive knowledge of destinations, cruise lines, and even the character of each ship!

Take advantage of our experience. Below are the TOP questions that we get and we want to share them with you:

Is cruising expensive?

Just do the math. Compare a one week cruise against a week at a resort. On a cruise vacation, your meals, accommodations, entertainment, and most activities are included in the fare. It’s easy to stick to your budget. Plus, on a cruise you get to visit many different ports of call. Unpack once and settle in for a journey that takes you anywhere you want to go. At the end of the day, you retreat to a floating resort to enjoy fabulous cuisine, world-class entertainment, then get lulled to sleep at sea.

Will I get seasick?

Today’s cruise ships are engineered with state-of-the-art stabilizers that greatly reduce ship motion. If seasickness is a concern, choose a cabin towards the center of the ship where ship movement is less pronounced. You can also consult your doctor about medications to take in case of motion sickness.

Won’t I get bored?

Only if you want to be. How would you like to go ice skating, rock climbing, practice your golf swing, shoot a few hoops, go to the casino, see a Broadway-style show, do some shopping, work out at the gym, relax at the spa, take a dip in the pool, log onto the Internet? You can do it all without ever leaving the ship! Every ship has a Cruise Director whose job is to make sure each guest makes the most of their vacation. In fact, there are so many things to do while cruising that you will probably book a longer cruise next time.
Are there different classes of service?

Every guest can enjoy the use of any of the ship’s facilities. The price and the category of staterooms are based primarily on size and location. Whatever category you book, you’ll enjoy the same courteous service, exquisite dining, variety of activities, and world class entertainment as everyone else.

What is there to do in port?

So much, you’ll have a hard time choosing! You can go off on your own or take a guided tour. You can search ancient ruins or hunt for shopping bargains. Ride a raft over river rapids, bicycle down the side of a 10,000 foot volcano, or ride a horse across miles of beaches. Climb a waterfall or a pyramid. See the birthplace of civilization or listen to steel drum bands. Follow the footsteps of history or the wake of a water-skiing boat. If there’s still time (and you aren’t ready to rest yet), enjoy a folkloric show. Play golf, basketball or tennis. Discover local and exotic cuisine or learn how to windsurf. Sun and swim on some of the world’s best beaches. Catch a record-size marlin. Sail, snorkel, or go scuba diving. Go to a nightclub or a glittering casino. Take a cable car to the top of a mountain. Explore dark catacombs. In short, a cruise is the easiest way to see new places and do all of the things you dream about. Cruising is the perfect opportunity to sample destinations that you may want to return to for another vacation. You only have to unpack once, and the destinations come to you!

Do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance can give you and your loved ones peace of mind that in the case of an emergency you’ll be protected. Whether you’re looking for medical coverage in a foreign country or want to protect your belongings, there is an insurance policy that is right for you. If you currently have travel insurance, be sure to understand what is covered and what limitations or exclusions may be listed. Unfortunately, there are a myriad of unforeseeable circumstances that could occur when traveling to a new place, and travel insurance can protect your vacation investment.

Do I require travel visas?

Depending on the ports of call you’re visiting you may require travel visas along with the rest of your travel documents. Your Cruise Consultant is a valuable resource for any questions regarding travel documents, as well as, you may contact your local embassies for more information.
How am I going to get to the port?

Depending on how far from the embarkation port you are, you may require a flight in to the port city. To avoid unforeseeable delays, and in some cases offset jet lag or fatigue, you may wish to fly in early and enjoy your stay in the port city. Your Cruise Consultant can help you plan your flight, as well as pre and post cruise hotels, with their expert knowledge of the major port cities. On the contrary, if you’re driving to the port, be sure to arrive early with enough time to arrange your parking.

Can I smoke onboard?

