Cruise for Great Adventures

Many tourists consider Alaska as a magical place. The name itself was derived from the native Aleut word, “alyeshka,” meaning “the great land.” Alaska is a huge and incredibly diverse land. It is one of the last unspoiled wildernesses on earth.

Despite its remarkable size, it is still one of the most sparsely populated places on the planet. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population is less than three-quarters of a million. It is also safe to assume there are more animals here than humans.

When it comes to cruises, most travelers are more familiar with tropical destinations. These include the Caribbean, South Pacific, and Mexico. Most of them do not realise that apart from the sunnier regions, there are many northern places worth visiting. The magnificent views and activities to take part in during Alaskan cruises are incomparable. This is probably the best way to see the other side of the planet. While natural forces continue to mold the land, it remains a place mostly untouched by men. Despite recent industrial developments, the wilderness is Alaska’s predominant characteristic.

Travelers and natives also refer to Alaska as the “American Serengeti”. This is because of its rich wildlife. This magical land features some of the largest and most important estuaries and bird breeding grounds in North America. It is also home to mammal species including the largest and most intriguing wild animals that roam in the continent: grizzly and polar bears, herds of pre-Ice age caribou, moose, mountain sheep, wolf packs, beavers, wolverine, and pre-historic musk oxen. You will also witness marine mammals such as whales, sea lions, seals, porpoises, walruses, and many more.

Another thing about Alaska is its historical geography. Examples of these are Ice-Age old glaciers. The glaciers in this part of the planet are among the oldest. Most people think these formations are stationary, but on the contrary, they are so full of life. Along with the mountains, rivers, and fjords, they are perhaps some of the most beautiful natural wonders you will encounter in this lifetime. If you are up for this kind of adventure, you should start looking for Alaska cruise deals.

Take Better Pictures On Cruise

Select The Best Camera For You

Surprisingly, this is one of the least valuable tips for getting good pictures. Everyone nowadays owns a smartphone and all of the phones these days have built-in cameras with good picture capturing capabilities. But if you are pictureacholic, then there is nothing in this world that can compare with the picture quality of a DSLR. Additionally, what’s important is that whatever camera you use you must have full knowledge of it.

Understand Lighting

The word photography is derived from the Greek word that means “drawing with light”. So when you want to take good pictures, you need to understand how light impacts the quality of your photos. For example, you will get the best quality photos outdoor on a cloudy day or under a tree shade on a bright sunny day.

Reduce Blurry Images

One of the biggest problems people have reported with their photos is the blurry pictures. The main reason for blurry pictures is when the camera is moved slightly while taking the picture. Even breathing while taking a picture can cause the camera to move. If you understand what causes a blurry image, you can easily adjust it with your photography techniques.

Choose The Correct Mode

Most cameras, even the pocket digital cameras, allow you to manually select from a variety of different shooting “modes”. Modes are selected by using a Mode Dial on top of the camera, or from a menu on the camera’s screen. These modes adjust the camera setting in your phone based on the type of picture you are trying to shoot.

Cruise Ship Passenger Needs to Know

As with any form of travel, there are certain factors you need to be aware of, ensuring you take the steps needed to protect yourself in the event of an injury or accident which can leave you unable to work, paying a fortune in medical expenses and losing your income.

The first thing you need to pay very close attention to is your ticket. When your ticket arrives it may look daunting, often pages in length. Go through your ticket with a fine tooth comb, read it front and back to ensure you are completely aware of what is entailed in the event of an accident. Remember not all cruise ships come from your country, which means that many of the ships operate under a different cruise law.

Another important factor to take into consideration is the medical assistance you can find on board. If you suffer from an illness or disease, it is imperative that you identify the quality of medical assistance you can find on board. Most cruise ships provide a medical doctor and nurse, though they are only suitable for minor injuries, mainly dealing with sea sickness. One of the most common things these medical professionals deal with is passengers forgetting their prescription medications at home.