Smoking on cruise ships has become quite the subject of debate, however, most cruise lines have adopted the policy of designated smoking areas, with the rest of the ship being a no smoking zone. In general, smoking is usually prohibited in exterior public spaces as well as indoors. You can check with your Cruise Consultant, cruise line or your specific cruise ship about their smoking policy, as well as the location of any designated smoking areas.
Can I bring alcohol onboard?

In general, most cruise lines do not allow you to bring alcohol onboard. If you buy alcohol as a souvenir at the ports of call, your cruise line may store them for you until the end of your vacation. You can inquire with your Cruise Consultant for your cruise line’s specific alcohol policies.

Do cruise lines welcome families with kids?

Families with children book 25% of all cruise vacations. Most cruise lines offer special programs, facilities, and activities based on age. Children and teens not only get to meet kids their own age, but often travel at a substantially-reduced rate.

Many cruise lines have extensive programs and special activities for every age group, from toddler to teen. This gives youngsters a chance to experience the cruise with kids their own age while mom and dad enjoy some adults-only time together. Naturally, many of the traditional pleasures of a cruise, such as shore excursions, onboard ship activities, and dinners, can be shared by the whole family together.

Your CruiseShipCenters Consultant can recommend the ideal family vacation. Here is a sample of some of the amenities that are offered:
Princess Cruises’ Youth and Teen Centers include various games tables, movie rooms, and all the latest video games. The new Sun Princess and Dawn Princess have an extensive toddlers’ play area. For teens, there are special entertainment hideouts called “Cyberspace” and “The Fast Lane.” The friendly staff coordinate and supervise a variety of activities including karaoke, movie fest, theme parties, and more.

Royal Caribbean International caters to family cruising by offering special suites that sleep up to six people. Young cruisers are divided into “Aquanauts” (ages 3 – 5), “Explorers” (ages 6 – 8), “Voyagers” (ages 9 – 12) and “Navigators” (ages 13 – 17). The daily “Compass” itineraries are delivered at night to the door of each child and teen, highlighting the next day’s events and activities.

Many cruise lines cater to family vacationers, however, there are some restrictions. Some ships also have better facilities than others. Your CruiseShipCenters Consultant can help you plan the right cruise for your family.
What about the night life?

At night, life aboard a cruise ship really turns on. There’s dancing, live entertainment, discos and lounges, feature films, and parties with all your new friends. Most ships even have casinos. There are special events like the Captain’s Cocktail Party, Passenger Talent Night, the Masquerade Parade, and the Late Night Buffet (for that one last bite to tide you over ’til breakfast). And the night can go on as long as you want. Even until the spectacle of sunrise at sea.
What should I pack?

Pack like you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you’re on the ship or on shore. In the evening, ships vary as to dress. Much like on shore, attire is dictated by occasion. At the Captain’s Gala, for example, you’ll probably want to wear something more formal, such as a dark suit, cocktail dress, a dinner jacket, or a gown.
Will I need a tuxedo?

On some cruises, formal dinners or parties are part of the fun. But you don’t need to rent a tuxedo just for the trip. Even on the most formal ships, a dark suit and tie are fine for the dressiest occasions.

What about tipping?

Tipping is a matter of individual preference. Most cruise lines include a tipping guideline in your stateroom. A general standard is to plan for about $2.50 to $3.00 per person, per day for your room steward and dining room waiter and about half that amount for your busboy. Some cruise lines include tipping/gratuities in the price. Other ship personnel can be tipped for special services at your discretion

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Cruising for Less Money!

By Barry Vaudrin
In today’s economy most people seek out the best possible deals to save money, and receive the best value. One of the miss-conceptions of cruising is that it’s too expensive, however; when you make a chart that compares a land-based vacation verses a cruise vacation, you’ll see that the best value is a cruise. Think of the tips in this article as GOLD, because I’m about to give you some nuggets of information that could save you hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars when you plan your next cruise vacation.