Crime is possible on board. Don’t be under the false idea that any crime stays on shore. The fact is that crime can occur anywhere whether it’s robbery or assault. Even on board take care of your personal belongings, lock cash away in the cabin safe and ensure you take steps to ensure your own security at all times.

Something to bear in mind is that while cruise ships do take steps to ensure the safety and security of their passengers, in the event of an injury on board, the ship is going to try and protect themselves. This means if you injure yourself you need to take photographs, get witnesses contact information and ensure the injury is logged in the ships accident log. As soon as you have your feet back on home soil, all cruise ship passengers who have been injured need to seek the assistance of a specialist maritime attorney who can help them manage their claim against the cruise company.

Ensure you find a cruise ship attorney as soon as possible. As you will note from your ticket, each cruise ship company has a different rule on how claims are processed, this means that based on the company you can make your claim anywhere from six to twelve months.

In addition to this, it’s always advisable to have good quality travel insurance when traveling by sea. In the event of illness or a serious injury, the doctor on board has the right to turn the ship to the nearest port to ensure you get the medical attention you need. If this port is off home soil, then having travel insurance can be a blessing, paying for all hospital and medical costs, ensuring you aren’t out of pocket when you return home.

Remember that when traveling with children, you consider all the dangers of being a cruise ship passenger. Ensure the ship caters for children offering entertainment and things to do to keep the children busy and help the whole family have an enjoyable vacation experience to remember for years to come.

Help You Plan A Fulfilling Cruise

Know the number of people cruising with you

If it is just a few of you, then planning should be easy, but you will need a lot more planning and coordination when you plan to travel with more family members and friends. If you are bringing children along, then you need to make sure that the cruise package has plenty of activities for them too. You can plan for a private kind of cruises or you can choose to pay for cruises that accommodate lots of other people headed the same direction you are. The important thing is to choose what works for you and the people you are tagging along.

Choose the best cruise length

Cruise packages differ in length and the vacation time you have available should help you select the length that is most suitable. A cruise can be only a few days or you can choose one that goes for a week and more. A weekend cruise can be a great choice for those with little time to spare. With so many destinations and packages, you should be able to plan a cruise length that you can afford and enjoy to the fullest.

Pick the best stateroom

People have different preferences when it comes to cruises and your stateroom choices should be guided by your vacation preferences. For instance, if what you dream of is lounging in a private balcony as you enjoy the gracious tropical views, then a balcony stateroom is the ideal selection. Couples can cruise in a suite or a penthouse to get the most from the cruise vacation. If you are a little pressed on a budget, then you can always settle for an inside stateroom. Some cruise packages can offer you additions such as 24 hour butler for your luxury experience.

Getting Married On A Cruise

Decide Who Will Perform The Ceremony

The whole idea of getting married at sea sounds fun, getting married by a captain is surely exciting, but it also limits your choices of cruise lines since every ship is registered with a different country having its one legal restrictions. There are not a lot of cruise ships that allow the captains to marry their passengers, so before getting all excited about the marriage on the cruise be sure to check it with the ship if it allows any such thing.

Decided Where You Want To Get Married?

Getting married in a foreign country while your ship is docked at the port can be pretty tricky. Every country has different laws, some prohibit the cruisers from getting married at port unless they are planning a residency there or that their parents or grandparents were married there.

Ask About Any Extra Requirements

Regardless of where you are planning to get married, you will need to register for your marriage beforehand so make sure that you make these arrangements in advance.

Decide Whether You Want To Pay Extra Charges For Peak Season

Getting married on a cruise ship is becoming trendy these days, and since it has gained popularity some cruise lines now charge extra fees for getting married in peak “wedding season” which is normally between mid-April and September, as well as on special days like New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day. So it’s best that you also consider this factor and plan your wedding accordingly if you can make your wedding dates flexible.

About Cruise Ship Security

On Board the Ship:

  • Keep your doors locked at all times when you are in the room
  • If your room has a safe, use it for your valuables
  • Know who your room steward is, so you can recognize that person
  • Take a walk around the ship so you get comfortable with finding your way around
  • Do not drink so much that you get drunk
  • If you see something suspicious contact the ship’s security
  • Remember that the internet on board the ship is open, this is a public place

On Shore:

It might be better to sign up for shore excursions that are organized by the ship. Yes, they are more expensive than tours you can get with on shore operators but they offer the convenience of signing up in advance and even paying in advance. And the most important thing to remember if you are on a tour organized by the ship and that tour is late getting back, the ship will wait for you. This is not the case with on shore organized tours. If they are late the ship’s captain could depart before you get back to the ship.

If you decide to go into town on your own, then make yourself aware of the local means of transportation. Bring the correct identification with you. Bring a copy of your passport, leave the original in your cabin safe. The most important thing is being aware of your surroundings and where you are. If your gut tells you not to go down that street, listen and find another way.

Taking a cruise is a very easy, and for the most part inexpensive way to see many other countries and experience other cultures. Cruise ship operators take security very serious. There are a lot of things going on out of sight that directly relates to passenger safety.

Just like on land at home your personal security always starts with you.

Get A Free Cruise

First of all, if you have ever been on a cruise, you will know that the cruise line is constantly advertising their different cruises. Right there they will be offering you more freebies and other benefits than booking through any other means. Did you know though that you can do this and still make sure the booking is made through your travel agent. Go and see the resident cruise sales consultant and together you can explore all the variations and benefits. It is often the case that even if you change your booking, you will still be able to keep all the perks and benefits. Always remember to ask for additional discounts. Senior discounts, for example start from the age of 55-50 depending on the cruise line.

One way to cruise for free is being an on board lecturer. Cruise lines usually look for a variety of different subjects so they can offer ‘enrichment lectures’. Call up the cruise lines and inquire if they are interested in you lecturing on your topic of expertise. The same applies to ‘instructors’. Cruise lines want to offer their passengers different ways they can have fun. So that might include art, computers, even knitting or origami. Dance classes are common. If, for example, you excel at playing bridge, you can do this on board ship, helping others learn.

If you are part of a group, the group leader may get the cruise for free. Think about it, many families decide to take a cruise together so they can reunite. The same applies to groups from a certain church or from your place of work.

You can even become a gentlemen host if you are single. These gentlemen are given the job of dancing and entertaining mature, single women taking the cruise. Now that’s an easy day job!

Things to Expect in River Luxury Cruising

5 Star Accommodation

The first-time river luxury cruiser might think is that their cabins would be diminutive because of the smaller size of the vessel. These days, ships for river cruising are now built with 5-star accommodations in mind. This includes spacious, well-appointed rooms with balconies and windows specially designed to give unrestricted views of the passing scenery.

From butler service, gourmet meals prepared on the ship or in ports of call, complimentary drinks, caviar-all you can, swimming pools, gyms, to spas, name it—most river luxury cruise ships have it!

Guided Tours

Unlike ocean cruising, guided tours are already included in a river luxury cruise. And because some of the port stops during river cruises literally deposit you at the heart of the city, river cruising offers specialised tours. For example, there’s the Food and Wine River Cruise in France, wherein guests get the chance to taste the food and drink from cities like Paris, Burgundy, and Provence.

Shore excursions are not only limited to guided tours. Guests are also allowed to roam the city via bikes that are provided free-of-charge by the ship.

Everything is More Relaxed

With its smaller sized cruise ships, onboard entertainment is more limited in river luxury cruising compared to ocean cruise ships. There’s no Las Vegas type entertainment like casinos or theatres. Guests that would like to opt for peace and quiet will enjoy the relaxing nights of the river cruise. Sit back and relax, and watch the twinkling lights of riverside houses passing by in the comfort of your stateroom.