The very first tip is to contact a travel agent that exclusively books cruises. Too often, I have had people tell me they booked their cruise directly with the cruise line, because they think they are cutting out the “middle-man” and saving money….these poor people think they’re getting a great deal, when in fact they could get more bang for their buck if they go through a well-established cruise-only travel business. Let me break this down so it’s easy to understand. The cruise line will certainly sell you a stateroom on a cruise of your choice and you might fall for the illusion that this is the right choice to save money. If you choose any cruise-only agency, you might find that they offer the same pricing that was quoted to you by contacting the cruise line directly, but here is the catch. The cruise–only travel agency is given special perks based on the volume they sell with any particular cruise line, so they are often able to offer something over and above the quoted cruise price. When you book through a travel agency, you will not pay any extra fees, you’ll get the best rate offered by the cruise line, but more importantly, you may be able to get special upgrades, discounts, onboard-credits, and extra amenities the cruise line only offers their top-producing travel agencies. The cost of the cruise might be the same, but when you book through a cruise-only agency, you may be able to receive discounts and amenities only offered to top producing agencies….that’s money in your pocket!

There are a few other ways to save money when you plan your next cruise vacation. If you’re flexible with the dates of your vacation, ask your cruise-only agency if there are any re-positioning cruises you can book into. These re-positioning cruises are often discounted at very appealing rates.

Ask your cruise-only agent if you can get a “guaranteed” category stateroom. A “guaranteed” stateroom means that you pay for a specific category, but because it’s a “guaranteed” booking, you could get that particular category or better based on availability. It’s like rolling the dice, but the chances you are upgraded to a higher category are pretty good.

Enroll in a cruise line’s loyalty program. When you enroll into a cruise line’s loyalty program you can often receive discounts and upgrades only offered to those enrolled in the cruise line’s loyalty plan.

If you plan you plan your cruise around an off-season cruise itinerary, you may be able to save money. Peek cruise dates are usually Christmas and New Years cruises. These cruises often add a supplemental fee, so be aware of this fact. Christmas and New Years cruises almost always sell out, so there are rarely any discounts to be found during these cruise dates. What’s interesting is that the cruise before Christmas and after New Years is often discounted.

If you implement some of these ideas when booking your next cruise, you will save money and get the best possible bang for your bucks!

Barry Vaudrin is the Host of Cruising Authority, a popular cruise-related talk show about the cruise industry. Journey to the ancient country of China as Barry investigates the incredible experience that is offered by Viking River Cruises on the Yangtze River. Watch as your Host, The Cruise Journalist, visits Beijing, the Terra Cotta Army, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall of China and so much more: https://youtu.be/CN2orAN7_VQ

Canada/New England Cruise

Cruising has become more than just a way to go on holiday, it has become a way of life. Cruises are gaining popularity every day. And with an estimated passenger carried set to exceed 23 million by 2015, people will continue to line up for a chance to cruise the open sea.
You are probably familiar with the more popular cruises to areas such as Hawaii, the Caribbean, and even the Mediterranean. How much do you know about Canadian/New England cruises that are packed with endless natural beauty, history, and culture? Here are the four reasons why you should make your next cruise a Canadian/New England destination:

1. The History and Culture
There are so many cities full of history. Boston has museums, art galleries, and numerous historical sties. You can retrace the route of Paul Revere’s Ride, view the restored Boston Tea Party ships, and take a stroll through Boston’s Public gardens.
If you are looking for something a little farther north you can visit Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital. This beautiful city is home to Canada’s Museum of Immigration, Pier 21, and the Museum of the Atlantic (home to a collection of Titanic memorabilia).

2. The Climate
Believe it not, one of the best aspects of a Canadian/New England Cruise is the weather. Sure, the Caribbean has scorching heat and endless sunshine, but that can get old after a while.
The summer months are beautiful in New England and Canada, and you may even see some seals off the coast ofPrince Edward Island during summer months. However, where else can you see leaf-peeping on a boat? Lay back with a glass of wine and enjoy a romantic evening watching the leaves change along the coast line.
The Canada/New England cruise season is from May to October, with most ships embarking in August and September.

3. Location, Location, Location!
These cruises are filled with nonstop fun destinations. Here are just a few cities you can visit on a typical Canadian/New England Cruise:
Newport, R.I.: This former playground of the rich and famous is loaded with decadent mansions of the Guilded Age. You can visit the Stroll Newport’s famous Cliff Walk, a breathtaking 3.5-mile path among the rocky coastline.

Bar Harbor, Maine: “Bah Hahba,” as the natives call it, is home to Acadia National park, 47,633 acres of rocky shores, forested mountains and towering cliffs. This was the first park founded east of the Mississippi.

Quebec City: You don’t have to go to France to get a taste of the culture! You can visit sites like the Palace Royale, a picturesque plaza that is something to write home about. Brush up on your French as you visit Montmorency falls, which is higher than Niagara and less crowded.

4. You Will Want to Come Back
Between the untainted landscapes, vast history, and endless lobster you will find yourself longing to come back for another visit. If you plan to extend your stay, you can get a Canadian Boating License and explore the northern coasts to your hearts content.

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Packing Tips!!

by Cruise Journalist, Barry Vaudrin
Cruise like a pro, not the usual tourist, by using the following packing tips.

Whether you’re a seasoned cruiser or you’re going on your first cruise, there are some unique things to pack so that you have the best possible cruise experience, and you’re prepared for nearly anything during your vacation. The last thing you want to do is be unprepared for your vacation.

1. Avoid packing all your luggage the night before.
Try not to scramble late into the night before your departure trying to pack. Plan ahead a few days and make a general list of things you may want to bring, including: clothing, camera gear, batteries, extra memory cards for your camera, hats, medications, bathing suits, etc. Wash your clothes and start to pack perhaps two nights prior to your departure, because if you wait till the last minute, the night before, you may not get the sleep you need for the rigors of traveling the next day.

2. Get plenty of sleep the night before your departure.
If you wait to pack the night before your departure, you may find yourself packing late into the night as you try not to forget to pack certain items. It’s not uncommon to board early morning flights to get to your cruise port, and the hustle and bustle of travel can truly wear you out, particularly if you didn’t get enough sleep the night before. When you board the ship for the first time, it’s a very exciting moment, you may have somewhat of an adrenaline rush, but your body can only take so much before you collapse out of sheer exhaustion.

3. Consider buying Space Bags
You’ve probably seen them advertised on television. These Space Bags are truly a handy way to pack your luggage efficiently. Basically you put your shirts, pants, underwear, socks in their separate Space Bag, and roll out the air, which ultimately allows you to pack more items in your luggage with extra room to spare. Also, if your luggage, by some crazy accident, gets dropped in water, your clothes won’t get wet.

4. Don’t pack too much stuff
Travelers often pack way too much stuff into their luggage and overestimate how much clothes and stuff you’ll need on your cruise. Additionally, you’re going to want to leave some space in your luggage, prior to your cruise, because it never fails that dirty clothes, bathing suites, souvenirs, will cause your luggage to be over-stuffed on your return home.

5. Consider using Luggless.com or luggagefree.com
A great new trend is to offer travelers a break from lugging their heavy luggage to and from the airport and spending time in baggage-claim. These companies will pick up your luggage at your home or office several days prior to your cruise departure. These companies will deliver your luggage directly to your ship or hotel, so you don’t have to battle dragging your heavy luggage around. It’s a great service, where you hand-over your luggage to a courier and the next time you see your luggage is in front of your stateroom on the ship. Check them out and you’ll see that the pricing is reasonable and it will give you a peace of mind knowing that the airline won’t lose your luggage.

6. Purchase luggage with four wheels
More and more travelers are discovering luggage with four wheels. It is such a convenient, and great way to move your luggage around when you have four wheels on the bottom of your luggage. You may also want to consider luggage with hardened sides to protect the contents in your luggage. An excellent brand to consider is Victorinox; they make excellent luggage pieces.