Another thing to expect when you’re in a river luxury cruise is there is no sea sickness. This is good news for those who are suffering from motion-affliction. River cruising is the answer to that problem as the rivers traversed in most cruise tours are placid and calm.

Kids Love About Cruising

  • Play! Play! Play! – After spending the entire year studying and doing homework, now is the time that your kids can relax and enjoy themselves as a kid should. The cruise experience is designed to engage the kids in different activities every day. It’s a new adventure or a new sport every day. It’s better to enroll your child in a kid’s program that will consist of a schedule of activities throughout the trip. They might be swimming in a pool in the morning and playing basketball in the evening. There is no room for boredom.
  • New friends – The cruising experience not only gives your child an opportunity to learn new things and be a part of different activities but they get to make new friends as well. Meeting new people helps your kids develop social skills and how to bond with new people and get to know them.
  • Sight-Seeing -The entire cruising experience revolves around the idea of a ship and a new destination. Everyone gets bored of visiting the same mall or playing in the same football ground; even grownups need a different air to breathe from time to time. Kids associate cruise with an adventure which is exactly what they have grown up on while listening to fairytales. The new destination and the view from the deck help them connect with nature and explore new places.
  • Bond with Family – One of the best parts of the entire adventure is that kids get to spend some quality time with their parents. All round the year kids are always catching up on homework or preparing for the annual school play while parents are busy with their jobs and errands, neither gets to spend quality time with one another but on the cruise, the family comes together and has fun together.
  • No Restrictions – There are no timeouts and no restrictions on the cruise. All the activities planned are safe and trained, helpful and experienced staff and planners surround you all the time. Parents feel safe and do not feel the need to restrict their kids from any activity. Kids can let loose their playful side and enjoy themselves in a secure environment.

Cheap Cruises From New Orleans

Mississippi River Cruises

Since this is Louisiana, not all cruises have to be to the Caribbean. There are also Mississippi river cruises on steamboats offered by the American Queen Steamboat Company. New Orleans is the departure port for the Lower Mississippi river adventures. America Cruise Lines also offers cruises along the Mississippi River, ranging from eight to fifteen days. Some are round trip and some end in cities like Saint Paul, MN. This is a great opportunity for the history buff who is interested in learning about Cajun history and the Civil War. There are many beautiful sites to see along the river, with stops in Davenport, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, Memphis, etc.

Unfortunately, Mississippi River cruises tend to be more costly than Caribbean cruises. Part of this reason is because they tend to be longer. However, it’s still worth going if you can find a good deal. Take your time and compare rates. This type of cruise is worth going on if you want to experience major cities and small American towns alike.

Caribbean, Bahamas, & Mexico Cruises

Most cheap cruises from New Orleans are found with Carnival and Norwegian cruise lines, both of which offer itineraries filled with warm, exotic places like Cozumel, Mexico, Montego Bay, Grand Cayman, George Town, Ochos Rios, Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize City, and more. Some cruise itineraries are centered toward the Western Caribbean, some in the Eastern Caribbean, and some around Mexico.

It’s pretty obvious that “off-season” for cruising in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic is during hurricane season in the fall. If you’re brave and adventurous, you will often find very cheap deals during the months of Sept. – Nov.

Additional Tips

One way to save money, especially if you have a lot of cities on your itinerary, is to not participate in all of the cruise line’s excursions. You can either simply lounge on the beach or in an affordable restaurant near the shore of each port of call, or arrange for your own excursions with a third party.

Look out for special discount offers on online travel sites that include perks like on-board credit and free cabin upgrades. If you are going to fly to New Orleans, see if you can get a discount by booking your airfare and cruise at the same time. If you’re driving there or live there, look for cheap or free parking options near the port. Some hotels near the port even offer inexpensive or free parking if you stay for at least one night.

Whether you want to go on a short, two or three day cruise or a 21 day cruise, just use online price comparison tools to help you find cheap cruises from New Orleans.