7. Mark your luggage so you can easily identify your bags
Today, it is surprising how many people have similar or identical luggage and it can be confusing sometimes in baggage-claim trying to identify your luggage. The simplest way to mark your luggage is to tie a colorful cloth to the handle, so you can quickly identify which bag is yours at the pier or in baggage-claim.

8. Pack heavier items at the bottom of your luggage
While you are packing, place heavier items on the bottom when the bag is upright. Place certain items inside the shoes you pack in your luggage so you are efficiently using every possible space in your luggage.

9. Place electronic items or cords inside zip-lock bags
Zip-lock bags are a great way to organize, protect, and store certain loose items, cords, and electronics. You may also want to bring a couple large zip-lock bags to put some of your dirty / smelly clothes, and wet swim suits. This way you will protect the rest of your luggage contents from smelly or wet items.

10. A few unique items to pack
A highlighter marker would be very helpful to mark up your daily program that is delivered every day to your stateroom. With this marker, you can highlight the activities you want to go to. An extension cord and possibly a power-strip to plug in and charge all your electronic items, can be very useful. Most cruise ship staterooms have only a couple electric outlets. Earplugs might be helpful too if you are a light sleeper. The movement of the ship can sometimes generate sounds you may not be use to, like drawers or doors bumping due to the movement of the ship. Your neighbors or people in the corridors might make more noise than you prefer, so it’s good to be prepared just in-case.
With these packing tips you’ll be cruising like a professional!
Barry Vaudrin is the Host of Cruising Authority, a talk show using multimedia venues like audio podcasts, videos, photography, blogs and written articles. Check out one of Barry’s favorite cruise experiences aboard the world-famous Queen Mary 2 during a trans-Atlantic crossing.

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Cruiseline Updates

Norwegian Cruise Line has a present for parents: kids sil free on a range of sailings fleetwide in November and December 2013, offering incredible family fun. Available through November 8, 2013, Norwegian’s Kids Sail Free offer is applicable on new reservations and is combinable with most other offers, including the “Let’s Cruise” sales event, on now. Fares start at $399.

Jacksonville, Florida is celebrating 10 years in the cruise business. Currently the Jacksonville Cruise Terminal hosts the 2,052-guest Carnival Fascination with year-round four and five day Bahamas sailings.

The holiday season is always a joyful time aboard Princess Cruises ships around the world, and this year is no exception. Passengers enjoying seagoing holiday cruises will find some new activities onboard as well as favorite celebrations to make sure the season is merry and bright. The festivities begin with spirited Halloween and Thanksgiving cruises and continue with fun-filled cruises over Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s Day.

On Cruise Radio this week we talked to Vickie Bowne of Cruising Princess Cruise Lines with Vickie. Vickie reviews the Emerald Princess and gives us the details on Princess. Cruise Guy joins us with the weeks cruise news featuring Carnival, Norwegian, Seabourn, Windstar and how the government shutdown affected the economy. Hear the broadcast here.

We recently returned from American Cruise Line’s 150-guest Queen of the Mississippi, read our voyage reports here.
American Cruise Lines released a special Mardi Gras sailing from New Orleans. Guests aboard will participate in on-board mask marking, a Fat Tuesday celebration and and dinner at Antoine’s with American Cruise Lines President Charles Robertson.

At an event held at the Port of Québec cruise terminal, Mario Girard, President and CEO of the Québec Port Authority (QPA), recognized the captain and crew of the Queen Mary 2 (QM2) for the noble gesture of coming to the aid of Mylène Paquette in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. On September 26 of this year, the QM2 deviated from its course to offer assistance to Ms. Paquette, who several days earlier had equipment broken that was vital to her voyage. The Captain and his crew provided her with food supplies, a satellite phone and a drogue anchor, which serves to keep her rowboat on course.

Costa Cruises’ Costa Victoria is to return to service Nov. 11 following an US$18 million dry-dock upgrade completed in Singapore. Totally refurbished with new balconies, terraces and windows, Costa Victoria boasts an “Italy at Sea” theme that is translated in every detail of the upgraded ship, from the exquisite food to the bright colors and tailored service. The renewed Costa Victoria will be a testament to authentic Italian fashion, but also will be perfectly tailored for the unique tastes and needs of the Asian market.

Guy Fieri and his family take to the sea for fun, adventure and killer food aboard the Carnival Breeze in a new television special, Guy’s Family Cruise, premiering on Food Network Monday, October 28 at 9 p.m. ET. The family dines together at the ship’s Fahrenheit 555 steakhouse and indulges in Italian family-style favorites at Cucina del Capitano. While at sea, they have some fun at WaterWorks, slipping down the 312-foot Twister slide and getting soaked by the 300-gallon PowerDrencher splash bucket.

Windstar Cruises announced the line’s debut in Southeast Asia & Arabia on its new 212-passenger power yacht, Star Pride. The new voyages open for sale today and feature five unique itineraries exclusive to the all suite yacht, highlighting small ship ports throughout Asia, Arabia, and India. The inaugural Southeast Asia & Arabia season will begin on October 30, 2014.

Norwegian Cruise Line has launched a new Gift Card that can be redeemed toward the purchase of a cruise or onboard expenditures, making it easier for guests to give the gift of cruising to friends and loved ones. Gift Cards are prepaid cards that are available in set denominations of $25, $50, $100, $250 and $500, as well as in customizable amounts of up to $1000. The cards can be used toward cruise purchases on www.ncl.com, through a travel partner or toward a guest’s onboard experiences such as pampering spa treatments, shore excursions, dinners in one of Norwegian’s specialty restaurants and much more.

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Princess’ Short Getaway Cruises Begin Sailing from Los Angeles

Today Golden Princess sets sail from Los Angeles on the first of a new series of Princess Cruises Getaway voyages. Known for offering longer itineraries, the company has debuted these new cruises along the West Coast offering a brand new way for passengers to enjoy a quick break in a sea-going environment of comfort and style.

Passengers can choose from three- and four-day sailings, perfect for sampling the line’s onboard experience, as well as visiting a variety of Southern California destinations. Departing roundtrip from Los Angeles (San Pedro) aboardGolden Princess and Sapphire Princess, the Princess Getaway sailings take place throughout the fall and into the spring 2014 season.

“Our new Getaway cruises are a great new option for anyone looking for a quick way to escape from the daily grind,” said Jan Swartz, Princess Cruises executive vice president. “Passengers can sample the Princess experience of fine international dining and world-class entertainment aboard our comfortably elegant ships. And, these cruises are perfect for celebrations such as a birthday, anniversary, reunion or girlfriends getaway.”

Princess West Coast Getaway sailings for 2013-14 include:
3-Day West Coast Sampler – Both Golden Princess and Sapphire Princess sail roundtrip from Los Angeles on this three-day sailing with a call in Ensenada. Golden Princess cruises in 2013 depart on October 4, 7, 18, 21, November 1, 4, 15, 18, 21, 24 and December 1. Sapphire Princess sails on January 13 and March 11, 14, 21, 24 and 31, 2014.

4-Day West Coast Sampler – These getaways offer a choice of ports, with options to visit Catalina Island, Santa Barbara or San Diego in addition to Ensenada. In 2013, Golden Princess will sail to Catalina on September 26,October 14 and November 7; Santa Barbara on September 30, October 24 and November 11; and San Diego onOctober 10, 28 and November 27. In 2014 Sapphire Princess takes over, sailing to Catalina on Jan 5 and 20; Santa Barbara on January 16 and 28, March 17 and 27; and San Diego on January 9 and 24.
Getaway sailings are also scheduled throughout fall 2014 and spring 2015 as well.
Source: Princess